Thursday, October 27, 2005 | Upcoming theater, visual arts and film events:


Do the zombie. The most popular girl in school meets a teenage bad-boy with some freaky nuclear properties in a “Grease” rendition with a twist. Fifties motorcycle boy Jonny Warner had plenty on his hands battling an evil principal to let him graduate and convincing a pair of disapproving parents to let him take their pretty daughter Toffee to the high school dance. An accident at a local nuclear plant should have ended the prom plans, but Jonny doesn’t let a little radiation get him down. Dressed in his funeral best, the handsome corpse bounces back from the grave, adding a little extra glow to this classic tale of teenage love.

“Zombie Prom” opens the San Diego Junior Theatre’s 58th season, just in time for Halloween, at the Casa Del Prado stage in Balboa Park. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Fridays and 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays through Nov. 6. Info: (619) 239-8355 or

More spooky performances:

– “The Smell of the Kill” will fill the theater as three couples serve up some dirty tricks at their monthly dinner party. Runs at 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Sundays, through Nov. 13., at the North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Suite D, in Solana Beach. Info: (858) 481-2155 or

– Murder’s on the menu at the Mystery Dinner Café’s “Killer Reunion,” where the audience plays detective over a four-course meal. Runs at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights, ongoing at the Imperial House, 505 Kalmia Street, in Bankers Hill. Info: (619) 544-1600 or

– “The Frankenstein Project v.2.0” is Mary Shelley’s horror classic retold in the modern age of medicine with a female monster. Runs at 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays and 7 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 30 through Nov. 20 as part of Sledgehammer Theatre’s 20th anniversary season at Cecilia’s Playhouse, 1620 Sixth Ave., just north of downtown. Info: (619) 544-1484 or (JH)


Back to the near future. Not very many public events, particularly visual arts events, ask the audience to bring cell phones and laptops to the performances. But telecommunications media artist Adriene Jenik encourages you to do just that.

Jenik, who is an associate professor at the University of California, San Diego, will premiere her latest interactive, multimedia work titled “SPECFLIC” this Friday evening. Described as “speculative distributed cinema” and borrowing its name in part from a genre of science fiction – speculative fiction – the project employs cutting-edge transmission and display technologies to assess the positive and negative effects of technology on society.

Using live and pre-taped video performances, “SPECFLIC” imagines and explores a possible near future – the year 2030. Through audience interaction, Jenik hopes to create a space for participants to not just be passive observers, but rather to actively experience and critically engage with these ideas.

“SPECFLIC” will be held in conjunction with the daylong dedication of UCSD’s new California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology (Calit2) facility. In addition to bringing their own wireless technological devices, those interested in participating are encouraged to dress as though it were Halloween 2030. The live event runs from 9 p.m. to midnight, Friday, Oct. 28 in the courtyard and on the surfaces of the Calit2 on the UCSD campus. Remember to turn those cell phones on.

More ghoulish events:

– Go for a stroll through Sherman Heights this Saturday, Oct. 29 and Sunday, Oct. 30 to take in the neighborhood’s colorful, outdoor altars honoring departed loved ones, as part of The Sherman Heights Community Center’s “11th Annual Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) Celebration.” Festivities, including live ballet folklorico performances and a sugar skull-making workshop, begin at 11 a.m. and last until 7 p.m. both days. Guided walking tours (suggested $2 donation) also will be held at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.

The outdoor altars will only be up through Sunday evening, though more altars will be on display indoors at the Sherman Heights Community Center, 2258 Island Ave., which will be open to the public from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31 and Tuesday, Nov. 1. Info: (619) 232-5181 or

– Don fishnets and feather boas for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” which screens every Friday at midnight at the historic La Paloma Theatre in Encinitas. In the spirit of the season, there will be two Halloween night screenings at 9:15 p.m. and midnight Monday, Oct. 31. The cult classic musical also screens at midnight Saturday, Oct. 29 at the Ken Cinema in Kensington. Info: (760) 436-SHOW, (La Paloma); (619) 819-0236, (Ken Cinema).

– Local artists BobRob and Scott Saw will deck the walls with their Day of the Dead-inspired paintings and prints (read: skulls and animated skeletons) at Ducky Waddle’s Emporium Gallery. The opening reception for “Whisper of Death, Innocence of Death” is 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29 at 414 N. Coast Hwy 101, in Encinitas. The exhibition runs through Nov. 27. Info: (760) 632-0488 or

– A cast of freakish characters reign supreme in Frank Grow’s 1997 digital short film “Love God,” which screens at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28 at the Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego in La Jolla. After the screening, the former San Diegan filmmaker will present a slide show as well as answer audience questions about his homage to B-movie monsters. Warning: This film contains “extremely bizarre subject matter and nightmarish imagery that may disturb some viewers. Not for the squeamish.” Info: (858) 454-3541 or (CC)


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