When Miracle Productions vacated The Theatre in Old Town in January 2007, it saved itself a buttful of money. The venue, opened in 1979, is on California Department of Parks and Recreation property, and the state wanted $370,000 in capital improvements to keep the place open and up to all kinds of funky codes. An Oklahoma theater entrepreneur had bid on the project, but a series of uncrossed t's and undotted i's apparently steered him away from a deal. What the public didn't know until recently is that San Diego's Cygnet Theatre revisited those issues many months ago—and now, with Sacramento's blessing, Cygnet has signed a 10-year lease as the building's major tenant. The company, which operates a 157-seat anchor near San Diego State University, still has to fork over the improvement cash (except for fixes on the roof, which the state recently replaced), but that detail is well worth the bother amid the expanded possibilities for programming choices. Cygnet, which will open the venue as part of its 2008-09 season, understands the value of theater as a community service—accordingly, that improvements tab isn't bad at all.
—Martin Jones Westlin
Sea of Tranquility at The Old Globe Theatre mainstage, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619-23-GLOBE, opens in previews Jan. 12, story of a transplanted psychologist and the revelation of a mystery in the human condition. $46-$56.
The Pillowman presented by Ion Theatre Company at The Lab, Academy for the Performing Arts, 4580-B Alvarado Canyon Road, 619-374-6894, opens in previews Jan. 11, story of an author who's interrogated about the possible link between his short stories and a series of murders. $10-$29.50.
In This Corner at The Old Globe Theatre's Cassius Carter Centre Stage, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park, 619-23-GLOBE, in previews, opens Jan. 10, story of the 1938 boxing match between Germany's Max Schmeling and America's Joe Louis and their unlikely reunion 32 years later. $42-$52.
String of Pearls at North Coast Repertory Theatre, 987-D Lomas Santa Fe Drive, Solana Beach, 858-481-1055, in previews, opens Jan. 12, story of the changes in the lives of a series of women who come in contact with a certain string of pearls. $26-$40.
The Blessing of a Broken Heart at The Lyceum space, 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown, 619-544-1000, through Jan. 20, story of author Sherri Mandell and the aftermath of her 13-year-old son's murder. $28-$36.
Where There's a Will… There's a Wake! Presented by the Mystery Café Dinner Theatre at Imperial House Restaurant, 505 Kalmia St., west of Balboa Park, 619-544-1600, story of Sonny Shoeleone, a 1920s mob figure and the heir apparent to the family empire unless his siblings have their way. $56.50, $59.50.OngoingTriple Espresso at the Horton Grand Hotel, 444 Fourth Ave., Downtown, 619-234-3588, through Feb. 17, story of three idiots trying to break into national TV. $34.50-$37.50.