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    Arts: the week ahead

    Feeling blue KEIRA KOTLER: I LOOK FOR LIGHT; STUART OBER: DOCTOR, MY EYES. . . Both painters are enraptured with color. Kotler layers translucent glazes to make luminous seas of tone. Ober paints still lifes and interiors rooted in questions about time passing. Pictured: Kotler’s “Blue Meditation.’’ Through March 24. Gallery NAGA, 67 Newbury St. 617-267-9060, CATE McQUAID


    NEXT TO NORMAL A powerfully moving musical about a woman riding the seesaw of mental illness, determined to somehow find a way to hold on, and her family, which is trying to stay together through it all. Through April 15. Presented by SpeakEasy Stage Company. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,

    TIME STANDS STILL The urgent need to bear witness, and the toll that can exact, lie at the heart of this fine drama by Donald Margulies about two journalists coping with the wounds they sustained - some visible, some not - while covering the Iraq war. With probing direction by Scott Edmiston and deeply felt performances by Laura Latreille, Barlow Adamson, Jeremiah Kissel, and Erica Spyres. Through March 17. Lyric Stage Company of Boston. 617-585-5678,


    PHOTOGRAPH 51 If history is written by the winners, it is sometimes rewritten - or recaptured - by the dramatists. That’s the case with Anna Ziegler’s bracingly intelligent drama, directed by Daniel Gidron and featuring a first-rate performance by Becky Webber as Rosalind Franklin, a British biophysicist who made crucial contributions to the discovery of the double-helix structure of DNA, only to be mostly overlooked by posterity. Through March 18. Presented by Nora Theatre Company. At Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 866-811-4111,

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    BAKERSFIELD MIST A comedy-drama by Stephen Sachs, directed by Jeff Zinn, that pits a haughty art expert (played by Ken Cheeseman) against an unemployed bartender (portrayed by Paula Langton) who is convinced that she has an undiscovered Jackson Pollock painting on her hands. Through March 25. Coproduction by New Repertory Theatre and Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater. At New Repertory Theatre, Black Box Theater, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown. 617-923-8487,


    DEPORTED / A DREAM PLAY Joyce Van Dyke’s new work doesn’t entirely avoid propaganda as it attempts to address the Armenian genocide of 1915. But the dream elements are enchanting and thought-provoking, and Bobbie Steinbach grounds the proceedings with her wry, feisty take on the central character, who was modeled on Van Dyke’s Armenian grandmother. Through April 1. Presented by Boston Playwrights’ Theatre and Suffolk University. At Modern Theatre. 866-811-4111,

    RECENT TRAGIC EVENTS Set on the evening of Sept. 12, 2001, and featuring an appearance by Joyce Carol Oates in the form of a sock puppet, Craig Wright’s 2002 play about free will is all too susceptible to vapid hipsterism. Whistler in the Dark Theatre’s warmhearted actors make it both funny and heart-rending, however, and the production is rife with thoughtful details. Through March 24. At Factory Theatre. 800-838-3006,

    BLOOD ROSE RISING: IMMATERIAL GIRL Ben Evett and Steve Barkhimer have come up with a great concept: live theater as a serial. The setup is strong as well: A Cambridge professor inherits a Victorian mansion and falls in love with its ghost, Rose, who materializes in the presence of blood. Plot details could be more plausible and the dialogue less callow, but “Immaterial Girl’’ will have you returning to see what happens to Robert and Rose in episode two, “Heir of Suspicion.’’ Through April 7. At Davis Square Theatre, Somerville. 800-838-3006,




    TREY MCINTYRE PROJECT The Idaho-based choreographer and his troupe have forged a vivid, distinctive aesthetic that infuses contemporary ballet with imagination and quicksilver energy. This World Music/CRASHarts presentation features the Boston premieres of “Bad Winter,’’ “The Sweeter End,’’ and the emotionally charged “Blue Until June,’’ dedicated to the great Etta James. March 16-18. $40. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-876-4275,

