Taste of Little Italy along India Street. If you don't have plans to travel to Italy this summer, this self-guided dining tour throughout Little Italy is probably as close as you're gonna get. Gorge on pasta, pizza, gelato and more from 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, May 25. $35 in advance, $40 day-of. tasteoflittleitalysd.com
The Collector at Sushi Contemporary Performance & Visual Arts, 390 11th Ave., East Village. Presented by local puppetry guild Animal Cracker Conspiracy and sound designer Margaret Noble, The Collector builds on puppetry by adding bits of film and surround sound. It tells the story of a debt collector's life-changing transformation as he realizes the distinction between object and self. At 8 p.m. Thursday, May 26, through Saturday, May 28, and at 7 p.m. Sunday, May 29. $20. sushiart.org
Surf Dog Competition at Dunes Park / Beach, 700 Seacoast Drive, Imperial Beach. Dogs are pretty cute on their own, but dogs on surfboards are really cute. Seeing their confused faces as they ride the waves is a quin tessential summertime activity. We suggest sticking around for heat three, the tandem surfing heat—dogs and people surfing together. Starts at 11 a.m. Saturday, June. 4. loewssurfdog.blogspot.com
Refuge at Eveoke Dance Theatre, 2811-A University Ave., North Park. See a workshop production of a piece by emerging choreographers Becky Hurt and Myriam Lucas that combines hip-hop and spoken word to explore cycles of sexual and domestic violence. At 8 p.m. Saturday, June 4 and 11, and at 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday, June 5 and 12. $20 general, $15 students / seniors. Pay what you can one hour before show time. eveoke.org
Greek Festival at St. Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church, 3655 Park Blvd, Hillcrest. An entire weekend festival devoted to Greek culture—food, live music, folk dancing, games for kids, raffles and more. From 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 3, and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 5 and 6. Free. sdgreekfestival.com
Art Around Adams along Adams Avenue, Normal Heights and Kensington. Take a two-mile art walk and see more than 100 storefronts transformed into art galleries or performance venues. Local bands Todo Mundo, The Old In Out, Gayle Skidmore and more will perform. From 3 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 4. A free shuttle (with stand-up comedians aboard) will help you get around. artaroundadams.com
Fiesta del Sol at Fletcher Cove in Solana Beach. The seaside music festival is back with two days of free live entertainment. This year's lineup includes Common Sense, Bedouin Soundclash, Bushwalla, Mike Pinto, The Heavy Guilt and more. There's also an arts-and-crafts fair, a kid's area and food and drink vendors. Opens at 9 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 4 and 5. fiestadelsol.net
San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Summer just wouldn't be the same without the fair. It's the little things, like deep-fried butter, pro wrestling and that one ride where you go down a slide on a potato sack that gives it a special place in our hearts. Opens Friday, June 10, and closes Monday, July 4. $13 adults, $7 for kids and seniors, free for kids 5 and younger. sdfair.com
Mike Epps & Friends Comedy Explosion at Civic Theatre, Third Avenue and B Street, Downtown. Have you seen Epps' HBO comedy special, Inappropriate Behavior? If so, you know this guy's good for a laugh. He's held his own opposite Martin Lawrence and James Earl Jones and starred in Soul Men, Hancock and Open Season 2. See him live at 8 p.m. Saturday, June 11. sdcivic.org
Wine, Cheese & Chocolate Festival at Spanish Village, Balboa Park. Indulge in three great things in life. All proceeds support the Women's History Museum. From 6:30 to 10 p.m. Friday, June 17. $30 in advance, $40 day of, $50 VIP. womensmuseumca.org
San Diego Storytelling Festival at Encinitas Public Library, 540 cornish Drive, Encinitas. The Storytellers of San Diego holds its firstever festival featuring a full day of storytelling for children, teens and adults. Naturally, the adult storytelling will happen at night. Storytellers from So Say We All, Vermin on the Mount and MothUP will read. From 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday, June 18. Free. storytellersofsandiego.org
