Arts and Music

READER’S EDITORIAL: PROP 15 WLL HURT COMMUNITY THEATRES, NON-PROFITS AND SMALL BUSINESSES

By Lamplighters Theatre, La Mesa

Local theaters already shut down by COVID-19 may be further negatively  impacted if Prop 15 becomes law.

October 23, 2020 (La Mesa) -- In the upcoming November ballot there is one proposition that will impact our theatre and most community theaters, as well as most non-profits and small businesses.  Proposition 15, if passed, will raise taxes on commercial and industrial properties while exempting properties and residences worth less than $3 million. 


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ROOSEVELT: CHARGE THE BEAR – ROUSTABOUTS THEATRE VIRTUAL SHOW OCT. 10-NOV. 2 SHOWS HISTORY REPEATS

By Kathy Carpenter

October 11, 2020 (San Diego) - 2020 is a history making year, one historians will be documenting for years. But as much as times change, they stay the same. Almost a hundred and twenty years ago Teddy Roosevelt faced the same struggles we are facing today including bullying, racism and riots.

The Roustabouts Theatre Company, fairly new to the San Diego theatre community, has moved into digital media like some of the others in town. From October 10 - November 2, 2020. they are streaming Roosevelt: Charge The Bear.  A new one man play by Phil Johnson & Marni Freedman, starring Phil Johnson.

With a compelling, storytelling plot, phenomenal actor Phil Johnson has you believing you are in the room with Theodore Roosevelt himself, glued to each word, as he tells his story. The plot is the story of the new President Roosevelt, as he takes over from President William McKinley,.after McKinley’s assassination.


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SAN DIEGO PRESS CLUB TO HOST FREE WRITING WEBINAR WITH RICHARD LEDERER, `A WAY WITH WORDS,’ TUESDAY, OCT. 13

East County News Service

October 11, 2020 (San Diego) – Is it “who” or “whom?” Or, “that” or “which?” Or, “is” or “are?”

Also, where do you stand on terminal prepositions, split infinitives, “hopefully” as a floating adverb and “they” as a third-person singular pronoun?


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JUST IN TIME FOR HALLOWEEN, WRITE OUT LOUD STREAMS POEFEST OCT. 23-NOV. 1

East County News Service
 
Source: Write Out Loud
 
Photo (left): Travis Rhett Wilson as Edgar Allan Poe
 
Six Poe-vocative Programs hosted by Edgar Allan Poe
 
October 8, 2020 (San Diego) -- Write Out Loud, an organization founded in 2007 with a commitment to inspire, challenge and entertain by reading literature aloud for a live audience, announces the third Annual San Diego (VIrtual) PoeFest, streaming from October 23rd - November 1st. PoeFest is produced by Write Out Loud in partnership with Save Our Heritage Organisation.
 
Artistic Director, Veronica Murphy shared “PoeFest has quickly become a San Diego favorite Halloween adventure. Everybody loves the wonderfully chilling stories of Poe. And there are so many authors to explore that have followed in his footsteps. Virtual is our only option for storytelling now - so we are embracing the challenge of capturing a phantasmic theatrical experience on video. We’ve recreated the atmosphere, filming by candlelight in the Historic Adobe Chapel in Old Town.”

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JOSE CUERVO PREMIERES NEW DOCUMENTARY FILM, TODAVÍA DESPUÉS AT SAN DIEGO FILM FESTIVAL FOR DAY OF THE DEAD OCT. 15-18

East County News Service

Photos: Facebook

Film director Santiago Maza Stern to join other shorts directors for panel discussion during San Diego International Film Festival

October 6, 2020 (San Diego) - This year’s film, Todavía Después (English: Still After), directed by Santiago Maza Stern premieres during the San Diego International Film Festival as part of the Docu-Drama shorts. Director Santiago Maza Stern will also speak on the shorts director panel where patrons will get to hear directly from Santiago and other directors in the shorts category. The San Diego International Film Festival runs through October 18th. www.sdfilmfest.com


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POWAY ONSTAGE PRESENTS STEVE POLTZ “QUARANTINE BLUES” LIVE IN YOUR HOME OCT. 14-28

East County News Service

 

October 5, 2020 (Poway) – Alternative folk singer Steve Poltz will present “Quarantine Blues" presented by Poway OnStage and taped live at the Poway Center for the Performing Arts.  “Quarantine Blues” includes many new, unrecorded songs and quirky wit.


