New This Week

Dirty Dancing (Academy of Music) In this stage version of the monster film hit, it's 1963 and Baby and Johnny are heating things up at a Catskills resort. Opens Tuesday.

Hamlet (Wilma Theater) Blanka Zizka is mixing up her Shakespeare, casting the dazzling actress Zainab Jah as the melancholy Dane. Previews Wednesday-March 31, opens April 1.

Liberace! (Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio) There was no one else like Wladziu Valentino Liberace, as this cabaret show will remind you. Previews Tuesday, Wednesday, opens Thursday.

The Taming of the Shrew (Lantern Theater Company) Strong-willed Kate and determined Petruchio fence, parry, and . . . tango! In previews, opens Wednesday.


Reviewed by Wendy Rosenfield (W.R.), Jim Rutter (J.R.), and Toby Zinman (T.Z.).

The 39 Steps (Broadway Theatre of Pitman) Four valiant actors play scores of roles in this madcap mystery based on Hitchcock's thriller. Through next Sunday.

A Murder Has Been Arranged (Hedgerow Theatre) Sir Charles Jasper will inherit two million pounds on his 30th birthday, and plans a merry celebration. A jealous cousin has other ideas. Through next Sunday.

And Then There Were None (Walnut Street Theatre) Agatha Christie's old chestnut of a mystery gets a caricature treatment in this production. Through April 26. - T.Z.

Annie (Academy of Music) By now, the story of the little redhead and her hard-knock life is a well-oiled machine, but it's still warm and endearing. Ends Sunday. - W.R.

Baskerville (McCarter Theatre) Ken Ludwig dramatizes (and comedifies) the mystery of Conan Doyle's The Hound of the Baskervilles. Through next Sunday.

The Divorcees Club (Penn's Landing Playhouse) Newly single women join forces. Hilarious! Ends Sunday. - J.R.

Field Hockey Hot (11th Hour Theatre Company) Michael Ogborn's sunny, campy new musical satire about a driven field hockey coach - the terrific Jennie Eisenhower - and her gung-ho, plaid-kilted girls (some of whom aren't) has too many charms to list. Ends Sunday. - W.R.

Ghost: The Musical (Media Theatre) Based on the popular 1990 film that tells the love story of Sam and Molly and his death during a botched mugging. With music from Eurythmics' Dave Stewart. Through next Sunday.

Macbeth (Arden Theatre Company) Alexander Burns directs Shakespeare's classic dark tale of ambition in a riveting production highlighted by the splendid Ian Merrill Peakes, who makes the famous "tomorrow and tomorrow" soliloquy his own. Through April 26. - T.Z.

Moon Cave (Azuka Theatre) An excellent cast highlights this otherwise thin drama about a man whose childhood trauma is blighting his life. Ends Sunday - T.Z.

Ragtime (Bristol Riverside Theatre) A Tony-winning musical that carries three immigrant families through the joys, pains, and contradictions of becoming American. Through April 12.

Rashomon (Luna Theater Company) In 12th-century Japan, a samurai is murdered and his wife raped. Four versions of the crimes emerge - is anyone telling the truth? Through April 11.

Tick Tick . . . BOOM! (Eagle Theatre) Jonathan Larson's story of a young man worried that life is passing him by as he struggles to write his first musical. Through April 19.

Unnecessary Farce (Act II Playhouse) Newbie cops, government corruption, a homicidal bagpipe player - what more could you want? Extended through next Sunday. - J.R.