BEST BETS | Oct. 11-17, 2018

GarretTurner_ TheRoyale

This week’s top picks include Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre, “Nell Gwynn” at Synchronicity, “Waiting for Godot” at 7 Stages, “The Royale” opening at Theatrical Outfit, the return of the Center for Puppetry Arts’ “Ghastly Dreadfuls,” “Nick’s Flamingo Grill” at the Alliance and the Atlanta Symphony. Pictured: Garrett Turner in “The Royale.” Photo by Casey Gardner.

Recommended

fall.en

Fall-en. CLOSES SUNDAY.

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre presents a double bill choreographed by co-founder Heath GillFall-en uses humor to explore perceptions of, and responses to, the unknown. Retired Atlanta Ballet dancer Christine Winkler performs as a guest artist. TMBT is a collective of five classically trained principal dancers — Gill, Christian Clark, Tara Lee, Rachel Van Buskirk and John Welker — who have 85 years of professional experience performing locally, nationally and internationally. All five formerly danced with Atlanta Ballet.

$35-$50; $15 students. 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Deer Hollow at Serenbe, 8455 Atlanta Newnan Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE

 Travis Turner (left), Devon Hales. Photo: Greg Mooney

Travis Turner (left), Devon Hales. Photo: Greg Mooney

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. THROUGH OCT. 21. World premiere.

Alliance Theatre at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. In this adaptation by Chicago-based director David Catlin (Moby Dick, Lookingglass Alice), Shakespeare’s five-act romantic farce becomes a brisk 90 minutes with six actors (familiar Alliance faces Devon HalesJoe Knezevich and Courtney Patterson, plus visiting artists Ericka Ratcliff, Adeoye Mabogunje and Travis Turner). It blends dance, music, circus arts and familiar bits from other Shakespeare plays to celebrate the madness and irrationality of love. Set in the Skyline Garden.

$20-$55. Your show ticket includes entrance to the Garden anytime that day (but there’s no leaving and re-entering). 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Note: No shows Oct. 11, 15 + 17. If you’re worried about weather, look for updates on the Alliance website. The Garden is at 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[WHY DAVID CATLIN’S MIDSUMMER IS MAD, MAD, MAD]

 Brandon Partrick, Courtney Moors. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Brandon Partrick, Courtney Moors. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Nell Gwynn. THROUGH OCT. 21.

At Synchronicity TheatreIt’s 1660. Oliver Cromwell’s Puritans have run away with their drab gray tails between their legs while, at Drury Lane, a young Nell Gwynn is selling oranges for sixpence. Little does she know who’s watching. Playwright Jessica Swale’s 2016 Olivier Award-winning comedy  charts the rise of an unlikely heroine from her roots in poverty to her success as Britain’s most-celebrated “actor-ess” and her place in the heart of the king. Richard Garner (longtime artistic director at Georgia Shakespeare) directs a cast of 11. Courtney Moors is Nell, Robert Shaw-Smith is King Charles II and Eugene Russell IV is actor Charles Hart.

$25-$41 plus fees. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Synchronicity is in Midtown’s Peachtree Pointe building at 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or 404.484.8636.

NinaSimone

Nina Simone: Four Women. THROUGH OCT. 21.

At True Colors Theatre CompanyNina Simone was known as the “high priestess of soul.” This play with music by Christina Ham, follows Simone’s shift from singer to activist, a transformation prompted in part by the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham that left four young girls dead. The drama uses the Simone song “Four Women” as a framework, and gives voice to four characters. It includes the civil rights anthems “Mississippi Goddam,” “Go Limp” and “Young, Gifted and Black.” For age 15 and up (adult language). Michele Shay directs. Her cast: Regina Marie Williams (also Simone in the Minneapolis world premiere); Wendy Fox-Williams; Jordan Frazier; Adrienne Reynolds.

$30-$40. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also 11 a.m. Oct. 17. True Colors performs at the Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road SW. Details HERE. Tickets (via Ticket Alternative) HERE

 Don Finney (from left), Matt Baum, Del Hamilton. Photo: Stungun Photography

Don Finney (from left), Matt Baum, Del Hamilton. Photo: Stungun Photography

Waiting for Godot. CLOSES SUNDAY.

7 Stages presents Samuel Beckett’s absurdist classic about two sad-sack drifters waiting for a stranger named Godot and the existential questions they discuss as time passes, and passes, and passes. 7 Stages co-founder Del Hamilton and longtime Atlanta actor Don Finney return from previous Godot stagings at 7 Stages. Also in the cast: Matt Baum, Bart Hansard, Eric Haslam and Pace Willis. Artistic director Heidi S. Howard directs.

$15-$28. At 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

Last chance

a-red-plaid-shirt

A Red Plaid Shirt. CLOSES SUNDAY.

At Stage Door Players. Meet Marty and Fred. These old friends fill the retirement void in vastly different ways: Marty wants to explore the open road on a Harley; Fred decides to pay more attention to his health. Both require a little “subtle redirection” from their wives. The cast: Steve Hudson, Michael Strauss, Eileen Koteles and Suzanne Jordan Roush.

$22-$33. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726. Tickets available online from Tix.com HERE.

This weekend only

 Jun Märkl

Jun Märkl

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY + SATURDAY. 

Atlanta favorite Jun Märkl returns as guest conductor for an evening of French music. Philadelphia native Giora Schmidt makes his ASO debut in Concerto No. 5 by French violin firebrand Henri Vieuxtemps. Also planned: Benvenuto Cellini Overture by Berlioz and Ravel’s complete Daphnis et Chloé ballet. A pre-concert chamber music recital at 6:45 p.m. Thursday is free to ticket holders for both concerts.

$22-$98. At 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE  or at 404.733.5000.

 Paige Hernandez

Paige Hernandez

Paige in Full. SATURDAY ONLY. Alliance Theatre

Performance artist Paige Hernandez found her voice through hip-hop. In this one-woman show, she wants to inspire young people to chase their own passions. The high-energy piece for middle-school audiences is a fusion of poetry, theater, dance, multimedia projections and turntable action that churns out hip-hop, rock and punk beats. In it, Hernandez tells the story of how hip-hop helped her figure out where she fits in the world.

$32; $18 children. 1 + 3:30 p.m. Rich Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[ONE WOMAN. ONE TEACHER. ONE STORY.]

Opening this week

 Brian Kurlander (from left), Garrett Turner, Rob Cleveland. Photo: Casey Gardner

Brian Kurlander (from left), Garrett Turner, Rob Cleveland. Photo: Casey Gardner

The Royale. PREVIEWS THURSDAY-FRIDAY. OPENS SATURDAY.

At Theatrical Outfit. Playwright Marco Ramirez takes a stylized, blazingly theatrical look at the segregated world of boxing at the turn of the 20th century. The New York Times called his piece “original and graceful.” The 2013 drama is loosely based on the life of Jack Johnson, the first black world heavyweight champion (fictionalized in the 1968 Pulitzer-winning drama The Great White Hope, making James Earl Jones a star). Patdro Harris (Fly, Nina Simone) directs. His cast: Garrett Turner as Jay “The Sport” Jackson, Cynthia D. BarkerMarlon Burnley, Rob Cleveland and Brian Kurlander.

$18-$51 plus fees. Through Nov. 4. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW (two blocks from the Peachtree Center MARTA station). Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500.

For Halloween

 The Dreadfuls (front, from left): Scott DePoy, Reay Kaplan, Kristin Haverty, Robert Strickland and (back, from left) Spencer Stephens, Jason Hines, Jon Ludwig. Photo: Clay Walker

The Dreadfuls (front, from left): Scott DePoy, Reay Kaplan, Kristin Haverty, Robert Strickland and (back, from left) Spencer Stephens, Jason Hines, Jon Ludwig. Photo: Clay Walker

The Ghastly Dreadfuls. THROUGH OCT. 27.

At the Center for Puppetry Arts. The Dreadfuls rise from the dead for another frightful season of ghost stories and musical numbers. The show, written by the Center’s Jon Ludwig and Jason Hines, has become an Atlanta cult classic since its debut more than a decade ago. Go for the spine-tingling fun, intricate puppetry, original songs and stories, and vaudeville stylings. This season’s Dreadfuls: Hines, Ludwig, Scott DePoy, Kristin Haverty, Reay Kaplan, Spencer Stephens and Robert Strickland. A beer-and-wine cash bar will open before the show and at intermission. The Ghastly Dreadfuls is recommended for age 18 and up.

$25 nonmembers; $18.50 members. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

 Robert Lee Hindsman. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Robert Lee Hindsman. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Edgar Allan Poe Experience. OPENS OCT. 17.

At the Wren’s Nest in collaboration with Brian Clowdus Experiences. Venture through one of Atlanta’s most historic homes with this immersive event and become part of some of Poe’s most thrillingly famous tales, including The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher. The actors: Truman Griffin, Robert Lee Hindsman, Courtney Locke, Shannon McCarren and Skye Passmore.

$40-$45. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday + Sunday; 8 + 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The Wren’s Nest, now a cultural center and once the home of Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit creator Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908), preserves Harris’ legacy and the heritage of African-American folklore through storytelling, tours and student publishing. 11050 Ralph D. Abernathy Blvd. SW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.753.7735.

