Beowulf — A Thousand Years of Baggage comes to Oberon in April.
1_ THE BOOK OF MORMON
Mitt Romney did his Mormon mission in France. But there are no baguettes or croissants to dip into the lukewarm proselytizing of bumbling elders Price and Cunningham, two young men sent by the Church of Latter-day Saints to convert the unfaithful of a Ugandan backwater in The Book of Mormon. In this multiple-Tony-winning 2011 musical, written by South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone with Avenue Q composer Robert Lopez, the potential African converts have bigger things to worry about than Utah's favorite religion — such as famine, AIDS, and a mean warlord obsessed with female circumcision. That doesn't stop our heroes — one a preening narcissist who'd hoped to be posted to Orlando, the other a clingy improviser with the silhouette of Cartman — from spreading the Word, set to sunny melodies and embellished with philosophies borrowed from Star Wars and J.R.R. Tolkien, in this latest theatrical salute (following Angels in America and bash) to Mormonism. According to the New York Times, the show is as sweetly inspirational as The Sound of Music, if also "blasphemous, scurrilous, and more foul-mouthed than David Mamet on a blue streak."
Broadway in Boston, at the Opera House, 539 Washington St, Boston | April 9-28 | $22-$175
2_OUR COUNTRY'S GOOD/THE RECRUITING OFFICER
In an ingenious pairing, Whistler in the Dark alternates Timberlake Wertenbaker's 1988 play Our Country's Good (based on Thomas Keneally's novel The Playmaker) — about Royal Marines and transported convicts staging The Recruiting Officer at a penal colony in Australia — with the thing itself, George Farquhar's bawdy 1706 Restoration comedy centered on the romantic exploits of a couple of officers drumming up soldiers (and girlfriends) in Shrewsbury.
Charlestown Working Theater, 442 Bunker Hill St, Charlestown | March 15– April 6 | From $15 online (or pay what you want)
Ryan Landry, former Huntington Playwriting Fellow and parodist extraordinaire, puts a screwball spin on Fritz Lang's 1931 landmark of German cinema, M, about a serial child killer who is simultaneously tracked by police and criminal vigilantes. It's being performed under the imprimatur of the Huntington Theatre Company by a cast led by the distinguished Karen MacDonald in the Peter Lorre role. This is actually happening — rumors that MacDonald will appear next in The Maltese Falcon are unsubstantiated.
Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St, Boston | March 29–April 27 | $25-$80
4_BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK
Summer L. Williams is at the helm of By the Way, Meet Vera Stark, a pointed comedy by Lynn Nottage, a Pulitzer winner for Intimate Apparel. The title character, an African-American maid and aspiring actress, is cast in a Southern epic alongside her longtime employer, a white movie star. Kami Rushell Smith plays Vera.
Lyric Stage Company, 140 Clarendon St, Boston | March 29–April 27 | $25-$58
5_SHE KILLS MONSTERS
Company One presents the area premiere of SHE KILLS MONSTERS, a 2011 work by Qui Nguyen, resident playwright at New York theater company Vampire Cowboys, in which something like Dungeons & Dragons comes to life onstage as an average young woman dips into her dead teenage sister's world of fairies, ogres, and geekery.