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San Diego’s first Fringe Festival debuts this week, featuring puppetry, dance, theater and more performances. U-T San Diego highlights a few of the 50 scheduled shows and performances. The venues for the performances are all over town — like one theater piece being performed at Searsucker restaurant. (The La Jolla Light has a password to whisper to your server for a discount on pre-show cocktails.)

An actor performing in “Ubu Roi,” that piece that will be performed at Searsucker, told KPBS the festival leaves room to experiment:

Fringe is a laboratory. It’s like the science of theater where creation comes from. So sometimes you can get stuck in these theatrical tropes, like we have to do a musical that people will like… so we’re very constrained by what we think people will like. But Fringe is an opportunity to do anything we want.

You’re reading the Culture Report, our weekly compilation of the region’s arts and culture news.

Happening Here:

• Officials at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego suspect the palm trees in front of the La Jolla location were intentionally poisoned. They’ve replaced two of the trees recently. (La Jolla Light)

• A mural painted in East Village depicting Blue Moon beer has been painted over. The commissioned artist said the city’s Development Services Department instructed her team to stop painting because the mural violates city signage laws. (CityBeat)

Compelling words from the U-T’s theater critic Jim Hebert, about La Jolla Playhouse’s “Neva” production:

If you like to see acting and writing that can both affirm the power of theater and make you question almost everything about it, get down to La Jolla Playhouse to take this one in.

• In our reporting quest on innovation in San Diego, we highlight places where technology minds are taking inspiration from sports and from nature.

• Artists selected for a new batch of grants from the San Diego Foundation include public artists Miki Iwasaki and Jamex de la Torre, renowned musicians Wu Man and Charles McPherson, and SDSU visual arts professor Eva Struble. (U-T)

Local Roots:

• A guy in Chula Vista has carved out some fame by making interesting six-second videos using the Vine platform. (CityBeat)

• Local artists and organizations have launched Kickstarter fundraisers you may want to know about: The 10th anniversary of adventurous music by the sea at the Carlsbad Music Festival; a graphic novel about a CIA conspiracy and radioactive monsters; the 20th anniversary of the beloved Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Animation Festival. Check the San Diego index for more local projects to back.

• A Spring Valley man won a contest to use tequila bottles to make art. He turned Patrón bottles into a chess table. (ABC News)

• If you think your kids would make good Whoville residents, check out The Old Globe’s upcoming audition information.

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Kelly Bennett

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

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