Diversionary Theatre's world-premiere The Daddy Machine is critic-proof, which is to say it's one of those shows you like regardless. It's a fantastical, family-friendly musical skit more than it is a play, centering on a same-sex household, a singing dog and 62 dads (some of whom are recruited from the audience) who pop out of an otherworldly contraption and make life interesting for Harry and Sue (Max Oilman-Williams and Lirenza Gillette), the two kids.
The point of this Patricia Loughrey libretto is that the parents' gender takes a back seat to the love and stability they create in the home—as Sue puts it, “A dad is a just a mom who's a man.” The Daddy Machine underscores that little gem with gentility and fun.
The play, co-directed by Siobhan Sullivan and composer-lyricist Rayme Sciaroni, will be mounted at San Diego State University and Cal State Long Beach next month. The show will also run in March on a Mexico ship cruise for gay and lesbian families. For now, it runs through Jan. 27 at Diversioinary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd. in University Heights. $20-$25. 619-220-0097 or www.diversionary.org.
—Martin Jones Westlin
Pericles, Prince of Tyre: To escape answering a riddle, Pericles sets out on a journey amid storms, famine, a duel, the loss of his wife and the abandonment of his daughter. Presented by the UCSD Department of Theatre and Dance, it opens Jan. 24 at the Mandell Weiss Forum Studio, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive in La Jolla. 858-534-4574 or www.theatre.ucsd.edu. $10-$15.
Fences: Troy Maxson is fencing in his family amid his abandonment of personal responsibility. Cureently in previews, it opens Jan. 26 at Cygnet Theatre, 6663 El Cajon Blvd. in the College Area. 619-337-1525 or www.cygnetthe atre.com. $22-$31.
* 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.
Sea of Tranquility: A transplanted psychologist is disillusioned amid the revelation of a mystery in the human condition. Through Feb. 10 at The Old Globe Theatre mainstage, 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. 619-23-GLOBE or www.oldglobe.org. $46-$56.
* String of Pearls: A vaunted strand of beads opens myriad possibilities in the lives of an array of women over 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. 16 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.
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, [RTF bookmark start: }lw_1200328975_9[RTF bookmark end: }lw_1200328975_9800-944-5639. $49.50.
Where There's a Will... There's a Wake: Gangland figure Sonny Shoehorn is heir to the family fortune unless his siblings have their way. Presented by Mystery Caféé Dinner Theater at Imperial House Restaurant, 505 Kalmia St. Downtown, $54.50-$59.50.
Triple 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.