Stephen Sondheim’s controversial musical “Assassins,” concerning the various attempts on the lives of U.S. presidents, gets the PlayMakers Repertory Company treatment beginning this weekend. Set in a carnival shooting gallery, the show looks into the motivations of such figures as John Wilkes Booth, “Squeaky” Fromme and John Hinckley Jr. 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; 2 p.m. Sunday (through Apr. 20). $15-$45. 919-962-7529 or playmakersrep.org.
• Burning Coal Theater Company mounts the beloved classic, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” beginning this weekend. The story of the Jewish family going into hiding from the Nazis in 1942 is always a moving reminder of courage in adversity. Details at burningcoal.org.
• The Cary Players offer both male and female versions of Neil Simon’s “The Odd Couple” in alternating performances beginning Friday at the Cary Arts Center. Details at caryplayers.org.
• William Peace University Theatre stages Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing” in Leggett Theatre Friday and Saturday. Details at peace.edu/events.