Good things in small packages
2D SMALL WORKS SALON 2012 This annual juried exhibit features small works, but the names of the Boston-area artists are often big. This year's show, juried by gallerist Victoria Munroe, includes pieces by Catherine Kernan, Carolyn Muskat, and Elaine Spatz-Rabinowitz. Pictured: “Cambridge Beach Quickie’’ by Christopher Pullman. Through May 20. Chandler Gallery, Maud Morgan Arts, 20 Sacramento St. 617-349-6287, www.maudmorganarts.org CATE McQUAID
THE LUCK OF THE IRISH The work of Medford playwright Kirsten Greenidge is characterized by a sure grasp of the nuances of race and class, never more so than in this beautifully realized new drama, directed by Melia Bensussen, about a black family’s decision to move into a predominantly white suburb. Through May 6. Presented by Huntington Theatre Company. At Wimberly Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800, www.huntington
THE MIRACLE WORKER Brittany Rolfs, a 20-year-old from Milton, delivers an extraordinarily assured performance as Annie Sullivan in William Gibson’s
drama about the relationship between Sullivan and Helen Keller. Directed by Susan Kosoff, who is ending her three-decade tenure at Wheelock Family
Theatre on a decidedly high note. Through May 13. Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston. 617-879-2300, www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org
THE TEMPERAMENTALS A solid production, directed by Jeremy Johnson, of Jon Marans’s drama about the men who dared to found a gay-rights organization in the early 1950s, nearly two decades before the Stonewall riots. With strong performances by Will McGarrahan and Nael Nacer, “The Temperamentals’’ offers an important reminder, especially for younger audiences, that there was a time when homo-phobia had the law unequivocally on its side. Through April 28. Lyric Stage Company, Boston. 617-585-5678, www.lyricstage.com
GHOST-WRITER What begins as an exploration of the creative process evolves into a touching tale of memory. Under the sensitive direction of Charles Towers, Michael Hollinger’s drama unfolds thoughtfully, even wistfully, about the relationship between a writer and his secretary. Through May 13. Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell. 978-654-4678, www.merrimackrep.org
TIGERS BE STILL Playwright Kim Rosenstock’s bittersweet comedy is fueled by Becca A. Lewis’s bravura performance and David J. Miller’s detail-
oriented direction. This is one of the most enchanting theatrical experiences of the season. Through May 5. Presented by Zeitgeist Stage Company. At
Plaza Black Box Theatre, Boston
Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.zeitgeiststage.com
THE FULL MONTY This musical version of the 1997 film is a joyous celebration of letting go of judgment and being true to oneself. What makes this production so winning is that every member of the company is clearly having a good time. Their enthusiasm is contagious. Through May 6. Stoneham Theatre, Stoneham. 781-279-2200, www.stonehamtheatre.org
BIG APPLE CIRCUS: DREAM BIG The Big Apple Circus never fails to delight, but this year’s installment is a beautifully integrated show that pulls together terrific production values, especially the stunning costumes. It may be “Grandma’s Farewell Tour,” but Grandma the clown graciously shares the spotlight with Shandong Acrobatic Troupe, the Flying Cortes trapeze act, a hilarious magician and his assistant, and many more. Through May 13. Under the big top at City Hall Plaza, Boston. 888-541-3750, www.bigapplecircus.org
ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE
THEATER The company’s annual spring engagement marks the first under new artistic director Robert Battle. Repertoire ranges from Ailey’s beloved masterpiece, “Revelations,” and Paul Taylor’s classic “Arden Court” to edgy works by Battle, Ohad Naharin, and Rennie Harris, whose “Home” is a Boston premiere. April 26-29. $35-$85.
Celebrity Series of Boston at Citi Wang Theatre. 617-482-6661, www.celebrity
BOSTON BALLET Rudolf Nureyev’s grand version of “Don Quixote” focuses not on Cervantes’s aging hero but on the story’s young lovers, the barber Basilio and the innkeeper’s daughter Kitri. When it was first presented by Boston Ballet in 1982, Nureyev danced the role of Basilio. April 26-May 6, $25-$137. Boston Opera House.
PROMETHEUS DANCE ELDERS ENSEMBLE Eight spirited post-professional dancers, ranging in age from 60 to 88, presents “Escape Artists.” The concert promises original dance/theater pieces ranging from the abstract to the humorous by co-artistic directors Diane Arvanites and Tommy Neblett, as well as guest choreographer Christine Fricker. April 27 and 29. $20, $15 seniors. Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-576-5336, www.prometheusdance.org
BRIDGES NOT WALLS Performed not only for but by kids, this production by the pre-professional dance students of Cambridge Youth Dance Program tackles some of the troubling issues adolescents face every day, especially bullying. Recommended for ages 10 and up. April 28-29. $25, $20 seniors and children under 12. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-497-1448,
TURE BENGTZ: LIFE LESSONS, PRINTS AND DRAWINGS A retrospective of work by Bengtz (1907-1973), who was a social realist painter, an adventurous lithographer, and a life drawing teacher at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts during the mid-20th century. Through May 28. Childs Gallery,
169 Newbury St. 617-266-1108, www.childsgallery.com
reTHINK INK: 25 YEARS AT MIXIT PRINT STUDIO This celebration of Somerville's Mixit Print Studio highlights the Boston Public Library's collection of works by Boston area printmakers. The four-part show includes
13 installation works, a collaborative portfolio, and a juried show. Through July 31. Boston Public Library,
70 Boylston St. 617-536-5400, www.bpl.org/mixit
CHILD'S PLAY Contemporary artists use toys to denote childhood or nostalgia, to push at the envelope of propriety, or to create nightmarish images. This show features photographers who employ toys in their work. Artists include Jane Tuckerman and David Levinthal. Through May 28. Panopticon Gallery, 502c Commonwealth Ave. 617-267-8929, www.panopticongallery.com
SEEKING SHAMBHALA An exploration of the mythical kings of Shambhala, the Tibetan utopia (sometimes referred to in the West as Shangri-La) through scroll painting, ancient Buddhist objects, and a selection of incisive and entertaining contemporary works. Through Sept. 30. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org
CHARLINE VON HEYL A small but electrifying suite of abstract paintings and two lively suites of works on paper by the talented German-born, New York-based painter. Through July 15.
Institute of Contemporary Art.
RADCLIFFE BAILEY: MEMORY AS
MEDICINE A survey of this impressive, and still young, African-American artist based in Atlantic City. The show comes to the Davis from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Through May 6.
Davis Museum of Art, Wellesley.
SHAPESHIFTING: TRANSFORMATIONS IN NATIVE AMERICAN ART A survey of Native American art, from historical objects to ambitious contemporary works. Through April 29. Peabody
Essex Museum, Salem. 978-745-9500, www.pem.org