Lifting the curtain: Some choreographers start with a concept. They think about things for weeks before translating thoughts into movement. Other choreographers use muscle memory and music. In part, the Wonderland Dance Festival will show off the varied processes behind dance. Alongside performances throughout the three-day festival—happening at various times and locations from Thursday, March 31, through Saturday, April 2, there’ll be parties complete with DJs and food trucks, workshops and interactive pieces that’ll allow audiences to get up-close-and-personal. UCSD’s ArtPower! and the rest of the arts organizations behind this cool new festival, which showcases Lux Boreal and other international dance companies, wanted to re-create the community feeling behind the dance pavilion at the old Wonderland Amusement Park in Ocean Beach back in 1913. artpwr.com/categories/wonderland. $20-$57.
Kiss from a rose: Here’s a fun fact about Richard Strauss’s 1911 opera Der Rosenkavalier from the San Diego Opera’s blog, Aria Serious (ariaserious.blogspot.com): The whole prelude is a musical depiction of an Austrian noblewoman getting it on with a much younger man (so young that he’s usually portrayed by a female performer). That might be why it lasts just three-and-a-half minutes. The rest of the four-hour production is a comedy of errors about love, class and letting go set in 18th-century Vienna. The San Diego Opera will stage the production at the San Diego Civic Theatre (1200 Third Ave., Downtown) from Sunday, April 3, through April 12. Tickets start at $35. Check sdopera.com for dates and times.
MUSIC BY DESIGN
Music by design: Have you seen the album art for Foo Fighters’ 2007 album Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace? How about Wolfmother’s Cosmic Egg? If you have, then you’ve seen the work of Seattle-based design firm Invisible Creature. Grammy-winning brothers Don and Ryan Clark will discuss their work in the music-packaging field at The Casbah—yep, a lecture at the legendary rock club (2501 Kettner Blvd. in Middletown)—at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 2. Stick around after the talk for a set by locals The Black Heart Procession. The first 200 people to arrive will get a silkscreened show poster designed by Invisible Creature. $10 in advance, $12 the day of. casbahmusic.com, neat3.com.
Thinking fellers local: You know what they say: It takes a theoretical physicist to know a theoretical physicist. Wait—what? They don’t say that? Whatever. Anyway, physicist Lawrence M. Krauss has written a biography of Nobel Prize-winning quantum physicist Richard Feynman called Quantum Man: Richard Feynman’s Life in Science, and he’ll be at D.G. Wills Books (7461 Girard Ave. in La Jolla) at 7 p.m. Friday, April 1, to talk about it. In the words of the folks pimping the event, Krauss has written a “rollicking narrative” about one of the best-known scientists of the 20th century, covering both his turbulent personal life and his groundbreaking work in quantum electrodynamics, the superfluidity of super-cooled liquid helium and other smarty-pants stuff that most of us can’t even begin to comprehend. dgwillsbooks.com
Good ol' fashioned puppetry: For his latest puppet show, Golden West, San Diego puppeteer Max Daily has reinterpreted three classic Punch and Judy scripts. Daily, who got his start nearly seven years ago at the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater, rearranged the original slapstick scripts to create his own tale that’s meant to raise awareness about police shootings. Inspired by the April 2005 death of his friend Jacob Faust, who was shot and killed by a police officer after a toy gun was mistaken for the real thing, Daily created the traditional hand-puppet show for all ages. A bit of social commentary that’ll make you laugh, it starts at 7 p.m. Monday, April 4, at Space 4 Art, (325 15th St. in East Village). A Q&A with Daily will follow the show. sdspace4art.org
The winners: Julio Orozco got his start as a photojournalist in Tijuana, assigned to the crime beat for a daily newspaper. Perhaps the gritty nature of that job is what pushed him to create art that blends documentary photography with elements of fantasy to comment on Tijuana’s ongoing state of flux. San Diego Art Prize winners Einar and Jamex de la Torre chose Orozco as the emerging artist with whom they’d like to share space for their Art Prize show. That exhibition, at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library (1008 Wall St. in La Jolla), opens from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Friday, April 1, and will be on display through May 7. The De la Torre brothers’ work—stunning mixed-media pieces inspired by the iconography of Mexican culture—is reason enough to see this show. ljathenaeum.org
High concept: If you’re tapped into the local art scene, you already know that a lot of interesting stuff comes out of the visual-arts graduate program at UCSD. Our cover art this week, a piece by UCSD grad student Mike Calway-Fagen, is one example of the creativity that happens up in those Eucalyptus-covered hills on campus. From 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, April 2, the annual UCSD Open Studios event will give the public a chance to meander through the studios of UCSD’s current graduate students. Calway-Fagen, Joe Yorty, Sheryl Oring and Ela Boyd are a few of the conceptual and creative minds you’ll get to meet. The studios are located in the Visual Arts Facility on campus (corner of Russell Drive and Lyman Avenue in La Jolla). ucsdopenstudios.com/2011
Curiosity Catskills: Time can be as destructive as a tsunami. A half-century ago, the Catskill Mountains of upstate New York were a tourism vortex for New York City’s Jewish community. Today, the “Borscht Belt” resorts are derelict jungles, the vacation properties crumbling like disaster areas. In some cases, hotel lobbies have become paintball war zones, with tables and chairs strewn like battlefield gore. Photographer Marisa Scheinfeld has been documenting towns in Sullivan County—where she grew up—and will exhibit the collection, Leftover Borscht, for her master’s thesis show at San Diego State University. It opens with a reception from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, April 2, and runs through April 7, at SDSU’s Everett Gee Jackson Gallery. art.sdsu.edu