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Week ahead: Theater, arts


TRACES The scenario: The world may be coming to an end. The response: Seven limber young performers aim to leave their mark by performing acrobatic feats of agility, strength, balance, and control that push right up against the limits of possibility. It adds up to another enchanting production by the Montreal-based contemporary circus troupe Les 7 Doigts de la Main. Through Oct. 12. Production by Les 7 Doigts de la Main, presented by ArtsEmerson at Cutler Majestic Theatre, Boston. 617-824-8400, www.artsemerson.org

BENT Victor L. Shopov confirms his status as one of the most dynamic actors in Boston with his superb portrayal of a gay Berliner who learns what he is capable of as he fights to survive the barbaric cruelty of the Nazis in 1930s Germany. Martin Sherman’s drama is insightfully directed by David J. Miller and bolstered by fine performances from Brooks Reeves and Mikey DiLoreto. Through Oct. 11. Zeitgeist Stage Company, at Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.zeitgeiststage.com

SWEENEY TODD: THE DEMON BARBER OF FLEET STREET Talk about the executioner’s song: Christopher Chew makes for a fine, haunted Sweeney and Amelia Broome is a commanding Mrs. Lovett in Spiro Veloudos’s darkly compelling production of Stephen Sondheim’s masterwork about a wronged barber who takes his revenge on the world, one customer at a time. Phil Tayler, as innocent young Toby, is a standout among the able supporting cast. Through Oct. 11. Lyric Stage Company of Boston. 617-585-5678, www.lyricstage.com


THE LION KING The puppet-driven magic concocted all those years ago by Newton-bred director Julie Taymor is very much intact in this exhilarating production of the 1997 musical about a young lion’s coming of age. So is Taymor’s artistic vision. Jelani Remy radiates charisma as the grown Simba, and Nia Hollo-way matches him stride for stride as the grown Nala. Through Oct. 12. Production by Disney Theatrical Productions, presented by Broadway in Boston, at Boston Opera House. 866-870-2717, www.lionking.com



THE COMEDY OF ERRORS Actors’ Shakespeare Project serves up the Bard’s mistaken-identity farce about identical twins as the hapless rustics of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” might have staged it. That could have been a recipe for self-indulgent confusion, but director David R. Gammons and a very accomplished team of actors, led by Richard Snee and Sarah Newhouse as fake Siamese twins, render the play’s complications crystal clear. This is one of the funniest, most imaginative Shakespeare productions you’ll ever see — and it’s poignant, too. Through Oct. 19. Actors’ Shakespeare Project at Brighton High School, Brighton. 866-811-4111, www.actorsshakespeareproject.org



Necessary steps

KYLE ABRAHAM / ABRAHAM.IN.MOTION MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” awardee Abraham and his company set their sights on the civil rights struggle with this program of three works. “When the Wolves Came In” takes inspiration from the stirring 1960 protest album “We Insist! Freedom Now Suite,” by drummer-composer Max Roach and writer-singer Oscar Brown Jr. Co-presented by World Music/CRASHarts and the Institute of Contemporary Art. Oct. 10-12, $40-$50. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-876-4275, www.worldmusic.org


JOSÉ MATEO BALLET THEATRE The company’s season opener, “Far Reaches,” features a welcome revisit of Mateo’s “Presage,” arguably the choreographer’s most moving ballet, set to Gorecki’s transcendent Symphony No. 3. Also on the program are the Cuba-inspired “Ayer Pasado,” to music by Manuel Samuel, and “Back to Bach,” set to J.S. Bach’s Piano Concerto in G-Minor. Oct. 10-26, $42. Sanctuary Theatre, Cambridge. 617-354-7467, www.ballettheatre.org


ARTICULATE ABILITY Dancers in this inspiring Indian troupe may be visually challenged, but it doesn’t stop them from offering audiences a visual feast. Joined by their teachers, Mysore B Nagaraj and Suparna Venkatesh, the company tours internationally, offering a range of rhythmically complex Indian classical dance styles. Presented by the Association for India’s Development. Oct. 11, 5 p.m., $15-$40. Regis College Fine Arts Center, Wellesley. 617-520-4666, www.aidevents.org

