1 FRINGE BENEFITS
Major cities around the world have fringe festivals. Edinburgh was the original, and burgs like New York, San Francisco and Prague have followed suit. And, you know, it's pretty embarrassing for San Diego when Winnipeg and Orlando have fringe festivals before we do.
It's a good thing this town got its act together: We're finally getting the first-ever San Diego Fringe Festival. Running from Monday, July 1, through Sunday, July 7, the festival will bring an eclectic mix of theatrical performances, comedy, dance and more to a variety of spaces around the city, including Space4Art, NewSchool of Architecture, Seaport Village and non-traditional locations for site-specific performances. It all came together thanks to contACT ARTS' Kevin Charles Patterson, along with the Circle Circle Dot Dot theater group and Actors Alliance of San Diego.
"The festival provides an opportunity not only to present interesting, innovative and alternative performing works from national and international artists, but also to provide a presenting opportunity to local artists, as well," says festival coordinator Patrick Stewart. "Of the more than 40 artists presenting in Fringe, more than half are local."
While most performances will require individual tickets (information for each show and ticket prices can be found at sdfringe.com), the rooftop of the 10th Avenue Theater (930 Tenth Ave. in Hillcrest) will serve as "Fringe Central." Performers and festival attendees can check out local bands, buskers, burlesque performances and other fun side acts totally free.
The beauty of the festival lies in the opportunities it provides for local artists. Performance spaces are limited in the city, and not all are equipped to handle some of the stranger, outsider art. That's where San Diego Fringe comes in.
"It gives them an opportunity to explore all the avenues of creative storytelling, while at the same time being supported by this festival," Stewart says. "It provides an opportunity for them to do work that pushes boundaries."
2 MASTER'S EYE
John F. Kennedy in front of the White House. Igor Stravinsky at a piano. Harold Pinter and Tom Stoppard onstage. Without seeing Arnold Newman's portraits, you might think his practice of placing his subjects in obvious settings was cliché. Quite the opposite. Few, if any, photographers were as brilliant at the environmental portrait as Newman. See it for yourself in Arnold Newman: Masterclass, an exhibition of more than 200 of Newman's photographs that opens Saturday, June 29, at the San Diego Museum of Art in Balboa Park. It'll be the first such showing since Newman's death in 2006 and, because artists were among his favorite subjects, a nearby installation will feature the works of some of those artists. Masterclass will be on view through Sept. 8. sdmart.org
3 OKAPI SUNSET
The only place in San Diego where you'll find an okapi—a striped member of the giraffe family, indigenous to Central Africa—is the San Diego Zoo. But one only need travel as far as North Park to catch an early-evening show by the band Okapi Sun. The North Park Community Association's Bird Park Summer Concerts series continues with an outdoor show by Okapi Sun, a local indie-pop duo that specializes in beat-heavy dance rock. The show runs from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at Bird Park, at the corner of 28th and Thorn streets in North Park. The show is free, but the NPCA will accept donations. northparksd.org/concerts