Theater & art

The week ahead: Theater, galleries, and museums

“The Beauty Queen of Leenane” at Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre.
Enrico Spada
“The Beauty Queen of Leenane” at Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre.

House not-so-beautiful

THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE Home is where the hate is in Martin McDonagh’s chilling 1996 drama about the poisonous relationship between a mother, played by Tina Packer as a kind of living gargoyle, and her middle-aged daughter, portrayed by Elizabeth Aspenlieder (right, with Packer). Directed by Matthew Penn. Through Sept. 15. Shakespeare & Company, at Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, Lenox.413-637-3353,

Don Aucoin



THIS IS OUR YOUTH It’s almost as if a question mark should be appended to the title. Under the direction of Lewis D. Wheeler, with fine performances by Alex Pollock, Amanda Collins, and Jimi Stanton, this production of Kenneth Lonergan’s play adds up to a raw, sometimes funny, often unsettling portrait of young New Yorkers stuck in a dead end and uncertain how to get out. Through Aug. 25. Gloucester Stage Company, Gloucester. 978-281-4433,


ODYSSEO This one rides on horsepower all the way. The brainchild of Cirque du Soleil cofounder Normand Latourelle, it’s a transporting spectacle that imaginatively and elegantly fuses highly stylized equestrian arts with Cirque-style atmospherics, acrobatics, and aerial stunts. Through Sept. 12. Cavalia. Assembly Square, Somerville. 866-999-8111,

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WICKED The hard-to-resist musical about the witches of Oz is back, in a production featuring an excellent performance by Jenn Gambatese as Glinda, Alison Luff in the role of Elphaba, and none other than John Davidson as the Wizard. With music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. Through Sept. 15. Broadway in Boston. At Boston Opera House. 800-982-2787,

ABSURD PERSON SINGULAR In the right hands, this black farce from Alan Ayckbourn about the crumbling of the British upper class can be absurdly painful or absurdly funny. Nora Theatre Company’s production is both, abetted by Brynna Bloomfield’s deftly distinguished three kitchen sets, Daniel Gidron’s pointed direction, and a sextet of accomplished actors who transcend the isolation of their characters and turn Ayckbourn’s singular into a wistful plural. Through Aug. 25. Nora Theatre Company at the Central Square Theater, Cambridge. 866-811-4111,



ABRAHAM.IN.MOTION Award-winning choreographer Kyle Abraham and his company bring his latest work, the evening-length “Pavement,” to the Pillow. Set to music ranging from Bach to Motown, the work was partly inspired by the John Singleton film “Boyz n the Hood” and reflects Abraham’s trademark fusion of ballet, modern, and urban dance styles. Through Aug. 25, $22-$38. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, 358 George Carter Road, Becket. 413-243-0745,


WING-MAN Big Apple Circus fans may recognize Mark Gindick as one of Barry Lubin’s stand-ins for Grandma. But the physical comedian has a whole other life as a solo performer in this light-hearted, wordless show about the pursuit of idealized romantic love. Aug. 23-24, $25; $15 seniors, students, and military. The Yard, Patricia N. Nanon Theater, Middle Road, Chilmark. 508-645-9662,

Karen Campbell



LAUREN FENSTERSTOCK This artist is best known for making lush yet foreboding gardenlike installations out of cut, curled and sculpted paper, along with charcoal and Plexiglass. She weaves a contemporary uneasiness with historical French and English garden design motifs. Through Sept. 23. Sienna Gallery, 80 Main St., Lenox. 413-637-8386,

PHASES Artists Sophia Brueckner and Catherine D’Ignazio’s new digital animation of moonlight on water at the Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion responds to the tides, phases of the moon, and the weather. (On view after sunset). Through Dec. 15. Boston Harbor Islands Pavilion, Rose Kennedy Greenway. 617-522-6710,

JENNY DRUMGOOLE: REAL WOMAN OF PHILADELPHIA The artist submitted these 12 satirical videos to a video recipe contest hosted by Paula Deen in order to get the chef to autograph her mother's cookbooks. Videos screen Fridays,8-10 p.m. Through Sept. 13. Yellow Peril Gallery, 60 Valley St., Providence. 401-861-1535,


DREAM REPEATER: TOYS FALLING Artist IlaSahai Prouty’s work blossoms from dream snippets. For this show, she has invited several artists to riff on the same narrative in different media, from video to storytelling, to see how meanings expand and multiply. Through Sept. 1. Flatrocks Gallery, 77 Langsford St., Gloucester. 978-879-4683,

Cate McQuaid



SHANGAA: ART OF TANZANIA A powerful, revelatory overview of art from Tanzania, both traditional and contemporary. Through Aug. 25. Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine. 207-775-6148,

TONY FEHER A survey of brightly colored but minimal sculptures made from humble and everyday materials — glass jars, marbles, colored liquids in plastic bottles, plastic crates, and so on. Through Sept. 15. deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln. 781-259-8355.

IN CONVERSATION: MODERN AFRICAN AMERICAN ART A lively survey of photographs, paintings, and sculptures by African-Americans from the Harlem Renaissance to the Civil Rights era and beyond. Through Sept. 2. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem 978-745-9500.

Sebastian Smee

Sinru Ku/Jacob’s Pillow Dance
Martha Graham Dance Company performed “The Rite of Spring.”


Celebrating ‘Spring’

MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY It’s always illuminating to see the company founded by the iconic modern dance pioneer, but this one also celebrates the 100th anniversary of Stravinsky’s “The Rite of Spring” (pictured) via Graham’s interpretation of the groundbreaking score. The engagement also includes “Lamentation Variations” and a new work by Spanish powerhouse Nacho Duato. Through Aug. 25, $45-$75. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, 358 George Carter Road, Becket. 413-243-0745,

Karen Campbell