WHAT The Heckscher Museum of Art shows off its permanent collection in an instructively vibrant exhibit, "Absorbed by Color: Art in the 20th Century." The two galleries, displaying about 20 paintings each, are organized in a way that teaches the viewer something about the color spectrum and art history. " Our color-wheel room is laid out according to the spectrum" -- from yellow to red -- says Lisa Chalif, who curated the show. Included are works by Frank Olt of Oyster Bay and Stanley Twardowicz of Huntington. The other gallery explores historical color-theory progression from representational to abstract. Hamptons artist Jimmy Ernst's "Almost White" and Huntington's Stan Brodsky, with his "Mostly Blue," are in this collection.
WHEN | WHERE Through Dec. 2, Heckscher Museum of Art, 2 Prime Ave., Huntington. Hours: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. weekends
ADMISSION $5-$8 (discounts for Huntington residents); heckscher.org, 631-351-3250
THEATER: 'Inherit the Wind' in Southampton
WHAT By now, we thought Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection would be settled science. But religious and political fundamentalists have pounced on the word "theory" to discredit Charles Darwin in favor of a literal biblical interpretation of the origins of life. So we're right back to the Scopes "Monkey" Trial of 1925. Which makes Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee's classic courtroom drama "Inherit the Wind" controversial (at least in some circles) all over again. Michael Disher directs a new Center Stage production that pits three-time presidential candidate (and loser) William Jennings Bryan against famed attorney Clarence Darrow, who defended biology teacher John Scopes for teaching evolution in the classroom instead of "God's word" as revealed in the Bible. Names of the principals were changed in the 1955 play, which otherwise draws from the trial transcript.
WHEN | WHERE Thursday night at 7, Friday and Saturday nights at 8, Sunday at 2:30 p.m., Levitas Center for the Arts, 25 Pond Lane, Southampton
TICKETS $12-$22; scc-arts.org, 631-287-4377
PLUS: Reunion at 'The Pavilion'
Anyone who's attended a high school reunion can relate. In Craig Wright's "The Pavilion," a guy shows up at his 20th, pining for the girl he left behind. Thursday-Saturday nights at 8, through Oct. 20, $20, Bare Bones Theater Company, 57 Main St., Northport, 800-838-3006, barebonestheater.com
MUSIC: Emerson String Quartet at home
WHAT The Emerson String Quartet, resident ensemble of Stony Brook University, presents the first of three home-campus concerts this season. They're among the last performances with the current lineup: violinists Eugene Drucker and Philip Setzer, violist Lawrence Dutton and cellist David Finckel. Next fall, Finckel moves on to a solo career, replaced by Paul Watkins. For Wednesday's recital, Colin Carr and Paul Neubauer join the Emersons on the Brahms Sextet. Also on the program is a Brahms quartet and Shostakovich's 12th Quartet.
WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Oct. 17, Staller Center Recital Hall, Stony Brook
TICKETS $42; stallercenter.com, 631-632-2787