THE CHOSEN Adapted by Aaron Posner and Chaim Potok from Potok’s 1967 novel, this play flashes back to 1940s Brooklyn, where two Jewish teenagers — Danny, who’s Hasidic, and Reuven, who’s not — become best friends and try to remain so as World War II ends, the enormity of the Holocaust is revealed, the new state of Israel emerges, and their fathers take opposite positions. The play is about growing up and overcoming differences, but it’s also about learning to listen, and this production encourages us to do just that. Pictured: Joel Colodner, Zachary Eisenstat, Luke Murtha, and Charles Linshaw. Through Nov. 17. Lyric Stage Company. 617-585-5678, www.lyricstage.com
BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO A tiger is pursued by existential questions through a restless afterlife, even as he haunts the US Marine who killed him. Meanwhile, an Iraqi translator must cope with the invading Americans’ arrogant treatment, the ghost of Uday Hussein, and his own wrenching guilt about a horrific prewar episode. Director Shawn LaCount and his fine cast illuminate playwright Rajiv Joseph’s bleak and unsettling vision, occasionally pierced by mordant humor. Through Nov. 17. Company One. At Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.companyone.org
BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON Rough, rude, fast, loud, and irreverent, this musical satire by Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman is to standard presidential biography as a punch in the nose is to afternoon tea. As portrayed with all-out gusto by Gus Curry, Old Hickory is driven by testosterone and an adolescent I’ll-show-’em ambition, not by any grand vision or abundance of smarts. A superb set by Eric Levenson creates a visual correlative to the frontier sensibility and vanity of the title character. Through Nov. 17. SpeakEasy Stage Company. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.speak
THE LILY’S REVENGE If Busby Berkeley had dropped acid while watching “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,’’ this might have been the result. Cutesy and ham-handed though it is at times, Taylor Mac’s five-act, four-hour-plus extravaganza about a flower that wants to marry a human sweeps you up in its gaudy, irrepressible theatricality. Through Oct. 28. American Repertory Theater. At Oberon, Cambridge. 617-547-8300, www.american
VOLTAIRE AND FREDERICK: A LIFE IN LETTERS A staged reading, featuring Thomas Derrah and John Kuntz, of Detlef Gericke-Schönhagen’s new play, which is built on the decades-long correspondence between the irreverent French author of “Candide’’ and Frederick the Great. Directed by Guy Ben-Aharon. Nov. 1. German Stage, Goethe-Institut Boston. At Adolphus Busch Hall, Harvard University. 617-496-2222. www.boxoffice.harvard.edu
MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING A screening of a production staged last year in London at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, starring Eve Best as Beatrice and Charles Edwards as Benedick, a duo who delight in verbal volleying. Oct. 29. Kendall Square Cinema, Cambridge. 617-621-1202, www.landmarktheatres.com. Showcase Cinemas, Lowell; Showcase Cinema, Legacy Place, Dedham; and Showcase Cinemas, Woburn. 800-315-4000, www.showcasecinemas.com
BOSTON BALLET’S FALL PROGRAM Glorious keyboard music by Bach fuels resident choreographer Jorma Elo’s new “Awake Only,” a world premiere that traces the arc of one man’s life. Christopher Bruce’s “Rooster” sets the dancers loose to classic hits of the Rolling Stones. The season-opening program closes with a reprise of William Forsythe’s edgy “The Second Detail.” Oct. 25-Nov. 4. $29-$132. Boston Opera House.
SALTIMBANCO Grab your tickets now, because after the current tour, this signature Cirque du Soleil production will be retired. The company’s longest-running touring show evokes a colorful, dreamlike urban landscape chock-full of quirky characters and eye-popping, gravity-defying kinetic shenanigans.
Oct. 31-Nov. 4. $28-$80. Agganis Arena, Boston University, 925 Commonwealth Ave. 800-745-3000, www.cirquedusoleil
URBANITY DANCE Dozens of company dancers and youth dancers collaborate with two journalists, two fashion designers, and a videographer, among others, to create the multimedia, multi-venue “Within the Lines,” a follow-up to last year’s “Between the Lines.” The new interactive production takes audiences on a journey to five South End locations, each of which holds an element of revelation and transformation for the piece’s protagonist. Oct. 26-Nov. 4. $24. Performance begins and ends at the Red Fez, 1222 Washington St., Boston. 617-572-3727, www.urbanitydance.org
ANGKOR DANCE TROUPE The Lowell-based company marks its 25th anniversary with the world premiere of “Apsara Dancing Stones,” a dance drama that employs classical and modern Cambodian techniques to connect Khmer culture’s past and present through the deity Apsara. Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m. $18-$50 ($125 includes a special pre-show dinner). Lowell Memorial Auditorium,
50 E. Merrimack St., Lowell. 978-454-2299, www.angkordance.org
HALSEY BURGUND: ROUND: CAMBRIDGE This sound art installation begins with a gallery recording booth and spreads to Cambridge's many public art works, where anyone may use a smart phone to participate in an evolving word and music composition about the art. Through Nov. 23. Cambridge Arts Council Gallery, 344 Broadway, Cambridge. 617-349-4380, www.cambridgema.gov/CAC
EVERYTHING THAT CREEPS
Space 242 may not be a brick-and-mortar destination for low brow art anymore, but it's still bringing the freak, with a Halloween show of cadaverous, unearthly, and ghastly paintings, illustrations, and sculptures at Lincoln Arts Project.
Oct. 26-31. Lincoln Arts Project, 289 Moody St., Waltham 781-214-1087, www.lincolnartsproject.com
EVERY FOUR YEARS
If you haven't had enough campaigning, check out this team effort from Robert Klein Gallery and Grand Circle Gallery. Photos by the likes of Elliott Erwitt, are on view alongside reproductions of campaign posters, buttons, and more. Through Nov. 17. Grand Circle Gallery, 347 Congress St. 617-346-459, www.gct.com/Community/Grand-Circle-Gallery
GRAHAM, DAVIS, GORKY, DE KOONING, AND THEIR CIRCLE, 1927-1942 A look at the influence of John Graham’s circle on American modernism. Through Dec. 30. Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover.
WEATHERBEATEN: WINSLOW HOMER AND MAINE Timed to coincide with the opening of the renovated Winslow Homer Studio at Prouts Neck, this show gathers together 35 major works painted by Homer in the final decade of his life. Through Dec. 30. Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine. 207-775-6148, www.portlandmuseum.org
SOMETHING ALONG THOSE LINES A group show of prominent artists, including Lawrence Weiner, Bruce Nauman, Ann Carlson + Mary Ellen Strom,
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and Fred Sandback, riffing on a work by Sol LeWitt, Wall Drawing #118, which was first executed at the museum school in 1971. Through Nov. 3. School of the Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-6100, www.smfa.edu/
PAUL KLEE: PHILOSOPHICAL
VISION; FROM NATURE TO ART Exploring the philosophy of the great European modernist as expressed in his art. Through Dec. 9. McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College. 617-552-8100, www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/art
Relationship takes shape
THE SHAPES PROJECT: PERFECT COUPLES
This conceptual artist uses his computer to design unique shapes — one for every person on Earth. For this effort, he pairs the crisply colored forms in abstract panels that inevitably refer to relationship. Through Nov. 24.
Barbara Krakow Gallery,
10 Newbury St. 617-262-4490, www.barbarakrakow