Oct. 12 2011 02:13 PM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

A live orchestra accompanies a screening of Lord of the Rings

Big screen, bigger sound

The journey to Mordor is a treacherous one for Frodo Baggins and his Fellowship of the Ring. They must cross dangerous terrain, face dark magic at the hand of Saruman the White, and battle evil Orcs, the Nazgul and the fire demon Balrog, all on foot and while having to skip second breakfast and elevensies.

It’s a tough one for the Fellowship, but their quest is epic for us viewers of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, the first installment in the film trilogy based on J.R.R Tolkien’s classic books. It’s made even more epic thanks to composer Howard Shore’s scoring of the film, which won him the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2002.

Now fans of the film can see the first leg of Frodo and the Fellowship’s journey screened in high-definition on a 60-foot flat screen and accompanied by a live, 200-piece orchestra playing Shore’s original score at Lord of the Rings in Concert: The Fellowship of the Ring, happening at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 13, at Valley View Casino Center (3500 Sports Arena Blvd.), formerly the San Diego Sports Arena, as part of a nine-city West Coast tour.

Ashley Anton, marketing director at Valley View Casino Center, predicts that the event will be nothing short of amazing—and, having held a similar screening of Star Wars last year, nothing short of nerd overload.

“The concourse becomes full of every character from the film,” she recalls from her past experience with screening seminal pieces of geek culture. “I can only imagine all the hobbits, elves and wizards that will be wandering the concourse on the night of the show.”

Along with the screening, there will be props from the film on display. Tickets range from $30 to $90.

Trash as art

It turns out the topic of trash is fascinating. A dozen well-known contemporary artists have been working hard during the last few weeks, building installations inside the New Children’s Museum (200 W. Island Ave., Downtown), creating fun, interactive and inspiring environments that’ll hopefully leave parents and kiddos with a new understanding of the disturbing amount of waste we produce and what we can do to cut it down. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 15 and 16, the museum will celebrate the opening of its new museum-wide TRASH exhibition with a free, two-day block party featuring performances by Ozokidz, Junior Crew Stomp!, Todo Mundo and others, plus food trucks, educational booths, trapeze acts, hands-on art projects and more.

Just the two of them 

A bunch of community, social-justice, labor, LGBT, immigrant-rights, environmental and faith organizations—collectively known as The Coalition for a Better San Diego—really wanted to provide a forum for citizens to hear the views of the four major candidates for San Diego mayor. Sadly, once again, Carl DeMaio and Bonnie Dumanis have chosen not to share their plans with the public. But don’t let that stop you from attending the San Diego Mayoral Forum at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the Balboa Theatre (868 Fourth Ave., Downtown). Bob Filner and Nathan Fletcher aren’t afraid to face you, and, for that, they deserve your attention. And, without those others hogging time, they’ll have lots of time to dig deep into the challenges that befuddle our city.

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