All stories by George Varga on BroadwayStars

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Pink Martini singer Storm Large exactly 'Crazy Enough' for her La Jolla-bound musical by George Varga

The bigger-than-life vocalist maintains her sanity, in part, by revisiting her earlier life of near-death and drug- and sex-addiction in her one-woman musical, "Crazy Enough"

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 08:01AM
Saturday, April 6, 2019

Review: Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center opens with some pomp, much circumstance by George Varga

The La Jolla Music Society's new $82 million performing arts center opened Friday, with a star-studded lineup and very big expectations.

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 08:42PM
Sunday, March 31, 2019

La Jolla Music Society's Conrad Prebys Performing Arts Center set to open with a splash — and an $82 million price tag by George Varga

The new performing arts center, also known as The Conrad, caps an ambitious and unprecedented effort to build a permanent home for the La Jolla Music Society and, in the process, reinvent th…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 04:00AM
Sunday, March 24, 2019

Spring arts 2019 | Top music picks in San Diego: Gary Clark Jr., Chris Thile, Morgan James, Father John Misty and more by George Varga

Spring in San Diego means more music in more venues, as the outdoor concert season gets under way. Morgan James Broadway vocal veteran James, 27, shines whether doing original numbers or put…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 08:00AM

Spring arts 2019 | Top music picks in San Diego: Gary Clark Jr., Chris Thile, Morgan James, Father John Misty and more by George Varga

Spring in San Diego means more music in more venues, as the outdoor concert season gets under way. Broadway vocal veteran James, 27, shines whether doing original numbers or putting her spin…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 08:00AM
Sunday, March 10, 2019

Gordon Lightfoot, on tour at 80, muses about music, life and hula hoops by George Varga

Hula hoops are not the first thing most fans associate with Gordon Lightfoot, the veteran Canadian singer-songwriter best known for writing and singing such hit songs as “Sundown,” “If…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 10:05AM
Sunday, February 3, 2019

Joni Mitchell 75th birthday concert screens Thursday at 6 San Diego theaters by George Varga

The stars were out in force to salute Joni Mitchell in music and words at the two sold-out 75th birthday concerts in her honor last November at the Los Angeles Music Music Center. The second…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 12:30PM
Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Jimi Hendrix's 'new' album, 'Both Sides of the Sky,' an up-and-down musical experience by George Varga

Jimi Hendrix, proto-reggae artist? The most famous dead guitar innovator in rock history, Hendrix died at the age of 27 in September 1970. That was shortly after the Jamaican ska and rock-st…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 06:30PM
Monday, January 22, 2018

Kenny Chesney, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum set for Country Megaticket at Mattress Firm Amphitheatre by George Varga

Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum and Dierks Bentley are just some of the artists who will perform at Mattress Firm Amphitheatre as part of the San Diego venue’s annual Country M…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 10:00AM
Sunday, December 17, 2017

Ozomatli Presents Ozokidz will be an all-ages musical treat by George Varga

Ozomatli is not the first act to perform for two consecutive nights at the Music Box, the downtown San Diego venue that occupies the former site of Anthology. But this veteran Los Angeles ba…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 09:10AM
Thursday, November 30, 2017

Jake Clemons happy as both a solo artist and Bruce Springsteen's right-hand sax man by George Varga

Jake Clemons has been the saxophonist in Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band since 2012, when he replaced his deceased uncle, Clarence Clemons. But any assumptions that this 37-year-old sing…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 09:05AM
Monday, November 20, 2017

'Summer: The Donna Summer Musical' poses intriguing musical conundrum by George Varga

“Summer: The Donna Summer Musical,” which opened Sunday at the La Jolla Playhouse and runs through Dec. 24, is neither the first nor the most recent disco jukebox musical. Those distinct…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 05:30PM
Thursday, November 16, 2017

'For the Sender' a musical catharsis for Alex Woodard and for his inspirations by George Varga

Good luck and unexpected windfalls didn’t transform Alex Woodard’s life for the better in 2008. But bad luck and unexpected pitfalls did lead to a positive transformation for this former…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 09:00AM
Saturday, August 19, 2017

Jack Tempchin revisits his musical partnership with the Eagles' Glenn Frey on heartfelt new CD by George Varga

Jack Tempchin and Glenn Frey had much in common when they struck up a lifelong friendship at a San Diego music club called the Candy Company in the late 1960s. It was a few years before Frey…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 09:30PM
Friday, August 4, 2017

Jeffrey Joe Morin and his 'big ol' musical heart' to be honored at memorial service and concert by George Varga

Jeffrey Joe Morin spent almost 40 years working as an industrial and technical designer, in addition to having served as the art director for the colorized version of the film classic “Cas…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 09:35PM
Saturday, July 29, 2017

'The Best of Music from Cabaret Dances' at White Box to be a family affair by George Varga

