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
"Never have a daughter," says Artemis, "she won't like you." Lee Blessing's comedy-drama follows three generations of gifted women, each expected to be "extraordinary." The oldest, Dorothea, found freedom in eccentricity, driving her daughter Artemis out the door, who abandons her daughter Echo, the National Spelling Bee champ, in the process. The trio does a kind of odd-woman-out musical chairs for 90 minutes, eventually resolving in an unexpected, far too pat conclusion. One could wish Blessing's approach were less cerebral and schematic, and more human, but Moxie Theater's production provides much of the latter. Under Chelsea Whitmore's smart direction, Rhona Gold makes Dorothea both liberated and controlling, and funny. As Artemis (Blessing's weakest character, written more to fit the scheme than be a person), Julie Anderson Sachs needs to defend the character's choices more fervently, unpopular though they may be. Her costume a combination of Dorothea's earthy brown and Artemis's dull grays, Rachael VanWormer does one of her finest efforts as Echo, moving from infancy to overassertion (she really wins that spelling bee, to the chagrin of her family) to the possibility of a balanced life, finally.