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A guy with some clout to throw around stood in the doorway, watching an overflow crowd get more animated by the minute over a plan to build a parking structure, amphitheater and giant wings on the waterfront.

That guy, Ron Roberts, worked as an architect before he became a county supervisor. He doesn’t like the wings, nor the parking on the water. And though boosters want Roberts’ endorsement of the plan, he told us he’s on the other side.

Waterfront activist Diane Coombs decried the plan for blocking views in our TV story with NBC 7 San Diego. Meanwhile, key boosters said they’ve been passionate about a plan like this for more than 20 years. Real estate mogul and philanthropist Malin Burnham, and plan designers Hal Sadler and Greg Mueller said they expected the criticism they’ve received so far. Burnham countered the recurrent view-blocking criticism like this:

It will be the view. It won’t be blocking the view.

Having a hard time picturing what the pier looks like now? Check out Sam Hodgson’s photographic panorama taken from the pier’s end.

Tonight is the second of three public input meetings. The meeting starts at 5:30 p.m. at 3165 Pacific Highway, the Port of San Diego building.

The Union-Tribune rounds up some reaction from VOSD readers, KPBS, its own comment page and a forum I’d not heard of before: the Skyscraper Page, “a website for skyscraper enthusiasts.”


You’re reading the Arts Report: Every week we include links and descriptions of arts news from voiceofsandiego.org and other media outlets around San Diego County.

Calculating Art

• Over the last month or so we’ve been exploring the factors arts groups consider when selling discount tickets. In our last installment for the “Will Call” series, writer Roxana Popescu explains how discount sites affect local arts orgs, and the math of the decisions the La Jolla Playhouse and the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego made to use Groupon.

• The rogue mural “Surfing Madonna” has a proposed new home at the corner of Encinitas Boulevard and Coast Highway 101. With Encinitas’s arts commission on board, artist Mark Patterson next will take his offer to loan the piece to the city for 100 years to the full City Council. (North County Times)

Happening Here

Fourteen-year-old La Jolla ballerina Sabina Schaffer dances the role of Clara in San Diego Ballet’s “Nutcracker.” (La Jolla Light)

• A restaging of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” now at the La Jolla Playhouse, has a bunch of people around town feeling nostalgic about their childhoods spent listening to, lip-synching and singing in Pig Latin (!) the lyrics to the rock musical. (KPBS)

• Director Des McAnuff had a busy week. His “Superstar” restaging opened last Wednesday at the Playhouse, and across the country, his staging of “Faust” hit the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. (Canadian Press)

• UCSD master’s student and custom piñata-maker Kate Clark calls herself a “piñata counselor.” (San Diego Reader)

• The artist-in-residence currently at Lux Art Institute paints several layers of color and then scrapes some away to reveal his finished work, on view through Dec. 31. “It’s painting for the sake of painting,” he says. (U-T)

• Octogenarian Burt Bacharach’s first musical in more than four decades, “Some Lovers,” opens this week at The Old Globe. (The Guardian)

• Escondido requires developers to pay fees to provide public art in the city; the newest addition to the collection is a three-ton sculpture called “New Leaf.” (U-T)

• It often makes audiences squirm, and that might be why theater companies so often take a time-out from the production to ask an audience member a question or to make a volunteer sing. Do you cringe when that happens? The U-T’s theater-expert panel weighs in on the merits of crowd participation.

• High-schoolers from the School for Creative and Performing Arts jammed to Christmas tunes on KUSI last weekend; someone at the shoot posted a video of their performance to YouTube.

• Local guitar maker Taylor Guitars is opening its El Cajon warehouse to the public on Saturday, offering “friends and family” pricing. (San Diego Reader)

I recommend checking out the warehouse; I spent a fascinating day on the job with Patrick Wilson in 2008, the company’s neck and body production manager.

Thumbs Up, Thumbs Down

A smattering of reviews for local productions from critics around the region:

• Theater critic Pam Kragen says The Old Globe’s “Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas” isn’t long in the tooth despite being in its 14th season, thanks in part to the maturity and “slight menace” actor Steve Blanchard brings to the role of the mean, green one. (North County Times)

• Kragen calls the Playhouse’s “Jesus Christ Superstar”terrific, smart and modern. A self-professed gospel musical hater, Los Angeles Times critic Charles McNulty changes his tune for the “tightly focused,” “beautifully measured” production.

While holding reservations about the musical itself, U-T critic James Hebert says director McAnuff’s efforts to “redeem the piece’s shortcomings” are “just about heroic.”

• Music critic James Chute raves the La Jolla Symphony and Chorus’s performance last weekend merited several “OMGs.”(U-T)

Quite the Description

• Theater company Mo’olelo is holding auditions soon for its upcoming play, “Hoodoo Love.” Consider auditioning if you’re a “young, beautiful, sassy and sensual African American woman” or a blues-guitar-playing, harmonica-wielding heartbreaker.

Or if you think you can play one on stage.

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Kelly Bennett is the arts editor for VOSD. You can reach her directly at kelly.bennett@voiceofsandiego.org or 619.325.0531. Or you can keep up with her on Twitter @kellyrbennett or on Facebook.

Kelly Bennett

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

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