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Fall Arts: The Top 20

Our staff picks of the must-see upcoming shows and exhibits of the 2014–15 season


Catch me if you Can


Surf Craft

Ongoing through January 11, 2015
Mingei International Museum

An in-depth look at the craft and art of surfing, from its foreign ties to its local roots, with vintage models dating back to the ’40s. 


Catch Me If You Can

September 10–27
Moonlight Amphitheatre

The Southern California regional premiere of this new musical is based on the hit DreamWorks film and incredible true story that inspired it. With a book by Terrence McNally, and music and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman (Hairspray).


Bright Star

September 13–November 2
The Old Globe

Actor and comedian Steve Martin is also a respected writer and musician. Here, he’s crafted a love story around his Grammy-
winning collaboration with singer-songwriter Edie Brickell. This one has all the makings of a hit!

Balanchine Spectacular


Kinky Boots

September 23–September 28
San Diego Civic Theatre

Cyndi Lauper wrote the music and lyrics for this feel-good story about putting your best foot (er, stiletto) forward and embracing the differences among us. Based on the movie of the same name, the show won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

Art Power Dance Series


Fool For Love and True West

September 24–November 2
Cygnet Theatre

Artistic Director Sean Murray takes on two iconic American plays by the award-winning playwright, actor, and director Sam Shepard.


Dinner with Marlene

October 10–November 16
Lamb’s Players Theatre

You’re invited to a glittering Paris dinner party with Marlene Dietrich and her celebrity friends on the eve of Kristallnacht and World War II. Written by local playwright Anne-Charlotte Harvey.


The Discovery of King Tut

October 11, 2014–April 26, 2015
San Diego Museum of Natural History

This exhibition of scientifically produced replicas will allow you to feel what it was like for Howard Carter, Lord Carnarvon, and other explorers when they discovered King Tutankhamun’s tomb and its priceless ancient Egyptian treasures in 1922.


An Evening with Jane Lynch

October 18
Balboa Theatre

The actress and comedian best known for her role as Sue Sylvester on Glee brings her one-woman cabaret to the West Coast for the first time ever. Bonus: It earned rave reviews from the New York Times.

Surf Craft


The Hunchback of Notre Dame

October 26–December 7
La Jolla Playhouse

This world premiere Disney musical is based on Victor Hugo’s novel about finding beauty on the inside. Expect songs from the movie, plus some new ones, and local choral group SACRA/PROFANA performs as the onstage choir. See it before it goes to Broadway.

Kinky Boots


Art San Diego

November 6–9
Balboa Park Activity Center

Redwood Media Group joins to help promote and operate the four-day contemporary fair, themed “inter.play,” with 80 artists and 15,000 expected to attend.



November 15
California Center of the Arts

This is the thinker’s modern dance company—formed by Dartmouth College kids in the ’70s, they “challenge the way we think about dance.” And hello, they’ve performed on Oprah and the Oscars!


Ballet and Beyond

November 13–16
Spreckels Theatre

It’s triple the talent when City Ballet gets together with Malashock Dance and Jean Isaacs’ San Diego Dance Theatre for an unforgettable performance of ballet and contemporary dance.


Art Power Dance Series

Various dates
UC San Diego

Fans of So You Think You Can Dance will enjoy performances by these diverse dance companies, such as Arabesque from Vietnam (November 15), ODC from San Francisco (January 22), and Black Grace from New Zealand (February 18).



The Second City’s Nut-cracking Holiday Revue

November 28–December 21
La Jolla Playhouse

Our entire editorial staff saw this comedy troupe perform its San Diego-themed show, The Good, the Bad, and the I-5. We are still talking and laughing about it today. Can’t wait for this holiday-themed version. Bring Depends!

Dirty Dancing


Dirty Dancing

January 6–11, 2015
San Diego Civic Theatre

The romance, the original songs, the big dramatic lift at the end… we are so there! (And we can only pray it’s better than the musical theater interpretation of Footloose.)


Alberta Ballet, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

January 25, 2015
California Center of the Arts

To the music of Sarah McLaughlin, this classical ballet troupe will tell the story of a woman’s romantic life, from first crush to “mature love.”


Balanchine Spectacular

March 6–8, 2015
City Ballet

The only local company with permission to perform George Balanchine’s choreography, City Ballet will bring Rubies, The Four Temperaments, and Walpurgisnacht to the stage at Spreckels.




May 5–10, 2015
Broadway San Diego

Most people assume this is a Disney fluff piece with a supporting cast of singing mice, but it’s actually a Tony Award-winning show with really catchy music by Rodgers and Hammerstein. A must-see classic!


The Whale

May 14–June 14, 2015
Cygnet Theatre

This play, written by Samuel D. Hunter, is about a 600-pound man in Idaho trying to reconnect with his teenage daughter. It’s supposed to be funny—and it sounds like everything we love about reality TV. Sold.


Rich Girl

May 23–June 21, 2015
The Old Globe

A modern retelling of the Henry James novel Washington Square and subsequent film The Heiress, this new play, by Victoria Stewart, examines the relationship between mothers and daughters, and love and money. Expect laughter and tears.

More Fall Arts

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