 

SleepyHollow

The Sleepy Hollow Experience. THROUGH NOV. 4. 

The Headless Horseman rides again as Serenbe Playhouse presents a sixth season of this fright fest. Revisit Washington Irving’s 1820 horror story about schoolmaster Ichabod Crane and his efforts to win the heart and hand of Katrina Van Tassel. This season’s show is a new adaptation by artistic director Brian Clowdus. The cast: Erik Poger Abrahamsen, Erin Burnett, Jeremy Gee, Anna Lanier, Jordan Patrick and Madison Welch.

$30-$45 (rain insurance available). 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 + 10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Family-friendly stagings at 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday include fall festival events before the show and at intermission. Note: Tickets have been added to previously sold-out performances.

Done in the Horseman’s Meadow. Most Serenbe shows require a walk along a (sometimes muddy) path. Appropriate footwear suggested. Sleepy Hollow is a traveling show, without seating. For mobility assistance (parking, accessibility cart, chairs, etc.), contact the box office. Serenbe is at 9110 Selborne Lane in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Still running

be-here-now

Be Here Now. THROUGH OCT. 21. At Aurora Theatre.

Two lost souls come together in this 2018 tragicomedy by Deborah Zoe Laufer (End Days, Informed Consent). What are you willing to do for love and happiness, it asks, and to create meaning in your life? Bari (Cynthia Barrett) is deeply cynical and woefully underemployed in a mind-numbing job shipping Tibetan-themed tchotchkes. She’s buoyed — maybe — by a couple of cheerful co-workers and a guy who makes art out of garbage. You might know Barrett from her TV work in “Stranger Things” and “Halt and Catch Fire” and Silent Sky at Theatrical Outfit. Also in the cast: Falashay PearsonJoselin Reyes and Aurora regular Travis Smith (The Bridges of Madison County, Split in Three, Memphis).

$31-$50. At 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 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.

 Chris Hecke (left), Jonathan Horne.

Chris Hecke (left), Jonathan Horne.

Henry IV, Parts 1 and 2. THROUGH OCT. 21.

In repertory at the  Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. The history plays follow the newly crowned King Henry IV who must deal with rebellion and an ill-behaving son (and heir) who’d rather frequent the Boar’s Head Tavern with the roguish Sir John Falstaff than take care of business. Maurice Ralston is Henry; Jonathan Horne is his son, Prince Hal; Chris Hecke is Hal’s rival, Hotspur; and J. Tony Brown is Falstaff. They’re supported by a cast of Tavern regulars. Check the website to see which nights Part 1 and Part 2 are being performed.

$30-$38. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Pub menu and spirited beverages available. 499 Peachtree St. NE. Parking recommended in Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across Peachtree Street. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0. Discount Tavern gift cards at PoshDealz.com.

Nick’s Flamingo Grill. THROUGH OCT. 28.

An Alliance Theatre world premiere musical. Atlanta playwright Phillip DePoy (Edward Foote) tells the story of two friends, ex-WWII GIs turned jazz musicians, who’ve had great success performing in Paris nightclubs. Convinced that their mixed-race act will be a hit back home, they return to 1950s Georgia. Inspired by the true tale of Atlanta’s first integrated nightclub. It features 10 original songs by DePoy and musical director Tyrone Jackson. Tinashe Kajese-Bolden directs. Recommended for age 14 and up.

$20-$55; $10 teens. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Hertz Stage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.


 Antwayn Hopper (from left), Diany Rodriguez and Jimmy Kieffer. Photo: Greg Mooney

Antwayn Hopper (from left), Diany Rodriguez and Jimmy Kieffer. Photo: Greg Mooney

 Wai Yim (left), Kevin Qian

Wai Yim (left), Kevin Qian

Nomad Motel. THROUGH OCT. 21.

National New Play Network rolling world premiere at Horizon Theatre. Alix lives in a tiny motel room with her brother and a newly single mom. Mason lives mostly alone in a grand, empty house, composing music while his father works. The two become unlikely friends as they learn how to scrape by and try to outrun their parents’ mistakes. Ashley (Ash) Anderson is Alix, Kevin Qian is Mason. This piece by Carla Ching is about kids raising themselves without a safety net in a land of plenty. Melissa Foulger directs. Note: Contains mature language and situations.

$25-$35. At 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE at Euclid Avenue in Inman Park/Little Five Points. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Next week

Ailey II. OCT. 20 ONLY. At the Rialto Center for the Arts.

The dancers return to the Georgia State University venue in downtown Atlanta for one performance as part of the Rialto Series. For more than 40 years, Ailey II has merged the spirit and energy of the country’s best young dancers with the creative vision of today’s top emerging choreographers. Dance magazine calls the company “second to none.”

$39-$74. 8 p.m. 80 Forsyth St. NW. Free parking for all Rialto Series shows in the 100 Peachtree parking garage. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.413.9849.

fashionado

BEST BETS | Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 2018

LeeOsorio

The first shows of fall offer tantalizing choices, including THE BOOK OF WILL at Theatrical Outfit; A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 at Actor’s Express; an acrobatic MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at the Alliance Theatre; and THE SEAGULL, lakeside at Serenbe Playhouse. Pictured: Lee Osorio in “The Seagull.” Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus.

Recommended

 Suehyla El-Attar, Elisa Carlson. Photo: Greg Mooney

Suehyla El-Attar, Elisa Carlson. Photo: Greg Mooney

The Book of Will.THROUGH SEPT. 9.

Get thee to Theatrical Outfit. Positive buzz surrounds this love letter to Shakespeare, the company’s 2018/19 season opener. It features the trademark smarts and humor of oft-produced playwright Lauren Gunderson and a first-rate cast of actors. The place: London and Stratford-upon-Avon. The time: Three years after Will’s death. The bard’s legacy depends on a circle of devoted writers, actors and friends determined to preserve his work and print a definitive collection of his plays. But there are challenges … and challengers.

Gunderson, a Decatur-born, San Francisco-based writer, won the 2018 Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award for this script. The Outfit’s 10-person cast includes, among others, Elisa Carlson, Suehyla El-Attar, artistic director/actor Tom Key, William S. Murphey and Doyle Reynolds. Cast bios HERE. David Crowe (Silent Sky) directs.

$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.

 Tess Malis Kincaid. Photo: Kevin Harry

Tess Malis Kincaid. Photo: Kevin Harry

A Doll’s House, Part 2. IN PREVIEWS. OPENS SATURDAY.

An exciting regional premiere of a certifable Broadway hit. The Actor’s Express Aurora Theatre co-production is a sequel of sorts to master dramatist Henrik Ibsen’s1879 classic, A Doll’s House. You needn’t have seen it to enjoy this one. Playwright Lucas Hnath’s Part 2 takes place 15 years after wife and mother Nora Helmer (Tess Malis Kincaid) shockingly decided to leave her husband and family and seek out unheard-of independence. Now she’s knocking on the same door … and wants a favor. 

The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, W Magazine and Time Out New York all described Part 2 as the best play of the 2017 Broadway season. You might remember Hnath (silent “h”) from last season’s The Christians. Joining Kincaid onstage are Rob ClevelandShelli Delgado and Deadra Moore. AE artistic director Freddie Ashley directs. If this isn’t a hot ticket, there’s something wrong with Atlanta. 

$20 for Aug. 30-31 previews; $20-$40 for Sept. 1 opening. Regularly $20-$30 and subject to change, based on demand. Through Sept. 30. Part 2 returns after the first of the year, running Jan. 10-Feb. 10, 2019, at Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville. Actor’s Express is at the King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. 

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Opening this week

AMidsummerNight'sDream

Midsummer Night’s Dream. OPENS SEPT. 5. World premiere.

Alliance Theatre at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. In this adaptation by Chicago-based director David Catlin (Moby Dick, Lookingglass Alice), Shakespeare’s five-act romantic farce becomes a brisk 90 minutes. He uses six actors (familiar Alliance faces Devon HalesJoe Knezevich and Courtney Patterson, plus visiting artists Ericka Ratcliff, Adeoye Mabogunje and Travis Turner) instead of the usual 25-plus, and blends dance, music, circus arts and familiar bits from other Shakespeare plays to tell a tale that celebrates the madness and irrationality of love. See it in the Skyline Garden area.

$20-$55. Your show ticket includes entrance to the Garden anytime that day (but there’s no leaving and re-entering). Through Oct. 21. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Saturday except there are no shows Sept. 10, 14-19, 24-26 or Oct. 1-4, 8-11, 15 + 17. The Garden is at 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[A CLOSER LOOK AT DAVID CATLIN’S MAD, MAD, MAD MIDSUMMER]

SerenbePlayhouse

The Seagull. OPENS SEPT. 5.

A contemporary take on Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov’s action-packed 19th-century tragicomedy that looks plenty intriguing. It follows the romantic and artistic conflicts of four characters: the famous middlebrow writer Boris Trigorin (Lee Osorio); the ingenue Nina (Shannon McCarren); the fading actress Irina Arkadina (Park Krausen); and her adult child, playwright Konstantin Tréplev (Maythinee Washington). Also in the cast: Allan EdwardsBrooke Owens  and Skye Passmore. The Serenbe Playhouse staging, done lakeside, features reimagined Balkan music, dark humor and director Elizabeth Dinkova’s Eastern European brand of mayhem. Most Serenbe shows require a walk along a sometimes muddy path. Appropriate footwear suggested. For mobility assistance (parking, accessibility cart, etc.), contact the box office.

