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5 Shows to See in Boston This March

Shakespeare, timely dramas, and Pushkin puppetry make our must-see list.

We did it, guys. We've nearly made it through another Boston winter. And while it's easy to get swept up in the madness of primaries and pandemics, there are five good reasons to leave your troubles outside this month and get lost in the dark for a few hours. From searing contemporary dramas to a local visionary's sure-to-be-one-of-a-kind take on Shakespeare — and even some puppets doing Pushkin — here are our picks for what to see this March.

The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish and Lucy Kirkwood's The Children are among the productions onstage this month in Boston.
(© Igor Klimov / Maggie Hall)

1. Bent
The Umbrella Stage Company
March 13-29

Martin Sherman's contemporary classic is the equivalent of a theatrical punch to the gut, but this wrenching and provocative play about the relationship between two gay men at a concentration camp is as close to required viewing as it gets this spring. Bent hurts so good.

2. The Children
SpeakEasy Stage Company
Running through March 28

A 2018 Tony nominee for Best Play, Lucy Kirkwood's chilling cautionary drama tells the story of three physicists who are forced to confront their roles in a devastating environmental disaster. Bryn Boice directs a cast of three of Boston's best actors, Tyrees Allen, Karen MacDonald, and Paula Plum.

3. The Merchant of Venice
Actors' Shakespeare Project
March 11-April 5

This just might be the most anticipated production of the spring for me, and that has a lot to do with Igor Golyak, the visionary director whose recent fearless productions of The Stone and The Seagull at Arlekin Players are among the most thrilling I've ever seen. And with a cast that includes the ever-incredible Nael Nacer, Mara Sidmore, and Alejandro Simoes, there's no way this won't be good.

4. Pipeline
Central Square Theater
Running through March 29

This 90-minute drama by Dominique Morisseau, one of today's most buzzed-about playwrights, examines class and race against the backdrop of education. A co-production between the Nora Theatre Company and WAM Theatre from Lenox, Massachusetts, Dawn M. Simmons directs this deeply moving play. I'm especially looking forward to seeing Hubens "Bobby" Cius in the cast, who was extraordinary in SpeakEasy's production of Pass Over in January.

5. The Tale of the Fisherman and the Fish
Arlekin Players
Running through April 12

Pushkin's legendary tale is brought to life by both actors and puppets, relying on imagery and music — rather than words — to tell the story. And if there's one Boston theater company that always nails it in the imagery department, it's Arlekin. What's more, it's the only offering of this bunch that's good for the whole family.

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