A THOUSAND REFLECTIONS Newport’s Island Moving Co. promises everything from “sassy lightheartedness” to “complex grandeur” in this evening of choreography by artistic director Miki Ohlsen, associate artistic director Spencer Gavin Hering, Stephanie Martinez, Scott Putman, and Andrea Dawn Shelley. Oct. 10, $5-$15. Rhode Island College’s Nazarian Center, Providence. 401-847-4470, www.islandmovingco.org



MIKE MANDEL & CHANTAL ZAKARI: SHELTER IN PLATES Blending domesticity with terror, conceptual artist Zakari and photographer Mandel, residents of Watertown, have printed images taken during the manhunt for Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev on ornately trimmed dinner plates. Through Nov. 4. Miller Yezerski Gallery, 460 Harrison Ave. 617-262-0550, www.milleryezerskigallery.com

DAVID CURCIO: THE GLITTERING WORLD Curcio’s embroideries inspired by mythic communities of women, such as the Amazonian island of Wonder Woman’s origins and the female utopia in Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s novel “Herland,” explore vulnerability, autonomy, and objectification. Through Oct. 31. Hallway Gallery, 66a South St., Jamaica Plain. 617-818-5996, www.thehallwayjp.com

THE HIGHEST CLOSET Video, drawings, and performance art from this collective (Creighton Baxter, Sarah Hill, Hayley Morgenstern, and Jessica Borusky) touching on trauma, repetition, kinship, and life as queer artists rewriting old narratives in new voices. Through Oct. 18. 301 Gallery, Montserrat College of Art, 301 Cabot St., Beverly. 978-921-4242, www.montserrat.edu/galleries/301/




FIBER: SCULPTURE 1960-PRESENT Featuring works by Sheila Hicks, Lenore Tawney, and Claire Zeisler, among others, this bold and colorful survey looks at developments in fiber art from the mid-20th century to the present. Through Jan. 4. Institute of Contemporary Art. 617-478-3100, www.icaboston.org

MARK BRADFORD: SEA MONSTERS This exhibition of new paintings and sculptures by the widely admired artist and MacArthur Award winner includes a mural more than 100 feet in length, scaled to match the museum’s glass-fronted Lois Foster wing. The new works reveal the influence of 16th- and 17th-century decorated maps of the sea. Through Dec. 21. Rose Art Museum, Waltham. 781-736-3434, www.brandeis.edu/rose

WHAT NERVE! ALTERNATIVE FIGURES IN AMERICAN ART, 1960 TO THE PRESENT A show that presents an alternative history of contemporary art by focusing on a series of artists associated with several influential groups in different cities: the Hairy Who in Chicago, Funk in San Francisco, Destroy All Monsters in Ann Arbor, Mich., and Forcefield in Providence. The artists include H. C. Westermann, Christina Ramberg, Gary Panter, and Elizabeth Murray. Through Jan. 4. RISD Museum, Providence. 401-454-6400, www.risdmuseum.org

MAKE IT NEW: ABSTRACT PAINTINGS FROM THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART, 1950-1975 A selection of prestigious, mostly large-scale works by Abstract Expressionist, Color Field, and other postwar artists such as Jackson Pollock, Lee Bontecou, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Yayoi Kusama, and Cy Twombly, all from the Gallery of Art in Washington. Through Oct. 13. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown. 413-458-2303. www.clarkart.edu




FORECASTED: EIGHT ARTISTS EXPLORE THE NATURE OF CLIMATE CHANGE A formidable roster of artists contemplates the future. On that list: painters Joe Wardwell, Cristi Rinklin, and John Guthrie, and conceptual artist Andrew Mowbray. Resa Blatman curates. Through Dec. 7. Gallery 360, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave. 617-373-5728, www.northeastern.edu/northeasterncreates/gallery360/