Switchfoot Bro-Am at Moonlight Beach, Encinitas. Local Grammy winners Switchfoot put on their annual surf contest / concert / street fair. The surf contest runs from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the concert goes from noon to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 18. There's an after-party at Belly Up tavern with music from The Silent Comedy, The Howls and special guests. $17 in advance, $19 day-of. switchfoot.com
Taste of Gaslamp in the Gaslamp Quarter, Downtown. Samples dishes from more than 30 restaurants, and hang out in the Samuel Adams beer garden. From 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19. Get tickets early—this one's been known to sell out. $30 per day. gaslamp.org
World Refugee Day at the Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park. San Diego holds its first-ever World Refugee Day event, focusing on those who document refugee life: Pulitzer-winning photojournalist Don Bartletti, photographer Roberto “Bear” Guerra and voiceof sandiego.org photo editor Sam Hodgson. Also see the San Diego premiere of filmmaker Fady Hadid's documentary Where We Live and taste food from refugee communities. From 1 to 6 p.m. Sunday, June 19. refugeedayevent.org
Twilight in the Park at Spreckels Organ Pavilion, Balboa Park. Local bands will perform free concerts. Highlights include The Bayou Brothers on July 26 and Neil Diamond tribute band Diamonds are Forever on Aug. 4. From 6:15 to 7:15 p.m. Tuesdays through Thursdays from June 21 through Aug. 25. See balboapark.org for a full schedule of performers.
Beer & Sake Festival at San Diego Marriott Del Mar, 11966 El Camino Real, Del Mar. The San Diego Chapter of the Japan Society hosts its annual festival highlighting the best of Japanese beer and sake. There will also be tastes from San Diego and Mexico, and all the beverages will be paired with local culinary creations. From 6 to 9 p.m. Thursday, June 23. $60. japan-society.org
Nighttime Zoo at the San Diego Zoo, 2920 Zoo Drive, Balboa Park. Beat the summertime sun and hit the zoo at night, where you can see live music, special shows and nocturnal animals. The park stays open until 9 p.m. from Sunday, June 24, through Sept. 5. sandiegozoo.org
Ocean Beach Street Fair & Chili Cook-off along Newport Avenue, Ocean Beach. O.B.'s enormous street fair includes five music stages, a live community mural, a beer garden, pony rides, a “Skate Jam” at OB Surf & Skate and, of course, lots of chili dished up by amateurs vying for the top prize. From 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Saturday, June 25. oceanbeachsandiego.com
San Diego Spirits Festival at the Port Pier Pavilion on Broadway, Downtown. The twoday event features the best of local spirits and cocktails. Watch cocktail competitions, attend educational seminars and, of course, taste all that booze. Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26. $50 general, $75 VIP, $130 Platinum VIP. sandiegospiritsfestival.com
Taste of Adams Avenue along Adams Avenue in University Heights, Normal Heights and Kensington. Either take a selfguided walking tour or hop aboard a free trolley for a day of samples from restaurants along Adams Avenue. From 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Sunday, June 26. $25 in advance, $30 day-of. adamsaveonline.com
Stone Sour Fest at Stone Brewery, 1999 Citracado Pkwy., Escondido. Leave it to Stone Brewing Co. to think outside the box and organize a festival featuring the sourest beers. Starts at 10 a.m. Sunday, June 26. $45 includes 10 taster tickets and a commemorative glass. stonebrew.com
Summer Pops at Embarcadero Marina Park South. The San Diego Symphony moves outdoors for its annual summer series. The series kicks off Friday, July 1, with a special Fourth of July concert with conductor Marvin Hamlisch. Down the line, the series includes the symphony performing with Burt Bacharach, Wynona Judd and Ozomatli. For a full list of concerts, times and ticket prices go to sandiegosymphony.org.
