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Local arts companies turn up the heat for busy winter season

Kyle Abraham and his dance company create the dance and movement piece “A.I.M.:  An Untitled Love.” (Photo by Carrie Schneider)
Kyle Abraham and his dance company create the dance and movement piece “A.I.M.: An Untitled Love.” (Photo by Carrie Schneider)
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The Bible and rock ’n’ roll. Drama and science. Samuel Beckett and an audience of 12. This winter, local performing arts companies will be reframing classics, reinventing dance, taking on climate change and loads more.

With a peek into 2022, our Winter Theater preview offers everything from Broadway musicals to D’Angelo-inspired dance pieces.

The company of the North American Tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” (Photo by Matthew Murphy, Evan Zimmerman – MurphyMade)

“Jesus Christ Superstar,” Jan. 4 – 16, Emerson Colonial Theatre

“Jesus Christ Superstar” debuted on Broadway in 1971 to fervent protests. The story of the gospel set to rock ’n’ roll seemed blasphemous to so many. But what was once heretical has become one of Broadway’s most iconic creations, a pioneering rock opera from legends Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. (boston.broadway.com)

“People, Places & Things,” Jan. 7 to Feb. 5, Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA

Following wildly successful runs in London and New York, “People, Places & Things” drills down into addiction, rehab and recovery as it looks at a 30-something actress loving her intoxicated life until it all crashes down around her. (speakeasystage.com)

“Texts for Nothing,” Jan. 20 to Feb. 6, the Boston Conservatory Theater

One actor. A dozen audience members. This adaptation of Samuel Beckett’s prose exploring isolation, fear and existentialism features actor Doug Lockwood taking 12 people on a dark journey in Nervous Theatre’s 30-minute production. (nervoustheatre.com)

“A.I.M: An Untitled Love,” Jan. 21 – 23, Institute of Contemporary Art

Choreographer and MacArthur “genius” Fellow Kyle Abraham and his company have created a dance and movement tribute to love. What kind of love? All kinds including those for Black culture, family and community. More reasons to love? This exhibition of movement comes with a soundtrack by R&B maestro D’Angelo. (icaboston.org)

Jennifer Kidwell, a performer in “Ocean Filibuster.” Photo by Ryan Collerd

“Ocean Filibuster,” Feb. 18 to March 13, Loeb Drama Center, Cambridge

The American Repertory Theater and Harvard University Center for the Environment come together to produce a work that looks at politics, climate change and, hopefully, political change that could save our climate. Massive in scope — “Ocean Filibuster” includes bits of narrative, music, video, stand-up and science created by the Obie Award-winning company PearlDamour — the action plays out in a Senate chamber debating an “End of Ocean Bill.” (americanrepertorytheater.org)

“The Book of Will,” Feb. 25 to March 27, Lyric Stage

The bard is dead. Will his folios be buried with him? Following Shakespeare’s passing, his actors come together to rescue his work and legacy in this homage to art, theater and the pen behind a dozen iconic plays. (lyricstage.com)

“Accommodating Lie,” Feb. 26 – 27, Shubert Theatre

Celebrity Series of Boston welcomes back Colombian dance company Sankofa Danzafro and its seven dancers and musicians. The company has created a program aimed at dismantling stereotypes about the Black body. (celebrityseries.org)

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