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Winter Arts Guide: Theater picks

LeAnne Parks and Merritt David Janes in “School of Rock — The Musical,” which is coming to the Opera House.Evan Zimmerman/MurphyMade

NAT TURNER IN JERUSALEM Inspired by the leader of a legendary 1831 slave rebellion, Nathan Alan Davis’s drama is set on the night before Turner (played by Brandon Green) is slated to be hanged in Jerusalem, Va. Featuring Lewis D. Wheeler as Thomas R. Gray, the recorder of his confessions. Directed by Benny Sato Ambush. Jan. 30-Feb. 24. Actors’ Shakespeare Project. At Hibernian Hall, Roxbury. 866-811-4111, www.actorshakespeareproject.org

WHO IS EARTHA MAE? The utterly singular actress, singer, and activist Eartha Kitt is the subject of a cabaret-style exploration of her remarkable life and career. Created and performed by Jade Wheeler, the world-premiere production is directed by Cailin Doran, with choreography by Jenna Pollack and music direction by Seulah Noh. Jan. 31-Feb. 23. Bridge Repertory Theatre. At Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge. www.bridgerep.org


BEDLAM’S PYGMALION Bedlam, the New York-based company whose production of George Bernard Shaw’s “Saint Joan’’ at Central Square Theater was one of the theater highlights of 2015 (and also of 2018, when Bedlam brought it to the Cutler Majestic Theatre), returns to Cambridge with another Shaw classic, albeit a much more lighthearted one: “Pygmalion.’’ Directed by Eric Tucker, who also stars as Professor Henry Higgins, and featuring Vaishnavi Sharma as Eliza Doolittle. Jan. 31-March 3. Production by Bedlam Theatre Company. Presented by Underground Railway Theater. At Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 617-576-9278 ext. 1, www.centralsquaretheater.org

SPAMILTON: AN AMERICAN PARODY As the ever-fertile mind behind the “Forbidden Broadway’’ series, the nonpareil parodist (and Needham native) Gerard Alessandrini has been lampooning Broadway musicals for nearly four decades. For his latest sendup, which he has written and directed, Alessandrini turns his attention to . . . Do I even need to say it, people? Feb. 12-April 7. Huntington Theatre Company. At Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre.org

SCHOOL OF ROCK — THE MUSICAL A musical adaptation of the 2003 Jack Black film about a would-be rock star who turns a scam — posing as a substitute teacher at a prep school — into a mission: turning the students on to the power of rock ’n’ roll. With music from the film and an original score by Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyrics by Glenn Slater, and a book by none other than Julian Fellowes, of “Downton Abbey’’ fame. Feb. 12-24. Broadway In Boston. At Boston Opera House. 800-982-2787, www.broadwayinboston.com


ENDLINGS World premiere of Celine Song’s play about three “haenyeos,’’ or sea women, who, even as they face their deaths, are devoted to the task at which they have spent their lives: diving into the ocean off the Korean island of Man-Jae and using knives to gather seafood. Meanwhile, in New York, a Korean-Canadian playwright struggles with questions of identity and how that should figure into her work. Directed by Sammi Cannold. Feb. 26-March 17. American Repertory Theater. At Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge. 617-547-8300, www.americanrepertorytheater.org

AN INSPECTOR CALLS Director Stephen Daldry (“Billy Elliot’’) first presented his expressionistic, class-conscious staging of the 1945 thriller by J.B. Priestley at the National Theatre in 1992, then revived it a couple of years ago. A mysterious police inspector knocks at the door of a wealthy industrialist and his wife and adult children, who are celebrating a daughter’s engagement. The inspector has got some sharp questions for the family about the death of a young working-class woman whom each of them knew. March 14-24. ArtsEmerson. At Emerson Cutler Majestic Theatre. 617-824-8400, www.artsemerson.org


CARDBOARD PIANO As a civil war escalates in Northern Uganda, a young lesbian couple provides refuge to a wounded child soldier in a church, where their encounter results in tragic consequences. The drama by South Korea-born playwright Hansol Jung (whose “Wild Goose Dreams’’ just ended an acclaimed run at New York’s Public Theater) will be directed by Benny Sato Ambush. March 23-April 14. New Repertory Theatre. At MainStage Theater, Mosesian Center for the Arts, Watertown. 617-923-8487, www.newrep.org

THE STRANGE UNDOING OF PRUDENCIA HART In David Greig’s eerily absorbing, supernaturalism-inflected play, Prudencia Hart (played by Becca A. Lewis), an academic who specializes in the study of Scottish folklore and ballads, encounters a mysterious stranger (Keith James Foster) one snowy night. Also featuring Brooks Reeves as Prudencia’s academic nemesis. When the National Theatre of Scotland presented the US premiere of “The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart’’ seven years ago in a New Haven tavern, my review described it as an “inventive excursion across the border of everyday life into strange and mythic realms.’’ Directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques, with music direction by David Reiffel. April 5-May 4. Presented by Apollinaire Theatre Company. At Chelsea Theatre Works, Chelsea. 617-887-2336, www.apollinairetheatre.com

TRIGGER WARNING For the last show of its final season, Zeitgeist Stage Company commissioned this drama from Connecticut playwright Jacques Lamarre, which explores the impact on the family of a boy who perpetrated a mass shooting. Tensions rise within the family as they ask whether they missed warning signs and could have done anything to prevent the shooting. The cast includes Steve Auger (who excelled as a Donald Trump-like billionaire-turned-politician in Zeitgeist’s recent production of Jon Robin Baitz’s “Vicuna’’), Liz Adams, Lilly Brenneman, Shelley Brown, Kelley Estes, and Naeemah White-Peppers. Directed by David J. Miller. April 12-May 4. Zeitgeist Stage Company. At Plaza Black Box Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.zeitgeiststage.com


Don Aucoin can be reached at aucoin@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter@GlobeAucoin