THE ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA continues its Leonard Bernstein celebration on Jan. 10 + 12; “Love’s Labour’s Lost” opens at the Shakespeare Tavern; and Georgia Ensemble’s “Million Dollar Quartet” continues at Oglethorpe University. Just ahead: a “Della’s Diner” reunion, the Alliance’s Cinderella-themed “Ever After” and “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” which moves to Aurora Theatre. Pictured: The great Leonard Bernstein (Los Angeles Times).
Opening this weekend BEST BETS | Jan. 3-9, 2019
Love’s Labour’s Lost. BEGINS THURSDAY.
Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. Can four young men honor their pledge to avoid the opposite sex, food, drink and sleep in order to become more intellectual and contemplative? Not in Shakespeare’s comedy, especially after four young women arrive on the scene. Leading the merry predicament are Tatyana Arrington, Kelly Criss, Chris Hecke, Amanda Lindsey, Sarah Newby Halicks, Tamil Periasamy, Cory Phelps and J.L. Reed. Georgia Gwinnett College’s Jaclyn Hofmann directs.
$15 preview Thursday; $20 preview Friday. Regularly $22-$45. Through Jan. 27. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Food and drink, including libations, available. 499 Peachtree St. NE (parking suggested in the Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across the street). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299.
The Snow Queen. CLOSES SUNDAY.
At Serenbe Playhouse. The Hans Christian Andersen tale gets a site-specific, outdoor telling that emphasizes its wintry nature. Young Gerda fights fear on a journey to save her brother from the icy lady’s evil magic. Audiences travel with the actors (without seating).
Request chairs or mobility assistance through the box office. Note: This is the queen’s fifth and final season. Serenbe plans to debut a new holiday show next season.
$25-$30; $13 or $15 children. 2 + 5 p.m. Thursday-Friday and Sunday; 2, 5 + 7 p.m. Saturday. GPS address: 10640 Serenbe Lane, Chattahoochee Hills, GA 30268. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.
This weekend only
Rock of Ages. THURSDAY-FRIDAY.
A 10th anniversary tour of the Broadway show visits the Fox Theatre and revisits the towering anthems and power ballads that made the sounds of the 1980s indelible. Think Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister and Foreigner, among others.
The 32-song score includes “I Wanna Rock,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “To Be With You,” “Here I Go Again,” “Any Way You Want It” and “Don’t Stop Believing.” The Broadway original ran six years and earned five Tony Award nominations.
$30-$106. 8 nightly. 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.
Million Dollar Quartet. THROUGH JAN. 12.
Georgia Ensemble Theatre reprises its popular staging and takes it to the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University. Return to Dec. 4, 1956, the magical day that Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins made music together — for the first and only time ever — at Sun Records in Memphis.
The score includes “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Walk the Line,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Hound Dog” and 15 more. Chris Damiano directs, music directs and plays Cash, with Alex Canty as Elvis, Christopher Kent as Perkins and Sean McGibbon as Lewis.
All Bernstein. JAN. 10 + 12 ONLY.
Guest conductor Christopher Allen leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and two soloists in a program dedicated to the music of Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). Expect to hear Symphonic Dances from West Side Story plus music from the composer’s 1971 Mass and the Broadway shows On the Town, Wonderful Town and Peter Pan. Soloists Sasha Cooke (mezzo-soprano) and Joseph Lattanzi (baritone) join the ASO, and principal clarinetist Laura Ardan is featured.
Della’s Diner: Blue Plate Special. JAN. 12 ONLY.
Tickets going fast for this reunion show, which dates to Atlanta’s 1970s and ’80s cabaret heyday. You also may know the characters — Della, daughter Ramona, country singer Connie Sue Day, Ricky Jim Robinson and Sheriff Ronnie Frank Flaugher — and Morning Glory Mountain from Libby Whittemore’s club act or Christmas shows. She returns for one more chapter in the musical comedy soap opera, as do singer-actor Megan McFarland and creator Tom Edwards. For the uninitiated, Della is the sassy, big-hearted café owner who dispenses love, wisdom and moral advice to the parade of oddballs who visit her small-town diner. Rest assured, there will be a whole lot goin’ on.
A Doll’s House, Part 2. JAN. 10-FEB. 10.
