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The week ahead: Performing, visual arts

Northern highlights

ARCTIC REFLECTIONS: INUIT CARVINGS AND GRAPHICS Artists from Canada’s Nunavut territory make bright, crisp prints and carvings from soapstone and quartz, depicting animals, hunting, and Inuit mythology. Also on view: Henri Matisse’s lithographs inspired by Inuit masks, which he collected. Pictured: Nuna Parr’s “Walking Bear.’’ Through Aug. 31.Pucker Gallery, 171 Newbury St. 617-267-9473, www.puckergallery.com

CATE MCQUAID

THEATER

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ASTRO BOY AND THE GOD OF COMICS Writer-director Natsu Onoda Power delivers an exhilarating shot of adrenaline to the summer theater season with her multimedia sci-fi parable, built on the life and work of Japanese cartoonist Osamu Tezuka, creator of Astro Boy. Through Aug. 16. Company One Theatre. Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.companyone.org

AULD LANG SYNE Paula Plum and Richard Snee make the most of the roomy showcase for their talents provided by Jack Neary’s slight but likable comedy-drama. It’s about a South Boston widow who makes a very unusual New Year’s Eve request to a down-on-his-luck gangster. Directed by Douglas Lockwood. Through July 27. Gloucester Stage Company, Gloucester. 978-281-4433, www.gloucesterstage.com

DON AUCOIN

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FINDING NEVERLAND American Repertory Theater artistic director Diane Paulus is helming the world premiere of this musical about author J.M. Barrie, based on the 2004 film that starred Johnny Depp as the playwright who found his muse when he befriended a family with a brood of young boys, and on Allan Knee’s play “The Man Who Was Peter Pan.’’ Barrie is portrayed at the ART by Jeremy Jordan (“Newsies: The Musical,’’ “Smash’’), costarring with Laura Michelle Kelly, who plays Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. With music and lyrics by Gary Barlow and Eliot Kennedy. Through Sept. 28. American Repertory Theater. Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge. 617-547-8300, www.americanrepertorytheater.org

PATTI HARTIGAN

WELCOME TO ARROYO’S This triumphantly funny, poignant play from Kristoffer Diaz (“The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity”) mixes hip-hop with family values, and grief with gritty determination for an unexpectedly delightful ride into the history of a musical genre and a changing neighborhood. Through July 27.Circuit Theatre Company. Club Oberon, Cambridge. 617-547-8300, www.circuittheatre .com

DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID The stage adaptation of the popular film lands with a satisfying splash, making imaginative use of the circular stage, multiple entrances, and creative set pieces to transport audiences from under the sea to dry land and back again. While the extra songs written for the Broadway musical occasionally feel like unnecessary padding, knockout performances by Adrienne Eller as Ariel and Kecia Lewis as Ursula the Sea Witch, as well as an excellent ensemble, make this production enjoyable for kids and parents like. Through July 27. North Shore Music Theatre, Beverly. 978-232-7200, www.nsmt.org

JULIUS CAESAR With this “bare Bard” production, director Tina Packer reminds us just how skillful she is at clearing away anything that might distract from William Shakespeare’s tale of ambition, pride, and political manipulation. Seven actors play more than 40 characters, morphing easily from distinct individuals — a husband and his heartbroken wife, a faithful servant and his master — to an angry mob, for an effect that is never less than exhilarating. Through Aug. 30. Shakespeare & Company, at Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, Lenox. 413-637-3353, www.shakespeare.org

TERRY BYRNE

HER ACHING HEART In Bryony Lavery’s uproarious 1990 comedy, two contemporary women, Harriet and Molly, find themselves reading the same lesbian bodice ripper, “Her Aching Heart,” whose main characters are named Harriet and Molly. In both the novel and the play, Harriet and Molly fall in love, but not before the two actresses in this Nora Theatre production, Lynn R. Guerra as the Harriets and Aimee Rose Ranger as the Mollys, have had a field day spoofing gothic-romance conventions. Through Aug. 10.Nora Theatre Company. Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 866-811-4111, www.centralsquaretheater.org

