The Performing Arts Hot List
20 must-see shows, plays, and musicals
Broadway San Diego presents Aida
A critics’ darling film from 1999 about four boys who escape a future as coal miners by learning rocketry is the inspiration for the new musical October Sky at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park, through October 23.September 15
Manifest Destinitis mingles satire and romance in the days of early California at the San Diego Repertory Theatre downtown, through October 9.September 28
August Wilson’s bluesy, elegiac Seven Guitars illuminates the African American experience at Cygnet Theatre in Old Town, through November 6.
The “comic book musical fantasy” Lizard Boy kicks off Diversionary Theatre’s 2016-2017 season in University Heights, through October 30.October 20
Politics, race, and religion converge in the Pulitzer Prize–winning Disgraced at San Diego Rep, through November 13.
A Latina mother and daughter set out to discover America in the world-premiere musical Miss You Like Hell at La Jolla Playhouse, through November 27.November 11
A one-man show confronts the perceptions and consequences of war in San Diego Opera’s Soldier Songs at the Balboa Theatre, through November 13.November 15
Monty Python creators John Cleese and Eric Idle bring wacky comedy, music, and surprises to the California Center for the Arts, Escondido in Together Again at Last... For the Very First Time for one night only.
Before there was Hamilton, there was Rent. Broadway San Diego presents the 20th anniversary tour of the musical that changed musicals forever at the Civic Theatre, through January 15.
The elusiveness of memory and the holographic technology of the future tell a highly personal story in Marjorie Prime at North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach, through February 5.January 25
Escondido becomes Lake Wobegon when humorist and A Prairie Home Companion creator Garrison Keillor performs one night only at the California Center for the Arts.January 31
Two Disney film versions aren’t enough. Now comes a Freaky Friday stage musical updated for 2017 audiences at La Jolla Playhouse, through March 12.February 4
In Steve Martin’s 1993 hit play Picasso at the Lapin Agile, Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein meet in a Paris bar; see it at the Old Globe Theatre, through March 12.February 22
A tale of magic and sorcery takes the stage at North Coast Rep’s The Illusion, written by Tony Kushner (Angels in America), through March 19.February 23
Online simmering becomes high heat offline in San Diego Rep’s romantic comedy Sex with Strangers, through March 19.
San Diego Opera sets Verdi’s La Traviata in the Roaring Twenties for its season-closing production at the Civic Theatre, through April 30.May 16
Jimmy Buffett’s carefree songs are the inspiration for Escape to Margaritaville, a world-premiere musical at La Jolla Playhouse, through June 25.May 21
Even Marie Antoinette might crack up at Lauren Gunderson’s comedy The Revolutionists, about four women fighting for change during the French Revolution, at Moxie Theatre near SDSU, through June 28.June 13
Broadway San Diego presents a stage musical adaptation of the hit Whitney Houston film The Bodyguard at the San Diego Civic Theatre, through June 18.June 14
Elton John’s take on Verdi’s Aida, a Broadway smash, opens the summer season at Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista, through July 1.