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Critics’ picks: Theater

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IN THE HEIGHTS The title of this Tony Award-winning musical (above) refers to an exhilarated state of mind as well as a vibrant New York City neighborhood. In this production, directed by Paul Daigneault and loaded with life and energy, a vivacious ensemble creates a community of absolutely irresistible characters. Through June 16. SpeakEasy Stage Company. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.speakeasystage.com


RAPTURE, BLISTER, BURN Playwright Gina Gionfriddo and director Peter DuBois, longtime collaborators who worked together on “Becky Shaw,’’ team up again for Gionfriddo’s comedy of ambivalence about life choices, built on the reunion between a best-selling, media-savvy academic (think Camille Paglia) and a friend who is married to the academic’s old flame. Through June 22. Huntington Theatre Company. At Wimberly Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre.org

AMADEUS Jim Petosa’s robust production of Peter Shaffer’s tragicomedy about a scheming mediocrity, Antonio Salieri, who sets out to thwart a genius, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Benjamin Evett’s multifaceted performance makes evident the paradoxical nature of Salieri. Through May 26. New Repertory Theatre. At Charles Mosesian Theatre, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown. 617-923-8487, www.newrep.org

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