Cash is short for North Park’s resident musical theater company, Lyric at the Birch. Leon Natker, Lyric’s general director, said last week the company is about halfway to reaching the fundraising goal it set in a desperate letter to supporters last month.

But even if that goal is met, he told me Wednesday, the company is considering selling the historic theater it owns, performs in and rents out to other acts.

In other news:

• In the bowels of that same theater an hour before the curtains were due to rise on Thursday night, there was no time to worry about the lack of cash.

One of San Diego’s masters of stagecraft, Pam Stompoly-Ericson, applied makeup, fluffed wigs and fastened costumes she’d sewn for the cast of the comic opera, The Barber of Seville. I lurked in her makeup nook while she worked, weaving a few observations into this post and into our latest installment of Behind the Scene TV.

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Moonlighting prankster: Our news partners at NBC 7/39 got their hands on footage of the behind-the-scenes effort that ended with a surfer statue in Cardiff getting gobbled by a papier mâché shark. The prank’s mastermind, “Eric,” waits tables and sculpts in North County.

Drawing justice: There are only two courtroom artists in the county. Meet one of them, Krentz Johnson, whom Kinsee Morlan shadows for a story in CityBeat. (I shadowed the other, Greg High, for a People at Work story in 2007.)

Surround strings: Los Angeles-based Calder Quartet performed last week a piece called Violins and Skeletons that was commissioned by two San Diego County arts organizations. The U-T’s James Chute described the uncommon experience for a listener: The piece “employs three sets of four loudspeakers stationed to the sides and at the back of the audience (at the front is the quartet, also amplified). Each set of speakers plays a track prerecorded by the Calder. Essentially, you have four string quartets, even if only one of them is live, playing simultaneously.”

Diverted: Dan Kirsch plans to move on after six years as director of San Diego’s Diversionary Theatre, which produces plays with gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual themes. (U-T)

Artistic chairs: An orange sign popped up near our office in Liberty Station last week: The San Diego Fine Art Society moved into some new digs. CityBeat has the scoop on that and other arts organizations moving.

“Ursa very major:” That’s how UCSD’s director of its outdoor sculpture collection terms the two-story-tall bear sculpture made out of granite boulders and installed on the campus in 2005. The U-T included it in its occasional look at local masterpieces.

Hibernation substitute: The bear has its own Facebook page. And, thanks to some of the bear’s enterprising friends, a new scarf, just in time for the chillier weather. (UCSD’s Jacobs School of Engineering blog)

Please contact Kelly Bennett directly at or 619.325.0531 and follow her on Twitter: @kellyrbennett.

Kelly Bennett is a former staff writer for Voice of San Diego.

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