Theater & art

Critics’ picks: Theater

Broadway in Boston brings “American Idiot,” with music by Green Day, to the Boston Opera House Feb. 7-9.
Jeremy Daniel
Broadway in Boston brings “American Idiot,” with music by Green Day, to the Boston Opera House Feb. 7-9.

COMPANY Stephen Sondheim was at the peak of his powers when he composed this 1970 musical (with a book by George Furth) about Bobby, a bachelor with commitment issues, and the panoply of married friends who surround and besiege him. David Carney portrays Bobby, and Leigh Barrett plays the deliciously jaded Joanne. Hearing the redoubtable Barrett sing “The Ladies Who Lunch’’ might be worth the price of admission in itself. Directed by Allison Olivia Choat. Feb. 7-March 1. Moonbox Productions, at Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,

NEIGHBOURHOOD WATCH For the fifth year in a row, Zeitgeist Stage Company makes room on its schedule for a work by the amazingly prolific Alan Ayckbourn. It’s a dark satire about a brother and sister who form a neighborhood watch group, with dire consequences. Feb. 7-March 1. Zeitgeist Stage Company, at Plaza Black Box Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,

AMERICAN IDIOT The scorching rock musical about an alienated trio of friends who are trying to figure out what to do with their lives, with music by Green Day and lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong. Directed by Michael Mayer, with choreography by Steven Hoggett and orchestrations by Tom Kitt. Feb. 7-9. Broadway in Boston, at Boston Opera House.


THE FLICK Annie Baker’s comedy-drama, directed by Shawn LaCount, about three employees in a central Massachusetts movie theater. When it premiered off-Broadway, The New York Times noted that its length and periods of silence “infuriated some audience members.’’ The work of Baker, an Amherst native, is an acquired taste, but the silences in her plays can be eloquent, as Boston audiences learned in 2010, when three different Boston troupes staged a trio of her plays. Feb. 20-March 15. Company One Theatre with Suffolk University, at Modern Theatre at Suffolk University. 800-440-7654,

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MAN IN A CASE An adaptation of two stories by Anton Chekhov that features Mikhail Baryshnikov and employs surveillance footage, hunting videos, and cast interviews to establish a connection between the 19th century and today. Feb. 25-March 2. Production by Baryshnikov Productions. Presented by ArtsEmerson. At Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre. 617-824-8400,

AFRICAN AMERICAN HISTORY AND ITS EXPRESSIONS A play festival that includes performances of Ed Bullins’s “The Man Who Dug Fish,’’ directed by Noe Montez, and Keli Garrett’s adaptation, with puppets, of Marita Bonner’s “The Purple Flower,’’ directed by Dominic Taylor. In addition, there will be performance of poetry by actor-playwright Robbie McCauley. Feb. 27-March 1. Sleeping Weazel. At Factory Theatre, Boston.

THE WHALE The inimitable John Kuntz stars in the New England premiere of a drama by Samuel D. Hunter (“A Bright New Boise’’) about a morbidly obese Idaho man who, nearing death, tries to reconcile with the teenage daughter he hasn’t seen in many years. Directed by David R. Gammons. March 7-April 5. SpeakEasy Stage Company, at Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,

BECOMING CUBA A drama by Melinda Lopez (“Sonia Flew’’) about a widowed pharmacist who faces a difficult choice in 1898 Cuba, on the cusp of the Spanish-American War. Directed by M. Bevin O’Gara. March 28-May 3. Huntington Theatre Company, Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800,


SILA A world premiere of Chantal Bilodeau’s drama about eight characters on an island — including an Inuit activist, climatologist, and a couple of polar bears — who are struggling to cope with environmental change. Directed by Megan Sandberg-Zakian. April 24-May 25. Underground Railway Theater, at Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 866-811-4111,


WITNESS UGANDA A disillusioned young African-American travels halfway around the world to find himself, but ends up discovering a larger purpose in life. The autobiographical musical, written by Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews, follows the journey of one man as he strives to raise money to educate a group of Ugandan orphans, exploring both the joys and frustrations of international aid work. The youthful score blends traditional African rhythms with a contemporary Western beat, and Darrell Grand Moultrie’s pulse-raising choreography looks to be exuberant and alive. Directed by Diane Paulus. Feb. 4-March 16. American Repertory Theater, at Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge. 617-547-8300, www.americanrepertory


Don Aucoin can be reached at