(by Donna McCrohan Rosenthal)
March launches some new attractions and wraps others, each one unique and fascinating, as you’ll read in this monthly roundup of short hops and trips around California.
Up north in Marin County, Tam Valley Dinner Theater presents John Byrne Barry’s “Sausalypso Houseboat Wars Murder Mystery” on Friday and Saturday, March 3 & 4, 10 & 11. Inspired by true events of the 1970s, the comedy/farce pits hippies, squatters, and pretend pirates against developers who wanted to evict them from the waterfront to build a luxury harbor (tamcsd.org; 415-388-6393).
Down below in Universal Studios Hollywood, Super Nintendo World opened on Friday, February 17. The all-new park offers the “Mario Kart™: Bowser’s Challenge” ride along with other interactive activities designed to engage the entire family (universalstudioshollywood.com; 800-864-8377).
In Pacific Palisade’s Getty Villa Museum, “Nubia: Jewels of Ancient Sudan from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston” closes on Monday, April 3 and features superbly crafted jewelry, metalwork, and sculpture displaying the wealth and splendor of nearly 3,000 years when a series of kingdoms flourished in present-day southern Egypt and northern Sudan. The region’s trade networks reached Egypt, Greece, Rome, and central Africa (www.getty.edu; 310-440-7300).
To the south on the coast in Simi Valley at the Reagan Presidential Library and Museum opening Friday, March 24, “Auschwitz” brings together more than 700 original objects of great historic and human value, each a witness to the horrors of the Holocaust. Through this selection from the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum as well as more than 20 institutions and museums all over the world, the exhibition explores how such a place could come into being and digs into how its existence has determined our worldview (www.reaganlibrary.org; 800-410-8354).
Farther south in Yorba Linda through Friday, March 31 at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, “Cold War: Soviets, Spies and Secrets” invites visitors to “enter service as a TOP SECRET AGENT by attending a briefing in the White House Cabinet Room at the onset of the nuclear arms race…test your spycraft skills…and operate a ballistic missile.” Artifacts include a decommissioned nuclear bomb, scientific mannequins from the 1950s from a nuclear test site, real tools used by the KGB and CIA, and iconic relics from the Soviet Union ((nixonlibrary.gov; 714-983-9120).