By Scott Snowden
By Anna Merlan
By Steve Almond
By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
VOICES FROM THE HILL
March 20-April 14
Connelly Theatre, 220 East 4th Street, 358-5738
March 20-April 28
Classic Stage Company, 136 East 13th Street, 677-6210
Steve Martin adapts Carl Sternheim's 1910 farce, about a man who struggles to keep his wife's underwear from falling down. The German Sternheim (1878-1942) wrote comedies about "the heroic life of the bourgeoisie." Not sure who the Martin fellow is.
SWIMMING WITH WATERMELONS
Performances begin March 22
Vineyard Theatre, 108 East 15th Street, 353-0303
Diane Paulus brings her third show in two seasons to the Vineyard. She and Project 400 cohort Randy Weiner mount a love story about a Japanese woman and an American GI in post-World War II Japan. Paulus and Weiner deploy 20 hit songs from the '40s as the piece's score. Presented by the Vineyard and the Music-Theatre Group.
THE FAB 4 REACH THE PEARLY GATES
March 29-April 14
P.S. 122, 150 First Avenue, 477-5288
They're half there already. Lesson: Stick to the rhythm section. Philly's New Paradise Laboratories ship in their performance piece, a play that features a quartet of Liverpudlians playing their encore in heaven (never to be confused with Shea Stadium).
Performances begin March 29
Joseph Papp Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, 777-1444
Not a play about a deceased magazine. The Foundry Theatre presents Carl Hancock Rux's rumination on the African American artist Archer Aymes, in a piece described by Rux as "an opera of communication and miscommunication."
La MaMa, 79A East 4th Street, 475-7710
Jim Neu's latest takes place in L.A. after the conventions of film noir have become the style of everyday life. While theater can sometimes be a nightmare alley, expect the verbally adroit Neu to bring a pleasing touch of evil to his deadpan comedy.
THESE FOUR WALLS
Dixon Place, 309 East 26th Street, 532-1546
RICKY JAY ON THE STEM
Performances begin April 9
Second Stage, 307 West 43rd Street, 246-4422
Here, 145 Sixth Avenue, 647-0202
The worst thing about amnesia is coming out of it and discovering you've murdered somebody. The proto-type collective, which produced Bunny's Last Night in Limbo, mounts this urban myth about a manipulative family and their peculiar visitor.
ATTEMPTS ON HER LIFE
Performances begin April 16
Soho Rep, 46 Walker Street, 479-7979
Following up on its hit [sic], Soho Rep presents Martin Crimp's play about a woman of indecipherable identity. Will it be a blast of English intrigue, or more Fuerchtenünabwendbarfreundlich?
April 17-May 4
St. Ann's Warehouse, 38 Water Street, Brooklyn, 212-979-6904
The Builders Association return with its first big show since the Obie-winning Jet Lag. Director Marianne Weems's high-techie production looks at the history of American musical entertainment.
THE MAN WHO HAD ALL THE LUCK
Performances begin April 19
Roundabout, 227 West 42nd Street, 719-1300
A play that didn't have much luck at all, Arthur Miller's first Broadway production lasted less than a week in 1940. Miller has referred to the piece as a "desk-drawer" play, but credits it with leading to both All My Sonsand Death of a Salesman. Actor Chris O'Donnell leads the show back to the Great White Way 52 years later.
HOUSE AND GARDEN
Performances begin April 26
Manhattan Theatre Company, 131 West 55th Street, 581-1212
A spring-sounding combo if there ever was one. Alan Ayckbourn's related plays run concurrently on both MTC stages, the shared cast running back and forth between the two to perform their parts. A neat trick, but how about something a bit more challenging, say The Music Manand The Jew of Malta?
Performances begin May 3
Connelly Theatre, 220 East 4th Street, 358-3657
Target Margin continues its opera season with a concoction of its owna new opera based on E.T.A. Hoffmann's tale The Sandman. Music by Thomas Cabaniss with a libretto by Douglas Langworthy and David Herskovits, plus Target Margin's trademark gilded theatrics.
THIS THING OF DARKNESS
Performances begin May 8
Atlantic Theater, 336 West 20th Street, 645-1242
Advance info on this Craig Lucas-David Schulner collaboration is murky: "Two young men are about to begin their lives when the future crashes in on their comfortable surroundings." Hope it's not the chandelier busting up the Eames chair.
THE PARADISE PROJECT
The Kitchen, 512 West 19th Street, 255-5793
Video, song, and trapezethe very lifeblood of the avant-garde. Performer John Kelly teams up with composer Ricky Ian Gordon and lyricist Mark Campbell for a "meditation" on the French film Children of Paradise. There's apparently some mime obsession here, too, so your call.
Listings by Brian Parks