Over-the-Line tournament at Fiesta Island on Mission Bay. Hundreds of teams compete in the annual three-person softball tournament. Revelers must follow the “Five B Rules”: no bottles, babies, bowsers (dogs), birds, battles (fights) or boas (as in constrictors). From 7:30 a.m. to dusk Saturday and Sunday, July 9 and 10. The winners go on to the championships, held Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17. ombac.org/over_the_line
San Diego LGBT Pride Festival in Balboa Park (at Sixth Avenue and Laurel Street). Celebrate gay rights and gay fun at the big annual weekend celebration, featuring a parade through Hillcrest and lots of yet-to-beannounced live entertainment, food and drink, an art exhibit and plenty of official and unofficial offsite events throughout the community. Saturday and Sunday, July 16 and 17. Get your tickets before July 1 and they're $15 for one day and $25 for both days. sandiegopride.org
w00tstock 3.0: A Night of Geeks Music at Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., Downtown. At this “geek vaudeville” show, Mythbusters' Adam Savage, actor / author / blogger Wil Wheaton and comedy duo Paul and Storm host an evening of music, readings, comedy, short films and more, all dedicated to geek culture. Starts at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 21. $37.50. sdcivic.org
Del Mar Racing Season at the Del Mar Fairgrounds. Gentlemen, get your wallets ready, and, ladies, find your brightest, largest and most obnoxious hat because the Del Mar Racing Season starts Wednesday, July 20, and lasts through Wednesday, Sept. 8. $10 on opening day, $6 every other day. dmtc.com
SummerFest 2011 at various venues. The La Jolla Music Society celebrates the 25th anniversary of its chamber music festival, featuring more than 70 ensembles and artists performing in more than 15 concerts. Also, there will be a number of free events for the community to learn more about classical music. The fest kicks off Wednesday, Aug. 3, with a free concert at Ellen Browning Scripps Park. ljms.org
Fiesta del Sol at César Chávez Park on San Diego Bay. Check out six themed pavilions focusing on health, education, children, community action, young adults and arts and culture at this two-day community festival. There will also be live music, dance and tons of vendors. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 13 and 14. fiestadelsolsandiego.org
U.S. Open Sandcastle Competition along Seacoast Drive, Imperial Beach. Anyone who doesn't believe that sandcastle building can be artistic must check out this competition. It kicks off on Friday, July 22, with a Sandcastle Dance at the Imperial Beach Boys and Girls Club. On Saturday, July 23, enjoy a street fair, and then on Sunday, July 24, the sandcastle building gets underway at 9 a.m. It's officially over at 2 p.m., but make sure you get there before 4 p.m. if you want to see the results before the tide takes them away. usopensandcastle.com
Hillcrest CityFest 2010, along Fifth Avenue. The neighborhood celebration includes roughly 250 arts and crafts vendors, live music, games, a beer garden and more. From noon to 9 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 14. fabuloushillcrest.com.
