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Critic’s picks: Theater

Shelley Paulson

THIS IS OUR YOUTH It’s almost as if a question mark should be appended to the title. Under the assured direction of Lewis D. Wheeler, with fine performances by Alex Pollock, Amanda Collins, and Jimi Stanton, this production of Kenneth Lonergan’s play adds up to a raw, sometimes funny, often unsettling portrait of young New Yorkers stuck in a dead end and uncertain how to get out. Through Aug. 25. Gloucester Stage Company, Gloucester. 978-281-4433, www.gloucesterstage.com

ODYSSEO This one rides on horsepower all the way. The brainchild of Cirque du Soleil cofounder Normand Latourelle, the show (above) is a spectacle that imaginatively and elegantly fuses highly stylized equestrian arts with Cirque-style atmospherics, acrobatics, and aerial stunts. Through Sept. 12. Cavalia. Assembly Square, Somerville. 866-999-8111, www.cavalia.net

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WICKED The hard-to-resist musical about the witches of Oz is back, in a production featuring an excellent performance by Jenn Gambatese as Glinda, Alison Luff in the role of Elphaba, and none other than John Davidson as the Wizard. With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. Through Sept. 15. Broadway in Boston. At Boston Opera House. 800-982-2787, www.broadwayinboston.com

THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE Home is where the hate is in Martin McDonagh’s chilling 1996 drama about the poisonous relationship between a mother, played by Tina Packer as a kind of living gargoyle, and her middle-aged daughter, portrayed by Elizabeth Aspenlieder. Directed by Matthew Penn. Through Sept. 15. Shakespeare & Company, at Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, Lenox. 413-637-3353, www.shakespeare.org

DON AUCOIN

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