Good eye: UCSD's production of Danton's Death closed on Feb. 28, and frankly, chunks of it won't be missed. Playwright Georg Buchner's story about the guillotine's role in keeping order following the French Revolution suffers from dialogue that's way too oratorical for its own good. But here's the cool thing: Dominique Serrand directed it. The acclaimed Serrand's Theatre de la Jeune Lune, based in Minneapolis, closed shop last year $1 million in debt—and when something radical like that happens in the theater-rich Twin Cities, you pretty much cop a clue that a recession's set in. Serrand's great company had performed under the auspices of La Jolla Playhouse before, so he's no stranger to campus. With Danton's Death, UCSD's Department of Theatre and Dance has capitalized on that solid relationship—and its foresight in bringing Serrand back plants a serious feather in local theater's cap. Big ups.
—Martin Jones Westlin
The Threepenny Opera: Peachum's been caught with his hand in the capitalist cookie jar, but his accusers go easy on him in the benevolent spirit of socialism. Produced by San Diego Repertory Theatre. Opens March 6 at The Lyceum, 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown. 619-544-1000, www.sandiegorep.com.
Working: This musical adaptation of Studs Terkel's book examines the way Americans from all walks of life view work. Opens in previews March 7 at The Old Globe Theatre mainstage, 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. $45-$79. 619-23-GLOBE, www.oldglobe.org.
Room Service: Book a theater; start rehearsals; put the cast up at a hotel; figure out how to pay for it later. Produced by Lamb's Players Theatre, it runs through March 29 at the Ione and Paul Harter Stage, 1142 Orange Ave. in Coronado. $30-$46. 619-437-0600, www.lambsplayers.org.
Shipwrecked!: Flying wombats and a monstrous sea turtle mark the seductive power of the tall tale and its teller. Through March 15 at North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987-D Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach. $17.50-$35. 858-481-1055, www.northcoastrep.org.
Since Africa: One of the Lost Boys of Sudan has made it to Chicago, harrowing story of survival in tow. Produced by The Old Globe Theatre, it runs through March 8 at the Arena Stage, Copley Auditorium, San Diego Museum of Art, 1450 El Prado in Balboa Park. $29-$48. 619-23-GLOBE, www.oldglobe.org.
The History Boys: Eight British boarding-school seniors dwell on their plans for college and the pasts that got them that far. Through March 29 at Cygnet Theatre Company's Old Town Theatre, 4040 Twiggs St. in Old Town. $17-$27. 619-337-1525, www.cygnettheatre.com.
The Sugar Syndrome: A troubled 17-year-old girl's online encounter with a child abuser goes to show we're all bozos on this bus. Produced by MOXIE Theatre, it runs through March 8 at Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd. in University Heights. $10-$35. 858-598-7620, www.moxietheatre.com.