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The Boston Globe

Theater & art

The week ahead: Theater, galleries, and museums

Society of Arts and Crafts

A touch of ‘Glass’

RETHINKING TRADITION: PORTRAITS IN GLASS BY JOSEPH CAVALIERI In a Pop Art twist to the medieval technique of stained glass, Cavalieri portrays cultural icons such as Queen Elizabeth and he recontextualizes R. Crumb’s punky, sardonic comics. Pictured: “Jackie O in Yellow.” April 26-July 20. Society of Arts and Crafts, 175 Newbury St. 617-266-1810, www.societyofcrafts.org

Theater

BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK The charismatic Kami Rushell Smith excels as an African-American maid in the 1930s whose aspirations for a movie career collide with Hollywood’s insistence on racial stereotyping. Lynn Nottage’s snappy, inventive, and pointed satire is directed with assurance by Summer L. Williams, who has marshaled a stellar supporting cast. Through April 27. Lyric Stage Company. 617-585-5678, www.lyricstage.com

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OPERATION EPSILON A satisfyingly taut and well-acted production of Alan Brody’s fine, historically based new drama about German nuclear scientists held captive at the end of World War II in a British country house, where they confront — and evade — their moral responsibility. Directed by Andy Sandberg, with standout performances by Will Lyman, Diego Arciniegas, Ken Baltin, and Robert D. Murphy. Through April 28. Nora Theatre Company. At Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 866-811-4111, www.centralsquaretheater.org

THE BOOK OF MORMON At its most inspired moments, this production reaches a state of giddy delirium that sweeps the audience along in its wake. With knee-pumping choreography that might be the single funniest thing about the show, this is a scorched-earth satire where nothing is sacred or off-limits. Be forewarned: There is something in this musical to offend just about everyone. Through April 28. Broadway in Boston. At Boston Opera House. 800-982-2787, www.broadwayinboston.com

RYAN LANDRY’S “M” This 90-minute deconstruction of Fritz Lang’s legendary 1931 film shows a loving knowledge of the original, even as it ranges far afield into romantic comedy and meditations on authorship. Karen MacDonald, in the Peter Lorre role, is a knockout. Through April 28. Huntington Theatre Company. At Wimberly Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre.org

POOL (NO WATER) Mark Ravenhill’s darkly disturbing 2006 play has no water and also no characters, no location, and no staging instructions — it’s just the recollection of what happened when a group of artists tried to make art, and money, out of the accident that befell their most successful member. But this intimate and imaginative production, directed by Danielle Fauteux Jacques, is filled with life and love (as well as nudity and a lot of expletives). Through May 4. Apollinaire Theatre Company. At Chelsea Theatre Works, Chelsea. 617-887-2336, www.apollinairetheatrecompany.com

SHE KILLS MONSTERS The “she” in Qui Nguyen’s 2011 fantasy is 15-year-old Tilly Evans, who kills Dungeons & Dragons monsters. Actually, Tilly’s dead, killed in a car crash with her parents, but her older sister, Agnes, finds Tilly’s D&D notebook and enters the game in order to reconnect with her sibling. Real-life sisters Jordan Clark and Paige Clark Perkinson play Tilly and Agnes in this high-spirited, swordplay-filled production, and their chemistry is palpable. Through May 11. Company One. At Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.companyone.org

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THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE At a moment when we’ve been all too focused on events unfolding in the real world, this production of the 2002 musical (based on the 1967 movie) is a wonderfully entertaining immersion into escapism. Director-choreographer Ilyse Robbins knows the focus needs to be on the singing and dancing, and, wow, does her company deliver. Through May 12. Stoneham Theatre. 781-279-2200, www.stonehamtheatre.org

PIPPI LONGSTOCKING The unconventional title character defies expectations, and so does director Wendy Lement’s frothy stage version of the classic children’s book. Lement’s approach focuses on joy and whimsy, with a whole lot of chances to dance, dance, dance. Through May 12. 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 April 28. At Davis Square Theatre, Somerville. 800-660-8462, www.frankmccourtstheirish.com

