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
Polly Pen (music) and Laurence Klavan (lyrics) turned a black and white, silent Russian movie (1926) into a musical, in which the characters sing rather than speak. Kolya invites Volodya, a homeless, WWI war buddy, to share his cramped, Moscow apartment. Kolya and wife Ludmilla take the bed, Volodya the sofa - for a while. Then Ludmilla and Volodya fall in love - for a while. The story, which moves with sharp, Chekhovian twists, is also a political allegory about how revolutions, like the men in Ludmilla's life, "go round in circles." In the exquisite Cygnet Theatre production, directed by Sean Murray, Jordan Miller (Volodya) and Lance Arthur Smith (Kolya) boom with operatic voices. But Colleen Kollar Smith is special as Ludmilla. Her flickering, silent film eyes are as coloratura as her voice. With a mere look, she brightens or darkens Andrew Hull's striking set - shades of gray from charcoal and pewter to softer, smokey hues (which Eric Lotze has lit brilliantly). Corey Johnston's appropriate costumes break the the color scheme at just the right moment. As if from the clouds overhead, or the heaven beyond, the late Priscilla Allen narrates with her unforgettable voice.