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The week ahead: Theater, galleries, and museums

Ivan Singer

Flying high

ADELE MYERS AND DANCERS New England-based choreographer Adele Myers decided to address her fear of heights by learning to soar through the air on a trapeze. The experience inspired her latest multidisciplinary work, “Einstein’s Happiest Thought,” which also explores the ideas of risk and anticipation. Music is by composer Josh Quillen of Brooklyn-based quartet So Percussion. Nov. 8-9, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $10-$20. Institute of Contemporary Art, 617-478-3103, www.icaboston.org

KAREN CAMPBELL

Theater

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DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE A stylish and suspenseful take on Jeffrey Hatcher’s adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s tale. Directed by Caitlin Lowans with a perceptive eye for the forebodingly atmospheric touch and anchored by Benjamin Evett’s intelligent and compelling performance as Dr. Jekyll, a man who is being torn apart from within. Through Nov. 10. Stoneham Theatre. 781-279-2200, www.stonehamtheatre.org

WATER BY THE SPOONFUL A moving and well-acted production, directed by Scott Edmiston, of Quiara Alegría Hudes’s Pulitzer-winning drama about a veteran of the Iraq war, his newly divorced cousin, and a quartet of recovering crack addicts in an online chat room. All of them are struggling to find their footing, and all of them receive the playwright’s compassion. Through Nov. 16. Lyric Stage Company, Boston. 617-585-5678, www.lyricstage.com

DON AUCOIN

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SPLENDOR Acclaimed local playwright Kirsten Greenidge returns to the fictional Boston suburb of Bellington, where she set her last play, “The Luck of the Irish.” The play follows a large cast of characters over four decades, as high-school romances, tragedies, and resentments echo down the years. The ambitious and sometimes unwieldy play touches on race, class, and gender roles. Through Nov. 16. Company One. At the Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.companyone.org

JOEL BROWN

THE NORMAL HEART Nearly 30 years after Larry Kramer’s play became a rallying cry in the fight against AIDS, this production captures both the fury and heartbreak of this powerful drama. Much of the credit for the powerful impact of this production goes to director and designer David J. Miller’s vision, which embraces the play’s polemics and its very personal love story. Ultimately, this production reminds us of the devastating impact of AIDS and the vital importance of speaking up and being heard. Through Nov. 23. Zeitgeist Stage Company, Plaza Black Box Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.zeitgeiststage.com

THE HOBBIT Matthew T. Lazure’s creative costumes and elegant, two-tiered set stand out as the stars of this charming production. Lazure doesn’t need the film’s elaborate computer-generated animation, because he includes just the right elements to spark the imagination and create the right mood for Bilbo Baggins’s unexpected adventure. Andrew Barbato offers a pitch-perfect performance as Bilbo, allowing us to watch the fussy, nervous homebody grow in self-confidence as the adventure unfolds, while Stephen Benson is a remarkably agile and suggestively slimy Gollum. Through Nov. 24. Wheelock Family Theatre. 617-879-2300, www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org

TERRY BYRNE

WAITING FOR GODOT Samuel Beckett’s inimitable tramps have been waiting to meet a certain gentleman for 60 years now, and they’re still at it. “Waiting for Godot” bewildered audiences when it first debuted in Paris in 1953, and it’s now considered a classic of 20th-century theater. Fresh from the Dublin Theatre Festival, the Gare St Lazare Players Ireland production shows why this absurdist play continues to persevere. Two guys pass the time, bickering and dancing and endlessly waiting for an elusive something that gives them a reason to exist. It’s time well spent. Through Nov. 10. Presented by ArtsEmerson. At Paramount Center Mainstage, Boston. 617-824-8400, www.artsemerson.org

