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    Upcoming arts events around Boston

    Mark S. Howard

    Big deal in the making

    CHINGLISH With standout performances by Celeste Oliva and Barlow Adamson, Larry Coen’s first-rate production of David Henry Hwang’s poignant comedy generates sparks from the cultural collisions that result when a Midwesterner tries to pull off a big business deal in China. Pictured: Adamson, Liz Eng, Michael Tow, and Alexander Platt. Through Dec. 23. Lyric Stage Company, Boston. 617-585-5678,

    Don Aucoin


    CHESAPEAKE A certain smugness about the lofty place of capital-A art and the ignorance of the philistines mars this solo play by Lee Blessing, but Georgia Lyman delivers a superb, many-shaded portrayal of a performance artist at loggerheads with a conservative Southern senator. Directed by Doug Lockwood. Through Dec. 16. New Repertory Theatre, Black Box Theater, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown. 617-923-8487,

    THE PIANIST OF WILLESDEN LANE In this compelling solo show, adapted and directed by Hershey Felder, the tale Mona Golabek has to tell — and we do sense that she has to tell it — is that of her own mother, Lisa Jura, an aspiring pianist who fled the Nazis as a young teenager. Through Dec. 16. ArtsEmerson. Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theater, Paramount Center. 617-824-8400,


    BETRAYAL Marital infidelity is one of the oldest stories there is. The twist Harold Pinter adds in this 1978 drama, of course, is to use reverse chronology to delineate the unspooling of a seven-year affair. In Maria Aitken’s precisely detailed production, the backward-moving narrative casts a refracted, subtly illuminating light. Through Dec. 9. Huntington Theatre Company. At Boston University Theatre. 617-266-0800,

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    ARABIAN NIGHTS A remount of last year’s bewitching production, again starring Evelyn Howe as the quick-thinking storyteller and Vincent Ernest Siders as the hot-tempered king. Adapted by Dominic Cooke and directed by Daniel Gidron, with visually ravishing set and puppet design by David Fichter. Through Dec. 30. Nora Theatre Company and Underground Railway Theater. At Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 866-811-4111, www.centralsquaretheater

    Don Aucoin


    URBAN NUTCRACKER Anthony Williams’s multicultural take on the holiday classic is a sassy mix of styles — ballet, modern dance, hip-hop, tap, even flamenco — set to a score that melds Tchaikovsky with Duke Ellington. Always a hoot, sweetened with a hint of the season’s magical spirit. Dec. 8-23. $25-$125. John Hancock Hall. 888-596-1027, www.urbannutcracker

    ANGELS AFOOT Dance Currents Inc. hopes to evoke the holiday spirit with a concert that taps into themes of remembrance, renewal, and renaissance. Works include “Emergence,” set to Corelli’s “Christmas” Concerto, and “Ressourcement,” which will be danced to a live performance of Bach’s Cello Suite in D major, played by Peter Zay. Dec. 9, 2 p.m. $18. Green Street Studios, Cambridge. 617-965-1569,

    MOVEMENT AT THE MILLS The latest installment of the series features New York dance theater company LaneCoArts. Also on the program is multidisciplinary artist Basil El Halwagy, with Anikai Dance’s Wendy Jehlen, presenting his “electrostar: experimentalism in mystic reality.” Dec. 7, 7 and 8 p.m. Free. Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,


    PROJECT FUSION Juventas New Music Ensemble infuses its upcoming collaborative concert with an intriguing variety of movement, from the staging of Graham Flett’s “As If Your Human Shape” to a preview of Peter Lane’s surrealistic cyberspace ballet “HackPolitik,” featuring choreography by Kate Ladenheim with the New York troupe People Movers Dance. $25, $15 students. Dec. 8,
    7 p.m., Museum of Modern Renaissance, 115 College Ave., Somerville; Dec. 9, 7 p.m., Center Makor, 1845 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton.

    Karen Campbell


    BERNARD CHAET (1924-2012): A LIFE IN ART  Chaet, who was part of the hotbed of expressionist painters at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in the 1940s, died in October. This show spans his career, from early figures to late, roiling landscapes. Pictured: “The Herd.” Through Jan. 2. Alpha Gallery, 37 Newbury St. 617-536-4465,

    Cate McQuaid


    JOHN TRACEY AND WILL TRACEY: GENERATIONS  Painter John Tracey and his son, furniture maker Will Tracey, both explore memory. John veils his imagery in shrouds of wax, hinting at memory’s palpability. Will makes contemporary work with details of local design history. Through Jan. 9. Ellen Miller Gallery, 38 Newbury St. 617-536-4650,

    WHERE WE LIVE  Milo Fay, Eliza Gagnon, and Elaine Spatz-Rabinowitz investigate the dream of home and its reality. Spatz-Rabinowitz paints abandoned and hidden houses; Fay photographs a dollhouse, and Gagnon’s video narrates her search for a place that feels like home. Through Dec. 13. Trustman Art Gallery, Simmons College, 300 The Fenway. 617-521-2268, www.simmons

    COLLECTION SELECTIONS  Guest curator Gus Kayafas has tapped into some major local collections to assemble a show of some of the great photographers of the last century, including Berenice Abbott, Harry Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Harold “Doc” Edgerton. Through Jan. 5. Gallery Kayafas, 450 Harrison Ave.
    617-482-0411, www.gallerykayafas

    Cate McQuaid



    AMERICAN VANGUARDS: 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. 978 749 4015,

    JULIANNE SWARTZ: HOW DEEP IS YOUR Inventive, poetic, and witty installations and sculpture that play with perception. Through Dec. 30. DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln. 781 259 8355,

    CHROMO-MANIA! THE ART OF CHROMOLITHOGRAPHY IN BOSTON 1840-1910 A brilliant survey of color prints in Boston, which was the first American city to introduce the technique of chromolithography. Through Jan. 12. Boston Athenaeum. 617-227-0270,

    IN THE HOLOCENE A group exhibition that conceives of art as a speculative science, featuring work by John Baldessari, Marcel Broodthaers, Jack Goldstein, Joan Jonas, On Kawara, and Robert Smithson, among others. Through Jan. 6. List Visual Arts Center. 617-253-4680,

    Sebastian Smee