This week, Jared Bowen reviews the touring production of "Waitress" and takes you to Harvard Art Museums for "Inventur — Art In Germany 1943-55." Then, a review of Actors' Shakespeare Project's Richard III.

"Waitress," presented at the Boston Opera House through March 4

Desi Oakley stars as Jenna in the national tour of "Waitress."
Joan Marcus, courtesy of Broadway in Boston

Based on the 2007 film by Adrienne Shelly, "Waitress" tells the story of Jenna, a small town waitress and prolific pie maker searching for an escape from her loveless marriage and abusive husband. Could a baking contest be her ticket out? Director Diane Paulus leads this all-female creative team which features music from six-time Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Sarah Bareillis. "Sarah Bareilles' music is what really lifts this show," said Jared, "capturing with such personal regard that life, like pie-making, is frequently messy."

"Inventur — Art In Germany 1943-55," on view at the Harvard Art Museums through June 3

Hans Uhlmann, Male Head | Männlicher Kopf, 1942. Steel sheet. Lehmbruck Museum, Duisburg, FrK 4237/1995. © 2017 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York/VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.
Jürgen Diemer, courtesy of the Harvard Art Museums

A first-of-its-kind exhibition at the Harvard Art Museums examines the work of German artists who worked in Germany during World War II and after. Named after a poem by Günter Eich, "Inventur" takes inventory of German art and identity from 1943 to 1955. Several works in this exhibition have never been shown outside of Germany. Under the Nazi regime, many of these artists were labeled "degenerates" and faced persecution. Those who did not flee the country turned inward and continued to make their work, a concept dubbed inner emigration. "Inner emigration for a long time was associated with a kind of art for art's sake," said curator Lynette Roth, "and I think that's totally wrong. I think there is no art making under totalitarianism that isn't somehow political or influenced by the political situation."

"Richard III," presented by Actors’ Shakespeare Project at the Swedenborg Chapel in Cambridge through March 11

Steven Barkhimer stars as Richard III.
Nile Hawver / Nile Scott Shots, courtesy of Actors' Shakespeare Project

A maniacal tyrant is taking over the Swedenborg Chapel. Actors' Shakespeare Project presents "Richard III," a historical play by William Shakespeare about the mad reign of King Richard III of England (played by Steven Barkhimer). Murderous scheming abounds in this Gothic-revival setting as Richard manipulates his way from ambitious duke to callous king. "In Steven Barkhimer's Richard, you marvel at his ruthlessness," said Jared. "How naturally ordered it is, that it seems embedded in his soul."

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