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Week ahead: Theater, arts



BAD JEWS Alison McCartan and Victor L. Shopov excel as a pair of cousins whose competition for a precious family heirloom escalates into a no-holds-barred battle over questions of Jewish culture, identity, and faith. Joshua Harmon’s dark comedy is skillfully directed by Rebecca Bradshaw. Through Nov. 29. SpeakEasy Stage Company at Roberts Studio Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.speakeasystage.com

IT FELT EMPTY WHEN THE HEART WENT AT FIRST BUT IT IS ALRIGHT NOW The 22-year-old Elizabeth Milanovich, who graduated from Emerson College a few months ago, delivers a memorable performance as a young Serbian woman forced to work as a prostitute in London. Directed by Maureen Shea, this production of Lucy Kirkwood’s drama also features the always-welcome Obehi Janice. Through Nov. 1. Theatre on Fire and Charlestown Working Theater, at Charlestown Working Theater, Charlestown. 866-811-4111, www.theatreonfire.org



THE DISPLACED HINDU GODS TRILOGY Aditi Brennan Kapil displaces the Hindu gods Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva to America and makes them female (well, 2½ of them) in this trilogy of plays that rank high for humor and imagination. The humor can be a little hollow in the stand-up show “Brahman/i,” and “Shiv” occasionally gets stuck in its own apparent autobiography, but “The Chronicles of Kalki” is tough, funny, and graced by four exceptionally spontaneous actors. All worthwhile, but if you’re seeing just one, “Kalki” is it. Through Nov. 22. Company One Theatre, at Plaza Theatres, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.companyone.org

DEAR ELIZABETH Sarah Ruhl's 2012 play boils down the 800 or so pages of letters between Robert Lowell and Elizabeth Bishop to two hours, but you can learn a lot about their friendship if you read between the lines, and that’s easy to do in this Lyric Stage production, which is imaginatively directed by A. Nora Long and given vivid, specific life by Laura Latreille as Bishop and Ed Hoopman as Lowell. Through Nov. 9. Lyric Stage Company of Boston. 617-585-5678, www.lyricstage.com



A Disappearing Number This piece by the London-based troupe Complicite is devised theater working at a very high level, convincingly rendered here in this local production. The time-shifting experiment in form is nominally about a pair of influential mathematicians and their latter-day admirer, but it is really a tone poem, a nonlinear collage of images, sounds, ideas, motivic conceits, and mere shards of narrative. It’s not a ripping yarn, but audience members willing to be immersed in its brainy dream-logic will be rewarded. Through Nov. 16. Underground Railway Theater, at Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 617-576-9278, www.centralsquaretheater.org



BJM / LES BALLETS JAZZ DE MONTRÉAL This spirited, internationally acclaimed troupe is hip, hot, and versatile, with works ranging in style from ballet to street dance. The company brings the world premiere of “Rouge,” by Grupo Corpo choreographer Rodrigo Pederneiras, as well as the Boston premieres of Benjamin Millepied’s lyrical “Closer” and Andonis Foniadakis’s “Kosmos.” Nov. 1-2, $40-$69. World Music/CRASHarts at Cutler Majestic Theatre. 617-876-4275, www.worldmusic.org

SWAN LAKE Boston Ballet unveils the world premiere of artistic director Mikko Nissinen’s take on the beloved ballet, with new designs by Robert Perdziola. Nissinen says his new choreography respects the timeless classicism of the familiar Petipa/Ivanov original while refreshing (and shortening) the ballet for contemporary audiences. Oct. 30-Nov. 16, $29-$199. Boston Opera House. 617-695-6955, www.bostonballet.org


HOLDING HANDS WHILE DANCING This collaborative benefit reflects new leadership and a new symbiotic relationship between Green Street Studios and the Dance Complex. The concert, which starts at Green Street then moves to the Dance Complex, features performances by Dance Complex director Peter DiMuro and GSS director Lorraine Chapman, as well as Anna Myer and Dancers, and David Parker and the Bang Group. Nov. 2, $22-$100. Green Street Studios and the Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-547-9363, www.dancecomplex.org

SAINTS & LIES & SINNERS & TRUTHS Bessie Award winners Jennifer Nugent and Paul Matteson (both formerly of Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company) collaborate with Peter DiMuro and Wendy Woodson in this program of new duets and solos to commemorate All Saints’ Day. Nov. 1, $17-$30. Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-547-9363, www.dancecomplex.org



IN SEARCH OF THE MIRACULOUS What can the camera see that the eye cannot? Curator Lexi Lee Sullivan taps photographers and video artists such as Abelardo Morell, David Prifti, and Suara Welitoff, whose works are tinged by magic and mystery. Through Dec. 20.Concord Art Association, 37 Lexington Road, Concord. 978-369-2578, www.concordart.org

SUSAN METRICAN: SUN’S HIDEOUT This artist’s painting/sculpture hybrids cavort and pun. As they explore perception, artifice, and the slippery construction of truth, they invite us to examine how we make meaning, and whether meaning can be relied upon. Through Dec. 6. Proof Gallery, 516 East 2nd St., South Boston. 617-702-2761, www.proof-gallery.com

DEVIL’S PROMENADE Photographers Antone Dolezal and Lara Shipley went home to the Ozarks to record oral history about Spook Light, a glowing sphere said to appear where the devil lives, and to photograph the place and its people. Through Nov. 8.555 Gallery, 555 East 2nd St., South Boston. 857-496-7234, www.555gallery.com




GOYA: ORDER AND DISORDER Organized by theme, this exhibition explores the full range of the great Spanish artist Francisco Goya’s prodigious output in paintings, prints, and drawings. Centered on the MFA’s deep collection of Goya works on paper, the exhibition also includes major loans from the Prado, the Uffizi, the Louvre, and the Metropolitan Museum. Through Jan. 19. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org

CALDER AND ABSTRACTION: FROM AVANT-GARDE TO ICONIC Organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, this show will feature more than 40 three-dimensional works by the giant of 20th-century modernism. It will include examples of the kinetic metal works Calder called “mobiles,” and the standing sculptures he called “stabiles.” Through Jan. 4. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem. 978-745-9500. www.pem.org

WIFREDO LAM: IMAGINING NEW WORLDS More than 40 paintings and many works on paper by Wifredo Lam, who was born in Cuba to parents of Chinese and African-Spanish descent and became a prominent modern artist. Through Dec. 14. McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College. 617-552-8100, www.bc.edu/bc_org/avp/cas/artmuseum

TREASURES OF BRITISH ART 1400–2000: THE BERGER COLLECTION Organized by the Denver Art Museum, this show presents an overview of six centuries of British art, and features work by artists such as Hans Holbein the Younger, Joseph Wright of Derby, John Constable, and Howard Hodgkin. Through Jan. 4. Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine. 207-775-6148, www.portlandmuseum.org



Creative space

PEOPLE OF EARTH! In an exhibit at once futuristic and retro, three artists examine our relationship to outer space. Chris Cavallero, Tim McCool, and Alexander Squier depict relics left in space, astronauts, and possible settlements on other planets. Pictured: McCool’s “Space Dog amongst the stars.” Through Nov. 22.Gallery 263, 263 Pearl St., Cambridge. www.gallery263.com