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Arts This Week: 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi,' Bedlam's 'Sense & Sensibility,' 'A Christmas Carol'

Adam Driver in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi"
Lucasfilm Ltd.

This week, Jared Bowen gives his take on "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" and reviews the best new theater in Boston, including "Bedlam's Sense & Sensibility" and "A Christmas Carol" at Central Square Theater.

"Star Wars: The Last Jedi," in theaters now

Daisy Ridley in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi."
Lucasfilm Ltd.

Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) in all his attendant darkness is trying to rule the galaxy. The vastly weakened Resistance led by Leia (Carrie Fisher) is holding on. Their sustenance, their drive, their weapon is hope. That may rest with Ray (Daisy Ridley), who develops her force abilities under the guidance of a cautious Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill). "Director Rian Johnson is the new hope," said Jared. "The film is fun, stirring, artful, and even inspiring."

Bedlam's "Sense & Sensibility," presented by the American Repertory Theatre through Jan. 14, 2018

The cast of Bedlam's "Sense & Sensibility."
Ashley Garrett, courtesy of The American Repertory Theater

A Jane Austen classic gets an inventive adaptation in Bedlam's "Sense & Sensibility" at the American Repertory Theater. This play tells the story of Elinor and Marianne Dashwood, two sisters who struggle to find their footing — and suitable suitors — after they suddenly lose their fortune. Steering well clear of classic English sets and aesthetics, director Eric Tucker's bold reimagining of "Sense & Sensibility" showcases some creative theatricality, literally placing the whole set on wheels while a dynamic gossip network carries the plot forward. "Whether it's a swinging chandelier or a slowly spinning chair that alter the mood and moment," said Jared, "Eric Tucker finds the sublime in simplicity."

"A Christmas Carol," presented by Central Square Theater through Dec. 31

Ken Cheeseman & Mesma Belsare in Central Square Theater's "A Christmas Carol."
A.R. Sinclair Photography, courtesy of Central Square Theater

What holiday season would be complete without "A Christmas Carol?" At Central Square Theater, this family-oriented production brings Dickens' classic Christmas story of the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge to life in very simple, but evocative storytelling. Props and set pieces weemingly conjured on stage and actors mingling throughout the audience make this play "Human, of and for us," said Jared. "We're left feeling that we're part of the supernatural encounters that Ebenezer Scrooge has throughout the evening."

Excited for the latest "Star Wars" movie? Tell Jared about it on Facebook or Twitter!


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