Sunday afternoon’s White Box Live Jazz & Dance series concert at Liberty Station will be a multi-generational family affair. Dancers Liv Isaacs Nolet and Emily Miller will perform two piec…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 12:00PM
Wednesday, July 19, 2017

'Mystery Science Theater 3000's' Joel Hodgson on Comic-Con and bad movies by George Varga

How diverse is the appeal of “Mystery Science Theater 3000,” the wonderfully skewed cult TV series whose first national tour — “Watch Out for Snakes!” — is coming to San Diego fo…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 02:00PM
Monday, June 5, 2017

Oh, boy! 'Buddy Holly Story' rare jukebox musical worth a replay by George Varga

Even with its doomed hero, there’s not much drama or surprise in “Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story,” which triumphantly opened Sunday night at the Horton Grand Theatre downtown. This mi…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 05:30PM
Sunday, April 16, 2017

Lila Downs traces her musical diversity and social activism to her days as a Deadhead by George Varga

Different worlds converge, rather than collide, in the improbably varied life and music of Lila Downs. Like the Grateful Dead, the fabled San Francisco band she used to follow from city to c…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 09:05AM
Thursday, April 13, 2017

Coachella festival set to soar again with Radiohead, Lady Gaga, Kendrick Lamar by George Varga

Success changes everything, and no other annual festival in the world has been as successful as the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival. This year’s edition, which runs Friday through S…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 09:00AM
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Green Day strives to sustain its punk-rock zeal after 31 years and Rock Hall induction by George Varga

How can Green Day top itself, after being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, winning five Grammy Awards and watching its acclaimed 2004 album, “American Idiot,” be tra…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 02:00PM
Monday, March 6, 2017

La La Land in Concert tour announced, including Aug. 12 San Diego show by George Varga

What does a multiple-Oscar-winning hit film musical do for a second act? In the case of “La La Land,” the answer is to hit the road for a world tour. “La La Land in Concert: A Live-to-…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 01:00PM
Sunday, February 26, 2017

Jimi Hendrix's musical legacy being saluted anew by 'Experience Hendrix' by George Varga

Bruno Mars and Jack Johnson are not scheduled to perform as part of the 2017 edition of the annual “Experience Hendrix” tour, which stops Saturday at The Events Center at Harrah's Reso…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 09:00AM
Thursday, February 16, 2017

So long, Sleep Train Amphitheatre! Welcome, Mattress Firm Amphitheatre! by George Varga

Say goodbye, to Sleep Train Amphitheatre — not the venue, the name. Effective immediately, Sleep Train Amphitheatre — San Diego County’s largest outdoor concert venue — will be kno…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 02:00PM
Sunday, February 5, 2017

Lady Gaga sends in the drones in largely controversy-free Super Bowl halftime show by George Varga

The National Rifle Association can rest easy. Lady Gaga’s Super Bowl halftime show performance Sunday did not include the tirade against newly elected President Donald J. Trump and his sup…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 09:45PM
Friday, February 3, 2017

Billy Crystal talks comedy, Oscars, La Jolla Playhouse, (#[email protected]*!) cellphones by George Varga

Billy Crystal is surely not the only comedy legend who earned his first big laugh as an elementary school student, but he may be the only one who credits his initial success to being clu…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 04:00PM
Monday, January 23, 2017

Brad Paisley, Luke Bryan head country concert lineup at Sleep Train Amphitheatre by George Varga

Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan are among the top acts that will perform at Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista as part of the sprawling venue’s 2017 Country Megaticket conc…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 11:20AM
Thursday, January 5, 2017

They said what?! Musical quotes of note from 2016 by George Varga

Musicians are rarely at a loss for words. Accordingly, as this new year gets underway, we look back at some of the more memorable quotes from interviews that appeared in the Union-Tribune…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 09:00AM
Sunday, December 18, 2016

Expanding box sets offer dizzying array of musical options in CD and vinyl form by George Varga

Small may indeed be beautiful, as noted economist E. F. Schumacher once famously declared. But when it comes to CD and vinyl box sets, bigger is clearly better — and far more lucrative. T…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 09:00AM
Saturday, December 3, 2016

Orchestral star Edo de Waart reflects on rich musical career by George Varga

Leonard Bernstein and a landmark album by The Beatles? There are so many facets to Edo de Waart’s globe-hopping career as one of the most respected orchestral and operatic conductors of th…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 01:30PM
Saturday, October 15, 2016

Sandbox Percussion Quartet beats unusual musical path by George Varga

The Sandbox Percussion Quartet, which makes it San Diego debut Wednesday, combines virtuosity with vision, wit and an intriguing array of percussion instruments. It includes drums, marimbas,…

Linked From The San Diego Union-Tribune at 04:00PM

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