BEST BETS | Aug. 17-23, 2017

Space Girl

“Ada’s” engine roars at Essential, “Cabaret” extends at Serenbe and the “Little Shop of Horrors” closes on Sunday at Actor’s Express. Pictured: Weird Sisters Theatre Project’s “Space Girl,’ with (from left) Jasmine Thomas, Stephanie Earle and Erik Poger Abrahamsen. It, too, closes Sunday. Photo by Casey Gardner.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta summer season recommendation.

Recommended

Ashley Anderson, Holly Stevenson. Photo: Elisabeth Cooper

Ashley Anderson, Holly Stevenson. Photo: Elisabeth Cooper

Ada and the Memory Engine.THROUGH AUG. 27.

Audience and critical acclaim have greeted this script by Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson, part of  this summer’s Essential Theatre Play Festival.

The subject is Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the British mathematician who became the world’s first computer programmer.

In calling this 2015 bio-play a “rare and special artistic achievement,” The Huffington Post praised its intelligence, which, it seems, shines through here in a finely acted, if bare-bones, staging. Ashley Anderson is Ada, with Mark Cosby as the supportive, influential Charles Babbage.

$20-$25. In repertory, check the schedule HERE. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details HERE, tickets HERE.

 

TC Carson (from left), Naomi Lavette and Brittany Inge. Photo: Greg Mooney

TC Carson (from left), Naomi Lavette and Brittany Inge. Photo: Greg Mooney

Blackberry Daze. THROUGH AUG. 27.

At Horizon Theatre.

Secrets and seduction stun a small Virginia town at the end of World War I, when a provocative gambler (TC Carson) works his magic on three unsuspecting women.

Adapted by Ruth P. Watson and Thomas W. Jones II from Watson’s novel Blackberry Days of Summer

The blues score is by William Knowles; Jones directs. 

$25 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday.  1083 Austin Ave. NE (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

 

Cabaret. EXTENDED THROUGH SEPT. 3. 

Brian Clowdus as the Emcee. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Brian Clowdus as the Emcee. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

At Serenbe Playhouse

Berlin. 1931. The Nazis are goose-stepping their way to power. The setting is the squalid Kit Kat Klub, where a young American writer (Lee Osorio) pursues English cabaret performer Sally Bowles (Molly Tynes) and everything is overseen by the androgynous see-no-evil, hear-no-evil Emcee (Serenbe artistic director Brian Clowdus).

All Serenbe shows are performed outdoors.

The score is by John Kander and Fred Ebb. The 1967 original won the Tony Award for best musical and made a star of Joel Grey. The 1998 version won the Tony Award for best revival of a musical and cemented stardom for Alan Cumming.

$35 and $40; VIP seating extra. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Directions HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Kevin Harry, as king of the Parisian bohemians. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Kevin Harry, as king of the Parisian bohemians. Photo: Chris Bartelski

The Hunchback of Notre Dame. THROUGH AUG. 27.

Critics and audiences have heaped praise on this Aurora Theatre musical, staged in partnership with Theatrical Outfit.

The show follows a deformed bell ringer named Quasimodo and his travails in 1482 Paris. Justin Anderson directs a cast led by Halen Rider as Quasimodo and Julissa Sabino as Esmeralda.

$30-$65. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Aug. 22-24 shows are sold out; check other performances before you go. 

128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. (The Theatrical Outfit staging runs Sept. 7-17 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta.) Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Audrey (Kylie Brown, center) and the street urchins, Trevor Perry, Brittani Minnieweather and Kiona D. Reese. Photo: Casey Gardner

Audrey (Kylie Brown, center) and the street urchins, Trevor Perry, Brittani Minnieweather and Kiona D. Reese. Photo: Casey Gardner

** Little Shop of Horrors. CLOSES SUNDAY.

 Actor’s Express provides a joyful, tuneful staging of this Skid Row-set cult musical about a nebbish botanist, his unrequited love, his cranky boss and a very hungry, very mean plant.

The horror-comedy ran off-Broadway for five years in the 1980s, became a 1986 movie and was revived on Broadway in 2003. You might know the tunes “Suddenly Seymour” and “Somewhere That’s Green.”

The cast is led by Juan Carlos Unzueta (the Piragua Guy from Aurora/Theatrical Outfit’s In the Heights) as Seymour, Kylie Brown as Audrey and William S. Murphey as Mr. Mushnik. $28 and up, plus taxes. 8 p.m. tonight-Friday;1 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. At the King Plow Arts Center in West Midtown, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

 This week only

Best friends and sisters Leigh-Ann (left) and Sara Esty share the road and the role of Lise. Family photo

Best friends and sisters Leigh-Ann (left) and Sara Esty share the road and the role of Lise. Family photo

An American in Paris. THROUGH SUNDAY.

New to Atlanta and, by all accounts, one of the more gorgeous productions in the 2015 Broadway season. Playwright Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss, The Light in the Piazza) updates the story from the 1951 Gene Kelly movie, setting it in 1945 at the close of World War II. The lush score comes compliments of George and Ira Gershwin — “I Got Rhythm,” “The Man I Love,” “’S Wonderful,” “Shall We Dance,” “But Not for Me,” “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise” and “They Can’t Take that Away From Me.” Nominated for 14 Tony awards, including best musical. Won for choreography, orchestrations, scenic design and lighting design.

The first national tour makes its first stop in Atlanta at the Fox Theatre, under the aegis of Broadway in Atlanta. $30-125. 7:30 tonight; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.

[BALLET, THEATER MESH FOR ‘PARIS’ LEADING LADY SARA ESTY]

 

stage door players

His and Hers Cabaret. SATURDAY ONLY.

 Stage Door Players presents a gender-bending benefit of music in which women sing songs usually sung by men, and vice versa. The lineup, subject to change, includes Paige Mattox and Bryant Smith of the just-closed Annie Get Your Gun, Daniel Burns, Sarah Cave, Kelly Martin, Jen MacQueen, Jeremy Wood and Laura Floyd Wood, among others.

$20 in advance, $25 at the door. VIP tickets ($50) include a private reception, a bottle of champagne and reserved prime seating.

8 p.m. (VIP reception at 7 p.m.) 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody. Tickets, details HERE or at 770.396.1726. 

 

Dan Triandiflou as John Cassavettes. Photo: Safaa Samander

Dan Triandiflou as John Cassavettes. Photo: Safaa Samander

Independent.  TONIGHT-FRIDAY ONLY.

A world premiere as part of the ongoing Essential Theatre Play Festival.

Atlanta actor Dan Triandiflou plays actor/director John Cassavetes through the events that led him to become a singular figure in American independent filmmaking.

The script is by Atlanta playwright John D. Babcock III.

Post-show conversations with film experts follow both performances.

$25. 8 nightly. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details HERE, tickets HERE.

 

Last chance

space girl

Space Girl. THROUGH SUNDAY.

This world premiere finishes a brief run produced by the second-gen Weird Sisters Theatre Project (Shelli Delgado, Rachel Frawley, Kate Donadio MacQueen, Julie Skrzypek and Rebekah Suellau).

The plot: Arugula just wants to fit in, but it’s not easy when you’re a teenage alien from the planet Zlagdor.

In a world where the only things that make sense are roller derby and salad, Arugula and her father, Nancy, must find out what it means to be human before time runs out.

This Mora V. Harris comedy was a finalist in the 2017 Alliance/Kendeda National Playwriting Competition. Skrzypek directs.  

