The week ahead: Theater, galleries, and museums

“Camille A. Brown & Dancers” at the Institute of Contemporary Art.
“Camille A. Brown & Dancers” at the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Pushing the limits

CAMILLE A. BROWN & DANCERS Gutsy and inventive, Brown has created works for companies like Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and Urban Bush Women, but her own superb company best showcases her as a provocateur melding a wealth of influences and tackling a range of issues. World Music/CRASHarts presents the company’s Boston debut. March 14-15. $40. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3103, www.worldmusic.org



THE WHALE The protean John Kuntz is riveting as a nearly 600-pound man who is marooned in his own body but determined to connect with his estranged teenage daughter in Samuel D. Hunter’s prize-winning drama, directed by David R. Gammons. Through April 5. SpeakEasy Stage Company. At Roberts Studio Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.speakeasystage.com


THE FLICK Annie Baker (“The Aliens,’’ “Circle Mirror Transformation,’’ “Body Awareness’’) again demonstrates her uncanny ear and her empathy for lost souls in this group portrait of three employees at a fading moviehouse in central Massachusetts. Alex Pollock, Brenna Fitzgerald, and Peter Andersen deliver first-rate performances, and director Shawn LaCount, who helmed “The Aliens’’ a few seasons back, shows a sure grasp of the idiosyncratic Baker idiom.Through March 15. Company One Theatre in collaboration with Suffolk University. At Modern Theatre at Suffolk University, Boston. 800-440-7654, www.companyone.org


WITNESS UGANDA Griffin Matthews plays himself in this musical treatment of a story drawn from his own life — about his journey to Uganda to help build a school, only to learn the charity behind the project is a sham. The show is a joyous, wrenching experience. The script, which Matthews co-wrote with composer/partner Matt Gould, skips lightly through the preliminaries, all the better to work up to an emotional chokehold. Rousing dance breaks prove a perfect complement to Gould’s richly layered music, which ranges from street calls to a killer gospel choir. Diane Paulus directs this world premiere. Through March 16. American Repertory Theater, at Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge. 617-547-8300, www.americanrepertorytheater.org



DEATH OF A SALESMAN The beauty of Arthur Miller’s 1949 Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winner is that it indicts the American dream without exonerating the American dreamer. And this Lyric Stage production directed by Spiro Veloudos resists the temptation to make Willy Loman merely the victim of the system that chews him up and spits him out. Ken Baltin as Willy and Paula Plum as his wife, Linda, may shade their characters toward your sympathy, but they never fall into sentimentality, and the rest of the cast is also first-rate. Through March 16. Lyric Stage Company, Boston. 617-585-5678, www.lyricstage.com



CINDERELLA Set to a sumptuous score by Sergei Prokofiev and featuring lavish costumes and a plethora of fairies, Sir Frederick Ashton’s acclaimed version of the beloved tale is given its company premiere by Boston Ballet. The classical elegance of Ashton’s choreography is laced with romance and whimsy. March 13-23. $29-$152. Boston Opera House. 617-695-6955, www.bostonballet.org

HEAD OVER HEELS The Bang Group’s Amber Sloan, Nic Petry, Jeffrey Kazin, and David Parker venture north from New York to present this light-hearted revue exploring the vagaries of the human heart. Fueled by live music, from Mozart to Bacharach, this music/theater event will undoubtedly course with fanciful footwork and gentle good humor. March 14, 21, and 28. $10-$20. Oberon, 2 Arrow St., Cambridge. 617-547-8300, www.americanrepertorytheater.org


BOSTON YOUTH MOVES This highly respected dance training program showcases its promising teens in original works ranging from jazz and theater dance to contemporary fare. Two works were choreographed for the troupe by distinguished alums: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater soloist Kirven Douthit-Boyd and Stephanie Hilton, formerly with Cirque du Soleil. March 14-15. $20-$25. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-358-2500, www.bostonyouthmoves.org



ALLAN ROHAN CRITE: BOSTON LIVING Crite, who died at 97 in 2007, was a great chronicler of life, especially in Boston’s African-American neighborhoods. His prints and watercolors eloquently depict bus and subway riders, a corner storyteller, and buildings going up. Through March 29. Childs Gallery 169 Newbury St. 617-266-1108, www.childsgallery.com

ITS VIRTUE IS IMMENSE: A PRE-VINYLITE SOCIETY TRIBUTE TO SCRIPT LETTERING Hand-painted signs and cursive writing were once markers of quality. Now technology has pushed them aside. This show celebrates hand-painted, script-lettered signs by artists from around the world. March 14-April 25. Lot F Gallery, 145 Pearl St. 617-620-8452, www.lotfgallery.com

BAHAR YURUKOGLU: WYOMING Yurukoglu, who has an installation in the 2013 deCordova Biennial, makes landscape photographs and sculpture that revolve around colorful shards of Plexiglas. During a residency in Wyoming, she incorporated bones of animals into her work. Through March 30. Hallway Gallery, 66a South St., Jamaica Plain. 617-818-5996, www.thehallwayjp.com

TIM McCOOL: YOU WILL LOVE THIS SOME DAY McCool’s installation, made of components that are part sign, part cartoon, is boldly colored, and filled with humor and pathos. It explores the tenuousness of hope and promises. Through April 4. McGladrey Art Gallery, Bentley University, 175 Forest St., Waltham. 781-891-2700, blogs.bentley.edu/intheknow/artgallery




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, www.andover.edu/Museums/Addison

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, www.icaboston.org

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, www.shelburnemuseum.org

MIKA ROTTENBERG: BOWLS BALLS SOULS HOLES Dazzling, wildly fanciful, and tautly constructed video installations that combine chutes, shafts, bingo balls, big bodies, and much more by the US-based artist born in Buenos Aires and raised in Israel. Through June 8. Rose Art Museum, Waltham. 781-736-3434, www.brandeis.edu/rose


Don Aucoin can be reached at aucoin@globe.com.