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REVIEW OF NICETIES - HISTORICAL DIVERSITY AT THE MOXIE THEATRE THROUGH OCT. 4

By Kathy Carpenter

October 3, 2020 (La Mesa) - Moxie Theatre finds a way to bring us entertaining digital theatre with Niceties by Elenor Burgess. The play is powerful, thought provoking, emotionally challenging entertainment--perfectly timed for the climate of the country.


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CELEBRATING SUNFLOWERS: POP-UP ART SHOW SEPT. 26 IN JACUMBA HOT SPRINGS

East County News Service
 
September 22, 2020 (Jacumba Hot Springs) – You’re invited to “Celebrate the Sunflowers” at a pop-art art show featuring local artists on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  The show will be held at 44545 and 44555 Old Highway 80 in Jacumba Hot Springs.
 
This exhibit will feature paintings and crafts by Nancy Rupe, metal sculptures by Kirk Gilliam, basketry by Becky Person, and works of local artists Bill McKee, Linda Churchill and Paul Stevens.

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BORREGO ART INSTITUTE CALLS FOR “FLORA AND FAUNA” ART FOR FALL SHOW

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Kathleen Raftery

September 13, 2020 (Borrego Springs)- - The Borrego Art Institute has issued a call for art with the theme “The Art of Flora and Fauna” celebrating plants and animals through art. Works selected will be shown at an art show Oct. 3-25.

An opening reception will be from 10-4 p.m. on Saturday, October 3, with an outside wine/water bar on the patio and a maximum of 25 people in the gallery at one time, due to COVID-19. Masks must be worn.

Works are accepted in the gallery Sept. 26-27 from 10:30 to 3 p.m.

For info and entry forms, contact gallery@borregoartinstitute.org.

All mediums are acceptable, with a limit of three pieces of art per artist. Work must be professionally finished; wall art must be ready for hanging using the institute’s hook and cable system. Pedestals are available for standing art. There is an entry fee of $10 per work for nonmembers; free for members.


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SAN DIEGO LATINO FILM FESTIVAL GOES VIRTUAL SEPT. 17-27

East County News Service

 

September 11, 2020 (San Diego) – The 27th annual San Diego Film Festival hosted by Media Arts starts Thursday, Sept. 17 and runs through Sept. 27. This year, you can watch films from the comfort of home. View a video with some of the participating filmmakers. 


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SHOW TIME! EAST COUNTY MOVIE THEATERS REOPEN

 

By Miriam Raftery

September 3, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The  magic of movies on the big screen returns after months of shutdowns due to COVID-19. 

Two major theater chains, Reading Cinemas International (NASDAQ: RDI) and Regal, announced reopenings this week of cinemas including several locations in East County (La Mesa, El Cajon and Rancho San Diego) featuring long-awaited new-release films.

Both chains have also rolled out new procedures to protect guests  in compliance with CDC health guidelines and state safety regulations.


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EAST COUNTY ARTISTS IN MAJOR EXHIBITS

Source:  San Diego Watercolor Sociey

Photo:  “It’s All About The Chrome” by Craig Anderson.  Watercolor, 15 x 22 in.  All images courtesy of San Diego Watercolor Society

September 1, 2020 (San Diego) - No fewer than four artists in East San Diego County have received some of the highest honors available for watermedia artists this month. La Mesa artist Craig Anderson and El Cajon residents Linda Drake and Michael Garberick all had paintings that were juried into the highly competitive 40th International Exhibition to be held virtually in October on The San Diego Watercolor Society website, www.sdws.org. The art was selected from nearly 900 entries from 21 countries by nationally known juror Michael Reardon.  In addition, Lakeside artist Susan Hewitt won third place in the San Diego Watercolor Society’s September Members Show. This highly selective show was juried by nationally known artist Richard Glassman.


