SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD | Drama Desk Award–winning Broadway orchestrator and Boston College professor Mary-Mitchell Campbell directs this benefit performance of Jason Robert Brown's affecting song cycle. José Delgado heads the cast. Proceeds will benefit Artists Striving To End Poverty, of which Campbell is co-founder and chair, as well as the Boston College Arts Council. | Robsham Theater Arts Center, Boston College campus, Boston | 617.552.4002 | May 9 | Curtain 7:30 pm Sat | $50; $75 includes post-performance champagne reception

STRANGERS ON A TRAIN | Stoneham Theatre presents Craig Warner's stage adaption of the Patricia Highsmith novel that inspired the 1951 Alfred Hitchcock film about two men who meet on a train and hatch a mutually beneficial double-murder plot. Weylin Symes directs. | Stoneham Theatre, 395 Main St, Stoneham | 781.279.2200 | May 7-24 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $40; $35 seniors; $20 students


NOW PLAYING

THE BACCHAE | Whistler in the Dark theater company takes on Euripides's tragedy, in which a celebration of the wine god gets way out of hand. Meg Taintor directs a translation by Northeastern professor Francis Blessington. | Rehearsal Hall A, Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, 527 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600 | Through May 17 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $25; $15 students; two for one StageSource members Wed

BIG APPLE CIRCUS | Now in its 31st season, the intimate one-ring circus returns with a new edition. Play On!, which takes its name from the opening line of Twelfth Night, boasts "high-spirited Colombians on the flying trapeze; an acrobatic Chinese ballerina pirouetting on top of her partner; jazzed-up juggling twins from America; Russians springing skyward from their Russian barre; a talented troupe of Italian dogs; and the breathtaking exploits of Big Apple Circus equestrians vaulting onto galloping horses." And if that's not enough for you, they'll send in the clowns led by BAC veteran Grandma. The inventive set is by 2008 Tony Award winner (for August: Osage County) Todd Rosenthal. | City Hall Plaza, Boston | 888.541.3750 | Through May 10 | Performance times vary | $20-$65; $100 premium seating weekends and Patriots Week

BUNBURY: A SERIOUS PLAY FOR TRIVIAL PEOPLE | Tom Jacobson's "seriously clever metatheatrical comedy" goes all Stoppard on us by bringing minor (or imaginary) characters from classic drama to the forefront. "Tired of being swept to the sidelines of drama, Bunbury, Algernon's off-stage friend from The Importance of Being Earnest, and Rosaline, Romeo's off-stage first love, are determined to make an impact." Barlow Adamson and John Edward O'Brien are at the helm of this Mill 6 Collaborative production. | Factory Theater, 791 Tremont St, Boston | 866.811.4111 | Through May 17 | Curtain 8 pm Thurs-Sat | 3 pm Sun | $17 in advance; $20 at the door

CHARLOTTE'S WEB | Roll over, Beth of Little Women fame — there may be no bigger tearjerker in youth literature than the demise of the arachnid who befriends a pig in E.B. White's classic tale. It's brought to the stage by Joseph Robinette; Jane Staab directs a cast led by Merle Perkins, Robert Saoud, and Grace Brakeman. | Wheelock Family Theatre, 200 the Riverway, Boston | 617.879.2300 | Through May 10 | Curtain 7:30 pm Fri | 3 pm Sat-Sun | $15-$25; $10 Pajama Party Fridays; $13 Teens Take Charge

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