PATTI HARTIGAN

Dance

STEP AFRIKA! Slaps, claps, stomps, and kicks — rhythm is king in stepping, a tradition which grew from African-based colleges. Arts Emerson: The World on Stage presents this spirited Washington, D.C. troupe, which for almost two decades has preserved, spread and kept vigorous this dynamic dance form. This one’s for the whole family. Nov. 7-9. Tickets: $25-$65. Cutler Majestic Theatre. 617-824-8400, www.artsemerson.org

EITHER SIDE OF NEW The Dance Complex’s new mentoring program “aMaSSiT” (stands for “a Make it/Share it/Show it”) presents new and newly revisited works by participants of the lab, as well as by those guiding the process – Complex director Peter DiMuro, independent choreographer/teacher Brian Feigenbaum, and Prometheus Dance co-directors Diane Arvanites and Tommy Neblett. Nov. 8-10. Tickets: $20. The Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-547-9363, www.dancecomplex.org

HARVARD DANCE PROJECT This new faculty-led performance group makes its debut with “SEESAW,” a dance installation by Harvard University dance program director Jill Johnson. The work, which incorporates music ranging from classical to pop and texts by Confucius and Daumal, was created using crowd-sourcing and improvisation. Audiences are encouraged to roam the edges of the performance space for a variety of perspectives. Nov. 7-9. Tickets: $8. Harvard Dance Center, Cambridge. Reservations recommended. 617-495-8683, dance@fas.harvard.edu

KAREN CAMPBELL

Galleries

HANS HOFMANN: EARLY DRAWINGS The legendary artist made these drawings, some never exhibited, between the late 1930s and the mid-1940s. They include Cubist-inflected figurative abstractions and landscape sketches of Provincetown and Truro, made from his roadster. Through Jan. 11. ACME Fine Art, 450 Harrison Ave. 617-585-9551, www.acmefineart.com

JULIAN OPIE The British artist investigates time and space with his pared down portraiture. He juxtaposes stone mosaic portraits with digital ones. He fashions busts of his subjects using 3-D scanning, then paints them as if they were flat. Through Dec. 7.
Barbara Krakow Gallery, 10 Newbury St. 617-262-4490, www.barbarakrakowgallery.com

2013 NORTH AMERICAN PRINT BIENNIAL Boston Printmakers mounted their first show in a furniture store in 1948. There blossomed an ambitious biennial. Dennis Michael Jon, associate curator of prints and drawings at Minneapolis Institute of Arts, is this year’s juror. Through
Dec. 20. 808 Gallery, Boston University, 808 Commonwealth Ave. 617-353-3371, www.bostonprintmakers.org

NAOE SUZUKI: THE RIVER Her detailed drawings balance bursts of color with swarming patterns of gray to address the urgent topic of water – as healing agent, as carrier of contaminants, as vessel of life. Through Nov. 27. VanDernoot Gallery, Lesley University, 1815 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge. 617-585-6656, www.lesley.edu

CATE MCQUAID

Museums

2013 DECORDOVA BIENNIAL New England’s contemporary artists are featured in this closely watched survey featuring work in all media. Through April 13. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln. 781-259-8355, www.decordova.org

SACRED PAGES: CONVERSATIONS ABOUT THE QUR’AN Pages selected from 25 Qur’ans, ranging from the 7th century to contemporary, in the collection of the MFA, complemented by commentaries from Boston’s Islamic community. Through Feb. 23. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org

LIGHT YEARS: JACK WHITTEN 1971-1973 Large-scale abstract paintings, never previously exhibited, as well as smaller canvases and drawings from a turning point in the career of the celebrated experimental painter. Through Dec. 8. Rose Art Museum, Waltham. 781-736-3434, www.brandeis.edu/rose

SEBASTIAN SMEE

CHRIS MARKER: GUILLAUME-EN-ÉGYPTE A sprawling, engrossing retrospective, spread over two sites, of this one-of-a-kind filmmaker/photographer/visionary’s career. Through Jan. 5. MIT List Visual Arts Center. 617-253-4680. Through Dec. 22, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University. 617-495-3251

MARK FEENEY

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