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VALHALLA STUDENT HONORED AS ONE OF SAN DIEGO’S MOST REMARKABLE TEENS

East County News Service
 
August 25, 2020 (El Cajon, CA) — Amelie Simpson, a junior at Valhalla High School, has been named one of San Diego’s most remarkable teens. The award, presented annually by the San Diego Public Defender’s Office and the San Diego Public Defender Youth Council, honors teen accomplishments in a wide range of categories, including civic involvement, leadership, and the arts.
 
Nominated by the Mitchell Thorp Foundation, Simpson is one of 25 teens recognized this year for their achievements. Beth Thorp, founder and executive director of the Mitchell Thorp Foundation, recommended Simpson for the award saying, “While Amelie’s musical abilities standout publicly, the majority of her other accomplishments, especially her dedication to community service and academic excellence go unnoticed because of her humility.”           
 
The East County teen is a singer and songwriter, who performs at venues throughout San Diego, including the House of Blues, the San Diego County Fair, Grossmont Center, and the Helix Brewing Company. Ron Troyano, founder of Alchemy San Diego, who manages events for Seaport Village said, ”We feature music from many local performers and one of our favorites is Amelie Simpson, a true talent.”

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WHILE MAJOR EVENT PLANNERS RALLY TO REQUEST AID AS SHUTDOWNS CONTINUE, TRIBES RESUME EVENTS, EXEMPT FROM STATE RESTRICTIONS

By Miriam Raftery

August 24, 2020 (San Diego) – Due to state and county restrictions on gatherings of any size, most theaters, concert halls and other large event sites remained closed to prevent spread of COVID-19.  On Aug. 13, the San Diego Event Coalition held an “empty venue” rally to call not for reopening due to safety concerns, but for aid to assist the industry.  


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KIDZ DANZ KOMPANY PRESENTS “THE CONSTITUTION” ONLINE AUG. 29

East County News Service

 

August 26, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Kidz Danz Kompany, San Diego’s premier children’s dance company, presents a virtual encore performance of “The Constitution” on August 29, 2020 @ 6 p.m.   

 

The Constitution” received a National Youth Arts award (2018) for Outstanding Dance Performance and an award for Outstanding Dance Ensemble.  It also received three nominations for Outstanding Dance Performance and one nomination for Outstanding Choreography (Spencer John Powell).


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PALA CASINO SPA RESORT ANNOUNCES NEW OUTDOOR CONCERT SERIES: UP & COMING COUNTRY ARTISTS

East County News Service

August 24, 2020 (Pala, CA) – Pala Casino Spa Resort in northeast San Diego County is launching an outdoor concert series in the Starlight Theater. The series is titled “Up & Coming Country Artistsopening Aug. 29 and running through Oct. 2.

 

The Pala tribe is able to host these events because sovereign tribal lands are not required to follow state or county restrictions on gatherings due to COVID-19.  However, Pala will follow guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to protect health and safety of guests. According to Pala’s press release, guests will be asked to wear facial coverings and practice safe social distancing at events. Seats will be sanitized and pre-set to enforce proper social distancing. All guests will have temperatures screened. For a full list of the property updates and safety protocols, see https://www.palacasino.com/.


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PANDEMIC ART PROJECT ADDS WHIMSICAL FLAIR TO LEMON GROVE RESTAURANT

By Miriam Raftery

August 16, 2020 (Lemon Grove) – “What have we been up to the last few months? Oh, just a pretty incredible art  project - adding a massive mural to the side of our building, as well as our very own art gallery inside,” Karina Kravalis, co-owner of Giardino Neighborhood Cucina posted on Facebook this week. “Gallery chalk art pieces include classics with a COVID twist to keep things as upbeat as possible.”


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THEATERS IN THE TIME OF COVID

 
By David L. Coddon
 
Photo:  House of Joy, a virtual production of San Diego Repertory Theatre, courtesy of San Diego Repertory Theatre via Zoom productions.
 
July 30, 2020 (San Diego) - Lamplighters Community Theatre in La Mesa has been producing for 82 seasons, but no season presented the artistic and financial challenges of its proposed 83rd.
 
