New This Week

Because of Winn-Dixie (Delaware Theatre Company) This new girl-and-her-pet musical doesn't just feature a dog, it stars a dog. Previews Wednesday- Friday, opens Saturday.

The Hairy Ape (EgoPo Classic Theater) Eugene O'Neill's early exploration of class and alienation. Previews Wednesday, Thursday, opens Friday.

Marry Me a Little (Montgomery Theater) Two lonely apartment dwellers tell their stories through Sondheim songs. Previews Thursday, Friday, opens Saturday.

A Midsummer Night's Dream (Philadelphia Shakespeare Theatre) An aristocratic wedding, a pair of misaligned lovers, rude mechanicals, and fairies, too. In previews, opens Wednesday.

Penelope (Inis Nua) In Enda Walsh's reimagining, as Penelope awaits the return of Odysseus, her last, desperate suitors explore their dread in an empty swimming pool. Previews Wednesday, Thursday, opens Friday.

Shadow of a Gunman (Irish Heritage Theater) When Donal Davoren is mistaken for a notorious IRA gunman, he goes along. 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. In previews, opens Wednesday.


 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.

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. But the nostalgia feels dusty, not sexy. Through April 25. - T.Z.

The Fair Maid of the West (Philadelphia Artists Collective) Bess the barmaid wins hearts, remains chaste, and goes pirating in this Elizabethan adventure- comedy. Through April 18.

Hamlet (Wilma Theater) Blanka Zizka is mixing up her Shakespeare, casting the dazzling actress Zainab Jah as the melancholy Dane. Through April 19.

Lafferty's Wake (Society Hill Playhouse) The late Charlie Lafferty is getting a proper send-off in the pub he loved best - and the audience is part of the fun. Through April 19. - J.R.

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

National Pastime (Bucks County Playhouse) It's 1933. Can baseball save WZBQ in Baker City, Iowa? Through April 19.

Ragtime (Bristol Riverside Theatre) Two outstanding performances illuminate this ambitious production of the Tony-winning musical about immigrants in America. Through next Sunday. - W.R.

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

The Taming of the Shrew (Lantern Theater Company) This story of strong-willed Kate being subdued by determined Petruchio is fresh and funny, but a bit . . . tame. Through May 3. - J.R.

Tick Tick . . . BOOM! (Eagle Theatre) Jonathan Larson's precursor to Rent - the story of a young man worried that life is passing him by as he struggles to write his first musical - gets an engaging, accomplished production. Through April 25. - D.P.S.