Theater & art

The week ahead: Theater, art, and museums

Gary Sloan

Courtship dance

JOSÉ MATEO BALLET THEATRE Just in time for Valentine’s Day, “Unbridled” pulls together three of the choreographer’s most popular ballets exploring themes of courtship and passion, starting with Mateo’s exquisite “Schubert Adagio,” set to the composer’s Quintet in C. The program also features “Still Waters,” set to “Sirènes,” from Debussy’s Nocturnes, and “Mozart Concerto.” Feb. 14–March 2, $40. Sanctuary Theatre, Cambridge. 617-354-7467,



THE WHIPPING MAN Though it takes a couple of detours into potboiler territory, Matthew Lopez’s drama is on balance an unflinching exploration, in vivid close-up, of slavery’s ugly legacy. Directed by Benny Sato Ambush and anchored by Johnny Lee Davenport’s fine performance as Simon, a former slave hoping to be reunited with his wife and daughter. Through Feb. 16. New Repertory Theatre, at Charles Mosesian Theater, Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown. 617-923-8487,


INTIMATE APPAREL Lynn Nottage’s quietly affecting portrait of Esther, a black seamstress in 1905 New York who is trying to construct a life of fulfillment and meaning amid social and personal circumstances that make it an uphill battle. Sensitively portrayed by Mia Ellis as a blend of pragmatism and romantic longing, outward self-possession and inward struggle, Esther is a fully realized character of a kind — unheralded, undervalued, the cog rather than the big wheel — that is often overlooked. Directed by Janice Duclos. Through March 2. Trinity Repertory Company, at Dowling Theater, Providence. Tickets $28-$68. 401-351-4242,

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HAIRSPRAY An irresistible score combined with an outstanding cast make this production a highlight of the theater season. Director Susan Kosoff and musical director Matthew Stern have cast the show with a healthy mix of familiar faces and new talent to populate Baltimore circa 1962, and every performer seems to be inspiring the others to up their game. There is no weak link in this 36-member company, who deliver the show’s message of tolerance with such energy, humor, and optimism, they’ll send you out of the theater singing and dancing for joy. Through Feb. 23. Wheelock Family Theatre, Boston. 617-879-2300,



HEART AND SOLE This celebration of Valentine’s Day takes a different tack. The charming young tapper Ryan P. Casey gathers a cast of Boston-based dancers showcasing their distinctive artistry through the duet. Styles range from tap and ballet to Latin fusion and classical Indian dance. Feb. 15, 8 p.m. $22-$27. Regent Theatre, Arlington. 781-646-4849,


LOVE SONGS AND TANGOS This annual tango-themed concert by the Chamber Orchestra of Boston features the sultry moves of the celebrated duo Armando Orzuza and Nuria Martinez. Music includes tangos by the legendary Astor Piazzolla as well as contemporary tangos by Erik Lindgren and Robert Edward Smith. Paul Soper is the evening’s guest baritone. Tapas and wine follow the concert. Feb. 14, 7:30 p.m. $10-$45. First Church, Boston. 617-266-1626,

JUANITO PASCUAL NEW FLAMENCO TRIO Dancer/actress Auxi Fernández honed her flamenco chops performing in the tablaos of Madrid and Barcelona before collaborating with the likes of Chick Corea. This weekend, Fernández and singer Alfonso Cid join with Pascual’s popular trio in an evening of traditional and contemporary flamenco to celebrate the trio’s new CD release. Feb. 15, 8 p.m. $21-$36 ($125 VIP tickets include pre-concert reception). Sanders Theatre, Cambridge. 617-496-2222,



SUARA WELITOFF: SOMETIMES TIME TREMBLES In her videos and photographs, Welitoff experiments with found footage, old imagery, and new content, editing and blending to create works that seem to slow or alter time, and to find new meaning in interstices. Through March 15. Barbara Krakow Gallery, 10 Newbury St. 617-262-4490,

JESSICA CALDERWOOD: FLORAL FICTIONS The life cycle of a flower may be shorter than ours, but like us, it blooms and declines. This enamel artist draws comic parallels in jewelry and sculpture by blending human with botanical features. Through April 19. Society of Arts and Crafts, 175 Newbury St. 617-266-1810,


BRINK V1 In the first of a series of exhibits spotlighting emerging artists in the region, curator Lexi Lee Sullivan brings together photographers who use their cameras to explore travel, movement, and transience. Through April 13. Mills Gallery, Boston Center for the Arts, 551 Tremont St. 617-426-5000.

BARBAROUS COASTS This new photography gallery’s inaugural exhibition visits rugged shores, with veteran cameraman Neal Rantoul’s images of Iceland’s cliffs, and newcomer David Mattox’s photos of the salmon net fishing camp he runs in Alaska. Through March 22. 555 Gallery, 555 East 2nd St., South Boston. 857-496-7234,



AN AMERICAN IN LONDON: WHISTLER AND THE THAMES Printings, paintings, and drawings from a key period in Whistler’s career, as he focused on subjects in Battersea and on the Thames, in London. Through April 13. Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover. 978-749-4015,

WILLIAM KENTRIDGE: THE REFUSAL OF TIME A 30-minute, five-channel video installation by the South African artist, providing a meditation on the pressure of time and the attempt — both political and existential — to escape it. A collaboration with Philip Miller, Catherine Meyburgh, and Peter Galison. Complemented by a selection of Kentridge’s works on paper. Through May 4. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3100,

YOU ARE HERE An intriguing group show of contemporary artists interested in finding analogues and equivalents for the human body, often touching on childhood memory. Includes work by Rona Pondick, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle, Gillian Wearing, Jim Lambie, and Charles LeDray. Through Aug. 31. Worcester Art Museum, Worcester. 508-799-4406,

JOHN BISBEE: NEW BLOOMS Large scale, floral-inspired sculptures made from twisted and welded nails by Bisbee, a sculptor-in-residence at Bowdoin College in Maine. Through May 26. Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vt. 802-985-3346,