Lisa Kron and Mary Pat Gleason in Well
(© Eric Antoniou)
Lisa Kron and Mary Pat Gleason in Well
(© Eric Antoniou)
It might not sound like the most promising premise for a play, especially a comedy, but Lisa Kron's Well, about her upbringing amid "a culture of illness," earned a slew of awards during its New York run on and off Broadway. Kron reprises her Tony-nominated performance in the Huntington Theatre's production, and is joined by stage and film veteran Mary Pat Gleason (replacing Jayne Houdyshell) as Kron's mysteriously afflicted -- and maddening -- mother (March 9-April 8). At the Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, the Huntington will present Noah Haidle's new play, Persephone, (March 30-May 6), in which an Italian Renaissance statue of the Greek goddess of the underworld carries a torch for her sculptor.

Other goings-on at the ever-busy BCA include Company One's world premiere of Boston playwright John Adekoje's Six Rounds/Six Lessons, a father-son feud set in a boxing ring (March 9-31); the New England premiere of Neil LaBute's sure-to-rankle Fat Pig, courtesy of accomplished Speakeasy Stage (March 16-April 7); a premiere of Where the Lost Boys Go, about an aging Cambridge dreamer facing mortality in the company of a young inamorata (March 16-24); and Crossing Borders III / Voices, a quartet of productions mounted by the avant-garde collaborative Pilgrim Theatre (March 17-April 14). Also slated for the BCA is Aoi/Komachi, a pair of classically inspired, contemporary Noh plays sponsored by the Japan Society of Boston (March 17-18), and Brian Friel's Dancing at Lughnasa, performed by the fledgling company Way Theatre Artists (March 30-April 14).

Lyric Stage serves up the Boston premiere of Christopher Durang's Miss Witherspoon -- another New York hit -- in which a woman who has committed suicide proves picky about her options for reincarnation (March 23-April 21). The production promises a first-time pairing of two area powerhouses: Jacqui Parker and Paula Plum. For further diva-on-diva action, look to the national tour of Legends! starring former Dynasty arch-enemies Joan Collins and Linda Evans, alighting at the Shubert (March 6-11).

Other big-ticket attractions include the national tour of the hit musical Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which runs its scams at the Opera House (March 6-18); Cirque Eloize at the Cutler (March 13-18); and Big Apple Circus right on City Hall Plaza (March 31-May 6).

The city's fringe spaces are active as well. The Devanaughn hosts SouthCity Theatre Company performing Naomi Wallace's One Flea Spare, set during the Black Plague of 1665 (March 16-25). The Boston Playwrights' Theatre debuts Janet Kenny's Theresa at Home, about a conflicted young homemaker in 1956 (March 22-April 7). And the city has a sleek new experimental space at the Institute for Contemporary Art, which will launch MIT professor Jay Scheib's multimedia piece This Place Is a Desert, inspired by the bleak landscapes -- emotional and otherwise -- in the films of Michelangelo Antonioni (March 22-25).

Along the city's periphery, notable productions include the Actors' Shakespeare Project's all-male Titus Andronicus -- with the ordinarily comic John Kuntz as the bloody-minded empress Tamora -- at The Basement at the Garage in Cambridge (March 29 - April 22); the Steppenwolf Theatre's award-winning adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath at Stoneham Theatre (March 1-18); Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story at Worcester Foothills Theatre (March 1-25); Shay Duffin in Brendan Behan: Confessions of an Irish Rebel at Jimmy Tingle's Off Broadway in Somerville (March 7-31); and J. T. Rogers' White People, about three of the same examining their prejudices, at New Repertory's Downstage space in Watertown (March 10-April 1).

Also on tap are A Little Bit of Ireland, a revue starring Broadway's Sarah Pfisterer, at Reagle Players in Waltham (March 16-18); Allan Knee's Syncopation, a romantic comedy set in New York's Lower East Side in 1911, at Lowell's Merrimack Repertory Theatre (March 22-April 15); Molasses Tank Productions presenting Manfred Karge's The Conquest of the South Pole at the Charlestown Working Theatre (March 22-April 15); and Chelsea's gem-in-the-rough Theatre Zone offering Kathleen Tolan's Memory House, about a mother baking a blueberry pie as she goads her adopted daughter into completing her college applications (March 30-April 29).

Only slightly farther afield, Pawtucket, Rhode Island has two shows of note: a reprise of Michael Murphy's Sin: A Cardinal Deposed at the Gamm Theatre (March 15-April 15) and a multi-ethnic production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Mixed Magic Theatre (March 22-April 15). As for Providence's venerable Trinity Repertory Theatre, it's going with the tried and true: that beloved 1960 chestnut, The Fantasticks (March 30-May 6).