$20 plus fees. 8 tonight-Friday; 3 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 7 p.m. Sunday. Alliance Theatre, 3rd Floor Black Box, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets HERE.

 

Opening this week

My Fair Lady

My Fair Lady. OPENS FRIDAY.

Atlanta Lyric Theatre stages the Lerner and Loewe classic that turned George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion into an award-winning musical.

You know the story: Pompous phonetics professor Henry Higgins turns Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle into a lady, with all sorts of complications along the way.

The score includes “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?,” “With a Little Bit of Luck,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “On the Street Where You Live” and “Get Me to the Church on Time,” among other gems.

$26-$58, subject to change. Through Sept. 3. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Also at 2 p.m. Sept. 2. Cobb Civic Center, Jennie T. Anderson Theatre, 548 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.377.9948.

 

 Still running

Rylee Bunton (from left), Kristin Storla. Photo: Elisabeth Cooper

Rylee Bunton (from left), Kristin Storla. Photo: Elisabeth Cooper

Another Mother. THROUGH AUG. 26.

World premiere. Atlanta playwright G.M. Lupo’s script is the second entry in this summer’s Essential Theatre Play Festival.

It follows the journey of a woman named Genevieve as she pieces together the identities and relationships of her biological mother, her birth mother and the mother who raised her.

$20-$25. In repertory; check schedule HERE. Details HERE, tickets HERE. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.

 

mother goose

Mother Goose. THROUGH SEPT. 17.

In this Center for Puppetry Arts staging, Mother Goose is missing, and audience members are asked to sing, wiggle and clap along to help Mary Mary (Jimmica Collins) find her.

Also on the case: Humpty Dumpty, Little Bo Peep, Jack and Jill, and other citizens of Rhymeville.

For ages 2 and up. Uses rod, hand-and-rod and glove puppets.

$19.50. 10 + 11 a.m. some Tuesdays + Wednesdays; 10 + 11 a.m. Thursday-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 + 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sundays. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details HERE or at 404.873.3391.

 

Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Robin Hood. THROUGH AUG. 27.

Serenbe Playhouse takes to the skies (via zip lines) to tell the family-friendly story of the outlaw (Jordan Patrick) devoted to Maid Marian (Casey Shuler) and doing good deeds with his Merry Men.

This adaptation by frequent Serenbe collaborator Rachel Teagle includes original music by Grammy nominee John Burke.

$10-$20. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday.

Performed at the Farmers Market Hideaway in Serenbe, Chattahoochee Hills. Directions HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Next week

a lesson before dying

A Lesson Before Dying. PREVIEWS AUG. 24 | OPENS AUG. 25.

This drama, based on the Ernest J. Gaines novel, tells the true story of a young man in 1940s Louisiana twice sentenced to die in the electric chair.

The script is by Romulus Linney (1930-2011). Presented by Dominion Entertainment (Jar the Floor, Black Nativity) with a cast led by Simeon Daise, Enoch King, Elisabeth Omilami and Kerwin Thompson.

$30 plus fees. Through Sept. 3. 8 p.m. Aug. 24-25; 11 a.m. Aug. 31; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive in Decatur. Details HERE. Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets HERE. Discount ticket at PoshDealz.com.

fashionado / Encore Atlanta

BEST BETS | Aug. 10-16, 2017

Best Bets by Kathy Janich

Ada and Her Memory Engine

We have four top picks, including “Ada and the Memory Engine” (Essential), and three openings, including Weird Sisters’ world premiere of “Space Girl.” Pictured (from left): Holly Stevenson, Mark Cosby (as Babbage), Ashley Anderson (as Ada) and Brandon Partrick in “Ada and Her Memory Engine.” Photo by Elisabeth Cooper.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta summer season recommendation.

Recommended

Ada and Her Memory Engine

Ada and the Memory Engine. THROUGH AUG. 27.

Audience and critical acclaim has greeted this script by Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson, part of  this summer’s Essential Theatre play fest. The subject is Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the British mathematician who became the world’s first computer programmer.

In calling this 2015 bio-play a “rare and special artistic achievement,” The Huffington Post praised its intelligence, which shines through in a finely acted, though bare-bones staging, here. Ashley Anderson is Ada, with Mark Cosby as the supportive, influential Charles Babbage.

$20-$25. In repertory, check the schedule HERE. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details HERE, tickets HERE.

 

TC Carson. Photo: Greg Mooney

TC Carson. Photo: Greg Mooney

Blackberry Daze. THROUGH AUG. 27.

At Horizon Theatre. Secrets and seduction stun a small Virginia town at the end of World War I, when a provocative gambler (TC Carson) works his magic on three unsuspecting women.

Adapted by Ruth P. Watson and Thomas W. Jones II from Watson’s novel Blackberry Days of Summer. The blues score is by William Knowles; Jones directs.

Also in the cast: Christy Clark, Brittany IngeNaomi LavetteChristian Magby and Ayana Reed.

$25 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

 

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame. THROUGH AUG. 27.

Critics and audiences are applauding  this Aurora Theatre musical, staged in partnership with Theatrical Outfit.

The show follows a deformed bell ringer named Quasimodo and his travails in 1482 Paris. Justin Anderson directs a cast led by Halen Rider as Quasimodo and Julissa Sabino as Esmeralda.

$30-$65. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Aug. 22-24 shows are sold out; check other performances before you go. 

128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. 

(The Theatrical Outfit staging runs Sept. 7-17 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta.) Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Kandace Arrington as Audrey II. Photo: Casey Gardner

Kandace Arrington as Audrey II. Photo: Casey Gardner

** Little Shop of Horrors. THROUGH AUG. 29.

A true joy. Actor’s Express has added Saturday matinees to the run of this Skid Row-set cult musical about a nebbish botanist, his unrequited love, his cranky boss and a very hungry, very mean plant.

The horror-comedy ran off-Broadway for five years in the 1980s, became a 1986 movie and was revived on Broadway in 2003.

You might know the tunes “Suddenly Seymour” and “Somewhere That’s Green.” The cast is led by Juan Carlos Unzueta (the Piragua Guy from Aurora/Theatrical Outfit’s In the Heights) as Seymour, Kylie Brown as Audrey and William S. Murphey as Mr. Mushnik.

$28 and up, plus taxes. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Additional shows at 1 p.m. Aug. 12 + 19.

At the King Plow Arts Center in West Midtown, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

 

Opening this week

Sara Esty brings her ballet background to “Paris.” Photo: Matthew Murphy

Sara Esty brings her ballet background to “Paris.” Photo: Matthew Murphy

An American in Paris. OPENS TUESDAY.

New to Atlanta and, by all accounts, one of the most gorgeous productions of the 2015 Broadway season.

Playwright Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss, The Light in the Piazza) updates the story from the 1951 Gene Kelly movie, setting it in 1945 at the close of World War II.

The lush score is compliments of George and Ira Gershwin — “I Got Rhythm,” “The Man I Love,” “’S Wonderful,” “Shall We Dance,” “But Not for Me,” “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise” and “They Can’t Take that Away From Me.” Nominated for 14 Tony awards, including best musical. Won for choreography, orchestrations, scenic design and lighting design. The first national tour makes its first stop in Atlanta, at the Fox Theatre, under the aegis of Broadway in Atlanta.

$30-125. Through Aug. 20. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.

[BALLET TO THEATER & BACK FOR LEADING LADY LEIGH-ANN ESTY]

 

Jimmica Collins

Jimmica Collins

Mother Goose. OPENS AUG. 15.

