Jean-Baptiste Moliere's comic plays and acting gave 17th-century theater a jump-start—but I've always found a frenzied quality to his rapid-fire style, almost as if he's afraid to let his many good passages sink in. The Misanthrope is different. First of all, it has serious roles that nicely buffer its comic side; second, it's a taut treatise on the folly involved in blaming all of society for the fuck-ups of a few. The UCSD Department of Theatre and Dance is doing a nice job with this James Winker-directed tale, as Alceste (Joel Gelman) and love-interest Celimene (Cate Campbell) discover that love is not all it seems. The Misanthrope plays through Feb. 7 at the Mandell Weiss Forum, 2910 La Jolla Village Drive. $10-$20. www.theatre.ucsd.edu.
Red Light Winter: Two fellow travelers and a French prostitute are about to discover there's more to Amsterdam than its Red Light District. Produced by Triad Productions, the show opens Feb. 6 at The Tenth Avenue Theatre, 930 Tenth Ave. Downtown. $15-$20. 619-235-9353, www.ticketderby.com.
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, the show opens in previews Feb. 7 at the Ione and Paul Harter Stage, 1142 Orange Ave. in Coronado. $30-$46. 619-437-0600, www.lambsplayers.org.
After-Play: Four longtime friends meet up after a Broadway show, discovering that time and distance have changed them more than they thought. Through Feb. 7 at OnStage Playhouse, 291 Third Ave. in Chula Vista. $13-$15. 619-422-7787, www.onstageplayhouse.org.
American Buffalo: Three punks talk a good game as they plot to rob a man of his coin collection, but their stupidity prevents the plan from leaving the drawing board. Through Feb. 15 at Compass Theatre, 3704 Sixth Ave. in Hillcrest. $20-$23. 619-688-9210, www.compasstheatre.com.
Doubt: Moral uncertainty is meticulously examined as a Roman Catholic nun suspects a priest has been messing with an altar boy. Produced by the San Diego Repertory Theatre, the show runs through Feb. 8 at The Lyceum Space, 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown. Call for prices. 619-544-1000, www.sdrep.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, the show 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.
* Six Degrees of Separation: We're not genealogically separated by as much as you might think. Through Feb. 15 at The Old Globe Theatre mainstage, 1363 Old Globe Way in Balboa Park. $29-$66. www.oldglobe.org.
* The Dresser: Sir, a fading British Shakespearean actor, has a harsh reality to face when death comes calling. Through Feb. 8 at North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987-D Lomas Santa Fe Drive in Solana Beach. $35-$39. 858-481-1055, www.northcoastsrep.org.
* Love Song: Beane, a blissfully happy oddball, has a mysterious new love—and his sister Joan can't figure it out. Through Feb. 22 at Cygnet Theatre's Rolando venue, 6663 El Cajon Blvd. in the College Area. $22. 619-337-1525, www.cygnettheatre.com. See our review on this page.