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The ticket: Theater

Geri Kodey/The Smith Center

INTO THE WOODS A captivating production 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,

THE ODD COUPLE This production of Neil Simon’s 1965 comedy about a mismatched duo getting on each other’s nerves when they inhabit the same New York apartment features Noah Racey as persnickety Felix Ungar and Michael McGrath as messy Oscar Madison. McGrath won a Tony Award for his nice work in “Nice Work If You Can Get It,’’ and he was also terrific as Patsy in the Broadway production of “Monty Python’s Spamalot.’’ Directed by John Miller-Stephany. June 9-21. Cape Playhouse, Dennis. 508-385-3911,

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THE TEMPEST Directed by Aaron Posner and Teller, the silent half of the Penn & Teller team, this dandy production (pictured above, from left, Nate Dendy,
Joby Earle, Tom Nelis, and Charlotte Graham) 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,


AMALUNA Cirque du Soleil is back with its big top, this time performing a female-centered spectacle that combines Las Vegas razzle-dazzle with refined art. Directed by Diane Paulus, artistic director of the American Repertory Theater, the production is based loosely on “The Tempest,” with a female Prospera who manipulates the natural world. This outing is more plot-based than previous Cirque shows, which gives it an intimacy and ties the circus acts together. Yes, you can expect the usual Cirque derring-do, with Spandex-clad performers swinging perilously through the air. But one new act is not to be missed: A character called the Balance Goddess makes a sculpture out of giant palm leaf ribs, and the effect is at once graceful and gripping. Through July 6. Boston Marine Industrial Park. 800-450-1480,


Don Aucoin can be reached at
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