In this Center for Puppetry Arts staging, Mother Goose is missing, and audience members are asked to sing, wiggle and clap along to help Mary Mary find her.

Also on the case: Humpty Dumpty, Little Bo Peep, Jack and Jill, and other citizens of Rhymeville.

For ages 2 and up. Uses rod, hand-and-rod and glove puppets. $19.50.

Through Sept. 17. 10 + 11 a.m. some Tuesdays + Wednesdays; 10 + 11 a.m. Thursday-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 + 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sundays.

1404 Spring St. NW. Details HERE or at 404.873.3391.

 

space girl

Space Girl. PREVIEWS TONIGHT | OPENS FRIDAY.

World premiere from the second-gen producers of the Weird Sisters Theatre Project (Shelli Delgado, Rachel Frawley, Kate Donadio MacQueen, Julie Skrzypek and Rebekah Suellau).

The plot: Arugula just wants to fit in, but it’s not easy when you’re a teenage alien from the planet Zlagdor. In a world where the only things that make sense are roller derby and salad, Arugula and her father, Nancy, must find out what it means to be human before time runs out for Planet Earth. This Mora V. Harris comedy was a finalist in the 2017 Alliance/Kendeda National Playwriting Competition. Skrzypek directs.

$15 preview; regularly $20 plus fees. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 3 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 7 p.m. Sunday. Pay-what-you-can show at 8 p.m. Aug. 14. Alliance Theatre, 3rd Floor Black Box, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets HERE.

Still running

Another Mother

Another Mother. THROUGH AUG. 26.

World premiere. Atlanta playwright G.M. Lupo’s script is the second entry in Essential Theatre’s summer play fest.

It follows the journey of a woman named Genevieve, who’s piecing together the identities and relationships between her biological mother, her birth mother and the mother who raised her.

$20-$25. In repertory; check schedule HERE

Details HERE, tickets HERE. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.

 

Molly Tynes. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Molly Tynes. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Cabaret. THROUGH AUG. 27.

It’s 1931 Berlin and the Nazis are coming to power. The setting at Serenbe Playhouse is outdoors, of course, in and around the squalid Kit Kat Klub, where a young American writer (Lee Osorio) pursues English cabaret performer Sally Bowles (Molly Tynes) and everything is overseen by the androgynous see-no-evil, hear-no-evil Emcee (Serenbe artistic director Brian Clowdus).

The score is by John Kander and Fred Ebb. The 1967 original won the Tony Award for best musical and made a star of Joel Grey. The 1998 version won the Tony Award for best revival of a musical and cemented stardom for Alan Cumming.

$35 + $40; VIP seating is extra. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. 9110 Selborne Lane, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Into the woods with “Robin Hood.” Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Into the woods with “Robin Hood.” Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Robin Hood. EXTENDED THROUGH AUG. 27.

 Serenbe Playhouse takes to the skies (via zip lines) to tell the family-friendly story of the outlaw (Jordan Patrick) devoted to Maid Marian (Casey Shuler) and doing good deeds with his Merry Men.

This adaptation by frequent Serenbe collaborator Rachel Teagle includes original music by Grammy nominee John Burke.

$10-$20. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday.

Performed at the Farmers Market Hideaway in Serenbe, Chattahoochee Hills. Directions HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Next week

His and Hers Cabaret. AUG. 19 ONLY. Stage Door Players presents a gender-bending benefit of music in which women sings songs usually sung by men and vice versa. The lineup, subject to change, includes Paige Mattox and Bryant Smith of the just-closed Annie Get Your Gun, Daniel Burns, Sarah Cave, Kelly Martin, Jen MacQueen, Jeremy Wood and Laura Floyd Wood, among others. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. VIP tickets ($50) include a private reception, a bottle of champagne and reserved prime seating. 8 p.m. (VIP reception at 7 p.m.) 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody. Tickets, details HERE or at 770.396.1726. 

Coming up

A Lesson Before Dying

A Lesson Before Dying. PREVIEWS AUG. 24 | OPENS AUG. 25.

This drama, based on Ernest J. Gaines’ 1993 novel, loosely adapts the true story of a young man twice sentenced to die in the Louisiana electric chair in the 1940s.

Romulus Linney’s script sets the action in 1948 in a small plantation community in Cajun country. A young man, jailed for a murder he didn’t commit, has lost his self-respect and will soon lose his life. He and a young teacher show each other how to face their very different futures with dignity and strength.

Presented by Dominion Entertainment (Jar the Floor, Black Nativity) with a cast led by Simeon Daise, Enoch King, Elisabeth Omilami and Kerwin Thompson.

$30 plus fees. Through Sept. 3. 8 p.m. Aug. 24-25; 11 a.m. Aug. 31; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive in Decatur. Details HERE. Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets HERE. Discount ticket at PoshDealz.com.

fashionado / Encore Atlanta

BEST BETS | Aug. 3-9, 2017

Four top picks, two openings and one last chance. Step inside to find out which is which. (Plus much more.) Pictured: Molly Tynes as Sally Bowles and Brian Clowdus as the Emcee in Serenbe Playhouse’s “Cabaret,” opening tonight. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta summer season recommendation.

Recommended

Between Riverside and Crazy

** Between Riverside and Crazy. CLOSES SUNDAY.

The New York Times called this 2015 Pulitzer winner “a dizzying and exciting place to be,” and said that playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis “has a splendid ear in blurring lines between the sacred and profane.”

The story: Ex-cop “Pops” Washington (Earl Billings, the AFLAC commercial guy) is trying to hold onto his dignity and one of the last great rent-stabilized apartments in Manhattan, but he’s had enough. His wife has died, the liquor store can’t keep pace with his thirst and his last living relative is complicating everything. Eric J. Little directs.

Recommended for ages 16 and up. $20-$60. 8 tonight-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road. Details HERE. Tickets at Ticket Alternative HERE or 877.725.8849. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

TC Carson (left), Brittany Inge and Christian Magby. Photo: Greg Mooney

TC Carson (left), Brittany Inge and Christian Magby. Photo: Greg Mooney

Blackberry Daze. THROUGH AUG. 27. At Horizon Theatre.

Secrets and seduction stun a small Virginia town at the end of World War I, when a provocative gambler (TC Carson) works his magic on three unsuspecting women. Adapted by Ruth P. Watson and Thomas W. Jones IIfrom Watson’s novel Blackberry Days of Summer. The blues score is by William Knowles; Jones directs. Also in the cast: Christy Clark, Brittany IngeNaomi LavetteChristian Magbyand Ayana Reed.

$25 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

 

Halen Rider, Julissa Sabino. Photo: Daniel Parvis

Halen Rider, Julissa Sabino. Photo: Daniel Parvis

The Hunchback of Notre Dame. THROUGH AUG. 27.

Critical and audience response has been enthusiastic for this musical about a deformed bell ringer named Quasimodo and his travails in 1482 Paris. The Aurora Theatre season opener is co-produced by Theatrical Outfit. The two previously teamed on In the Heights and MemphisJustin Anderson directs a cast led by Halen Rider as Quasimodo and Julissa Sabino as Esmeralda.

$30-$65. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10 a.m. Aug.  15 ($20). Aug. 22-24 shows are sold out; other performances are selling well, so please check ticket availability before you go. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. (The Theatrical Outfit staging runs Sept. 7-17 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta.)

