San Diego Theatre Week offers performing-arts deals as it returns for a fourth edition

Three years ago, San Diego Theatre Week launched with an idea modeled after the popular Restaurant Week: Offer special deals to bring people through the doors and, with luck, turn them into repeat visitors.

Now, as it gets ready to launch its fourth edition this Thursday, Theatre Week — a project of the nonprofit San Diego Performing Arts League — has continued to refine and simplify its cultural tasting menu.

Where once the PAL left it up to participating arts groups to set their own discounts and inducements— which led to a wide variation in the appeal of those deals — now the organizations are asked to offer a standard 20 percent (or more) off, with tickets sold at three price levels: $15, $30 and $45.

And as PAL vice president and executive director Gary Kramer is quick to point out, “it can’t be for the worst seats in the house.”

Kramer notes that the idea is “to get people into your theater and show them the quality of the shows we do here, and have them have such a great time that they come back.

“We want the experience to be good from start to finish, and we try to instill that with all the participating (organizations) in Theatre Week.”

Theatre Week’s name is actually slightly misleading: The event runs a full 11 days (through Feb. 24), with tickets also available for a few events that begin beyond those dates.

And it’s not just theater, either: There are seats available for dance and comedy events as well. (One of the participants is National Comedy Theatre, where Kramer is founder and artistic director.)

About two dozen events are part of 2019’s Theatre Week, somewhat fewer than last year. Kramer says some unavoidable scheduling factors are involved; for example, La Jolla Playhouse has been a key past participant but is about to open the hugely anticipated new musical “Diana,” for which tickets (discounted or otherwise) are likely to be scarce.

While thousands of tickets are sold for shows around the county during each Theatre Week, Kramer acknowledges that there’s room to grow, and he’s still “hoping it catches fire a little bit.”

San Diego Theatre Week

When: Feb. 14-24

Where: Performing-arts venues around San Diego County

Tickets: $15-$45

Phone: (858) 437-9850

Online: sandiegotheatreweek.com

Theatre Week Lineup

Here are the shows that have Theatre Week ticket discounts available, by price level. Check individual entries for details, and keep an eye out for possible additions.

$15

“Aubergine,” San Diego Rep

“Frankie & Johnny in the Clair de Lune,” OnStage Playhouse

“Guys and Dolls,” Coronado Playhouse

Mainstage Show, National Comedy Theatre

“Ritmos Latinos: Que Bonito Amor,” San Diego Ballet at the Lyceum Theatre

“A Permanent Image,” Point Loma Playhouse

“A Boy and a Girl” / “Quibbling Siblings,” Patio Playhouse

“Bojo's Place,” Community Actors Theatre

“Fuddy Meers,” Trinity Theatre

$30

“A Jewel in the Crown City,” Lamb’s Players Theatre

“Smokey Joe's Cafe,” New Village Arts

“The Hour of Great Mercy,” Diversionary Theatre

“Beyond Babel,” Beyond Babel Theatre

“Dancing Lessons,” Scripps Ranch Theatre

“Augustin Hadelich Returns,” San Diego Symphony

“Gabriel,” North Coast Rep

“Michael Feinstein Sings Sinatra,” San Diego Symphony at Copley Symphony Hall

“Nellie McKay performs The Big Molinsky: Considering Joan Rivers,” Lawrence Family JCC’s Garfield Theatre

$45

“Beyond Babel,” Beyond Babel Theatre

“Marie & Rosetta,” Cygnet Theatre

“Familiar,” Old Globe Theatre

Starting or continuing after Theatre Week

$15

“Moana Jr.,” San Diego Junior Theatre

“Madagascar Jr.,” J*Company Youth Theatre

$30

“Dancing Lessons,” Oceanside Theatre

jim.hebert@sduniontribune.com

Twitter: @jimhebert

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