Best Bets for things to do in and around La Jolla, Feb. 9-19


Got Cats?

Cats, cats and more cats will be performing -- REALLY! -- Feb. 16-19 at the Jewish Community Center’s Garfield Theater when feline behavioral expert Samantha Martin brings the Amazing Acro-Cats to town. Watch the circus-like cats ride skateboards, walk tightropes and jump through hoops.

And if that’s not enough, listen to “The Rock-Cats” and Hen-diana Jones (a chicken, in case you were wondering) get into a Latin groove with an island rhythm section. 2 and 8 p.m. 4126 Executive Drive. Tickets: $12-$18. (858) 362-1348.

Dance of Nations

More than 150 performers will show off traditional dance from 15 cultures on Feb. 10-12 in the 2012 Nations of San Diego International Dance Festival at Coronado High School. First held in 1993, the event aims “elevates these traditional art forms … for a wide audience to enjoy,” according to the program’s website. You can see Bollywood, flamenco and Irish dancers and more. Each show is different, so check

for times and programs. Tickets: $15-$30. (619) 504-3052.

Gifts of the HeArt

A dozen artists from La Jolla Presbyterian Church will share Gifts of the HeArt with visitors from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, in the church’s Life Center at 7715 Draper St. The inaugural Women’s Ministry exhibit is designed to promote fellowship through the arts. Meet painters, interior designers creating vignettes, a quilter, and two women who work together using photography and paint. Refreshments and a raffle, too. Suggested donation: $10. Free parking in garage off Kline Street. Artists are Donna Baker, Shannon Cunningham, Dianne Dammeyer, Kathleen Deane, Sally Irwin, India Kern, Betsy Locke, Ginny Nau, Sarah Sedgwick, Pam Taunton, Victoria Towner and Heather Wied.

Chicago’s Symphony

Renowned Italian conductor Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will perform at 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb., 19, at Copley Symphony Hall, 1245 7th Ave. The first of three concerts in the La Jolla Music Society’s Celebrity American Orchestra Series will include works by Schubert and a piece by Anna Clyne, “Night Ferry,” commissioned for the orchestra. Founded in 1891, the CSO’s recordings have earned 82 Grammy Awards. Tickets: $27-97. (858) 459-3728.

Vocal Ensemble

Described as one of the world’s leading vocal ensembles, amarcord comes to St. James By-the-Sea, 7 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, with a repertoire that ranges from chant through Lassus and Walter to Stefanini and Heinrich Schütz. Presented by the San Diego Early Music Society, the group was founded by members of the St. Thomas Boys Choir at Bach’s church in Leipzig. Its website touts its “unique tone, breathtaking homogeneity, musical authenticity, and a good dose of charm and humor.” Tickets: $18-$35.

Whale of an Opera

Get ready for the West Coast premere of Jake Heggie’s “Moby-Dick.” The San Diego Opera brings Herman Melville’s story to the Civic Theatre stage with evening performances Feb. 18, 21 and 24 and a matinee Feb. 26. Computer-generated effects pull audience members into the emotional action, which features Jay Hunter Morris as Captain Ahab and Talise Trevigne as Pip. Third Avenue and B Street, downtown San Diego. Tickets: $50-$210. (619) 533-7000 or

Love is in the Air

Go for an evening of Wine and Roses with Frank Brennan, who will share his expertise as you taste wines paired with cheeses and chocolates. The fun begins at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 18, at The Riford Center, 6811 La Jolla Blvd. Apart from tasting eight wines and enjoying Brennan’s humor, you’ll be able to buy the wines and see some beautiful floral arrangements. Seating limited Tickets: members, $40; non-members: $50. (858) 459-0831.

Readers Theater

It’s a busy month for the Riford Center’s Readers Theater, which is hosting a performance of Robert Harling’s “Steel Magnolias,” 7:30 p.m., Feb 13, followed on Feb. 20 by an “unrehearsed” reading of Act II of Neil Simon’s “Laughter on the 23rd Floor.” Everyone is invited to read, listen, participate, and laugh. 6811 La Jolla Blvd. Tickets: $5-$10. (858) 459-0831.

Friday Night Blues

Trek on over to PB’s Tiki House for a mix of rock ‘n’ roll, soul-funk and blues with Beautiful Chaos & Friends, 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10. On Feb. 11, they’ll hold a La Jolla Rock Party featuring four bands. Opened 30 years ago at 1152 Garnet Ave., The Tiki House is known as a venue for local groups, good music and good company. (858) 273-9734.

Newcomers Get Together

Join the La Jolla Newcomers, 10 a.m. Friday, Feb. 10 for a gathering in the loft at Panera Café, 7863 Girard Ave. The 50-year-old club helps new residents learn about their community and meet their neighbors. The backbone of the club is its nearly two dozen interest groups organizing activities from games to gourmet dining.

Romantic Moves

Celebrate Valentine’s Day early with a performance of “Romance” by the San Diego Ballet Company, under the leadership of co-directors Robin Sherertz-Morgan and Javier Velasco. The program in the Lyceum Theatre brings romantic highlights from past season performances. At 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, take in an evening that includes a mixed bill and selections from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” On Sunday, Feb. 12, enjoy a 2:30 p.m. matinee featuring “Romeo et Juliet.” Tickets: $35-45. (619) 544-1000.

At The Loft

• San Francisco’s Weekend returns to The Loft at UCSD Friday, Feb. 11, with what promoters call a “unique sonic territory where feedback guitars, crunching riffs and pounding rhythms are harnessed in the service of, rather than in opposition to, their haunting tunes.” Doors open 8 p.m at UCSD Price Center East, 2nd Floor. Tickets $5-$10, (858) 534-8497.

• Get down with White Denim, a four-piece bluesy, jazzy, garage-rock band from Austin, which made a number of 2011 “Best of” lists. Doors open 8 p.m.; show at 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12 at Price Center East, 2nd floor. Tickets: $7 students, $14 general at (858) 534-8497.

Film for Females

“Miss Representation,” a documentary challenging the media’s limited and often disparaging portrayals of women and girls, will screen at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 10, at Sherwood Auditorium in the Museum of Contemporary Art in La Jolla, 700 Prospect St. A panel discussion will follow from 8 to 9 p.m. Tickets Presale: $10 at; $15 at the door. (858) 349-7578.

Weekend Concerts

Up next for the La Jolla Symphony & Chorus’s 57th season is “The Populist,” with music director Steven Schick leading the orchestra and guest soloists Michael Blinco, Stephanie Aston and Leslie Leytham. On the playlist are works by Giuseppe Verdi, Nicholas Deyoe, John Adams and Brahms, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, at UCSD’s Mandeville Auditorium. Pre-concert lecture begins an hour prior. Tickets $15-$29. Free parking. (858) 534-4637.

Orchestra Nova Presents

Enjoy some “Favorite Opera Moments,” 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 11, Qualcomm Hall, 5775 Morehouse Drive, and 7:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 13, at Sherwood Auditorium, 700 Prospect St. Complete with video, the sampling of hits is a good introduction to opera as well as enjoyable for opera lovers from this landmark local group. Tickets: $26-66. (858) 350-0290.

Author Visits

D.G. Wills Books will host Canadian author Gary Geddes at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 13 for a discussion of his new book, “Drink the Bitter Root: 
A Search for Justice and Healing in Sub-Saharan.” An internationally acclaimed travel writer, Geddes has written more than 35 books, including this one that Africanist Ian Smillie, called “a deeply textured journey without maps into the unexplored rifts of sub-Saharan Africa, the human experience, and the psyche.” 7461 Girard Ave. Free. (858) 456-1800.