By Jena Ardell
By Jon Campbell
By Alan Scherstuhl
By Tessa Stuart
By Roy Edroso
By Jon Campbell
By Albert Samaha
By Zachary D. Roberts
Previews begin March 16, opens April 6
Second Stage, 307 W 43rd, 212-246-4422
As any young woman who has sojourned at a financial-district bar during happy hour can tell you, young bankers are not to be trusted. (Not even when they send over delicious martinis.) But in Paul Weitz's new comedy, erstwhile Broadway actors Jerry and Marnie are too eager for the possibility of work, no matter how questionable, to look gift bankers in the mouth.
Previews begin March 24, opens May 10
Richard Rodgers Theatre, 226 W 46th, 212-307-4100
It's been years since the Disney Store dominated a squeaky-cleaned 42nd Street with its plush wares, but Walt's still making inroads into Times Square. The stage version of Tarzan, with songs by Phil Collins (including eight new ones), swings into action this spring. Josh Strickland will play the lord of Greystoke. Jenn Gambatese? She Jane.
The Threepenny Opera
Previews begin March 24, opens April 20
Studio 54, 254 W 54th, 212-719-1300
Audiences should expect to pay quite a bit more than three pennies when director Scott Elliott unveils a new version of this Brecht-Weill musical replete with an all-star class. Avant-garde playwright and famed character actor Wallace Shawn pens the adaptation, which features the likes of Alan Cumming, Cyndi Lauper, Nellie McKay, and Madonna's baby daddy Carlos Leon.
Previews begin March 25, opens April 25
Palace Theatre, 1564 Bway, 212-307-4100
With the happy exception of the Buffy the Vampire Slayer singspiel episode "Once More, With Feeling," there has never been a vampire musical that hasn't decisively bitten. Elton John, Bernie Taupin, and Linda Woolverton hope to change all that with this adaptation of Anne Rice's novels. Song titles include "Crimson Kiss," "From the Dead," and "Make Me as You Are."
Previews begin March 28
Public Theater, 425 Lafayette, 212-239-6200
When asked about looting in Baghdad following the fall of Iraq, Donald Rumsfeld answered, "Stuff happens . . . and it's untidy, and freedom's untidy, and free people are free to make mistakes and commit crimes and do bad things." This answer failed to satisfy playwright David Hare, who crafted this provocative drama, a hit in London, about the events preceding the invasion of Iraq.
Three Days of Rain
Previews begin March 28, opens April 19
Jacobs Theatre, 242 W 45th, 212-239-6200
We're supposing April showers, even contiguous days of them, won't deter audiences from the sight of Julia Roberts making her Broadway debut in this Richard Greenberg drama. (Indeed, a ticket-buying frenzy, unknown since Nicole Kidman stripped for The Blue Room, crashed several ticket-selling sites.) The playoh, thatflits back and forth between generations as one family's worth of intrigues unfolds.
Opens April 11
BAM Howard Gilman Opera House, 30 Lafayette Ave, Bklyn, 718-636-4100
In one of the most striking scenes of Henrik Ibsen's epic play, Peer makes a vain attempt at self-awareness. His soul, he finds, is like an onion. He peels and peels but can never find the kernel. The same might be said of the almost unstageable play, which director after director has attempted to unwrap. Robert Wilson is the latest to try his hand.
Previews begin April 13, opens May 3
Biltmore Theatre, 261 W 47th, 212-239-6200
Conor McPherson is no stranger to the supernatural. In one of his early plays, St. Nicholas, he described a theater critic turned vampire. This new work, which echoes the spectral quality of The Weir, concerns a man haunted by his dead wife and the psychiatrist who tries, at some peril, to aid him.
The History Boys
Previews begin April 14, opens April 23
Broadhurst Theatre, 235 W 44th, 212-239-6200
A girl like me wouldn't have learned much history at all if her class had been populated by the cast of English schoolboy hotties who made this Alan Bennett play such a hit at London's National. It concerns a horde of sixth-formers and the teachers who help and hinder them.
The Importance of Being Earnest Opens April 18
BAM Harvey Theater
651 Fulton St, Bklyn, 718-636-4100
George Bernard Shaw once called Oscar Wilde's plays dangerous subjects, because Wilde "has the property of making his critics dull. Local critics should be sharpening nibs then, in preparation for Peter Hall's revival of Wilde's most sparkling confection. Lynn Redgrave stars as the dandiest of dowagersLady Bracknell.
Previews begin April 21
The Duke on 42nd Street, 249 W 42nd, 2nd fl, 212-239-6200
Howard Brenton used to be a sore subject for us, but ever since we've fallen for his extraordinary espionage show MI-5, he makes us want to scream and shout. In a good way. We're even willing to follow him into the secret-agent-less territory of this new domestic drama, which concerns a divorcée pulled between her volatile ex and her venturesome young roommate. Evan Yionoulis directs.