First things first: Charlene Baldridge fete a critical success
by MARTIN JONES WESTLIN
Published - 10/21/17 - 02:13 PM | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Longtime arts writer Charlene Baldridge loved this Ken Howard picture — and all of us loved her.
Longtime arts writer Charlene Baldridge loved this Ken Howard picture — and all of us loved her.
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Coronado’s Lamb’s Players Theatre seats just shy of 400 people — but on the evening of Oct. 16, that was hardly the point. The venue made way for about those many like-minded souls who’d found a celebratory home in memory of Charlene Baldridge. The noted fine arts critic for nearly 40 years and longtime contributor to La Jolla Village News died on Sept. 9 following a lengthy illness. She was 83.

In the days that followed, social media were crazy with best wishes and reminiscences, not the least of which centered on “The Warrior’s Stance,” a compilation of poetry by Baldridge’s daughter, Laura Jeanne Morefield, who died of colon cancer in 2011. The book begat Baldridge’s “The Warriors’ Duet,” a play chronicling the women’s otherworldly connection as travel partners, competitive writers, and best friends.

The play has been performed several times at local theaters. At the time of her death, Baldridge was vigorously seeking further representation in Morefield’s behalf.

The Oct. 16 event saw every manner of accolade and blessing for a woman extraordinarily versed in matters theatrical, choreographic, symphonic and operatic. Yours truly will now attempt to duplicate her effort in this space every other week. I freely admit I’m no Charlene; then again, in my defense, neither is anybody else.

Without Walls Festival

La Jolla Playhouse is no stranger to the “wow” factor. In its 70-year history, the troupe has transferred 28 plays to Broadway and has won 38 Tony Awards along the way. Through Sunday, Oct. 22, it’s injecting yet another layer of “wow” into its pedigree, this time on the community’s behalf, at the aptly named WoW Festival (informally called Without Walls).

Playhouse officials cite this as a foray into immersive theater, which places the audience in the middle of the action, with directors inviting spectators to take a more active role in the performance. Playwrights from San Diego to Berlin are strutting 17 plays at six venues from downtown to the UC San Diego campus, and the Playhouse is cheerfully seeking your participation at one of them. For information about shows and tickets, please see lajollaplayhouse.org/wowfestival2017/ or call 858-550-1010.

Kalabash second Fridays

Every second Friday, La Jolla’s Kalabash School of Music and the Arts hosts something called The Songbird Circle, billed as “a club for teenagers who like to write songs and eat pizza.” If you’re a teen, it’s a cinch both prospects sound pretty good — add this installment’s “The Natural World” theme, and Friday, Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. promises to deliver many and varied surprises accordingly.

The school routinely looks for ways and means to enhance arts education in the community; you can find out how by attending this event at the school, 5725 La Jolla Blvd. or by visiting kalabasharts.com/contact-us. The number is 858-456-2753.

La Jolla Symphony and Chorus

We bet very few of you have crossed the Rue St. Paul, one of the grand thoroughfares through Montreal’s Old Town, with its high-end restaurants and colossal historic sites. We’ll further wager you’ve never gone there with only your imagination to guide you amid selections by Aaron Copland, George Gershwin, and Duke Ellington.

La Jolla Symphony and Chorus can help with that on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 5 at 2 p.m., as it presents its “Crossing the Rue St. Paul,” the group’s season opener. Bring your mind’s eye to UC San Diego’s Mandeville Auditorium, 9500 Gilman Drive, and let the music do the rest.

Dave Holland

If you were looking at the daily paper’s weather log, the term “crosscurrents” might not necessarily catch your eye. But you’re not. You’re anticipating a visit on Sunday, Oct. 29 at 8 p.m. from Crosscurrents, inspired by jazz and the music of India.

The group is led by 2017 National Endowment for the Arts jazz master and Grammy Award-winning bassist Dave Holland, and the La Jolla Music Society is delighted to present them all at the Jacobs Music Center, Copley Symphony Hall, 750 B St. in downtown San Diego. Call 858-459-3728 or see ljms.org.

Copley is also the home of the San Diego Symphony, whose website is sandiegsymphony.org.
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