Hello and welcome to the UT Arts & Culture newsletter.
I am David L. Coddon, and here’s your guide to all the essentials in San Diego arts and culture this week.
La Jolla Music Society SummerFest is over for another year, but if you missed some or all of the festival’s in-person lineup, you’re in luck: you can broadcast six of the SummerFest 2021 sold out concerts, while 20 educational events will be online indefinitely.
Four of the streaming concerts are part of the festival’s “Synergy Series”. The “SummerFest Finale: A Love Compposed” and “The Silver Score: Iconic Cinematic Scores that Define the Hollywood Sound” are also included. I chose to launch my own SummerFest virtual experience with it.
“The Silver Score” begins like gangbusters, with the Calder Quartet, the Balourdet String Quintet and bassist Xavier Foley collaborating on the “Psycho Suite”, music written by the legendary Bernard Herrmann for “Psycho”, one of his scores memorable for Alfred Hitchcock. From the thrilling musical backdrop to the fleeting flight of Phoenix’s Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) to the spooky knife shower scene at Bates Motel, the “Psycho Suite” dramatically demonstrates how music and movies can at their best. work together.
The nearly two-and-a-half-hour concert also features “The Poet Acts” by Philip Glass, best remembered from the 2002 film “The Hours”; Samuel Barber’s “Adagio for Strings”, featured in Oliver Stone’s “Platoon” and David Lynch’s “The Elephant Man”; and the supple music of the composer John Corigliano for the exquisite film by François Girard “The Red Violin”.
Either way, the strings don’t seem as conducive to John Williams’ “Star Wars” score, which I think needs more emphasis.
I’m sorry I didn’t go to SummerFest, one of San Diego’s biggest music events every year. Next year. Hopefully without a mask.
Happy to see you again, Mingei International Museum. After being closed for three years, the Mingei in Balboa Park reopens on Friday. Admission for the next four days will be free as a celebration.
You might not recognize the museum after its $ 55 million reimagining project, but you will likely be amazed by the architectural openness and additional amenities of the Mingei. To learn more about what’s new at the museum, check out my Union-Tribune story here.
The opening of two exhibitions coincides with the return of the Mingei: “Global Spirit – Folk Art from the Ted Cohen Collection” and “Humble Spirit / Priceless Art”.
by netflix official trailer for his new documentary “Bob Ross: happy accidents, betrayal and greed” is a tease, that doesn’t tell you anything about the movie. Now that I’ve watched it, I can tell you a lot. First off, if you’re a fan of Ross, who died in 1995, and PBS’s “The Joy of Painting”, fear not. Your cherished memories of the two are not tainted.
The gist of this documentary is an indictment against Ross’s longtime business partner Annette Kowalski and her husband Walter, who are described (sorry) as villainous exploiters of Ross’s fame and brand, especially after his death.
At the head of the prosecution is Ross’s surviving son Steve, who, along with several of his father’s friends and associates, testifies to the Kowalskis’ alleged betrayal and greed. I buy it, but loved the soft-spoken, nature-loving Bob Ross, although I’ve never tried to paint in my life. Before the film goes on a full crusade, it features plenty of endearing clips of Ross, on and off camera, and stock photos from days before he wore his famous dress.
If you are like me this movie will make you angry but also make you regret and cry the painter of the television who felt like an old friend.
San Diego Rep Latinx New Play Festival Founder Patrice Amon said she and her artistic cohorts did not aim to create a theme for this year’s three-day event, which begins on Friday. But the idea of connection emerged, organically.
“Each of the pieces is about connecting – either with family ancestors or your past – with who you are or who you want to become,” Amon said, “or about connecting with your community’s legacy.”
The readings of the festival’s five plays have been pre-recorded and can be viewed in person at the Conrad Prebys Aztec Student Union Theater at San Diego State University or streamed live online. Tickets are pay what you want.
In other theatrical news …
native of San Diego Karen ann daniels has always loved the theater, Shakespeare and museums, and has long been fascinated by the nation’s capital. So her recent appointment as director of programming at the Folger Shakespeare Library and artistic director of the Folger Theater in Washington, DC, looks like a perfect fit. Read more in this story by the Pam Kragen of the Union Tribune.
The online magazine TheTalks.com exists since 2011, but I only found out about it last week during a question-and-answer interview with actor Sean Penn. The guy annoys me sometimes, but he’s never boring.
Neither can this website, which archives hundreds of short, printed Q&A featuring personalities from across the cultural spectrum: film, music, literature, art, sports, business and more. Some of the transcribed interviews feature embedded video clips, although these are just simple snippets and don’t add much to the package. The accompanying portraits of each interviewee, however, stand out with personality.
One of my major problems would be that I couldn’t find the interview dates with any of them (except the recently published Penn offer). Context, the product of time and circumstances, underlines the meaning of any interview.
With laughter needed more than ever, the timing of the National theater of comedy return friday couldn’t be better. And you know what they say: in comedy, timing is everything.
NCT’s humorous improvisational show stems, as since 1999, from the audience’s suggestions. The performances take place on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. You will find the theater at 3717 India St. in Middletown.
On the eve of his biggest film to date, PLNU and SDSU graduated Destiny Daniel Cretton talks about how San Diego shaped his life in Hollywood, filming during a pandemic and why directing a Marvel movie wasn’t something he always wanted to do. Find out more in this exclusive Union-Tribune interview.
University of California Television invites you to take advantage of this special selection of programs from across the University of California. Descriptions courtesy and text written by UCTV staff:
“Poverty, God and politics”: National leaders at the Heart of Faith, highlight spiritual and political strategies that can pull us out of the COVID pandemic in a way that puts us on track to end hunger and poverty. David Beckmann discusses two fundamental ideas of his years as President of Bread for the World – that dramatic progress against poverty is possible and that faith communities can help change the politics of poverty. The episodes are taken from a joint seminar on poverty, communities of faith and politics co-sponsored by the UC Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy and the Church Divinity School of the Pacific.
“Stem cells and cure for blindness”: There are several illnesses that can lead to blindness, but UC San Diego researcher Karl Wahlin believes there may be a way to cure them all: endogenous regeneration. Wahlin works with retinal organoids which are miniature retinal models developed from stem cells, and he hopes to use these tiny retinas to find a cure. Wahlin has teamed up with Alysson Muotri, director of the UC San Diego stem cell program, who uses a similar technique to study the brain. Together, they hope to understand how the brain and the eye influence each other on development.
“Bernstein’s Centenary – Symphony and Choir of La Jolla”: Steven Schick directs this 2019 performance which begins with Laurie San Martin, one of this country’s most exuberant composers, followed by the lightness of a great classic – the rarely heard “Beethoven 8th Symphony” – and ends with Leonard Bernstein’s extraordinary and poignant interpretation of “Symphony No. 3 (Kaddish)” with choir, soprano soloist and narrator. Bernstein’s play, named after the Jewish prayer for the dead, was dedicated to the late President John F. Kennedy and premiered in the days following his assassination in 1963. It is a reflection of both the loss of a president and the loss of a generation of European Jews – powerful music, but also full of hope.
And finally: The best events of the weekend
Here are the best events that take place from Thursday September 2 to Monday September 6.