Still hits the spot
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS All the 1982 cult-classic musical about a ravenous flytrap really needs is four adorable incarnations of Audrey II and accomplished singer-actors to play Seymour, Audrey, Mushnik, Orin, and the girl-group chorus. This production delivers on every count; you even believe you’re watching a hip musical retelling of “Macbeth.” Pictured: Blake Pfeil and Susan Molloy. Through May 27. New Repertory Theatre, Charles Mosesian Theater,
Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown. 617-923-8487, www.newrep.org JEFFREY GANTZ
XANADU An indefensibly enjoyable romp, with a superlative cast led by McCaela Donovan, who seizes the opportunity to fully showcase her musical and comedy chops as a Greek muse who falls in love with a (very) mere mortal. Through June 9. Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston. 617-933-8600, www.speakeasystage.com
WOODY SEZ: The Life & Music of Woody Guthrie A fine musical portrait of a groundbreaking folk singer (played by David M. Lutken with understated charisma), whose best songs speak for the dispossessed in all times and places. Extended through June 3. Presented by American Repertory Theater. At Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge.
MAESTRO: LEONARD BERNSTEIN In a finely wrought portrait, Hershey Felder explores the inner conflicts of a musical genius who packed several brilliant careers into one lifetime, but still struggled with regret at not having devoted more time to composing the masterwork of which he was capable. Through May 20. Presented by ArtsEmerson. At Paramount Center Mainstage, Boston. 617-824-8400, www.artsemerson.org
AVENUE Q Inspired by “Sesame Street,” the 2004 Tony Award winner for best musical is a dark story of growing up in the big city. With its adult themes and graphic puppet sex, it’s not for children. But adults will be able to access their inner child through this sunny-side-of-the-street production, in which it’s hard to tell who’s cuter and more lovable, the puppets or the humans. Through June 24. Lyric Stage Company. 617-585-5678, www.lyric
MARY POPPERS Ryan Landry and his Gold Dust Orphans hit the bull’s eye with a musical parody of “Mary Poppins” that stars Olive Another as the no-nonsense title nanny who sets up a crystal-meth lab in the Banks kids’ bedroom. Not for children, but adults can enjoy it without stimulation of any kind. Through May 20. Presented by Gold Dust Orphans. At Machine.
MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP The ever-inventive choreographer and his dazzling dancers bring three Boston premieres for this Celebrity Series engagement. And yes, all will be performed with live music: “The Muir” (Beethoven), “Festival Dance” (Hummel), and “Socrates” (Satie). May 17-20. $53-$80. Cutler Majestic Theatre. 617-482-6661, www.celebrityseries.org
THE SECRET HISTORY OF LOVE Choreographer-dancer Sean Dorsey and the Theater Offensive head into the dark recesses of the closet for this new dance theater work about gay and transgendered people looking for love in a world complicated by secrets and denial. May 17-19. $10-$30. Hibernian Hall, Roxbury. 617-661-1600, www.thetheateroffensive.org
EXIT DANCE THEATRE The Newburyport independent modern dance company celebrates its 25th anniversary with this concert of new and revised works. The program includes the Sarah George-Erin Staffiere collaboration “Amniosis,” which weaves animal imagery into an exploration of creation and evolution, as well as “Beginnings,” which shifts moods in response to a fast-changing series of musical introductions.
May 18-19. $19, $16 seniors and students. Firehouse Center for the Arts, Newburyport.
COLLECTIVE MELODIES IN FRAGMENTS Retiring Boston Arts Academy artistic dean and dance department co-chair Fernadina Chan goes out in style in this collaboration with composer Lisa Bielawa for the school’s annual benefit. Intergenerational dances accompanied by live music explore nostalgia and memory. Guest choreographers include alumni Adriane Brayton and Joe Gonzalez. The May 22 gala is pricey (tickets start at $100), but the open dress rehearsal
May 21 at 8 p.m. is free. Cyclorama, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-635-6470, www.boston
ALEX KATZ: 35 YEARS OF PORTRAITS It's a Katztravaganza! If “Alex Katz Prints” at the Museum of Fine Arts merely whets your appetite, this show, and “Alex Katz: Rare Prints, 1974-2011” down the street at Beth Urdang Gallery, may further satisfy. Through June 16. Barbara Krakow Gallery, 10 Newbury St. 617-262-4490, www.barbarakrakowgallery.com
UNTITLED: GREGORY CREWDSON Hyper-real, or hyper-fiction? Crewdson stages his photographs the way a director stages films. He then creates composite images with crystal focus. This show offers his pictures of the back lots of Cinecittà, the Roman film studio. Through May 25. Carol Schlosberg Alumni Gallery, Montserrat College of Art, 23 Essex St. 978-921-4242, www.montserrat .edu
CANDICE SMITH CORBY: FORTIFIED Corby's paintings revisit childhood constructions, such as the safe cave made from a quilt thrown over chairs. But they also explore domestic chaos, with piles of furniture and dramatically juxtaposed textile patterns. Through June 9. Ellen Miller Gallery, 38 Newbury St. 617-536-4650, www.ellenmillergallery.com
JOACHIM KOESTER: TO NAVIGATE, IN A GENUINE WAY, IN THE UNKNOWN In a range of different media, the Danish artist explores aspects of the unknown as manifested in the actions of cults, philosophers, and utopian dreamers. Through July 8. List Visual Arts Center. 617-253-4680, www.listart.mit.edu
MAKING A PRESENCE: F. HOLLAND DAY IN ARTISTIC PHOTOGRAPHY Ninety works presenting an overview of this fascinating Pictorialist photographer. Includes portraits of Day by his photographer peers. Through July 31. Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover. 978-749-4015, www.andover.edu/Museums/Addison
GALVANIZED TRUTH: A TRIBUTE TO GEORGE NICK An expansive survey of works by this lively and intimate realist painter. May 20 through Sept. 9. The Art Complex Museum, Duxbury. 781-934-2886, www.artcomplex.org
LESLEY VANCE Twenty-one vivid paintings and watercolors in the first solo museum show by this Los Angeles-based painter.
Through July 1. Bowdoin College Museum of Art. 207-725-3275, www.Bowdoin.edu/art-museum
PROVINCETOWN VIEWS The show pays tribute to the Fine Arts Work Center, sweeping through roughly a century of artists painting in Provincetown, from Charles Hawthorne to Hans Hofmann to Richard Baker. There's a special benefit preview Thursday. Pictured: Detail of “Agnes and Helen,’’ by Karl Knaths. May 19 through
June 23. ACME Fine Art, 38 Newbury St.