TRAD | Mark Doherty’s Fringe First winner at Edinburgh gets an outing from Tír na Theatre. It’s the story of how Thomas, who’s 100 years old, and his dad (yes) go looking for the son that Thomas claims to have fathered some 70 years ago. Súgán Theatre’s Carmel O’Reilly directs; Nancy Carroll, Billy Meleady, and Colin Hamell are in the cast. | Boston Center for the Arts Plaza Black Box Theatre, 539 Tremont St, Boston | BostonTheatreScene.com | April 8-24 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | 3 pm Sun | $25; student, senior discounts

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ADDING MACHINE: A MUSICAL | SpeakEasy Stage Company presents the New England premiere of this Off Broadway hit based on Elmer Rice’s 1923 play The Adding Machine, in which 25-year vet Mr. Zero loses his job to the title calculator, murders his boss, and is rewarded with a trip to the Elysian Fields. Composer Joshua Schmidt ingeniously echoes Rice’s automatism in music that is itself mathematic and mechanical, filled with counterpoint, agitated staccato, and motifs that repeat like Zero’s numbing daily routine or the numbers in his head. As Mr. Zero, Brendan McNab is as vocally formidable as his surly-milquetoast character is unworthy, and Liz Hayes is a delightful surprise as Zero’s romantic road not taken, the liltingly dubbed Daisy Dorothea Devore. Paul Melone directs the piece as if it were a march, its characters jumping out of lockstep to deliver arias of prim yearning or burning ire. The dominant color of Jeff Adelberg’s lighting-design palette is lurid red, and Susan Zeeman Rogers’s clever set design includes not just swirling numbers and a billowing purgatory but a horizontal trough through which trudges a mired workforce — not to mention that assembly line of returning souls looking for all the world as if they were about to punch a time clock. | Boston Center for the Arts, Calderwood Pavilion, 527 Tremont St, Boston | 617.933.8600 | Through April 10 | Curtain 7:30 pm Thurs | 8 pm Fri | 4 + 8 pm Sat | $30-$54; $5 discount students, seniors

A CLOSER WALK WITH PATSY CLINE | Elliot Norton Award winner Bridget Beirne makes her way through “Crazy,” “I Fall to Pieces,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Walkin’ After Midnight” and many more Patsy Cline hits in this 1991 show from Dean Regan that lets us follow her from her childhood home in Winchester, Virginia, to the Grand Ole Opry, Las Vegas, and even Carnegie Hall. Tom Frey directs and also plays Little Big Man in this Fiddlehead Theatre production. | John Hancock Hall, 180 Berkeley St, Boston | 877.5483237 or backbayeventscenter.com | Through April 17 | Curtain 8 pm Wed-Fri | 2 pm [April 17] + 8 pm Sat | 2 pm Sun | $45-$65

FROM ORCHIDS TO OCTOPI: AN EVOLUTIONARY LOVE STORY | Catalyst Collaborative@MIT— Underground Railway Theater’s science-theater initiative with MIT — presents the world premiere of this Melinda Lopez (The Order of Things, Sonia Flew) work, which was commissioned by the National Institutes of Health to celebrate the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species. “Surprises erupt as a muralist’s work is derailed by hallucinations, pregnancy, and dinosaurs in this witty take on how we understand — or do not — the theory of evolution. Charles Darwin comments on it all.” Publick Theatre artistic director Diego Arciniegas is in charge. | Central Square Theater, 450 Mass Ave, Cambridge | 617.576.9278 | Through May 2 | Curtain 7:30 pm Wed-Thurs | 8 pm Fri-Sat | 2 pm Sun | $35; $25 seniors; $20 students

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