Theater & art
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    Upcoming arts events around Boston

    Childs Gallery

    Shielded for view

    ANTHONY MOORE: BEHIND THE MODERN PAVISE  Moore’s paintings echo the painted oblong shield, or pavise, that sported religious and heroic imagery and was carried to battle by medieval soldiers. Moore applies a fractured style with realist elements in vivid tones, recalling stained glass. Pictured: “Pavise No. 5, 2012.” Through Feb. 4. Childs Gallery, 169 Newbury St. 617-266-1108, www.childsgallery.com

    Cate McQuaid

    THEATER

    FULLY COMMITTED Becky Mode’s solo comedy of desperation gets a hectic, highly entertaining production directed by Bridget Kathleen O’Leary and starring Gabriel Kuttner in a virtuoso performance, playing the beleaguered reservations clerk at a four-star restaurant and the dozens of self-interested, self-important people conspiring to make his life a living . . . well, you know. Through Dec. 30. New Repertory Theatre, Black Box Theater, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown. 617-923-8487, www.newrep.org

    ARABIAN NIGHTS A remount of last year’s bewitching production, again starring Evelyn Howe as the quick-thinking storyteller and Vincent Ernest Siders as the hot-tempered king. Adapted by Dominic Cooke and directed by Daniel Gidron, with visually ravishing set and puppet design by David Fichter. Through Dec. 30. Nora Theatre Company and
    Underground Railway Theater. At Central Square Theater,
    Cambridge. 866-811-4111, www.centralsquaretheater.org


    Don Aucoin

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    OUR TOWN “When the theatre pretends to give the real thing in canvas and wood and metal,” playwright Thornton Wilder wrote, “it loses something of the realer thing which is its true business.” Director David Cromer’s stark production aspires to Wilder’s “realer thing” and achieves it. Through
    Jan. 26. Huntington Theatre Company. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for
    the Arts. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre.org


    Jeffrey Gantz

    DANCE

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    SEAN FIELDER AND THE BOSTON TAP COMPANY Fielder assembles an energetic crew of young hoofers from Greater Boston to tap their way into this First Night showcase welcoming in the new year. Dec. 31, 9:30 p.m., $18 First Night button (children under 4 free). Hynes Convention Center Ballroom. 617-542-1399, www.firstnight.org

    FIRST NIGHT FROG POND SKATING SPECTACULAR You can ring in the new year with the Skating Club of Boston, which celebrates the occasion with a showcase of talented students, seasoned competitors, and national champions in some of their fanciest new routines. Dec. 31, 6 p.m., Free. Boston Common Frog Pond.
    617-635-2120, www.boston
    frogpond.com

    O’SHEA-CHAPLIN ACADEMY OF IRISH DANCE First Night offers two chances to see the enthusiastic young dancers of this well-known area dance school in
    performances that feature
    traditional and contemporary styles from the Emerald Isle. Dec. 31, 7:30 and 8:30 p.m.,
    $18 First Night button (children
    under 4 free). Hynes Convention Center Ballroom. 617-542-1399, www.firstnight.org

    ORIGINATION This admirable
    education organization focuses on teaching African-influenced dance, such as hip-hop, jazz, step, and Caribbean styles.
    Dec. 31, 8 p.m., $18 First Night button (children under 4 free). Hynes Convention Center
    Ballroom. 617-542-1399, www.firstnight.org


    Karen Campbell

    GALLERIES

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    BOSTON IN THE GILDED AGE: MAPPING PUBLIC PLACES
    During the latter half of the
    19th century, Boston’s map was radically altered by the filling in of Back Bay and a deadly fire in 1872. This exhibit charts those changes. Through March 17. Norman B. Leventhal Map
    Center, Boston Public Library, 700 Boylston St. 617-536-5400, www.bpl.org

    LAKE EFFECT/ NOR’EASTER: PART II  Winter is here, and three artists — Zachary Buchner,
    Andreas Fischer, and Philip Vanderhyden, offer work that addresses the season, in abstractions that emphasize surface, tone, and mark. Through
    Jan. 26. LaMontagne Gallery, 555 East 2nd St., South Boston. 617-464-4640, www.lamontagne
    gallery.com

    BLUE  Every other year, the Cambridge Art Association’s juried show takes blue as its theme, and offers a wide range of interpretations. Mass MOCA’s director Joseph Thompson was the juror.Through Jan. 10. Kathryn Schultz Gallery, Cambridge Art Association, 25 Lowell St.,
    Cambridge and University Place Gallery, 124 Mt. Auburn St., Cambridge. 617-876-0246, www.cambridgeart.org


    CATE McQUAID

    Museums

    AMERICAN VANGUARDS:
    GRAHAM, DAVIS, GORKY, DE KOONING, AND THEIR CIRCLE, 1927-1942
    A look at the influence of John Graham’s circle on American modernism. Through Dec. 30. Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover. 978-749-4015, www.andover.edu/
    museums/addison.

    JULIANNE SWARTZ: HOW DEEP IS YOUR Inventive, poetic, and witty installations and sculpture that play with perception. Through Dec. 30. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln. 781-259-8355,
    www.decordova.org

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    CHROMO-MANIA! THE ART OF CHROMOLITHOGRAPHY IN
    BOSTON 1840-1910
    A brilliant survey of color prints in Boston, which was the first American city to introduce chromolitho­graphy. Through Jan. 12. Boston Athenaeum. 617-227-0270, www.bostonathenaeum.org

    Sebastian Smee

    Bright ideas

    IN THE HOLOCENE A group exhibition that conceives of art as a speculative science, featuring work by John Baldessari, Marcel Broodthaers, Jack Goldstein, Joan Jonas, On Kawara, and Robert Smithson, among others. Pictured: Joseph Beuys’s “Capri-Batterie.’’ Through Jan. 6. List Visual Arts Center. 617-253-4680, listart.mit.edu

    Sebastian Smee