Theater & art

The week ahead: Theater, galleries, and museums

“North Shore Fish.”
Gary Ng
“North Shore Fish.”


NORTH SHORE FISH Israel Horovitz’s 1986 drama about hard times at a Gloucester frozen-fish processing plant looks mighty prescient today, in our era of rampant economic insecurity. Director Robert Walsh infuses the play with a raw energy that delivers a visceral jolt, bolstered by standout performances from Aimee Doherty, Thomas Phillip O’Neill (grandson of Tip), Lowell Byers, and the great Nancy E. Carroll (left, with Byers). Through Aug. 4. Gloucester Stage Company, Gloucester. 978-281-4433,

Don Aucoin



HOW WE GOT ON An exuberantly high-energy show about the way dreams are born and pursued that demands to be seen, heard, experienced, felt. Summer L. Williams directs Idris Goodwin’s coming-of-age play about three suburban Midwesterners in the late 1980s who forge a bond as they explore the creative possibilities of hip-hop. Through Aug. 17. Company One, Boston. At Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,


THE BILLINGSGATE PROJECT A quirky meditation on the mysteries of history, the distortions of collective memory, and the problematic nature of theater. Playwright-actress Brenda Withers has an original mind and a hypnotic way with words, and she’s working with an ensemble that’s in tune with her absurdist sensibility and can keep up with her tonal shifts, where whimsical conversations suddenly take a deep dive to a dark place. Through Aug. 10. Harbor Stage Company, Wellfleet. 508-349-6800,

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SOUTHERN COMFORT A distinctive new musical manages to fight its way through the layers of heavy-handed sentimentality in this portrait of a group of transgender friends in Georgia who forge a kind of family in the face of rejection from their own families and scorn from the outside world. Directed by Thomas Caruso, book and lyrics by Dan Collins and music by Julianne Wick Davis. Through Aug. 10. Barrington Stage Company Musical Theatre Lab, at St. Germain Stage, Sydelle and Lee Blatt Performing Arts Center, Pittsfield. 413-236-8888,

THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY First it was a mega-selling novel by Robert James Waller, then a movie starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. Now it’s a musical, with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown (“The Last Five Years’’) and a book by Marsha Norman (“ ’night, Mother’’). Directed by Bartlett Sher, this world-premiere production stars Elena Shaddow as Francesca Johnson and Steven Pasquale as Robert Kincaid. Through Aug. 18. Williamstown Theatre Festival, Main Stage, Williamstown. 413-597-3400,

Don Aucoin


THE WIZARD OF OZ Transferring a beloved film to the stage can be daunting, but this production delivers an enchanting balance of familiar scenes with some surprisingly dramatic moments. Director and choreographer Joel Ferrell references the movie while making excellent use of David Coffee as the Wizard and Emerson College junior Danielle Bowen as a believable Dorothy. Through Aug. 4. North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly. 978-232-7200,



Terry Byrne

ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR In the right hands, this black farce from Alan Ayckbourn about the crumbling of the British upper class can be absurdly painful or absurdly funny. This production is both, abetted by Brynna Bloomfield’s deftly distinguished three kitchen sets, Daniel Gidron’s pointed direction, and a sextet of accomplished actors who transcend the isolation of their characters and turn Ayckbourn’s singular into a wistful plural. Through Aug. 18. Nora Theatre Company. At Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 866-811-4111,

Jeffrey Gantz



BRIDGMAN | PACKER DANCE Guggenheim Fellows Art Bridgman and Myrna Packer take their new “Voyeur,” inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper, to Maine, where the artist spent nine very productive summers. Expect the duo’s provocative trademark fusion of reality and illusion through live dance combined with cutting-edge video imagery. Aug. 2-3, 7:30 p.m. $12-$25. Schaeffer Theatre, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine. 207-786-6381,

