The San Diego Repertory Theatre will close its 30th anniversary season with a gala on June 24 and the 13th annual Lipinsky Family San Diego Jewish Arts Festival, May 18 through June 21.
The Rep is throwing a massive shindig for itself to celebrate the theater's 30th anniversary, spanning three rooftop venues to represent its three decades of existence.
The event begins with the Early Years reception of cocktails and hors d'oeuvres on the Broadway Terraces of Napa Valley Grille, with entertainment that highlights the theater's first 10 years. Costumed performers will then escort guests to the Westgate Hotel for the Middle Years moonlit, gourmet dinner featuring cuisines from Venice, Milan and Florence. As a grand finale party, the Current Years will be celebrated on the rooftop terrace of the Westin Hotel with a "Best of Cabaret" show and live mambo dance orchestra. Auction items will be showcased throughout the evening.
"Having grown from a fledgling street theater group to a critically acclaimed creator of over 40 world premieres, we are grateful for the support of all the audience members, artists, craftspeople, collaborators and others who have made our innovative and culturally diverse programming possible," said Sam Woodhouse, co-founder and artistic director of the Rep. "We invite everyone to join us in celebrating this milestone on June 24 with the biggest party in Rep history."
Tickets for the 30th anniversary gala are available through the Rep's box office at (619) 544-1000. VIP Ringside tickets include entry to all three venues, VIP seating, special gift amenities and an invitation to a pre-gala sunset reception on May 25 for $250. A full package Star ticket costs $150 and entitles entry to the gala's three components and the reception in May. Tickets for just the Early Years reception or the Current Years finale are $25.
Closing the Rep's 30th anniversary season is the San Diego Jewish Arts Festival, a celebration of Jewish cultural diversity through music, dance, theater and speakers from around the world. Performances take place throughout the county and at the Rep's own Lyceum Theatre.
The festival kicks off Thursday, May 18 with the world premiere of Malashock Dance's "Fathom: The Body as Universe" at the Stephen and Mary Birch North Park Theatre. The performance blends Jewish and Eastern traditions, and bridges the disciplines of dance, visual art and music. Created by choreographer John Malashock, "Fathom" features Japanese artist Junko Chodos, members of the San Diego Master Chorale, percussionist Steven Schick and a score by Israeli composer Ariel Blumenthal. The show will be presented through the weekend and tickets cost $29.50-$36.50. Preview performances run May 12-14. The North Park Theatre is located at 2891 University Ave.
On May 24-25, Eveoke Dance Theatre presents "Soul of a Young Girl: Dances of Anne Frank." The heart, soul and words of a young Jewish girl in hiding are brought to life through dance, in an encore presentation of Eveoke's most acclaimed production. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. both nights. Tickets are $20-$23. Find the 10th Avenue Theatre at Broadway and E Street downtown. For additional performances, visit www.eveoke.org.
Cuarteto Latino Americano takes the stage at the Garfield Theatre at the Lawrence Family Jewish Community Center on May 29 at 7:30 p.m. The Grammy-nominated Jewish ensemble from Mexico City will play works of Mendelssohn, Mozart and a special performance of a new work by David Stock, built on Sephardic songs and "Yiddishbbuk" by Argentine composer Osvaldo Golijov. The JCC is located at 4126 Executive Drive in University City, and tickets are $18-$19.
On May 31 catch an encore presentation of "The Gift," an original rock/jazz musical by internationally renowned Jewish composer, director and playwright Cara Freedman. Set in the Roaring '20s, the production is a lively journey of a young Jewish couple exploring their traditional values while encountering new-world temptations. Tickets are $10-$15. The show begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Lyceum Stage at the San Diego Repertory Theatre in Horton Plaza.
Internationally renowned pianist Jeffrey Siegel appears June 5 in "Keyboard Conversations: Mozart & Gershwin," a performance co-sponsored by Mainly Mozart. Siegel will explore in music and conversation the thematic and historical relationship of Mozart with Jewish music and composers. Tickets are $22, and the event takes place on the Rep's Lyceum Stage.
For three nights in June, North Coast Repertory Theatre will present a tribute to playwright Wendy Wasserstein with staged readings of her works: "Uncommon Women and Others" on June 5, "Isn't It Romantic?" on June 6 and "The Heidi Chronicles" on June 7. Her humorous and thought-provoking plays made Wasserstein a premier Jewish voice in the theater. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. at North Coast Rep, 985 Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach. Individual tickets are $15, or $36 for all three evenings.
World-renowned a cappella ensemble Kol Zimra performs June 11 at 7 p.m. in the Lyceum Space. Using just their voices, these five young singers create exciting harmonies, lively rhythms, instrumentation and stirring melodies of today's most popular Jewish songs. Tickets are $25.
The sixth annual Klezmer Summit takes place June 12, featuring New Orleans Klezmer All-Stars, one of the wildest, funkiest klezmer bands in the country. The concert also includes "Songs from the Heart: Ha'nigun Sh'bah'lev," revealing the beauty of Israeli songs in a vivid blend of music and dance by Kolot Ami, featuring vocalist Cheri Sasson, music director Ruth Lopez-Yanez and dancers B'Mahol. Klezmer clarinet virtuoso Alexander Gourevitch will make a guest appearance, and Rabbi Arnold Kopikis will provide narration. The summit takes place at the Lyceum at 7 p.m. Tickets are $22.
On June 20, festival director Todd Salovey will adapt and direct a world premiere reading of "Blessings of a Broken Heart." The new work is based on Sherri Mandell's moving journey of discovery and growing faith following the tragic slaying of her son. Both heartbreaking and life affirming, it is an ultimately uplifting tale of healing and growth. The reading is at 7:30 p.m. on the Lyceum Stage. Tickets are $18.
The festival wraps up June 21 with a tribute to Israeli music. "Bat 58" features stunning arrangements of Israel's most popular songs. San Diego favorite Zeji Ozeri, sharing the release of his new CD, will headline the multimedia program performed live with a full band, video and dance. The performance is at the Lyceum Stage, and tickets are $18-$25.