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Our must-see Boston theater picks for spring 2017

It's a little something for everyone.
  • 1 of 5

    17 Border Crossings|Marc Simpson

  • 2 of 5

    Arrabal |Cylla Von Tiedmann

  • 3 of 5

    Arrabal |Cylla Von Tiedmann

  • 4 of 5

    How to Be a Rock Critic|Craig Schwartz

  • 5 of 5

    How to Be a Rock Critic|Craig Schwartz

MARCH

“Golda’s Balcony”

Bobbie Steinbach stars in this one-woman show as Golda Meir, prime minister of Israel from 1969 to 1974. While the play covers her whole remarkable story, it focuses on the 1973 Yom Kippur War, controversially suggesting that Meir threatened to use nuclear weapons if the United States didn’t intervene. Regardless, playwright William Gibson depicts a woman who, whatever her task, meant business.March 25-April 16, Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown, $22-$61, newrep.org

“The Who and the What”

Huntington Theatre presents this play by Ayad Akhtar about Zarina, a celebrated Muslim novelist whose latest work in progress questions the traditional view of the Prophet Muhammad. When her Pakistan-born, traditionalist father, Afzal, finds out about it, he’s none too pleased. In between them stands her new boyfriend Eli, a recent convert to the faith and, in Afzal’s skeptical words, “a do-gooder.” March 31-May 7,Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., $20-$63, huntingtontheatre.org

APRIL

“Barbecue”

Lyric Stage Company presents this play by Robert O’Hara, set around that great American pastime, the family barbecue — but this is a play, so of course the family has issues. They’ve got a problem with one of the sisters, and we’re told that “they are the kind of family that comes to an intervention armed with a Taser.” April 7-May 7, Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon St., $33-$69, lyricstage.org

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“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”

You might not expect Boston Children’s Theater to mount a production of Ken Kesey’s classic mental hospital fable, but they make it clear this play is ages 13 and up. Dale Wasserman adapted Kesey’s novel for Broadway, just a year after the 1962 novel, with two revivals since — a testament to the enduring relevance of Kesey’s nonconformist message.April 15-30, Plaza Theater, 539 Tremont St., $10-$35, bostontheatrescene.com

“17 Border Crossings”

It’s easy to forget that national borders are abstractions, made real by international agreements and lots and lots of bureaucracy. This show, written by and starring Thaddeus Phillips, is all about that idea. Phillips takes us to Hungary, Serbia, Morocco, Colombia, Holland and Mexico, among other locales, in his quest for the meaning of borders — or the lack thereof. April 19-29, Paramount Center, 559 Washington St., $15-$60, artsemerson.org

“Homebody”

In this Tony Kusher play, an agoraphobic British housewife fantasizes about Afghanistan and the Middle East — but since fantasy always plays off reality, we learn a great deal about her own self, too. The trouble starts when our homebody endeavors to make her fantasy real, leading her to a faraway land she only thinks she understands. April 20-May 7, Central Square Theater, 450 Mass. Ave., Cambridge, $26-$47, centralsquaretheatre.org

MAY

“The Bridges of Madison County”

SpeakEasy Stage Company brings us the 2014 Broadway musical adaptation of Robert James Waller’s 1992 romance novel, famously made into 1995 film with Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. Though you might wonder what’s the value in adding songs to Waller’s bittersweet adultery tale, they are apparently very good songs — good enough to win the Tony Award for Best Original Score. May 6-June 3, Calderwood Pavilion,527 Tremont St., $25-$52, bostontheatrescene.com

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“How to Be a Rock Critic”

There’s no mistaking the meandering, impassioned, beat/gonzo journalistic style of Lester Bangs, a singular talent in the annals of rock criticism. In this one-man show, Erik Jenzen plays the legendary writer, who waged a war against overblown arena trash and disco drivel throughout the ’70s, all while living like a rock star himself — a tendency that brought him to an early grave. May 11-21, Paramount Center, 559 Washington St., $15-$60, artsemerson.org

“Arrabal”

American Repertory Theater presents this dance musical set in Argentina, with music performed by an ensemble straight from Buenos Aires. The story explores the underground tango world of that great South American city, focusing on a female protagonist wrestling with her father’s fate as one of the “disappeared” during the “Dirty War” of the 1970s. Oh, and she also does tango. May 12-June 18,Loeb Drama Center, 64 Brattle St., Cambridge, Price TBA, americanrepertorytheater.org

“Ripcord”

Boston native and Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire is the author of this new comedy about a pair of mismatched roommates in an assisted living facility. Disliking each other but each wanting to keep the room for herself, they place a bet — whoever can break the other’s temper first gets to stay. Soon enough, it’s spiraled into an all-out prank war. May 26-June 25,Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St., Boston, $20-$85, bit.ly/2lsS2ht

 

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