    OF WORLDS APART José Mateo Ballet Theatre runs the musical gamut with this diverse concert. It unites three of the choreographer’s classics not seen in a decade - “Three Women’’ (music by Mozart), “Daphne & Apollo (Beethoven), and “The Last Circus’’ (Stravinsky) - with last season’s “Pagano y No,’’ set to the company’s first original commissioned score, by Cuban composer Aruán Ortiz. March 16-April 1. $38. Sanctuary Theatre, Cambridge. 617-354-7467,

    CONTRAPOSE DANCE The repertory company’s evening of new and recent work, “Double/Take,’’ offers the premiere of a commission from the inimitable David Parker as well as a premiere by Canadian choreographer Heidi Rood. The program also includes Marcus Schulkind’s striking solo “Courting the Hippogriff,’’ works by Courtney Peix and Sydney Skybetter, and the first chance to see the full version of Gianni Di Marco’s “Sanitas.’’ March 17, 8 p.m. $20, $17 students. Green Street Studios, Cambridge. 508-631-1076,

    ISRAEL FOLKDANCE FESTIVAL Don’t know your debka from your hora? Doesn’t matter. It’s the unbridled energy that should get you up on your feet when the 36th annual festival unites hundreds of dancers of all ages in a colorful, rousing showcase of folk dance troupes from across North America. March 18, 3 p.m. $5-$15. Kresge Auditorium, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.




    DANISH CLAY: BARBRO ABERG AND HANGS VANGSO Aberg’s sculptures, inspired by nature and science, have a web-like woven architecture and striking black-and-white surfaces. Vangso uses simple forms in the Scandinavian tradition, brought to life with richly glazed surfaces. Through April 7. Lacoste Gallery, 25 Main St., Concord. 978-369-0278,

    KEIRA KOTLER: I LOOK FOR LIGHT; STUART OBER: DOCTOR, MY EYES... Both painters are enraptured with color. Kotler layers translucent glazes to make luminous seas of tone. Ober paints still lifes and interiors rooted in questions about time passing. Through March 24. Gallery NAGA, 67 Newbury St. 617-267-9060,

    WILLIAM CHRISTENBERRY: A GLIMPSE OF THE SOUTH, KI HO PARK: EVERYTHING MUST GO Christenberry documents the changing structures of Hale County, Ala., in his photographs. Park’s color-saturated photos portray empty storefronts he found in New England and elsewhere in recent years. Through March 31. Gallery Kayafas, 450 Harrison Ave. 617-482-0411,

    MARY BUCCI McCOY: MANIFEST The artist, who was recently awarded a 2012 Massachusetts Cultural Council Painting Fellowship, is a painter of nuance. Her acrylic works are spare in tone, but revel in the materiality of paint and juicy gesture. Through April 1. Kingston Gallery, 450 Harrison Ave. 617-423-4113,



    RADCLIFFE BAILEY: MEMORY AS MEDICINE A survey of this impressive, and still young, African-American artist based in Atlantic City. The show comes to the Davis from the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. Through May 6. Davis Museum of Art, Wellesley. 781-283-2051,

    FIGURING COLOR: KATHY BUTTERLY, FELIX GONZALEZ-TORRES, ROY MCMAKIN, SUE WILLIAMS Four artists, including the incomparable Kathy Butterly, explore aspects of color in ceramics, paintings, installations, and furniture. Through May 20. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3103,

    SHAPESHIFTING: TRANSFORMATIONS IN NATIVE AMERICAN ART A survey of Native American art, from historical objects to ambitious contemporary works. Through April 29. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. 978-745-9500,

    AFRICAN AMERICANS AND THE AMERICAN SCENE, 1929-1945 Exploring the role of African-Americans in the visual and performing arts during the Great Depression and World War II, the show includes work by Thomas Hart Benton, Walker Evans, Samuel Brown, and Jacob Lawrence, among many others. Through April 22. Williams College Museum of Art, Williamstown. 413-597-2429,