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Home / Articles / Arts / The Short List /  TrashTalk ...
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Wednesday, Sep 21, 2011

TrashTalk Theatre, SoCal Hellbilly Fest and Adams Avenue Street Fair

Our top three picks of San Diego events this week

By CityBeat Staff
trashtalk Heckling is allowed at TrashTalk Theatre

1 Everyone’s a critic

Some films provoke insightful debate and criticism. Other films are just so damn bad that they must be ridiculed. For those who prefer the latter, there’s TrashTalk Theatre, an interactive movie experience where the audience can blast or praise their favorite campy, cult classic as it screens.

Basically it’s Mystery Science Theatre 3000, but everyone can join in and riff from the peanut gallery. A wireless network is provided by organizer Jason Ponce. Once audience members log on from their smartphones, laptops or other wireless devices, an interface comes up that they use to comment on the movie or request a rewind. Their comments, however snide, come up on the screen for all to read.

With this interactive approach, Ponce says the emphasis is on the experience of watching the film rather than on the movie itself.

But his screening choices do make a difference. “It’s lively if it’s an extra-campy film or something that has B-movie credibility,” he says.

At 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 22, Ponce will screen one of the ultimate flicks in schlock history—1995’s Showgirls—at Space4Art (325 15th St. in East Village). He’s sure that the movie, which won a then-record seven Razzie Awards, including Worst Picture and Worst Actress for Elizabeth Berkeley, aka Jessie Spano from Saved by the Bell, will inspire some hardcore heckling.

“Showgirls is an interesting case,” Ponce says. “It’s easy to pan, but a lot of people really, really love it. I hope people shredding it to pieces and people defending it both come.”

So, pick your side and bring your smart-ass comments.

2Guitar heroes

Here’s an investment tip for you: Pomade stock is going to spike this weekend. This Saturday, Sept. 24, the Del Mar Fairgrounds will fill up with rebels and rockers for SoCal Hellbilly Fest, featuring “The First Lady of Rockabilly” Wanda Jackson and “guit-steel” double-necked guitar master Junior Brown. In all, there’ll be 16 rockabilly acts on two stages (with psychobilly legend Mojo Nixon playing MC), plus a pin-up contest and hot-rod and bike show. There will also be beer, and, as organizer Rockabilly Rebel Garry notes, “Yes, you can walk around with your drinks.” The event runs from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. at 2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd. Tickets are $30 in advance, $40 day of the event, with 25 percent going to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

3 Sounds and tastes 

This year’s Adams Avenue Street Fair is a smorgasbord of musical entertainment paired, if you wish, with a tasty beer. From 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25, catch big-name acts like El Vez, Dengue Fever and the Cedric burnside Project, featuring the son of blues legend R.L. burnside. Local acts range from indie-rockers to acoustic singer / songwriters to R&B and jazz combos. In between the music stages will be the perfunctory food vendors, arts-and-crafts booths and community organizations and—new this year, happening Saturday only—the Adams Avenue Beer Taste. For $20 (pre-sale) or $25 (day-of ), get 12 tastes of beer from brewers like Stone, Lost Abbey and Pizza Port. The rest of the fest is free.