Tom Stoppard's brilliant 1966 play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, now in a lively production at the Wilma Theater, takes its title from the last scene in Hamlet when a messenger arrives to report that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two friends of the Prince of Denmark, are dead. In Shakespeare's play, this news doesn't move us much - they are, after all, two smarmy, not-too-bright guys sent to spy on Hamlet. We have larger, tragic deaths to deal with - like everybody else's.
Some men just love trouble, and some women are happy to provide it. Such are the inflammations in the Arden Theatre's production of Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine's dark, romantic Passion. This is not "another simple love story," sing its entangled leads, Clara and Giorgio. Although Clara is married with a young child, and Giorgio is about to tell her he's shipping off to a provincial military outpost in a few days, they don't yet know the half of it.
What is Yannick Nézet-Séguin doing on the back of a winged rhinoceros? And where is he expecting to go with such unconventional transportation?
Less than a year ago, Asef Khurshan had never been to the Barnes Foundation. Now, the 16-year-old would like to give you a tour, starting with his favorite room, No. 19.
Through June 28 at the Arden Theatre Company, 40 N. Second St. Tickets: $36 to $50. Information: 215-922-1122 or ArdenTheatre.org.
Theater Professional/semi-professional An Enemy of the People Ethics are pitted over economics in this tense drama. Closes 5/31. Bristol Riverside Theatre, 120 Radcliffe St., Bristol; 215-785-0100. $31-$46.
The Ben Franklin Parkway will get a makeover into a Parisian-style wonderland with the public art installation "Future Sensations," starting Friday.