LEGACY OF LIGHT | The Lyric Stage serves up the New England premiere of this cerebral, Stoppard-esque comedy by Karen Zacarias. The first of its interweaving two stories takes place during the Age of Enlightenment, with physicist Emilie du Châtelet discovering she's pregnant. While the 42-year-old Emilie rushes to finish her studies, fearing she may die in childbirth, the second story unfolds, in which modern-day researcher Olivia finds she's unable to conceive and starts looking for a surrogate. Ingenious, entertaining, and thought-provoking, the play is in the end too contrived to evoke more than also-ran comparison to Arcadia. But even to live in Stoppard's neighborhood is to own valuable dramaturgical real estate. And director Lois Roach makes the most of Zacarias's double-pronged drollery, with the historical figures stepping out of their reality, and later their deaths, to converse not only with their modern counterparts but also with us, supplying Wikipedia-esque background and arch commentary. | Lyric Stage Company of Boston, 140 Clarendon St, Boston | 617.585.5678 | Through March 13 | Curtain 2 + 7:30 pm Wed | 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 3 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $25-$54

THE LION KING | The Disney Tony, Grammy, Drama Desk, and Olivier (to name only a few) award winner and crowd pleaser is back, with its Julie Taymor masks and puppets, its Garth Fagan choreography, and its Elton John–Tim Rice score. This five-week engagement (which is running concurrently with productions in New York, London, Hamburg, Tokyo, Paris, and Las Vegas) will have Dionne Randolph as Mufasa, Phindile Mkhize as Rafiki, André Jackson as Simba, Marja Harmon as Nala, Brent Harris as Scar, Tony Freeman as Zazu, Tyler Murree as Timon, and Ben Lipitz as Pumbaa. | Opera House, 539 Washington St, Boston | 800.982.ARTS | Through March 21 | Curtain 7:30 pm Tues-Wed | 1 pm [March 18] + 7 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 2 + 8 pm Sat | 1 + 6:30 pm [no evening March 21] Sun | $22.50-$135

NEIGHBORHOOD 3: REQUISITION OF DOOM | Apollinaire Theatre Company brings us Jennifer Haley's 2008 play, a supernatural thriller about a violent multi-player video game that sweeps a suburban utopia and brainwashes the hapless players. When the kids cry for help, their parents ignore them, and some even encourage the gaming addiction — not a good idea, since the game eventually convinces kids that their parents are zombies who must be slaughtered in cold blood. Haley's script is chock full of camp, but in among the witty one-liners are some lessons for kids about quality control and a warning to parents to stop dangerous patterns in their children before it's too late. Not all the Apollinaire actors cast as adults are comfortable playing their characters as the negligent buffoons that Haley created. (Brian Quint is the notable exception — he delights as an out-of-touch dad and disturbs as a rambling recluse with Teiresias-like warnings.) But Aaron Mack's brilliant sound design and Julia Noulin-Merat's set more than make up for any acting missteps. | Chelsea Theatre Works, 189 Winnisimmet St, Chelsea | 617.887.2336 | Through March 14 | Curtain 8 pm Fri-Sat [plus midnight show March 6] | 3 pm Sun [March 14] | $25 advance; $30 doors; $15 student rush

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