San Diego’s top weekend events for Sept. 29 to Oct. 2: ‘Cats,’ Hispanic Heritage Weekend and more

The company of the musical "Cats," which plays Sept. 27-Oct. 2 at the San Diego Civic Theatre.
(Courtesy of Matthew Murphy)

Here are the top events happening in San Diego from Thursday, Sept. 29 to Oct. 2.

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‘Cats’: This Andrew Lloyd Webber dance-centric musical, inspired by T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” returns next week for its 12th visit to the San Diego Civic Theatre. Since its 1981 premiere in London’s West End, the musical about a group of junkyard cats gathering for an annual ball has been seen by more than 75 million people in more than 30 countries and 15 languages. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Sept. 30; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Oct 1; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Oct. 2. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., San Diego. $35.50 and up.

Kristina Wong, in her play "Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord."
Kristina Wong, costumed for her solo play “Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord,” plays Sept. 20-Oct. 16 at La Jolla Playhouse.
(La Jolla Playhouse)

“Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord”: Performance artist Kristina Wong presents her Pulitzer Prize finalist solo play about her real-life experience marshalling an army of 800 volunteers to sew nearly 400,000 face masks during the pandemic. 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays. 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays. 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays. 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays. Through Oct. 16. Potiker Theatre, La Jolla Playhouse, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, UC San Diego Theater District, La Jolla. $25 to $80. (858) 550-1010.


‘Greetings from the Red Planet’: Palomar Performing Arts will present the first fully staged production of nonbinary playwright Natalie Ann Valentine’s new play about a gender-fluid barista who begins experiencing their past, present and future while flying on a one-way trip to Mars, as the Earth falls into climate collapse. Opens Friday and runs through Oct. 9. 7:30 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Howard Brubeck Theatre, Palomar College, 1140 W. Mission Ave., San Marcos. $10-$15. (760) 744-1150, Ext. 3997.

Lukas Poost as Charlie and Terry LaVell as Lola in Moonlight Stage Productions' "Kinky Boots."
(Courtesy of Karli Cadel)

“Kinky Boots”: Moonlight Stage Productions closes its summer season with the final weekend of performances of this film-inspired musical about an English shoe factory that strikes it rich making platform boots for drag queens. 7:30 p.m. today and Saturday. Moonlight Amphitheatre, Brengle Terrace Park, 1250 Vale Terrace Drive, Vista. $8 to $56. (760) 724-2110.

Gaslight Steampunk Expo: This weekend event opens Thursday and bills itself as the largest gathering of Southern California Steampunks, sponsored by the San Diego Speculative Fiction Society Inc. Besides craft workshops, special presentations, vendors and a Maker Room, the theme of “Haunted Holidays” will be reflected in seances, a miniature haunted house, a Dia de Los Muertos ofrenda, and other Gothic fun. Guest appearances Friday and Saturday by Lady Mechanika’s creator and artist, Joe Benitez and Marcia Chen. Other events include steam-powered karaoke, teapot racing, a Saturday night ball and a Sunday morning swap meet. 9:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, and 8:45 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. San Diego Marriott Mission Valley, 8757 Rio San Diego Drive, San Diego. Tickets from $15 to $70; discounts for educators, military, seniors and students.

A photo of two hands clinking beer glasses
(Bradley Schweit Photography/iStock/Getty Images)

La Mesa Oktoberfest: Enjoy live music, German food and beer at this Munich-inspired festival. Get a biergarten pass for $5 and bring your kids for free. There will also be games including beer stein races, a keg haul and tug-o-war. A “Craft Faire” will feature local artisans and vendors and the “German Kinder Karneval” will feature a Ferris wheel, inflatables, a scavenger hunt and more. All pets are welcome. 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday. 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Noon to 8 p.m. Sunday. Free.

Mariachi celebration: Música en la Plaza features Mariachi Garibaldi, which will perform a tribute to famed Mexican singer Vicente “Chente” Fernandez, who sold more than 65 million albums of rancheras and other Mexican classics. A food truck will be onsite and beverages available in the Lobby bar. 7:30 p.m. Friday. Lyric Court, California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 N. Escondido Blvd., Escondido. Free, but reserve tickets at

“The Long Christmas Ride Home”: Turnkey Theatre presents Paula Vogel’s memory play about a family’s fateful Christmas Eve gathering, told using Japanese Noh and Buraku puppet and mask theater traditions. 7:30 p.m. Friday. 2 p.m. Sunday. Don Powell Stage, Dramatic Arts Building, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego.

“Annabella in July”: North Coast Repertory Theatre presents the final weekend of this world premiere of Richard Strand’s play about a couple whose lives are changed in a positive way after they take a wrong turn on the way to their 20th wedding anniversary getaway. 8 p.m. Friday. 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday. 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. $54-$65. (858) 481-1055.

