BEST BETS | Oct. 19-25, 2017

This week’s best: The Atlanta Symphony, Out of Hand’s “Dogs of Rwanda,” the Alliance’s “Hand to God,” Horizon’s “Project Dawn” and the national tour of “The Color Purple.” “The Ghastly Dreadfuls” (pictured) is among several Halloween shows. Photo courtesy of the Center for Puppetry Arts.

This week’s best: The Atlanta Symphony, Out of Hand’s “Dogs of Rwanda,” the Alliance’s “Hand to God,” Horizon’s “Project Dawn” and the national tour of “The Color Purple.” “The Ghastly Dreadfuls” (pictured) is among several Halloween shows. Photo courtesy of the Center for Puppetry Arts.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta fall/winter season top pick. See them all HERE.

Special event

taste-2017-logo.

Taste of Atlanta. FRIDAY-SUNDAY.

Atlanta’s biggest food festival celebrates its 16th year at a new permanent location — Historic Fourth Ward Park near the Atlanta BeltLine.

Go for bites, sips, classes, demos, conversation and more. Nearly 100 metro restaurants and bars take part.

Friday Kickoff Party is $85 in advance only; general admission is $25 + $35; Saturday’s Grand Tasting Experience (age 21+ only) is $75 + $95. 7:30 p.m. Friday; noon-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 

680 Dallas St. NE. Details, tickets HERE.

[READ MORE: SWEET! TASTE OF ATLANTA TURNS 16]

 

Recommended

Adam Fristoe

Adam Fristoe

Dogs of Rwanda. THROUGH NOV. 18.

A National New Play Network rolling world premiere from Out of Hand TheaterSean Christopher Lewis’ drama begins in 1994 and ends in 2014. Its only character is a 16-year-old boy on a mission trip, who stumbles into the nation’s ongoing genocide. Twenty years later, a letter arrives from a boy he tried to save. Performed by Out of Hand’s Adam Fristoe in living rooms and other intimate spaces in metro Atlanta and beyond.

Note: The venue address for the performance you choose will be emailed 24 hours before the show.

$30. Upcoming performances (mostly Friday-Saturday nights) are in the Old Fourth Ward, Cabbagetown, All Saints Episcopal Church on West Peachtree Street, East Atlanta, Inman Park, Lake Claire, Marietta, Tifton and St. Simons Island.

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

 

Ally Duncan (from left), Jacob Jones, Kiona D. Reese, Max Mattox. Photo: Tyler Ogburn

Ally Duncan (from left), Jacob Jones, Kiona D. Reese, Max Mattox. Photo: Tyler Ogburn

** Hand to God. BEGINS FRIDAY. 

The Alliance Theatre stages Robert Askins’ irreverent Tony-nominated puppet comedy, last season’s favorite play at American regional theaters. 

Hand to God details a puppet ministry that goes very, very wrong, and explores the fragile nature of faith, morality and the ties that bind us. The New York Times called the comedy “darkly delightful.”

Note: Recommended for age 16+ due to strong language and sexual situations.

$20-$42. Through Nov. 12. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (no 2:30 p.m. show Oct. 21). Performed at Dad’s Garage Theatre Company (the Alliance’s home is under renovation), 569 Ezzard St. SE.

Parking info HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[ALLIANCE, DAD’S SAY TIME IS RIGHT FOR CHEEKY PUPPET COMEDY]

** Project Dawn. THROUGH OCT. 29. 

At Horizon Theatre. This fact-based drama shows both sides of the judicial system as it depicts a program dedicated to rehabilitating sex workers instead of punishing them. Seven actors double as victims/participants and court staff. Artistic director Lisa Adler leads a cast of familiar Atlanta faces (Lane CarlockCarolyn CookMarianne FrauloMaria Rodriguez-SagerBobbi Lynne Scott) and some that should be familiar soon: Brooke Owens, a Suzi Bass Award nominee for Synchronicity’s Anne Boleyn, and Christy Clark, Horizon’s Blackberry Daze). This National New Play Network rolling world premiere was written by Karen Hartman, who based her script on a groundbreaking Philadelphia court.

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

Lane Carlock (from left), Maria Rodriguez-Sager, Carolyn Cook, , Christy Clark, Marianne Fraulo, Bobbi Lynn Scott, Brooke Owens. Photo: Greg Mooney

Lane Carlock (from left), Maria Rodriguez-Sager, Carolyn Cook, , Christy Clark, Marianne Fraulo, Bobbi Lynn Scott, Brooke Owens. Photo: Greg Mooney

Opening this week

list-hippo-color-purple.

The Color Purple. OCT. 24-29.

The musical that began at the Alliance Theatre, and played Broadway in 2005 and 2015, returns home.

This telling, from visionary director John Doyle, won the 2016 Tony Award for best musical revival. It’s said to emphasize storytelling over big design elements. Atlanta is the second city on this brand-new national tour. The Color Purple, based on the Alice Walker novel, covers 40 years in the life of Celie, her family and friends in rural Georgia.

$30-$150. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Broadway in Atlanta at the Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.

[READ MORE: THIS SHUG AVERY KNOWS HOW TO ‘PUSH DA BUTTON’]

Dangerous Women. PREVIEWS TONIGHT | OPENS FRIDAY.

A world premiere from the Weird Sisters Theatre Project. Half haunted house, half new works festival, it’s an immersive horror experience inspired by the crimes of women in history and legend. Directed by Rachel FrawleyPam JoyceIbi OwolabiTiffany Porter and Rebekah Suellau and featuring the work of more than 35 artists. This show completes the first season of Weird Sisters’ new producing team.

$15 plus fees. 8 tonight ($10 preview); 8 p.m. Oct. 20-30. Additional shows at 11:30 p.m. Oct. 21 + 28. Windmill Arts Center, 2823 Church St., East Point. Details HERE. Tickets HERE.

Weird Sisters (from left) Shelli Delgado, Rebekah Suellau, Kate Donadio MacQueen, Julie Skrzypek, Rachel Frawley. Photo: Lola Scott

Weird Sisters (from left) Shelli Delgado, Rebekah Suellau, Kate Donadio MacQueen, Julie Skrzypek, Rachel Frawley. Photo: Lola Scott

Ally Duncan (from left), Jacob Jones, Kiona D. Reese, Max Mattox. Photo: Tyler Ogburn

Ally Duncan (from left), Jacob Jones, Kiona D. Reese, Max Mattox. Photo: Tyler Ogburn

The Rocky Horror Show. OPENS TONIGHT.

 Out Front Theatre Company starts its second season with a reimagined Rocky Horror, perhaps the most popular cult musical ever. 

Rocky Horror was edgy and groundbreaking in the ’70s,” says director Matthew Busch

“The biggest challenge we faced in staging it in 2017 was the question ‘What makes this story need to be told again?’ We purposefully ‘gender-bent’ the transsexual aliens to continue the dialogue regarding gender and sexual identity.”

$15-$25. Through Nov. 5. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday.

Out Front is at 999 Brady Ave. Details, tickets HERE.

