Upcoming arts events around Boston

Steven Schreiber


THE LILY’S REVENGE If Busby Berkeley had dropped acid while watching “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,’’ this might have been the result. Cutesy and ham-handed though it is at times, Taylor Mac’s five-act, four-hour-plus extravaganza about a flower that wants to marry a human sweeps you up in its gaudy, irrepressible theatricality. Through Oct. 28. American Repertory Theater. At Oberon, Cambridge. 617-547-8300,

WAR HORSE The sights and sounds of battle have seldom been rendered more vividly onstage than in this puppet-driven drama about a cavalry horse and the British youth who journeys through the trenches of World War I to find him. The National Theatre of Great Britain has put a lot of ingenious stagecraft to very powerful use, with image after blindingly sudden image of combat and its casualties — human and animal — that capture the chaos, futility, and waste of war. Through Oct. 21. Broadway in Boston. At Boston Opera House. 800-982-2787,

HAMLET While still abounding in corpses and weighty rumination, this production by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre is a high-speed, highly accessible version of the classic revenge tragedy. As portrayed by the blond and boyish Michael Benz, Hamlet is less a melancholy Dane than an antic young rebel with a cause, chafing at the limits of his life and eager to make mischief. There’s an aspect of generational revolt in the prince’s efforts to subvert the hypocritical elders who hold sway at Elsinore. Through Oct. 21. ArtsEmerson. At Paramount Center Mainstage. 617-824-8400,


THE HOW AND THE WHY You’ll have to wade through some scientific jargon in Sarah Treem’s play about a graduate student and a renowned evolutionary biologist, but under the direction of Daniel Gidron, this cerebral drama solidifies into a well-drawn and satisfyingly intense clash of ideas and personalities. Through Oct. 21. Nora Theatre Company. At Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 866-811-4111,

Get The Weekender in your inbox:
The Globe's top picks for what to see and do each weekend, in Boston and beyond.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

VOLTAIRE AND FREDERICK: A LIFE IN LETTERS A staged reading, featuring Thomas Derrah and John Kuntz, of Detlef Gericke-Schönhagen’s new play, which is built on the decades-long correspondence between the irreverent French author of “Candide’’ and Frederick the Great. Directed by Guy Ben-Aharon. German Stage, Goethe-Institut Boston. Oct. 22 at Mandel Humanities Center, Brandeis University, Waltham. 781-736-2756, Nov. 1 at Adolphus Busch Hall, Harvard University. 617-496-2222. www.boxoffice.harvard

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING A screening of a production staged last year in London at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, starring Eve Best as Beatrice and Charles Edwards as Benedick, a duo who delight in verbal volleying. Oct. 23 and 29 at Kendall Square Cinema, Cambridge. 617-621-1202, www.landmarktheatres
.com. Oct. 29 at Showcase Cinemas, Lowell; Showcase Cinema, Legacy Place, Dedham; and Showcase Cinemas, Woburn. 800-315-4000,


MACBETH The virtues of this production include Jenna McFarland-Lord’s ghostly World War I-era set, director Paula Plum’s many imaginative conceits (like having the three witches double as nuns), and Allyn Burrows’s exuberant, man-against-fate depiction of the title character. Shakespeare done differently, and done very well. Through Nov. 4. Actors’ Shakespeare Project. At Chevalier Theatre, Medford. 866-811-4111, www.actorsshakespeareproject

UNCLE VANYA A revival of last winter’s production of Anton Chekhov’s classic study of wasted lives, with Diego Arciniegas replacing John Kuntz in the title role. Craig Lucas’s adaptation is Americanized to a fault, but staging each of the four acts in a different room makes the audience feel like privileged guests on a provincial Russian estate. (Reviewed January 2012.) Extended through Nov. 11. Apollinaire Theatre Company. At Chelsea Theatre Works, Chelsea.




