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Class Acts

By Angela Ashman

Photo courtesy of The La Jolla Playhouse

12.20.18

Kick off the new year with royal drama, fiery ballets and a sprinkling of love advice.

With outspoken feminist Meghan Markle already shaking up the House of Windsor, it seems the perfect time to revisit the life of another royal rebel: her late mother-in-law. The La Jolla Playhouse presents the world premiere of the musical Diana (Feb. 19 to March 31, tickets $66 to $91). Written by Tony winners Joe DiPietro and David Bryan (Memphis), the story follows Diana’s journey from innocent 20-year-old princess bride to international icon. Meanwhile, The Old Globe starts off the new year with two plays written by Hollywood stars. First up is Familiar (Jan. 26 to March 3, tickets $30 to $105), a comedy by Tony-nominated playwright and actress Danai Gurira (Black Panther, The Walking Dead) about a Zimbabwean couple who, after years of raising their children in the United States, are perplexed to learn their daughter wants a traditional African wedding ceremony. Then, bring your tissues to Nia Vardalos’ (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) stage adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s best-selling book Tiny Beautiful Things (Feb. 9 to March 10, tickets $30 to $89), which follows the correspondence between an internet advice columnist named Sugar and her fans. At Quint Gallery, award-winning local artist David Adey’s new show, There Be Dragons (Jan. 12 to Feb. 23, free), kicks off his yearlong “creative inquiry” into the contentious issue of guns in America. San Diego Opera fans get two treats in February: Giuseppe Verdi’s masterpiece Rigoletto (Feb. 2 to 10, tickets $21 to $302) at the Civic Theatre, starring American baritone Stephen Powell, and the 2019 Opera Lover’s Ball (Feb. 23, tickets from $500), an elegant Spanish-themed bash at the US Grant Hotel. San Diego Ballet presents Ritmos Latinos (Feb. 15 to 17, tickets $22 to $40) at the Lyceum, a program of three fiery ballets, with a performance by local jazz icon Gilbert Castellanos. Lastly, the dashing gents of the Danish String Quartet kick off their three-year residency with La Jolla Music Society with three concerts (Feb. 8 to 10, tickets $35 to $85), including an afternoon of music, art and beer at basileIE Gallery in Barrio Logan. We’ll drink to that!