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Critics’ picks: Theater

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DR. JEKYLL & MR. HYDE  A stylish and chilling take on Jeffrey Hatcher’s
adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s tale. Directed by Caitlin Lowans with a perceptive eye for the forebodingly atmospheric touch and anchored by Benjamin Evett’s intelligent and compelling performance as Dr. Jekyll, a man who is being torn apart from within. Through Nov. 10. Stoneham Theatre. 781-279-2200, www.stonehamtheatre.org

DON AUCOIN

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SPLENDOR  Acclaimed local playwright Kirsten Greenidge returns to the fictional Boston suburb of Bellington, where she set her last play, “The Luck of the Irish.” The play follows a large cast of characters over four decades, as high school romances, tragedies, and resentments echo down the years. The ambitious and sometimes unwieldy play touches on race, class, and gender roles. Through Nov. 16. Company One. At the Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.companyone.org

JOEL BROWN

THE NORMAL HEART  Nearly 30 years after Larry Kramer’s play became a rallying cry in the fight against AIDS, this production captures the fury and heartbreak of this powerful drama. Much of the credit for the powerful impact of this production goes to director and designer David J. Miller’s vision, which embraces the play’s polemics and its very personal love story. Ultimately, this production reminds us of the devastating impact of AIDS and the vital importance of speaking up and being heard. (Pictured: Joey Pelletier, left, and Victor Shopov.) Through Nov. 23. Zeitgeist Stage Company,
Plaza Black Box Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.zeitgeiststage.com

THE HOBBIT Matthew T. Lazure’s creative costumes and elegant, two-tiered set stand out as the stars of this charming production. Lazure doesn’t need the film’s elaborate computer-generated animation, because he includes just the right elements to spark the imagination and create the right mood for Bilbo Baggins’s unexpected adventure. Andrew Barbato offers a pitch-perfect performance as Bilbo, while Stephen Benson is a remarkably agile and suggestively slimy Gollum. Through Nov. 24. Wheelock Family Theatre. 617-879-2300, www.wheelockfamilytheatre.org

TERRY BYRNE

WAITING FOR GODOT  Samuel Beckett’s inimitable tramps have been waiting to meet a certain gentleman for 60 years now, and they’re still at it. “Waiting for Godot” bewildered audiences when it first debuted in Paris in 1953, and it is now considered a classic of 20th-century theater. Fresh from the Dublin Theatre Festival, the Gare St Lazare Players Ireland production shows why this absurdist play continues to persevere. It’s time well spent. Through Nov. 10. Presented by ArtsEmerson. At Paramount Center Mainstage, Boston. 617-824-8400, www.artsemerson.org

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