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‘Cats’ is pride of this week’s offerings

The coming week offers opportunities to get up-close to ruins from an ancient volcano eruption, learn about Global Warming, see how ancient rulers were mummified or enjoy two local plays.

  • “Cats,” the show that revolutionized musical theater, runs at the San Diego Civic Theatre through June 8. Based on T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” and with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber, “Cats” won seven 1983 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, Best Lighting and Best Costumes. San Diegans can be among the millions worldwide who have made the show a family event and experienced the magic, the mystery and the wonder of the amusing and creative show. Thrills begin when an explosion of music and lights reveals a larger-than-life junkyard. Probing car lights tear across the darkened landscape of bottles and boxes, briefly catching the darting image of a running feline. This is Broadway/San Diego’s story of “Cats” staging at 3rd & B Street. For tickets call (619) 570-1100, (619) 220-TIXS or viawww.broadwaysd.com.
  • The award-winning exhibit “Feeling the Heat: The Climate Challenge,” now on display at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps in La Jolla, presents the science of global climate change. Scripps Oceanography researchers have created interactive displays that reveal the environmental changes already under way and ones that forecast the future. The exhibit includes images from the planet that offer insight into dramatic environmental changes under way; fossils that explore ways scientists track temperature across centuries; a test of whether everyday items contribute to climate change or help reduce its effects and learning what critical role the oceans play in global temperature. The exhibit and lectures are educational and eye-opening for both adults and kids who face the issues of global warming in their future. Birch Aquarium at Scripps is located at 2300 Expedition Way in La Jolla. For information call (858) 534-3624 or go online athttps://aquarium.ucsd.edu/.
  • The city of Pompeii, Italy was buried in 79 B.C. by a catastrophic eruption of the enormous volcano Mt. Vesuvius. The city was buried under lava until 1748 when archeologists starting excavating the site. The exhibit “A Day in Pompeii” is at the San Diego Natural History Museum until June 15 and shows some of the exquisitely preserved objects discovered in that excavation. It’s hard not to have an emotional reaction when glimpsing 250 authentic artifacts - frescoes, jewelry, statues - that symbolize what the day-to-day life was like in this ancient city. The body casts of the volcano’s victims, frozen in their last moments of life, are both poignant and mystifying. Visiting the real site should not be missed if visiting Italy, but seeing this exhibit is the next best thing to understand how life and death were frozen in time. The San Diego Natural History Museum is one of only four museums that will host this exclusive exhibition. For more information call (619) 255-0217 or go online atwww.sdnhm.org.
  • “Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs: Secrets of the Pharaohs” is now playing at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park. The film tells the story of one of the greatest archaeological finds in modern history: the late 19th century discovery of a cache of 40 royal mummies - including 12 pharaohs of Egypt - in a single tomb. In addition to learning why mummification was so vital to ancient Egyptian life, filmgoers will marvel at the sight of these human time capsules shown in larger-than-life detail on the giant screen and learn what clues and DNA from our past could have an impact on our future. “Mummies” is both an informational and entertaining film. For information call (619) 238-1233 or visitwww.rhfleet.org.
  • Life imitates art in North Coast Repertory Theatre’s current comedy, “The Big Bang.” The play centers on two creators who are auditioning their new musical extravaganza before investors. They attempt to explain the show will run 12 hours, have a budget of $83 million, chronicle the history of the universe, include 318 performers, thousands of costumes and elaborate scenery that makes chandeliers and helicopters seem mediocre. To do this the men provide one laugh after another as they cavort around the stage attempting to portray various characters in history from Adam & Eve to Nefertiti. The show runs through June 22 in Solana Beach. For more information call (858) 481-1055.