April 13 2015 05:08 PM

Our top picks of San Diego events this week

Blintzes, rugelach and strudel cookies at the Jewish Food Festival
Photo by Mark Molbegott


It's a good week to be a foodie. Not one, not two, not three, but four separate edible events have us salivating on our keyboards. While it'll be hard to hit up all four, we'd like to think our readers are up to the task. First stop: the annual Taste of Hillcrest on Saturday, April 18, will showcase the neighborhood's eclectic variety of restaurants. From noon to 4 p.m., more than two-dozen establishments will offer up their signature dishes, including favorites like Lotus Thai, Crest Café and Baja Betty's. Tickets are $30. Wake up early on Sunday, April 19, for the Fallbrook Avocado Festival, which kicks off at 9 a.m. all along Main Avenue in downtown Fallbrook. As if you couldn't tell from the name, the free 29th annual celebration is all about that green, healthy fruit Californians can't seem to get enough of. Food booths will be offering way more than guacamole, plus there will also be a beer garden, live bands and activities for kids. That same day, hop on the I-15 and head south to Poway for the San Diego Jewish Food Festival (11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Temple Adat Shalom, 15905 Pomerado Road). Booths at the fifth-annual tasting event include names like "Sabbath Dinner," "Kosher Grill," "New York Deli," and "Bubbie's Bakery," so whether you're in the mood for matzo ball soup and a side of latkes or just jonesing for some strudels and blintzes, chances are you'll satisfy your cravings ($15). If you've paced yourself, you should still have room for Taste of Point Loma on Wednesday, April 22, from 5:30 to 9 p.m. CityBeat faves like Miguel's Cocina, the Brigantine, The Elegant Truffle and dozens more will have samples, and some places will even have food and beverage pairings. The $25 ticket price includes a shuttle service that will run throughout the evening. Phew. Time to digest.

“Phrenological Head” by Asa Ames
Photo by John Parnell


There's something wonderfully eerie about Self-Taught Genius, a collection of works from the American Folk Art Museum that opens Saturday, April 18, at the Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park. It's work created by "outsider" artists whose style and subject matter often bucked artistic conventions of the time. Take, for instance, Asa Ames' "Phrenological Head" (1850)—an elegantly dressed bust of a young girl with vacant eyes and a multicolored phrenology chart on her bald head. Or, contemporary artist Melvin Way's "Singlair," part of the exhibition's "Encoders" grouping, which looks like some sort of psychedelic cryptographic map. In all, more than 100 pieces of folk art—from the 1700s up through the 20th century—will be on view at the Mingei through Aug. 16. 

Photo by Ronnie Larsen


On Friday, April 17, the vagina comes first. Hey! Get your mind out of the gutter, perv. We're referring to The Vagina Talk Show (at 7 p.m. Friday and 6 p.m. Sunday, April 19) and The Penis Talk Show (Saturday, April 18, at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 8 p.m.), both of which are mounting (snicker) the stage at Diversionary Theatre (4545 Park Blvd. in Normal Heights). The shows, created by playwright Ronnie Larsen and producer Paula Richer, take an intimate, humor-filled look at human genitalia in all its flawed beauty (the show contains nudity; audience members must be at least 18). Done talk-show style, the audience can ask questions of the show's de-robed guests, who'll tell stories about their own sexual triumphs and failures. Tickets are $25. 


Crowd-funding platforms such as Kickstarter can make possible what was once impossible. That includes, most importantly, projects by artists who are now able to create work without going hungry. For The Artist Odyssey, a global arts network hoping to expand its reach, fundraising is key. But so, too, is throwing a cool launch party with some of its brightest talent. The event will take place at 3rdspace (4610 Park Blvd., University Heights) from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 18. Check out tintype plates from Jan Jansen (that's her work to the left) and Giles Clement—photographers who helped bring back the technique of wet paint photography—live art created by shodo artist Mimi Wada, and Americana singer Nena Anderson will perform original songs, among other featured artists. The event is free with an advanced ticket or $5 at the door.


Jellyfish-generated music. Sharks feeding to free jazz. Poetry whispered to seahorses through tin telephones. For the third year running, the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography (2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla) presents Immersion @ Birch Aquarium. From 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday, April 19, visitors can experience the aquarium’s aquatic life set to music and other installations, such as Feeding Time, a cello and bass clarinet duo that provides the soundtrack to sharks feeding, Tina Tallon's video project that creates music by tracking the movements of jellyfish (one of her collaborators is shown here). As folks explore the aquarium, they will also encounter live performances, including Iputu Hiranmayena’s Indonesian ensemble playing at twilight on the Tide-Pool Plaza. Tickets are $10. 


It’s as if a young Mickey Rooney shouted, “Hey, gang, let’s put on a show,” and the gang was a bunch of circus performers. Cirquetacular! Cirquetacular!, the new show by The Circus Collective, takes the stage at 7 p.m. Sunday, April 19, at The Lyceum Theater (79 Broadway Circle in Horton Plaza). It’s an original work by Daniel Nava and a spin-off of Moulin Rouge’s Spectacular Spectacular. The Circus Collective’s romp is about a group of bohemian artists who persuade the owner of a theater to give them one last chance to put on a successful theatrical production. Think acrobatic can-cans, juggling, contortion and heart-stopping aerial acts. Tickets range from $12-$25. 


When the San Diego Gay Men's Chorus—one of the city's cultural gems—performed its first show in 1985, Madonna was still five years away from donning a cone bra and making stiff arm movements the latest dance craze. And, being a gay man in San Diego (or anywhere) was certainly quite different than it is now. To celebrate three decades of fabulousness (and progress!), the chorus will be performing Greatest Hits, Volume One at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 18, and 3 p.m. Sunday, April 19. The set list includes tunes from Madge as well as all your big gay faves: ABBA, Queen, Elton John, The Backstreet Boys and (because what would the show be without it?) Judy Garland's "Over the Rainbow." The performance takes place at the Balboa Theatre (868 Fourth Ave., Downtown). Tickets start at $19.