 

Seymour (Juan Carlos Unzueta) with the Audrey II. Photo: Casey Gardner

Seymour (Juan Carlos Unzueta) with the Audrey II. Photo: Casey Gardner

** Little Shop of Horrors. THROUGH AUG. 29.

A true joy. Actor’s Express has added Saturday matinees to the run of this Skid Row-set cult musical about a nebbish botanist, his unrequited love, his cranky boss and a very hungry, very mean plant. The horror-comedy ran off-Broadway for five years in the 1980s, became a 1986 movie and was revived on Broadway in 2003. You might know the tunes “Suddenly Seymour” and “Somewhere That’s Green.”

The cast is led by Juan Carlos Unzueta (the Piragua Guy from Aurora/Theatrical Outfit’s In the Heights) as Seymour, Kylie Brown as Audrey and William S. Murphey as Mr. Mushnik.

$28 and up, plus taxes. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Additional shows at 1 p.m. Aug. 12 + 19.

At the King Plow Arts Center in West Midtown, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Opening this week

another mother

Another Mother. OPENS FRIDAY.

This world premiere by Atlanta playwright G.M. Lupo is the second entry in Essential Theatre’s summer play fest.

It follows the journey of a woman named Genevieve, who’s  piecing together the identities and relationships between her biological mother, her birth mother and the mother who raised her.

$15 preview tonight. Regularly $20-$25. Through Aug. 26. In repertory.

Check the schedule HERE. Details HERE, tickets HERE. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.

 

Brian Clowdus. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Brian Clowdus. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Cabaret. OPENS TONIGHT.

It’s 1931 Berlin and the Nazis are coming to power. The setting at Serenbe Playhouse is outdoors, of course, in and around the seedy Kit Kat Klub, where a young American writer (Lee Osorio) pursues English cabaret performer Sally Bowles (Molly Tynes) and everything is overseen by the Emcee (Serenbe artistic director Brian Clowdus).

The score is by John Kander and Fred Ebb. The 1967 original won the Tony Award for best musical and made a star of Joel Grey. The 1998 version won the Tony Award for best revival of a musical and cemented stardom for Alan Cumming.

$35 + $40; VIP seating is extra. Through Aug. 27. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. 9110 Selborne Lane, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.

Last chance

annie get your gun

Annie Get Your Gun. CLOSES SUNDAY.

At Stage Door Players. Irving Berlin’s valentine to show biz tells the tale of sharpshooting rivals Annie Oakley (Paige Mattox) and Frank Butler (Bryant Smith) with a million-dollar score — “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly,” “You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun,” “They Say It’s Wonderful,” “Lost in His Arms,” “I Got the Sun in the Morning,” “Anything You Can Do” and, of course, “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” The 1946 Broadway original, starring the legendary Ethel Merman, ran three years.

$15-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.

Still running

ada and the memory machine

Ada and the Memory Engine. THROUGH AUG. 27.

The first entry in the 2017 Essential Theatre summer fest is this script by Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson. Her subject is Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the British mathematician who became the world’s first computer programmer. In calling this 2015 bio-play a “rare and special artistic achievement,” The Huffington Post deemed it an “intelligent play about intelligent historical people that has been crafted by intelligent theater artists for an intelligent audience.” Ashley Anderson is Ada, with Mark Cosby as the supportive, influential Charles Babbage. $20-$25. In repertory, check the schedule HERE. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details HERE, tickets HERE.

Jordan Patrick. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Jordan Patrick. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Robin Hood. THROUGH AUG. 27.

Serenbe Playhouse takes to the skies (via zip lines) to tell the family-friendly story of the outlaw (Jordan Patrick) devoted to Maid Marian (Casey Shuler) and doing good deeds with his Merry Men.

This adaptation by frequent Serenbe collaborator Rachel Teagle includes original music by Grammy nominee John Burke.

$10-$20. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Performed at the Farmers Market Hideaway in Serenbe, Chattahoochee Hills. Directions HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Next week

space girl

Space Girl. PREVIEWS AUG. 10 | OPENS AUG. 11.

World premiere from the second-gen producers at the Weird Sisters Theatre Project (Shelli Delgado, Rachel Frawley, Kate Donadio MacQueen, Julie Skrzypek and Rebekah Suellau).

The plot: Arugula just wants to fit in, but it’s not easy when you’re a teenage alien from the planet Zlagdor. In an alien world where the only things that make sense are roller derby and salad, Arugula and her father, Nancy, must find out what it means to be human before time runs out for Planet Earth. This Mora V. Harris comedy was a finalist in the 2017 Alliance/Kendeda National Playwriting Competition. Skrzypek directs.

$15 preview; regularly $20. Plus fees. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 3 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 7 p.m. Sunday. Pay-what-you-can show at 8 p.m. Aug. 14. Alliance Theatre, 3rd Floor Black Box, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets HERE.

Coming up

An American in Paris

An American in Paris. OPENS AUG. 15.

New to Atlanta and, by all accounts, one of the most gorgeous productions of the 2015 Broadway season. Playwright Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss, The Light in the Piazza) updates the story from the 1951 Gene Kelly movie, setting it in 1945, at the close of World War II. The lush score is compliments of George and Ira Gershwin — “I Got Rhythm,” “The Man I Love,” “’S Wonderful,” “Shall We Dance,” “But Not for Me,” “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise” and “They Can’t Take that Away From Me.” Nominated for 14 Tony awards, including best musical. Won for choreography, orchestrations, scenic design and lighting design. The first national tour makes its first stop in Atlanta, at the Fox Theatre, under the aegis of Broadway in Atlanta. $30-125. Through Aug. 20. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.

[READ: WHY THE SHOW ‘S WONDERFUL FOR ITS LEADING LADY]

fashionado

BEST BETS | July 27-Aug. 2, 2017

TC Carson and Brittany Inge in “Blackberry Daze.” Photo by Greg Mooney.

Our number of top picks rockets with the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival, “Between Riverside and Crazy” (True Colors), “Blackberry Daze” (Horizon), “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (Aurora) and “Little Shop of Horrors” (Actor’s Express). Pictured: TC Carson and Brittany Inge in “Blackberry Daze.” Photo by Greg Mooney.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta spring/summer season recommendation.

Recommended

cakewalk In the Middle of the Ocean mother of god atlanta

Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival. SUNDAY-TUESDAY. The second annual AMTF introduces three shows — one that eyeballs corrupt politicians (titled Cakewalk), another that flips an Ovid myth upside down (In the Middle of the Ocean) and a third that digs into the biblical stories of Mary of Nazareth (Mother of God). These are works-in-progress, with some more finished than others; you’ll be among the first theatergoers to see them, often with some of Atlanta’s best actors. See In the Middle of the Ocean at 8 p.m. Sunday; Cakewalk at 8 p.m. Monday; and Mother of God at 8 p.m. Tuesday. $15 per show. The fest’s 2017 home base is Out Front Theatre, 999 Brady Ave. in West Midtown. Tickets HERE. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Earl Billings as “Pops.”

Earl Billings as “Pops.”

** Between Riverside and Crazy. THROUGH AUG. 6.

The New York Times called this 2015 Pulitzer winner “a dizzying and exciting place to be,” and said that playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis “has a splendid ear in blurring lines between the sacred and profane.”

The story: Ex-cop “Pops” Washington (Earl Billings, the AFLAC commercial guy) is trying to hold onto his dignity and one of the last great rent-stabilized apartments in Manhattan, but he’s had enough. His wife has died, the liquor store can’t keep pace with his thirst, and his last living relative is complicating everything. Eric J. Little directs.