$30-$50. Through Sept. 30. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday plus 2 p.m. Saturday. Serenbe is at 9110 Selborne Lane in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Closing this week

Newsies-AuroraTheatre

Newsies. CLOSES SUNDAY.

The 2012 Disney musical tells the real-life story of New York City’s Newsboy Strike of 1899, when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst tried to take advantage of the newsboys to increase profits. Aurora Theatre uses a cast of 31 to tell the story. It features a Tony Award-winning score by Jack Feldman and Alan Menken (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid)Justin Anderson directs, with musical direction by Ann-Carol Pence and choreography by Ricardo Aponte.

$30-$65. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Note: The show, a co-production with Atlanta Lyric Theatre, plays the Lyric’s Marietta space Oct. 19-Nov. 4).

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.

Still running

Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. THROUGH SEPT. 9.

Join the players of the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse for a medieval romp through bawdy olde England. Director Kati Grace Brown leads a cast of eight in this adaptation that reframes six tales in a variety of styles, including spaghetti western. The actors: Kirstin Calvert, Kirsten ChervenakLaura ColeNicholas FairclothAdam King, Enoch King, Rivka Levin and Drew Reeves.

$22-$45. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Pub menu and spirited beverages available. 499 Peachtree St. NE. Parking recommended in Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across Peachtree Street. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0. Discount Tavern gift cards at PoshDealz.com.

 Matt Baum, Jimmica Collins.

Matt Baum, Jimmica Collins.

The Tortoise, the Hare & Other Aesop’s Fables. THROUGH SEPT. 23.

Part of the Center for Puppetry Arts’ Theatre for the Very Young (age 2 and up). Aesop’s circus is in town and the animals are ready to take the stage in this cheerful, interactive production that tells five of the Greek storyteller’s famous tales. Come early to hear even more fables and color a puppet for use during the show. Adapted by Atlanta theater artist Michael Haverty, with original music by Dolph Amick. The piece uses glove, rod and shadow puppets and features actor/puppeteers Matt Baum and Jimmica Collins. Directed by Amy Sweeney, the  Center’s head puppeteer. 

$19.50. Performances: 10 + 11:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 p.m. + 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. Free parking. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Next week

 A still from “The Ancient Law.” Photo: AJFF

A still from “The Ancient Law.” Photo: AJFF

The Ancient Law. SEPT. 6 ONLY.

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival screens its final Selects Series movie of 2018. The AJFF describes this 1923 film, considered a German-Jewish masterpiece, as an “intimate, visually stunning depiction of 19th-century shtetl life” that contrasts “the closed world of an Eastern European shtetl with the liberal mores of 1860s Vienna.” It’s considered a precursor to Hollywood’s The Jazz Singer (1927). This screening features live musical accompaniment by pianist Donald Sosin and klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals plus a Q&A with Emory Film Studies chairman Matthew Bernstein.

$18. 7:30 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.228.8872.

TheTwoKidsWhoBlowSh*tUp

The Two Kids Who Blow Sh*t Up. SEPT. 7-30.

At Aurora Theatre. Max (Jack Ha) and Diana (Vivi Thai) meet as kids, the day their parents begin an affair. For the next 18 years they see each other through highs and lows, trying not to make the same mistakes their parents did. Two Kids, by playwright Carla Ching, is a drama with humor about trying not to fall in love with your best friend (and end up hating them). Atlanta theater artist Pam Joyce directs. Created at the prestigious Lark Play Development Center in New York.

$15-$20. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

Coming up

9to5musical

9 to 5 the Musical. SEPT. 13-30.

This isn’t a show we’d give a second glance — except for the casting. Georgia Ensemble Theatre’s season opener features Jill HamesWendy Melkonian and newcomer Alyssa Flowers in the roles made famous by Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the crowd-pleasing 1980 movie. Hames and Melkonian, who have succeeded on most metro stages, are joined by other familiar faces — Brian Kurlander (as the chauvinist boss), Josh BrookDaniel Burns (the recent Titanic), Kayce Grogan-Wallace (the recent Color Purple) and Gina Rickicki. The sobering news: The 2009 stage musical, with songs and lyrics by Parton, ran a mere four months on Broadway, probably for a reason. Shelly McCook directs, with musical direction by S. Renee Clark, both good reasons to take a look.

$33-$46. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 4 + 8 p.m. most Saturdays (check ahead); and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, GET performs at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.

42ndStreet

42nd Street. SEPT. 14-23.

The musicals-only City Springs Theatre Company opens its inaugural season with this Tony Award-winning song-and-dance show set during the Great Depression. Broadway director Julian Marsh (Shuler Hensley, who won a Tony for 2002’s Oklahoma! revival) is trying to stage a successful musical despite tall odds. The score — by the great Al Dubin, Johnny Mercer and Harry Warren — includes “You’re Getting to Be a Habit With Me,” “We’re in the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway” and  “Shuffle Off to Buffalo.” The cast of 30 includes Deb BowmanBenjamin Davis (founder of the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival), Fenner EaddyMarcie Millard and Googie Uterhardt.

$30-$62. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. City Springs Theatre performs in the 1,100-seat Byers Theatre at the new Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs (bordered by Roswell Road, Johnson Ferry Road and Sandy Springs Circle).

Allow extra time for parking and to get through security. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.477.4365. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Atlanta Ballet: Return to Fall. SEPT. 14-16. 

Atlanta Ballet begins a new season with a mixed repertory featuring a selection of pas de deux; Return to a Strange Land by Czech choreographer Jiří Kylián, considered one of the best working today; the Czech National Ballet performing Vertigo by Mauro Bigonzetti; and a world premiere — titled The Premiere — by top-tier choreographer Ricardo Amarante of Brazil.

$20-$130. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.330.

 Jessica Assef, Moises Martin. Photo: Rachel Neville

Jessica Assef, Moises Martin. Photo: Rachel Neville

TheElectricBaby

The Electric Baby. SEPT. 14-30. 

Weird Sisters Theatre Project at 7 Stages. When a woman named Helen causes a car accident that kills a young man, a group of fractured souls cross paths and connect around a mysterious baby that glows like the moon. Folk tales and folklore are woven throughout this story of endings, beginnings and the unlikely people that get you from one place to the next. Ibi Owolabi, a young Atlanta theater artist to watch, directs. Her cast: Alexandra FickenAnthony GoolsbyCharles GreenCaitlin Hargraves, Greg Hernandez and Ann Wilson. The script is from playwright Stefanie Zadravec.

$15 preview (plus fees) Sept. 13. Regularly $20 plus fees. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday. Also at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17. 7 Stages is at 1105 Euclid Av. NE in Little Five Points. Details HERE. Tickets (via Brown Paper Tickets) HERE.

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BEST BETS | Aug. 23-29, 2018

TessMalisKincaid

Our top picks: “The Book of Will” (continuing at Theatrical Outfit); “A Doll’s House, Part 2” (beginning at Actor’s Express); and the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse’s riff on Chaucer’s “Canterbury Tales.” Last call: the 2018 Essential New Play Fest and 3 other titles. Read on. Pictured: The estimable Tess Malis Kincaid in “A Doll’s House, Part 2.” Photo by Kevin Harry.

Recommended

 Tom Key, Eliana Marianes. Photo: Greg Mooney

Tom Key, Eliana Marianes. Photo: Greg Mooney

The Book of Will.THROUGH SEPT. 9.

Get thee to Theatrical Outfit. Positive buzz surrounds this love letter to Shakespeare, which opens the Outfit’s 2018/19 season and features the trademark smarts and humor of oft-produced playwright Lauren Gunderson. The place: London and Stratford-upon-Avon. The time: Three years after Will’s death.

The bard’s legacy depends on a circle of devoted writers, actors and friends determined to preserve his work and print a definitive collection of his plays. But there are challenges … and challengers. Gunderson, a Decatur-born, San Francisco-based writer, won the 2018 Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award for this script. The Outfit’s 10-person cast includes Elisa Carlson, Suehyla El-Attar, artistic director/actor Tom Key, William S. Murphey and Doyle Reynolds. David Crowe (Silent Sky) directs.

$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. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

ADollsHousePart2

A Doll’s House, Part 2. AUG. 29-SEPT. 30. Regional premiere.

Nora’s back! This Actor’s Express Aurora Theatre co-production is a sequel of sorts to master dramatist Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 classic, A Doll’s House. Playwright Lucas Hnath’s Part 2 takes place 15 years after wife and mother Nora Helmer (Tess Malis Kincaid) made the shocking decision to leave her husband and family and seek out unheard-of independence. Now she’s knocking on the same door, seeking an impossible favor.

Long-simmering resentments boil over in an intellectual and comedic slugfest about ideas, love and the rights of women in the modern world. Hnath (silent “h”) wrote last season’s The Christians at AE. Joining Kincaid onstage are Rob ClevelandShelli Delgado and Deadra Moore. AE artistic director Freddie Ashley directs. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, W Magazine and Time Out New York all called Part 2 “the best play of the 2017 Broadway season.” If this isn’t a hot ticket, there’s something wrong with Atlanta.