 

 

 

world-goes-round-small.

The World Goes ‘Round. OPENS FRIDAY.

 Atlanta Lyric Theatre dips into the Kander-and-Ebb songbook with this musical revue built around five people who find themselves careering through the worlds of love, babies and coffee. The tunes come from the three-time Tony Award-winning team’s stage work (70, Girls, 70The ActCabaret; Chicago; Flora the Red MenaceThe Happy TimeKiss of the Spider Woman; The RinkWoman of the Year; and Zorba) and the movies Funny Lady and New York, New York. The cast: Deb Bowman, Mary Nye Bennett, Jeff McKerley, Brad Raymond and Adrianna Trachell. With music direction by S. Renee Clark and choreography by Ricardo Aponte.

Through Nov. 5. $33-$58. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Additional show at 2 p.m. Nov. 4. Jennie T. Anderson Theatre at the Cobb Civic Center, 548 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. Details, tickets HERE.

 

Closing this week

puppet-logo-green.

Charlotte’s Web. THROUGH SUNDAY.

At the Center for Puppetry Arts. E.B. White’s novel comes to life with Wilbur the pig, Charlotte the spider and other barnyard animals portrayed with Czech Black and rod puppets.

The cast: head puppeteer Amy Sweeney, Dolph Amick, Nikolas Carleo, Anna Caudle and Brian Harrison.

$9.75 members, $19.50 nonmembers plus tax. 10 + 11:30 a.m. today-Friday; 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

 

This weekend only

Lisa-Marie-Mazzucco.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. TONIGHT + SATURDAY. 

Bernstein, Prokofiev and Ravel are three of a kind — irrepressible, brazen and poetic.

French conductor Ludovic Morlot, music director of the Seattle Symphony, takes the podium for Bernstein’s “Divertimento;” Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with guest artist Ray Chen (an artist “to die for,” says the Huffington Post); and Ravel’s La valse.

$22-$97. 8 nightly.

Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount balcony tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

 

goosebumps

Goosebumps: The Phantom of the Auditorium Musical. TONIGHT-SUNDAY.

Part of Aurora Theatre’s Learning Library. Strange things are disrupting rehearsals of the musical at Woods Mill Middle School — which, as rumors have it, might be cursed.

The student actors wonder if the interruptions are coincidence, some kind of joke or the curse of an actual, factual Phantom. 

Goosebumps — more funny than scary — is based on the R. L. Stine children’s novel series of the same name.

$10-$15. 7 tonight-Friday; 2:30 + 7 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 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. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

For Halloween

The Ghastly Dreadfuls. THROUGH OCT. 28.

A Center for Puppetry Arts reprise for the 18-and-up crowd. This spooktacular musical, which salutes the season of ghosts and goblins, was written by artistic director Jon Ludwig and puppeteer Jason Hines. The ghoulish cast once again includes Scott DePoy, Reay Kaplan Maxwell and Spencer Stephens.

$24. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Chris Mayers. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Chris Mayers. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Sleepy Hollow Experience. THROUGH NOV. 5. 

Serenbe Playhouse (call it Serenboo this time of year) reprises its annual event with a new adaptation by artistic director Brian Clowdus and family performances at 2 p.m. Sundays throughout October.

(Pumpkin patch, harvest games, popcorn, hot cider and a chance to meet the actors before the show and at intermission. Grounds open at 1 p.m.)

This year’s cast: Jennifer Alice Acker and Brandon Partrick as Storytellers, Blake Burgess as Brom Bones, Erin Burnett as Katrina Van Tassel and Chris Mayers as Ichabod Crane. Note: This is a traveling performance without seating, but chairs can be requested through the box office.

$15-$40. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 + 10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 8 p.m. Sunday. Performed in the Horseman’s Meadow at Serenbe.

10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com

Ongoing

bb-Crossing-Delancey-header

Crossing Delancey. THROUGH NOV. 25.

The Alliance Theatre stages the romantic comedy that inspired the 1988 movie of the same name. Bubbie is an 80-year-old Jewish grandmother determined to see granddaughter Izzy marry the right man. Izzy only has eyes for an author; Bubbie zeroes in on Sam the pickle man. Who will prevail? The cast includes Andrew BenatorDaniel Thomas May and Mary Lynn Owen.

$10-$70. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Performed at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road (as part of the Alliance’s 2017/18 on-the-road season, made necessary by renovations at its Midtown home). Tickets, details HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[READ MORE: EVERYBODY OUGHT TO HAVE A BUBBIE]

 

Dani Herd (left), Matt Nitchie. Photo: Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

Dani Herd (left), Matt Nitchie. Photo: Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

Macbeth. THROUGH OCT. 29. At the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse.

One fateful evening, three weird sisters greet Macbeth and Banquo with visions of what could be. Is it their magic or Macbeth’s (and his wife’s) hunger for power that sets in motion some of the most murderous events that Scotland has ever seen?

With Matt Nitchie as Macbeth and Dani Herd as Lady Macbeth. Pub menu and libations available.

$22-$45. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 99 Peachtree St. NE (across from Emory University Hospital Midtown).

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299. Discount gift cards at PoshDealz.com.

 

Next week

morningside

Morningside. OCT. 26-NOV. 12.

A world premiere at Georgia Ensemble Theatre. This new comedy from Atlanta playwright Topher Payne (Greetings Friend Your Kind Assistance Is Required, The Only Light in RenoPerfect ArrangementAngry Fags) takes place on a sunny spring afternoon in Atlanta’s Morningside neighborhood. Nine women with secrets are thrown together at a baby shower — with a case of champagne. What could possibly go wrong? Shannon Eubanks directs.

Her cast: Lala CochranKelly CrissKate DonadioKeena Redding HuntShelly McCook, Ellen McQueen, Stacy MelichGina Rickicki and Ann Wilson.

$29-$53 plus fees. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details HERE, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

fashionado

PUSH DA BUTTON: The Color Purple Musical

                                                            Photo: Matthew Murphy

                                                            Photo: Matthew Murphy

THE COLOR PURPLE’S CARLA R. STEWART STEPS INTO SOME BIG SHOES, BUT SAYS SHE’LL PUT HER OWN FOOTPRINT ON THE SEXY THAT IS SHUG AVERY. 

“The Color Purple” runs Oct. 24-29 at the Fox Theatre. Details, tickets HERE

JENNIFER HUDSON, Heather Headley, Jennifer Holliday.

One after another, those dynamos played the supporting role of sultry singer Shug (pronounced like “sugar”) Avery in the recent Broadway revival of The Color Purple.

color-purple

All are showstoppers. Any of them is a tough act to follow. But Carla R. Stewart welcomes the challenge.

“Yeah, I think I’m brave,” says Stewart. “Life has only shown me that I just gotta get in the ring and fight. If you come to New York to try to make it, that alone is ballsy. Then it’s also pretty easy to get stifled by other people’s talent and then not get in that ring because you’re intimidated.”

“Everybody loves Shug,” you’ll hear. “Ain’t no other woman like Shug.”