EIGHTH ANNUAL PROVINCETOWN DANCE FESTIVAL The Outer Cape will be hopping this weekend as an intriguing array of companies come together for two different evenings of contemporary dance. Participants include Sean Curran Company, Ego Art Inc., Portland Ballet, the Boston Tap Company, and Kairos, among others. Presented by Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill. Oct. 19-20, 7:30 p.m. $25 ($75 premium seating), $20 seniors and students; $45 both nights ($100 premium seating). Provincetown Theater, 238 Bradford St., Provincetown. 508-487-9793,

THIRD LIFE STUDIO CHOREOGRAPHER SERIES Modern dance doyenne Kelley Donovan curates this ongoing series offering a forum for new choreography. For this incarnation, she presents work of her own as well as pieces by Jillan Grunnah, Judith Wombwell/Deadfall Dance, Pradhuman Nayak, Courtney Wagner, and Meghan Riling. Oct. 19, 8 p.m. $15 in advance, $20 at the door; $12 seniors and students. Third Life Studio, 33 Union Sq., Somerville. 617-388-3247,

BRAIN STORM Still waiting for the Everett ensemble’s latest full-length work to make it to Boston, but in the meantime, Brown University is offering two free performances. Everett worked for more than a year on this provocative exploration of the mysteries of the human brain, weaving together movement, imagery, factual information, and personal narratives. Oct. 19-20, 8 p.m. Free. Granoff Center, Brown University, 154 Angell St., Providence, R.I. 401-831-9479,



EVELYN RYDZ: 1000 YEARS Flotsam and jetsam wash ashore with unknown histories. Rydz makes detailed drawings of rope and other objects she finds on beaches up and down the East Coast, postulating narratives and tracing the paths of ocean currents. Through
Nov. 13. Ellen Miller Gallery,
38 Newbury St. 617-536-4650,

COLBERT MASHILE: NOT YET  This South African artist, in his bold linoleum prints, makes work that blends social conscience, landscape, and mysticism, rooted in the patterns of decorative objects and textiles. He often adds random text, creating a charged ambiguity. Through Oct. 28. Sherman Gallery, Boston University,
775 Commonwealth Ave.


MATT SAUNDERS: THE MOVIES THAT WERE SECRET REMAIN SECRET SOMEHOW AND A NATION FORGETS ITS PLEASURES  Saunders’s celebration of the Harvard Film Archive features noontime screenings of his hand-drawn short films, posters, and other art interventions. Through Nov. 4. Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge. 617-495-3251,

TERRAIN  Maps can chart the landscape or the subway lines, but when artists get involved, they also depict emotional, cultural, and conceptual territory. In this group show, artists use mapping techniques to explore all sorts of domains. Through Nov. 16. Spoke Gallery, Medicine Wheel Productions, 110 K St., South Boston. 617-268-6700,

Cate McQuaid


SOL LEWITT: THE WELL-TEMPERED GRID Work from five decades focusing on the importance of the grid to LeWitt’s career, and emphasizing his passion for music — especially Bach. Through Dec. 9. Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown. 413-597-2429,

ROBERT ADAMS: THE PLACE WE LIVE, A RETROSPECTIVE SELECTION OF PHOTOGRAPHS Four decades worth of photographs by this plainspoken but brilliantly subtle and heartfelt photographer. Through Oct. 28. Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. 203-432-0600, artgallery

DOR GUEZ: 100 STEPS TO THE MEDITERRANEAN Photographs and video installations by a contemporary, Jerusalem-born artist exploring the overlooked history of Palestinian Christians in the Middle East. Through Dec. 9. Rose Art Museum, Waltham. 781-736-3434,

SOMETHING ALONG THOSE LINES A group show of prominent artists, including Lawrence Weiner, Bruce Nauman, Ann Carlson + Mary Ellen Strom, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and Fred Sandback, riffing on a work by Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #118, which was first executed at the museum school in 1971. Through Nov. 3. School of the Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-6100,

Sebastian Smee

Long overdue return

LAR LUBOVITCH DANCE COMPANY  It’s hard to believe that this stellar company has only made it to Boston once before in its 44-year history. For this second Celebrity Series presentation, the troupe brings one of its early signature works, the luminous “North Star,” as well as Lubovitch’s most recent piece, the edgy “Crisis Variations,” set to Yevgeniy Sharlat’s commissioned score based on Liszt’s “Transcendental Etudes.” “Little Rhapsodies” recalls street storytellers, and “The Legend of Ten” (above) maps the musical terrain of Brahms’s Piano Quintet.  Oct. 19-20. $60-$75.
Shubert Theatre. 617-482-6661,

Karen Campbell