Summergrass Festival at the Antique Gas & Steam Museum, 2040 N. Santa Fe Ave., Vista. The three-day bluegrass jamboree includes performances by The Grascals, Wayne Taylor & Appaloosa, Loafer's Glory and more. A kids' bluegrass camp, food vendors and music workshops round out the weekend. Plenty of on-site camping is available. Friday, Aug. 19, through Sunday, Aug. 21. summergrass.net
Grape Stomp at Menghini Winery, 1150 Julian Orchards Drive, Julian. Three tons of grapes will be distributed between two giant barrels, one for adults and one for kids. For everyone's sake, make sure you wash your feet first. There will also be live music, food vendors and beer and wine samplings. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 3. menghiniwinery.com
San Diego Music Thing at the Lafayette Hotel, 2223 El Cajon Blvd., North Park and numerous other locations. Dozens of panelists will share their know-how on the music business during the day, and more than 150 acts will perform at 12 venues at night. Friday, Sept. 9, through Sunday, Sept. 11. sandiegomusicfoundation.org/npmt
WaveCrest Woodie Meet at Moonlight Beach, Encinitas. This year marks the 10th anniversary of what is claimed to be the largest gathering of woodies (wooden-bodied cars) in the world. In addition to the hundreds of cars to gawk at, there's live Hawaiian and surf music, raffle prizes and awards for the top-notch woodies. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 17. sandiegowoodies.com
Trolley Dances 2010 at various locations along the San Diego Trolley Line. Dancers will invade trolley stations and perform for everyday public-transportation riders and dance aficionados alike. Dances start at 10 a.m. and go till 4 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Sept. 23 and 24. sandiegodancetheater.org
MoMitA at The Front at El Salon, 114 W. Hall Ave., San Ysidro. Casa Familiar introduces its new community space (a renovated church) by re-staging part of the Small Scale, Big Change: New Architectures of Social Engagement exhibition, which was first mounted at the Museum of modern Art in New York and highlights a joint project by San Diego architect Teddy Cruz and Casa Familiar. Opens Thursday, May 19; on view through July 31. casafamiliar.org
Behind What it's in Front of at Quint Contemporary Art, 7548 Girard Ave., La Jolla. Furniture designer and artist Roy McMakin's exhibition will explore his fascination with minimalist painter John McLaughlin. McMakin's work bridges the gap between art and design, partly because of his influences from McLaughlin, Robert Irwin and other artists who deal with space and perception. The exhibition, which is on view through July 16, will be the first show at Quint's new location. From 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 21. quintgallery.com
Art in Action: Guerrilla Painting at California Center for the Arts, 340 North Escondido Blvd., Escondido. Bring the kids and choose a morning or afternoon session to paint a mural in Escondido inspired by the work and color palette of artist Patricia Patterson. Patterson's Here and There exhibition is on view through July 4. From 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, May 21. $8-$15. artcenter.org
Face to Face at the Museum of Photographic Arts, Balboa Park. The private photo collection of Bank of America will be on public view. The collection features works by photographers Yousuf Karsh, Lisette Model, Walker Evans and others and is said to be one of the most diverse corporate collections in the world. Opens Saturday, May 21; on view through Sept. 25. mopa.org
Three Voyages to Paradise at Maritime Museum of San Diego, 1492 N. Harbor Drive, Downtown. The exhibit showcasing 110 pieces showing the voyages of James Cook, Herman Melville and Paul Gauguin. It includes oil paintings, whaling artifacts, watercolors, woodblock prints and a recently discovered Gauguin wood sculpture. Opens Friday, May 27; on view through Jan. 1, 2012. sdmaritime.org
High Fidelity at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 700 Prospect St., La Jolla. Seminal '60s and '70s California artists like Ed Ruscha, Sam Francis and Agnes Martin will be featured in this exhibition, which includes more than 50 works from the museum's collection. Opens Saturday, May 28; on view through Sept. 5. mcasd.org
2011 Summer Salon Series at the San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park. The evening soirées will activate the museum with installation and performance art by emerging artists and musicians. The inspiration for this year's events is the Gustav Stickley and the American Arts and Crafts Movement exhibition, on view June 18 through Sept. 11. The Summer Salon happens from 6 to 9 p.m. every Thursday, June 2 through Sept. 1. sdmart.org
