January 1, 2020, marks the start of a new decade. Looking back, I notice that I have been reviewing theatre in San Diego for more than ten years. It seems appropriate to consult what I’ve written and see, what has changed about San Diego theatre. So, instead of summarizing 2019, I’m returning to 2010 and working my way forward to the present.

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The story about the mother and teenaged daughter who magically swap bodies has been around so long that the title sounds like antique slang but author Bridget Carpenter and songwriters Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey have deftly shaped it into a fable for the ages and director Christopher Ashley imported it for the beginning of his second decade as artistic boss at L Jolla Playhouse.

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The avid fans of silent films couldn’t always separate the fantasy from the reality up there on the screen and censors were hurting business. With morals charges and even murders multiplying, the studios decided to hire their own censor and ‘the Hays Office’ was born, just in time to do damage control of one of Hollywood’s most enduring cold cases.

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