Wednesday, Aug. 11
A Xylophones aren't the only instruments featured today at the Toy Piano Festival, part of the Short Attention Span Chamber Music Series at UCSD. Toy electric guitars, two-octave pianos and a toy drum set comprise the eclectic ensemble of noisemakers that will be used to create tunes ranging in style from hard rock to smooth jazz. The event includes performances by opera composer Pea Hicks and local rocker Rob Nikzad, as well as a dance piece choreographed for toy instruments by Bethany Lockhart. It's the one time when making noise in the library is encouraged. The concert begins at 12:30 p.m. at the Geisel Library at UCSD, 9500 Gilman Drive in La Jolla. 858-534-8074. If you can't make it to today's event, the festival continues Saturday, Aug. 14, at 2 p.m., also at the library.
Thursday, Aug. 12
If you think your relationship has problems, think again. Mistaken identity, separated twins and multiple obstacles to true love are some of the issues that come up in the New Village Art's production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night (or What You Will). Laugh at other peoples' love-stricken mishaps in this, the last of Shakespeare's comedies. Bring a picnic blanket and nestle on the lawn as you enjoy the performances of some of San Diego's finest actors, and, if at the play's conclusion you still think your relationship has problems, the bard offers these words of advice: "Many a good hanging prevents a bad marriage." Shakespeare in the Park is free tonight (and through Aug. 22, Thursday-Sunday) on the lawn of the David H. Thompson Performing Arts Center at La Costa Canyon High School, 3451 Camino de los Coches in Carlsbad. 760-433-3245.
Friday, Aug. 13
Shock and awe may cause your jaw to drop, leaving you with the brilliant option of stuffing your mouth with Hamburger. Tonight at the Abbey Church, Dialogue: Shock and Awe Party features music by DJ K (accompanied by Shawni on percussion), dance performances, stilt walking, 65 traveling artists and a book signing. The book, Dialogue: The Fine Art of Conversation, looks at paintings inspired by found letters, notes, scribbles and transcriptions. Get sacrilegious at the cash bar tonight from 7:30 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. at the Abbey Church, 2825 Fifth Ave. in Hillcrest. 619-703-0405. $21-$25. (www.murphydesign.com) Also tonight: View the epic collection of documentary photography created by Hamburger Eyes magazine photographers who've snapped the hell out of the earth. Burgerworld VIP in...Thunderdome opens tonight with a reception from 6-11 p.m. at the Cassius King Gallery, 435 Third Ave. (between Island & J streets), Downtown. 619-232-KING.
Saturday, Aug. 14
If Dick Dale's the type of guy who floats your surfboard, be sure to check out Surf Sounds: Music of the Coast. Spend an afternoon enjoying colorful surf personalities and learn about the history of surf music, complete with a performance by and discussion with legendary surf guitarists Paul Johnson and Gil Orr of the Duo-Tones. "Drop in" today at 1 p.m. at the Museum of Making Music, 5790 Armada Drive in Carlsbad. 760-438-5996. Free. (www.museumofmakingmusic.org) Also tonight: Tim McCormick's paintings are like brains spattered from the erupting skull of an uninhibited child-an explosion of the imagination. Glimpse new renderings of his unique view of the world in Turning Corners in the Dark. The exhibit is part of Ray at Night, a monthly event in which more than 20 North Park galleries and shops stay open 'til 10 p.m. for your perusal. Make the rounds tonight and spend some extra time with Tim at Planet Rooth Studios beginning at 7 p.m., 3811 Ray St. in North Park. 619-297-9663. Free.
Sunday, Aug. 15
What's been happening in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban? For one, movies are being made. Osama is the first feature film made in the post-Taliban era and was shot entirely in Kabul with an Afghani cast. The subject is not what you might immediately assume. The heart-wrenching tale depicts the struggles of a young girl who must disguise herself as a boy to save her family. Stick around for a discussion of issues raised in the film, and learn about Amnesty International's campaign to end violence against women. The award-winning production screens one time only, tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the La Paloma Theater, 471 South Coast Highway (at D Street) in Encinitas. 760-944-6027. $10 benefits Amnesty International.
Monday, Aug. 16
In an era when homogeneity reigns, the Machupe still possess a unique way of life-though not, unfortunately, their land, which was taken from them by Spain and Chile. Gain an understanding of their culture from the early 1900s up to the present day at the current exhibit, Machupe: Chilean People of the Land. The exhibit includes 84 Machupe artifacts, collected by anthropologist Gage Skinner in the 1960s, as well as 115 turn-of-the-century photographs. Skinner speaks about his experiences today at noon during Living and Working with the Mapuche at the San Diego Museum of Man, 1350 El Prado in Balboa Park. 619-239-2001. Free with museum admission.
Tuesday, Aug. 17
Watch miniature, radio-controlled model sailboats as they compete in the San Diego Argonauts Model Sailboat Regatta. See them lift their tiny sails in defiance as their owners proclaim, "My model sailboat is better than your model sailboat." Find out who's right today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Vacation Island Model Yacht Pond, located to the left of the Princess Resort (2688 East Mission Bay Drive) in Mission Bay Park. 858-459-9163. Free. Also today: Marcus Garvey was the leader of the largest organized populist movement in black history, the Universal Negro Improvement Association. He championed black self-reliance and nationalism until he was deported to Jamaica in 1927. Celebrate Garvey's birthday with a showing of a documentary about his journey with the Black Star Line, a shipping company he created to foster black trade between the Caribbean, North America and Africa. The Promised Ship screens today at 3 p.m. at the WorldBeat Cultural Center, 2100 Park Blvd. in Balboa Park. 619-230-1190. Free.