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The week ahead: Theater, galleries and museums

Phil Tayler (left) and Erica Spyres in “Marry Me  a Little.”

Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures

Phil Tayler (left) and Erica Spyres in “Marry Me a Little.”

Side by side with Sondheim

MARRY ME A LITTLE Director IIyse Robbins broadens the Stephen Sondheim musical revue to include gay relationships, and it works beautifully in this appealingly understated gem of a production. Pictured: Phil Tayler (left) and Erica Spyres. Through Jan. 27. New Repertory Theatre, Charles Mosesian Theater, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown. 617-923-8487, www.newrep.org

Theater

OTHER DESERT CITIES Over the holidays with her parents, a writer announces that her new memoir revisits a very grim chapter in their family history. Blood relations, indeed. Jon Robin Baitz’s play is directed by Scott Edmiston with his usual fluid assurance, and it features superb performances by Anne Gottlieb as the anxious but determined author and Karen MacDonald as her formidable mother. An engrossing display of familial fireworks. Through Feb. 9. SpeakEasy Stage Company. At Wimberly Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.speakeasystage.com

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INVISIBLE MAN The nameless protagonist confronts racial injustice, power politics, and betrayal in a stage adaptation of Ralph Ellison’s classic novel that’s every bit as unsettling as Ellison would have wanted it to be. Adapted by Oren Jacoby, directed by Christopher McElroen, and starring Teagle F. Bougere as the title character, in a performance that steadily grows in force over the play’s nearly three hours. Through Feb. 3. Huntington Theatre Company. At Boston University Theatre. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre.org

YOU FOR ME FOR YOU Mia Chung’s surreal play about a pair of starving sisters in North Korea starts off a little stiff and strident, as if it might turn into propaganda, but once Junhee escapes to Manhattan, this Boston premiere blossoms into a powerful parable of love and sacrifice that’s well acted throughout, with an affectingly poignant performance from Jordan Clark as Junhee. Through Feb. 16. Company One. At Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.companyone.org

VINEGAR TOM Caryl Churchill’s 1976 witch-hunt play is a dark look at misogyny and hypocrisy in the 17th century — and the 20th. Directed by Mac Young, this powerful realization is almost too dark, with villains and victims clearly delineated and a graphic hanging scene. It’s not for the fainthearted, but Churchill’s chilling message does get delivered. Through Feb. 2. Whistler in the Dark Theatre. At Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.whistlerinthedark.com

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OUR TOWN “When the theatre pretends to give the real thing in canvas and wood and metal,” playwright Thornton Wilder wrote, “it loses something of the realer thing which is its true business.” Director David Cromer’s stark production aspires to Wilder’s “realer thing” and achieves it. Through Jan. 27. Huntington Theatre Company. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800,
www.huntingtontheatre.org

Dance

THE WALK This new multi­media dance-theater work by Nicole Pierce and EgoArt Inc. examines the different emotional stages of life’s journey, combining dance, video projections, set constructions, and music ranging from J.S. Bach to contemporary. Jan. 24-26, 8 p.m. $25. Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, 85 W. Newton St., Boston. www.brownpapertickets.com

THIS IS TANGO NOW With their new tango show, “Identidad,” dancers Fernanda Ghi and Guillermo Merlo mine the passion and mystery of the genre to explore identity and transformation. The cast also includes Mariela Barufaldi, Jeremias Massera, Jairelbhi Furlong, and George Furlong. Jan. 24,
7:30 p.m. $25. Regent Theatre, Arlington. 781-646-4849,
www.regenttheatre.com

SHARED CHOREOGRAPHERS’ CONCERT Independent choreographers Meghan McCaffrey, Gabrielle Orcha, Erica Ligerski, Ilya Vidrin, Ariella Silverstein-Tapp, Sara Mae Gibbons/Renee Amirault, and Kate Nies Brigham join forces for a diverse evening of new dance titled “Beyond the Surface.”
Jan. 25-26, 8 p.m. $10. Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-547-9363, www.dancecomplex.org

HOMELAND SECURITY: CELEBRATING CONTEMPORARY AND TRADITIONAL AFRICAN MUSIC AND DANCE Berklee School of Music highlights the rich creativity and originality of students from Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, and South Africa, bookending the showcase with traditional drumming and dance from Ghana, Togo, Guinea, and Mali. Jan. 28,
8:15 p.m. $12; $8 in advance. Berklee Performance Center. 617-747-2261, www.berkleebpc.com

Galleries

DRIVEN  Photographer Paul Cary Goldberg, assemblage artist Ken Riaf, and mixed-media artist Jon Sarkin  all make art that might be considered obsessive. They relentlessly work and rework their images, either seeking perfection or trying to unlock a visual, and mental, mystery. Through Feb. 24. Flatrocks Gallery, 77 Langsford St., Gloucester. 978-879-4683, www.flatrocksgallery.com

MICHELLE LOUGEE: MATERIAL NATURE  You may not know the honeycombed dinoflagellata, but Lougee does — it’s a marine microorganism. She crochets and weaves microscopic sea life out of plastic, drawing attention to the plastic pollutants threatening our oceans. Through Feb. 8. Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. 617-923-0100, www.arsenalarts.org

ART IN BOSTON  As Keeper of Prints at Boston Public Library, Sinclair Hitchings fostered Boston artists for decades. Now Art in Boston, his organization to keep that work going, kicks off with a show featuring art from Hitchings’s own collection. Through March 1. Chandler Gallery, Maud Morgan Arts, 20 Sacramento St., Cambridge. 617-547-1647, www.maudmorgan.com

Museums

GRAPHIC ADVOCACY: INTERNATIONAL POSTERS FOR THE DIGITAL AGE 2001-2012 This sprawling exhibition, which includes 122 works by graphic artists from 32 countries, is replete with the excitement of passionate commitment. Through March 2. Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Paine Gallery. 617-879-7333, www.massart.edu/Galleries

THIS WILL HAVE BEEN: ART, LOVE, AND POLITICS IN THE 1980s An overview of some of the main currents of art in the 1980s. Through March 3. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3100, www.icaboston.org

RICHARD YARDE: SELECTED WORK  Yarde, who died in 2011 at 72, was a master watercolorist. Inspired by his mother’s quilt patterns, he built vibrant, unusually large-scale watercolors over grids, in work that often chronicled African-American life. Through March 24. Danforth Museum of Art, 123 Union Ave., Framingham. 508-620-0050, www.danforthmuseum.org

MICKALENE THOMAS Thomas is a painter on the rise, mixing up 1970s designer kitsch with weighty art-historical themes, while upending tired old power structures. She does it all with painterly panache, fragmenting interiors and making patterns pop. Through April 7. Institute of Contemporary Art, 100 Northern Ave. 617-478-3100, www.icaboston.org

Winging it

LORI NIX: STORIES RETOLD  Nix photographs intricate sets she creates with toys and miniatures, setting nerves on edge with intimations and, sometimes, outright depictions of disaster. But her materials, which evoke innocence, twist her scenes toward the surreal. Pictured: a detail of “Insect Infestation, 1998 From the Accidentally Kansas Series Chromogenic Print.” Through Feb. 27. Ellen Miller Gallery, 38 Newbury St. 617-536-4650, www.ellenmillergallery.com

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