Cry-Baby and Xanadu, those two La Jolla Playhouse-connected musicals that, between them, were nominated for eight Tony Awards this year, came up empty at the 62nd annual awards event on Sunday, June 15. Cry-Baby, which got its start at La Jolla last fall, and Xanadu, which will play at the Playhouse in November, contended for Best Musical, Best Musical Book and Best Choreography. Xanadu was up for Best Leading Actress in a Musical and Cry-Baby for Best Original Score. That's eight feathers in the Playhouse's well-endowed cap—but the better news is that plays made a modest attendance comeback on Broadway after several seasons in the shadow of big-budget, tourist-friendly musical fare. Before his death, playwright Arthur Miller lamented Broadway's top-heavy nature, with a handful of musicals pulling in the lion's share of patronage and receipts. Maybe this past season will mark a long-awaited shift in demand. Also nominated for three Tonys this year was A Catered Affair, the Harvey Fierstein musical about a young couple's coming of age and the survival of the family business, which premiered at The Old Globe Theatre last fall. It, too, was shut out.—Martin Jones Westlin
New Perspective Play Festival: This 24-play program replaces the annual Actors Alliance summer festival at least for this year, with many new faces and cutting-edge scripts on tap. Opens June 20 at Swedenborg Hall, 1531 Tyler Ave. in University Heights. www.newperspectivefest.com. $10-$12.
The Listener: When extraterrestrial life detects activity in Junk City, the Earth's survivors find that humanity is more than a voice in the dark. Now in previews, the MOXIE Theatre entry opens June 21 at The Lyceum space, 79 Horton Plaza Downtown. 760-634-3965 or www.moxietheatre.com. $15-$20, $30 opening night.
* A Number: A look at the relationship between fathers and sons unfolds around the topic of human cloning. Through June 29 at Cygnet Theatre's Rolando venue, 6663 El Cajon Blvd. in the College Area. 619-337-1525 or www.cygnettheatre.com. $22-$29.
In the Blood: Hester la Negrita raises her five children while dealing with individuals that constantly victimize her in this take on The Scarlet Letter. Through June 29 at North Park Vaudeville and Candy Shoppe, 2031 El Cajon Blvd. in North Park. 610-220-8663 or www.northparkvaudeville. $15.
* The Hit: Susan and Steve run a San Francisco antiques shop, where a case of mistaken identity sets off an intriguing string of events. Produced by Lamb's Players Theatre. Through July 13 at the Paul and Ione Harter Stage, 1142 Orange Ave., Coronado. 619-437-0600 or www.lambsplayers.org. $20-$56.
Chalk it Up to Murder: HIT Productions features a cavalcade of new clues for a terrible crime. Fireside Steakhouse, 439 W. Washington Blvd. in Escondido. 619-561-8673. $16-$29.50.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. 800-944-5639. $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 Cafe Dinner Theater at Imperial House Restaurant, 505 Kalmia St. in Bankers Hill. 619-544-1600.