Mario Quintero Lara of Los Tucanes de Tijuana performs the Coachella Music & Arts Festival.
(Amy Harris / Amy Harris/invision/ap)

Padres’ Hispanic Heritage Weekend: Friday through Sunday, the Padres will celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month throughout three games against the Chicago White Sox. On Friday at 4:30 p.m. a Fiesta in the Park will take place with music and food and drink specials in Gallagher Square. Afterward, Vicente Fernandez Jr. will throw the ceremonial first pitch. Saturday, the first pitch will be thrown out by San Diego native Mariel Molino from Netflix’s “Narcos: Mexico.” Sunday’s game will include a “KidsFest” and a post-game concert featuring Los Tucanes de Tijuana for those who purchase a special theme game package. Tickets can be purchased at For more info on the entire weekend, go to Petco Park. 100 Park Blvd.

Oktoberfest: Enjoy live music, bingo, a beer garden, activities for children, food, dancing and more at this Oktoberfest event. 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. Town Square and Town Hall. 2123 Main Street.

“Little Shop of Horrors”: San Diego Musical Theatre present this off-Broadway doowop horror spoof about a skid row flower shop clerk who discovers a unique houseplant that thrives on human blood. Opens Sept. 30 and runs through Oct. 30. Showtimes 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays. The SDMT Stage, 4650 Mercury St., San Diego. $40-$75. (858) 560-5740,


In this file photo, Rafael Payare conducts the San Diego Symphony.
(Courtesy photo by J Henry Fair / From the San Diego Symphony)

San Diego Symphony presents Verdi’s “Requiem”: The symphony opens its fall season with maestro Rafael Payare conducting his first Verdi “Requiem,” which will feature four vocal soloists and the San Diego Master Chorale. 6:30 p.m. Saturday. 5 p.m. Sunday. The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, 200 Marina Park Way, San Diego. $25-$108. (619) 235-0804.

Rendezvous with history: The city of Poway presents the annual Rendezvous at Old Poway Park this weekend. Step back in time to the 1800s and interact with historical encampments. Meet mountain men, cowboys, pioneers and other colorful characters. Pan for gold along the banks of Rattlesnake Creek and ride the train for nominal fees. The Boardwalk Craft Market will be open Saturday. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sunday. Old Poway Park, 14134 Midland Road, Poway. Free.

Street Fair: The 22nd annual Mira Mesa Street Fair returns Saturday with family-friendly entertainment, food trucks, vendors, a kids play zone and more. Hosted by the Mira Mesa Town Council. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday. Camino Ruiz, from Mira Mesa Boulevard to New Salem Street in San Diego. Free.

Pumpkin spice: The Pumpkin Patch at Bates Nut Farm is open for the season. Visit and pick out your pumpkin, enjoy the crafts booths tractor hayrides, straw maze, petting corral and pony rides. Valley Center High School and Middle School bands perform from noon-3 p.m. Saturday, and the Alias Band plays noon-3 p.m. Sunday. Patch hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday, then 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. weekdays in October, open to 6:30 p.m. Fridays and 8:30 a.m.-6 p.m. weekends through Oct. 31. Free, but parking on weekends is $8.

Artist Shane Goudreau is featured in the "Burner" street art exhibit Oct. 1 and 2 at EC Gallery.
(Courtesy of Burner EC Gallery)

‘Burner’ street artist exhibit: “Burner,” an exhibition of works by international street artists, will take place this weekend only at EC Gallery. Featured works will include pieces by Dalek, Banksy, Craig Knight, Harry Bunce, KEF!, Karl Striker, Epsylon Point and Shane Goudreau. Goudreau, a Toronto native, will make live appearances during the three exhibit sessions this weekend. There will be cocktails, DJs and the global launch of a commemorative NFT (non-fungible token) created by DOORTOKEN. Exhibit is open from 1 to 3 p.m. and 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. EC Gallery, 212 S. Cedros Ave., Solana Beach. Free but reservations strongly advised. (800) 599-7111.

STOCKZILLA: This weekend, Santee Lakes will be stocking all seven lakes with 3,500 pounds of catfish. Families are invited to spend the day (or two) fishing and sportfishing is also encouraged, as there will be trophy-sized fish up for grabs, according to event organizers. Camper lake will also be stocked for those who want to spend the weekend camping. 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. $6 per car. Permit can be purchased on site at the General Store for $6 to $10. Santee Lakes Recreation Preserve, 9310 Fanita Parkway, Santee.

Oktoberfest and Family Fall Festival: This event will include German food and drinks, live music and a variety of activities for kids and adults. There will be a German costume contest, pumpkin patch, petting zoo, kid zone and corn maze. Noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1. Carlsbad Strawberry Company. 1050 Cannon Road. Tickets range from $5 to $55.


SeaWorld’s Howl-O-Scream and Spooktacular: Through Oct. 31, SeaWorld will host a separate- ticket nighttime Halloween event. It will feature scare zones, haunted houses, a live performance show and a variety of spooky food and drink options. This event is intended for a mature audience and tickets range from $39.99 to $114.99. Event days and times vary throughout the season. Info at For a less frightening fun, SeaWorld’s Spooktacular will take place on Saturdays and Sundays through Oct. 31 with candy, costumes, trick-or-treating, a hay maze and more. These family activities are included with regular park admission. 500 SeaWorld Drive.