Feb. 15 2012 10:53 AM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

Samantha Martin and the Amazing Acro-Cats
Feline fancy

You know that old idiom “It's like herding cats”?

It's an exaggeration. All it takes is a clicker and treats to have a house cat climbing ropes and riding skateboards, says Samantha Martin, trainer and costar of The Amazing Acro-Cats, a live-animal mini-circus coming to the Garfield Theatre, 4126 Executive Drive in La Jolla.

OK, Martin says, maybe her cats (all 13 of them) aren't always easy to control, but their unpredictability is part of the magic.

“The hard part is having them work in different environments,” she says. “Cats can be very unprofessional. They'll sit on the stage and just groom themselves in the spotlight. If I try to hurry them along, they'll give me the look, Yeah, in a minute, and I have to just stand there and smile.”

On command, they'll roll barrels and jump through hoops, but occasionally one will wander into the crowd for an impromptu meet-and-greet or worse. Once, a cat brought a giant cockroach on stage and batted it around. That's why it's important to limit distractions.

“They have a rider longer than most rock stars,” Martin says. “No balloons. Dogs can't be in the field of vision. They don't like clowns. They don't like Santa Claus.”

The show also involves four rats, a groundhog and a chicken, which is a total pro. It plays tambourine in The Rock-Cats, an animal band that ends each show. And, no, the cats won't try to eat it.

“The cats like their chicken cooked,” she says. “If anything, they're intimidated by the chicken. It'll fly at the keyboard player. It's very bold.”

The show is $12 for children, $18 for adults. Shows are at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 16; 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb 19. 

Something's a-brewin'

San Diego is widely known and celebrated as a beer town, thanks to the multitude of award-winning local breweries. See what the fuss is all about at Taste of San Diego Micro Brews, happening Saturday, Feb. 18, at the San Diego History Center in Balboa Park. There you can sample beers from Stone Brewing Co., Karl Strauss, Ballast Point, Port Brewing Company, AleSmith and Rock Bottom Brewery. There will be food from four eateries that pairs perfectly with the brewskis on tap, as well as an auction. A $65 VIP ticket gets you entry at 6 p.m., the chance to taste limited-edition and seasonal beers and unlimited samples throughout the night. Regular tickets are $39. For those ticket holders, the event starts at 7 p.m. and includes 10 tastings.

Asian-art fans rejoice 

The San Diego Museum of Art is known for its Asian art, and this week, two new traveling exhibitions will add to that reputation. On Saturday, Feb. 18, SDMA opens Echoes of the Past: The Buddhist Cave Temples of Xiangtangshan and Dyeing Elegance: Asian modernism and the Art of Kuboku and Hisako Takaku. The former features an immersive digital recreation of the caves, which served as Buddhist pilgrimage sites filled with important sculptures until they were destroyed in the 20th century. The latter includes kimono and other textile paintings, which are on view outside Japan for the first time ever, by the father / daughter team, Kuboku and Hisako Takaku. From 6 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, the museum will celebrate the openings with its ongoing Culture & Cocktails event.

Does your event deserve to be in our top three? Email our events editor, Alex Zaragoza. You can also bug her on Twitter.


  • Visit one of the 70 participating restaurants, bars, coffeehouses and nightclubs in town on this night and 25 to 50 percent of sales will go to local HIV/AIDS services and prevention programs. 
  • Anthony Bernal and Chris Ward, who are vying to replace Todd Gloria on the San Diego City Council, will discuss urban issues, such as parking, homelessness and new developments
  • The new exhibition designed by Dave Ghilarducci is made from hundreds of rolls of packing tape and bound together by layers of plastic shrink-wrap. Visitors can navigate their way through cocoon-like passageways...
  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • The San Diego County Bike Coalition hosts this monthly bike-in happy hour event to get biking residents involved in their communities and discuss bike projects planned for that specific community
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • So Say We All's monthly storytelling night features stories about those jobs we took because we had to take a job. Featured readers include Allison Gauss, Annmarie Houghtailing, Cecile Estelle, and more
  • Artists from the all-abstracts group show will talk about their work and techniques. Artists include Edwin Nutting, Danielle Nelisse, Leah Pantea, Lenore Simon, and more
See all events on Thursday, Apr 28