At last look, about 100 theater groups called San Diego County home—but when you take the area's sprawling boundaries into account, you're talking only one troupe or venue every 42 square miles. Enter Such N' Such Productions, which cropped up several weeks ago at Lewis Middle School in San Diego's Allied Gardens neighborhood.
It just closed a spirited production of The Music Man, wherein a good woman's love turns Harold Hill from his treacherous ways (as Gracie Shinn, Mindy Poltorak all but stole the show)—but more important, it's bringing performance art to a traditionally underserved area, and producer Lisa Goodman deserves a serious nod for spearheading a new arts group when so many are facing lean times. Such N' Such is also planning a January class on how to audition and a summer theater conservatory. www.suchnsuchproductions.com.
Scrooge in Rouge: Dickens' A Christmas Carol is set in a Victorian music hall, complete with an array of quick-change artists and cross-dressers. Opens in previews Nov. 20 at Diversionary Theatre, 4545 Park Blvd. in University Heights. $31-$35. 619-220-0097, www.diversionary.org.
Xanadu: Cleo descends from the heavens to help Sonny spearhead the greatest invention of all time: the roller disco. Now in previews, it opens Nov. 23 at La Jolla Playhouse's Mandell Weiss Theatre, 2910 La Jolla Village Blvd. in La Jolla. $42-$75. 619-550-1010, www.lajollaplayhouse,org.
Backwater Blues: Toad Lake sucks ass, and gay wannabe star Arnie wants out—but love has other ideas. Through Nov. 26 at Compass Theatre, 3704 Sixth Ave. in Hillcrest. 619-688-9210, www.compasstheatre.com.
Britannicus: Emperor Nero is in love—and the ensuing scandal shapes the fate of an empire. Through Nov. 23 at Compass Theatre, 3704 Sixth Ave. in Hillcrest. $20-$23. 619-688-9210, www.compasstheatre.com.
* Everything Will Be Different: Charlotte comes full circle amid her near-ruination at the hands of the men around her. Produced by Lynx Performance Theatre, the show runs through Nov. 23 at San Diego Danceworks, 2653 Ariane Drive in Clairemont. $10-$25. 619-889-3190, www.lynxperformance.com.
* Helen: The most beautiful woman in the world outwits her captors and is reunited with her husband after the Trojan War. Sundays through Dec. 14 at The Theatre, Inc., 899 C St. Downtown. $22-$25. 619-216-3016, www.thetheatreinc.com.
* 1984: Big Brother takes on a life of his own as he bends the will of an entire society. Through Nov. 29 at OnStage Playhouse, 291 Third Ave. in Chula Vista. $13-$15. 619-422-7787, www.onstageplayhouse.org.
Prometheus and Cyclops: A renegade god and a big fat guy with one eye weigh in on lotsa stuff. Through Dec. 14 at The Theatre, Inc., 899 C St. Downtown. $22-$25. 619-216-3016, www.thetheatreinc.com.