San Diego outdoors: Aida, animal tracks, rugby, SUP with dogs, 1800s Old Town, waterski and wakeboard
Indoors: WWI San Diego, complete history of theater, Christopher Plummer, pickles, Van Gogh-Gaughin, Martina McBride
11:50 a.m., June 28
Stephen Sondheim's wonderful operetta's in capable hands at Lyric Opera San Diego. The production, directed by J. Sherwood Montgomery, is stiff around the edges, and scenes played upstage have accoustical troubles. But the leads, backed by a full orchestra, are splendid, and the story - based in Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night (and the mismatched lovers of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream - captivates. Kandis Chappell plays Madame Arnfelt (and no one will ever perform the crusty dowager better!) tells of three smiles: the young, the foolish, and the old. The music (much of it in 3/4 time) and the story play on this triadic figure. Flanked by strong-voiced Scott Gregory (as midlife crisis'd Fredrik) and Raymond Ayers (loose cannon Carl-Magnus), Andrea Huber sparkles as Desiree Armfeldt, her rendition of "Send in the Clowns" outstanding. Although it tends to obscure actors, when lit too darkly, the birch-tree backed set is hansome, as are Pam Stompoly-Ericson's 1900 costumes.