Scott Parkinson looking appropriately pensive as Hamlet

The fall theater season is building momentum, and there’s an ample number of Reader-recommended shows out this week.

The Writers’ Theatre production of Hamlet isn’t perfect, says Tony Adler, but a stunning set, some strong performances, and a fascinating concept make it vibrant. Positing a gay Hamlet, Michael Halberstam’s staging is “revelatory” as well as accessible and lively.

Other recommended shows include Iphigenia 2.0, a modern take on Euripides’s Iphigenia in Aulis, at Next Theatre Company. Albert Williams praises Charles Mee’s adaptation for its poignant commentary on American military adventurism in the Middle East. Speaking of war, Rivendell Theatre’s Wrens tells the story of seven members of the Women’s Royal Naval Service on the eve of VE Day. According to Justin Hayford, the first act is uninteresting, the second riveting, and an adept cast make both compelling.

Despite its “icky” acceptance of alcoholism, Dan Jakes calls Drinking & Writing Theater’s Barnstormers a “casually fascinating edutainment covering booze, sports, and journalism.” The six vignettes comprising All in the Timing explore the limitations and potential of verbal communication. Doug Albers’s staging for the brand new Bard & Fool Theater Group implements David Ives’s tricky wordplay with flawless comedic timing.