Adult content: Recommended for ages 16 and up. $20-$60. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road. Details HERE.

Tickets at Ticket Alternative HERE or 877.725.8849.

blackberry daze horizon theatre

Blackberry Daze. THROUGH AUG. 27. At Horizon Theatre. Secrets and seduction stun a small Virginia town at the end of World War I, when a provocative gambler (TC Carson) works his magic on three unsuspecting women. Adapted by Ruth P. Watson and Thomas W. Jones II from Watson’s novel Blackberry Days of Summer. The blues score is by William Knowles; Jones directs. Also in the cast: Christy Clark, Brittany IngeNaomi LavetteChristian Magby and Ayana Reed. $25 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Julissa Sabino. Photo: Daniel Parvis

Julissa Sabino. Photo: Daniel Parvis

The Hunchback of Notre Dame. THROUGH AUG. 27. Critical and audience response has been nearly rapturous for this musical about a deformed bell ringer named Quasimodo and his travails in 1482 Paris. The Aurora Theatre season opener is co-produced by Theatrical Outfit. The two previously teamed on In the Heights and MemphisJustin Anderson directs a cast led by Halen Rider as Quasimodo and Julissa Sabino as Esmeralda.

$30-$65. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10 a.m. Aug. 1 and 15 ($20). The Aug. 22-24 shows are sold out; other performances are selling well, so please check ticket availability before you go. 

128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. (The Theatrical Outfit staging runs Sept. 7-17 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta.)

William S. Murphey (from left), Juan Carlos Unzueta, Kylie Brown. Photo: Casey Gardner

William S. Murphey (from left), Juan Carlos Unzueta, Kylie Brown. Photo: Casey Gardner

** Little Shop of Horrors. THROUGH AUG. 29.

 Actor’s Express had added three Saturday-afternoon performances to its Skid Row-set cult musical about a nebbish botanist, his unrequited love, his cranky boss and a giant, insatiable plant. The horror-comedy ran off-Broadway for five years in the 1980s, became a 1986 movie and was revived on Broadway in 2003.

You might know the tunes “Suddenly Seymour” and “Somewhere That’s Green.” The talented cast is led by Juan Carlos Unzueta (the Piragua Guy from Aurora/Theatrical Outfit’s In the Heights) as Seymour, Kylie Brown as Audrey and William S. Murphey as Mr. Mushnik.

$28 and up, plus taxes. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Additional shows at 1 p.m. this Saturday and Aug. 12 + 19. At the King Plow Arts Center in West Midtown, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Opening this week

Ada and the Memory Engine

Ada and the Memory Engine. PREVIEWS TONIGHT | OPENS FRIDAY.

 Essential Theatre begins its 2017 festival with this script by Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson. Her subject is Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the British mathematician who became the world’s first computer programmer.

In calling this 2015 bio-play a “rare and special artistic achievement,” The Huffington Post deemed it an “intelligent play about intelligent historical people that has been crafted by intelligent theater artists for an intelligent audience.” Ashley Anderson is Ada, with Mark Cosby as the supportive, influential Charles Babbage. $15 preview; regularly $20-$25. In repertory through Aug. 27. Details HERE, tickets HERE. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.

Last chance

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. CLOSES SUNDAY. At the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. Two pairs of lovers (one requited, one not so much) and a ragtag group of thespians find themselves lost in the woods as quarreling leaders turn a fairy kingdom on its head. With Kenneth Wigley as Theseus and Oberon, Dani Herd as Hippolyta and Titania, and Charlie T. Thomas as Bottom. What fools these mortals be! Pub menu and beverages available. $15-$39. 7:30 tonight-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. NE (across from Emory University Hospital Midtown). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299.

Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash Georgia Ensemble Theatre

Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. CLOSES SATURDAY. Georgia Ensemble Theatre and the Chattahoochee Nature Center partner for a concert version of the 2006 Broadway tuner, which tells the story of the Man in Black through more than 20 of his hits, including “A Boy Named Sue,” “Daddy Sang Bass,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Jackson” and “I Walk the Line.” The concert reunites Chris Damiano and Christopher Kent (GET’s Million Dollar Quartet) and includes Scott DePoy, Laura Lindahl and Mark Schroeder. Picnicking allowed; cash bar on-site. $15 general admission lawn seats; $30 reserved pavilion table. 8 tonight-Saturday. Nature Center opens at 6:30 p.m. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.

Still running

Annie Get Your Gun

Annie Get Your Gun. THROUGH AUG. 6. At Stage Door Players. Irving Berlin’s valentine to show biz tells the tale of sharpshooting rivals Annie Oakley (Paige Mattox) and Frank Butler (Bryant Smith) with a million-dollar score — “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly,” “You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun,” “They Say It’s Wonderful,” “Lost in His Arms,” “I Got the Sun in the Morning,” “Anything You Can Do” and, of course, “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”

The 1946 Broadway original, starring the legendary Ethel Merman, ran three years. $15-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.

Robin Hood. EXTENDED THROUGH AUG. 27. Serenbe Playhouse takes to the skies (via zip lines) to tell the family-friendly story of the outlaw (Jordan Patrick) devoted to Maid Marian (Casey Shuler) and doing good deeds with his Merry Men. This adaptation by frequent Serenbe collaborator Rachel Teagle includes original music by Grammy nominee John Burke. $10-$20. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Performed at the Farmers Market Hideaway in Serenbe, Chattahoochee Hills. Directions HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Next week

Brian Clowdus. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Brian Clowdus. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Cabaret. OPENS AUG. 3.

It’s 1931 Berlin and the Nazis are beginning to take power.

The setting at Serenbe Playhouse: Outdoors, of course, in and around the seedy Kit Kat Klub, where a young American writer pursues English cabaret performer Sally Bowles (Molly Tynes) and everything is overseen by the Emcee (Serenbe artistic director Brian Clowdus).

The score is by John Kander and Fred Ebb. The 1967 original won the Tony Award for best musical and made a star of Joel Grey. The 1998 version won the Tony Award for best revival of a musical and cemented stardom for Alan Cumming.

$35 + $40; VIP seating costs extra. Through Aug. 27. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. 9110 Selborne Lane, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.

Outlying Islands

Outlying Islands. TUESDAY ONLY.

A staged reading by Atlanta’s Celtic-themed Arís Theatre. Scottish playwright David Greig’s script is inspired by events that took place on Gruinard Island off the west coast of Scotland in August 1939, on the eve of World War II.

What happened — the testing of biological weapons — wasn’t declassified until 1997.

$10; $7.50 students. 7:30 p.m. Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts at Emory University.  1700 N. Decatur Road. Details, tickets HERE.

Coming up

Space Girl. PREVIEWS AUG. 10 | OPENS AUG. 11.

Space Girl

World premiere from the Weird Sisters Theatre Project

Arugula just wants to fit in, but it’s not easy when you’re a teenage alien from the planet Zlagdor. In an alien world where the only things that make sense are roller derby and salad, Arugula and her father, Nancy, must find out what it means to be human before time runs out for Planet Earth. This Mora V. Harris comedy was a finalist in the 2017 Alliance/Kendeda National Playwriting Competition. Julie Skrzypek directs.

