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Critics’ picks: Theater

THEY’RE PLAYING HIS SONGS: THE MUSIC OF MARVIN HAMLISCH  A tribute to the late composer (“A Chorus Line,’’ “The Way We Were’’), who died last August at 68. Conceived and directed by Hamlisch collaborator David Zippel and featuring Tony Award winner Karen Ziemba (“Contact’’) and Broadway veterans Christiane Noll, Jason Graae, and Carol Woods.June 24-July 6. Cape Playhouse, Dennis. 508-385-3911,

ARMS ON FIRE  The world premiere of “Spring Awakening’’ creators Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik’s play with music about the friendship between Ulysses (Guiesseppe Jones), a factory worker, and Smith (James Barry), a singer. Natalie Mendoza plays Ulysses’ onetime love, a nightclub performer named Josephina. Directed by Byam Stevens. June 26-July 7. Chester Theatre Company, Chester. 800-595-4849,

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RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN  Playwright Gina Gionfriddo (“Becky Shaw’’) ranges across the topography of the women’s movement — and the life choices shaped by that movement — in this shrewd and incisive comedy, directed by Gionfriddo’s longtime collaborator, Peter DuBois. Through June 30. Huntington Theatre Company. At Wimberly Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800,


THE SOUND OF MUSIC  Director James Brennan’s ravishing production of this old chestnut boasts a terrific cast led by Lisa O’Hare as Maria and David Andrew Macdonald as Captain Georg von Trapp. But its beauty is in the ability of Brennan and music director Dale Rieling to make us forget the film and get lost in the romantic story and magnificent score. Through June 23. North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly. 978-232-7200,

DANCING AT LUGHNASA Memory plays require a dreamy atmosphere delicately blended with a few sharply defined details. This lovely production reaches that threshold and surpasses it, with an ensemble that embodies all of playwright Brian Friel’s tenderness for his fragile characters, living in the imaginary Irish village of Ballybeg, County Donegal, in the summer of 1936. Through June 23. Wellesley Summer Theatre Company. At Ruth Nagel Jones Theatre, Diana Chapman Walsh Alumnae Hall, Wellesley College. 781-283-2000,

IN THE HEIGHTS  The title of this Tony Award-winning musical refers to an exhilarated state of mind as well as a vibrant New York neighborhood. In this production, directed by Paul Daigneault and loaded with life and energy, a vivacious ensemble creates a community of absolutely irresistible characters. Through June 30. SpeakEasy Stage Company. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,


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