• Lazarus Syndrome — Theater Alliance. A lonely man is made to feel alive again through the love of his family. Opens tonight. 202/396-0050.
• Mrs. Farnsworth — Rep Stage. A.R. Gurney’s comedic play about a wealthy woman who tells a college writing class about her days with a man at the highest level of government. Opens Wednesday at Howard Community College. 410/772-4940.
• Reefer Madness: The Musical Studio Theatre 2ndStage— ..1/2. This 1999 musical version of the cult midnight movie from the 1970s, a film originally made in 1936 to warn youth about the crazy-making qualities of marijuana, produces a temporary buzz that is fun while it lasts. The cast is energetic, the performances uniformly excellent. Its efforts to recreate the B-movie excesses of the original film are enjoyable and entertaining. Yet the musical is essentially a one-toke experience, two acts that draw on the same stoner material. It makes you giddy as secondhand smoke — until the slightness and slapdash aspects of the show begin to dawn on you. Through Sunday. 202/332-3300.
• Songs for a New World — Open Circle Theatre — …. Suzanne Richard, artistic director of Open Circle Theatre, a troupe made up of disabled and nondisabled actors, has radically re-imagined Jason Robert Brown’s song cycle, originally about relationships and defining moments in people’s lives. Miss Richard has rearranged the music and lyrics and changed the setting to the war in Iraq and the Washington metropolitan area. This highly politicized spin heightens the drama of the piece and also allows insightful comments on the challenges facing disabled veterans returning from the war. Through Aug. 26 at Round House Theatre Silver Spring. 240/683-8934. MAXIMUM RATING: FOUR STARS