TAPTHEYARD 2: A VINEYARD FESTIVAL OF RHYTHM AND BEATS The final weekend of this prestigious gathering features rhythmic dance masters from around the country, including Michelle Dorrance, Derick K. Grant, the Wondertwins, Camille A. Brown & Dancers, Jason Samuels Smith, and The Bang Group. A different show promised at each concert. Through Aug. 3, $25-$35; $15 seniors, students, and military; Aug. 2 benefit $75-$300. Aug. 1, Patricia N. Nanon Theater, Middle Road, Chilmark. Aug. 2-3, Performing Arts Center, Oak Bluffs. 508-645-9662,


3E ÉTAGE Following their splash US debut at the Pillow in 2011, these spectacular soloists from the Paris Opera Ballet return with an adventurous slate of contemporary ballets featuring a specially commissioned premiere by dancer, choreographer, and company director Samuel Murez. Through Aug. 4, $45-$75. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, 358 George Carter Road, Becket. 413-243-0745,

BODYTRAFFIC You’ll be “On the Sunny Side of the Street” when this energetic modern dance repertory company from Los Angeles makes its Pillow debut. The mixed program includes Richard Siegal’s jazzy “O2Joy,” set to classics by the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Glenn Miller, as well as Stijn Celis’s “Fragile Dwellings,” which unfolds amid a visually alluring light installation by Erwin Redl. Through Aug. 4, $22-$38. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, 358 George Carter Road, Becket. 413-243-0745,

Karen Campbell



ISLAM CONTEMPORARY Established and emerging artists from around the world are featured in an ambitious celebration and examination of Islamic culture. Artists include Ambreen Butt, Raheleh Saneie, and the Bahraini collective Ulafa’a. Aug. 2-31. Lichtenstein Center for the Arts, 28 Renne Ave., and Whitney Center for the Arts 42 Wendell Ave., Pittsfield. 413-499-9348,

BOSTON YOUNG CONTEMPORARIES This mammoth annual juried show spotlights students in MFA programs from all over New England. It’s one-stop shopping for emerging talent, although the quality often varies from keen to muddled. Through Aug. 24. 808 Gallery, Boston University, 808 Commonwealth Ave.

CREATIVE MINDS, DISCIPLINED HANDS: SELECTIONS FROM THE NEW HAMPSHIRE FURNITURE MASTERS This group of artisans is devoted to traditions of furniture making in New England, but they also shake it up with contemporary twists and art furniture. Aug. 3-Oct.19. Society of Arts and Crafts, 175 Newbury St. 617-266-1810,

NANCY SIMONDS: REVERIE IN COLOR AND SHAPE This show springs from and supplements Simonds’s 5,000-square-foot public mural on First Street in Cambridge. Her abstract, rhythmic gouache pieces sport sumptuous tones and textures. Through Sept. 27. CAC Gallery, Cambridge Arts Council, City Hall Annex, 344 Broadway, Cambridge. 617-349-4380,

Cate McQuaid



A retrospective of the great early American modernist’s work, focusing on his depictions of leisure activities by the sea. Through Oct. 13. Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine. 207-725-3275,

COLBY COLLEGE MUSEUM OF ART Marking this acclaimed museum’s bicentenary, Colby College has opened a new, 26,000-square-foot addition, the Alfond-Lunder Family Pavilion, and a raft of exciting new shows, including works from the Lunder Collection, more than 500 works recently donated to Colby. Through June 8, 2014. Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine. 207-859-5600,

ACROSS THE GRAIN: TURNED AND CARVED WOOD Carved, turned, reassembled, and re-purposed pieces of art made from wood, some drawn from the permanent collection, the majority drawn from 15 lenders in eight states. Through Sept. 22. Fuller Craft Museum, Brockton. 508-588-6000,

Sebastian Smee


Michio Ihara
“Michio Ihara: Looking Back Looking Forward.”


MICHIO IHARA: LOOKING BACK LOOKING FORWARD Elegant, free-form kinetic sculptures by the acclaimed Japanese artist, based in Concord since 1981. Pictured: Ihara’s “Teigeki Twist,” 1980. Through Aug. 14. Concord Art Association, Concord. 978-369-2578,

Sebastian Smee