Quilt Me a Story at Mingei international Museum, Balboa Park. In conjunction with the museum's Bold Expressions: African American Quilts from the Collection of Corrine Riley exhibition, the Black Storytellers of San Diego Inc. will perform stories about the history, tradition and creators of African-American quilts. At 7 p.m. Saturday, June 11. The exhibition is on view through Nov. 6. mingei.org
2011 La Jolla Festival of the Arts at the UCSD Warren Field East Campus, near the intersection of I-5 and Genesee. The annual festival features nearly 200 artists from the U.S. and Mexico, live music, chef demos, author events and more. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, June 18 and 19. $10. lajollaartfestival.org
Paper or Plastic at Industry Showroom, 345 Sixth Ave., Downtown. The Thumbprint Gallery crew keeps its fingers on the pulse of underground art in San Diego with a show of custom paper sculptures based on traditional origami techniques. The pieces will exhibit modern pop-culture flavor, and the show includes customized vinyl toys. Opens 7 p.m. to midnight Friday, July 1; on view through Aug. 3. thumbprintgallerysd.com
Works by Ruben Ortiz Torres at San Diego Museum of Art, Balboa Park. The exhibition shows off the punk-inspired works of famed Mexican artist and UCSD professor Ruben Ortiz Torres. See his photography, drawings and video pieces. In conjunction with the show, the artist has written an essay for the forthcoming anthology, Punkademics. Opens Saturday, July 30; on view through Oct. 16. sdmart.org
New Contemporaries IV at Alexander Salazar Fine Art, 640 Broadway, Downtown. An exhibition of all the artists nominated for the emerging-artist category of the San Diego Art Prize in 2011. Artists include Mely Barragan, Adam Belt, Susannah Bielak, Fred Briscoe, Isaias Crow, Lee Puffer, Chris Puzio and others. Opens 6 to 9 p.m. Monday, Aug. 1; on view through Aug. 31. sdvisualarts.net
Art of Photography Show at Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown. Anne Lyden, associate curator for the Department of Photography at the J. Paul Getty Museum, selected this year's crop of international photos. The work ranges from traditional black-andwhites to contemporary digitally manipulated photos. Opens Saturday, Aug. 13; on view through Oct. 16. artofphotographyshow.com
Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair at Hilton Bayfront, One Park Blvd., Downtown. This year's art fair will feature dozens of galleries and artists including Hugo Lugo, Daniel Ruanova and Ruben Ortiz Torres plus off-site Art Labs, an Art San Diego Short Film Series, art talks, a furniture-design expo, an arts conference and more. Open noon to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Sept. 2 and 3, and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 4. $15-$20. artsandiego-fair.com
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives. Winner of the 2010 Palm d'Or at Cannes, this Thai film is about an elderly man recalling his many reincarnations and lives on his deathbed—which, of course, becomes just one more in the chain. Opens June 3.
The Tree of Life. Terrence Malick is one of the last true American auteurs, and his latest could be the art film you've been waiting for. Sean Penn is the adult version of a boy who has to navigate all the quandaries life throws at him, including his father, played by Brad Pitt. The trailer is gorgeous, and Malick seems to be looking at the nature of life itself in a way that appears reminiscent of Kubrick, as universal events large and small take place side by side. Opens June 10.
Super 8. It's 1979, and after a nearby train crash, the kids in a small town investigate the strange things that start happening around them. Spielberg produced and J.J. Abrams directed what appears to be what happened after E.T. phoned home. Opens June 10.
Conan O'Brien Can't Stop. Remember that stretch after Conan O'Brien lost his Tonight Show gig, when he went on the road and got kinda crazy? He had a documentary crew with him the entire time. Opens June 24.
Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times. Director Andrew Rossi spent a year inside The New York Times' newly created Media section. It's a great look at how one section of the Grey Lady works, especially media writer David Carr. Opens July 1.
Terri. John C. Reilly is a high-school principal trying to help Terri, the big, lonely kid who's taken to wearing pajamas to school and not participating in class. It's a comingof-age story about coming of age outside the mainstream. Opens July 8.
Another Earth. Everything's going along just fine here on Earth, until the discovery of a duplicate planet elsewhere in the solar system. Yes, that means there's another you, somewhere else, reading this, right now. It stars the guy who played Ethan on Lost. Opens July 22.
Crazy Stupid Love. Steve Carell's first post- Office release. When he splits from longtime wife Julianne Moore, he has to team up with Ryan Gosling—who can get any woman he wants, except for Emma Stone—to learn how the dating game works. It has the potential to hit that sweet, wet spot. Opens July 29.