$15 preview; regularly $20. Plus fees. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 3 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 7 p.m. Sunday. Pay-what-you-can show at 8 p.m. Aug. 14. Alliance Theatre, 3rd Floor Black Box, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets HERE.

fashionado / Encore Atlanta

YEAH, THAT GREENVILLE

Greenville, a city of 67,000 people less than three hours from most of metro Atlanta, features a walkable, bike-friendly downtown. Photo: VisitGreenvilleSC

Greenville, a city of 67,000 people less than three hours from most of metro Atlanta, features a walkable, bike-friendly downtown. Photo: VisitGreenvilleSC

IT HASN’T ALWAYS BEEN EASY being green for Greenville, a city of 67,000 in northwestern South Carolina. But that began changing — and changing in a big way — in the past five years.

greenville post card

What had been a small, inconspicuous Southern town has burst onto the national scene with Palmetto State panache. Its four-season economy continues to attract foodies, shoppers, nature lovers, cyclists and arts enthusiasts. First they came in dribs and drabs, and then in droves. And it’s all less than three hours from Atlanta.

Greenville, which sits in an area known as “upstate,” was a hunting ground for the Cherokee long ago and then became a textile center where five railroads converged. It now has a varied economy, a mostly under-40 workforce and a sizable population of retirees content with the cost of living and quality of life at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

[WHERE TO EAT, PLAY, SHOP IN GREENVILLE]

This pretty city is walkable, dense with conveniences and delivers natural beauty — like the view of Reedy River Falls from Liberty Bridge, a jewel in the downtown landscape.

Small wonder it was once known as Pleasantburg.

In praise of G-Vegas

In 2016, the U.S. Census Bureau ranked Greenville — nicknamed G-Vegas by some — as the fourth fastest-growing city in the United States. Forbes magazine named it the 13th best in the nation for young professionals.

Other accolades have come from Southern Living (one of the Best Girlfriend Getaways in the South); Matador Travel Network (among the Top 24 Coolest Towns in America); “The Today Show” (one of the Top 5 Places to Retire); and The New York Times (one of 52 places to go in 2017.)

Greenville is Eatville

With 600 restaurants (and counting), you’ll likely need more than one visit to taste your way around the city’s 29 square miles. And you may want to pack your stretchy pants.

Burgers and super-sized, handcrafted shakes (alcoholic and non) are menu staples at Grill Marks. Photo: VisitGreenvilleSC

Burgers and super-sized, handcrafted shakes (alcoholic and non) are menu staples at Grill Marks. Photo: VisitGreenvilleSC

Burgers and super-sized, handcrafted shakes (alcoholic and non) are menu staples at Grill Marks. Photo: VisitGreenvilleSC

Grill Marks is pretty much handcrafted-burger heaven, from the rotating BOW (Burger of the Week) to bowwow (bring your pup for patio seating and Grill Barks, a bag of treats for $4.99).

If you’d rather skip the cow, try the Unburger, with turkey, salmon or chicken. Appetizers include “Everyone Wants Some” poutine — skinny fries slathered with slow-roasted short ribs in red wine demi-glace, topped with Brie and onion straws. The milkshakes, beer shakes, tail shakes (cocktails) and freak shakes feature names like Chocolate Brownie Crack, Perky Kilt and Roasted Pineapple Pina Colada.

A slice of the view from UP on the Roof.

A slice of the view from UP on the Roof.

UP on the Roof, which opened in January in the Embassy Suites RiverPlace, comes from Nancy and Mark Oswald (of Ruth’s Chris fame) and provides views of the Reedy River and Blue Ridge Mountains from on high. The rooftop setting includes an interior with floor-to-ceiling windows.

The menu is divided among Graze (Carolina pimento cheese straws); From the Farm (salads, risotto); From the Ranch (a burger, chicken, steak, Duck’N Waffles); From the Sea; Share (or Not); and Sunset Sweets (Funnel Fries, a cream puff-like concoction called Coco Puff). Wash it all down with handcrafted bottled cocktails and a range of local/regional craft beers.

The owners of Kitchen Sync wanted to avoid a “restaurant row” feel and opted instead to open in a neighborhood not far from Haywood Mall. This recent addition to the gastro-scene is creating buzz with its community vibe, cozy ambience, comfort cuisine (cheeseburger salad, Carolina catfish with Asian BBQ glaze) and shareable plates.

For breakfast, lunch, supper or Sunday brunch, consider Roost, which takes farm-to-table a step further with a “soil-to-city” culinary mission that embraces everything organic and seasonal. Call it cuisine with a conscience: No high-fructose corn syrup in the sweet potato pound cake (or any other dish, for that matter) and all ingredients sourced domestically.

Smoke on the Water calls itself a “saucy Southern tavern,” and serves barbecue, sauces and sides that include cornbread stuffing, casseroles and deviled eggs. Finish your feast with Jack Daniels Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie or Fried Bourbon Bread Pudding.

Did we mention packing your stretchy pants?

Go outside and play

Greenville’s hot summers and mostly mild winters are bookmarked by pleasant spring and fall seasons. Greenville County has 55 park sites, with three water parks, a skating rink and other amenities.

Catch a game at Fluor Field, home of the Greenville Drive, a minor-league of the Boston Red Sox. The field is modeled after storied Fenway Park. Photo: VisitGreenvilleSC

Catch a game at Fluor Field, home of the Greenville Drive, a minor-league of the Boston Red Sox. The field is modeled after storied Fenway Park. Photo: VisitGreenvilleSC

 If golf is your thing, there are a dozen courses within 20 miles of the city limits. If you’d rather watch others hit, head to Fluor Field for a Greenville Drive game. The Drive, a Class A minor-league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, play in a recently renovated replica of Boston’s famed Fenway Park. The team is popular, so plan ahead. A nice perk: free parking.

Greenville likes bikes. The city’s Bikeville community initiative encourages ridership and offers maps and protected lanes for cyclists. The move has brought yet another accolade: Greenville’s Swamp Rabbit Trail rated third when the New York Post named its list of the 15 Most Scenic Bike Trails Across America.

Tote your own bike or call Bike the Rabbit for a rental. It has everything from cruisers and kids’ bikes to bike trailers and tag-alongs. Employees will even deliver your ride to your hotel or meet you at the trailhead. Pedal Chic, meanwhile, caters to women riders. In fact, Greenville is so bike-friendly that professional world cyclist George Hincapie has made the city his home.

Art for all

If Shakespeare were alive today, he might just pen “get thee to Greenville.” Creativity is built into the landscape, as noted by Southern Living magazine which dubbed Greenville South Carolina’s City of the Arts (although Charleston might beg to differ).

A self-guided public art tour takes you to 70 works of art around town. The Peace Center houses the Carolina Ballet Theatre, Greenville Chorale, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, International Ballet and South Carolina’s Children’s Theatre and is where touring shows land.

Fountains line the walkway to the Peace Center, home to touring Broadway shows plus the Carolina Ballet Theatre, Greenville Chorale, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, International Ballet and South Carolina’s Children’s Theatre. Photo: Peace Center

Fountains line the walkway to the Peace Center, home to touring Broadway shows plus the Carolina Ballet Theatre, Greenville Chorale, Greenville Symphony Orchestra, International Ballet and South Carolina’s Children’s Theatre. Photo: Peace Center

Professional theater, and local and visiting creative artists have converged at Centre Stage for three decades. The Art Crossing at RiverPlace has 20 artist studios that are open to the public. The Greenville County Museum of Art, Furman’s Upcounty History Museum and the Children’s Museum of the Upstate rotate exhibits and offerings, including music.

