March 2 2011 10:30 AM

Fair Use and the rest of this week's theatre listings

Fair Use
Photo by Ken Jacques Photography
Chicago lawyers Sy (Amanda Sitton) and Chris (Wyatt Ellison) are both in love with co-counsel Madi (Jacque Wilke). The fact that Sy is a chick with bad hair (the latter observation is mine, not Sy's) confuses things all the more. What's worse, the three work in fairly close quarters defending the same plagiarism suit—and soon, unrequited love holds sway in a cute, well-acted Fair Use, the current entry at Diversionary Theatre. The legal angle is used to a certain excess—it becomes clear early on that writer Don (Stephen Schmitz), however unintentionally, has lifted passages from another author's novel, yet playwright Sarah Gubbins subtly milks this part of the storyline to drive the romantic triangle (why does it take three attorneys to defend a cut-and-dried plagiarism action, whose precedents were set literally centuries ago?). But director James Vasquez is in good form, mounting his stage pictures and character concepts with his usual sense of thrift amid the actors' good chemistry—and dig designer Michelle Caron's excellent backlighting, which leaves the actors in darkness as they traipse across the stage in their best melodramatic stylizations. If the program listed a sound designer, I'd credit him/her with good work on picking out the music beds. But it doesn't. So I won't.

Through March 13 at Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd. in University Heights. $27-$31.


Little Miss Sunshine: When Olive Hoover enters a regional children's beauty pageant, the family thinks its bad luck could change and embarks on a cross-country trek. Produced by La Jolla Playhouse, it's in previews now and opens March 4 at the Mandell Weiss Theatre in La Jolla. $49-$64.

Simpatico: Successful thoroughbred horse breeder Carter's shady past catches up with him, in the person of barfly Vinnie. It opens in previews March 2 at New Village Arts in Carlsbad. $25-$30, $40 opening night (March 5).

Now Playing

Big Daddy is Here, A Play with Music: This piece is a nod to Muddy Waters, “Ma” Rainey and many other black artists who've prominently figured into the evolution of rock 'n' roll and rhythm and blues. Through March 6 at Community Actors Theatre in City Heights. $12-$14. 

* Jane Austen's Emma—a Musical Romantic Comedy: A beautiful and clever young woman who prides herself on her matchmaking is clueless to her own feelings of love. Through March 6 at The Old Globe Theatre mainstage in Balboa Park. $39-$94.

Leading Ladies: Leo falls in love with a dowager's niece after a series of costume changes and mistaken identities. Through March 6 at Coronado Playhouse in Coronado. $12.50- $25.

* Superior Donuts: Arthur runs a dying Chicago doughnut shop that his assistant Franco wants to liven up—but it's soon apparent that Franco has problems of his own. Produced by San Diego Repertory Theatre, it runs through March 6 at The Lyceum Space, Downtown. $35-$47.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: Though beset with adversity, the biblical Jacob's son Joseph perseveres through wit and faith and becomes the governor of Egypt, second only to the Pharaoh. Produced by J* Company Youth Theatre, it runs through March 13 at the Garfield Theatre in University City. $16.

The Beard of Avon: A writing partnership is formed as William Shakespeare meets up with an unknown but excellent playwright. Through March 13 at Patio Playhouse in Escondido. $7-$15.

Last of the Red-Hot Lovers: Dreary barney invites three women to his house while his wife and kids are away for the summer. Through March 19 at OnStage Playhouse in Chula Vista. $8-$16.

Richard II: The English throne is about to be usurped, laying the groundwork for a bloody civil war. Produced by Intrepid Shakespeare Company, it runs through March 20 at Roundabout Theatre on the campus of San Dieguito Academy in Encinitas. $15-$25.

* The Drawer Boy: Two World War II vets and a befuddled young actor find the meaning of true friendship through the transformative power of storytelling. Through March 20 at North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach. $30-$47,

* Steel Magnolias: Truvy Jones' hair salon is a cultural center of Chinquapin, La.—a place where three generations of women can laugh, cry and celebrate together. Produced by Lamb's Players Theatre, it runs through March 20 at the Ione and Paul Harter Stage in Coronado. $28-$58.

* 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 April 23 at the Horton Grand Theatre Downtown. $28-$58.


See all events on Friday, Oct 28