Theater & art

The week ahead: Theater, galleries, and museums

“The Knocking Within.”
Stephen Schreiber
Wendy Jehlen and Pradhuman Nayak (left) in “The Knocking Within.”

Moving ‘Within’

THE KNOCKING WITHIN Wendy Jehlen and Pradhuman Nayak draw from Shakespeare, American Sign Language, and the neuroscience of dreams in this portrait of two lovers and the insecurities between them. Presented by Anikaya Dance Theater. Sept. 5-8. $15-$25. Arsenal Center for the Arts, Watertown.617-861-7930,

Karen Campbell



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. Extended through Sept. 22. Cavalia. Assembly Square, Somerville. 866-999-8111,


WICKED The hard-to-resist musical about the witches of Oz is back, in a production featuring an excellent performance by Jenn Gambatese (left) as Glinda, Alison Luff (right) 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,

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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 with seething force by Elizabeth Aspenlieder. Directed by Matthew Penn. Through Sept. 15. Shakespeare & Company. At Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, Lenox. 413-637-3353,

Don Aucoin



MUSES, MODES & MAGIC! The Dance Complex celebrates new leadership and renovations with this multidisciplinary “Music & Dance Extravaganza” presented and performed with chamber ensemble The Broken Consort. A wine and “meet-the-artists” reception follows the performance. Sept. 6-7, 8 p.m., $12-$15. The Dance Complex, Cambridge. 617-547-9363,

SPUNKANDCOMPANY CONTEMPORARY DANCE Led by Jillian Grunnah and Tara McCrystal, this modern dance troupe’s seven dancer/choreographers offer “Seven on 7,” a one-night-only concert of new and recent works. Sept. 7, 7 p.m., $20-$25. Boston University Dance Theater. 617-358-2500,


UTSAV! A FESTIVAL OF PUNJABI AND SIKH CULTURE In India, “utsav” means “feast day,” and in addition to lots of food — some free — this event offers a feast for the eyes, including performances by a colorfully costumed bhangra team, traditional giddha dancers, and gatka martial arts enthusiasts flourishing swords and sticks. Sept. 7, 4-8 p.m., free. Union Square Plaza, Somerville. 617-625-6600,

Karen Campbell



(CON)TEXT Artists use text as visual tool, as narrative. They use it to explode ideas and to pun. More than 40 artists, including Jenny Holzer, Tracey Emin, and Ryan McGinley, show how language pushes art and pulls it. Sept. 6-Oct. 25. Sharon Arts Center, 30 Grove St., Peterborough, N.H. 603-924-7676,

WISH YOU WERE THERE? Dissatisfaction has always lurked beneath visions of utopia. Artists such as Amy Wilson and Gregory Euclide lace their dreams of a better society with implicit critiques of humanity's ever-present flaws. Through Dec. 14. Montserrat Gallery, Montserrat College of Art, 23 Essex St., Beverly.

LAZY RIVER: LEIDY CHURCHMAN Churchman's paintings and videos hop, skip, and jump through the styles that beguile him — folk art, abstract expressionism, Dada — but they always fondly interrogate the tenets and problems of painting. Through Oct. 20. Boston University Art Gallery at the Stone Gallery, Boston University, 855 Commonwealth Ave. 617-353-3349,


AARON STEPHAN: ART HANDLING The sculptor, who also has a deep and funny show up at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, considers the vagaries of art history by repurposing or recontextualizing the tools of an artist’s trade, from shipping crates to stretchers. Through Oct. 19. Samson, 450 Harrison Ave. 617-357-7177,

Cate McQuaid



FLASHBACK – NOVEMBER 22, 1963 Paintings, prints, photographs, and sculptures responding to the assassination of President Kennedy, including work by Warhol, Marisol, and Ant Farm. Through Jan. 12. Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover. 978-749-4015,

COLOR, PATTERN, WHIMSY, SCALE: THE BEST OF SHELBURNE MUSEUM One hundred objects from the eclectic permanent collection illustrate the principles guiding museum founder Electra Havemeyer Webb’s inspired collecting. The show inaugurates Shelburne Museum’s new Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education, which will remain open year-round. Through Dec. 31. Shelburne Museum, Shelburne, Vt. 802-985-3346,

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,

WINSLOW HOMER: MAKING ART, MAKING HISTORY Highlights from the greatest collection of Homer’s work privately assembled after the artist’s death, now in the permanent collection of the Clark Art Institute. The show includes 11 paintings, 18 watercolors, and dozens of wood engravings, etchings, lithographs, and drawings. Through Sunday. Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown. 413-458-2303,