 $20 (Aug. 29-31 previews). $20-$40 (Sept. 1 opening). Regularly $20-$30. All prices subject to change, based on demand. Part 2 runs Jan. 10-Feb. 10, 2019, at Aurora Theatre. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Opening this week

 The cast of “Canterbury Tales.” Photo: Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

The cast of “Canterbury Tales.” Photo: Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. IN PREVIEWS. OPENS SATURDAY.

Join the players of the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse for a medieval romp through bawdy olde England. Director Kati Grace Brown leads a cast of eight in this adaptation that reframes six of the tales in a variety of styles, including spaghetti western. The stories: “Miller’s Tale,” “Wife of Bath’s Tale,” “Pardoner’s Tale,” “Nun’s Priest’s Tale,” “Merchant’s Tale” and “Reeve’s Tale.” The actors: Kirstin Calvert, Kirsten ChervenakLaura ColeNicholas FairclothAdam King, Enoch King, Rivka Levin and Drew Reeves.

$15 Thursday preview; $20 Friday preview. Regularly $22-$45. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Pub menu and spirited beverages available. 499 Peachtree St. NE. Parking recommended in Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across Peachtree Street. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0. Discount Tavern gift cards at PoshDealz.com.

Closing this week

Blackbird

Blackbird. CLOSES SUNDAY.

Meet Ray and Una. Fifteen years ago, he was convicted of sexually assaulting her, then a young girl. He served his prison sentence, changed his name, moved and started a new life. When Una stumbles upon a recent photo, she decides to confront him. Scottish playwright David Harrower’s 2005 drama is staged by Right On Productions and Frat Pack Productions. Jayson Warner Smith (TV’s “The Walking Dead” and “Rectify”) is Ray; Heather Rule is Una.

Marc Gowan directs. Blackbird won London’s Olivier Award for best new play in 2007 and had a critically acclaimed Broadway run in 2016 with Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams, earning three Tony Award nominations.

$20 plus fees. Robert Mello Studio Blackbox, 4048 Flowers Road, Suite 210, Doraville. Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets HERE.

BuiltToFloat

Built to Float. CLOSES SATURDAY. World premiere.

Atlanta-based playwright Rachel Graf Evans’ surrealistic family drama is part of the 2018 Essential New Play Festival. Tess tells her sister she’s fine, but strange things keep happening in her home, and the two women try to keep from drowning in memories of their troubled past. Essential founder Peter Hardy directs. 

The Essential fest, in its 20th season, is dedicated to the work of Georgia playwrights. As can happen with new work and smallish budgets, quality can vary.

$25. 8 p.m. Saturday. West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details, tickets HERE. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

SerenbePlayhouse

Peter Pan. CLOSES SUNDAY.

The outdoors-only Serenbe Playhouse calls this a “world premiere musical pirate adventure.” Sail to the second star on the right and straight on till morning to revisit J.M. Barrie’s 1904 tale about Peter, Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys and Neverland. Complications arise when the Lost Boys get homesick and Captain Hook looks for revenge. The story is by Roger Q. Mason, the score by London-trained, New York regular Ella GraceMichael Alvarez, who works largely in Britain, directs. Serenbe, which does outdoor, site-specific shows, sets Peter Pan at its Mado Hideaway. All shows take place in the woods and require a walk along a sometimes muddy path. Appropriate footwear suggested. For mobility assistance (parking, accessibility cart, etc.), contact the box office.

$13-$30. 11 a.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Serenbe is at 9110 Selborne Lane in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

SeeRockCity

See Rock City. CLOSES SUNDAY.

Theatre Buford, a professional company producing its second-ever show, describes this sequel to playwright Arlene Hutton’s Last Train to Nibroc (2000) as a “tender portrayal of married life, set against the backdrop of World War II,” and says it shows the human spirit’s ability to overcome obstacles.

The story picks up with young marrieds Raleigh and May after his return from battle. They face quarrelsome mothers and judgmental townspeople as they try to make a life together.

The noteworthy cast includes Lala Cochran (credits too numerous to list), Amelia Fischer (Theatrical Outfit’s Christmas at Pemberley), Gay Hammond and Chris Harding. Atlanta actor/director and Theatre Buford co-founder Justin Walker directs.

$30-$35. Buford Community Center, 2200 Buford Highway, Buford, 770.945.6762. Details, tickets HERE.

WOKE

Woke. CLOSES SUNDAY. World premiere.

This prize-winning dramatic comedy by Atlanta actor/playwright Avery Sharpe is part of the Essential New Play Festival. It follows two close friends from different backgrounds as they try to navigate the high school-to-college transition when a calamitous event captures national attention. They must then face their conflicting understandings of social awareness and search for what it truly means to be “woke.” Ellen McQueen directs. The 20-year-old Essential fest is dedicated to the work of Georgia playwrights. As can happen with new work and smallish budgets, quality can vary.

$25. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. Sunday. West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details, tickets HERE. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Still running

Newsies_AuroraTheatre

Newsies. THROUGH SEPT. 2.

The 2012 Disney musical tells the real-life story of New York City’s Newsboy Strike of 1899, when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst tried to take advantage of the newsboys to increase profits. Aurora Theatre uses a cast of 31 to tell the story. It features a Tony Award-winning score by Jack Feldman and Alan Menken (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid)Justin Anderson directs, with musical direction by Ann-Carol Pence and choreography by Ricardo Aponte.

$30-$65. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. (Note: The show, a co-production with Atlanta Lyric Theatre, plays the Lyric’s Marietta space Oct. 19-Nov. 4.) 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.

 Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

The Tortoise, the Hare & Other Aesop’s Fables. THROUGH SEPT. 23.

Part of the Center for Puppetry Arts’ Theatre for the Very Young (age 2 and up). Aesop’s circus is in town and the animals are ready to take the stage in this cheerful, interactive production that tells five of the famous tales. Come early to hear even more fables and color a puppet that you can use during the show. Adapted by Atlanta theater artist Michael Haverty, with original music by Dolph Amick. The piece uses glove, rod and shadow puppets and features actor/puppeteers Matt Baum and Jimmica Collins. Amy Sweeney, the  Center’s head puppeteer, directs.

$19.50. Performances: 10 + 11:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 p.m. + 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. Free parking. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Coming up

MidsummerNightsDream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. SEPT. 5-OCT. 21. World premiere. 

Alliance Theatre at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. In this adaptation by Chicago-based director David Catlin (Moby Dick, Lookingglass Alice), Shakespeare’s five-act romantic farce becomes a brisk 90 minutes. He uses six actors (familiar Alliance faces Devon HalesJoe Knezevich and Courtney Patterson, plus visiting artists Ericka Ratcliff, Adeoye Mabogunje and Travis Turner) instead of the usual 25-plus, and blends dance, music, circus arts and familiar bits from other Shakespeare plays to tell a tale that celebrates the madness and irrationality of love. See it in the Skyline Garden area.

$20-$55. Your show ticket includes entrance to the Garden anytime that day (but there’s no leaving and re-entering). 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Saturday except there are no shows Sept. 10, 14-19, 24-26 or Oct. 1-4, 8-11, 15 + 17. The Garden is at 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[A CLOSER LOOK AT DAVID CATLIN’S MAD, MAD, MAD MIDSUMMER]

 Park Krausen as Irina Arkadina. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Park Krausen as Irina Arkadina. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Seagull. SEPT. 5-30.

A contemporary take on Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov’s action-packed 19th-century tragicomedy. It follows the romantic and artistic conflicts of four characters: the famous middlebrow writer Boris Trigorin (Lee Osorio); the ingenue Nina (Shannon McCarren); the fading actress Irina Arkadina (Park Krausen); and her son, playwright Konstantin Tréplev. Also in the cast: Allan EdwardsBrooke OwensSkye Passmore and Maythinee Washington. The Serenbe Playhouse staging, done lakeside, features reimagined Balkan music, dark humor and director Elizabeth Dinkova’s Eastern European brand of mayhem. Most Serenbe shows require a walk along a sometimes muddy path. Appropriate footwear suggested. For mobility assistance (parking, accessibility cart, etc.), contact the box office.

$30-$50. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday; also 2 p.m. Saturday. Serenbe is at 9110 Selborne Lane in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 Jack Ha, Vivi Thai. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Jack Ha, Vivi Thai. Photo: Chris Bartelski

The Two Kids Who Blow Sh*t Up. SEPT. 7-30. At Aurora Theatre.

Max (Jack Ha) and Diana (Vivi Thai) meet as kids, the day their parents begin an affair. For the next 18 years they see each other through highs and lows, trying not to make the same mistakes their parents did. 

Two Kids, by playwright Carla Ching, is a drama with humor about trying not to fall in love with your best friend so you end up hating them. 

Pam Joyce directs. Created at the prestigious Lark Play Development Center in New York.

$15-$20. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

 

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A WHOLE NEW WORLD - ALADDIN AT THE FOX THEATRE

  The Genie and the company of “Aladdin.” Photos courtesy of Disney Theatrical Productions.

The Genie and the company of “Aladdin.” Photos courtesy of Disney Theatrical Productions.

How the ‘Aladdin’ creative team brought the animated feature film to the Broadway stage.

Broadway in Atlanta brings “Aladdin” to the Fox Theatre for a Sept. 12-23 run. Details, tickets HERE or at 855. 285.8499.

