‘Love’ of the dance
JOSÉ MATEO BALLET THEATRE Keeping the romantic spirit of Valentine’s Day alive, the company’s new program “How Do I Love Thee?” embraces three ballets exploring the intricacies of the human heart, from courtly courtship to contemporary passion. Feb. 15-March 10. $40. Sanctuary Theatre, Cambridge. 617-354-7467, www.ballettheatre.org
MILDRED FIERCE In Ryan Landry’s dizzily entertaining musical parody of “Mildred Pierce,’’ the sublime Varla Jean Merman devours a signature Joan Crawford role like one of the pies Mildred sells to keep her no-good daughter in the lap of luxury. Through March 17. Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans. At Machine. www.brownpapertickets.com
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
OLIVER! This production of the Lionel Bart musical finds Dickens’s sense of hope and love in the midst of degradation and despair, and energizes the story with a terrific vocal ensemble of children and adults. Through Feb. 24. Wheelock Family Theatre. 617-879-2300, www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org
THE IRISH … AND HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY Frank McCourt’s celebration, through story and song, of the Irish-American experience and a heritage that confronts adversity with determination, good humor, music, and a love of life. Through March 17. At Davis Square Theatre, Somerville. 800-660-8462, www.frankmccourtstheirish.com
RASGOS FLAMENCOS Love is neither patient nor kind in the fiery presentations of New York flamenco troupe A Palo Seco. Led by Rebeca Tomas and Pedro Cortes, the company aims to infuse the deep, often dark traditions of the art form with sophisticated modern flair and playful panache. 21+; includes after-performance reception.
Feb. 15, 8 p.m. $40. Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge. 617-577-1400, www.multiculturalartscenter.org
NACHMO Short for National Choreography Month, this informal showcase celebrates the lively creative spirit of the local dance scene with a variety of new works choreographed during the month of January. Participants include Intimations Dance, Impact Dance Company, Zoe Dance Company, and others.
Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m. $5. Green Street Studios, Cambridge. 617-967-7135, www.intimationsdance.com
URBANITY RISING As part of the One Billion Rising campaign to end violence against women, Urbanity Dance is hosting a free dance party. It includes sweet treats and live music to encourage everyone to “dance for change.” Donations benefit Rosie’s Place. Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m. Urbanity Dance Studios, 280 Shawmut Ave. 617-572-3727, www.urbanity
ME LOVE YOU LONG TIME
More than 50 artists from Southeast Asia and North America tackle freighted topics of sexuality and gender within the context of the power and economic relationships of the sex trade. Through April 7. Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, 551 Tremont St. 617-426-8835, www.bca
BARBARA GRAD: LOST HORIZONS Grad’s layered abstract paintings writhe and flash with line and color. Collisions of pattern and explorations of space map existential questions that spring from more concrete concerns about fracking, irrigation, and natural resources. Through March 12. Howard Yezerski Gallery, 460 Harrison Ave. 617-262-0550, www.howardyezerskigallery.com
BRUCE DAVIDSON: WITNESS
If you didn’t get enough of Davidson’s humane documentary photos in his show now at the Museum of Fine Arts, you’ll find more at Robert Klein Gallery and its satellite space at Ars Libri on Harrison Avenue. Through March 30. Robert Klein Gallery, 38 Newbury St. 617-267-7997, www.robertkleingallery.com
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
FREEPORT [NO. 006]: NICK CAVE
Three faceless, funky, sculptural costumes by the fabric artist, seen in conjunction with a film projection. Cave’s exuberant “Soundsuits” recall anything from African ceremonial garb to neon-hued yeti to conglomerations of Beanie Babies. Through May 27. Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem. 978-745-9500, www.pem.org
STONE, WOOD, METAL, MESH: PRINTS AND PRINTMAKING This excellent overview of techniques is didactic in the best sense of that word, with more than 150 lessons offered from the likes of John James Audubon, Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, and J. A. M. Whistler. Through March 17. Addison Gallery of American Art. 978-749-4015, www.addison
FRAME BY FRAME: PHOTOGRAPHIC SERIES AND PORTFOLIOS FROM THE COLLECTION Frame is the name of the game, since the photographers in this superb show are named Robert Frank, Aaron Siskind, Bruce Davidson, William Eggleston,William Christenberry, and Bill Owens. Through April 14. Addison Gallery of American Art. 978-749-4015, www.addisongallery.org
STACEY STEERS: NIGHT HUNTER
for her 16-minute film, Steers made thousands of collages — eight for each second on screen. Silent movie star Lillian Gish appears and disappears amid old prints and photos. The collage form suggests fragmentation, impermanence, and changeability. Through March 31.
Tufts University Art Gallery, 40 Talbot Ave., Medford. 617-627-3518,