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Critic’s picks: Theater

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HOW WE GOT ON This high-energy show (above) about the way dreams are born, pursued, and realized itself demands to be seen, heard, experienced, felt. Summer L. Williams directs Idris Goodwin’s coming-of-age play about three suburban Midwesterners in the late 1980s who forge a bond as they explore the creative possibilities of hip-hop. Through Aug. 17. Company One, Boston. At Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA The swaggering ghost of Frank Sinatra hovers over this enjoyably jazzed-up, Las Vegas-themed production of Shakespeare’s comedy, which could be retitled “Two Guys and Two Dolls.’’ Through July 28. Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. On Boston Common. Free. For reserved chairs, which cost $35, or for more information, 617-426-0863, www.comm

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MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN After portraying Shakespeare’s (renamed) magician Prospera in last summer’s production of “The Tempest,’’ Olympia Dukakis returns as Brecht’s canny war profiteer. Through Aug. 25. Shakespeare & Company, Tina Packer Playhouse, Lenox. 413-637-3353,

THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY First it was a mega-selling novel by Robert James Waller, then a movie starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. Now it’s a musical, with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown (“The Last Five Years’’) and a book by Marsha Norman (“ ’night, Mother’’). Directed by Bartlett Sher, this world premiere production stars Elena Shaddow as Francesca Johnson and Steven Pasquale as Robert Kincaid. Aug. 1-18. Williamstown Theatre Festival, Main Stage, Williamstown. 413-597-3400,


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