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Sexy Sultry Shows

It’s a randy theater season for San Diego. Dive in!

Emma: With its plot twists, witty dialogue and elegant costumes, the early 19th-century romantic novel lends itself well to musical theater. Just ask composer Paul Gordon, whose music and lyrics for Jane Eyre on Broadway got him nominated for a Tony Award. Now he’s bringing Jane Austen’s Emma: A Musical Romantic Comedy to The Old Globe, through February 27. Patti Murin stars as Emma Woodhouse, the endearing daddy’s girl who fancies herself a matchmaker but is blind to her own feelings. The role of Mr. Knightley is deftly handled by Adam Monley, who last delighted San Diegans in Working at the Globe. Tickets start at $55. oldglobe.org.

Turandot: If you think modern, high-tech dating is messed up, be thankful you don’t live in the twisted, dark world of Turandot. Presented by San Diego Opera at the Civic Theatre January 29 – February 6, Puccini’s opera is packed with executions, mobs, bribery and physical passion. The action begins when a proclamation decrees that any prince who seeks to marry Princess Turandot must answer three riddles. The catch? If he fails the test, he will be executed. Tickets start at $35. sdopera.com.

In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play): Despite the naughty title, The Vagina Monologues this is not. San Diego Repertory Theatre transports audiences to 1885, when middle-class Victorian women were not supposed to enjoy sex, and a plethora of “female problems” were all considered to be one thing: hysteria. At his home office, a gynecologist treats his patients by using a new electric vibrator. Those treatments set the stage for a funny, moving play about love, happiness, intimacy, equality, fertility and motherhood. Playwright Sarah Ruhl treats her characters with respect, and her play about sexuality is never in-your-face or pornographic. In the Next Room (March 19 – April 17) is essentially about what women want. Its Broadway debut last year earned praise from The New Yorker and New York magazine. Tickets start at $29. sdrep.org.

Fair Use: While defending a novelist in a high-profile plagiarism case, three copyright lawyers become involved in a messy “case” of their own. Sy is in love with her co-counsel, Madi; Madi has begun dating Chris, who can’t articulate his romantic feelings. When Chris secretly finds Sy’s love notes to Madi, he passes them off as his own. In other words, the play is about a lawyer who rips off another lawyer while they defend a novelist for ripping off a writer, and it’s written by a playwright possibly ripping off (or being inspired by?) Cyrano de Bergerac. So many layers! At Diversionary Theatre, February 24 – March 13. Tickets start at $31. ­diversionary.org.

Menopause the Musical: This light-hearted revue is set at Bloomingdale’s, where four women with nothing in common fight over sale items in the lingerie department. Soon, they’re bonding and tripping around Bloomie’s on a journey to find solace and sisterhood. They sing about hot ­flashes, chocolate binges, marriage, mothers, not enough sex and too much sex. The songs parody popular ’60s, ’70s and ’80s tunes, including “I Heard It Thru the Grapevine; You No Longer See 39," “Puff, I’m Draggin’ ” and “Stayin’ Awake! Stayin’ Awake!” First produced in 2001, the show about The Change has survived a decade of change and continues to jubilate audiences. February 8-10 at California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Tickets start at $34. artcenter.org.

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