After the Bell: The historic 1938 rematch between boxers Joe Louis and Max Schmeling was less about sports than ideologies. Adolf Hitler's Nazis crowed that Germany's Schmeling, who had beaten Louis two years before, would do it again and illustrate Aryan supremacy in the process. Louis, only 24 and raised in abject poverty, was a serious media darling, having won the heavyweight title in 1937. To Hitler's outrage, Louis would beat Schmeling in one round, and he'd go on to defend his title 25 times—but life eventually got in the way, briefly remanding him to a Denver psychiatric hospital in 1970 amid a cocaine addiction and a diagnosis of paranoia. The rest of the world might not know that Max picked up Joe's hospital tab—in fact, The Old Globe Theatre's In This Corner recounts the men's close friendship and accurately paints Schmeling as anything but a Nazi sympathizer. The show opens in previews on Jan. 5 at the Cassius Carter Centre Stage, 1363 Old Globe Way, Balboa Park. 619-23-GLOBE of www.oldglobe.org. $46-$59.
—Martin Jones Westlin
Blessing of a Broken Heart at The Lyceum space, 79 Horton Plaza, Downtown, 619-544-1000, Jan. 4, adaptation of Sherri Mandell's novel about the murder of her son and her path to healing. $28-$36.
Jesus Christ Superstar presented by Broadway/San Diego at the Civic Theatre, 1100 Third Ave., Downtown, 619-570-1100, through Jan. 6, story of the last seven days of Jesus' life as seen through the eyes of crazy ol' Judas Iscariot. $19-$70.
Chalk It Up to Murder presented by HIT Productions, Fireside Steakhouse, 439 W. Washington Blvd., Escondido, 619-561-8673, featuring a cavalcade of new clues for a terrible crime. $16-$29.50.
Joey & Maria's Comedy Italian Wedding at Holiday Inn on the Bay, 1355 N. Harbor Drive, 800-944-5639, the fortunes and foibles at the heart of an Italian wedding. $49.50.
Where There's a Will... There's a Wake presented by Mystery Caféé Dinner Theater at Imperial House Restaurant, 505 Kalmia St., Downtown, 619-544-1600, story of gangland figure Sonny Shoeleone, heir to the family fortune unless his siblings have their way. $56.50, $59.50.OngoingTriple Espresso at the Horton Grand Theatre, 444 Fourth Ave., Downtown, 619-234-9583, through Feb. 17, 2008, story of three dorks and their bid at fame on national TV. $10-$37.50.