Best Bets for fun things to do in and around La Jolla, March 14-22

Gaelic Verse
Book seller Dennis Wills will host his 34th annual Irish Poetry Reading, 7 p.m. Sunday, March 17, at 7461 Girard Ave. Members of the public are invited to read their favorite passages from James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Samuel Beckett,  Edmund Burke, Sean O’Casey, etc. (858)

Handel’s Messiah
Bach Collegium, under the direction of Ruben Valenzuela, will present the famed oratorio, “Messiah,” 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, at St. James By-the-Sea Episcopal Church, 743 Prospect St. There will be a pre-concert discussion 45 minutes prior. Tickets: $25 or $40. (619) 341-1726.

Opening Art Reception
Meet the artists behind “Faces,” the latest exhibition from La Jolla Library Art Committee, 2-4 p.m., Sunday, March 17 in the Community Room, 7555 Draper Ave. The premise of the show is faces that have inspired or challenged the artist. (858) 552-1657.

Cello Concert
Paul Dwyer will perform German and French Baroque cello selections in a recital at noon, Saturday, March 16 at the Riford Library, 7555 Draper Ave. The concert will benefit the Musical Oratory Foundation. Dwyer is touted as “one of the brightest young cellist virtuosos to emerge from Juilliard’s Historical Performance Program.” Tickets: $15 at or $20 at the door.

History Lesson
Marci Shore, associate professor of history at Yale University, will discuss her book, “The Taste of Ashes: The Afterlife of Totalitarianism in Eastern Europe,” 7 p.m., Saturday, March 16, at D.G. Wills Books, 7461 Girard Ave. Shore covers Berlin to Moscow, moving from Vienna through Prague, Bratislava, Warsaw and Bucharest to Vilnius and Kiev in the post-Communist East for a literary examination of the ghost of communism built around people she came to know over the course of two decades. (858) 456-1800.

Three cabaret shows
• La Jolla Playhouse brings The Second City’s “Laughing Matters” sketch comedy tour back to town, in a cabaret-style performance space at Potiker Theatre on the UC San Diego campus. Showtimes: 8 p.m. March 20 and 21; 5:30 and 8 p.m. March 22; and 2, 7 and 9:30 p.m. March 23.
• Steam Powered Giraffe combines the visual of robot pantomime with sketches, pop culture references, improvised comedic dialogue and original music,  2 and 8 p.m. March 24.
• “Steppin’ Out with Ben Vereen,” 8 p.m. March 29; 2 and 8 p.m. March 30; and 2 p.m. March 31, highlights his unique artistry, combining a tribute to Broadway, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis, Jr. Tickets: $30-$65. (858) 550-1010.

Arias and Art Songs
Some of Southern California’s top young opera artists will sing at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 15, in the La Jolla Community Center,  6811 La Jolla Blvd. Their performance will benefit both the community center and the Point Loma Opera Theatre. Tenor Alexis Alfaro, baritone Anthony Winston-Martini, and soprano Michelle Law have followed their hearts to pursue international opera careers. The program will also feature Dr. Craig Johnson. Tickets: $10, $15. Refreshments. (858) 459-0831.

Views of Syria
“Syria: As It Was,” a presentation by world traveler Christa McReynolds, is set for 7 p.m., Monday, March 18, at Wesley Palms, 2404 Loring St., Pacific Beach. Sponsored by the La Jolla Photo Travelers, the program will show Damascus as the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world and a major cultural and religious center of the Levant. Refreshments. Free parking and admission. (858) 456-2881.

More About Orchids
Merle Robboy, M.D., will speak to the San Diego County Cymbidium Society, 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 20 in the Ecke Building at the San Diego Botanic Garden, 230 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas. “Orchids that grow outdoors in the Rio, Petropolis and Sao Paulo regions of Brazil,” is the topic with emphasis on “What is a species orchid?” is his topic. A cultural class precedes the lecture, 6:30 p.m. Free. (619) 520-1366.

Garden Art  Fun
Mosaic artist Judy McCutcheon will demonstrate how to create “Art for the Garden,” at the next La Jolla Garden Club meeting, 1 p.m., Tuesday, March 19, at La Jolla Lutheran Church, 7117 La Jolla Blvd. A reception/tea follows. Guests welcome.

A List Event
Get off the train to Squaresville, meet up with other hepcats and art ‘n’ music paramours, and get on the road to the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library. Can you dig, daddy-o? The next A List music and art mixer, “Beatniks,” begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 21, at 1008 Wall St. Pages of Ed Rusha’s artist’s book of the beat novel, “On the Road,” by Jack Kerouac, coat the walls of the Athenaeum. Sponsored by Stone Brewing Company, Whisknladle, and Cups. Tickets: Free for A Listers, $12 non-members. (858) 455-5872.

Musical Review
“The Song is Ended,” an educational performance by musician/storyteller Bruno Leone, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays, March 19 and 26, at the Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, 1008 Wall St. Leone’s “concert” will feature not only melodies, lyrics, and stories of America’s musical elite, but also those whose names are forgotten but whose songs linger on. Series: $24 members, $29 non-members. (858) 454-5872.

Gotta Dance!
The musicians of Cancioner, will present dance music from the Middle Ages, as guests of the San Diego Early Music Society, 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 20 at St. James By-the-Sea, 743 Prospect St. Hits will include “tarantellas, flagellant songs, penitential prayers and more.” Tickets: $18-$25. (619) 291-8247.

J Company Youth Theatre
Gypsy” takes the stage as part of its Barbra Streisand season, 7 p.m. March 14, 8 p.m. March 16 and 1 and 4:30 p.m. March 17 at San Diego Center for Jewish Culture’s Garfield Theatre, 4126 Executive Drive. Tickets: $16-$20. (858) 362-1348.

Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation
Spike & Mike’s Festival of Animation wraps up its 30th anniversary event with three more screenings: 7:15 p.m. Friday, March 22; 7 p.m. and 9:15 p.m. Saturday, March 30. Each night’s program showcases 23 international animation shorts, including five Academy Award winners and four Oscar nominees. Works range from independent animators to Pixar. Suitable for ages 10 and older. Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, 700 Prospect St., La Jolla. Tickets: $12-$15 at (858) 459-8707 or

Related posts:

  1. Best Bets for things to do in and around La Jolla, Oct. 14-22
  2. Best Bets for interesting things to do in and around La Jolla, June 16-23
La Jolla’s Best Bets for fun things to do in and around town April 28-May 7
  4. Best Bets for interesting things to do in La Jolla Feb. 10-19
  5. Best Bets for events in and around La Jolla, week of Feb. 3-11

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