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The week ahead: Theater

T Charles Erickson

All aglow

THE OLD MAN AND THE OLD MOON A beguiling, family-friendly tale by the seven actor-musicians of PigPen Theatre Co. about an Old Man whose job is to perpetually refill the moon with liquid light — and what happens when he abandons that task. Through Aug. 17. Williamstown Theatre Festival, at Nikos Stage, Williamstown. 413-597-3400, www.wtfestival.org



ASTRO BOY AND THE GOD OF COMICS Writer-director Natsu Onoda Power delivers a shot of adrenaline to the summer theater season with her multimedia sci-fi parable, built on the life and work of Japanese cartoonist Osamu Tezuka, creator of Astro Boy. Through Aug. 16. Company One Theatre, at Plaza Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts. 617-933-8600, www.companyone.org


THE VISIT Director John Doyle successfully streamlines the Kander & Ebb musical about a fabulously wealthy woman, played by the redoubtable Chita Rivera, who offers her impoverished hometown a lethal bargain: Kill her former lover and she’ll rescue the town financially. Through Aug. 17. Williamstown Theatre Festival, Main Stage, Williamstown. 413-597-3400, www.wtfestival.org


SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN This stage version of the 1952 movie about early Hollywood comes complete with onstage rain, a big ensemble, and a live pit orchestra. Sean Quinn stars in the Gene Kelly role. Through Aug. 17. Reagle Music Theatre, Robinson Theatre, Waltham. 781-891-5600, www.reaglemusictheatre.com

4000 MILES Boston stage stalwart Nancy E. Carroll is the reason to see this Obie Award-winning drama about a 91-year-old Greenwich Village grandmother and her 21-year-old grandson (Tom Rash), who has just survived a trauma on a cross-country bicycle ride. Through Aug. 17. Gloucester Stage Company. Gorton Theatre, Gloucester. 978-281-4433, www.gloucesterstage.com


JULIUS CAESAR With this “bare Bard” production, director Tina Packer reminds us just how skillful she is at clearing away anything that might distract from William Shakespeare’s tale of ambition, pride, and political manipulation. Seven actors play more than 40 characters, morphing easily from distinct individuals — a husband and his heartbroken wife, a faithful servant and his master — to an angry mob, for an effect that is never less than exhilarating. Through Aug. 30. Shakespeare & Company, at Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre, Lenox. 413-637-3353, www.shakespeare.org




BOSTON CONTEMPORARY DANCE FESTIVAL For this third year of the celebratory festival, Urbanity Dance is bringing together a diverse array of nearly four dozen dance companies and independent artists from as far away as Los Angeles and Canada for a one-day marathon of performances and networking. It opens with the “Boston Showcase” at noon, followed by the “National Showcase” at 3 p.m. The “Premiere Showcase” starts at 7:30 p.m. Aug. 16, $25-$70 (discounts for multiple shows). Paramount Center. 617-824-8000, www.paramountboston.org

COMPANHIA URBANA DE DANÇA This exuberant Brazilian troupe led by choreographer Sonia Destri Lie features talented young b-boys from the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. But hip-hop is only part of the story, as contemporary dance choreography is infused with street and Brazilian social dance as well as the acrobatic fireworks of capoeira. Through Aug. 16, $10-$59. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Becket. 413-243-0745, www.jacobspillow.org

TAP UNITED Following two weeks of intensive classes, this tap festival culminates in a Saturday night showcase featuring dancers from the United States and abroad, including hometown faves Ryan P. Casey and Sean Fielder, along with his Boston Tap Company. This is the 10th year Nancy Chippendale’s Dance Studios has hosted the event. Aug. 15, 7 p.m., $25. J. Everett Collins Center for the Performing Arts, Andover. 978-685-5533, www.tapunited1.com


A JAZZ HAPPENING For jazz dance fans, this is one of the highlights of the summer. Broadway veteran Chet Walker returns to Jacob’s Pillow for his 15th season as the festival’s jazz/musical theater director to lead an international cast of talented students in a one-night-only showcase of original jazz choreography with live music. Aug. 17, 5 p.m., $25-$60. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Becket. 413-243-0745, www.jacobspillow.org



LAUREN FENSTERSTOCK Fensterstock’s installations and wall works, made of cut and curling black paper, charcoal, and Plexiglas, darkly reference French and English garden designs dating back centuries. The exhibition is organized by Sienna Patti Contemporary. Through Sept. 21. Independent Art Projects, 1315 Mass. MoCA Way, North Adams. 413-637-8386, www.independentartprojects.com

IRENE LIPTON: DIRECTOR’S CHOICE: LOOKING THROUGH THE YEARS This show traces three decades of the painter’s abstract work, from early, hieroglyphic-style drawings through explorations of space, gesture, and biomorphic forms, and her more recent dive into color. Through Aug. 28. Albert Merola Gallery, 424 Commercial St., Provincetown. 508-487-4424, www.albertmerola

RECONFIGURING ABSTRACTION: LISA RUSSELL AND MARY BUCCI McCOY Both painters pay keen attention to paint’s materiality and emotional expressiveness. Russell bases her work on still life arrangements. McCoy’s veils and eruptions of color on matte grounds also spring from stillness. Through Sept. 18. Fort Point Arts Community Gallery, 300 Summer St. 617-423-4299, www.fortpointarts.org Cate McQuaid


MAKE IT NEW: ABSTRACT PAINTINGS FROM THE NATIONAL GALLERY OF ART, 1950-1975 A selection of prestigious, mostly large-scale works by Abstract Expressionist, Color Field, and other postwar artists such as Jackson Pollock, Lee Bontecou, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Yayoi Kusama, and Cy Twombly, all from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. Through Oct. 13. The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown. 413-458-2303. www.clarkart.edu


PURE SOULS: THE JAIN PATH TO PERFECTION A selection of rarely seen illustrated manuscripts and cloth paintings, made for followers of Jainism in the sixth century BC, and newly restored. Also includes sculptures and embroidered book covers. Through Nov. 30. Museum of Fine Arts. 617-267-9300, www.mfa.org

BERNARD LANGLAIS An impressive and thoroughly endearing overview of the career of the inventive sculptor, whose works can also be seen all over Maine. Through Jan. 4. Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, Maine. 207-859-5600, www.colby.edu/academics_cs/museum

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


Simply mysterious

LARA LOUTREL: THE INVESTIGATIONS OF THE HORIZON Loutrel’s lean, geometric, painted wood constructions toy with perception. Lines and angles veer incrementally from where the eye expects them to go. Suggestions of depth don’t follow through. What appears simple becomes mysterious. Through Aug. 29.Gallery@ArtBlock, 725 Harrison Ave. 617-338-7600, ext. 307, www.galleryatartblock.com