The Devil's Double. We know that both Saddam and his son Uday had doubles—men trained to look and act exactly like them. In this one, Dominic Cooper plays both Uday and Latif Yahia, the man threatened, coerced and eventually forced to emulate all things evil. Opens July 29.
Tabloid. Errol Morris' films are always fascinating, whether they're about the fog of war or naked mole rats. The new one looks at Joyce McKinney, a former Miss Wyoming who was convicted of kidnapping and raping a Mormon missionary and who's a staunch supporter of cloning dogs. Does that sound weird? Hell yes! Opens July 29.
Dirty Girl. It's 1987, and Juno Temple is her high school's dirty girl. She's had enough, so she packs a bag, her walkman, a bag of flour with a proper name and her gay BFF and hits the road. The rest of the cast of Abe Sylvia's film includes William H. Macy, Mary Steenburgen and Milla Jovovich. Opens Aug. 5.
30 Minutes or Less. Several years ago, a bomb was strapped to a pizza-delivery guy who was then forced to rob a bank. That was serious. This is the R-rated comedy version of the same story, starring Jesse Eisenberg as the hapless bank robber, Aziz Ansari as his best bud and Danny McBride and Nick Swardson as the dudes who do the strapping. Opens Aug. 12.
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark. When a young girl is sent to live with her father and his new girlfriend, she discovers freaky monsters in the new house that want to make her one of them. Yes, it's a remake of a horror movie that's more than 30 years old, but this one, which stars Guy Pearce and Katie Holmes, was produced by Guillermo del Toro. Opens Aug. 12.
Beautiful Boy. Michael Sheen and Maria Bello can barely deal with their crumbling marriage, just as their son commits a mass shooting on his college campus before taking his own life. Top-shelf actors working with heavy-duty subject matter—bring the Kleenex. No release date yet.
Bellflower. Two slackers spend their spare time customizing their own weapons and making fire-breathing Mad Max-like cars in anticipation of the impending apocalypse. When one of them falls for a cute girl, the two of them run afoul of her nasty friends. But at least they're prepared. No release date yet.
The Future. No one makes art or movies quite like Miranda July, whose last feature, Me and You and Everyone We Know, was a strange, quirky look at love, sex, family and life. Her new one is about how her life and relationship changes when she takes on a terminally ill stray cat. Who talks. No release date yet.
Rounding Third. Produced by Scripps Ranch Theatre, at the Legler-Benbough Theatre on the Alliant University campus, 10455 Pomerado Road, Scripps Ranch. Coaches Don and Michael have very different views on their Little League team—Donald wants the kids to win, while Michael wants them to enjoy the game. Runs Friday, May 20, to Saturday, June 25. $10-$22. scrippsranchtheatre.org
A Chorus Line. Produced by San Diego Musical Theatre, at The Lyceum Theatre, 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown. Dance, song and drama combine to tell the story of a group of Broadway gypsies and their ambitions to land a part in a musical. Runs Friday, May 27, through Sunday, June 12. $30-$60. sandiegomusicaltheatre.com
Much Ado About Nothing. At The Old Globe Theatre's Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. False accusations and misunderstandings threaten a happy ending as the stinky Don Juan conspires to break up Hero and Claudio's wedding. Runs Sunday, May 29, to Saturday, Sept. 24. $24-$81. oldglobe.org
Our Town. Produced by Cygnet Theatre Company, at Theatre in Old Town, 4040 Twiggs St. There's lots of hidden mystery under the courtship and marriage of George and Emily, who teach early 20th-century New England about living in harmony. Runs Thursday, June 9, through Sunday, July 10. $24-$49. cygnettheatre.com
Amadeus. At The Old Globe Theatre's Lowell Davies Festival Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. Antonio Salieri, one of the greatest composers of 18th-century Vienna, is insanely jealous of Wolfgang Mozart's immense talent and sets out to destroy him. Runs Sunday, June 12, to Thursday, Sept. 22. $24-$81. oldglobe.org
