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The ticket: Theater

SMART PEOPLE Lydia R. Diamond (“Stick Fly,’’ “Voyeurs de Venus’’) examines the question of whether prejudice and racism are “hard-wired’’ into human beings. Thrashing out that issue are four characters: an African-American doctor, a white neurobiologist, a Chinese-Japanese-American psychologist, and an African-American actress. Directed by Peter DuBois. Through June 29. Huntington Theatre Company. At Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre.org

IMAGINING MADOFF Deborah Margolin’s speculative leap into the inner life of her notorious subject results in an engrossing drama of ideas whose intellectual and metaphysical gymnastics are a perfect match for the skills of Jeremiah Kissel, who won an Elliot Norton Award for his extraordinary performance in the title role, and for his costars, Joel Colodner and Adrianne Krstansky. A remount of the New Repertory Theater production, co-presented with the Boston Center for American Performance. Directed by Elaine Vaan Hogue. Through June 3. At Boston University Theatre, Lane-Comley Studio 210. 617-923-8487, www.newrep.org

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INTO THE WOODS A captivating production (pictured) of the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical, adroitly directed by Spiro Veloudos, in which the disenchanted forest of the title is thick with pathos, dread, and disillusion, but also shot through with humor, life, and wayward romance. With eye-catching steampunk costumes by Elisabetta Polito and top-notch performances, especially by Aimee Doherty, Lisa Yuen, Erica Spyres, Maurice Emmanuel Parent, John Ambrosino, and Maritza Bostic. Through June 29. Lyric Stage Company of Boston. 617-585-5678, www.lyricstage.com

GIDION’S KNOT The acclaimed actress Karen MacDonald puts on her director hat for this two-hander by Johnna Adams about an encounter between a woman in mourning for her son, and the boy’s teacher. Featuring Deb Martin and Olivia D’Ambrosio. June 5-22. Bridge Repertory Theater of Boston. At Deane Hall, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.bridgerepofboston.com

DON AUCOIN

THE TEMPEST Directed by Aaron Posner and Teller, the silent half of the Penn & Teller team, this dandy production dresses up Shakespeare with stage magic, a gymnastic two-man Caliban, and an onstage band playing songs from the Tom Waits catalog. Through June 15. American Repertory Theater. Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge. 617-547-8300, www.americanrepertorytheater.org

JOEL BROWN

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