July 3 2012 11:57 AM

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

Spider-Baby-2
Spider Baby the Musical

1 Trio of terror

"It's hard-rock music, it's black comedy, it's death and dismemberment, it's attractive young men and women in very little clothing—it's a show that speaks to the inner freak in everyone."

That's Enrique Acosta, describing his "musical for people who hate musicals," Spider Baby the Musical, which opens Sunday, July 8, at 10th Avenue Theatre (930 10th Ave., Downtown) and runs through July 15.

The show is an adaptation of the 1964 cult horror-comedy Spider Baby, starring Lon Chaney Jr., about three inbred siblings afflicted with Merrye Syndrome, which causes sufferers to regress mentally, emotionally and physically as soon as they reach puberty (one of them, Virginia, is obsessed with spiders). At once innocent, demented and brutally violent, they live in an old mansion and are cared for by a guardian named Bruno, who maintains a semblance of control over the household—that is, until distant relatives Emily and Peter arrive, seeking to sell the mansion, and all bloody hell breaks loose.

Acosta secured permission from filmmaker Jack Hill to adapt the story, wrote songs for it and has been touring it since it opened in Acosta's hometown of Bakersfield in 2004, an inaugural performance that Acosta calls "utterly awful, just tragically bad." But it's gotten better and better as it's toured, he assures.

The San Diego performance, part of the gaming convention Gam3rCon (a $20 ticket includes a day pass to the convention), will feature an all-local cast, including Eliza Jane Schneider, a voice-over artist who voiced many of the female characters on TV's South Park between 1999 and 2003 and plays Emily in Spider Baby.

Acosta says his musical is for you if you're among "the party that misses the cheap, second-run theater, the party that misses the 99-cent section at your lo- cal video store, the party that enjoys staying up late at night with a bunch of friends watching this incredibly strange film. It's an out-there, different ex- perience; it's not your typical boy-meets-girl story." In fact, at times, it's girl-eats-boy.



2 Prelude to the Con

Smell that? It's the scent of movie-theater popcorn, Lycra and zombie makeup.

Ah, Comic-Con. The annual extravaganza hits town next week, and pre-events are well underway. Opening with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, July 7, at ArtLab Studios (3536 Adams Ave. in Normal Heights), Unmasked: Comic Art in San Diego Revealed, brings together more than a dozen quirky creatives. Participants include underground comic artist Mary Fleener, Jorge Pacheco, Rebecca Hicks, Neko Press owner Billy Martinez and Batton Lash, the controversial artist who created Supernatural Law and also the Obama Nation comic that appeared on the conservative website Breitbart.com. The artists will be on hand to chat and offer a peak at some of the work they'll display at the 'Con.



3 Barrio arts bash

The Roots Factory (1878 Main St. in Barrio Logan) wants you to dance at Sabrosura Sundays, the creative collective's ongoing music-and-art series, from 2 to 8 p.m. Sunday, July 8. For these events, the artist hub highlights musicians that fuse world music with Latin flavor, resulting in sounds that would make a corpse boogie. Next up, they welcome Radio La Chusma, a six-piece band from El Paso, Texas, whose style is a twist on reggae and cumbia. They'll be joined by local hip shakers Todo Mundo and Agua Dulce. The music provides the soundtrack for an art show featuring Americana- and Chicano-inspired pieces from Flying Panther Tattoo artists, including Rob Benavides, Jackie Dunn Smith and Dominic Vasquez. Bring some cash for food and vendors.


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

Calendar

  • 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