If you’re heading to the Mubadala Silicon Valley Classic in San Jose State this week, you’ll have the chance to eat barbecue, sip a Silicon Valley-themed cocktail, and play with a group of shelter pups. Oh, and some really good tennis is being played, too, thanks to superstars like Naomi Osaka and Bianca Andreescu.
The WTA tournament, which began in 1971 and moved to SJSU in 2018, is upping the fan experience this year. There is a large open-air lounge with comfortable seating adjacent to the stadium, surrounded by food and drink stalls that also provide a real taste of the South Bay. That’s all thanks to their dining partners and a program spearheaded by executive chef Mario Martinez, who came to SJSU about a month ago to take over Spartan Eats, which matches international tastes in the Bay Area.
The Smoking Pig BBQ is a local favorite in the mix, and owner Paul Reddick was out during the qualifying rounds on Sunday talking about the pulled pork, pulled chicken and beef brisket “sammies” and nachos. Sadly, the menu lacks Smoking Pig’s famous “wolf droppings” (stuffed jalapenos wrapped in bacon) which Reddick said took a lot of work to produce for the tournament. There’s also sushi from Wild Blue Sushi: American player Shelby Rogers had sushi rolls at her stand on Sunday, as well as Mediterranean dishes from Halal Shack and a refreshing-looking cocktail called Silicon Valley Collins mixed by bartenders at Sipsmith gin. Market Stall.
And yes, there will be puppies there too. Humane Society Silicon Valley will bring shelter puppies to the tournament on Friday from 3 to 7 p.m., and some of its alumni dogs will walk the field during quarterfinal matches that night. It’s the “end” of a home-and-home series after WTA players visited the Humane Society’s animal care shelter in Milpitas on Saturday.
The transformation of the soccer practice field at CEFCU Stadium into a tennis arena and adjoining fan lounge is quite remarkable and really highlights the changes in the South Campus area. You can see the new facilities for golf and softball, as well as the progress made on the new east side of the football stadium and the new parking lot that seemed to appear overnight at the corner of 10th and Alma.
You can get information about the schedule and tickets for the tournament at www.mubadalasvc.com.
BALLET IN THE PARK: Dancers from across the state who have been training since June at the New Ballet School in San Jose will give a free outdoor summer recital on August 5 at St. James Park near North First and St. John streets. The New Ballet School is the only certified American Ballet Theater school on the West Coast and its students join New Ballet studio dancers for “The Nutcracker of St. Joseph” each December and other shows throughout the year. Bring a lawn chair or blanket for the hour-long performance, which begins at 5:00 p.m.
‘FUN HOME’ SHOWS THE YOUNG ACTRESS: We saw “Fun Home” at City Lights Theater Company in San Jose last Friday night, and the show lived up to the rave reviews it has received. And one of the highlights of the musical, based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel, was Penelope DaSilva’s performance as Small Alison. The young performer is a veteran of the San Jose Children’s Musical Theater — she had the title role in “Matilda” a couple of years ago — making her debut in City Lights. So it’s only fitting that CMTSJ is City Lights’ non-profit partner for the show and will receive a portion of ticket sales. “Fun Home” will run until August 21; get details on www.cltc.org.