SAN DIEGO — Brush up your Gemutlichkeit. Sharpen your taste buds and put on your polka shoes and jogging togs. It's the San Diego Symphony Orchestra's Oktoberfest and Quarter Note Classic. This year the two annual symphony fun and fund-raising events will occur simultaneously, in what promises to be a sprawling eruption of Germanic culture and gustatory delights combined with a long-distance fantasy for runners and bicyclers, including a 10-K run, a two-mile fun run, a musical walkabout, a bicycle ride and a wheelchair-disabled tour--all accompanied by musicians from throughout the county.
Last year the Oktoberfest attracted 25,000 people and netted the symphony $40,000. The sporting Quarter Note Classic, which drew 4,000 participants last year, is primarily designed to expose thousands of people to the symphony who have never attended a orchestra performance before. This year the Oktoberfest and Quarter Note Classic events, with one exception, are centered at the Organ Pavilion in Balboa Park. They precede by one week the Nov. 2 grand opening of Symphony Hall. Activities begin with a Hacker-Pschorr Brewery Preview Party at $25 per person from 6:30 p.m. to midnight Thursday night.
The serious celebrating will begin Friday with a ceremonial keg tapping by symphony maestro David Atherton at the Organ Pavilion. Afterward celebrants can enjoy a variety of wurst, sauerkraut and hearty German beers and dancing to the German bands at the pavilion.
A 25-mile bicycle race begins at 7:30 a.m. Saturday at the pavilion and rolls across downtown to the accompaniment of musicians in pedicabs, and through "balloon alley," where choral groups will serenade bicyclers. The route passes the Star of India and moves along Harbor Drive, where musicians will play from a yacht. A brass quartet will hold forth from atop the old Point Loma Lighthouse at the halfway point.
The 10-K run follows at 7:45 a.m. with the two-mile Fun Run and Musical Walk at 8 a.m. Oktoberfest events continue from 10 a.m. to midnight Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday with more food, drink, dancing and other diversions.
GLOBE GAB: Actors will arrive Tuesday for the first day of rehearsals for the Old Globe's winter season. Acclaimed actor Ellis Rabb will return to the Globe in the role of Prof. Henry Higgins for George Bernard Shaw's comedy "Pygmalion," opening Dec. 5. Last seen at the Globe in drag as Lady Bracknell in "The Importance of Being Earnest" and as Prospero in "The Tempest," Rabb will star along with Barbara Dirickson as flower girl Eliza Doolittle, Sydney Walker as Colonel Pickering and Eric Christmas as Eliza's father. Irene Tedrow plays Higgins' mother. Artistic director Jack O'Brien directs.
Robert Berlinger will stage the American premiere of New Zealander Robert Lord's "Bert and Maisy," opening the season Nov. 30 at the Cassius Carter Centre Stage. Ian Abercrombie, Paddi Edwards, Laura Esterman, David Harum and Steven Peterman have been cast in the play, which concerns an older married couple.
CITY ART: This appears to be a great time of the year to catch the work of some of San Diego's finest contemporary artists. A stroll to City Hall at 202 C St. will reveal the "Nine San Diego Artists" exhibit, which opened Monday. In the long hallway outside the San Diego City Council offices on the 10th floor, the exceptional exhibit (free to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday) is part of a program sponsored by the City Council in which rotating monthly exhibits are shown at City Hall. It was curated by Karen Hjalmarson, assistant curator of the San Diego Art Center, who sought out local artists who "created powerful works of art" and contributed to San Diego's evolving art scene.
Among the artists, who are recognized with three or four paintings, are Janet Cooling, Gail Roberts and Walt Cotton, members of the San Diego State University studio faculty; Gary Ghirardi and Jay Johnson, who have served as directors for two downtown galleries; Aviva Rahmani, known for her work on community projects, and Raul Guerrero, Dietrich Jenny and Eugenie Geb, who have made commitments as artists-in-residence. The exhibit runs through November.
Also at City Hall through Friday is the Senior Women's Art Show. Among the photography, acrylics, mixed media, oils and watercolors in this lobby show are works by such senior citizens as Eleanor Becher, Mary Poyntz, Irma Radcliffe, Geneva Eummelen and Thelma Case.
ARTBEATS: The San Diego Theatre Critics Circle will present its second annual awards for outstanding achievement in theater at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Pancho Wellington's Restaurant in La Jolla. Black tie attire is optional. Call COMBO for reservations. . . .
A concert of music played on pre-Columbian instruments will be presented at 8 p.m. Friday at the Multicultural Arts & Humanities Gallery, 425 Market St. A duo, known as Xochimoki, will also present a slide show at 8 p.m. Thursday on the audio-visual experience of ancient American civilizations, and a workshop from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday on ceremonial ways and spiritual traditions of Mesoamerica . . .
An opening and reception for Santa Barbara artist Michael Irwin is scheduled for 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at the Natalie Bush Gallery, 908 E St. . . . Lamb's Players Theatre has announced its 1986 season: the Peter Stone-Sherman Edwards musical "1776"; "The Diviners," a drama with a country setting by Jim Leonard Jr.; George M. Cohan's mystery "The Tavern"; Moliere's classic comedy, "The Miser"; Charles Aidman's adaptation of Edgar Lee Masters' "Spoon River Anthology," and a world premiere, "Oklahoma Rigs," by former Lamb's resident playwright David McFadzean.