New This Week

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre) An aristocratic wedding, a pair of misaligned lovers, rude mechanicals, and fairies, too. Previews Friday-April 7, opens April 8.

The Fair Maid of the West (Philadelphia Artists Collective) Bess the barmaid wins hearts, remains chaste, and goes pirating in this Elizabethan adventure-comedy. Previews Wednesday, Thursday, opens Friday.

Hamlet (Wilma Theater) Blanka Zizka is mixing up her Shakespeare, casting the dazzling actress Zainab Jah as the melancholy Dane. In previews, opens Wednesday.

National Pastime (Bucks County Playhouse) It's 1933. Can baseball save Baker City, Iowa, radio station WZBQ? Previews Previews Wednesday, Thursday, opens Friday.

Uncanny Valley (InterAct Theatre Company) Julian has been created to give a billionaire immortality. Claire's job is to teach him to be human. Thomas Gibbons' latest. Previews Friday-April 7, opens April 8.


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. Ends 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. Ends 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.

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

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. Through April 25.

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. Ends Sunday.

Liberace! (Walnut Street Theatre's Independence Studio) There was no one else like Wladziu Valentino Liberace, as this cabaret show will remind you. Through April 12.

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) Two outstanding performances illuminate this ambitious production of the Tony-winning musical about immigrants in America. Through April 12. - W.R.

Rashomon (Luna Theater Company) This highly stylized production of Kurosawa's masterpiece about a murder offers little inroad to the truth. Through April 11. - J.R.

The Taming of the Shrew (Lantern Theater Company) Strong-willed Kate and determined Petruchio fence, parry, and . . . tango! Through May 3.

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 25.

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