Dance

LUMINARIUM DANCE COMPANY Well-crafted quilts often have a kind of internal movement woven through the design, but the “Threading Motion Project” takes it a step further. In collaboration with the New England Quilt Museum’s “Silk!” exhibit, Merli Guerra’s looped video, “Quilt Vignettes,” overlays quilts with dance and vice versa. This weekend, visitors can see live choreography by Guerra and Kimberleigh A. Holman as well. April 27, 4 p.m. Museum admission $7, $5 seniors and students. New England Quilt Museum, 18 Shattuck St., Lowell. 978-452-4207, www.nequiltmuseum.org

SWERVE This intriguing collaboration between Neil Leonard’s Berklee Interdisciplinary Art Institute and Concord Academy’s Dance Company is calling its show a “collision” of original dance, music, language, and visual arts, with real-time projections of computer graphics designed by Joshue Ott’s Interval Studio, which created the mobile app Thicket. April 25-27. $15. Concord Academy Student Health and Athletic Center, 166 Main St., Concord. 978-402-2200, www.concordacademy.org

COMPLEXIONS This dazzling New York troupe makes a welcome stop in Rhode Island for one night only. Founded by former Ailey superstars Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden, the company is known for stunning dancers and a sleek, athletic aesthetic. The tour program includes works by Rhoden and Camille Brown as well as Jae Man Joo’s gorgeous “Flight.” April 30, 7:30 p.m. $35, $30 seniors, discounts for children. Rhode Island College, Auditorium in Roberts Hall, 600 Mount Pleasant Ave., Providence. 401-456-8144, www.ric.edu/pfa

MOVING WEST DANCE THEATRE Led by artistic director Lynne Johnson Grynkewicz, with Anne Lemos Edgerton as resident choreographer, this Framingham-based company celebrates an impressive 25 years. The new “Bodies of Work” features two premieres, one integrating video, as well as older favorites and live music by pianist Vytas Baksys and violinist Anne Hooper Webb. April 26-28. Advance tickets $15, $12 seniors and students; $2 more at the door. Performing Arts Center of MetroWest, 140 Pearl St., Framingham. 508-875-5554, www.pacmetrowest.org

Galleries

ANNA VON MERTENS: GOLD! AND OTHER FALLEN EMPIRES This conceptual quilt artist juxtaposes history with data from the natural world to shed light on human hope and suffering, empire building, and the plight of the earth. Through June 16. Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, 551 Tremont St. 617-426-5000, www.bcaonline.org

POETIC CODINGS Three video projections, including John Carpenter’s interactive “Dandelion Clock,” and a host of apps to play with on your smart phone. These include works by conceptual art trickster John Baldessari and interactive art star Scott Snibbe. Through June 2. Boston Cyberarts Gallery, 141 Green St., Jamaica Plain. 617-522-6710, www.bostoncyberarts.org

HOUSE RABBET SOCIETY Tired of art that’s too heady and no fun? This group show goes the other way, celebrating the cheesy and the comic. But with artists such as Joe Zane, Remi Thornton, and Corey Corcoran, don’t count out some meaty content. Through May 18. Lincoln Arts Project, 289 Moody St., Waltham. 339-203-2587, www.lincolnartsproject.com

Museums

BARRY MCGEE A mid-career survey of the popular San Francisco-based artist who has made a dynamic shift from street art into galleries and museums. Through Sept. 2. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3100, www.icaboston.org

SAMURAI! Japanese armor worn by shoguns, or warlords, from the 12th to the 19th centuries, from a respected Texan private collection. Through Aug. 4. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org

ED RUSCHA: STANDARD More than 70 works, including painting and film, from across the career of the acclaimed West Coast artist. Works drawn from the collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, where the show originated, are complemented by work from the Rose’s collection. Through June 12. Rose Art Museum, Waltham. 781-736-3434, www.brandeis.edu/rose

PER KIRKEBY: PAINTINGS AND SCULPTURE Expressionist work by one of Denmark’s best-known artists in a show, the first Kirkeby retrospective in the US, organized by the Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C. Through July 14. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine. 207-725-3275, www.bowdoin.edu/art-museum

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