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Critic’s Picks: theater

Gretchen Egolf and Alan Cox in Huntington Theatre Company’s “Betrayal”

T. Charles Erickson

Gretchen Egolf and Alan Cox in Huntington Theatre Company’s “Betrayal”

Now playing

BETRAYAL Marital infidelity is one of the oldest stories there is. The twist Harold Pinter added in 1978’s “Betrayal,” of course, was to use reverse chronology to delineate the unspooling of a seven-year affair. In a precisely detailed production directed by Maria Aitken, this backward-moving narrative casts a refracted, subtly illuminating light. Through Dec. 9. Huntington Theatre Company, Boston University Theatre. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre.org

Last chance

TED HUGHES’ TALES FROM OVID A work as inventive, audacious, and vital as the company that created it. Whistler in the Dark Theatre has adapted Hughes’s translations from “Metamorphoses’’ into an original new shape, and the result should be seen by anyone who wants to watch boundary-stretching theater artistry in action. Directed by Meg Taintor. Through Nov. 18. Presented by ArtsEmerson. At Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre, Paramount Center. 617-824-8400, www.artsemerson.org

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THE SUSSMAN VARIATIONS A Broadway composer is about to turn 75, and his two adult children have brought plenty of emotional baggage to the party. Playwright Richard Schotter doesn’t break much new ground, but he is perceptive about the push and pull of family relationships, that complex minuet in which power struggles surface out of nowhere and patterns of behavior are replicated from generation to generation. Directed by Jeff Zinn. Through Nov. 18. Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. 866-811-4111, www.bostonplaywrights.org

DON AUCOIN

MEMORY HOUSE What is it about baking a pie that strikes such a visceral chord? There’s an exactness to the art that playwright Kathleen Tolan transforms into a powerful metaphor in this dance of negotiation and connection between a recently divorced mother and her teenage daughter. Crisply directed by Melia Bensussen. Through Nov. 18. Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell. 978-654-4678, www.mrt.org

TERRY BYRNE

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