Shopping fun

Mast General Store, part of Greenville since the 1800s, is now an old-time variety shop that carries everything from travel gear to things you didn’t know you needed. Beija-Flor (Portuguese for “hummingbird”) is a by-women, for-women jeans design group with its flagship here. Vogue and O magazines have both praised its “jeans for real woman” ethos.

Whether your travel style is laid-back or go-go-go, Greenville has you covered. For help with your itinerary, go to VistGreenvilleSC.com.

IF YOU GO

DRIVING DISTANCE: 146 miles (2.5-3 hours).

travel south carolina

GETTING THERE: Take I-85 north from Atlanta to Exit 42 in South Carolina toward Greenville.

WHERE TO STAY: Greenville County has more than 8,000 hotel rooms, with almost 1,000 in Greenville itself. For a sophisticated stay downtown try the AAA four-diamond Westin Poinsett. Aloft Greenville Downtown offers modern and urban-inspired rooms. With Airbnb, you can rent a garage apartment near town or a luxury apartment in the city.

ESTIMATED COST: $1,200 for a four-day weekend for two.

WANT HELP: Go to VistGreenvilleSC.

fashionado / Encore Atlanta

FOOD FOR THOUGHT | July-August 2017

Look for Latin dishes like these at Babalu Restaurant, which just opened on Peachtree Street in Midtown. Photo: Babalu Photography

Look for Latin dishes like these at Babalu Restaurant, which just opened on Peachtree Street in Midtown. Photo: Babalu Photography

DINING NEWS continues to bubble up in all areas of Midtown, in several languages. And Smyrna goes international with the tastes of South American culture. Read on for more.

Well done

No more pencils? No more books? Not so in West Midtown at Public School 404. At the scholastically themed gastropub on Howell Mill Road, school is definitely in. But before you flashback to your school days and that nightmare about failing to study for finals, try some comfort food 101.

The Public School menu ranges from burgers and hand-tossed pizzas to ahi tuna poke, roasted poblano with quinoa, and fiery calamari. There’s also a happy-hour program aptly called “recess,” which runs 3-6 p.m. Monday-Friday. It includes discounted small plates (parmesan truffle fries and meatballs al forno) at $10 or less. The bar pours a range of craft beers, a few signature cocktails and offers prosecco, pinot grigio and chardonnay on draft.

The good times are rolling at Bon Ton in Midtown, where Crescent City cooking comes with a dash of Vietnamese zing.  Chow down on raw and chargrilled oysters, perfect renditions of “New Awlins” po’boys and even cherry wood-smoked snow crab legs in the retro-hipster dining room on Myrtle Street.

The Vietnamese influences show up in the blackened catfish bahn-mi sandwiches, sweet and spicy cold noodles, and lo lat rolls made with aromatic ground beef and betel leaves. True to the Big Easy spirit, the booze is a-flowin’ with house-made Sazeracs (on tap), Hurricanes and the slushy-style Frozen Ward Six Cup. This place is fun, original and brings a little French Quarter to the neighborhood.

Smyrna’s Porch Light Latin Kitchen has been generating buzz with Puerto Rican chef Andre Gomez’s tributes to Spanish and South American culture. A large mural of Old San Juan welcomes you to a world of Gomez’ Latin street food, sandwiches and smoked dishes. Cumin-spiced St. Louis ribs, beer-can chicken burritos and Malbec-glazed beef short ribs are among the mouth-watering creations that the Kevin Rathbun-trained Gomez serves. Toss in some yucca fries, rum-glazed sweet plantains and bizcocho tres leches cake for dessert, and it’s a Latin gastronomic fiesta.

Simmering

Babalu Tapas & Tacos has just planted a flag at Midtown’s 33 Peachtree Place, a mixed-use development. The Jackson, Miss.-founded restaurant company, will offer a wide selection of Latin favorites including a signature guacamole made tableside, duck confit tacos, and creole shrimp and grits. The 5,200-sq. ft. space will feature chef’s table seating, a large outdoor dining patio and an indoor/outdoor bar.

Momonoki, a casual Japanese restaurant, sets its compass for Modera, a sexy Midtown mixed-use development. The 2,268-sq. ft. space and patio will be at street level, beneath a 29-story residential high-rise at 8th and Williams streets. The owners of Brush Sushi Izakaya are behind the effort, which plans to serve “chef-driven sushi” (isn’t all sushi chef-driven?) ramen, rice bowls and small plates. “Momonoki,” by the way, means “Peachtree” in Japanese. Look for a late 2017 opening.

Concentrics Restaurants has announced an Italian concept called ALLORA for the TWELVE Hotel Midtown in Atlantic Station. “Allora,” while difficult to translate, essentially equates to a filler word that’s useful when you’re trying to think of what to say in Italian. The restaurant promises to blend Italian classics with “modern techniques and seasonal ingredients” and include house-made pastas, pizzas made to order, creative insalatas, small plates and more. Executive chef Chris Maher will be in charge.

Toast

West Midtown’s Bellwoods Social House abruptly closed its doors in the spring. In a 2014 piece, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution predicted it would struggle against stiff neighborhood competition. The operators will now focus on their Bite Bistro & Bar restaurant in Alpharetta.

Not everyone is thrilled with the BeltLine and Ponce City Market, apparently. After 20-plus years of making pizza next to the “Murder Kroger,” Cameli’s Pizza has cooled its ovens. Redevelopment at the Kroger site made parking so difficult that Cameli’s decided not to renew its lease. The Little Five Points eatery, also in an area ripe for gentrification, remains open. …

Time to say tam biet to Buford Highway’s Chateau Saigon, a decade-old, highly regarded staple of Vietnamese cuisine. The restaurant abruptly announced its closing in a Facebook post, leaving many questions unanswered. …

The Havana Sandwich Shop, a Cuban food icon, has closed its Chamblee location in the Crossroads Village shopping center. Fear not, though, Debbie Benedit’s original — at 2905 Buford Highway NE — is still churning out Cuban sandwiches in all its neon-yellow glory.

fashionado / Encore Atlanta

BEST BETS | July 20-26, 2017

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” opens at Aurora Theatre, and our top picks remain “Between Riverside and Crazy” (True Colors) and “Little Shop of Horrors” (Actor’s Express). Pictured: The cast of “Riverside” (from left) Cristian Gonzalez, Andrew Benator, Jerri Tubbs, Diany Rodriguez, Keith Arthur Bolden, Annamaria Dvorak and Earl Billings.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta spring/summer season recommendation.

Recommended

between riverside and crazy

** Between Riverside and Crazy. THROUGH AUG. 6.

The New York Times called this 2015 Pulitzer winner “a dizzying and exciting place to be,” saying that playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis “has a splendid ear in blurring lines between the sacred and profane.”

The story: Ex-cop “Pops” Washington (Earl Billings, the AFLAC commercial guy) is trying to hold onto his dignity and one of the last great rent-stabilized apartments in Manhattan, but he’s had enough. His wife has died, the liquor store can’t keep pace with his thirst, and his last living relative is complicating everything. Eric J. Little directs. Adult content: Recommended for ages 16 and up. $20-$60. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 11 a.m. July 26. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road. Details HERE. Tickets at Ticket Alternative HERE or 877.725.8849.

Bill Murphey, Juan Carlos Unzueta. Photo: Casey Gardner

Bill Murphey, Juan Carlos Unzueta. Photo: Casey Gardner

** Little Shop of Horrors. THROUGH AUG. 29.

 Actor’s Express goes to Skid Row with this twisty cult musical about a nebbish flower shop worker, his unrequited love, his cranky boss, a demented dentist and an insatiable blood-sucking plant.

