Thursday, October 13, 2005 | Upcoming performing arts and music events:
Something old, something new. Breaking a 30-year silence, the newly restored Stephen and Mary Birch North Park Theatre will announce its re-entry into San Diego’s art scene with the exuberant notes of the “Mikado.” The crowd went wild when the madcap story of love, betrayal and beheading in Japan made its debut in London in 1885, and to this day it is one of the most widely performed comic operas in the history of high-pitched singing on stage.
In response to popular demand in the late 19th century for exciting foreign subject matter, satirical opera duo Gilbert and Sullivan turned their attention eastward to the perceived exoticism and occultism of Japan. In the “Mikado,” disconcerted lover Nanki-Poo banishes himself from the town of Titipu when his romantic aspirations to the beautiful Yum-Yum are blighted by her fiancé Ko-Ko. But fortunes shift when Ko-Ko is condemned to the guillotine for flirting and then promoted to High Executioner – at his own execution. Apart the mad fluttering of fans, the nonsensical proceedings that ensue begin to look more like commentary on Western Europe’s own political history than exposition of a foreign culture.
The “Mikado” is performed at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and at 2 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 14-30. The Stephen and Mary Birth North Park Theatre is located at 2891 University Ave. in North Park. Info: (619) 239-8836 or
Other Performing Arts:
– “German Opera” is an opportunity to get up close to performing artists at the Galerie D’ Art International’s Intimate Opera Concert Series. A cocktail reception will precede the one-time performance at 5 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 16. Galerie D’ Art International, 320 S. Cedros Ave., Suite 500, Solana Beach. Info: (858) 793-0316 or www.galerieartint.com.
– “The Miser” can’t keep track of his money, let alone his children or his love life. 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays through Nov. 13. The La Jolla Playhouse, Mandell Weiss Theatre, University of California, San Diego campus in La Jolla. Info: (858) 550-1010 or www.lajollaplayhouse.com.
– “Bad Dates” are a given for a stressed-out single mom who has better luck shoe shopping. 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 7 p.m. Sundays, with matinees at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, through Nov. 13. San Diego Repertory Theatre, Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego. Info: (619) 544-1000 or www.sandiegorep.com. (JH)
Bring your pom-poms. The Go! Team exemplifies the playful, wall-smashing spirit that’s revitalizing independent music these days: five members, all of whom chant and shout like cheerleaders (hence the name) over towering funk/hip-hop rhythms. Throw in digressive tendencies and some brass for the climaxes, and you’ve got a sound that satisfies the primitive like pop-rock, but delivers the unexpected like jazz. 8 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19 at the Casbah, 2501 Kettner Blvd. $13 adv./$15 day of show. (619) 232-HELL.
– LCD Soundsystem is what happens when white rockers decide to make dance music. Remember when people said electronics would make music soulless and plasticky? James Murphy’s solo project proves that machines can pound with as much true grit as the smelliest drummer. Word is he puts on a good show, too – even if he does only press buttons and twist knobs. 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 14 at the House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave. $20. (619) 299-BLUE.
– 311 are the kind of vacuous, mainstream rock act critics love to hate – and stubborn fans still love. They had a few hits back in the ’90s, and have managed to keep their metal/reggae trajectory on the road all these years. Considering all their contemporaries were swallowed up sometime in the Clinton years, that’s quite an achievement. 7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 19 at SOMA, 3350 Sports Arena Blvd. $35. www.ticketmaster.com
– Dwight Yoakam, something of an odd-man-out in country music, is also still around after many fads have come and gone, releasing new songs that – like the best of the genre – tell the truth no matter how much it hurts. 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 18. at the House of Blues, 1055 Fifth Ave. $52. (619) 299-BLUE. (IP)
– VOICE STAFF