Theater & art


The week ahead: Theater, dance, and art

“A Raisin in the Sun.”
T. Charles Erickson
“A Raisin in the Sun.”

Shining ‘Sun’

A RAISIN IN THE SUN All the passion Lorraine Hansberry poured into her 1959 masterpiece comes surging through in Liesl Tommy’s stirring production. LeRoy McClain, Kimberly Scott, Ashley Everage, and Keona Welch deliver piercing performances as the four adult members of the Younger family, facing the chance for a new start but divided on what that means. Pictured: McClain (left) and Corey Janvier. Through April 7. Huntington Theatre Company. At Boston University Theatre. 617-266-0800,

Don Aucoin


BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK The charismatic Kami Rushell Smith excels as an African-American maid in the 1930s whose aspirations for a movie career collide with Hollywood’s insistence on racial stereotyping. Lynn Nottage’s snappy, inventive, and pointed satire is directed with assurance by Summer L. Williams, who has marshaled a stellar supporting cast. Through April 27. Lyric Stage Company. 617-585-5678,

OPERATION EPSILON A satisfyingly taut and well-acted production of Alan Brody’s fine, historically based new drama about German nuclear scientists held captive at the end of World War II in a British country house, where they confront — and evade — their moral responsibility. Directed by Andy Sandberg, with standout performances by Will Lyman, Diego Arciniegas, Ken Baltin, and Robert D. Murphy. Through April 28. Nora Theatre Company. At Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 866-811-4111,


CLYBOURNE PARK The fuse is always lit in M. Bevin O’Gara’s sharp and penetrating production of Bruce Norris’s drama about race and gentrification, inspired by “A Raisin in the Sun.’’ A skilled ensemble ensures that the play registers with full force. Through April 6. SpeakEasy Stage Company. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,

Don Aucoin

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PROOF “The machinery is working,” the mathematician exultantly tells his daughter. The character is referring to his mind, but he might as well be referring to David Auburn’s Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, which appears to be about the fragility of intellectual brilliance, but is more deeply about the jagged, seemingly unconnected pieces that come together to make relationships. Director Christian Parker supplies the requisite light touch here, anchoring his quartet of actors deeply in their characters. Through April 14. Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell. 978-654-4678,

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 April 28. At Davis Square Theatre, Somerville. 800-660-8462,

Terry Byrne


SPELLBOUND DANCE COMPANY The Celebrity Series presents the Boston debut of Mauro Astolfi’s celebrated, nearly 20-year-old troupe. Considered by many to be Italy’s premier contemporary dance ensemble, Spellbound brings three works, including “She is on the ground,” which made its world premiere this week, during this rare US tour. April 5-6. $60-$75. Citi Shubert Theatre. 866-348-9738,

TRIVENI ENSEMBLE Neena Gulati and her company try to trace the “roots and branches” of classical Indian dance in this fancifully titled showcase, “All I Was Doing Was Breathing ... And the Dancing Energy Came By…” April 5-6. $25-$50, $20 seniors and students. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-232-5485,


URBANITY | NEXT This concert puts Urbanity Dance’s emerging choreographers front and center, giving them a chance to show off their latest works. Dance makers include Meghan Anderson, Kate Cook, Chantal Doucett, Jamie Lovell, Theo Martinez, Emily May Mayer, Lara Park, Danielle Pastuszak, Kayla Skerry, and Ayako Takahashi. April 5-6. $22. Green Street Studios, Cambridge.

Karen Campbell


TAMZIQ: SCATTERED AND CONNECTED Middle Eastern and American artists explore possibly uncomfortable common ground, including war and its aftermath, the plight of refugees, immigration, and human rights issues. Artists include Rania Matar and Jocelyn Ajami. Through April 26. Arsenal Center for the Arts, 321 Arsenal St., Watertown. 617-923-0100,

FROM THE CITY TO THE WORLD Four artists reflect on urban life: Encounters with people who are different, the bustling landscapes of city streets, the relics of things left behind in public spaces, and makeshift and permanent homes.Through May 10. New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville. 617-964-3424,

POINT AND COUNTERPOINT Contemporary artists strive for the new, but they stand on the shoulders of centuries of artists who came before. Three painters call out their influences, paying homage and delineating how context changes everything.Through April 18. Trustman Art Gallery, Simmons College, 300 The Fenway. 617-521-2268,

X NOW Where are they now? A reunion of 10 artists who worked together in the late 1970s and early 1980s in grubby South End lofts, decried the art market, and mounted “X,” a 1981 exhibit at the Boston Center for the Arts.Through April 20. HallSpace, 950 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester. 617-288-2255,

Cate McQuaid



IN HARMONY: THE NORMA JEAN CALDERWOOD COLLECTION OF ISLAMIC ART Ceramics, illustrated folio pages, and drawings on paper, most of them exquisite, make up this exhibition of Persianate work from the ninth to 19th centuries. Through June 1. Arthur M. Sackler Museum. 617-495-9400,

FRAME BY FRAME: PHOTOGRAPHIC SERIES AND PORTFOLIOS FROM THE COLLECTION Frame is the name of the game, since the photographers in this superb show are named Robert Frank, Aaron Siskind, Bruce Davidson, William Eggleston, William Christenberry, and Bill Owens. Through April 14. Addison Gallery of American Art. 978-749-4015,

FREEPORT [NO. 006]: NICK CAVE Three faceless, funky, sculptural costumes by the fabric artist, seen in conjunction with a film projection. Cave’s exuberant “Soundsuits” recall anything from African ceremonial garb to neon-hued yeti to conglomerations of Beanie Babies. Through May 27. Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex St., Salem. 978-745-9500,

VISITING MASTERPIECES: CEZANNE’S “THE LARGE BATHERS” Cezanne’s late masterpiece is on show at the MFA alongside Gauguin’s similarly Arcadian “Where Do We Come From, Who Are We, Where Are We Going?” A fruitful pairing. Through May 12. Museum of Fine Arts, 465 Huntington Ave. 617-267-9300,

Sebastian Smee

‘Eye’ on ‘Magic’ and more

JOSÉ MATEO BALLET THEATRE The company’s upcoming “In the Mind’s Eye” highlights two ballets with scores by iconic minimalist composers that feature some of Mateo’s most modernistic choreography — the exuberant and dynamic “Streams,” set to Terry Riley’s “The Cusp of Magic,” and the edgy, urban-flavored “Fearless Symmetries,” set to John Adams’s “Fearful Symmetries.” April 5-21. $40. Sanctuary Theatre, Cambridge. 617-354-7467,

Karen Campbell