The horror-comedy ran off-Broadway for five years in the 1980s, became a 1986 movie and was revived on Broadway in 2003. You might know the tunes “Suddenly Seymour” and “Somewhere That’s Green.” Here, Juan Carlos Unzueta (the Piragua Guy from Aurora/Theatrical Outfit’s In the Heights) is Seymour, Kylie Brown is Audrey and Bill Murphey is Mr. Mushnik. Kennesaw State University’s Rick Lombardo directs. $28 and up, plus taxes. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. At the King Plow Arts Center in West Midtown, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

This weekend only

rialto atlanta

Be Downtown Film Festival. SATURDAY ONLY. This second annual film fest features Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast at 3 p.m. (1991, 84 mins); Star Wars: The Force Awakens at 5 p.m. (2015, 136 mins); and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at 7:30 p.m. (2016, 133 mins). The Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University presents the event in partnership with the Atlanta Film Society and Central Atlanta Progress . $5 per film (a portion benefits the education outreach program Rialto2Go. Rialto Center, 80 Forsyth St. NW. Tickets HERE or at 404.413.9849.

Opening this week

Julissa Sabino, Kevin Harry. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Julissa Sabino, Kevin Harry. Photo: Chris Bartelski

The Hunchback of Notre Dame. OPENS TONIGHT. Disney, novelist Victor Hugo, and songwriters Alan Menken & Stephen Schwartz tell the story of a deformed bell ringer named Quasimodo and his travails in 1482 Paris. This Aurora Theatre season opener is co-produced by Theatrical Outfit. The two previously teamed on In the Heights and MemphisJustin Anderson directs a cast led by Halen Rider as Quasimodo and Julissa Sabino as Esmeralda, along with Lowrey Brown, David de Vries and Kevin Harry. $30-$65. Through Aug. 27. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10 a.m. Aug. 1 and 15 ($20). Tonight’s and Aug. 24 shows are sold out; other performances selling well, so please check ticket availability before you go. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. (The Theatrical Outfit staging runs Sept. 7-17 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta.)

Last chance

cinderella della circus encore atlanta

Cinderella Della Circus. CLOSES SUNDAY.

The Center for Puppetry Arts reprises its fairy tale/circus mash-up, adapted by artistic director Jon Ludwig and told with marionette, rod and shadow puppets.

Recommended for ages 4 and up. $11.25-$19.50. 10 a.m. + noon today-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 p.m. + 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

 

Still running

annie get your gun encore atlanta fashionado

Annie Get Your Gun. THROUGH AUG. 6.

At Stage Door Players. Irving Berlin’s valentine to show biz tells the tale of sharpshooting rivals Annie Oakley (Paige Mattox) and Frank Butler (Bryant Smith) with a million-dollar score — “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly,” “You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun,” “They Say It’s Wonderful,” “Lost in His Arms,” “I Got the Sun in the Morning,” “Anything You Can Do” and, of course, “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”

The 1946 Broadway original, starring Ethel Merman, ran three years. $15-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody.

Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.

Naomi Lavette. Photo: Greg Mooney

Naomi Lavette. Photo: Greg Mooney

Blackberry Daze. THROUGH AUG. 27. At Horizon Theatre.

Secrets and seduction stun a small Virginia town at the end of World War I, when a provocative gambler (TC Carson) works his magic on three unsuspecting women. Adapted by Ruth P. Watson and Thomas W. Jones II from Watson’s novel Blackberry Days of Summer. The blues score is by William Knowles; Jones directs.

Also in the cast: Christy Clark, Brittany IngeNaomi LavetteChristian Magby and Ayana Reed. $25 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE (at Euclid Avenue).

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Kenneth Wigley, Dani Herd.

Kenneth Wigley, Dani Herd.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. THROUGH JULY 30. At the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

Two pairs of lovers (one requited, one not so much) and a ragtag group of thespians find themselves lost in the woods as quarreling leaders turn a fairy kingdom on its head.

With Kenneth Wigley as Theseus and Oberon, Dani Herd as Hippolyta and Titania, and Charlie T. Thomas as Bottom. What fools these mortals be!

Pub menu and beverages available. $15-$39. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. NE (across from Emory University Hospital Midtown). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299.

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. THROUGH JULY 29.

Georgia Ensemble Theatre and the Chattahoochee Nature Center partner for this concert version of the 2006 Broadway tuner, which tells the story of the Man in Black through more than 20 of his hits, including “A Boy Named Sue,” “Daddy Sang Bass,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Jackson” and “I Walk the Line.”

The concert reunites Chris Damiano and Christopher Kent (GET’s Million Dollar Quartet) and includes Scott DePoy, Laura Lindahl and Mark Schroeder. Picnicking allowed; cash bar on-site. $15 general admission lawn seats; $30 reserved pavilion table. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Nature Center opens at 6:30 p.m. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.

Casey Shuler. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Casey Shuler. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Robin Hood. THROUGH AUG. 13. 

Serenbe Playhouse takes to the skies (via zip lines) to tell the family-friendly story of the outlaw (Jordan Patrick) devoted to Maid Marian (Casey Shuler) and doing good deeds with his Merry Men.

This adaptation by frequent Serenbe collaborator Rachel Teagle includes original music by Grammy nominee John Burke. $10-$20. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Performed at the Farmers Market Hideaway in Serenbe, Chattahoochee Hills. Directions HERE.

Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Next week

Lauren Gunderson. Photo: Matthew Mammola

Lauren Gunderson. Photo: Matthew Mammola

Ada and the Memory Engine. PREVIEWS JULY 27 | OPENS JULY 28.

 Essential Theatre opens its 2017 festival with this script by Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson — the 2016/17 season’s most-produced living American playwright. Her subject this go-round is Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the British mathematician who became the world’s first computer programmer. In calling this 2015 bio-play a “rare and special artistic achievement,” The Huffington Post deemed it an “intelligent play about intelligent historical people that has been crafted by intelligent theater artists for an intelligent audience.”

Ashley Anderson is Ada, with Mark Cosby as the supportive, influential Charles Babbage. $15 preview; regularly $20-$25. In repertory through Aug. 27. Details HERE, tickets HERE. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.

Coming up

Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival

Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival. JULY 30-AUG. 1. The second annual event will introduce three shows, one that eyeballs corrupt politicians (titled Cakewalk), another that flips an Ovid myth (In the Middle of the Ocean) and a third that digs into the biblical stories of Mary of Nazareth (Mother of God). These are works-in-progress, with some more finished than others; you’ll be among the first theatergoers to see them. See In the Middle of the Ocean at 8 p.m. July 30; Cakewalk at 8 p.m. July 31; and Mother of God at 8 p.m. Aug. 1. $15 per show. The fest’s 2017 home base is Out Front Theatre, 999 Brady Ave. in West Midtown. Tickets HERE. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

aris outlying islands

Outlying Islands. AUG. 1 ONLY. A staged reading by Atlanta’s Celtic-themed Arís Theatre. Scottish playwright David Greig’s script is inspired by events that took place on Gruinard Island off the west coast of Scotland in August 1939, on the eve of World War II. What happened — the testing of biological weapons — wasn’t declassified until 1997. $10; $7.50 students. 7:30 p.m. Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts at Emory University.  1700 N. Decatur Road. Details, tickets HERE.

fashionado / Encore Atlanta