This week, Jared Bowen takes us to an exhibition focused on pregnancy at the Worcester Art Museum and reviews three new plays in the Greater Boston area.

“With Child: Otto Dix/Carmen Winant,” on view at the Worcester Art Museum through Dec. 15

With Child: Otto Dix / Carmen Winant
Hugo Erfurth (German, 1874–1848), Untitled (The painter Otto Dix instructing a class in figure painting), 1929, gelatin silver print, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Sophie M. Friedman Fund, 1984.598.
Courtesy of the Worcester Art Museum

A new exhibition at the Worcester Art Museum focuses on a topic rarely examined in the art world: Pregnancy. “With Child: Otto Dix/Carmen Winant” features works on the subject of pregnancy and birth by German artist Otto Dix, his protégé Gussy Hippold-Ahnert and contemporary American artist Carmen Winant. Inspired by Dix’s 1931 portrait “The Pregnant Woman,” this exhibition brings attention to the social and medical issues surrounding pregnancy from the 20th century the through today. "[Dix] was also a follower of the philosophy of Nietzsche, and Nietzsche really emphasized this idea of eternal re-occurrence, that the cycles of life and death repeat over and over again," said curator Marcia Lagerway. "Dix was interested in life and rebirth through pregnancy, and death.”

“Oliver!” Presented by New Repertory Theatre through Dec. 29

The cast of "Oliver!" presented by New Repertory Theatre
Andrew Brilliant/Brilliant Pictures

Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist” is transformed into a spirited musical at New Repertory Theatre. Discover the tale of a courageous orphan and his misfit friends as they fight to stay together through the poverty and cruelty of the British Industrial Revolution. The production marks the debut of newly appointed Artistic Director Michael J. Bobbitt, who brings exceptional energy and fun to Lionel Bart’s family-friendly score.

“Musically,” says Jared, “there is no paucity here with numbers that truly sing.”

“The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley,” presented by Merrimack Repertory Theatre through Dec. 22

The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley
(Left to right) Paul Melendy, Philana Mia, Katie Grindeland, Alexis Bronkovic, Lewis D. Wheeler and Laura Latreille in "The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley"
Meghan Moore, courtesy of Merrimack Repertory Theatre

Merrimack Repertory Theatre continues the foray into 19th century England with “The Wickhams: Christmas at Pemberley.” Based on the characters of Jane Austin’s “Pride and Prejudice,” the play is a companion piece to last year's Christmas production, “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.” This time, the action takes place downstairs as the home prepares for a Christmas celebration. But will the festivities be derailed by an uninvited guest?

“The holiday perils at Pemberley make for a fun feast,” says Jared of this production, directed by Shana Gozansky.

“Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express,” presented by the Lyric Stage Company of Boston through Dec. 22

Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express
The cast of "Agatha Christie's Murder on the Orient Express"
Mark S. Howard, courtesy of Lyric Stage Company of Boston

Agatha Christie’s classic murder mystery gets the stage treatment at the Lyric Stage Company of Boston. In “Murder on the Orient Express,” detective Hercule Poirot is on the case after the murder of a passenger on the luxurious Orient Express traveling from Istanbul. With a snowstorm preventing the train from moving, Poirot works to find the killer among the passengers before he or she strikes again.

“Like the train itself, ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ moves quickly along with humor and excitement,” says Jared. “It’s not without bumps, but the ride is enjoyable.”

Is there an exhibition or show that has you in the Holiday Spirit? Tell Jared about it on Facebook or Twitter!