Photo, right:  Beethoven, a Zoom production by San Diego Repertory Theatre, courtesy of San Diego Repertory Theatre via Zoom productions
“We’re just trying to figure out what to do,” said Paul Ericson, president of Lamplighters’ board of directors. “It’s very difficult to plan anything.”

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RUSSELL FAMILY TO CEASE LEADERSHIP OF TROUBLED THEATER GROUP, MOST CYT STAFF LAID OFF

By Miriam Raftery

July 28, 2020 (El Cajon) – After multiple allegations of sexual abuse of students, racism and homophobia complaints, CYT San Diego has sent a text message to members of the Christian youth theater group’s families announcing an “intermission” of programming until further notice, staff layoffs and an end to CYT leadership positions by members of the Russell family.

Artistic Director Robyn Rebold-Smith issued the announcement “with a heavy heart.” She indicated that for the indefinite future, no programs will be offered while the group focuses on training and protocols to “help ensure that we have an environment that promotes safety for our CYT students.”

The messages states that this will be the final week of employment for the majority of staff including all chapter coordinators, costumes, production, and managing director positions.


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CYT SHUTS DOWN ALL LOCAL PROGRAMS INDEFINITELY AMID STORM OF SEXUAL ABUSE COMPLAINTS

By Miriam Raftery

July 25, 2020 (El Cajon) – After numerous former students alleged sexual abuse by instructors, Christian Youth Theater posted yesterday on its Facebook page, “As of today, CYT San Diego social media will no longer be active since we will not be holding any programming or reopening until further notice. Please visit our website at www.cytsandiego.org to contact us directly if you have any questions or statements. We are here to listen. We are here to learn. We love and support our ENTIRE CYT family.”


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100 YEARS STRONG, ARTIST PHEBE BURNHAM’S WORKS TO BE DISPLAYED AT SOPHIE’S GALLERY



By Miriam Raftery

July 24, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – On July 26, Descanso artist Phebe Burnham will celebrate her 100th birthday.  A restrospective display of her vibrant oil paintings, pastels and mixed-media creations can be viewed at Sophie’s Gallery in El Cajon from now through September 9th.  Several can been seen online and many more can be viewed in-person at the gallery at 140 East Main Street in El Cajon.

Born at the dawn of the Roaring ‘20s in the U.S. and the Mexican Revolution in Mexico, Burnham has painted scenes and people in both Mexico and the U.S., including her rural Descanso community. 

 


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CHRISTIAN YOUTH THEATER IN SPOTLIGHT FOR ALLEGED SEXUAL ABUSE OF STUDENTS AND RACIAL BIAS

By Miriam Raftery

File photo, left: CYT’s 2014 performance of Les Miserables on Mt. Helix

July 23, 2020 (El Cajon) – Christian Youth Theater (CYT) a national junior theater organization based in El Cajon, is now in the spotlight over allegations by former students of sexual abuse and racism dating back decades. 


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SANTEE’S OFF BROADWAY LIVE WILL START SINGING AGAIN JULY 31 AT NEW OUTDOOR SPACE

By Rebecca Jefferis Williamson

July 23, 2020 (Santee) -- Santee’s Off Broadway Live will start performances again ----outside of their theater on 9490 Cuyamaca Street.  The theatrical company is adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic by constructing a performance area and seating section in the parking lot.

Arts organizations have been hard-hit by the pandemic, which has caused statewide shutdowns of theaters and concert halls since mid-March, with no opening date yet in sight for indoor live performance venues.  So like more and more businesses in other sectors, Off Broadway Live has opted to move musical theater productions outdoors.


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SURVIVING ON THE EDGE: A LOCAL MUSIC COMPANY AND COMMUNITY NONPROFIT FIND INNOVATIVE SOLUTIONS IN A COVID-19 WORLD

Part 1 of a 2-part interview with Dr. Leonard Thompson

 

By Helen Horvath

 

Photo:  Dr. Leonard Thompson, CEO and Michelle Thompson, Sr. Vice President, M.A.N.D.A.T.E Records

 

June 29, 2020 (San Diego) -- In this first of a two-part interview with Dr. Leonard Thompson III, CEO of M.A.N.D.A.T.E Records and Communications Director of the NAACP San Diego, Dr. Horvath and ECM discuss COVID-19’s impact upon his business and the mission of the NAACP. 

