The best things to do this weekend in San Diego: Sept. 14-17

"The Book of Mormon" national tour will visit San Diego Civic Theatre Sept. 19-24, 2023.
“The Book of Mormon” national tour has been added as an extra season event Sept. 19-24, 2023.
(Courtesy of Julieta Cervantes)

Here are some of the best things to do this weekend in San Diego from Thursday, Sept. 14 to Sunday, Sept. 17.


Vanessa Lopez, John Carroll and Paul Araujo (foreground) in "Mugre" at OnStage Playhouse in Chula Vista.
(Courtesy of Anibal Alcaraz)

“Mugre”: OnStage Playhouse presents the world premiere of Salomón Maya’s play about three Latino men from different generations whose lives intersect while working at a South San Diego car wash. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 5 p.m. Sundays. Through Sept. 24. 291 Third Ave., Chula Vista. $20 suggested donation. (619) 422-7787.

“The Book of Mormon”: Winner of nine Tony Awards, Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s irreverent musical comedy is about two Mormon missionaries from Utah and their adventure-filled mission in Africa. 7 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday; 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Sept. 22; 2 and 8 p.m. Sept. 23; 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sept. 24. San Diego Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., San Diego. $80 and up.

“The Angel Next Door”: North Coast Repertory Theatre presents the world premiere of Paul Slade Smith’s comedy about a group of actors scheming to cover up a supposed indiscretion. 7 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays; 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays. Through Oct. 1. 987 Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach. $49-$74. (858) 481-1055.

“An Evening with Rick Bayless and Friends: World renowned Mexican restaurant chef Rick Bayless will prepare a multicourse Mexican meal with friends from Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe, including chef Sheyla Alvarado of Lunario Restaurant and winemakers from Lomita and Finca La Carrodilla. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Sept. 14. Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa, 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe. $475.

Sara Porkalob stars in her solo musical "Dragon Mama" at Diversionary Theatre.
(Courtesy of Diversionary Theatre)

Diversionary presents ‘Dragon Mama’: Diversionary Theatre presents the centerpiece of playwright-performer Sara Porkalob’s Dragon Cycle of three musicals about three generations of women in a Filipino American gangster family. Porkalob will star in this solo show about 25 years in the life of Maria, a queer woman looking for a more diverse life, so she leaves her family behind in rural Washington state for the wilds of Alaska. Runs through Oct. 8. Showtimes, 7 p.m. Thursdays. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 2 p.m. Sundays. 4545 Park Blvd., San Diego. $36-$60


Alley Cat Art Walk: For the 12th time, the El Cajon Arts District will showcase local small businesses, art galleries and studios, fine art shows and a museum. Music, food and drinks will be available for visitors as well. 4 to 8 p.m. Friday. Downtown El Cajon. Free.

The Salty Series: “The Holy Mountain” with Joe Cantrell: Project BLANK’s monthly experimental music series returns with a screening of Alejandro Jodorwsky’s Jodorowsky’s 1973 film “The Holy Mountain” with live electronic score improvisation by Joe Cantrell. 7:30 p.m. Sept. 15. Bread + Salt, 1955 Julian Ave., Logan Heights. $10.

EC Gallery opening in Gaslamp: Exclusive Collections Gallery, which sells contemporary sculptures, paintings and mixed-media works, opens its second location this weekend in the Gaslamp Quarter. Owner Ruth-Ann Thorn, who opened her first EC Gallery location in Solana Beach in 1995, will host a ribbon-cutting and Champagne reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday.. 621 Fifth Ave., San Diego. (619) 756-8996.

August: Osage County”: Backyard Renaissance Theatre presents Tracy Letts’ Pulitzer Prize-winning play about a dysfunctional family’s problems coming home to roost when the father goes on a walk and never returns. 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Tenth Avenue Arts Center, 930 Tenth Ave., downtown. $18-$40. (760) 975-7189.

Stargazing event at Mission Trails park: The community can join members of the San Diego Astronomy Association to view the nighttime sky through telescopes. Park on the paved street and walk past the gate into the park where telescopes are set up. Rainy or cloudy weather cancels event. Starting a dusk. Mission Trails Regional Park’s West Sycamore Staging Area, 17160 Stonebridge Parkway, San Diego. Visit


Fiestas Patrias: Celebrate Mexican Independence Day in Old Town with a day of family-friendly activities, including live music and crafts. There will also be historic talks to educate visitors on the significance of Fiestas Patrias. 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Free.

Longboard surfing contest: The Old Mission Beach Athletic Club will host its annual competition to celebrate the tradition of surfing and vintage surfboards. Participants will compete on boards from 1969 or before without leashes. First heat at 8:30 a.m. Saturday. Competition takes place on the north side of the Crystal Pier in Pacific Beach. Free for spectators. $30 for competitors who pre-register, $40 for same day registration.