EARLY IN THE EVOLUTION of Aladdin, composer Alan Menken, book writer/lyricist Chad Beguelin and director/choreographer Casey Nicholaw got together to write a new song for the stage musical — the kind of collaboration that probably could happen only on Broadway.

 Jasmine and Aladdin find a whole new world in each other’s eyes amid the nobles, misfits and villains in the Middle Eastern city of Agrabah.

Jasmine and Aladdin find a whole new world in each other’s eyes amid the nobles, misfits and villains in the Middle Eastern city of Agrabah.

“We needed to write a new song for the Genie, [for] when he’s going to free Aladdin from the dungeon in Act 2,” says Menken. “And we wrote this song called ‘Somebody’s Got Your Back.’ It was just one of those old-fashioned theater mo­ments where you lock three people in a room. I run over to the piano and try an idea, Casey gets up and gets kind of a movement idea. And Chad shouts out lyric ideas. Within half an hour, we had the beginning of this song. The best part of the process is always the initial creativity, the initial writing — and that was a great moment.”

Aladdin opened on Broadway on Feb. 26, 2014, and is more than 1,900 performances into that run in addition to this national tour. The show won a featured actor Tony Award for its original genie, James Monroe Iglehart, and nominations for best book of a musical, original score and choreography.

It’s easy to imagine the late lyricist How­ard Ashman being ridiculously pleased with the success of his Disney-based work with longtime writing partner Menken. Their iconic scores for the animated movies The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast both found second lives as Broadway musicals.

But what of their last Disney project together — 1992’s Aladdin? Die-hard fans know that Menken and Ashman had written 11 songs for the movie, only to have most of them cut from early drafts of the screenplay. Ashman’s 1991 death, from AIDS-related complications, had complicated production.

Did any of those songs still exist? Could a reimagined Aladdin make it to Broadway? The answers are “yes.” The final version of the show joins several of Ashman’s original ideas for the movie with new, wholly theatrical notions from the new blue-chip creative team.

It began when Beguelin, a Tony-nominated lyricist (The Wedding Singer) was asked to collaborate on a draft of a stage version of Aladdin. When Menken saw Beguelin’s first draft, he realized it was time to resurrect the film’s deleted songs and debut them for a new generation.

 A company of nearly 30 brings the 2014 musical to the Fox Theatre for the first time.

A company of nearly 30 brings the 2014 musical to the Fox Theatre for the first time.

“It’s been re­ally a unique process,” Begue­lin says. “The task was to create Aladdin ‘the new stage musical,’ but also to integrate these lost songs. It’s been like putting together a musical puzzle.”

Audiences can still expect their favorites — in­cluding the Oscar-winning Menken/Tim Rice song “A Whole New World” and a swinging “Friend Like Me.”

Getting Aladdin on Broadway was a memo­rable experience, even for someone with a track record like Menken’s. “Coming to the show is like opening up, in a sense, a treasure trove — or a ‘cave of wonders,’ if you will — of material that was intended for the animated movie,” he says.

Ultimately, Nicholaw — familiar to Atlanta audiences for his work at the Alliance Theatre (The Prom, Tuck Everlasting) thinks audiences will welcome the “new” Menk­en/Ashman tunes and the new Menken/Be­guelin songs. “It’s about keeping all the stuff that everyone loves from the movie and, in order to get it onstage, give it a musical-comedy heart.”

::

This article originally ran in Disney twenty-three, a publication of D23: The Official Disney Fan Club.

fashionado

BEST BETS | Aug. 9-15, 2018

Branford Marsalis

The third Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival wraps this week, and the new Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center gets its first dates. Show titles to check out: “Dot” (closing at True Colors); the independent “Blackbird” and “On the Third Day“; and the Essential New Play Fest. Pictured: Jazz master Branford Marsalis, who brings his quartet to Sandy Springs on Saturday.

Recommended

Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival

Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival.MONDAY-TUESDAY.

And then there were two. This year’s fest is half over, but you can still catch Sundays at Four by Brittani Minnieweather, Jamie Walker and Jonathan Peacock, and The Fairy Hoax by Tom Diggs and Jay D’AmicoSundays at Four is when the Washington family gathers for fellowship. The musical looks at what happens when family dynamics are challenged, and the status quo is no longer acceptable. See it at 8 p.m. Monday. The Fairy Hoax is about a 13-year-old British girl who fakes photos of fairies to get her mother’s attention. It’s based on the real-life Cottingley Fairy Hoax in 1917. See it at 8 p.m. Tuesday.

$17 per show. Out Front Theatre, at 999 Brady Ave. in West Midtown, plays host. Details, tickets HERE

 Dash Clowdus-Howe. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Dash Clowdus-Howe. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Titanic. THROUGH AUG. 19.

Tough ticket, but seats have been added to sold-out performances. The outdoors-only Serenbe Playhouse arguably tops its Carousel (performed with a real carnival) and Miss Saigon (featuring a Huey helicopter that took flight) with artistic director Brian Clowdus’ ambitious staging of this Tony Award-winning Broadway musical.

The time: 1912. The place: aboard the RMS Titanic. Clowdus employs a cast of 40 (including regulars Niki BaduaBlake BurgessJessica De Maria, Chase Davidson and Robert Wayne) and a four-story Titanic replica that sinks nightly in the Inn Lake at Serenbe. “It’s not about the boat sinking,” Clowdus says. “It’s about people on a voyage or quest for joy, hope and change.” All Serenbe shows require a walk along a sometimes muddy path. Appropriate footwear suggested. This show does include seating. For mobility assistance (parking, accessibility cart, etc.), contact the box office.

$35 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Serenbe is at 9110 Selborne Lane in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.

Opening this week

 Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

The Tortoise, the Hare & Other Aesop’s Fables. BEGINS AUG. 14.

Part of the Center for Puppetry Arts’ Theatre for the Very Young (age 2 and up). The musical performance tells five tales in a circus-style show adapted by Atlanta theater artist Michael Haverty and featuring glove, rod and shadow puppets.

Previews Aug. 14-15 ($11.25). Regularly $19.50. Opens Aug. 16. Through Sept. 23. 10 +11:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 p.m. + 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. Free parking. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

This weekend only

 Photo: Eric Ryan Anderson

Photo: Eric Ryan Anderson

Branford Marsalis Quartet. SATURDAY ONLY.

The NEA Jazz Master and Grammy Award-winning saxophonist and friends help inaugurate the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center. Marsalis is one of the most respected instrumentalists of his time. The Branford Marsalis Quartet is widely considered one of the most innovative and forward-thinking jazz ensembles working today. The quartet’s usual lineup includes pianist Joey Calderazzo, drummer Justin Faulkner and bass guitarist Eric Revis.

$40-$65. 8 p.m. Byers Theatre. 1 Galambos Way (bordered by Sandy Springs Circle and Allen, Johnson Ferry and Roswell roads), Sandy Springs. Underground parking on-site. Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 770.206.2022.

Closing this week

 Denise Burse, Benedetto Robinson. Photo: Brenda Nicole Photography

Denise Burse, Benedetto Robinson. Photo: Brenda Nicole Photography

Dot. CLOSES SUNDAY. At True Colors Theatre Company.

This gentle comedy by Colman Domingo uses humor to look at issues surrounding aging parents and midlife crises. The setting is Christmastime in urban West Philly. The playwright, says Variety.com, “sees the absurdity and human comedy in a messy, volatile, all-too-real family dynamic.” Atlanta-born, New York-based stage/film actor Denise Burse is Dot. Also in the cast: Gilbert Glenn BrownTinashe Kajese-BoldenRhyn McLemore Saver and Lee Osorio. True Colors co-founder and artistic director Kenny Leon directs. Contains adult language, situations.

$20-$35. 7:30 tonight-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. True Colors performs at the Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road SW. Details, tickets HERE or at 877.725.8849 (Ticket Alternative).

Still running

Blackbird

Blackbird. THROUGH AUG. 19.

Fifteen years ago, Ray was convicted of sexually assaulting a young girl named Una. He’s served his prison sentence, changed his name, moved and started a new life. When Una stumbles upon a recent photo of Ray, she decides to confront him. Scottish playwright David Harrower’s 2005 drama is staged here by Right On Productions and Frat Pack Productions. Jayson Warner Smith (TV’s “The Walking Dead” and “Rectify”) is Ray; Heather Rule is Una. Marc Gowan directs. Blackbird won London’s Olivier Award for best new play in 2007 and had a critically acclaimed Broadway run in 2016 with Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams. It earned three Tony Award nominations.

$20 plus fees. Robert Mello Studio Blackbox, 4048 Flowers Road, Suite 210, Doraville. Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets HERE.

Built To Float

Built to Float. THROUGH AUG. 25. World premiere.

Atlanta-based playwright Rachel Graf Evans’ surrealistic family drama, part of the 2018 Essential New Play Festival, asks: “Is Tess fine?” Tess tells her sister she is, but strange things keep happening in her home, and the two women try to keep from drowning in the legacy of their troubled past. Essential founder Peter Hardy directs. Note: Performed in repertory with Woke, a world premiere by Avery Sharpe. The Essential fest, in its 20th season, is dedicated to the work of Georgia playwrights. It includes a third world premiere Aug. 16-17 and Bare Essentials staged readings. As can happen with new work and smallish budgets, quality can vary.

