Theater & art

Week ahead: Theater

Nabeela Vega’s “Teach me how to Bengali” with Nilofar Chowdhury.
Tim Amundson
Nabeela Vega’s “Teach me how to Bengali” with Nilofar Chowdhury.


FOOL FOR LOVE An engrossing production, directed by Daniel Aukin, of Sam Shepard’s 1983 drama about the turbulent reunion of two longtime lovers in a motel room on the outskirts of the Mojave Desert. Sam Rockwell and Nina Arianda seem utterly at home in Shepard country as they face off in a volatile dance of memory and desire. Through Aug. 2. Williamstown Theatre Festival, Nikos Stage, Williamstown. 413-597-3400,

BREAKING THE CODE Mark H. Dold delivers a virtuoso performance as the stuttering, awkward, passionately principled British computer pioneer and World War II codebreaker Alan Turing, convicted in 1952 for homosexual acts. This production of Hugh Whitemore’s play about the injustice visited upon a genius is directed with real style by Joe Calarco and features a sterling supporting cast. Through Aug. 2. Barrington Stage Company, at Boyd-Quinson Mainstage, Pittsfield. 413-236-8888,

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, at Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,

Don Aucoin


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,

Terry Byrne

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FINDING NEVERLAND American Repertory Theater artistic director Diane Paulus is helming the world premiere of this new musical about author J.M. Barrie, based on the 2004 Miramax film (scripted by David Magee) 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, at Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge. 617-547-8300,

Patti Hartigan

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, at Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 866-811-4111,

Jeffrey Gantz


CIRCA For this acclaimed and inventive Australian company of circus arts performers, it’s all about the body — what it can do, how it can be pushed to go just a little bit beyond what we think it can do, and what emotional power that risk and challenge can evoke. The troupe’s new show, “S,” explores the sensuality and flexibility the letter implies. Through Aug. 3, $10-$65. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Becket. 413-243-0745,

CHATHAM DANCE FESTIVAL The Los Angeles-based Lionel Popkin Dance opens the performance element of this annual American dance celebration with Popkin’s “Ruth Doesn’t Live Here Anymore,” an examination of the legacy of Ruth St. Denis, with live music for accordion and violin composed by Guy Klucevsek. Sponsored by PS21: Performance Spaces for the 21st Century, the performance is set in the concert tent of the organization’s pastoral 50-acre site. Aug. 1-2, $18-$30. PS21, Chatham, N.Y. 800-836-3006,


CHALK AND SOOT Superstar string quartet Brooklyn Rider and Shara Worden, the lead singer of My Brightest Diamond, perform live for the world premiere of this evening-length dance-theater piece by choreographer John Heginbotham and composer Colin Jacobsen. The work is based on the poetry of the great Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky. Through Aug. 3, $19-$45. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Becket. 413-243-0745,

QUARRY DANCE 3 Imagine dancers scurrying across the ledges, cliffs, and terraces of an old granite quarry, bringing wind and water into the choreography. Last summer, Dušan Týnek developed a new site-specific work at Valley Pit Quarry. This summer, Windhover Center for the Performing Arts invited the choreographer and his Dušan Týnek Dance Theatre to create a new work especially for the Deep Pit Quarry in the Lanesville area of Gloucester. Aug. 1-2, Free. Park around St. Paul Lutheran Church, 1123 Washington St., and walk or take shuttle. 978-546-3611,

Karen Campbell


PROCESS PRIORITY The artists in this group show use elements of photography to their own ends. Making largely abstract works, they abrade film, engage in darkroom alchemy (and perhaps heresy), and “paint” with light, chemicals, and photographic imagery. Through Aug. 30. Steven Zevitas Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave. 617-778-5265

FURNITURE MASTERS: ARTISTIC VISIONS The New Hampshire Furniture Masters Association stages a pop-up exhibition in a vacant gallery space, spotlighting nationally known craftsmen whose handmade tables, love seats, and more span styles from Shaker to contemporary. Artists include Jere Osgood and Tom McLaughlin. Aug. 1-15.127 Newbury St. 617-763-1349,

NATIONAL POSTER RETROSPECTICUS This one-night-only exhibition, from 6-11 p.m., celebrates hand-printed gig posters for bands such as Modest Mouse, Phish, and Wilco, designed by poster masters Aaron Draplin, Daniel Danger, Aesthetic Apparatus, and scores more. Aug. 1. Boston University Art Gallery, 855 Commonwealth Ave. 617-353-3329,

Cate McQuaid



RICHARD ESTES’S REALISM A large survey of the pioneering painter often associated with photorealism, organized by the Portland Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Through Sept. 7. Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine. 207-775-6148,

SIGHT SPECIFIC: A SELECTION OF AMERICAN PERCEPTUAL PAINTINGS Representational paintings by an array of painters with well-established local and national reputations, organized by George Nick. Includes work by Richard Estes, Catherine Kehoe, Harold Reddicliffe, Philip Pearlstein, Nick, and many others. Through Aug. 13. Concord Art Association, Concord. 978-369-2578,

JIM HODGES: GIVE MORE THAN YOU TAKE A survey of the 25-year career of the New York-based installation artist, who has said that when he started out he wanted to sit between Yoko Ono and Richard Tuttle on the bus of art history. Hodges makes poetic, fragile works in a variety of media, from colored cloth to pencil, gold leaf, and ink. Through Sept. 1. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3100,

CAST FOR ETERNITY: ANCIENT RITUAL BRONZES FROM THE SHANGHAI MUSEUM Thirty-two elaborately decorated objects produced in China from the Xia through to the Han periods, or around 1800 BCE through to 8 CE. Through Sept. 21. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. 413-458-2303,

Sebastian Smee

PERMA-F(R)AIL: PERSONAE DOCUMENTS Curator Jessica Borusky invites artists to explore strategies of crafting identity. Is “the artist” a persona? When the art revolves around a persona, how fluid is that identity, and how attached to the exhibition space or performance? Nabeela Vega’s “Teach me how to Bengali” with Nilofar Chowdhury. Through Aug. 15. Howard Art Project, 1486 Dorchester Ave., Dorchester.

Cate McQuaid