Best Show to Laugh at Ourselves

The Good, the Bad and the I-5
La Jolla Playhouse

Comedy writers from famed SNL training ground The Second City flew here from Chicago to write this show especially for San Diego. They did their homework, talking to dolphin trainers, beach bums, sports journalists, and members of the military (and us!). We should all feel so special. That is, until we see the show. Watch the jokes fly at the Mandell Weiss Forum, August 6–September 1.

Best Soon-to-Open New Gallery Space

Sparks Gallery

Local gal Sonya Sparks’ family acquired an old brick building and plans to renovate it into a contemporary art gallery. Based on the preview we got this summer with a showing of SD Art Prize artists, we’re excited for the full opening later this year.

Succulent Café

Best Original Theatre Inspired by SD

Circle CIRCLE Dot Dot


Artistic director Katherine Harroff and company create pieces drawn from the lives of locals. Past shows have included role-playing fantasy gamers, drag queens, street artists, and the ladies of roller derby, and one—San Diego, I Love You—was staged in a variety of Hillcrest businesses including Jake’s on 6th and Pappalecco.

Best Plant Art

Succulent Café


These works are living, breathing, and 3D! Peter Loyola makes crazy cool art with succulents in a beautiful little namesake café tucked away on Cleveland Avenue in Oceanside. The plant-based artwork hangs from the wall, out of painted planter boxes, and in window frames, delighting guests as they devour Loyola’s coffee, sandwiches, and pastries.

Yeller Studio

Best Curator of Art Events (Beyond Museums and Galleries)

Yeller Studio

For the show Parachute Factory, Yeller and co-host Sezio showcased murals and installations from 40 local artists in an abandoned WWII parachute manufacturing building downtown. In June, it co-opted a Community@ apartment complex in North Park for No Tan Lines, an event that brought creatives, pop-up shops, local restos, and drinkeries poolside. And for those really looking to connect with the local underground, watch for details on the upcoming “ ’zine swap” at an undisclosed location. 

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