JEFFREY GANTZ

DANCE

PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY In celebration of the company’s amazing 60th anniversary, the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center is bringing the troupe for two programs over four performances, with repertoire spanning almost four decades. “Cloven Kingdom” dates back to 1976, while “Marathon Cadenzas,” with music by Raymond Scott, premiered this year. This is a great chance to experience a broad range of the indomitable Taylor’s influence on modern dance. July 24-26, $10-$80. Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington. 413-528-0100, www.mahaiwe.org

CAPE DANCE FESTIVAL This jam-packed, one-day dance celebration features an impressive slate of performers in five new dances, including the world premiere of Catherine Cabeen’s “Left.” Featured artists include dancers from the Martha Graham Dance Company and Project Moves, as well as former Paul Taylor Dance Company stars Patrick Corbin and Annmaria Mazzini. Boston Ballet soloist John Lam will premiere a new solo being choreographed for him by George Birkadze. July 26, 6 p.m. $25-$100. Province Lands Visitor Center outdoor amphitheater, Provincetown. 917-445-2782, www.capedancefestival.com

MARK MORRIS DANCE GROUP Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival is calling this special intensive engagement by the renowned troupe “a festival within the Festival,” featuring not just seven dance performances but a concert by the MMDG Music Ensemble, talks, repertory classes, and music seminars. Performances includes Morris’s “Festival Dance,” “A Wooden Tree,” “Jenn and Spencer,” and “Crosswalk,” one of the choreographer’s most recent creations. Through July 27, Free-$75. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Becket. 413-243-0745, www.jacobspillow.org

BATES DANCE FESTIVAL With “Come, And Back Again,” David Dorfman Dance reflects on love and loss, fueled in part by the raw energy of 1990s underground rock band Smoke. The evening-length work features a live band, video, spoken text, a junk laden set, and Dorfman’s emotionally charged, athletic choreography. July 25-26, $12-$25. Schaeffer Theatre, Bates College, Lewiston, Maine. 207-786-6381, www.batesdancefestival.org

KAREN CAMPBELL

GALLERIES

LIZ NOFZIGER: BOUNCE A giant ping-pong court, crafted from three regulation-size ping-pong tables, invites players to stretch the rules and contemplate community. Paddles and balls available for free. Lessons and tournaments to come, plus a sound-art element. Through Oct. 15. Boston Center for the Arts Plaza, 551 Tremont St. 617-426-5000, www.bcaonline.org

JUSTIN KIMBALL: WHERE WE FIND OURSELVES Kimball began this series of color photos retracing the trips his family took by van each summer. His images of people cooling off around water expose an underlying sense of threat and vulnerability. Through Aug. 23. Carroll and Sons, 450 Harrison Ave.
617-482-2477, www.carrollandsons.net

JERRY BECK: RPM (REVOLUTIONS PER MINUTE) Part carnival barker, part poet, part mythologist, Beck has put together an exhibition of sculpture and mixed-media drawings that parlay personal and cultural icons, from family members to cowboys, into a larger, surreal reverie. Through Aug. 30. Clark Gallery, 145 Lincoln Road, Lincoln. 781-259-8303, www.clarkgallery.com

CATE MCQUAID

MUSEUMS

RAW COLOR: THE CIRCLES OF DAVID SMITH An installation of paintings and sculptures from a famous series by the great American sculptor David Smith. Through Oct.19. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303, www.clarkart.edu

DARREN WATERSTON: UNCERTAIN BEAUTY The centerpiece of this dazzling show is “Filthy Lucre,” a re-creation of James Whistler’s “Harmony in Blue and Gold: Peacock Room,” but reduced to a state of abject disrepair. Also includes drawings, watercolors, and paintings. Through January. Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams. 413-662-2111, www.massmoca.org

TURNER & THE SEA The great painter Joseph Mallord William Turner’s vision of the sea as a stage fit for stirring drama is extensively demonstrated in this memorable show organized by the National Maritime Museum in London. Through Sept. 1. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. 866-745-1876, www.pem.org

IAN HAMILTON FINLAY: ARCADIAN REVOLUTIONARY AND AVANT-GARDENER More than 200 works are included in this ambitious survey of the career of the great Scottish artist, poet, and garden designer. Through Oct. 13. DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln. 781-259-8355, www.decordova.org

SEBASTIAN SMEE

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