Amps & Ales: This event will bring together 38 breweries and local performers for a day of live music, food and drink. The concert lineup includes The Sleepwalkers and Sandollar. 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday. Memorial Park, 373 Park Way, Chula Vista. $35 general admission.

Trolley Dances: A long-running San Diego tradition, the Trolley Dances are a collaboration between San Diego Dance Theater, the Metropolitan Transit System and UC San Diego. Choreographed dancing will take place in public spaces along the blue line. Tours begin at 10:15 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. $35 general admission; $20 for seniors, military, students and artists. Free parking at Old Town Transit Center.

Lakeside Arena Rhythm ‘N’ Brews: For the second time, the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce and the El Capitan Stadium Association will host this live music and craft beer event. The concert lineup includes Whiskey Ridge and former “American Idol” contestant Morgan Leigh. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. Lakeside Arena, 12584 Mapleview St., Lakeside. $25 general admission, $10 for children 10 and under.

Ryan McGinness drawings on display at Quint: Quint Gallery is opening an exhibit of 40 drawings created by New York painter Ryan McGinness during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The 30-by-22-inch ink, charcoal and acrylic works on paper contain a mysterious mix of fragments of text, graphics and symbols. Opens Saturday with a reception from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and continues through Oct. 28. Quint Gallery, 7655 Girard Ave., La Jolla. Free. (858) 454-3409,

Vegan market expands to Oceanside: The Vegan Food Popup, a vendor market being presented in Vista and North Park every other week, will make its first Oceanside appearance on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. on Pier View Way between Coast Highway and Ditmar Street. More than 40 vendors will participate, serving plant-based food, beverages and desserts, including SeaCo Catch (pictured), which makes vegan fish tacos. For the full schedule and locations, visit

FanCon: This event will bring together all of the best aspects of fandom, including tabletop games, cosplay, photo opportunities, a dance party and more. There will also be live panels with popular streamers, giveaways, gaming competitions and more. Noon to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 415 Fletcher Parkway, El Cajon. Tickets start at $5.


“The End Is The Beginning”: SACRA/PROFANA choir opens its 15th season with a free concert dedicated to the homeless individuals who died on the streets of San Diego in the past year. The program will feature Herbert Howell’s “Requiem” and Dale Trumbore’s “How to Go On.” 3 p.m. Sunday. First Presbyterian Church, 320 Date St., San Diego. Free.

Haydn Voyages: Impressions: San Diego’s Hausmann Quartet will perform Haydn’s Quartet No. 39 in F-sharp minor, and quartets by Ravel and Ned Rorem. 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Maritime Museum of San Diego, 1492 N. Harbor Drive, San Diego. $10-$55.

Ongoing events

A view of the "Savage Gardens" exhibit.
(Courtesy of Tork Collaborative Arts, Inc.)

‘Savage Gardens’ exhibit displays carnivorous plants: Just in time for spooky season, the San Diego Botanic Garden is hosting the traveling exhibition Savage Gardens “The Real and Imaginary World of Carnivorous Plants.” The exhibit features hundreds of live carnivorous plants, along with bigger-than-life re-creations of several species, so visitors can learn about the plants up close from a bugs-eye perspective. Reservations are required. Entrance to the exhibition includes access to the rest of the garden during the visit.Through Oct. 29. San Diego Botanic Garden, 300 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas. Admission is $10-$18; free for garden members.

“Sasha Koozel Reibstein: The End is Near the Beginning”: San Diego artist Reibstein’s first solo museum exhibition features new sculptures that give the impression of galaxies and living organisms transformed by heat and energy. The large-scale works were created during residences at San Diego State University and Cal State Long Beach earlier this year. Continues through Oct. 8. Institute of Contemporary Art/North, 1550 S El Camino Real, Encinitas. (760) 436-6611,

“Evita”: Cygnet Theatre presents the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical about the life story of Argentinean first lady Eva Peron. 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Through Oct. 1. Cygnet Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St., Old Town State Historic Park. $37 and up. (619) 337-1525,

“The Untitled Unauthorized Hunter S. Thompson Musical”: La Jolla Playhouse presents the world premiere of this Joe Iconis musical about the legendary and late gonzo journalist. 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. 8. Sheila and Hughes Potiker Theatre, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive, UC San Diego. $25-$95. (858) 550-1010.

“Cabaret”: The Old Globe presents Josh Rhodes’ production of the 1966 Kander & Ebb musical about the workers in a Berlin nightclub as the Nazis rise to power in 1931. 7 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. 8. Old Globe Theatre, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. $52 and up. (619) 234-5623,