Peer Gynt. At La Jolla Playhouse's Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. Peer Gynt is a wanderer, a dreamer, a swindler and a charmer—and he uses all four traits in a quest for fame and fortune. Runs Tuesday, June 28, through Sunday, July 24. $39-$44. lajollaplayhouse.org
Body Awareness. Produced by Ion Theater Company, at BLK BOX @ 6th & Penn, 3704 Sixth Ave., Hillcrest. It's “Body Awareness Week” on a Vermont college campus—and as Joyce and Phyllis tackle an impasse on censorship, their adult son Jared (who may or may not have autism) struggles to weigh in on the debate. Runs Saturday, July 2, through Saturday, July 30. iontheatre.com
Shrek, the Musical. Produced by Broadway/San Diego, at the Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., Downtown. Things get ugly when an unseemly ogre shows up to rescue a feisty princess. A donkey who won't shut up, a bad guy with a short temper and a cookie with an attitude don't help. Runs Tuesday, July 5, through Sunday, July 10. $17.50-$99.50. broadwaysd.com
Moon Over Buffalo. At OnStage Playhouse, 291 Third Ave., Chula Vista. Actor Charlotte Hay has dreams of Hollywood stardom, while her husband George is satisfied to perform on the stage—and that's enough to start their knockdown debate about superiority of the stage versus film. Runs Friday, July 15, through Sunday, Aug. 13. $20. onstageplayhouse.org
The Who's Tommy. Produced by San Diego Repertory Theatre, at The Lyceum, 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown. A deaf, dumb and blind kid, who sure plays a mean pinball, invites his followers to experience a heightened state of enlightenment. Runs Saturday, July 16, through Sunday, Aug. 14. $22-$48. sdrep.org
Sleeping Beauty Wakes. At La Jolla Playhouse's Mandell Weiss Theatre, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla. When a father brings his daughter to a sleep-disorder clinic, staff and patients mysteriously find themselves sharing the same dream as an unlikely suitor dives into the mix. Runs Tuesday, July 19, through Sunday, Aug. 21. $39-$44. lajollaplayhouse.org
Hairspray. Produced by Moonlight Stage Productions, at the Moonlight Amphitheatre, 1200 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista. High-school senior Tracy turnblad and her mom Edna deal with teenage hormones and racism in 1962 Baltimore. Runs Wednesday, Aug. 17, through Saturday, Sept. 3. $22-$50. moonlightstage.com
Humphrey's Concerts by the Bay at 2241 Shelter Island Drive, Point Loma. An impressive program including Los Lonely Boys and Los Lobos (Sunday, July 31), B.B. King (Monday, Aug. 15) and Tears for Fears (Monday, Sept. 12). With a boat and a little gumption, intrepid concertgoers can get a free view from the bay. Now through Oct. 25. Prices vary. humphreysconcerts.com
Aloe Blacc at Belly Up tavern, 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. With his smart outfits and soothing pipes, this rapper-turned-soul singer will melt your heart with original hits like “I Need a Dollar” and sultry covers of “Billie Jean” and “Femme Fatale.” 8 p.m. Friday, May 20. $15 in advance, $17 day-of. bellyup.com
Killing Joke at Brick by Brick, 1130 Buenos Ave., Bay Park. This legendary British postpunk outfit, touring in support of their 2010 comeback Absolute Dissent, has influenced everybody from Nine Inch Nails to Franz Ferdinand—Nirvana even ripped off one of their songs in “Come As You Are.” The Crying Spell, Indicator Dogs and DJ Robin Roth open. Saturday, May 28. $20 in advance, $22 day-of. brickbybrick.com
Independence Jam at Oceanside Pier Amphitheatre, 200 N the Strand, Oceanside. Tickets for this star-studded indie-rock lineup—Cold War Kids, Lykke Li and Peter Bjo& John, not to mention local heavyweights The Soft Pack and Crocodiles—will probably go fast. 4 p.m. Sunday, June 5. $35-49. independencejam.com
San Diego County Fair Concerts at Del Mar Fairgrounds, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. A concert series jam-packed with big names like “Weird Al” Yankovic (Wednesday, June 15) and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts (Thursday, June 30). Don't miss pop mercenary Bruno Mars and genre-jumping songstress Janelle Monáe (playing together Saturday, June 11). From June 10 through July 4. Free unless otherwise noted. sdfair.com
