Top weekend events in San Diego for Nov. 17-20: Wonderfront Festival, Lightscape and more

The hashtag for the Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival on display at Embarcadero Marina Park North.
The hashtag for the Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival is on display at Embarcadero Marina Park North, on the second day of the festival, November 23, 2019, in San Diego, California.
(Howard Lipin/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Here are the top events happening in San Diego from Thursday, Nov. 17 to Sunday, Nov. 20.


“Dr. Seuss’s How the Grinch Stole Christmas”: The Old Globe presents its 25th annual production of this Mel Marvin-Timothy Mason musical inspired by the Dr. Seuss children’s book about a lonely mountain-dwelling creature who schemes to rob a village of all its Christmas spirit and presents. Opens Nov. 9 and runs through Dec. 31. Showtimes vary week to week, but mostly evening performances Tuesdays-Fridays and multiple performances on weekend days. $59-$89. (619) 234-5623.

The national touring company cast of "Hamilton" will perform Nov. 9 through 20 at the San Diego Civic Theatre.
(Courtesy of Joan Marcus)

‘Hamilton’ makes second San Diego visit: Tickets are already scarce, but the national touring production of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony-winning musical “Hamilton” returns to San Diego for its second visit next week. The groundbreaking musical about the life and death of American founding father Alexander Hamilton won 11 Tony awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Runs through Nov. 20. 7 p.m. Wednesdays. 2 and 7:30 p.m. Thursdays. 8 p.m. Fridays. 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays. 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sundays. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., San Diego. Check for ticket prices.

San Diego Symphony: Payare Leads Brahms’ Symphony No. 1: Music director Rafael Payare conducts the orchestra in the works of romantic composers Brahms, Wagner and Liszt. Guest pianist Marc-André Hamelin (pictured) will play Liszt’s Piano Concerto No. 2 and the program includes Wagner’s Prelude and Liebestod from “Tristan und Isolde” and Brahms’ Symphony No. 1 in C minor. 7:30 p.m. Thursday at The Rady Shell at Jacobs Park, 222 Marina Park Way, downtown. $25-$108. Also at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at the California Center for the Arts, Escondido, 340 North Escondido Blvd., Escondido. $25-$70. (619) 235-0804.


One stage at the Wonderfront Music and Arts Festival, at Embarcadero Marina Park North on Nov. 22, 2019.
One stage at the Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival, at Embarcadero Marina Park North on Nov. 22, 2019.
(Howard Lipin/The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Wonderfront: After a two-year wait, the Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival is back in San Diego. The three-day event brings together over 80 musical artists — including Big Boi, Gwen Stefani, Swae Lee, Kings of Leon and Zac Brown Band — to perform on more than seven stages at venues along the Embarcadero. The festival will also have food and drinks, like craft beers and wines, from vendors across the county. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Locations vary along the Embarcadero. Ticket start at $139.

Gwen Stefani, Kings of Leon, Cage the Elephant and other artists take over downtown San Diego for the 2022 Wonderfront Music & Arts Festival.

Merry and bright: Lightscape, an internationally known holiday light show, will brighten the San Diego Botanic Garden with more than a million twinkling lights on a one-mile trail. Enjoy artistic installations from the Cathedral of Light to the Star Tunnel and the Fire Garden. Along the way, stop to toast marshmallows, sip hot chocolate and have other seasonal treats. Entry times every 15 minutes, 5 to 8:30 p.m. starting Friday through Jan. 1, except Christmas Day. San Diego Botanic Garden, 300 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas. Tickets start at $26 adult members, $15 children, and $29 adult nonmembers, $18 children. Free for ages 2 and younger; military discounts available. Advance parking is $10 per vehicle, $20 otherwise.

“Ebenezer Scrooge’s BIG San Diego Christmas Show”: The Old Globe brings back its fast-paced comedic take on Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol,” which was first presented at the Globe in 2019. Written by Gordon Greenberg and Steve Rosen, it’s an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic Victorian novella about miserly Ebenezer Scrooge’s Christmas morning redemption, re-set in San Diego with music, comedy and all of the time-traveling ghosts and other characters for which the story is known. Opens Friday and runs through Dec. 24. Showtimes, 7 p.m. Tuesdays-Sundays. 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre, The Old Globe, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, San Diego. $34-$85. (619) 234-5623.

