San Diego Weekend: Coronado and ‘The Cradle Will Rock’

The beach with the Hotel Del Coronado in the distance

The beach with the Hotel Del Coronado in the distance

This weekend, I went down to San Diego to see a friends’ play, The Cradle Will Rock, and my friends showed me around the city with a fun driving tour and a walk around Coronado Island.

The fun started at the beginning of my day, though, when I got to go to my favorite brunch spot, Plums, in Costa Mesa. Plums has amazing eggs, pancakes and waffles, and Evan and I were regulars when I lived in Orange County. It can be a wait, but it’s always worth it, especially for the enormous Dutch baby (a kind of baked pancake souffle). This visit, my sister Michelle and I shared the shirred eggs and a lemon meringue waffle, which were both delicious.

flowersThen we headed down to San Diego, where Michelle goes to school and where I was visiting my friends Lindsey and Sean. They took me on a driving tour through University Heights, Old Town, Downtown and plenty of other neighborhoods before we crossed over the big bridge to Coronado Island. We got out and checked out the historic and lovely Hotel Del Coronado, with its stately white wood and red roofed exterior and dark wood interior. We walked down the beach, where we watched kids jumping across rocks, and we wandered through some of the residential streets, which had beautiful houses with very pretty gardens.

We grabbed a quick dinner at the Village Pizzeria before heading downtown to see The Cradle Will Rock, a musical Lindsey directed that’s still running for a few more weeks at the Tenth Street Theater if you’d like to catch it. The play is about the Depression, unions and selling out, and it focuses on the story of corporate big-shot Mr. Mister and his cronies who put their morals aside for money, and Larry Foreman, on the other side, leading union efforts.

I didn’t know about the play before, but Lindsey filled me in on some of its history, which is just as interesting as the show itself. The initial, federally-funded run of the show in 1937 was shut down because of its pro-labor/pro-communist leanings, and the cast performed the newly banned play from the audience of another theater in an impromptu gathering. There’s a fictionalized version of the story in the Tim Robbins film Cradle Will Rock, which I’ll be adding to my Netflix queue.

The play felt very much like an impromptu performance, with a minimal set and props, actors performing multiple roles and a piano-playing narrator who also took on some small parts. There were quite a few times during the performance when the actors came right up to the edge of the audience, and it felt like they were speaking and singing directly to each of us individually.

If you’re in the area, the play is worth checking out, and tickets are $25 presale or pay-what-you-can at the door.

the cradle will rock

Check out a few more San Diego photos on Flickr.

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