Shug has that “certain something that people are attracted to,” Stewart says. It’s “that star quality.”

Carrie Compere (from left), Adrianna Hicks and Carla R. Stewart play Sofia, Celie and Shug Avery. Photo: Marc J. Franklin

Carrie Compere (from left), Adrianna Hicks and Carla R. Stewart play Sofia, Celie and Shug Avery. Photo: Marc J. Franklin

“It’s your own essence that you bring to it,” she says. “Jennifer Hudson was a little bit slinky. Heather Headley was very stern, more direct. Jennifer Holliday was very funny, she brought more quirkiness to the character. I think I play on the sexy of who Shug is. Even though she’s broken, she’s the ‘it’ girl and boy, she knows it. Even the women who hate her can’t help loving her.”

In the showstopping number “Push Da Button,” Shug cuts loose. “I come to have a party,” Stewart says. “I’m flirting with the men and teaching the women along the way.”

The Color Purple, which won the 2016 Tony Award for best musical revival, closed in January. Atlanta is the third stop on a 30-city national tour. As on Broadway, it’s a pared-down interpretation by director John Doyle, who has done the same with such shows as Sweeney Todd and Company.

The musical is based on Alice Walker’s 1982 novel. It spans 40 years and traces the hardships that African-American women faced in the first half of 20th-century in the South — poverty, sexism, racism, rape, incest and domestic violence. As you may recall, the show was developed in 2004 at the Alliance Theatre, then tweaked a bit for its 2005 Broadway opening.

A scene from the 2016 Broadway revival of “The Color Purple,” with Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo (in yellow pants). Photo: Matt Murphy

A scene from the 2016 Broadway revival of “The Color Purple,” with Tony Award winner Cynthia Erivo (in yellow pants). Photo: Matt Murphy

The expansive original staging earned 11 Tony nominations (and a win for lead actress LaChanze, who played Celie). By the time it closed three years later, it had grossed more than $103 million.

The New York Times’ Ben Brantley reviewed both, calling the revival “a slim, fleet-footed beauty, simply attired and beguilingly modest” yet holding “a deep wealth of power within its restraint.”

This version is no spectacle, Stewart says. “You hear the juiciness in the words and in the language. That’s the heart of the show.”

Carrie Compere (center, as Sofia) and company. Photo: Matt Murphy

Carrie Compere (center, as Sofia) and company. Photo: Matt Murphy

In shaping the revival, Doyle says he “just looked at the text and saw what I needed to see from it. I treat it as a new play or a new piece.”

Atlanta’s J.D. Kellum, a  real estate agent by day and a theatergoer by night, saw all three versions: the Alliance world premiere, its Broadway debut and this revival.

“Each one unforgettable,” he says. “To me, the magic of this show is in the way these gals know how to withhold.”

Kellum appreciates Doyle’s pulled-back interpretation. The minimalism of the set and the paring down of other elements, he says, “yields a maximum effect in amplifying the story and characters.”

Stewart, a lifelong Chicagoan from a big singing family, performed in the revival from opening night to closing night. As an ensemble member, she took on smaller roles (Church Lady) and understudied Shug and Sofia. The Color Purple was her Broadway debut.

Adrianna Hicks (Celie) and “The Color Purple” cast make harmony in rehearsal. Gavin Gregory, who plays Mister (far left), performed regularly in Atlanta earlier is his career. Photo: Marc J. Franklin

Adrianna Hicks (Celie) and “The Color Purple” cast make harmony in rehearsal. Gavin Gregory, who plays Mister (far left), performed regularly in Atlanta earlier is his career. Photo: Marc J. Franklin

She went on as Shug about a dozen times, “but never for Jennifer Hudson, because she never missed a performance.”

About owning the role now, she says, “I feel like a kid going back to school, the kid who’s so excited to be back, to build the show all over again, to meet new friends and be with my old friends again.”

Perhaps the high point from her Broadway experience?

“What comes to mind is a rehearsal,” she says, “shortly before we opened. Alice Walker sat in, and she was so pleased with the direction that John Doyle was going in. She said she felt like she was watching her book come to life.”

[SEE THE CAST OF “THE COLOR PURPLE” TOUR IN REHEARSAL]

fashionado

AN ALLIANCE OF GOOD AND EVIL

THE TIME IS NOW FOR THE INDELICATE HAND TO GOD, WHICH FITS NICELY WITH THE DAD’S GARAGE VIDE — AND DON’T SAY YOU HAVEN’T BEEN WARNED.

THE TIME IS NOW FOR THE INDELICATE HAND TO GOD, WHICH FITS NICELY WITH THE DAD’S GARAGE VIDE — AND DON’T SAY YOU HAVEN’T BEEN WARNED.

“Hand to God” runs Oct. 20-Nov. 12 at Dad’s Garage Theatre as part of the Alliance Theatre’s 2017/18 on-the-road season, made necessary by renovations at the Woodruff Arts Center. Details, tickets HERE. Directions HERE.

ON ONE HAND, you’re a good person.

Of course there are degrees and definitions of being a good person.

Actor Ben Thorpe (right) and Tyrone the Puppet make nice at “Hand to God” rehearsals. Puppet design by Linda Roethke. Photo: A’riel Tinter.

Actor Ben Thorpe (right) and Tyrone the Puppet make nice at “Hand to God” rehearsals. Puppet design by Linda Roethke. Photo: A’riel Tinter.

On the other hand, well, there’s the other hand. That’s the one that wants to tell the jerks of the world to put it in their patooties.

That hand holds your uglier thoughts, darkest desires, questions of self-worth. It’s full of personal baggage that dates, maybe, to childhood.

The black comedy Hand to God puts both hands in a blender and spits them out in a tornado of angst and hilarity.

This Robert Askins play, with a deliciously creepy puppetry element, ran off-Broadway in 2011/12 and again in 2014. The 2014 version won the Off-Broadway Alliance’s best new play award. A 2015 Broadway production earned five Tony nominations, including one for best new play.

Alliance Theatre Artistic Director Susan V. Booth has had her eye on this irreverent piece of theater, set mostly in the basement of a small evangelical Christian church in Cypress, Texas, for some time.

Playwright Robert Askins (left) grew up in Cypress, Texas, where “Hand to God” is set. Of the black comedy director Marc Masterson says, “We’re gonna play, we’re gonna have fun, and we’ll make this thing our own.”

Playwright Robert Askins (left) grew up in Cypress, Texas, where “Hand to God” is set. Of the black comedy director Marc Masterson says, “We’re gonna play, we’re gonna have fun, and we’ll make this thing our own.”

With its Woodruff Arts Center space under renovation, Booth decided the moment for Hand to God was now and that the gutsy, admittedly foul-mouthed comedy was a great fit for the risk-ready Dad’s Garage Theatre Company.

Directing is Booth’s friend and colleague Marc Masterson, who’s in his seventh and final season as artistic director at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, Calif. “We’re gonna play, we’re gonna have fun, and we’ll make this thing our own,” he says.

