Theater & art


Upcoming arts events around Boston

Kyle Froman

Stepping up

BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL A coal miner’s son makes the life-changing discovery that he has a gift for dance.
Director Stephen Daldry and librettist Lee Hall do not allow the plight of Billy’s family and community to recede from view, even as this show tracks Billy’s attempt to land an audition at the Royal Ballet School. Featuring a score of surprising rigor and grit by Elton John. Pictured: Kylend Hetherington as Billy, Leah Hocking as Mrs. Wilkinson, Samantha Blaire Cutler as Debbie, and the cast of “Billy Elliot the Musical.” Through Aug. 19. Presented by Broadway in Boston.
At Boston Opera House. 800-982-2787,

Don Aucoin


THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY An exhilaratingly sharp production of Kristoffer Diaz’s grimly funny satire. Directed by Shawn LaCount, it’s set in the world of professional wrestling, but Diaz’s real targets are our national addiction to ethnic stereotypes, our need to frame the world as a simple matter of heroes vs. villains, and our impulse to commodify any attempt at cultural authenticity. Through Aug. 25. Presented by Company One. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,

KISS ME, KATE High spirits abound in this Cole Porter musical, especially when the stage belongs to Stephen Buntrock, playing the egotistical impresario/actor Fred Graham. As he schemes and preens his way through a musical version of “The Taming of the Shrew’’ in which he costars with his ex-wife, Lilli (Susan Powell), it’s clear that Fred is a ham who cannot be cured — not that we’d have it any other way. Through Aug. 18. Cape Playhouse, Dennis. 508-385-3911,


THE TEMPEST Under the direction of Tony Simotes, her onetime student, Olympia Dukakis portrays the island magician Prospera as ambivalent about her powers right from the start, lending an elegiac aura to this solid production of a work often seen as Shakespeare’s adieu to the stage. Through Aug. 19. Shakespeare & Company, Lenox. 413-637-3353,

Don Aucoin

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CAR TALK: THE MUSICAL!!! Based on NPR’s popular call-in program, this show might seem an unlikely proposition. But with the help of Tom and Ray Magliozzi, who contributed their voices to the project, Wesley Savick has cobbled a wacky plot, clever song parodies, the brothers’ trademark outrageous puns, and a fine cast into a production that’s running like a top. Through Sept. 2. Presented by Underground Railway Theater and Suffolk University. At Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 866-811-4111,

Jeffrey Gantz


BOSTON CONTEMPORARY DANCE FESTIVAL With this fledgling endeavor, Urbanity Dance hopes to draw attention to Boston as a hot spot for contemporary dance. Companies from Massachusetts and New York will be joined by dancers and dance makers from San Francisco, Houston, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C. Aug. 18, 2 and 7:30 p.m. $20; $30-$50 for both shows. John Hancock Hall, 180 Berkeley St. 617-572-3727,

COMPAGNIE KÄFIG For the first time in more than a decade, this all-male troupe returns to the Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, bringing its signature fusion of hip-hop, street dance, and capoeira. Artistic director Mourad Merzouki also incorporates samba in his new “Correria” and “Agwa,” inspired by his Brazilian dancers’ stories of childhood in the shantytowns of Rio de Janeiro. Through Aug. 19. $39-$64, $35
ages 18-35 at all performances, $10 age 17 and younger at some performances. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Becket. 413-243-0745,

BOSTON INTERNATIONAL SUMMER INTENSIVE Since the end of July, students from across the United States, France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada have been honing their skills at this Koltun Ballet Academy program. With teachers including Boston Ballet artistic director Mikko Nissinen and former New York City Ballet principal Charles Askegard, Friday’s performance showcase could be dynamite. Aug. 17, 6:30 p.m. $10. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-901-3792, www.koltunballet


A JAZZ HAPPENING A benefit for the School at Jacob’s Pillow, this annual event directed by Broadway veteran Chet Walker combines original choreography by the jazz program’s faculty with song-and-dance numbers from favorite musicals. Student performers and guest stars are accompanied by a live jazz band. Aug. 19,
8 p.m. $60-$100. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Becket. 413-243-0745,

Karen Campbell

William Wegman


RICHARD BAKER: TIGHT Baker celebrates the tangibility of the book in his small gouache still lifes. He has said he considers these works portraits; the books he depicts are well-thumbed objects of intimate engagement. You can’t do that with an e-reader. Through Aug. 30. Albert Merola Gallery, 424 Commercial St., Provincetown. 508-487-4424, www.universalfine

MARIKO KUSUMOTO: MARVELS IN METAL Kusumoto's intricate and fanciful metal box sculptures return to the area after being on tour in a traveling museum exhibition. They unpack to reveal absorbing and surreal narratives, and games with movable parts. Through Sept. 29. Mobilia Gallery, 358 Huron Ave. 617-876-2109,

25th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Arden Gallery marks 25 years with an exhibit of works by gallery artists, such as Joanne Mattera and Norma Bessouet, all measuring 25 inches square. Arden's aesthetic is playful, occasionally surreal, with a strong commitment to the emotive power of color. Through Aug. 31. Arden Gallery, 129 Newbury St. 617-247-0610,

Cate McQuaid


JOSIAH MCELHENY: SOME PICTURES OF THE INFINITE Cosmic questions addressed by this talented and internationally acclaimed Boston-born artist. Through Oct. 14. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3100, www.icaboston


OH, CANADA An ambitious, large-scale survey of the best of contemporary art from Canada. Through April 1, 2013. Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams. 413-662-2111,

TRANSCENDING NATURE: PAINTINGS BY ERIC AHO The first American museum survey of this gifted New England painter, inspired both by nature and painterly abstraction. Through Sept. 9. Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, N.H. 603-669-6144,

ANSEL ADAMS: AT THE WATER’S EDGE Famous and lesser-known photographs of water in all its various forms by the celebrated American photographer. Through Oct. 8. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. 866-745-1876,

Sebastian Smee

Group art

SUMMER GROUP EXHIBITION EXTRAVAGANZA Panopticon Gallery's summer show spotlights some of the best in the gallery's stable, including William Wegman, Hiroshi Watanabe, and Neal Rantoul. Also up: Orianna Reardon, a young photographer playing with many types of self-portrait. Pictured: Wegman’s 2004 “Hot and Pink.” Through Sept. 11. Panopticon Gallery, 502c Commonwealth Ave. 617-267-8929,

Cate McQuaid