Theater & art
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    Critics’ picks: Theater

    Mark Evans stars in “The Book of Mormon” at the Boston Opera House.
    Joan Marcus
    Mark Evans stars in “The Book of Mormon” at the Boston Opera House.

    Opening

    THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE

    It’s the role that made Sutton Foster a star a decade ago. Ephie Aardema plays Millie, a native of small-town Kansas who moves to New York in the 1920s, intent on marrying for money, only to fall in love with a guy who seems to be flat broke. Directed and choreographed by Ilyse Robbins, and costarring Kathy St. George as the celebrated singer Muzzy van Hossmere. April 18-May 12. Stoneham Theatre. 781-279-2200, www.stoneham
    theatre.org

    SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK!

    “Conjunction Junction, what’s your function?’’ There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it: That’s a hard lyric to forget. Burgess Clark directs a musical based on the animated shorts designed to teach kids about grammar, math, science, history, and government — and make it fun. April 19-May 5. Boston Children’s Theatre. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.boston
    childrenstheatre.org

    PERICLES

    Generally considered to be a collaboration between Shakespeare and George Wilkins (described by scholar Harold Bloom as “a lowlife hack’’), this tale of a young ruler sent into exile features Jesse Hinson as the title character. Directed by Allyn Burrows. April 17-May 12. Actors’ Shakespeare Project. At Modern Theatre at Suffolk University. 866-811-4111, www.actorsshakespeare
    project.org
    DON AUCOIN

    Now playing

    THE BOOK OF MORMON

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    For all of its raunchy envelope-pushing and scorched-earth satire, “Mormon’’ overflows with affection for the old-fashioned Broadway musical, an institution it does as much to revitalize as to upend. With top-notch performances by Mark Evans as
    Elder Price and Samantha Marie Ware as Nabulungi. Through April 28. Broadway in Boston. At Boston Opera House. 800-982-2787, www.broadwayinboston.com

    BY THE WAY, MEET VERA STARK

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    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, www.lyricstage.com

    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, www
    .centralsquaretheater.org

    DON AUCOIN

    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, www.frank
    mccourtstheirish.com

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    TERRY BYRNE

    MASTER CLASS

    Terrence McNally’s 1995 Tony Award winner about the demands of divahood is almost entirely dependent on the actress playing Maria Callas. Amelia Broome may not channel Callas, but she masters the role, giving a commanding performance, entertaining the audience with her wit, and coaxing some superb singing out of her students as she teaches a master class. Through April 21. New Repertory Theatre. At Charles Mosesian Theater, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown. 617-923-8487, www.newrep.org

    JEFFREY GANTZ

    Last chance

    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. Through April 14. wwMerrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell. 978-654-4678, www.mrt.org

    TERRY BYRNE