‘CYRANO DE BERGERAC’ There’s no shortage of variations on Edmond Rostand’s 19th century play ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’, in which the brilliant big-nosed Cyrano writes beautiful love poems that his handsome, but shall we say less brilliant, comrade Christian passes on for his own to impress. on Roxane, a woman Cyrano loves herself. Next up is Jamie Lloyd Company’s ‘Cyrano de Bergerac’, adapted by Martin Crimp and directed by Lloyd, which will come to Brooklyn from an acclaimed run in London. It’s a slick, modern version, with Cyrano using rap and spoken word as his means of seduction. Starring as Cyrano, James McAvoy, who often seems to change his foundations—his voice and mannerisms, his energy, his entire physical presence—for a part. MAYA PHILLIPS
Previews begin April 5; opens April 14 at the Harvey Theater, Brooklyn Academy of Music.
‘A CASE FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD’ Samuel D. Hunter has built a rich body of work from fertile soil: the Idaho landscapes of his childhood. His deceptively quiet pieces (‘Lewiston/Clarkston’, ‘A Bright New Boise’, ‘Greater Clements’) explore faith, desire, sex and loss, in dialogue tuned to the rhythm of ordinary speech. The MacArthur Foundation recognized his ability to “create dramas that explore the human capacity for empathy and confront the socially isolating aspects of contemporary life in the American landscape.” Directed by David Cromer, this new play is set once again in Idaho — and is arguably the most intimate he’s written. It only has two characters, men trying to understand what the world does and doesn’t owe them. While Hunter often favors characters on what he calls “the losing end of American life,” he has promised this new piece is hopeful. ALEXIS SOLOSKIA
Previews begin April 12; opens May 2 at Signature Theater, Manhattan.
‘WISH YOU WERE HERE’ The vagaries of procrastination and rescheduling now give us two near-simultaneous opportunities to discover the world of Sanaz Toossi, a young first-generation Iranian-American playwright from Orange County, California. Hot on the heels of “English” (at the Atlantic Theater Company), which watches a small group of Iranians prepare for the test of English as a foreign language, “Wish You Were Here” follows five young women in suburban Karaj from Tehran. (Actress Marjan Neshat appears in both shows.) They are about 20 when the play begins in 1978, and we stay with them until 1991, navigating not only their friendship, but also their sense of home and belonging. A revolution unfolds, followed by war with Iraq; life-changing decisions need to be made. Toossi reunites with Gaye Taylor Upchurch, who directed the audio version of the Williamsburg Theater Festival and Audible last year. ELISABETH VINCENTELLIA
Previews begin April 13; opens May 2 at Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan.
‘WEDDING RING’ Alice Childress was a force to be reckoned with in the theater, even if she didn’t always get what she deserved. After all, she would have been the first black female playwright on Broadway had she not refused to make concessions to her work. The first would be her play “Trouble in Mind,” which finally premiered on Broadway last fall. How lucky we are to get her sequel to ‘Trouble’, ‘Wedding Band’, a seldom produced play about an illicit interracial relationship in the South during World War I. Awoye Timpo directs this, only the second New York production, with modern race politics — including the Black Lives Matter movement — as the issue in mind. MAYA PHILLIPS
Previews begin April 23; opens May 1 at Polonsky Shakespeare Center, Theater for New Audiences, Brooklyn.
‘THE BEDWETER’ Sorry, “Urinetown,” you’re not the only musical about a certain bodily function anymore. Subtitled “Stories of Redemption, Courage and Peeing” Sarah Silverman’s 2010 memoir is candid, vulnerable and, of course, brutally funny. Chances are, these qualities will be present in this musical arrangement, as Silverman himself wrote the book with playwright Joshua Harmon (“Prayer for the French Republic”), as well as the lyrics, with composer Adam Schlesinger. The show will no doubt be bittersweet: Schlesinger, who is best known for his scores to Broadway’s “Cry-Baby” and the TV series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” died of complications from the coronavirus in April 2020, around the time of ” The Bedwetter”. was originally scheduled to premiere. ELISABETH VINCENTELLIA
Previews begin April 30; opens May 23 at the Linda Gross Theater, Atlantic Theater Company.