The comedy centers on a teenager named Jason and his mom, Margery. Things have been shaky, especially since Jason’s dad died. Now Margery’s been hired to lead the church’s puppet club. She didn’t bargain for sock-puppet domination.

Masterson, 60, had no prior association with Hand to God. “I just started reading it and kept laughing out loud. That was a very good sign.”

Welcome to church! Set designer Michael B. Raiford, who’s based in Austin, Texas, has created this world for “Hand to God.” Photo: A’riel Tinter

Welcome to church! Set designer Michael B. Raiford, who’s based in Austin, Texas, has created this world for “Hand to God.” Photo: A’riel Tinter

Like the playwright, Masterson is from Texas. He says, jokingly, that he’s still “a recovering Southerner,” but that he’s never lumped all Southerners together. “I know the difference between North Carolina, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas.

“I also know Cypress, Texas, before it got swallowed by the city of Houston,” he says. Some folks “won’t see Texas as Southern. But I’m here to tell you that Cypress, Texas, is about as Southern as it gets.”

Hand to God’s edgy high spirits fill the page and the stage. Stage directions are peppered with “maybes.” In an Act 2 moment, for example, the playwright didn’t write “Pastor Greg walks out.” He wrote “Pastor Greg walks the f#%# out.”

These, says Masterson, are gifts from the playwright.

Wendy Melkonian plays Margery, the mom. Alliance credits include “Ugly Lies the Bone,” “Seussical,” “Sister Act!” and “A Christmas Carol.”

Wendy Melkonian plays Margery, the mom. Alliance credits include “Ugly Lies the Bone,” “Seussical,” “Sister Act!” and “A Christmas Carol.”

“Sometimes writers want it done the way they see it in their heads and that’s the only way that’s valid,” he says. But with Hand to God, five actors are invited to seize and run with the play’s adventurous spirit. “It’s left up to them to find their own path through the story.” (Those actors are Allan Edwards, Alexandra Fickens, Wendy Melkonian, Ben Thorpe and Patrick Wade.)

Masterson isn’t a puppet virgin, so to speak. One of his earliest professional jobs was directing at Lovelace Marionettes in Pittsburgh. “What I learned is that not every actor can project a personality onto an inanimate object, can make it come alive. It’s a different approach to acting and takes a special skill set.”

The dual role of the troubled Jason and his left-hand guy Tyrone (a rude, crude, sassy puppet) requires both mental and verbal gymnastics.

Masterson cast the 28-year-old Thorpe, a Snellville native making his Alliance Theatre debut. Thorpe calls the role the most challenging he’s ever had. He read the play almost daily last summer and planned to have his lines memorized before rehearsals began.

The troublemaking Tyrone (left) and a lady puppet. Designs by Linda Roethke.

The troublemaking Tyrone (left) and a lady puppet. Designs by Linda Roethke.

While studying musical theater at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, one lesson that stuck with him was this: “Always return to the text of the play.”

Certain lines jump off the page after repeated readings, Thorpe says. Things that happen when Jason is offstage say a lot about what his home life must be like.

Thorpe says he appreciates the play’s softer side and what it “might have to say about listening to your kids, and how kids can better listen to their parents, and how families and communities can take better care of each other.”

Masterson offers these instructions. “If you’re easily offended, it could be a rough night. Leave your inhibitions at the door. Come with an open mind and be ready to laugh. Even be ready to laugh at yourself.”

fashionado

BEST BETS | Oct. 12-18, 2017

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre, the company formed by five ex-Atlanta Ballet principals, debuts this weekend. Last call for “Boy” (Theatrical Outfit), “The Christians” (Actor’s Express) and “Sense and Sensibility” (Synchronicity). Pictured, clockwise from bottom center: John Welker, Tara Lee, Heath Gill, Christian Clark and Rachel Van Buskirk. Photo courtesy of TMBT.

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre, the company formed by five ex-Atlanta Ballet principals, debuts this weekend. Last call for “Boy” (Theatrical Outfit), “The Christians” (Actor’s Express) and “Sense and Sensibility” (Synchronicity). Pictured, clockwise from bottom center: John Welker, Tara Lee, Heath Gill, Christian Clark and Rachel Van Buskirk. Photo courtesy of TMBT.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta fall/winter season top pick. See them all HERE.

Special event

exstasis.

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre. TONIGHT-SUNDAY ONLY.

 This new company, formed by five longtime Atlanta Ballet dancers —Rachel Van Buskirk, Christian Clark, Heath Gill, Tara Lee and John Welker — debuts with a Lee-choreographed piece titled Exstasis.

$25. 8 tonight-Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday.

Note: All performances except the Saturday matinee are sold out, but getting on a waiting list is an option.

Tickets remain for 2 p.m. Saturday. Westside Cultural Arts Center, 760 10th St. NW. (The company returns Nov. 17-19 with a piece titled Lore at Serenbe at Deer Hollow, 8455 Atlanta Newnan Road, Palmetto.)

[DANCERS’ ACHIEVEMENT NO SMALL FEAT]

 

Recommended

Clifton Guterman. Photo: David Woolf

Clifton Guterman. Photo: David Woolf

** Boy. CLOSES SUNDAY.

At Theatrical Outfit. The Huffington Post called this drama “a smart, fresh transgender-play twist” and said, “It’s likely there are none like this one, certainly not any more beautifully realized.” Anna Ziegler’s 2016 piece spans 22 years and begins in 1968 Iowa after an accident, when a doctor persuades the parents of an infant boy to raise him as a girl. The drama is based on a true story. Atlanta actor Clifton Guterman, the Outfit’s associate artistic director, plays the title role. He’s directed by frequent collaborator Melissa Foulger, making her Outfit debut. Also in the cast: Daryl Lisa FazioMatt LewisAnnie York and Outfit artistic director Tom Key.

$22.50-$49. 7:30 tonight-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500.

 

 

Greta Glenn, Enoch King. Photo: Studio 7

Greta Glenn, Enoch King. Photo: Studio 7

** The Christians. CLOSES SUNDAY. 

This 2014 script by Lucas Hnath (Broadway’s A Doll’s House, Part 2) asks how far you’ll go for something to believe in. Actor’s Express calls it “a provocative excavation of modern faith.” The setting is a megachurch that’s rocked when its pastor discards fundamentalist Christianity for something more inclusive.

Director Freddie Ashley’s cast is led by Brian Kurlander and Enoch King. Expect to hear church choirs, too.

$28 (subject to change). 8 tonight-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. At the King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

 

Brooke Owens (from left), Lane Carlock, Maria Rodriguez-Sager. Photo: Greg Mooney

Brooke Owens (from left), Lane Carlock, Maria Rodriguez-Sager. Photo: Greg Mooney

** Project Dawn. THROUGH OCT. 29.

 At Horizon Theatre. This fact-based drama shows both sides of the judicial system as it depicts a program dedicated to rehabilitating sex workers instead of punishing them.

Seven actors double as victims/participants and court staff.

