Theater & art

Critic’s picks: Theater

Craig Bailey/Perspective Photo

HOW WE GOT ON This high-energy show (above) about the way dreams are born, pursued, and realized itself demands to be seen, heard, experienced, felt. Summer L. Williams directs Idris Goodwin’s coming-of-age play about three suburban Midwesterners in the late 1980s who forge a bond as they explore the creative possibilities of hip-hop. Through Aug. 17. Company One, Boston. At Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600,

THE TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA The swaggering ghost of Frank Sinatra hovers over this enjoyably jazzed-up, Las Vegas-themed production of Shakespeare’s comedy, which could be retitled “Two Guys and Two Dolls.’’ Through July 28. Commonwealth Shakespeare Company. On Boston Common. Free. For reserved chairs, which cost $35, or for more information, 617-426-0863, www.comm

MOTHER COURAGE AND HER CHILDREN After portraying Shakespeare’s (renamed) magician Prospera in last summer’s production of “The Tempest,’’ Olympia Dukakis returns as Brecht’s canny war profiteer. Through Aug. 25. Shakespeare & Company, Tina Packer Playhouse, Lenox. 413-637-3353,


THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY First it was a mega-selling novel by Robert James Waller, then a movie starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. Now it’s a musical, with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown (“The Last Five Years’’) and a book by Marsha Norman (“ ’night, Mother’’). Directed by Bartlett Sher, this world premiere production stars Elena Shaddow as Francesca Johnson and Steven Pasquale as Robert Kincaid. Aug. 1-18. Williamstown Theatre Festival, Main Stage, Williamstown. 413-597-3400,