You can now read 5 articles in a month for free on BostonGlobe.com. Read as much as you want anywhere and anytime for just 99¢.

The ticket: Theater

Laurence Labat

SMART PEOPLE Lydia R. Diamond’s splendid new Cambridge-based play sifts through the implications of research that suggests racism might be hard-wired into the human brain while showcasing a quartet of complex, flawed, intriguing, and, yes, smart people who register as much more than delivery systems for polemical freight. Directed by Peter DuBois. Through July 6. Huntington Theatre Company, at Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre.org

INTO THE WOODS A captivating production of the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical, adroitly directed by Spiro Veloudos, in which the disenchanted forest of the title is thick with pathos, dread, and disillusion, but also shot through with humor, life, and wayward romance. With eye-catching costumes by Elisabetta Polito and top-notch performances. Through June 29. Lyric Stage Company of Boston. 617-585-5678, www.lyricstage.com

Continue reading below

JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS Artistic director Eric C. Engel opted to open the 35th season of Gloucester Stage with a production, helmed by him, of the beloved revue by the Belgian-born balladeer, which was a hit at Gloucester Stage back in 2003. Starring Jennifer Ellis, Daniel Robert Sullivan, Shana Dirik, and Douglas Jabara, with David McGrory as music director. Through July 6. Gloucester Stage Company, Gloucester. 978-281-4433, www.gloucesterstage.com

UNCLE VANYA Last summer Robert Kropf directed his pared-down adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull,’’ resulting in a memorably dark production at Harbor Stage Company. Now he has turned his hand to Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya,’’ with a cast that includes Kropf himself, the always-compelling Stacy Fischer, Amie Lytle, Jeff Zinn, and Justin Campbell in the title role. Through July 12. Harbor Stage Company, Wellfleet. 508-349-6800, www.harborstage.org

DON AUCOIN

THE TEMPEST Directed by Aaron Posner and Teller, of the Penn & Teller team, this dandy production dresses up Shakespeare with stage magic, a gymnastic two-man Caliban, and an onstage band playing songs from the Tom Waits catalog. Through June 15. American Repertory Theater. Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge. 617-547-8300, www.americanrepertorytheater.org

JOEL BROWN

AMALUNA Cirque du Soleil is back with its big top, this time performing a female-centered spectacle that combines razzle-dazzle with refined art. Directed by Diane Paulus of the American Repertory Theater, the production is based loosely on “The Tempest,” with a female Prospera who manipulates the natural world. This is more plot-based than previous Cirque shows, which gives it an intimacy and ties the circus acts (including clowns, pictured) together. Through July 6. Boston Marine Industrial Park. 800-450-1480, www.cirquedusoleil.com/amaluna

PATTI HARTIGAN

Don Aucoin can be reached at aucoin@globe.com.
Loading comments...
Subscriber Log In

You have reached the limit of 5 free articles in a month

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Already a subscriber?
Your city. Your stories. Your Globe.
Yours FREE for two weeks.
Enjoy free unlimited access to Globe.com for the next two weeks.
Limited time only - No credit card required!
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.
Thanks & Welcome to Globe.com
You now have unlimited access for the next two weeks.
BostonGlobe.com complimentary digital access has been provided to you, without a subscription, for free starting today and ending in 14 days. After the free trial period, your free BostonGlobe.com digital access will stop immediately unless you sign up for BostonGlobe.com digital subscription. Current print and digital subscribers are not eligible for the free trial.