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events

The week ahead: Theater, galleries and museums

Cast of “The Servant of Two Masters,” by Carolo Goldoni.

Richard Termine

Cast of “The Servant of Two Masters,” by Carolo Goldoni.

A farce of ‘Two’

THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS A compulsively enjoyable excursion into the outer realms of farce, directed by Christopher Bayes. This Yale Repertory Theatre production of Carlo Goldoni’s commedia dell’arte classic gets to have its cake and eat it, too — a prospect that would appeal to the perpetually hungry servant of the title, wonderfully played by Steven Epp — by spicing a centuries-old theatrical form with one modern-day reference after another. Through Feb. 10. ArtsEmerson. Paramount Center Mainstage. 617-824-8400, www.artsemerson.org

THEATER

OTHER DESERT CITIES Over the holidays with her parents, a writer announces that her new memoir revisits a very grim chapter in their family history. Blood relations, indeed. Jon Robin Baitz’s play is directed by Scott Edmiston with his usual fluid assurance, and it features superb performances by Anne Gottlieb as the anxious but determined author and Karen MacDonald as her formidable mother. An engrossing display of familial fireworks. Through Feb. 9. SpeakEasy Stage Company. At Wimberly Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.speakeasystage.com

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YOU FOR ME FOR YOU Mia Chung’s surreal play about a pair of starving sisters in North Korea starts off a little stiff and strident, as if it might turn into propaganda, but once Junhee escapes to Manhattan, this Boston premiere blossoms into a powerful parable of love and sacrifice that’s well acted throughout, with an affectingly poignant performance from Jordan Clark as Junhee. Through Feb. 16. Company One. At Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.companyone.org

OLIVER! This production of the Lionel Bart musical finds Dickens’s sense of hope and love in the midst of degradation and despair, and energizes the story with a terrific vocal ensemble of children and adults. Through Feb. 24. Wheelock Family Theatre. 617-879-2300, www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org

THE IRISH … AND HOW THEY GOT THAT WAY Frank McCourt’s celebration, through story and song, of the Irish-American experience and a heritage that confronts adversity with determination, good humor, music, and a love of life. Through March 17. At Davis Square Theatre, Somerville. 800-660-8462, www.frankmccourtstheirish.com

DANCE

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SHEN YUN The New York-based company is dedicated to showcasing Chinese culture dating back 5,000 years. Featuring nearly 100 dancers and musicians, the show promises a spectacle of classical Chinese dance and pageantry. Feb. 8-10. $50-$150. Boston Opera House. 888-974-3698, www.shenyun.com

SOUTH ASIAN SHOWDOWN 2013 This smackdown of dance styles set to Indian music pits theme-driven Bollywood against anything-goes fusion, with 12 different teams from across North America competing for top honors. Sponsored by South Asian Nation Inc., this event tends to sell out quickly. Feb. 9, 6 p.m. $20-$100. John Hancock Hall. 617-448-2508, www.southasianshowdown.com

GREEN STREET STUDIOS COMMUNITY CONCERT The venerable center of dance pairs performances by instructors and classes with reminiscences of shared experiences. Participants include Salsa Matei, Moving Target, Shri Rajuli, Boston Percussive Dance, Jody Weber’s Community Group, and Nicole Pierce. Feb. 8, 7:30 p.m. $15. Green Street Studios, Cambridge. 617-864-3191, www.greenstreetstudios.org

SOUTH INDIAN CLASSICAL DANCE AND MUSIC Bharatanatyam dancer Mesma Belsare, Carnatic vocalist Deepti Navaratna, and musicians Murali Balachandran and Soumya Ramanathan join forces to explore both carnal and spiritual aspects of love through South Indian traditions begun as long ago as the eighth century. Feb. 7, 7:30 p.m. $15-$20. Multicultural Arts Center, Cambridge. 617-577-1400, www.multiculturalartscenter.org

GALLERIES

TEACHING THE BODY: ARTISTIC ANATOMY IN THE AMERICAN ACADEMY Anatomy has played a crucial role in the education of doctors and artists. This show mounts anatomy charts alongside works by artists from John Singleton Copley to Kiki Smith. Through March 31. Boston University Art Gallery at the Stone Gallery, 855 Commonwealth Ave. 617-353-3329, www.bu.edu/art

FRANK EGLOFF & JOHN STEZAKER: VISIBLE MERGE  In their collages, Egloff and Stezaker each repurpose vintage photographs to sometimes surreal ends, layering images to refocus and rattle a viewer's expectations about fine art photography and publicity photos. Through March 9. Barbara Krakow Gallery, 10 Newbury St. 617-262-4490, www.barbarakrakowgallery.com

MATT SIEGLE: HALL OF FLOWERS  In 2010 and 2011, Siegle undertook a performance art project playing a countercultural character named Cassady. This exhibit features drawings and video focused on San Francisco as a hotbed for homosexual civil rights and Cassady's queer activism. Through March 16. Anthony Greaney, 450 Harrison Ave. 617-482-0055, www.anthonygreaney.com

SAUL CHERNICK: A SKYWARD GESTURE  Chernick riffs on contemporary themes through the lens of medieval art, dicing up narrative, the figure, and religious themes, contrasting a medieval heaven with the virtual space of the 21st-century computer screen. Through March 9. LaMontagne Gallery, 555 East 2nd St., South Boston. 617-464-4640, www.lamontagnegallery.com

MUSEUMS

LOÏS MAILOU JONES — This small retrospective traces the career of the 20th-century painter, whose work reached full flower in the 1960s and 1970s, with works that integrate African and Caribbean influences, design smarts, and a keen painterly sensibility. Through Oct. 14. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org

BOSTONIANS IN MINIATURE: PORTRAITS AND LIVES: 1810-1835 A jewel box of a show, featuring 11 tiny portraits in a closet-size gallery. Through the lives of the paintings’ subjects, the exhibition explores the social history of American miniature painting. Through June 30. Worcester Art Museum,
55 Salisbury St., Worcester. 508-799-4406, www.worcesterart.org

JAMES WELLING: OPEN SPACE One of the Pictures Generation group that emerged in the 1970s, the California-based Welling has variously photographed in New England for four decades. This extensive exhibition focuses on that work. Through May 5. University Museum of Contemporary Art, University of Massachusetts Amherst. 413-545-3670, fac.umass.edu/UMCA

ART IN THE STREET: EUROPEAN POSTERS This show may be small (41 items) but it’s choice — and extremely charming. Artists with work on display include Bonnard, Kandinsky, and more. Through July 21. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org

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