$25. Usually 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2 + 7 p.m. Sunday but check dates and times before you go. West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details, tickets HERE. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

On the third day

On the Third Day. THROUGH AUG. 19.

A world premiere by Atlanta playwright Amina S. McIntyre. Meet the Lansings. Three years ago their eldest son and oldest brother was killed. Now family members must come together to decide the fate of the two men who shot him. The drama, an examination of grief, ritual and family, is set in Atlanta and inspired by events in McIntyre’s life. Presented by Los Angeles/Atlanta-based VanguardRepMatthew Kellen Burgos directs a five-person cast. 

$20. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Windmill Arts Center, 2823 Church St., East Point. Details, tickets HERE.

 Adrianna Trachell. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Adrianna Trachell. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Newsies. THROUGH SEPT. 2.

The 2012 Disney musical tells the real-life story of New York City’s Newsboy Strike of 1899, when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst tried to take advantage of the newsboys to increase profits. The newsboys’ response: Strike! Aurora Theatre uses a cast of 31 to tell the story, which features a Tony Award-winning score by Jack Feldman and Alan Menken (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid)Justin Anderson directs, with musical direction by Ann-Carol Pence and choreography by Ricardo Aponte.

$30-$65. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. (Note: The show, a co-production with Atlanta Lyric Theatre, plays the Lyric’s Marietta space Oct. 19-Nov. 4.) 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.

 Aaron Schilling. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Aaron Schilling. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Peter Pan. THROUGH AUG. 26. 

Serenbe Playhouse calls this a “world premiere musical pirate adventure.” If you’re so inclined, sail to the second star on the right and straight on till morning to revisit J.M. Barrie’s 1904 tale about Peter, Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys and Neverland. Complications arise when the Lost Boys get homesick and Captain Hook returns seeking revenge. The story is by Roger Q. Mason, the score by London-trained, New York regular Ella GraceMichael Alvarez, who works largely in Britain, directs. Serenbe, which does outdoor, site-specific shows, sets Peter Pan at its Mado Hideaway. All shows take place in the woods and require a walk along a sometimes muddy path. Appropriate footwear suggested. For mobility assistance (parking, accessibility cart, etc.), contact the box office.

$13-$30. 11 a.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Serenbe is at 9110 Selborne Lane in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 Avery Sharpe

Avery Sharpe

Woke. THROUGH AUG. 26. World premiere.

This prize-winning dramatic comedy by Atlanta actor/playwright Avery Sharpe is part of the Essential New Play Festival (it runs in repertory with Built to Float). The script follows two close friends from different backgrounds trying to navigate the high school-to-college transition when a calamitous event captures national attention. They’re forced to face their conflicting understandings of social awareness as they search for what it truly means to be “woke.” Ellen McQueen directs. The 20-year-old Essential fest is dedicated to the work of Georgia playwrights. It includes a third world premiere Aug. 16-17 and Bare Essentials staged readings. As can happen with new work and smallish budgets, quality can vary.

$25. Usually 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2 + 7 p.m. Saturday but check dates and times before you go. West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details, tickets HERE. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Next week

book of will

The Book of Will. BEGINS AUG. 15.

At Theatrical Outfit. This love letter to Shakespeare features the trademark smarts and humor of oft-produced playwright Lauren Gunderson. It opens the company’s 2018/19 season. The place: London and Stratford-upon-Avon. The time: Three years after Will’s death. The bard’s legacy depends on a circle of devoted writers, actors and friends determined to preserve his work and print a definitive collection of his plays. A fast and loose version of Hamlet sends them into high drive — with plenty of challenges to overcome. Gunderson, a Decatur-born, San Francisco-based writer, won the 2018 Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association New Play Award for this script. The Outfit’s 10-person cast includes Elisa Carlson, Suehyla El-Attar, artistic director/actor Tom Key, William S. Murphey and Doyle Reynolds. David Crowe (Silent Sky) directs.

Previews Aug. 15-17 ($18-$36). Opens Aug. 18 ($23.50-$51). Regularly $22.50-$49. Through Sept. 9. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday (no matinee Aug. 18); and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

BunchOfDifferentWaysIdLikeToDie

A Bunch of Different Ways I’d Like to Die. AUG. 16-17 ONLY.

Part of the 2018 Essential New Play Festival. Described as a dark, comic meditation on life and mortality by one of Atlanta’s more distinguished actors. Written and performed by Tim McDonough, a longtime member of Georgia Shakespeare (King Lear, Shylock in The Merchant of Venice, Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman). He won a Suzi Bass Award for his work as Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and has acted at the Alliance Theatre, Marietta’s Theatre in the Square, Horizon Theatre and the late Theater Gael. He also acts at Emory University (Theater Emory), where he teaches theater studies. $25. 8 nightly. West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details, tickets HERE. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com

Coming up

  Joe Gransden (left), Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

 Joe Gransden (left), Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

Joe Gransden Big Band featuring Landau Eugene Murphy Jr. AUG. 16 ONLY. 

Gransden and friends help inaugurate the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center by swinging in the intimate Studio Theatre. The 16-piece big band, formed in 2009, performs around the country and has a standing gig at Atlanta’s Cafe 290 (the first and third Monday every month). This cabaret event offers dinner, drinks and music, featuring guest vocalist Landau Eugene Murphy Jr., a Sinatra-style vocalist and the Season 6 winner of the NBC reality show “America’s Got Talent.” Reserved table seating gives patrons the option to dine during the show.

 Sutton Foster   

Sutton Foster

 

Sutton Foster. AUG. 18 ONLY. Highly recommended.

The two-time Tony Award winner (Thoroughly Modern Millie, Anything Goes) helps inaugurate the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center with a concert based on her latest CD, Take Me to the World. You may also know Foster, who has done 11 Broadway shows (including The Drowsy Chaperone, Little Women and Violet), from the TV Land series “Younger.” Take Me to the World dropped June 1 and includes songs by theater composers Jason Robert Brown, Kander & Ebb, Cole Porter and Stephen Sondheim; pop songwriters Paul Simon and James Taylor; and the Broadway shows Guys and Dolls, Purlie, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Singin’ in the Rain and Violet. Expect a new set list, not the one Foster did in April at Atlanta Symphony Hall.

$35-$90. 8 p.m. Byers Theatre. 1 Galambos Way (bordered by Sandy Springs Circle and Allen, Johnson Ferry and Roswell roads), Sandy Springs. Underground parking on-site. Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 770.206.2022.

 

fashionado

BEST BETS | Aug. 2-8, 2018

 It’s all about openings in this week’s curated column, including the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival; the East by Southeast Festival for Asian-American Voices; the award-winning “Blackbird” at the Robert Mello Studios Blackbox; and the world premieres of  “On the Third Day” at Windmill Arts Center and “Woke,” joining the Essential New Play Fest. Pictured: Greg Kamp (center) as newsboys’ strike leader Jack Kelly with his cronies in Aurora Theatre’s “Newsies.” Photo by Chris Bartelski.

It’s all about openings in this week’s curated column, including the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival; the East by Southeast Festival for Asian-American Voices; the award-winning “Blackbird” at the Robert Mello Studios Blackbox; and the world premieres of  “On the Third Day” at Windmill Arts Center and “Woke,” joining the Essential New Play Fest. Pictured: Greg Kamp (center) as newsboys’ strike leader Jack Kelly with his cronies in Aurora Theatre’s “Newsies.” Photo by Chris Bartelski.

 Recommended

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Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival. BEGINS MONDAY. 

One of the more enjoyable events of the year. The AMTF, now in its third year, offers four brand-new musicals. They look at family and faith, fairies in Britain, a confused crayon and Wonder Woman’s origin story. The schedule: Wonder Women by Greg Becker at 8 p.m. Monday; Red — A Crayon’s Musical by Ben Thorpe and John Burke at 8 p.m. Tuesday; Sundays at Four by Brittani Minnieweather, Jamie Walker and Jonathan Peacock at 8 p.m. Aug. 13; and The Fairy Hoax by Tom Diggs and Jay D’Amico at 8 p.m. Aug. 14.  

Festival pass $50 plus fees. Single show: $17 ($12 for Red — A Crayon’s Musical). Out Front Theatre, at 999 Brady Ave. in West Midtown, plays host.

Details, tickets HEREDiscounted full festival pass at PoshDealz.com.

 Avery Sharpe. Photo: Dad’s Garage

Avery Sharpe. Photo: Dad’s Garage

Black Nerd. CLOSES SATURDAY.

Tough ticket. We’re hearing good things about this original dark comedy at Dad’s Garage Theatre Company.

The story concerns a black kid who prefers listening to Weird Al over Kendrick Lamar, attending Dragon Con to seeing Jay-Z, or watching Star Wars instead of Tyler Perry’s Madea. Black Nerd follows this young man as he navigates the expectations of his black family and his white friends, where race and geekdom collide.

The script is the first solo effort from Dad’s company member Jon Carr, who collaborated on the earlier Wrath of Con.

The cast: Mandy ButlerCandy McLellan, playwright/actor Avery Sharpe and Jon Wierenga. $15.50-$29.50. Dad’s is at 569 Ezzard St. SE. Details, tickets HERE (you’ll save money if you buy online) or at 404.523.3141.

