Oct. 5 2015 03:06 PM

Our top three picks of things to do in San Diego this week

Moving Arts’ “Car Plays” returns to WoW Festival.
Photo by Daniel Norwood


We'd love it if the Without Walls Festival could be an annual event. The fact that it's held every two years, however, helps to build anticipation for an entire weekend of site-specific theater experiences. The WOW Fest, which takes place from Friday, Oct. 9 to Sunday, Oct. 11, is that rare example of quantity and quality. There are more than 20 theater, dance and music-based performances held over three days around the UC San Diego campus, the La Jolla Playhouse district and beyond.

"It really is a community-wide celebration of immersive and site-specific performance art. Nothing takes place in a theater in a traditional sense," says Playhouse Associate Producer Marike Fitzgerald. "It brings theater out into the world and it experiments with form. The work is often interactive and it creates these real-time and surprising performances for the audience."

WOW was created out of the Without Walls program in 2010 to, as Fitzgerald puts it, "address the changing relationship between the audience and the art."

Performances at the WOW Fest are culled from all over the U.S.

Highlights include OjO: The Next Generation of Travel, where audiences are blindfolded and led around the UCSD campus for an intricately staged, but sightless series of shows. There will also be shows staged on basketball and tennis courts, and a fan-favorite from two years ago, The Car Plays—which is, as you probably guessed, performed inside a car—returns for an encore.

Prices for the Fest range from $20 to $62 for an all-day, three-performance pass, but a lot of the Fest is free. Check the website for availability and times. There's also a Family Day on Saturday that includes museums such as the Timken and MOPA, providing art-based activities for families in addition to the performances. Audiences won't be able to see all of the performances, but there isn't one we wouldn't recommend.

San Diego Gulls coach Dallas Eakins
Photo courtesy of the San Diego Gulls


Let's keep it real. San Diego sports teams are kinda sad. Our football team might move. Our baseball team underperformed again. But there's one local team that was always consistently good and won multiple championships: the San Diego Gulls. Yep, a hockey team. With ice. In San Diego. Originally started in the '60s, the team went through several winning incarnations over the years, only to fold in '06. Now they're back! The resurrected franchise is now a minor league affiliate of the Anaheim Ducks, so fans will get to see actual future NHL stars. If you've never been to a hockey game, it's a raucously good time. Don't think we have enough hockey fans? The home opener on Saturday, Oct. 10 against the Grand Rapids Griffins only has $18 upper-level seats still available. It goes down at 7:05 p.m., and for 33 more home games after that, at the Valley View Casino Center (3500 Sports Arena Blvd.).

Mal Hall
Photo courtesy of Michael Lawrence Photography


Celebratory galas come and go every week, but with their black tie attire, small hors d'oeuvres and steep ticket prices, it's not like they're all-inclusive events. That's what makes the inaugural East Village Un-Gala Awards a nice break from the norm. In an effort to keep the downtown hood progressive, the East Village Association benefit is casual and unpretentious with awards for local businesses like "Most Pet-Friendly Business" and "It's Five O'clock Somewhere." Held Thursday Oct. 8 at Quartyard (1102 Market St.), the night includes live entertainment from local singer-songwriter Tolan Shaw, as well as a silent auction and food and drinks from local merchants. Comedian Mal Hall will emcee the event and present the awards. The un-gala runs from 6 to 8 p.m. and tickets are $20 for non-EVA members. Bonus: admission includes one drink ticket and one food voucher.


See all events on Friday, Dec 2