Artistic director Lisa Adler leads a cast of familiar Atlanta faces (Lane CarlockCarolyn CookMarianne FrauloMaria Rodriguez-SagerBobbi Lynne Scott) and some that should be familiar soon: Brooke Owens, a Suzi Bass Award nominee for Synchronicity’s Anne Boleyn; and Christy Clark, Horizon’s Blackberry Daze).

This National New Play Network rolling world premiere was written by Karen Hartman, who used a revolutionary Philadelphia court as the basis for her script.

8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. at Euclid Avenue. $25 and up.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

 

 

Michelle Pokopac (clockwise, from bottom left), Marcie Millard, Shelli Delgado, Jennifer Schottstaedt. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Michelle Pokopac (clockwise, from bottom left), Marcie Millard, Shelli Delgado, Jennifer Schottstaedt. Photo: Jerry Siegel

** Sense and Sensibility. CLOSES SUNDAY.

A regional premiere at Synchronicity Theatre. Jane Austen is fun. Just ask playwright Kate Hamill. Her 2014 adaptation of the beloved novel ratchets up the energy level, using inventive staging and a cast of 10 to play the Dashwoods, the Ferrars and a busy bunch of gossips that show just how much privacy the private lives of Georgian-era Brits lacked.

Artistic director Rachel May directs an athletic cast led by Shelli Delgado as Elinor Dashwood, Jennifer Schottstaedt as Marianne Dashwood, Justin Walker as Edward Ferrars and Bryant Smith as Colonel Brandon.

$30. 8 tonight-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday.

One Peachtree Pointe in Midtown, 1545 Peachtree St. NE.  Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

 

This weekend only

Dejan Lazić

Dejan Lazić

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. TONIGHT + SATURDAY. 

Chic. Inspired. Eclectic. Fun.

Take a sonic journey with music director Robert Spano and the ASO.

The program features the world premiere of American composer Michael Gandolfi’s A Garden Feeds also the Soul; Croatian-born composer/pianist Dejan Lazić in his own Piano Concerto “In Istrian Style”; and Rachmaninov’s Third Symphony.

$22-$97. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Opening this week

Mary Lynn Owen

Mary Lynn Owen

Crossing Delancey. BEGINS SATURDAY | THROUGH NOV. 25.

The Alliance Theatre stages the romantic comedy that inspired the 1988 movie of the same name.

Bubbie is an 80-year-old Jewish grandmother determined to see granddaughter Izzy marry the right man. Izzy only has eyes for an author; Bubbie sets her sights on Sam the pickle man. Who will prevail? The cast includes Andrew BenatorDaniel Thomas May and Mary Lynn Owen.

$10-$70. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday.

Performed at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, as part of the Alliance’s 2017/18 on-the-road season, made necessary by renovations at its Woodruff Arts Center space.

Tickets, details HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[EVERYBODY OUGHT TO HAVE A BUBBIE. READ MORE HERE.]

 

Closing this week

abigail

** Abigail/1702. CLOSES SUNDAY.

 Aurora Theatre catches up with Abigail (Arthur Miller’s The Crucible) 10 years later. 

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s 2012 script finds her in Boston seeking salvation for the lives she ended and blood she spilled. Justin Anderson directs a cast led by Diany Rodriguez.

You may know Aguirre-Sacasa from Say You Love Satan (Dad’s Garage, 2001), Weird Comic Book Fantasy (Dad’s, 2003) and Good Boys and True (Actor’s Express, 2010). This 90-minute drama has no intermission and contains mature themes.

$20-$55. 8 tonight-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. $20-$55.

 Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at  678.226.6222. Discounts at PoshDealz.com.

 

dial-m-for-murder.

Dial M for Murder. CLOSES SUNDAY.

At Stage Door Players. Frederick Knott’s killer drama follows a man who married his wife for money and now plans to kill her. An alibi, a blackmail scheme and Scotland Yard are all part of the action before the case gets cracked.

Kate Donadio MacQueen directs a cast that includes Charles Green, David Alan Grindstaff, Kristin Markiton, Chad N. MartinDoyle Reynolds and Robert Egizio, Stage Door’s producing artistic director.

$15-$33. 8 tonight-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. At the North DeKalb Cultural Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody.

Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.

 

Still running

center for puppetry arts

Charlotte’s Web. THROUGH OCT. 22.

At the Center for Puppetry Arts. E.B. White’s novel comes to life with Wilbur the pig, Charlotte the spider and other barnyard animals portrayed with Czech Black and rod puppets. The cast: head puppeteer Amy Sweeney, Dolph Amick, Nikolas Carleo, Anna Caudle and Brian Harrison.

$9.75 members, $19.50 nonmembers plus tax. 10 + 11:30 a.m. today-Friday; 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

The Ghastly Dreadfuls. THROUGH OCT. 28.

A Center for Puppetry Arts reprise for the 18-and-up crowd. This spooktacular musical salutes the season of ghosts and goblins. Written by artistic director Jon Ludwig and puppeteer Jason Hines. The ghoulish cast once again includes Scott DePoy, Reay Kaplan Maxwell and Spencer Stephens. $24. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Shakespeare-Tavern-Logo-Draft

Macbeth. THROUGH OCT. 29.

At the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. One fateful evening, three weird sisters greet Macbeth and Banquo with visions of what could be. Is it their magic or Macbeth (and his wife’s) hunger for power that sets in motion some of the most murderous events that Scotland has ever seen? With Matt Nitchie as Macbeth and Dani Herd as Lady Macbeth. Pub menu and libations available.

$22-$45.  7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 99 Peachtree St. NE (across from Emory University Hospital Midtown).

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299. Discount gift cards at PoshDealz.com.

 

Jennifer Alice Acker (from left), Chris Mayers, Brandon Partrick. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Jennifer Alice Acker (from left), Chris Mayers, Brandon Partrick. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Sleepy Hollow Experience. THROUGH NOV. 5.

 Serenbe Playhouse , call it Serenboo this time of year, reprises its annual Halloween season event with a new adaptation by artistic director Brian Clowdus and family performances at 2 p.m.

Sundays throughout October, with a pumpkin patch, harvest games, popcorn, hot cider and a chance to meet the actors before the show and at intermission (grounds open at 1 p.m.).

This season’s cast: Jennifer Alice Acker and Brandon Partrick as Storytellers, Blake Burgess as Brom Bones, Erin Burnett as Katrina Van Tassel and Chris Mayers as Ichabod Crane. Note: This is a traveling performance without seating, but chairs can be requested through the box office.

$15-$40. Regularly at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 + 10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 8 p.m. Sunday. Performed in the Horse’s Meadow at Serenbe.

10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Next week

Ray Chen

Ray Chen

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. OCT. 19 + 21. 

Bernstein, Prokofiev and Ravel are three of a kind — cheeky, irrepressible, brazen and poetic.

This weekend, French conductor Ludovic Morlot, music director of the Seattle Symphony, is on the podium for Bernstein’s witty “Divertimento”; Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with guest artist Ray Chen (an artist “to die for,” says the Huffington Post); and Ravel’s La valse.

$22-$97. 8 nightly.

Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount balcony tickets at PoshDealz.com.

fashionado

Gotta dance! Terminus Modern Ballet premieres this weekend

The faces of Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre (from left) Heath Gill, Tara Lee, John Welker, Rachel Van Buskirk and Christian Clark. Photo: Felipe Barral/ArtsATL

The faces of Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre (from left) Heath Gill, Tara Lee, John Welker, Rachel Van Buskirk and Christian Clark. Photo: Felipe Barral/ArtsATL

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre makes its company debut this weekend with Exstasis, a modern ballet inspired by the search for ecstatic moments.

This is no small feat.

download12-

If you follow dance in Atlanta at all, you know the names of the company’s five founders — Christian Clark, Heath Gill, Tara Lee, Rachel Van Buskirk and John Welker — all longtime Atlanta Ballet principal dancers.

Late last season they decided to leave Atlanta Ballet, which was adopting a more classical approach under new artistic director Gennadi Nedvigin. Their goal: Create a company dedicated to expanding the boundaries of ballet through contemporary movement and nontraditional approaches.

exstasis

That’s very much the ethos they danced under with John McFall, who led Atlanta Ballet for 22 years before retiring at the end of the 2016 season. It was also a driving force behind Wabi Sabi, the Welker-led Atlanta Ballet offshoot that performed modern works by up-and-coming choreographers at unusual places — festivals, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Woodruff Arts Center plaza, Serenbe Playhouse in Chattahoochee Hills, etc.Over the summer, Terminus secured nonprofit status and partnerships with the Westside Cultural Arts Center and the Serenbe Institute for Art, Culture and the Environment.

Now comes its premiere.

LOREWEBFinal.

Exstasis, a theatrical dance work choreographed by Lee, uses music ranging from classical to R&B and jazz to explore the human desire to be superhuman.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that tickets for the four scheduled performances — 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday — sold so quickly that there’s now a waiting list.

The dancers did add a 2 p.m. Saturday matinee, and those tickets are still available. You’d be wise to act now.

Get tickets ($25) or join a waiting list HERE or at 470.733.8274.

Terminus returns Nov. 17-18 with Lore, a world premiere choreographed by Gill and being performed at Serenbe at Deer Hollow, 8455 Atlanta Newnan Road, Palmetto.

Tickets ($25 + $50) HERE or at 470.733.8274.

fashionado

MAKE HER A MATCH?

 by Julie Bookman  

WITH ‘CROSSING DELANCEY,’ THE ALLIANCE THEATRE SPEAKS TO THE HEART OF METRO ATLANTA’S JEWISH COMMUNITY

WITH ‘CROSSING DELANCEY,’ THE ALLIANCE THEATRE SPEAKS TO THE HEART OF METRO ATLANTA’S JEWISH COMMUNITY

“Crossing Delancey” runs Oct. 7-Nov. 25 at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, part of the Alliance Theatre’s 2017/18 on-the-road season, made necessary by renovations at its Woodruff Arts Center space. Tickets, details HERE

EVERYBODY OUGHT to have a Bubbie.

A Bubbie to look out for you, to help you stay connected to your heritage. One who hugs you too much, feeds you too much and loves you unconditionally.

Atlanta actor Mary Lynn Owen plays Bubbie. In a 1992 staging at Theatrical Outfit, she played Izzy. Photo: John Maley

Atlanta actor Mary Lynn Owen plays Bubbie. In a 1992 staging at Theatrical Outfit, she played Izzy. Photo: John Maley

The Yiddish name for grandmother is “bubbe.” In the Jewish tradition, one’s grandma has affectionately been called Bubbie (or Bubbe or Bubby).

“Bubbie only wants the best for you,” says Toronto-based director Leora Morris, 33. “But our Bubbie doesn’t just want to tell you what’s best, she also wants you to figure it out for yourself.”

Since the Alliance’s Woodruff Center space is in the midst of a multimillion-dollar redo this season, its shows are being staged nomadically, at venues that make sense. Artistic director Susan V. Booth and Co. teamed Delancey with the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.

Susan Sandler’s romantic stage comedy fits the MJCCA, a popular gathering place for greater Atlanta’s Jewish community. They, among other audiences, should delight in Crossing Delancey’s use of Yiddish words and phrases. (Stop hocking me a chineick, for example, literally means “stop banging a teapot at me,” which means “stop annoying me”).

The rom-com thrives on the deep bond between a determined Bubbie (Atlanta actor Mary Lynn Owen) and her devoted granddaughter, Isabelle “Izzy” Grossman (Toronto actor Sochi Fried), who’s in her late 20s. And single. The piece reminds young people that it’s important to have older people in their lives, Morris says, and vice versa.

                         Set designer Kat Conley’s rendering for “Crossing Delancey.”

                         Set designer Kat Conley’s rendering for “Crossing Delancey.”

The 1985 stage play became a 1988 movie with Amy Irving as Izzy and the late Reizl Bozyk as Bubbie. This isn’t a world with cellphones and Match.com. It was still feasible that a Jewish grandmother might enlist a marriage-broker friend to help her granddaughter find Mr. Right.

The matchmaker, named Hannah (Atlanta native Joanna Daniels), thinks pickle merchant Sam (Atlanta actor Andrew Benator), a standup guy who works hard to avoid smelling like pickle juice, is a fine mate for Izzy. Izzy is more interested in a handsome author (Atlanta actor Daniel Thomas May; more on his stage return below). She doesn’t buy the whole arranged-marriage idea but gets pushback from Hannah, who argues that Izzy must concentrate on finding a good and kind man.

Toronto actor Sochi Fried (in rehearsal) is Izzy, who’s stuck on an author, not a purveyor of pickles. Photo: A’riel Tinter

Toronto actor Sochi Fried (in rehearsal) is Izzy, who’s stuck on an author, not a purveyor of pickles. Photo: A’riel Tinter

Bubbie, who’s in her 80s, came to the United States as a girl and never left Manhattan’s Lower East Side.

Izzy lives uptown, “with bars on the windows like a prison,” Bubbie moans. “Someone should crawl in at night, I’m always thinking.”

Morris thinks of the ’80s as a moment in New York City when social mobility shifted “in a revolutionary way.” Earlier Jewish immigrants were largely Yiddish-speaking tailors and bakers, who found a tight-knit world in the Lower East Side.

By the 1970s and ’80s, these immigrants and their offspring also had become part of the Upper West Side’s intelligentsia.  

Delancey speaks to what it might have felt like then, Morris says, to be a contemporary Jewish woman uptown when your roots and customs were still downtown.

“Our Bubbie doesn’t just want to tell you what’s best, she also wants you to figure it out for yourself,” says director Leora Morris. Photo: A’riel Tinter

“Our Bubbie doesn’t just want to tell you what’s best, she also wants you to figure it out for yourself,” says director Leora Morris. Photo: A’riel Tinter

Morris, a graduate of the Yale School of Drama’s M.F.A. directing program, spent last season as the Alliance’s Yale Directing Fellow.

