Oct. 23 2013 10:52 AM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

Billy Blair (left) and Chance McManus sing, dance and fight in Evil Dead the Musical.
Photo by Vicky MacKenzie


It’s a musical with a designated “splatter zone.” Plastic ponchos will be available at the show. What more do you need to know?

“The handbill says if you sit in the first three rows you will get bloody,” says actor and self-appointed show promoter Jason Lethert. “If you sit outside of the first three rows, you might get bloody.”

Theater Alive opens its second year of Evil Dead the Musical this week, promising an onslaught of demons, hillbillies and one-liners. After accidentally unleashing a horde of Canadian demons, main character Ash Williams slashes, sings and dances his way through danger, complete with trademark chainsaw-hand.

Paying homage to the cult horror classics Evil Dead and Army of Darkness, the musical tears through horror-movie tropes, dripping with satire.

“It’s just really, really funny,” says Lethert, who plays Professor Knowby. “If you like horror movies and sci-fi, this does that. Most plays don’t touch upon this genre of pop entertainment.”

The script, first brought to the stage in Toronto, made a name for itself as an Off-Broadway production. Last year, the show sold out a number of its San Diego dates, drawing fans dressed as zombies and other characters from the film.

“Some of the hardcore horror-movie fans even eschewed the complimentary rain ponchos, proudly showing their blood in pictures with the cast afterward,” Lethert says.

The seven-performance run begins Thursday, Oct. 24, at 10th Avenue Theatre (930 10th Ave., 10thavenuetheatre.com) and ends Saturday, Nov. 2. Tickets are $20, $18 for students and seniors. The show contains adult language and situations. theateralive.com


Halloween festivities are rolling in like a ghoulish mist. One event not to be missed is Circle Circle dot dot theater company’s third annual freaky fundraiser, MORP! A Dead Man’s Party, which rises from the party grave at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26, at Centro Cultural de la Raza (2004 Park Blvd. in Balboa Park). Among the tricks and treats planned for the spooky shindig is a collaborative storytelling performance with the folks of So Say We All called “A Haunting in San Diego,” costume contests, gourmet food trucks, booze aplenty and bone-rattling dancing ’til the clock strikes midnight. Proceeds will help Circle Circle dot dot continue to create cool theater. Tickets come in packages ranging from $30 to $100 and can be bought at circle2dot2.com.


Fans of Japanese food will tell you that few other cuisines can prompt such a craving. A steaming bowl of ramen, perfect cuts of sashimi, delicately fried vegetable tempura. On Saturday, Oct. 26, the Japanese Friendship Garden Society presents the first-ever Taste of Japan Food Fest. From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Balboa Park’s recently expanded Japanese Friendship Garden, vendors will offer tastes that attendees can enjoy in a picnic-like setting. Entrance to the festival is free with admission to the garden ($6 for adults, $5 for seniors, students and military); food tickets will be sold separately. After you’ve stuffed yourself, check out the gardens and Faces of Japan, the current exhibition of photographs of Japanese urban life by Lev Tsimring. niwa.org

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.