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The week ahead: Theater, galleries, and museums

“Swiss Allow in Jews From Vichy France.”Penn Young and Samson/courtesy of the artist and Sams¿n

Questions of value

PENN YOUNG: WHAT I OWE This exhibition, the first of two, sets paintings, sculptures, and mixed-media works in a conversation that leaps from minimalism to abstract expressionism to constructivism, and with its pointed titles raises questions about history, ethics, and values. Through Nov. 23. Samson, 450 Harrison Ave. 617-357-7177, www.samsonprojects.com



WATER BY THE SPOONFUL A moving and well-acted production, directed by Scott Edmiston, of Quiara Alegría Hudes’s Pulitzer-winning drama about a veteran of the Iraq war, his newly divorced cousin, and a quartet of recovering crack addicts in an online chat room. All of them are struggling to find their footing, and all of them receive the playwright’s compassion. Through Nov. 16. Lyric Stage Company, Boston. 617-585-5678, www.lyricstage.com


THE NORMAL HEART In Larry Kramer’s 1985 drama, it’s the early phase of the AIDS epidemic, and the fiery writer-activist Ned Weeks, played by Victor Shopov, is determined to sound the alarm about the disease as forcefully as possible, even if it means alienating allies who are less confrontational than he is. Directed by David J. Miller. Nov. 1-23. Zeitgeist Stage Company, at Plaza Black Box Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.zeitgeiststage.com


SPLENDOR Acclaimed local playwright Kirsten Greenidge returns to the fictional Boston suburb of Bellington, where she set her last play, “The Luck of the Irish.” The play follows a large cast of characters over four decades, as high school romances, tragedies, and resentments echo down the years. The ambitious and sometimes unwieldy play touches on race, class, and gender roles. Through Nov. 16. Company One. At the Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.companyone.org


THE HOBBIT Matthew T. Lazure’s creative costumes and elegant, two-tiered set stand out in this charming production. Lazure includes just the right elements to spark the imagination and create the right mood for Bilbo Baggins’s adventure. Andrew Barbato offers a pitch-perfect performance as Bilbo, allowing us to watch the fussy, nervous homebody grow in self-confidence as the adventure unfolds, while Stephen Benson is a remarkably agile and suggestively slimy Gollum. Through Nov. 24. Wheelock Family Theatre. 617-879-2300, www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org




FOREVER TANGO After four different runs on Broadway and international touring in between, Luis Bravo’s ever-popular tango extravaganza hits the road again, bringing its sultry moves and superb music to Boston for seven performances. The production features 14 dancers as well as a singer and an 11-piece orchestra onstage. Through Nov. 2, $30-$95. Cutler Majestic Theatre. 617-824-8000, www.CutlerMajestic.org

PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY One of America’s most esteemed modern dance troupes celebrates its 60th anniversary with a program spanning more than four decades of the master choreographer’s creative life. Last season’s “Perpetual Dawn,” a bucolic ode to the awakening of young love, is a Boston premiere, while “Private Domain” harkens back to 1969. “Black Tuesday” (2001) evokes the resilient spirit of the Great Depression. Nov. 1-3, $40-$75. Citi Shubert Theatre. 617-482-6661, www.celebrityseries.org

RASHAUN MITCHELL & SILAS RIENER Two innovative creators return to Wellesley College for another site-specific work that plays off the glass surround and soaring ceilings of Tishman Commons. Titled “Way In,” the piece is an excerpt from a new work commissioned by NYC’s Danspace Project. Nov. 2, 3:30 p.m., free. Wellesley College’s Tishman Commons, Wellesley. 781-283-3623, www.newhouse-center.org


SECRETS & MOTION Luminarium Dance Company presents an evening of new works by company artistic directors Merli V. Guerra and Kimberleigh A. Holman that combine dance, light, and text to explore the mysteries of secrets — not just the ones we keep, but also those we decide to share. One of the evening’s showpieces is a dance film by Guerra run in reverse. Nov. 1-2, $25, $20 seniors and students. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-477-4494, www.luminariumdance.org



MICHAEL OATMAN: MEGAFAUNA AND MICROMANAGEMENT Oatman makes excruciatingly detailed collages featuring hundreds or thousands of cuttings from children’s books, science encyclopedias, and more. Here, he contemplates animals, humans, and the human animal. Also on view: Three new videos. Through Dec. 21. Miller Yezerski Gallery, 460 Harrison Ave. 617-262-0550, www.milleryezerskigallery.com

WENDY ARTIN: STONE FROM DELPHI Last year, Arion Press published “Stone From Delphi,” a collection of classical-themed poems by Seamus Heaney, with watercolor illustrations by Artin, a nuanced interpreter of classical statuary. Those watercolors, plus more inspired by the project, are on view. Through Nov. 30. Gurari Collections, 460 Harrison Ave. 617-367-9800, www.gurari.com

PAUL MYODA: GLITTERING MACHINES Myoda’s interactive cyber sculptures, which respond to the viewer’s presence, take a cue from bioluminescence. They strive to break out of the viewer/screen setup we expect from digital art to something more physical and spatial. Through Nov. 17. Yellow Peril Gallery, 60 Valley St., Providence. 401-861-1535, www.yellowperilgallery.com



[RE-MASTERED] An innovative new hang of the Worcester Art Museum’s superb Old Master holdings, in honor of a great — and sexy — new Veronese acquisition. Includes great paintings by Rembrandt, Caravaggio, El Greco, Poussin, Luca Giordano, Murillo, Ribera, Hals, Steen, Sweerts, and van Mieris. Worcester Art Museum, Worcester. 508-799-4406, www.worcesterart.org


AMY SILLMAN: ONE LUMP OR TWO The brilliant and restlessly inventive New York-based artist’s first museum solo show. Paintings, works on paper, cartoons, and animated drawings. Through Jan. 5. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3100, www.icaboston.org

JOHN SINGER SARGENT WATERCOLORS More than 90 of Sargent’s beloved watercolors in a show that combines the superb Sargent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Brooklyn Museum of Art. Through Jan. 20. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org

JEAN VICTOR BERTIN AND LANDSCAPE PAINTING IN FRANCE Hinging on a recent acquisition — a classical landscape by Bertin — this show looks at the French idea of landscape from the Baroque through to the 19th century. Through Jan. 5. Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine. 207-859-5600, www.colby.edu/academics_cs/museum