Booth had long admired Crossing Delancey, asked Morris to read it, then learned the young director felt a personal connection. As a Jewish woman who has wrestled with career and commitment, Morris could relate.

She believes theatergoers today will relate to the romantic comedy as well as the humanity of the characters.

“The matchmaker may have become Match.com or JDate,” she says, “but the central questions haven’t changed much. The very human drama of figuring out who to love and how to identify who you love is not going away.”

 

 

Daniel Thomas May: Onstage again

Daniel Thomas May is a popular and versatile Atlanta actor, but you haven’t seen him on a metro stage since he played Dr. Givings in Synchronicity Theatre’s 2015 telling of In the Next Room, or the vibrator play by Sarah Ruhl.

Daniel Thomas May

Daniel Thomas May

He sees Crossing Delancey as the right vehicle at the right moment, playing Tyler Moss, an author with whom leading lady Izzy is infatuated.

“Why me for this role?” he asks. “Maybe because I have a good range. I’ve done the romantic lead, and I’ve done the cad. I’m fortunate to be able to do either, and I can have fun with both.”

May’s face is familiar to Alliance audiences (many Christmas Carols, among other roles). He was a longtime member of Georgia Shakespeare’ repertory company and has twice played Stanley Kowalski in A Streetcar Named Desire. Creative Loafing voted him “Atlanta’s best actor” several times, and he’s a six-time nominee for Atlanta theater’s Suzi Bass awards. Twice he’s been in the group of actors to win “best ensemble.”

May has been focusing on being a dad of late, and doing film/TV work, which often requires less of a time commitment than stage work does. He and wife Rachel May, co-founder and producing artistic director of Atlanta’s Synchronicity, have a 10-year-old and 7-year-old twins.

On TV, May, who was raised in Snellville, has had roles in “Sleepy Hollow,” “Nashville” and “Drop Dead Diva.” In 2012, he played a protective dad named Allen on AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” returning four years later for a flashback scene.

“‘The Walking Dead’ was a great experience because it was my first real opportunity in TV to work as part of an ensemble,” May says. More often he’s on set for a day or two, as he was with “CrazySexyCool: The TLC Story,” a TV movie in which he played a lawyer.

Two years ago, May shot the Tom Cruise movie now called American Made, playing “CIA Man.” It hit movie theaters in late September. He’ll also be a preacher’s son in “Lore,” a creepy Amazon series that starts streaming in mid-October.

Still, theater is his love. “The process and presentation of stage work, of being able to do a story from beginning to end during the course of one evening, that’s what’s in my blood,” he says, “and I’m always going to come back to it.”

fashionado

BEST BETS | Oct. 5-11, 2017

BOY-actors-Tom-Keyl-and-Clifton-Guterman

Catch “Boy” (Theatrical Outfit), “The Christians” (Actor’s Express) and “Sense and Sensibility” (Synchronicity) through Oct. 15; “Bengal Tiger” closes Sunday at 7 Stages; and “The Ghastly Dreadfuls” returns Wednesday at the Center for Puppetry Arts. Pictured (from left): Tom Key, Clifton Guterman in the Outfit’s “Boy.” Photo by David Woolf Photography.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta fall/winter season top pick. See them all HERE.

Recommended

Joe Sykes. Photo: Stungun Photography

Joe Sykes. Photo: Stungun Photography

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. CLOSES SUNDAY. 

7 Stages begins its season with this Pulitzer-nominated drama from playwright Rajiv Joseph (Gruesome Playground Injuries). The lives of two U.S. Marines and their Iraqi translator are irrevocably changed when they meet a tiger who haunts Baghdad’s rubble-strewn streets.

Co-artistic director Michael Haverty directs a cast that features Kevin Stillwell as the Tiger and includes Paris Benjamin, Marium Khalid, Rudy Roushdi, Joe Sykes, Markell Williams and Sam Younis. The drama had a limited run on Broadway in 2011 with Robin Williams as the tiger.

$22 and up. 8 tonight-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

 

 

 

 

BOY

** Boy. THROUGH OCT. 15.

At Theatrical Outfit. The Huffington Post called this drama “a smart, fresh transgender-play twist” and said, “It’s likely there are none like this one, certainly not any more beautifully realized.” Anna Ziegler’s 2016 piece spans 22 years and begins in 1968 Iowa after an accident, when a doctor persuades the parents of an infant boy to raise him as a girl. The drama is based on a true story.

Atlanta actor Clifton Guterman, the Outfit’s associate artistic director, plays the title role. He’s directed by frequent collaborator Melissa Foulger, making her Outfit debut. Also in the cast: Daryl Lisa FazioMatt LewisAnnie York and Outfit artistic director Tom Key.

$22.50-$49. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500.

 

Brian Kurlander. Photo: Studio 7 Photography

Brian Kurlander. Photo: Studio 7 Photography

** The Christians.THROUGH OCT. 15.

This 2014 script by Lucas Hnath(Broadway’s A Doll’s House, Part 2) asks how far you’ll go for something to believe in.

Actor’s Express calls it “a provocative excavation of modern faith.”

The setting is a megachurch that’s rocked when its pastor discards fundamentalist Christianity for something more inclusive. Director Freddie Ashley’s cast is led by Brian Kurlander and Enoch King. Expect to hear church choirs, too.

$28 (subject to change). 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday.

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

 

 

Marianne Fraulo (from left), Christy Clark, Bobbi Lynn Scott, Carolyn Cook. Photo: Greg Mooney

Marianne Fraulo (from left), Christy Clark, Bobbi Lynn Scott, Carolyn Cook. Photo: Greg Mooney

** Project Dawn. THROUGH OCT. 29. 

At Horizon Theatre. This fact-based drama shows both sides of the judicial system as it depicts a program dedicated to rehabilitating sex workers instead of punishing them. Seven actors double as victims/participants and court staff.

Artistic director Lisa Adler leads a cast of familiar Atlanta faces (Lane CarlockCarolyn CookMarianne FrauloMaria Rodriguez-SagerBobbi Lynne Scott) and some that should be familiar soon: Brooke Owens, a Suzi Bass Award nominee for Synchronicity’s Anne Boleyn; and Christy Clark, Horizon’s Blackberry Daze).

This National New Play Network rolling world premiere was written by Karen Hartman, who used a revolutionary Philadelphia court as the basis for her script.

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

 

“Sense and Sensibility”: Shelli Delgado (from left), Marcie Millard, Michelle Pokopac, J.L. Reed, Robert Hindsman, Rachel Mewbron, Jennifer Schottstaedt. Photo: Jerry Siegel

“Sense and Sensibility”: Shelli Delgado (from left), Marcie Millard, Michelle Pokopac, J.L. Reed, Robert Hindsman, Rachel Mewbron, Jennifer Schottstaedt. Photo: Jerry Siegel

** Sense and Sensibility. THROUGH OCT. 15.

A regional premiere at Synchronicity Theatre. Jane Austen is fun. Just ask playwright Kate Hamill. Her 2014 adaptation of the beloved novel ratchets up the energy level, using inventive staging and a cast of 10 to play the Dashwoods, the Ferrars and a busy bunch of gossips that show just how much privacy the private lives of Georgian-era Brits lacked. Artistic director Rachel May directs an athletic cast led by Shelli Delgado as Elinor Dashwood, Jennifer Schottstaedt as Marianne Dashwood, Justin Walker as Edward Ferrars and Bryant Smith as Colonel Brandon.

