The Old Globe Theatre's current Sea of Tranquility wants to be a musical. The 14 characters are so relentlessly stereotyped through dialogue that songs are the next natural medium for their development. But that initial chord never materializes—we're stuck with a crowd of almost tokenized basket cases, from a neurotic gay mom to a flighty Hollywood writer, all of whom rarely exhibit the flirtations with reality that would bump up their believability (San Diego staple Rosina Reynolds is pretty good in dual roles). The focal figure is a shrink named Ben (Ted Koch), transplanted to the Southwest amid a smarmy past. His clientele's traits eventually lead him into deeper questions about his life and the human experience—unfortunately, he doesn't seem to solve many people's problems along the way. You have to see an outstanding Ned Schmidtke as a greasy Scientology attorney, and director Michael Bloom lets the story speak for itself. But beyond playwright Howard Korder's fixation on Santa Fe, that story's interesting plot points are few and far between. The show runs through Feb. 10 at the Old Globe mainstage, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. $46-$56. 619-23-GLOBE or www.oldglobe.org.—Martin Jones Westlin
Hello, Dolly: A meddlesome widow tries to bring romance to several couples and herself in a big-city restaurant. Opens Feb. 8 at Lamb's Players Theatre, 1142 Orange Ave. in Coronado. 619-437-0600 or www.lambsplayers.org. $26-$58.
The Seven: A brutal struggle for the throne of Thebes pits Oedipus' cursed sons against one another and transforms a peaceful countryside into a hostile battlefield. Opens in previews Feb. 12 at La Jolla Playhouse's Mandell Weiss Theatre, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive in La Jolla. 858-550-1010 or www.lajollaplayhouse.org. $28-$60.
Anton in Show Business: A stuffy television actress, a bustin'-out-all-over ingenue and a jaded New Yorker collaborate on an ill-fated San Antonio production of Anton Chekhov's The Three Sisters. Through March 2 at 6th@Penn Theatre, 3704 Sixth Ave. in Hillcrest. 619-688-9210 or www.sixthatpenn.com. $20-$23.
* Fences: Troy Maxson is fencing in his family amid his abandonment of personal responsibility. Through Feb. 24 at Cygnet Theatre, 6663 El Cajon Blvd. in the College Area. 619-337-1525 or www.cygnettheatre.com. $22-$31. See our review on this page.
* In This Corner: The 1938 Max Schmeling-Joe Louis boxing rematch gives way to the men's inlikely reunion 32 years later. Through Feb. 10 at The Old Globe Theatre's Cassius Carter Centre Stage, 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. 619-23-GLOBE or www.oldglobe.org. $42-$52.
* String of Pearls: A vaunted strand of beads opens myriad possibilities in the lives of an array of women during the course of 35 years. Through Feb. 10 at North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987-D Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach. 858-481-1055 or www.northcoastrep.org. $26-$40.
* The Pillowman: An author is interrogated about the possible link between his short stories and a series of murders. Presented by Ion Theatre Company through Feb. 17 at The Lab, Academy for the Performing Arts, 4580-B Alvarado Canyon Road in Mission Valley. 619-374-6894 or www.iontheatre.com. $10-$29.50.
* This is Our Youth: Three New York City young people, disillusioned during the Reagan years, grapple with society's rejection of the liberalism on which their parents were raised. Through Feb. 17 at New Village Arts Theatre, 2787-B State St. in Carlsbad. 760-433-3245 or www.newvillagearts.org. $15-$26.
Tony and Cleo: The love story of Antony and Cleopatra is told, this one based on historical and primary sources and not on Shakespeare. Through Feb 27 at 6th@Penn Theatre, 3704 Sixth Ave. in Hillcrest. 619-688-9210 or www.sixthatpenn.com. $12-$15.Dinner theaterChalk It Up to Murder: HIT Productions features a cavalcade of new clues for a terrible crime. Fireside Steakhouse, 439 W. Washington Blvd. in Escondido, 619-561-8673. $16-$29.50. Joey & Maria's Comedy Italian Wedding: The fortunes and foibles at the heart of an Italian wedding are laid on the table. Holiday Inn on the Bay, 1355 N. Harbor Drive, 800-944-5639. $49.50. Where There's a Will... There's a Wake: Gangland figure Sonny Shoehorn is heir ot the family fortune unless his siblings have their way. Presented by Mystery Café Dinner Theater at Imperial House Restaurant, 505 Kalmia St. Downtown, 619-544-1600. $54.50-$59.50.OngoingTriple Espresso: Three dorks make a bid for fame on national TV. Through Feb. 17 at the Horton Grand Theatre, 444 Fourth Ave. Downtown, 619-234-9583. $10-$37.50.