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The week ahead: Theater

Tomasz Rossa

Lifting spirits

BODYTRAFFIC The acclaimed Los Angeles-based repertory company makes its Boston debut with a dynamite program of works created especially for it by some of the hottest choreographers in contemporary dance: “Kollide,” by MacArthur Fellow Kyle Abraham, the jazzy “o2Joy” by Richard Siegal, and Barak Marshall’s “And at midnight the green bride floated through the village square. . .” (Pictured: dancers Tina Finkelman Berkett and Guzman Rosado.) April 11-12, $40. Presented by World Music/CRASHarts at the Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3103, www.worldmusic.org

KAREN CAMPBELL

Theater

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THE WHALE The protean John Kuntz is riveting as a nearly 600-pound man who is marooned in his own body but determined to connect with his estranged teenaged daughter in Samuel D. Hunter’s prize-winning drama, directed by David R. Gammons. Through April 12. SpeakEasy Stage Company. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.speakeasystage.com

DON AUCOIN

BIG APPLE CIRCUS: LUMINOCITY Times Square comes to City Hall Plaza as the annual visitors in this hybrid newfangled/old-school circus bring their current show to town. It’s a bustling intersection of crane-your-neck marvels — the “free ladder” stuntman, the teeter-board acrobats — and comic diversions such as a flimflam man and a world-class clown in a Gilligan hat. Through May 11. At Boston City Hall Plaza. 888-541-3750, www.bigapplecircus.org

JAMES SULLIVAN

STUPID (EXPLETIVE) BIRD Playwright Aaron Posner has crafted a deliciously irreverent adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” that captures Chekhov’s bemusement with the theater world’s posers while also plumbing the depths of romantic frustration among a collection of self-absorbed characters. Once again, director Danielle Fauteux Jacques has gathered a fearless ensemble that delivers full-throttle performances oozing with emotional fervor. The result is a funny, occasionally thought-provoking evening that would surely give Chekhov a giggle. Through April 26. Apollinaire Theatre Company, at Chelsea Theatre Works. 617-887-2336, www.apollinairetheatre.com

TALLEY’S FOLLY Lanford Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play traces an unlikely romance built on a fragile foundation of hope. The Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s heartwarming production unfolds with steady determination, breaking through any jaded cynicism with a touching commitment to life’s possibilities.The beauty of this production is the way director Kyle Fabel and his performers build little moments of connection between two characters who didn’t dare to think they could find happiness. Through April 13. Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Lowell. 978-654-4678, www.mrt.org

TERRY BYRNE

Dance

ECHO CONTEMPORARY DANCE COMPANY The Waltham-based contemporary troupe presents “An Evening of Wine & Dance.” The concert is highlighted by the premiere of the new “m=/a,” with original music by Todd Langdon, and a guest appearance by hip-hop artist Monster Breezy. April 11-12, 8 p.m., $15-$20. Green Street Studios, Cambridge. 617-864-3191, www.echodance.org

LIFE UNLIVED: A DREAM Choreographer Judith Wombwell and Andover-based DeadFall Dance call this new work a piece about “reflection and mystery.” The concert also includes the Boston premiere of the company’s new “Flow,” a dance narrative on camera that examines the connection between humanity and the natural world. April 12, 8 p.m., $15-$20. Dance Complex, Cambridge. 978-475-4269, www.deadfalldance.com

VISIONS 2014 This annual spring concert by Boston University’s Dance Theatre Group is traditionally a lively affair that showcases original works in a range of styles by university faculty, alumni and students. April 11-12, $12. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-358-2500, www.bu.edu/fitrec

KAREN CAMPBELL

Galleries

JOSHUA TOUSTER: AFTERMATH This photographer shot memorials that popped up on Boylston Street after the marathon bombing. When SWAT teams came to his Watertown front door, his project escalated. Through
April 18. Shelley Hoon Keith Quiet Study Lounge, Student Center, Curry College, 1071 Blue Hill Ave., Milton. 617-333-0500, www.curry.edu

BRONLYN JONES & ROBERT BAUER: SHARED TERRAIN Jones and Bauer, a married couple, approach art from different angles. Jones makes abstract paintings; Bauer’s works are representational. But both reference landscape, and both carefully weigh positive and negative space. Through April 26.Barbara Krakow Gallery, 10 Newbury St. 617-262-4490, www.barbarakrakowgallery.com

FLASH OF AN INSTANT Young curators Caitie Moore and Sarah Pollman upend any hard-and-fast notions of reality with works that change, interact with, and question the viewer. Artists include photographer Sharon Harper and sculptor Anne Lilly. Through May 9. New Art Center, 61 Washington Park, Newtonville. 617-964-3424, www.newartcenter.org

ART ON THE MARQUEE The gaming convention PAX East returns to Boston April 11-13. The giant marquee outside the convention center celebrates with seven video artworks inspired by video games, including “Trashteroids” by Jeff Bartell and Fish McGill. Through May 1.Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, 415 Summer St. 617-524-2109, www.artonthemarquee.com

CATE MCQUAID

Museums

MIKA ROTTENBERG: BOWLS BALLS SOULS HOLES Dazzling, wildly fanciful and tautly constructed video installations that combine chutes, shafts, bingo balls, big bodies, and much more by the US-based artist born in Buenos Aires and raised in Israel. Through June 8. Rose Art Museum, Waltham. 781-736-3434, www.brandeis.edu/rose

QUILTS AND COLOR Nearly 60 quilts from the Pilgrim/Roy Collection, accumulated over five decades by artists Paul Pilgrim and Gerald Roy, with an emphasis on works that chime with 20th-century aesthetics. Through July 27. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org

WILLIAM KENTRIDGE: THE REFUSAL OF TIME A 30-minute, five channel video installation by the South African artist, providing a meditation on the pressure of time and the attempt – both political and existential – to escape it. A collaboration with Philip Miller, Catherine Meyburgh, and Peter Galison. Complemented by a selection of Kentridge’s works on paper. Through May 4. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617 478 3100, www.icaboston.com

ROMARE BEARDEN: A BLACK ODYSSEY The great African-American artist’s take, in watercolor and collage, on Homer’s Odyssey, with black protagonists. Through August 17. Currier Museum of Art, Manchester, NH. 603-669-6144, www.currier.org

SEBASTIAN SMEE

Don Aucoin can be reached at aucoin@globe.com.
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