$30. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. One Peachtree Pointe in Midtown, 1545 Peachtree St. NE.  Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

Opening this week

The Ghastly Dreadfuls. Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

The Ghastly Dreadfuls. Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

The Ghastly Dreadfuls. OPENS OCT. 11.

A Center for Puppetry Arts offering for the 18-and-up crowd. This spooktacular musical annually salutes the season of ghosts and goblins. Written by artistic director Jon Ludwig and puppeteer Jason Hines. The ghoulish cast once again includes Scott DePoy, Reay Kaplan Maxwell and Spencer Stephens.

A Ghastly Ghathering Halloween Party welcomes them back from the dead at 7 p.m. this Saturday ($30). Show tickets $24. Through Oct. 28. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. 

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

 

 

Dani Herd (left), Matt Nitchie. Photo: Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

Dani Herd (left), Matt Nitchie. Photo: Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

Macbeth. PREVIEWS TONIGHT | OPENS FRIDAY.

At the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. One fateful evening, three weird sisters greet Macbeth and Banquo with visions of what could be. Is it their magical prophecies, or Macbeth and his wife and their hunger for power, that sets in motion some of the most murderous events that Scotland has ever seen? With Matt Nitchie as Macbeth and Dani Herd as Lady Macbeth.

Pub menu and libations available.

$15 preview tonight; regularly $22-$45. Through Oct. 29. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

 99 Peachtree St. NE (across from Emory University Hospital Midtown). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299. Discount gift cards at PoshDealz.com.

 

Closing this week

atlanta opera

The Seven Deadly Sins. TONIGHT + FRIDAY. 

The Atlanta Opera starts its season with an intimate cabaret experience that looks at the duality of the character(s) Anna I and Anna II, two sides of the same woman. She embarks on a seven-city pursuit of the American Dream, uncovering envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath along the way. The Kurt WeillBertolt Brecht piece was first performed in 1933. Serenbe Playhouse Artistic Director Brian Clowdus directs his first opera; Rolando Salazar conducts.

Only VIP seating at $80 and $150 remains). 7:30 nightly. Performed at Le Maison Rouge at Paris on Ponce as part of the opera’s Discoveries series, 716 Ponce de Leon Place NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.

[MORE: BRECHT & WEILL COLLEAGUES NOT BUDDIES

 

wicket-logo

Wicket. CLOSES SATURDAY.

World premiere. Many Bothans died in the making of this musical parody, say the folks at Dad’s Garage Theatre Company

Wicket tells the classic Star Wars tale from the Ewoks’ perspective, which means they’ll sing, dance and share the true story of life inside the Galactic Federation.

Not recommended for anyone not cool with adult humor.

Kennesaw State’s Rick Lombardo (Little Shop of Horrors at Actor’s Express) directs, with script & lyrics by Travis Sharp and score & lyrics by Haddon Kime.

$12.50-$29.50 (always cheapest online). 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. 569 Ezzard St. SE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.3141.

 

Still running

Lee Osorio (left), Diany Rodriguez. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Lee Osorio (left), Diany Rodriguez. Photo: Chris Bartelski

**Abigail/1702. THROUGH OCT. 15. 

Aurora Theatre catches up with Abigail Williams from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.

It’s 10 years later, and she’s haunted by the lives she ruined and the blood on her hands. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s 2012 script finds her in Boston, seeking salvation. 

Justin Anderson directs a cast led by Diany Rodriguez. You may know Aguirre-Sacasa from Say You Love Satan (Dad’s Garage, 2001), Weird Comic Book Fantasy (Dad’s, 2003) and Good Boys and True (Actor’s Express, 2010). This 90-minute drama has no intermission and contains mature themes.

$20-$55. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. $20-$55.

 Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at  678.226.6222. Discounts at PoshDealz.com.

 

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Charlotte’s Web. THROUGH OCT. 22.

At the Center for Puppetry Arts. E.B. White’s novel comes to life with Wilbur the pig, Charlotte the spider and other barnyard animals portrayed with Czech Black and rod puppets.

The cast: head puppeteer Amy Sweeney, Dolph Amick, Nikolas Carleo, Anna Caudle and Brian Harrison.

$9.75 members, $19.50 nonmembers plus tax. 10 + 11:30 a.m. Wednesday-Friday; 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday.

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

 

 

dial-m-for-murder

Dial M for Murder. THROUGH OCT. 15.

At Stage Door Players. Frederick Knott’s killer drama follows a man who married his wife for money and now plans to kill her. An alibi, a blackmail scheme and Scotland Yard are all part of the action before the case gets cracked.

Kate Donadio MacQueen directs a cast that includes Charles Green, David Alan Grindstaff, Kristin Markiton, Chad N. MartinDoyle Reynolds and Robert Egizio, Stage Door’s producing artistic director.

$15-$33. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. At the North DeKalb Cultural Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.

 

Verdis-Otello-ASO-Poshdealz

Otello. SATURDAY & TUESDAY.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra presents a mash-up of theater (William Shakespeare) and opera (Giuseppe Verdi). 

Verdi’s Otello propels you through Shakespeare’s stormy seas, soaring love duet, tender “Ave Maria” and crushing conclusion. Music director Robert Spano conducts.

Tenor Russell Thomas sings the title role, with Mary Elizabeth Williams as Desdemona and Nmon Ford as Iago.

$22-$97. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

 

Photo illustration: BreeAnne Clowdus

Photo illustration: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Sleepy Hollow Experience. THROUGH NOV. 5.

 Serenbe Playhouse reprises its annual Halloween season spook-tacular with a new twist or two. This year’s edition features a new adaptation by artistic director Brian Clowdus and family performances at 2 p.m. Sundays throughout October, with a pumpkin patch, harvest games, popcorn, hot cider and a chance to meet the actors before the show and at intermission (grounds open at 1 p.m.). This season’s cast: Jennifer Alice Acker and Brandon Partrick as Storytellers, Blake Burgess as Brom Bones, Erin Burnett as Katrina Van Tassel and Chris Mayers as Ichabod Crane. 

Note: This is a traveling performance without seating, but chairs can be requested through the box office.

$15-$40. Regularly at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 + 10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 8 p.m. Sunday. Performed in the Horse’s Meadow at Serenbe. 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Next week

Michael Gandolfi

Michael Gandolfi

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. OCT. 12 + 14. 

Chic. Inspired. Eclectic. Fun.

Take a sonic journey with music director Robert Spano and the ASO.

The program features the world premiere of American composer Michael Gandolfi’s A Garden Feeds also the Soul; Croatian-born composer/pianist Dejan Lazić in his own Piano Concerto “In Istrian Style”; and Rachmaninov’s Third Symphony.

$22-$97. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

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