 Blake Burgess (from left), Shannon McCarren, Jessica De Maria. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Blake Burgess (from left), Shannon McCarren, Jessica De Maria. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

 Titanic. THROUGH AUG. 19.

Tough ticket, but seats have been added to sold-out performances. The outdoors-only Serenbe Playhouse tops its Carousel (performed with a real carnival) and Miss Saigon (featuring a genuine Huey helicopter that took flight) with artistic director Brian Clowdus’ ambitious staging of this Tony Award-winning Broadway musical. The time: 1912. The place: aboard the RMS Titanic in the Atlantic Ocean.

Clowdus employs a cast of 40 (including regulars Niki BaduaBlake BurgessJessica De Maria, Chase Davidson and Robert Wayne) and a four-story Titanic replica that sinks nightly in the Inn Lake at Serenbe. But, as Clowdus says, “It’s not about the boat sinking. It’s about people on a voyage or quest for joy, hope and change.” All Serenbe shows can require a walk along a muddy path. Appropriate footwear recommended. There is seating for this show. For mobility assistance (parking, accessibility cart, etc.), contact the box office. $35 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Serenbe is at 9110 Selborne Lane in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.

Opening this week

 Jayson Warner Smith, Heather Rule. Photo: Jamie Maciuszek

Jayson Warner Smith, Heather Rule. Photo: Jamie Maciuszek

Blackbird. OPENS FRIDAY.

Scottish playwright David Harrower’s 2005 drama follows a 27-year-old woman (Una) who surprises a 50-year-old man (Ray) at his office. Fifteen years earlier, Ray was convicted of sexually assaulting Una. He served his prison sentence, changed his name, moved and started a new life. When Una stumbles upon a recent photo of Ray, she decides to confront him. Jayson Warner Smith (TV’s The Walking Dead and Rectify) is Ray, Heather Rule is Una.

Marc Gowan directs. The staging comes from Right On Productions and Frat Pack Productions. Blackbird won London’s Olivier Award for best new play in 2007 and had a critically acclaimed Broadway run in 2016 with Jeff Daniels and Michelle Williams. It earned three Tony Award nominations.

$20 plus fees. Through Aug. 19. Robert Mello Studio Blackbox, 4048 Flowers Road, Suite 210, Doraville. Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets HERE.

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East by Southeast: A Festival of Asian-American Voices. OPENS SUNDAY. Free admission.

Dozens of Asian-American artists from a wide range of backgrounds and disciplines showcase their art over four nights at two venues. The lineup includes traditional Chinese dance, Bengali music, spoken word by Korean-American artists, an original devised piece of theater and staged readings of new plays. The festival’s goal is to engage Atlantans in a conversation about how the American story includes the Asian-American experience.

Co-presented by Aurora and Horizon theaters. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday performances are at Horizon, 1083 Austin Ave. N.E., 404.584.7450. Aug. 19 performances are at Aurora, 128 E. Pike St., 678.226.6222. Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Performance details and reservations at Brown Paper Tickets HERE.

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On the Third Day. OPENS FRIDAY.

A world premiere by Atlanta playwright Amina S. McIntyre.

Meet the Lansings. Three years ago their eldest son and oldest brother was killed. Now family members must come together to decide the fate of the two men who shot him. The drama, an examination of grief, ritual and family, is set in Atlanta and inspired by events in McIntyre’s life. Presented by Los Angeles/Atlanta-based VanguardRepMatthew Kellen Burgos directs a five-person cast. 

$20. Through Aug. 19. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Windmill Arts Center, 2823 Church St., East Point. Details, tickets HERE.

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Woke. OPENS FRIDAY. World premiere.

This prize-winning drama by Atlanta actor/playwright Avery Sharpe (the same artist in the cast of Dad’s Garage’s Black Nerd) begins its Essential New Play Festival run (in repertory with Built to Float). The script follows two close friends from different backgrounds who are already trying to navigate the high school-to-college transition when a calamitous event captures national attention. They’re forced to face their conflicting understandings of social awareness as they painstakingly and comically search for what it truly means to be “woke.”

Ellen McQueen directs. The 20-year-old Essential fest is dedicated to the work of Georgia playwrights. It includes a third world premiere Aug. 16-17 and three Bare Essentials staged readings. As can happen with new work and smallish budgets, quality can vary. $25. Through Aug. 26. Usually 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2 + 7 p.m. Saturday but check dates and times before you go. West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details, tickets HERE.

Still running

 Rachel Graf Evans

Rachel Graf Evans

Built to Float. THROUGH AUG. 25. World premiere.

Atlanta-based playwright Rachel Graf Evans’ surrealistic family drama, part of the 2018 Essential New Play Festival, asks: “Is Tess fine?” Tess tells her sister she is, but strange things keep happening in her home. The two women try to keep from drowning in the legacy of their troubled past. Essential founder Peter Hardy directs. Note: Woke, a world premiere by Avery Sharpejoins the repertory Friday.

The Essential fest, in its 20th season, is dedicated to the work of Georgia playwrights. It includes a third world premiere Aug. 16-17 and three Bare Essentials staged readings. As can happen with new work and smallish budgets, quality can vary. $25. Usually 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday and 2 + 7 p.m. Sunday but check dates and times before you go. West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details, tickets HERE.

 Tinashe Kajese-Bolden, Gilbert Glenn Brown. Photo: Brenda Nicole Photography

Tinashe Kajese-Bolden, Gilbert Glenn Brown. Photo: Brenda Nicole Photography

Dot. THROUGH AUG. 12. At True Colors Theatre Company.

This gentle comedy by Colman Domingo uses humor to look at issues surrounding aging parents and midlife crises. The setting is Christmastime in urban West Philly. The playwright, says Variety.com, “sees the absurdity and human comedy in a messy, volatile, all-too-real family dynamic.” Atlanta-born, New York-based stage/film actor Denise Burse is Dot.

Also in the cast: such familiar faces as Gilbert Glenn BrownTinashe Kajese-BoldenRhyn McLemore Saver and Lee Osorio. True Colors co-founder and artistic director Kenny Leon directs. Contains adult language, situations.

$20-$35. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. True Colors performs at the Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road SW. Details, tickets HERE or at 877.725.8849 (Ticket Alternative).

 Tinashe Kajese-Bolden, Gilbert Glenn Brown. Photo: Brenda Nicole Photography

Tinashe Kajese-Bolden, Gilbert Glenn Brown. Photo: Brenda Nicole Photography

Newsies. THROUGH SEPT. 2.

The 2012 Disney musical tells the real-life story of New York City’s Newsboy Strike of 1899, when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst tried to take advantage of the newsboys to increase profits. The newsboys’ response: Strike! Aurora Theatre uses a cast of 31 to tell the story, which features a Tony Award-winning score by Jack Feldman and Alan Menken (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid)Justin Anderson directs, with musical direction by Ann-Carol Pence and choreography by Ricardo Aponte.

$30-$65. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 10 a.m. matinee (tickets start at $20) on Aug. 7. (Note: The show, a co-production with Atlanta Lyric Theatre, plays the Lyric’s Marietta space Oct. 19-Nov. 4.) 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.

serenbe

Peter Pan. THROUGH AUG. 26. 

Serenbe Playhouse calls this a “world premiere musical pirate adventure.” If you’re so inclined, sail to the second star on the right and straight on till morning to revisit J.M. Barrie’s 1904 tale about Peter, Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys and Neverland. Complications arise when the Lost Boys get homesick and Captain Hook returns seeking revenge.

The story is by Roger Q. Mason, the score by London-trained, New York regular Ella GraceMichael Alvarez, who works largely in Britain, directs. Serenbe, which does outdoor, site-specific shows, sets Peter Pan at its Mado Hideaway. All shows take place in the woods and require a walk along a sometimes muddy path. Appropriate footwear recommended. For mobility assistance (parking, accessibility cart, etc.), contact the box office. $13-$30. 11 a.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Serenbe is at 9110 Selborne Lane in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

fashionado

BEST BETS | July 26-31, 2018

  Our top picks in this week’s curated column offer variety — from the dark comedy “Black Nerd” at Dad’s Garage, to “Titanic” at Serenbe Playhouse, to pop-up performances by the one-of-a-kind Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre at the High Museum. Plus. Much. More. Note: All remaining performances of “The Color Purple” (Actor’s Express) + “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” (Stage Door Players) are sold out. Pictured: Rachel Van Buskirk and Heath Gill of Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre. 

Our top picks in this week’s curated column offer variety — from the dark comedy “Black Nerd” at Dad’s Garage, to “Titanic” at Serenbe Playhouse, to pop-up performances by the one-of-a-kind Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre at the High Museum. Plus. Much. More. Note: All remaining performances of “The Color Purple” (Actor’s Express) + “Smokey Joe’s Cafe” (Stage Door Players) are sold out. Pictured: Rachel Van Buskirk and Heath Gill of Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre. 

Recommended

 Jon Wierenga, Avery Sharpe. Photo: Dad’s Garage

Jon Wierenga, Avery Sharpe. Photo: Dad’s Garage

Black Nerd. THROUGH AUG. 4. At Dad’s Garage Theatre Company.