Aurora Theatre gets its turn with this stunning Actor’s Express co-production, a sequel of sorts to master dramatist Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 classic, A Doll’s House (but you needn’t know that piece to enjoy this one). Well-known contemporary playwright Lucas Hnath’s Part 2 takes place 15 years after wife and mother Nora Helmer (Tess Malis Kincaid) leaves her husband and family to seek out independence unheard of in that day. Now she’s knocking to get back in and ask a big favor. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, W Magazine and Time Out New York all described Part 2 as the best play of Broadway’s 2017 season. It’s smart, funny and modern. Joining Kincaid onstage are Rob Cleveland, Shelli Delgado and Deadra Moore. AE artistic director Freddie Ashley directed.
$20 and up. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10 a.m. Jan. 22. Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Ever After. JAN. 15-FEB. 17.
This musical update on the Cinderella story christens the Alliance Theatre’s new mainstage, named the Coca-Cola Stage. It’s based on the 1998 Drew Barrymore movie (and the original 1729 fairy tale). Follow a young woman named Danielle de Barbarac, who risks everything to save a friend. With the help of Leonardo da Vinci (yes, da Vinci), she must decide who she is, what she’ll fight for and how far she’ll go for love. The musical comes from the award-winning songwriting team of Zina Goldrich (music) and Marcy Heisler(book and lyrics). Alliance artistic director Susan V. Booth directs. Her 30-person cast is led by Broadway regulars Sierra Boggess (The Little Mermaid, School of Rock); Tony Award nominee David Garrison (A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine); Jeff McCarthy (Urinetown, Side Show); and Rachel York (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Head Over Heels). Also in the cast: Atlanta-based artists Terry Burrell (Ethel, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill), Chris Kayser (Alliance, Georgia Shakespeare) and Rhyn McLemore Saver. This show has the scent of Broadway-bound about it.
$25 and up. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15 + 29. No shows Feb. 3. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Moonlight & Magnolias. JAN. 10-27.
Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Playwright Ron Hutchinson’s 2004 inside-Hollywood farce peeks behind the camera as producer-screenwriter David O. Selznick, director Victor Fleming and screenwriter Ben Hecht lock themselves in an office with a five-day supply of peanuts and bananas trying to rescue a disastrous 1939 movie. Its title: Gone With the Wind. Great cast: William S. Murphey is Selznick, Bart Hansard is Fleming and Googie Uterhardt is Hecht. All are Atlanta actors. Note: Contains mature language and content.
$26-$40. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 4 p.m. Jan. 19 + 26. GET performs in the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 959 Forrest St. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
An Octoroon. JAN. 26-FEB. 24.
Actor’s Express. An imaginative new work from Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (2016’s Appropriate) turns 19th-century melodrama on its ear in what’s being called a riotous romp. The script puts the antebellum South, says the Express, on a collision course with 21st-century cultural politics. The piece won off-Broadway’s 2014 Obie Award for best new play. The plot: Trouble has been brewing at the Terrebonne Plantation ever since Judge Peyton died. Money is low, an evil overseer is up to no good, and the heir to the estate is in love with the wrong person. Jacobs-Jenkins, 33, is a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grantee and has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Donya K. Washington, an Alliance Theatre producer, directs. Her cast of 11 includes Isake Akanke (Cardboard Piano), Neal A. Ghant (The Motherf**ker With the Hat) and Parris Sarter (Angels in America).
The Unexpected Play Festival. JAN. 14-15.
See three staged readings in two days at Theatrical Outfit. In If I Forget by Steven Levenson (noon Jan. 14), three Jewish siblings gather for their father’s 75th birthday and negotiate how much of the past they’re willing to sacrifice for a chance at a new beginning. The cast includes Andrew Benator, Lane Carlock and Brian Kurlander. Outfit education director Mira Hirsch directs. In Gershwin’s America (7:30 p.m. Jan. 14), concert pianist Alpin Hong interprets George Gershwin songs in a one-man tale about music, being a second-generation immigrant and what it means to be American. Presented in partnership with New York’s Flying Carpet Theatre Company. Flying Carpet artistic director Adam Koplan directs. In Bellwether by Steve Yockey, (7:30 p.m. Jan. 15), a 6-year-old girl’s disappearance uncovers what’s really beneath the surface in her nice, safe surburban town. The cast includes Suehyla El-Attar, Eliana Marianes, Diany Rodriguez and Joe Sykes. Outfit associate artistic director Clifton Guterman directs. $10 per reading; $25 for all three. Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500.