Rush at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, 2050 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista. The Canadian power trio will blast through their 1981 blockbuster Moving Pictures, offering up hits like “Tom Sawyer” and “Limelight.” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 18. $45-125. livenation.com
Del Mar Summer Concert Series at Del Mar Racetrack, 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. Even if you're not betting on the ponies, it's worth visiting the Del Mar Racetrack for the chance to see big bands like Violent Femmes and Weezer. This year, concerts will be held at the new Seaside Stage, which offers better sight lines. Schedule TBA. From June 20 through Sept. 3. Free with track admission; $20 after last race. dmtc.com
Kid Cudi at Valley View Casino Center, 3500 Sports Arena Blvd., Sports Arena. The pot-smoking rapper who charmed us with the hit “Day 'n' Nite” performs at the venue formerly known as the San Diego Sports Arena. 7:30 p.m. Thursday, June 23. $40. valleyviewcasinocenter.com Okkervil River, Titus Andronicus and New Villager at Belly Up tavern, 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. The bands on this asskicking indie-rock bill will have you downing whiskeys, proffering hugs and singing along in no time. 8:30 p.m. Friday, June 24. $16 in advance. $18 day-of. bellyup.com
tUnE-yArDs at Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Blvd., City Heights. Using looping technology and her remarkable voice, tUnE-yArDs frontwoman Merrill Garbus crafts some of the funkiest, most inventive music being made today. Rafter and T.V. Mike and the Scarecrows open. 9 p.m. Sunday, June 26. $10. sodabarmusic.com
Eddie Vedder at Copley Symphony Hall, 1245 Seventh Ave., Downtown. When he's not fronting Pearl Jam, this gravel-voiced grunge king gets down on the ukulele. Who knew? At this show, he'll play in support of his new solo album, Ukulele Songs. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 5. $78. sandiegosymphony.org
Foster the People at House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave., Downtown. This could be your last chance to see the red-hot L.A. indie band that wrote the ultra-catchy hit “Pumped Up Kicks” before they blow up in a major way. 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 6. $20.50. houseofblues.com/sandiego
Tinariwen at Belly Up tavern, 143 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. Hailing from the Saharan plains of northern Mali, Tinariwen strum out mesmerizing desert blues on electric guitars while dressed head-to-toe in traditional robes. How's that for badass? 8 p.m. Tuesday, July 12. $22 in advance, $24 day-of. bellyup.com.
Maroon 5 and Train at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, 2050 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista. Two Grammy-winning rock bands make for a chart-busting double bill. Friday, July 22. $70-93. livenation.com
Thurston Moore, Kurt Vile and the Violators at The Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd., Middletown. The reputation of Sonic Youth singer-guitarist Thurston Moore precedes him, but it's Philly singer-songwriter Kurt Vile you should watch out for. His new album, Smoke Ring for My Halo, is superb. 9 p.m. Saturday, July 30. $20. casbahmusic.com
Warped Tour at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, 2050 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista. There's plenty of acts to choose from, but punk rockers and emo kids won't want to miss headliners like 3OH!3, A Day to Remember, Against Me! and The Devil Wears Prada. Tuesday, Aug. 9. $28. livenation.com
Kings of Leon at Cricket Wireless Amphitheatre, 2050 Entertainment Circle, Chula Vista. Fans can only hope arena rockers Kings of Leon don't get rained on by bird poo as they were in St. Louis last year. Seattle rockers Band of Horses open. Sunday, Sept. 4. Price TBA. livenation.com