We’re hearing good things about this original dark comedy, which examines what happens when a black kid prefers listening to Weird Al over Kendrick Lamar, attending Dragon Con over seeing Jay-Z, or watching Star Wars instead of Tyler Perry’s Madea. Black Nerd follows a young man as he navigates the expectations of his black family and his white friends, where race and geekdom collide.

The script is the first solo effort from Dad’s company member Jon Carr, who collaborated on the earlier Wrath of Con.

The cast: Mandy ButlerCandy McLellanAvery Sharpe and Jon Wierenga.

$15.50-$29.50. Dad’s is at 569 Ezzard St. SE. Details, tickets HERE (you’ll save money if you buy online) or at 404.523.3141.

 Heath Gill, Rachel Van Buskirk. Photo: TMBT

Heath Gill, Rachel Van Buskirk. Photo: TMBT

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre. FRIDAY-SATURDAY ONLY.

Two pop-up performances at the High Museum of Art feature Heath Gill’s Confronting Genius, described as “a whimsical duet that looks at unshackling the artist that lives inside us all.” Dancers from the company’s Advanced Summer Intensive program also perform. 

Terminus, founded in fall 2017, is dedicated to expanding ballet’s boundaries through contemporary movement and nontraditional approaches. Gill, along with co-founders Christian Clark, Tara Lee, Rachel Van Buskirk and John Welker, were longtime Atlanta Ballet dancers.

Free for High Museum members; $14.50 non-members. Seating limited. 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The High Museum is at the Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

 Chase Davidson as radioman Harold McBride, crew of the RMS Titanic. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Chase Davidson as radioman Harold McBride, crew of the RMS Titanic. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Titanic. THROUGH AUG. 19. 

The credo for major musicals at Serenbe Playhouse often seems to be “go big or go home.” Carousel and Miss Saigon come to mind. Both seem outpaced, however, by artistic director Brian Clowdus’ ambitious plan for this Tony Award-winning Broadway musical about the 1912 maritime disaster that killed 1,503 men, women and children.

Clowdus’ staging features a cast of 40 (including regulars Niki BaduaBlake BurgessJessica De Maria, Chase Davidson and Robert Wayne) and a four-story Titanic replica that sinks nightly in the Inn Lake at Serenbe. But, as Clowdus says, “It’s not about the boat sinking. It’s about people on a voyage or quest for joy, hope and change.”

All Serenbe shows take place outdoors and can require a walk along a muddy path. Appropriate footwear recommended. There is seating for this show. For mobility assistance (parking, accessibility cart, etc.), contact the box office.

$35 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Serenbe is at 9110 Selborne Lane in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.

Opening this week

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Built to Float. OPENS FRIDAY. World premiere.

Atlanta-based playwright Rachel Graf Evans opens this year’s Essential New Play Festival with a surrealistic family drama that asks: “Is Tess fine?” Tess tells her sister she is, but strange things keep happening in her home. The two women try to keep from drowning in the legacy of their troubled past. Essential founder Peter Hardy directs. Woke, a world premiere by Avery Sharpe, joins the repertory Aug. 3.

The Essential fest, in its 20th season, is dedicated to the work of Georgia playwrights. It includes a third world premiere Aug. 16-17 and three Bare Essentials staged readings. As can happen with new work and smallish budgets, quality can vary here.

$25. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 + 7 p.m. Saturday, but check the schedule before you go. West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details, tickets HERE.

Closing this week

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Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. CLOSES SUNDAY. At the Center for Puppetry Arts. 

Cows that type? Chickens on strike? Check out Farmer Brown’s topsy-turvy barnyard in this adaptation by the Center’s Jon Ludwig and Jason Hines. It’s based on the Caldecott Honor-winning children’s book published in 2000. The comedy uses marionette, rod and shadow puppets and is appropriate for age 4 and up. 

The cast/puppeteers: Dolph Amick, Brian Harrison, Mandy Mitchell, head puppeteer Amy Sweeney and Tim Sweeney.

$19.50. 10 a.m. + noon Tuesday-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.

 Maggie Birgel. Photo: Casey Gardner

Maggie Birgel. Photo: Casey Gardner

Enchanted April. CLOSES SUNDAY. From the Weird Sisters Theatre Project.

In 1922, two housewives find themselves in dreary marriages in post-World War I London. They decide to rent an Italian villa for a ladies-only escape with two reluctant recruits. Things lost are soon found as the women clash, then begin to bond and bloom under the Mediterranean sun. Matthew Barber’s romantic comedy, based on the 1922 novel by Elizabeth von Armin, had a four-month summer run on Broadway in 2003.

Kate Donadio MacQueen directs. The cast: Maggie Birgel, Josh Brook, Amanda CucherShelli Delgado, Stephanie Earle, J.L. Reed, Topher Payne and Holly Stevenson.

$15 plus fees. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday. Performed at Out of Box Theatre, 585 Cobb Parkway South in Marietta. Tickets HERE.

 Kenneth Wigley, Dani Herd. Photo: Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

Kenneth Wigley, Dani Herd. Photo: Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. CLOSES SUNDAY. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse.

It’s the Midsummer season. The new Shakespeare Kennesaw recently finished its run, and September brings an outdoor version from the Alliance Theatre.

At the Tavern, Kenneth Wigley (Theseus, Oberon) and Dani Herd (Hippolyta, Titania) lead a large band of storytellers in a comic tale about two pairs of lovers (one requited, one not so much) and a ragtag bunch of thespians who stumble upon a chaotic fairy kingdom. J. Tony Brown directs. 

Pub menu and libations available. $21-$42. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. NE (parking suggested in the Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across the street). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0.

Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. CLOSES SATURDAY. Georgia Ensemble Theatre reprises last season’s jukebox musical about the Man in Black. Ring of Fire tells Cash’s story through his songs — from vintage country to rockabilly to ballads — including “Daddy Sang Bass,” “A Boy Named Sue,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Going to Memphis,” “Jackson,” “If I Were a Carpenter,” “I Walk the Line” and 32 more. The run continues GET’s partnership with the Chattahoochee Nature Center for a fourth consecutive summer and features the same cast as last season: Chris DamianoScott DePoy, Christopher Kent, Laura Lindahl and Mark W. Schroeder. $16.50 general admission lawn seating; $36.50 reserved table seating under the pavilion; $365 for a 10-person table. Cash bar (no outside alcohol or glass allowed). 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday (grounds open at 6:30 p.m.). 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.

 Walking the line (from left): Scott DePoy, Christopher Kent, Chris Damiano, Laura Lindahl, Mark W. Schroeder. Photo: GET

Walking the line (from left): Scott DePoy, Christopher Kent, Chris Damiano, Laura Lindahl, Mark W. Schroeder. Photo: GET

 Still running

 Denise Burse, Lee Osorio. Photo: True Colors Theatre

Denise Burse, Lee Osorio. Photo: True Colors Theatre

Dot. THROUGH AUG. 12. At True Colors Theatre Company.

This gentle comedy by Colman Domingo uses humor to look at issues surrounding aging parents and midlife crises. The setting is Christmastime in urban West Philly. The playwright, says Variety.com, “sees the absurdity and human comedy in a messy, volatile, all-too-real family dynamic.” Atlanta-born, New York-based stage/film actor Denise Burse is Dot. Also in the cast: such familiar faces as Gilbert Glenn BrownTinashe Kajese-BoldenRhyn McLemore Saver and Lee Osorio

True Colors co-founder and artistic director Kenny Leon directs. Contains adult language, situations. $20-$35. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (no 2:30 p.m. show July 31). True Colors performs at the Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road SW. Details, tickets HERE or at 877.725.8849 (Ticket Alternative).

 Adrianna Trachell, Greg Kamp. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Adrianna Trachell, Greg Kamp. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Newsies. THROUGH SEPT. 2.

The 2012 Disney musical tells the real-life story of New York City’s Newsboy Strike of 1899, when publishing titans Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst tried to take advantage of the newsboys to increase profits. The newsboys’ response: Strike! 

Aurora Theatre uses a cast of 31 to tell the story, set at the turn of the 19th century. Newsies features a Tony Award-winning score by Jack Feldman and Alan Menken (Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Little Mermaid)Justin Andersondirects, with musical direction by Ann-Carol Pence and choreography by Ricardo Aponte.

$30-$65. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 10 a.m. matinees  (tickets start at $20) on July 31 + Aug. 7. (Note: The show, a co-production with Atlanta Lyric Theatre, plays the Lyric’s Marietta space Oct. 19-Nov. 4.) 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.

serenbebug.jpg

Peter Pan. THROUGH AUG. 26. 

Serenbe Playhouse calls this a “world premiere musical pirate adventure.” If you’re so inclined, sail to the second star on the right and straight on till morning to revisit J.M. Barrie’s 1904 tale about Peter, Tinker Bell, the Lost Boys and Neverland. Complications arise when the Lost Boys get homesick and Captain Hook returns seeking revenge. The story is by Roger Q. Mason, the score by London-trained, New York regular Ella GraceMichael Alvarez, who works largely in Britain, directs. Serenbe, which does outdoor, site-specific shows, sets Peter Pan at its Mado Hideaway.

All shows take place in the woods and require a walk along a sometimes muddy path. Appropriate footwear recommended. For mobility assistance (parking, accessibility cart, etc.), contact the box office. $13-$30. 11 a.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Serenbe is at 9110 Selborne Lane in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

fashionado