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The week ahead: Theater, galleries and museums

The Glass Menagerie at the American Repertory Theater.

Michael J. Lutch

The Glass Menagerie at the American Repertory Theater.

Keeping up with Jones

THE GLASS MENAGERIE John Tiffany’s revival of Tennessee Williams’s semi-autobiographical 1944 play is grounded in the excellence of its four actors, particularly Cherry Jones (left, with Celia Keenan-Bolger) as faded Southern belle Amanda Wingfield. And by staging the action on a pair of hexagonal platforms that seem to float in time and space, Tiffany reminds us that you can never really leave your family behind. Through March 17. American Repertory Theater. At Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge. 800-547-8300, www.americanrepertorytheater.org

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THEATER

MILDRED FIERCE In Ryan Landry’s dizzily entertaining musical parody of “Mildred Pierce,’’ the sublime Varla Jean Merman devours a signature Joan Crawford role like one of the pies Mildred sells to keep her no-good daughter in the lap of luxury. Through March 17. Ryan Landry and the Gold Dust Orphans. At Machine. www.brownpapertickets.com

LEGALLY DEAD Dan Hunter’s black comedy about a missing dad, a missing Yorkshire terrier, a missing will, and finding Jesus at a Christmas Eve family reunion on the Gulf Coast of Florida is uproariously funny, and in Steven Bogart’s rapid-fire production, the four actors even manage to make their self-absorbed characters likable. Through Feb. 24. Boston Playwrights’ Theatre. 866-811-4111, www.bostonplaywrights.org

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HONK! A retelling of “The Ugly Duckling,” this is the rare family musical that manages to be childlike without becoming childish. All the pathos of being “different” comes through, but in a joyous celebration that will delight audiences of every age. Through Feb. 24. Boston Children’s Theatre. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-424-6634, www.bostonchildrenstheatre.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. Extended through April 28. At Davis Square Theatre, Somerville. 800-660-8462, www.frankmccourtstheirish.com

THE LAST WILL Robert Brustein’s speculative vision of Shakespeare’s agonizing last days gets stellar performances from Allyn Burrows as Shakespeare; Brooke Adams as his wife, Anne; and Jeremiah Kissel as Richard Burbage. Through Feb. 24. Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and Suffolk University. At Modern Theatre. 800-440-7654, www.commshakes.org

DANCE

WINTER. DANCE!The Boston Conservatory Dance Ensemble showcases the stylistic diversity of its training in a program of five works ranging from ballet to jazz to modern by choreographers Danny Buraczeski, Gerald Arpino, Robert Moses, and faculty member Diane Arvanites. Feb. 21-24. $10-$30. Boston Conservatory Theater. 617-912-9222, www.bostonconservatory.edu/tickets

FILM SCREENING & DANCE PERFORMANCEChoreographer Judith Wombwell (Deadfall Dance) and artist-videographer Stephen Wicks’s collaborative project is on view in this screening of “Flow,” an outdoor, site-specific dance narrative on camera, followed by a live performance of the same choreography in a different context. Feb. 22, 8 p.m. Free. Kemper Auditorium, Phillips Academy, Andover. 978-475-4269, www.deadfalldance.com

GREEN STREET STUDIOS COMMUNITY CONCERTNemo scotched the original performance, so let’s hope Mother Nature won’t foil this rescheduled celebration, which pairs performances with reminiscences of shared experiences. Participants include Marcus Schulkind, Salsa Matei, Moving Target, Boston Percussive Dance, Jody Weber’s Community Group, and Nicole Pierce. Feb. 23, 7:30 p.m. $15. Green Street Studios, Cambridge. 617-864-3191, www.greenstreetstudios.org

JOURNEY THROUGH TIME Featuring colorful costumes and lively music, this production by Sayat Nova Dance Company evokes the rich cultural history of Armenia, from its ancient traditions to its rise as a sovereign state. Feb. 23-24. $30. Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown. 617-923-8487, www.sayatnova.com

GALLERIES

BRUTE  An exhibition celebrating the 50th anniversary of architect Le Corbusier’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard airs out expectations about historic weight and monumentality, and plays with the ins and outs of design. Through April 7. Carpenter
Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge. 617-495-3251,
www.ves.fas.harvard.edu

AVRAM FINKELSTEIN: LIFELINES  Finkelstein was a driving force in the artist community's response to AIDS in the 1980s. His current collages, prints, photos, and sculptures delve into family history and sexual and political identity. Through March 14. Harbor Gallery,
University of Massachusetts Boston, 100 Morrissey Blvd. 617-287-7988,
www.facebook.com/harborgalleryumb 

CONTEMPORARY SPINS ON BLUE AND WHITE CERAMICS  Expanding on the “New Blue and White” show at the Museum of Fine Arts, this exhibit spotlights 21st-century ceramic artists who riff on the traditional palette and techniques that reach back to 12th-century China. Through March 10. Lacoste Gallery, 25 Main St., Concord. 978-369-0278, www.lacostegallery.com

ROBERT BAUER: THE QUALITY OF INTROSPECTION  Bauer’s portraits in oil, graphite, and tempera — small, precise, and inward — are here paired with his delicate landscape drawings. Each is a lesson in the rewards of observation. Through March 16. Alva de Mars Megan Chapel Art Center, 100 Saint Anselm Drive, Manchester, N.H. 603-641-7470, www.anselm.edu/chapelart

MUSEUMS

STONE, WOOD, METAL, MESH: PRINTS AND PRINTMAKING This excellent overview of techniques is didactic in the best sense of that word, with more than 150 lessons offered from the likes of John James Audubon, Edward Hopper, Jasper Johns, and J.A.M.Whistler. Through March 17. Addison Gallery of American Art. 978-749-4015, www.addisongallery.org

ED RUSCHA: STANDARD Ruscha, a dean of Pop Art, employs everyday signs and images of the urban California landscape in his paintings, prints, and films, exploring language and graphic design as layered means of deadpan, sometimes absurd communication. Through June 9. Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, 415 South St., Waltham. 781-736-3434, www.brandeis.edu/rose/

MIDNIGHT TO THE BOOM: PAINTING IN INDIA AFTER INDEPENDENCE This gritty, bustling exhibit charts how Indian artists since independence in 1947 have synthesized Western ideals of modern art with the stories and conflicts of their own culture. Through April 21. Peabody Essex Museum, East India Square, 161 Essex St., Salem. 978-745-9500, www.pem.org

CATE McQUAID

Dressed to kill

LETHAL BEAUTY: SAMURAI WEAPONS AND ARMOR As these 60-odd objects show, no warrior class has had a keener aesthetic sense. Through May 5. Currier Museum of Art. 603-669-6144, www.currier.org

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