Laurie Anderson once quipped that talking about art is like dancing about architecture. She meant the line as a put-down of criticism, but really it’s just a statement of how human beings work–we’re always translating our experiences from one medium to another, hence the paintings inspired by operas based on plays adapted from novels. In this show, Chicago composer Michael Smith and singer Jamie O’Reilly have taken the process one step further, collecting two hours of songs about art and artists and showing slides of artists’ work. The result is a sweet, playful little show nicely performed by Smith and O’Reilly, with some help from Jenny Magnus and Beau O’Reilly, Jamie’s brother: the four of them sing and dance with such grace and joy that the show quickly wins us over and keeps us charmed for the full two hours. Many of the songs were written by Smith himself, though there are also tunes by Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, and Leonard Cohen. Most don’t even pretend to say deep things about art; the exception is Don McLean’s moving but very sentimental number about van Gogh. Victory Gardens Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln, 773-871-3000. Through December 31: Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 PM; Saturdays, 5 and 8:30 PM; Sundays, 3 PM; Wednesday, December 6, 2 PM only; Wednesday, December 27, 2 and 8 PM; no shows Tuesday, December 5, or Sunday, December 24. $28-$33. Note: The 2 PM show on Wednesday, December 6, the 8 PM show on Friday, December 15, and the 5 PM show on Saturday, December 16, are captioned for the hearing impaired. The 8 PM shows on Thursday, December 7, and Friday, December 15, are interpreted for the hearing impaired. The 8 PM show on Friday, December 8, and the 3 PM show on Sunday, December 17, are audio described for the vision impaired. Individual tickets to all Access Project performances are $22 for the disabled.

–Jack Helbig