 

M.A.N.D.A.T.E’s acronym means “Making A Necessary Difference at the End.”


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EL CAJON POLICE OFFICER DIVERTS GRAFFITI ARTISTS TO CREATE PUBLIC ART

By Miriam Raftery

Photos courtesy of Officer Murphy and El Cajon Police

June 19, 2020 (El Cajon) – When El Cajon Police Officer Michael Murphy found three youths spray-painting “peace” and “BLM”, he created a teaching moment.  “I explained to them that by doing that, their message gets lost and destroys another person’s property. So I decided instead of arresting them we would work together to fix the damage and work on an area where they can post their message,” he posted on Facebook.

So he arranged to meet up with them, get plywood and find a place for them to express their views and creativity in a positive way - as well as having them lend a hand to clean up the defaced property. The result is a work of art showing talent and the power of working together for creative solutions to conflicts.


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MOVIE THEATERS AND MORE CAN REOPEN

Image Credit: Shutterstock

June 13, 2020 (San Diego) – The latest easing of COVID-19 restrictions are rolling out. Since yesterday, June 12th, indoor movie theaters can reopen and film production of TVs and movies can resume. Also allowed to reopen, with limitations, are gyms, bars and wineries, swimming pools, hotels and other rental properties for travelers, and major tourist attractions such as zoos, aquariums, galleries and museums.


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PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: ARTISTS BRING BEAUTY BACK TO LA MESA AFTER RIOTS

 

Story and photos by Miriam Raftery

 

June 6, 2020 (La Mesa) -- Artists from Art Beat San Diego have been volunteering this week to paint colorful murals in downtown La Mesa, beautifying plywood used to board of broken windows and protect undamaged businesses at the La Mesa Springs shopping center and along La Mesa Boulevard.

The action comes after the May 30 rioting, which led to vandalism of dozens of downtown businesses, looting of many, spot fires in several stores and burning down of three buidings (Chase Bank, Union Bank, and a historic building that housed the Randal Lamb engineering firm).


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BILL TO EXEMPT MANY WRITERS, VIDEOGRAPHERS AND MUSICIANS FROM AB 5 SET FOR HEARING MAY 20 IN SACRAMENTO

By Miriam Raftery

Update: This bill passed the Labor and Employment committee 7-0 and next heads to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

May 18, 2020 (San Diego) – A bill to provide relief for many freelance writers, videographers and musicians negatively impacted by California’s sweeping new labor law, Assembly Bill 5, has been introduced by Assemblymember Lorena Gonzalez (D- San Diego).  Assembly Bill 2257, a measure to exempt many in these occupations from requirements of AB 5, is slated for hearing May 20 in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee.  Letters can be send to committee members at https://calegislation.lc.ca.gov/Advocates/.


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SANTEE DRIVE-IN MOVIE THEATER REOPENS THIS FRIDAY NIGHT

May 15, 2020 (Santee) – Eager for entertainment?  It's showtime in Santee--with social distancing.

The Santee Drive-In movie theatre is set to reopen tonight. Theatre 1 will show Trolls World Tour starting at 8:30 p.m. and Onward at 10:10 p.m.; both are rated PG. Theatre 2 will show The Invisible Man at 8:30 p.m. and The Hunt at 9:45 p.m.; both are rated R.

Bring your own FM radio to listen; tune in to 89.3 FM for Theatre 1  or 89.7 FM for Theatre 2 . Loaner radios are available for a $20 deposit refundable on return.

The theatre accepts cash only. You’ll need to bring your own popcorn or other refreshments, since the snack bar will be closed, and follow these new rules:


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NATIONAL COMEDY THEATRE RELEASES CAST VIDEO "ALL TOGETHER NOW"

Source:  NCT

May 11, 2020 (San Diego) - The National Comedy Theatre, San Diego’s professional improv comedy club and longest running show, has just released a cast video with a positive message.


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