SPRING'S STAGE schedule is a typical cup-runneth-over affair, mixing the classic and the brand new (and new twists on standards), comedies and dramas, musicals and scripts without scores.
On the nonmusical front, we're excited about "To the Moon," a new piece from local comedy doyenne Jen Childs (and starring her gifted hubby, Scott Greer) that riffs on Jackie Gleason's 1950s sitcom "The Honeymooners."
Dramatically speaking, South Philly's Theatre Exile takes on Edward Albee's intense "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf," and Wilma Theater puts its audacious spin on Shakespeare's "Hamlet."
In musicals, the big news is the upcoming national tour stop of "Kinky Boots" at the Forrest Theatre. And "Hello Dolly" waltzes into the Media Theatre - with Andrea McArdle in the title role. And that's not all, folks:
"Dirty Dancing," March 24-April 5. Fans of the 1987 movie will no doubt have the time of their lives at this faithful recreation of the flick about a teenage girl's coming-of-age summer in the Catskill Mountains in the early 1960s.
Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets, show times vary, $20-$120.50, 215-893-1999, kimmelcenter.org.
"Hamlet," March 25-April 26. Bold casting has Zainab Jah in the role of the melancholy Dane. The following month, in a sly double bill, much of the cast returns for Wilma's production of the Tom Stoppard comedy "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" (May 20-June 14).
Wilma Theater, show times vary, 265 S. Broad St, $10-$25, 215-546-7824, wilmatheater.org.
"Unnecessary Farce," through March 29. Sidesplitting romp has all the ingredients of a good farce: goofy premise, goofier characters, misconstrued situations, doors opened and slammed - and a cast good enough to knock it out of the park.
Act II Playhouse, 56 E. Butler Ave., Ambler, show times vary, $28-$35, 215-654-0200, act2.org.
"Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery," through March 29. Comedic adaptation by "Lend Me a Tenor" author Ken Ludwig is based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles.
McCarter Theatre Center, 91 University Place, Princeton, N.J., through March 29, show times vary, $25-$92.50, 609-258-2787, mccarter.org.
"National Pastime," April 2-19. Just in time for the 2015 baseball season comes the musical - set in 1933 - about the game, those who play it, those who love watching those who play it and its place in our culture.
Bucks County Playhouse, 70 S. Main St., New Hope, show times vary, $29-$85, 215-862-2121, bcptheater.org.
"Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" April 16-May 17. Edward Albee's riveting drama about a married couple who hold nothing back.
Plays & Players, 1714 Delancey Pl., show times vary, $10-$50, 215-218-4022, theatreexile.org.
"To The Moon," April 16-May 17. This next project from comedy-centric 1812 Productions is, according to those responsible, about "a Ralph Kramden who longs to be a Jackie Gleason."
Christ Church Neighborhood House Theater, 20 N. American St., show times vary, $26-$40, 215-592-9560, 1812productions.org.
"In the Blood," April 16-May 9. Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks offers a new, satirical spin on The Scarlet Letter with cast that includes acclaimed localite Forrest McClendon.
Theatre Horizon, 401 DeKalb St., Norristown, show times vary, $24-$38 (discounts available), 610-283-2230, theatrehorizon.org.
"Hello, Dolly," April 22-May 24. Andrea McArdle returns to the local boards as the irrepressible Dolly Levi of Jerry Herman's beloved musical. (But be aware that an understudy steps in May 1-3.)
Media Theatre, 104 E. State St., Media, show times vary, $42 (adult), $35 (senior) and $25 (child). 610-891-0100, mediatheatre.org.
"Kinky Boots," April 28-May 10. Cyndi Lauper wrote the songs and Harvey Fierstein the book for this Tony-winning show, based on a 2005 British film about a drag queen who helps a shoe manufacturer save his business.
Forrest Theatre, 1114 Walnut St., show times vary, $57-$117, 215-893-1999, kimmelcenter.org.
"Memphis," May 12-July 12. Tony-winning musical is set in the early days of rock 'n' roll and boasts a score by Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan.
Walnut Street Theatre, 825 Walnut St., show times vary, $20-$75, 800-736-1420, ticketmaster.com.
"The Lion King," May 20-June 14. Crown jewel of Disney's musical-theater operation blends puppets, live actors and a maddeningly hummable score.
Academy of Music, Broad and Locust streets, show times vary, $28.50-$164.50, 215-893-1999, kimmelcenter.org.
"Passion," May 21-June 28. Stephen Sondheim musical (with a book by longtime collaborator James Lapine) focuses on love and obsession in 19th-century Italy.
Arden Theatre, 40 N. 2nd St., show times vary, $36-$50 (discounts available), 215-922-1122, ardentheatre.org.