But in her search for self and for an antidote to her mother's charge that she is “nothing special”—an indictment of a hard, urban life of want—Annie makes a pact with her two best friends, Margie and Talisha (whose own identity quest has her calling herself “T”): All three will all become pregnant at the same time, the better to share baby showers and heavily frosted cakes and motherhood, an imagined reason for being. What begins as a girl-power conspiracy of three turns achingly into Annie's one-girl exploration inside herself.
The Playhouse production directed by Rebecca Taichman is high-energy and thoughtful, right down to the hip-hop and the actors' staying in character during scene changes. Angela Lewis projects nervous energy and poignancy as Annie, with Nikiya Mathis (as Margie) and particularly Cherise Boothe (as T) ably portraying teen girls living well beyond their years, brutal adult realities and all. As for the telescope (which does an encore), it's less revealing than Annie's sometimespainful bewilderment with sexuality, religion and belief in self.
Milk Like Sugar runs through Sept. 25 at La Jolla Playhouse. $35 and up. lajollaplayhouse.org
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Lengthy. Bloody. Campy. That's Diversionary's production of Christopher Marlowe's Edward II, the largest (15 cast members) staging the University Heights theater has ever attempted. Under the imaginative direction of Richard Baird, this Edward II (about a weak king—albeit a fierce warrior on the battlefield—whose obsession with his male lover incites a conspiracy to depose and kill him) strikes the right notes of sweep and solemnity, and the stage fighting (on a small stage to boot) is mightily choreographed. Ross Hellwig, in the title role, and John Polak, as chief antagonist Mortimer, demonstrate booming voices and deep-seated passions.
Edward II runs through Oct. 2 at Diversionary Theatre in University Heights. $20-$45. diversionary.org
Blue Man Group: The multimedia men with the “blue” skin bring their act to town, presented by Broadway San Diego. Opens Sept. 20 and runs through Sept. 25 at Civic Theatre, Downtown. $20 and up. broadwaysd.com
The Marvelous Wonderettes: Tunes from the '50s and '60s power this musical surrounding the Springfield High School prom. Opens Sept. 14 at the Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista. $22-$50. moonlightstage.com
Richard O'Brien's The Rocky Horror Show: Brad, Janet and, most importantly, Dr. Frank N. Furter return to the stage 38 years after a memorable debut in London and a film adaptation. Previews run Sept. 15 through 22. Opens Sept. 23 at Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park. $29 and up. oldglobe.org
Walter Cronkite Is Dead: Two women of opposing political dispositions find themselves stranded together at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., in this comedy by Joe Calarco. Previews begin Sept. 17. Opens Sept. 23 at San Diego Repertory Theatre, Downtown. $37 and up. sdrep.org
Till We Have Faces: Producing artistic director Robert Smyth adapted and directs the Lamb's Players Ensemble's retelling of the story of lovers Psyche and Cupid, with original music by Deborah Gilmour Smyth. Through Sept. 18 at Horton Grand Theatre, Downtown. $28-$58. lambsplayers.org
Amadeus: Composer Antonio Salieri throws up a series of roadblocks to sidetrack the career of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, his supposed archrival. Through Sept. 22 at The Old Globe Theatre's Lowell Davies Festival Theatre in Balboa Park. $29-$67. oldglobe.org
Much Ado about Nothing: While Beatrice and Benedick hide their infatuation beneath witty barbs, young love blossoms as Hero and Claudio race to the altar, with the wicked Don John conspiring to break up the wedding.
Through Sept. 24 at The Old Globe Theatre's Lowell Davies Festival Theatre in Balboa Park. $29-$67. oldglobe.org
A Midsummer Night's Dream: Shakespeare's fanciful comedy about lovers, fairies and forest creatures gets a late-summer staging. Through Sept. 25 at Coronado Playhouse. Free ($5 donation encouraged). coronadoplayhouse.com
Milk Like Sugar: In Kirsten Greenidge's coming-of-age play, a teenage girl in a nowhere town makes a pregnancy pact with two of her high-school friends. Through Sept. 25 at La Jolla Playhouse. $35 and up. lajollaplayhouse.org
The Tempest: With the help of his spirit friend Ariel, the magician Prospero conjures up a shipwreck that restores his daughter to her rightful place in the Milan hierarchy. Through Sept. 25 at The Old Globe Theatre's Lowell Davies Festival Theatre in Balboa Park. $29-$67. oldglobe.org
Trying: Former chief judge of the Nuremberg Trials Francis Biddle's efforts to write his memoirs are complicated by “help” from a young assistant. Through Sept. 25 at Lamb's Players Theatre in Coronado. $28-$58. lambsplayers.org
Edward II: A cast of 14 plays multiple roles in Marlowe's classic drama of power and passion. Through Oct. 2 at Diversionary Theatre in University Heights. $20-$45. diversionary.org
Lend Me a Tenor: Ken Ludwig's Tony-winning comedy of mistaken identity is set in the world of opera in the 1930s. Through Oct. 2 at North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach. $32-$49. northcoastrep.org
Little Shop of Horrors: Seymour makes a Faustian bargain with a mean, green, man-eating plant to provide fresh meat in exchange for money, fame and the love of his life. Produced by Cygnet Theatre Company, it runs through Oct. 2 at The Old Town Theatre. $34-$59. cygnettheatre.org
Thom Pain: Will Eno's one-man show, an off-Broadway hit, makes its San Diego premiere. Through Oct. 2 at New Village Arts Theatre in Carlsbad. $24-$36. newvillagearts.org
How the Other Half Loves: Jim Caputo directs Alan Ayckbourn's drawing-room comedy. Through Oct. 8 at Scripps Ranch Theatre. $22-$25. scrippsranchtheatre.org
Pride and Prejudice: Jane Austen's Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy come to life in Jon Jory's stage adaptation of the 1813 novel. Through Oct. 8 at OnStage Playhouse in Chula Vista. $14-$16. onstageplayhouse.org
Man of La Mancha: In this staging of the Broadway musical that gave the world “The Impossible Dream,” the actors are also the musicians. Through Oct. 30 at Welk Resort Theatre in Escondido. $44-$47. welktheatersandiego.com
miXtape: Generation X was torn between disillusionment and hope in this cavalcade of music from the 1980s. Produced by Lamb's Players Theatre, it runs through Nov. 6 at the Horton Grand Theatre, Downtown. $28-$58. lambsplayers.org
Shotgun Wedding Anniversary: How else can a miserable 25-year marriage end but in murder? Presented by Mystery Cafe, it's ongoing at Imperial House restaurant in Bankers Hill. $59.50, including dinner. mysterycafe.net