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The week ahead: Theater

Gary Ng

‘Brel’ is back

JACQUES BREL IS ALIVE AND WELL AND LIVING IN PARIS The classic off-Broadway revue of the Belgian chanson composer’s catalog is as moving as ever in its latest revival at the Gloucester Stage. Each of the four singers takes a bravura turn or three, and the band has a deft touch. Pictured: Daniel Robert Sullivan, Shana Dirik, Douglas Jabara, and Jennifer Ellis. Through July 6. At the Gorton Theatre, 267 E. Main St., Gloucester. 978-281-4433, www.gloucesterstage.com.



SMART PEOPLE Lydia R. Diamond’s splendid new Cambridge-based play sifts through the implications of research that suggests racism might be hard-wired into the human brain while showcasing a quartet of complex, flawed, intriguing, and, yes, smart people who register as much more than delivery systems for polemical freight. Directed by Peter DuBois. Through July 6. Huntington Theatre Company, at Wimberly Theatre, Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-266-0800, www.huntingtontheatre.org

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. Featuring 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


UNCLE VANYA Last summer Robert Kropf directed his pared-down adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull,’’ resulting in a memorably dark production at Harbor Stage Company. Now he has turned his hand to Chekhov’s “Uncle Vanya,’’ with a cast that includes Kropf himself, the always-compelling Stacy Fischer, Amie Lytle, Jeff Zinn, and Justin Campbell in the title role. J une 19-July 12. Harbor Stage Company, Wellfleet. 508-349-6800, www.harborstage.org


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, who is also 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, www.cirquedusoleil.com/amaluna




CELEBRATE TANGO SHOW! The centerpiece of the 10th annual Boston Tango Festival is this concert showcasing the power, passion, and imaginative flair of Argentine tango. Fueled by the live music of Los Mozos Guapos Tango Trio,
duos include Analia Vega and Marcelo Varela, Facundo and Ching-Ping Posadas, and Walter Perez and Leonardo Sardella. June 20, 8 p.m., $40 ($55 for show and post-show milonga). Holiday Inn, Somerville. 617-721-4872, www.bostontango.org

DANCE FROM THE EXTRAORDINARY EVERYDAY After two decades leading community-integrated dance projects around the world, Peter DiMuro is back in Boston serving as artistic director of the Dance Complex and exploring his unique choreographic vision. This showcase of Peter DiMuro/Public Displays of Motion reflects the creative fruits of a Boston Center for the Arts residency. June 20-21, $12-$15. Calderwood Pavilion, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.bostontheatrescene.com


HONG KONG BALLET To open its 2014 season, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival goes international with this acclaimed company, known for its stylistic diversity and technical precision. The intriguing program includes Nacho Duato’s male ensemble piece “Castrati,” Krzysztof Pastor’s “In Light and Shadow,” set to the music of J.S. Bach, and a trio by National Ballet of China resident choreographer Fei Bo. Through June 22, $39-$69. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Becket. 413-243-0745, www.jacobspillow.org

AUTO MOBILE BODY WORKS In this “Dancing in the Streets” presentation, choreographer Stefanie Weber asks us to take a walk on the wild side to four locations as she and Creatures of Habitat Physical Poetry Performance Project use dance, music, and video projection to create a kind of moving dream through paved urban settings. The journey starts at Veterans Memorial Rink Alley (570 Somerville Ave., Somerville.) June 20, 8:30 p.m., Free. 617-625-6600, ext. 2985. www.somervilleartscouncil.org


NATHAN MINER: THE LONG NOW Tuesday through Thursday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Miner makes the gallery his studio, crafting his shimmering, large-scale abstractions through a process that includes photography, digital manipulation, and handwork. Through Aug. 14. Montserrat Gallery, Montserrat College of Art, 23 Essex St., Beverly. 978-921-4242, www.montserrat.edu

ALIX PEARLSTEIN: MONOGRAM The video artist, who also has a show up now at the deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, choreographs actors to engage in direct ways with the camera. The viewer often disconcertingly becomes the object of an actor’s gaze. Through July 26. Samson, 450 Harrison Ave. 617-357-7177, www.samsonprojects.com


KEVIN BUBRISKI: NEPAL 1975-2011 Bubriski first arrived in Nepal, camera in hand, as a Peace Corps volunteer. This show, a companion to one at the Center for Government and International Studies at Harvard, documents cultural changes as technology and globalization take hold. Through July 26. Gallery Kayafas, 450 Harrison Ave. 617-482-0411, www.gallerykayafas.com
Cate McQuaid


RICHARD ESTES’S REALISM A large survey of the pioneering painter, often associated with photorealism, organized by the Portland Museum of Art and the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Through Sept. 7. Portland Museum of Art, Portland, Maine. 207-775-6148, www.portlandmuseum.org

PERMISSION TO BE GLOBAL/PRACTICAS GLOBALES: LATIN AMERICAN ART FROM THE ELLA FONTANALS-CISNEROS COLLECTION The first survey of contemporary Latin American art hosted by the MFA. Featuring work by 46 artists from Central and South America and the Caribbean, all from a single collection. The show was first seen at Art Basel Miami Beach late last year. Through July 13. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org

IAN HAMILTON FINLAY: ARCADIAN REVOLUTIONARY AND AVANT-GARDENER More than 200 works are included in this ambitious survey of the career of the great Scottish artist, poet, and garden designer. Through Oct. 13. DeCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln. 781 259 8355, www.decordova.org

OLAFUR ELIASSON A suite of works, including an artificial outdoor waterfall, a spinning mobile, and a row of colored light projectors casting patterned shadows, by the Danish-Icelandic artist. Through Nov. 30. Hall Art Foundation, Reading, Vt. 802-952-1056, www.hallartfoundation.org. Sebastian Smee

New looks

NEW TALENT Alpha Gallery’s emerging artists show spotlights interior and landscape paintings by Andy Karnes, Hoda Kashiha’s fizzy paintings populated by odd little groups, and figures looming in barren landscapes by Michael MacMahon, plus Danny Schissler’s landscape photos flooded with artificial light. Through July 3. Alpha Gallery, 37 Newbury St. 617-536-4465, www.alphagallery.com