One sign that Twin Cities theater is settling into a new normal: So many plays open this weekend that it'll be tough to catch up with all of them.
Because companies schedule around holidays and other events, the theater world usually has a couple of packed weekends every year, one in the spring and one in the fall. Which is good news for dramaphiles, who can probably show up at their favorite venue this weekend and just assume that something is happening on stage.
If you're looking for a little more guidance, here are five new shows:
"All American Boys": Theo Langason directs an adaptation of a book by Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds, presented by Stages at the Capri Theater. Two teenage boys — one white, one Black — deal with the aftermath of racially motivated police violence in a drama for ages 10 and up. (7 p.m. Fri., 1 p.m. Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Wed.-Thu., 2027 W. Broadway, Mpls.; masks required, seating is physically distant; stagestheatre.org)
"Diary of a Wimpy Kid": When it debuted six years ago, Rohan Preston called this musical adaptation of Jeff Kinney's popular books one of the 10 best shows of the year. It's back in a revised version that still focuses on laughs to be found in the school and family life of beleaguered Greg Heffley. (7 p.m. Fri., 1 and 5 p.m. Sat.-Sun., 7 p.m. Thu., 2400 3rd Av. S., Mpls., $15-$78; masks required; childrenstheatre.org)
"Much Ado About Nothing": William Shakespeare's classic romantic comedy is updated several centuries to the 1940s but remains a battle of wills between sharp-tongued Beatrice and Benedick. (7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and Mon., Historic Mounds Theatre, 1029 Hudson Road, St. Paul, $15-$20; masks and vaccination (including booster) required; fearlesscomedy.org)
"Souvenir": No pressure, you're just stepping into Meryl Streep's shoes. Vanessa Gamble tackles the role played by Streep in "Florence Foster Jenkins" — a real-life socialite who terrorized audiences in the 1940s with her singing "talents." Michael Pearce Donley plays her accompanist in the poignant comedy. (7:30 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Art House North, 793 Armstrong Av., St. Paul, $20-$40; masks optional, seating capacity limited; bucketbrigadetheater.com)
"Two Jews Walk Into a War": Sally Wingert directs what she calls "a funny play with a serious message": The last two Jews in Kabul (played by Avi Aharoni and Nathan Keepers) bicker about how to keep their culture and community alive there. (8 p.m. Sat., 1 and 7 p.m. Sun., 7:30 p.m. Wed.-Thu., 1978 Ford Pkwy., St. Paul, $23-$38; masks and vaccination required, seating at 45% capacity; tickets at 651-647-4315, info at sixpointstheater.org)