“Love/Sick: Point Loma Playhouse presents John Cariani’s collection of eight slightly twisted short plays on the pain and joy that comes with being in love. Opens Friday and runs through Dec. 4. Showtimes, 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 3 p.m. Sundays. 2035 Talbot St, San Diego. $20.

“Measure for Measure”: The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program present William Shakespeare’s dark drama about crime, corruption and murder performed by the MFA program’s graduate students. 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday 2 p.m. Sunday. House of Charm Rehearsal Hall in Balboa Park (enter from Alcazar Garden), 1439 El Prado, San Diego. $7-$10. (619) 234-5623.


The Vienna Boys Choir
The Vienna Boys Choir will perform with the San Diego Symphony Nov. 19 at the Balboa Theatre.
(Courtesy of Lukas Beck)

Vienna Boys Choir at Balboa Theatre: The San Diego Symphony presents its “Christmas in Vienna” concert with the Vienna Boys Choir, performing holiday choral works, Austrian folk songs, classical pieces, popular music and holiday favorites. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Balboa Theatre, 868 Fourth Ave., San Diego. $20-$95. (619) 235-0804.

Pet party: The locally created 13th annual Doggie Street Festival is a celebration of pets and a companion animal adopt-a-thon. The rescue community will have adoptable dogs and cats to win your heart. Scope out pet products and services, treats and eats, vet tips, music, auction prizes and more. Friendly dogs welcome. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. NTC Park at Liberty Station, 2455 Cushing Road, San Diego. Free.

“Mia: All Mine”: Bocón Theatre presents the U.S. premiere of Amaranta Leyva’s theater-for-young-audiences play about an 8-year-old girl named Mia who must find the bravery to leave her family home with her mother to start a new life. Performances translated into English will be performed at 5:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Spanish-language performances are at 7 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday and 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Woodbury University School of Architecture, 2212 Main St., San Diego. $10.

“Extreme Home Makeover”: Scripps Ranch Theatre presents Makesha Copeland’s play about a Mexican-American family in Texas auditioning to appear on the TV series “Extreme Home Makeover.” 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sundays. Through Dec. 4. Legler-Benbough Theatre, Alliant International University, 9783 Avenue of Nations, San Diego. $15-$42. (858) 395-0573.

Young Artists in Harmony: Art of Elan presents its ninth annual collaboration with A Reason to Survive (ARTS), featuring world premiere works by student composers performed by Art of Elan musicians. 1 p.m. Saturday. A Reason to Survive, 200 E. 12th St., National City.

Camarada: “Ode de España”: The chamber ensemble’s “Something’s Brewing” series continues with works by Spanish composers Rodrigo, Marais, Turina, de Falla and more. 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Bread and Salt,1955 Julian Ave., San Diego. $35-$45.

“A Journey in the Folk and Traditional Music of Iran”: UC San Diego presents musicians Khosro Soltani and Mohammad Ghavihelm performing on traditional instruments. 7 p.m. Saturday. Prebys Concert Hall, UC San Diego, 9500 Gilman Ave., La Jolla. $20-$25.

Pianist Susan Merdinger: “Four Centuries of Variations”: Piano works by Beethoven, Schumann, Aaron Alter and Liszt. 1:30 p.m. Saturday. San Diego Central Library, 330 Park Blvd., San Diego. Free. (619) 236-5800.


Paint Your Pet: LoveJoy Creations and Second Chance Beer Company will host an art class on how to pain your pet. Participants will learn how to transfer a photo of their pet onto a canvas panel with the option of two different styles of painting. All supplies will be provided and there will also be raffle prizes. Proceeds from each ticket will go to Second Chance Animal Rescue. 1 to 4 p.m. on Nov. 20. 15378 Avenue of Science, #222, San Diego. $65.

Festival of Trees: This event features beautifully decorated trees that will be auctioned off, then delivered to the lucky purchasers’ homes. Proceeds benefit Being Alive San Diego, which provides HIV/AIDS resources in the community. Join the holiday kick-off party for the LGBTQ+ community at InsideOUT in Hillcrest (21-plus only), which also features a travel raffle and silent auction. 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday. 1642 University Ave., San Diego. Tickets start at $35.

“The Assembly” film: Playwright and filmmaker Hershey Felder and students from the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts are featured in the world premiere of Part One of this streaming film based on the life of the late Eva Libitzky, who survived the Nazi death camp Auschwitz and spent decades presenting school assembles about the Holocaust. The movie was filmed on location in Poland. Streams at 5 p.m. Sunday. $19.