Half of Tanya Saracho's Kita y Fernanda is spoken in Spanish, but you don't have to be bilingual to be moved by this thoughtful play's treatises on class distinction, friendship and identity. The final production of Mo'olelo's 2012 season is also one of the company's best on record— smartly performed by Cynthia Bastidas (Kita) and Gabriela Trigo (Fernanda), with solid support from Melba Novoa (as Fernanda's mother) and the versatile Olivia Espinosa (in three roles) and staged in a fast-moving but wholly absorbing 90 minutes
A chance sighting between two young women at an immigration-reform march in Chicago prefaces a look back at two very different girls thrown together in a big Texas house. Fernanda, the privileged daughter of Mexican nationals, is pampered but lonely until the arrival of Kita, the daughter of the undocumented Mexican maid. The sisterly bond between them is forged in simple, mutual recognitions but also in episodes of anger and pain that cut to the quick. Kita is the fighter and the idealist that Fernanda wishes to be. Where adulthood takes them, and what happens when they meet again after 14 years apart, is as sobering as real life, which sometimes resists even the most ardent fight for change. You will be changed by Kita y Fernanda.
It runs through Oct. 21 at the 10th Avenue Theatre, Downtown. $22-$30. moolelo.net
Moxie Theatre opens its eighth season with Naomi Wallace's The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek, a Depression-era drama about coming of age in a desperate time. Its observations about loss, sexuality, hope and humanity unfold in a highly poetic script by Wallace, a MacArthur "Genius" Grant winner.
While the insights about self and the life given to us, like it or not, seem beyond the ken of 15-year-old protagonist Dalton (Ryan Kidd), they do command attention, particularly when parlayed with the risk-embracing words and actions of 17year-old Pace (Amanda Osborn), whose game of chicken with a moving train is more than an obvious metaphor. Osborn and Kidd may be too old for their parts, but under the direction of Delicia Turner-Sonnenberg, they fully inhabit Wallace's weighty words and messages.
The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek runs through Oct. 28 at Moxie Theatre in Rolando. $20-$27. moxietheatre.com
Words By: Ira Gershwin and the Great American Songbook: A musical tribute to George Gershwin's older brother, who penned the lyrics to numerous classic tunes from the 1920s through the 1950s. Previews run Oct. 17 through 19; the show opens for real on Oct. 20 at North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach. northcoastrep.org
Allegiance—A New American Musical: Star Trek's George Takei stars in this remembrance of the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Through Oct. 21 on the Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage at The Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. oldglobe.org
The Exit Interview: Professor Dick Fig is canned from his job in this sharp comedy about politics, religion, the media and truth. Presented by San Diego Repertory Theatre, it runs through Oct. 21 at the Lyceum Space at Horton Plaza, Downtown. sdrep.org
Glengarry Glen Ross: David Mamet's searing play follows a handful of real-estate salesmen pitted against one another in a lose-and-your-fired contest. Through Oct. 21 at La Jolla Playhouse. lajollaplayhouse.org
Kita y Fernanda: Two girls—one a have, the other a have-not—grow up together under the same roof in Texas. Presented by Mo'olelo Performing Arts Company, it runs through Oct. 21 at the 10th Avenue Theatre, Downtown. moolelo.net
Mistakes Were Made: In a West Coast premiere, an embattled B-list theater producer attempts to mount an epic show about the French Revolution. Presented by Cygnet Theatre, it runs through Oct. 21 at Old Town Theatre. cygnettheatre.com
Doris and Me: A man simply can't get enough of midcentury singer and actor Doris Day, who, incidentally, is still alive at 88 years old. Through Oct. 23 at Welk Resorts Theatre in Escondido. welktheatresandiego.com
Julia: In a world-premiere political thriller set in 1970s San Diego, the wife of a Mexican presidential candidate is drawn to her chauffer. Presented by Ion Theatre, it runs through Oct. 27 at BLK BOX @ 6th & Penn Theatre. iontheatre.org
Good People: A lower-class South Boston woman loses her cashier job and goes to her old boyfriend, a doctor, for help. Through Oct. 28 at The Old Globe's Sheryl and Harvey White Theatre in Balboa Park. theoldglobe.org
Rent: Here's your chance to see this musical, about young adults struggling to survive in New York, if you missed it recently the Birch North Park Theatre. Through Oct. 28 at Welk Resort Theatre in Escondido. welktheatresandiego.com
The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek: In a small town during the Great Depression, a speeding train beckons a couple of bored teens. Through Oct. 28 at Moxie Theatre in Rolando. moxietheatre.com
The Sugar Witch: In the San Diego premiere of this Southern gothic drama, a woman tries to rid a Florida family of a curse that their own grandmother placed on them. Through Nov. 3 at OnStage Playhouse in Chula Vista. onstageplayhouse.org
Over the River and Through the Woods: When Nick tells his two sets of grandparents that he's been offered a job on the other coast, they try to keep him around by dangling a hot chick in front of his face. Through Nov. 4 at the Broadway Theatre in Vista. broadwayvista.com
Around the World in 80 Days: It's 1872 and smart guy Phileas Fogg sets out to prove he can get around the globe in less than three months. How quaint! Through Nov. 18 at Lamb's Players Theatre in Coronado. lambsplayers.org
miXtape: Generation X was torn between disillusionment and hope in this cavalcade of music from the 1980s. Produced by Lamb's Players Theatre, it runs through Nov. 25 at the Horton Grand Theatre, Downtown. lambsplayers.org
Once Upon a Wedding: Zaniness abounds during a wedding gone horribly wrong, and it does so while patrons dine aboard a boat making its way around Mission Bay, beginning at the Bahia Resort Hotel. Runs on various dates through Dec. 13. onceuponaweddingthemusical.com
Crime Pays: A radio game show with dastardly overtones, served up with dinner, is presented by Mystery Cafe at Imperial House restaurant in Bankers Hill. mysterycafe.net