Top 20 theater shows this spring

Here's your guide to the best plays, musicals and classics.

Hand to God

A trash-talking hand puppet takes charge of its shy teenage handler (the brilliant Steven Boyer) in Robert Askins's outrageous morality tale, set at a Christian puppet ministry in Texas. Moritz von Stuelpnagel and his committed cast (including the marvelous Geneva Carr and Scott Sowers) throw themselves full-throttle into the melee; watching Boyer switch back and forth between contrasting personae is a hallelujah. 866-811-4111, $25—$35.

  1. Ensemble Studio Theatre 549 W 52nd St, between Tenth and Eleventh Aves, second floor
  2. Until Sun Mar 30
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The Maids

Red Bull Theater remounts Jean Genet's weird, hypnotic tale of two servants letting their erotic (and murderous) imaginations run wild. Jess Berger directs a mouthwatering cast that includes Ana Reeder, Jeanine Serralles and J. Smith-Cameron. This 1947 modern classic is frequently dusted off as a showcase for out-of-school hopefuls, but here's one production that we have to see. 212-352-3101, $25—$75.

  1. Theatre at St. Clement's 423 W 46th St, between Ninth and Tenth Aves
  2. Until Sun Apr 1
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The Best Man

  • Price band: 3/4
  • Critics choice

Gore Vidal's 1960 election-year drama concerns a presidential candidate (Eric McCormack) with secrets he's trying to keep out of the campaign. Michael Wilson (The Orphans' Home Cycle) directs a cast of pros that includes Candice Bergen, John Larroquette, Angela Lansbury and James Earl Jones. 212-239-6200, $66.50—$131.50.

  1. Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre 236 W 45th St, between Broadway and Eighth Ave
  2. Sat Sep 8 - Sun Sep 9
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Now. Here. This.

The frisky and clever team of meta-musical makers who gave us [title of show] returns with a new work that asks life's big questions. Among the topics to be pondered by Hunter Bell, Susan Blackwell, Heidi Blickenstaff and Jeff Bowen are "birds, bees, reptiles, early man, ancient civilizations, and outer space. Also, loneliness, friendship, hoarding, hiding, laughing, living and dying. And middle school. And dinosaurs." 212-353-0303, $75—$100.

  1. Vineyard Theatre 108 E 15th St, between Union Sq East and Irving Pl
  2. Until Sun Apr 15
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The Deepest Play Ever: The Catharsis of Pathos

One of our favorite young companies, Collaboration Town, presents a Brecht satire that was the toast of the Fringe Festival a couple of years ago. In this waggish travesty of Mother Courage and Her Children, antihero Mother LaMadre and her ragtag crew drag their wagon through the Fifth World War and the post-postapocalyptic wasteland that is New Europe. Oh, and there are zombies, too. Suck it, Bertolt. 212-868-4444, $18.

  1. New Ohio Theatre 154 Christopher St, between Greenwich and Washington Sts
  2. Until Sat Mar 24
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