BEST BETS | Dec. 6-12, 2018

The-Alliance's-Christmas-Carol

FESTIVE OUTINGS await. The bad news: “Knead” (Alliance) closes Sunday. The good news: “Christmas Canteen” (Aurora),  “A Christmas Carol” (Alliance), Atlanta Ballet’s new “Nutcracker” and “Frog and Toad” (Synchronicity) open or continue; and the ASO plays its first holiday concert. Intriguing: Aurora’s one-man “This Wonderful Life.” Pictured: The Alliance’s “Christmas Carol” company. Photo by Greg Mooney.

Top picks

Christian Magby, Chani Maisonet. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christian Magby, Chani Maisonet. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christmas Canteen.THROUGH DEC. 23.

Aurora Theatre joyously stages its 23rd original holiday revue. A singing, dancing cast of eight channels the golden days of TV Christmas specials (think Bing Crosby and Andy Williams) and mixes in a few contemporary moves to create a show that will have you glowing with the magic of the season. Ricardo Aponte and Anthony P. Rodriguez co-direct. Aponte also choreographs, with musical direction by Ann-Carol Pence, who also performs. This year’s merrymakers are Galen Crawley, Jimi Kocina, Christian Magby, Kristin Markiton, Chani Maisonet, Kenny Tran, Cecil Washington Jr. and Briana Young. Check the Aurora website for sold-out dates before you go.

$30 and up. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 10 a.m. matinees ($20 and up) Dec. 11 + 18. Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

Bart Hansard as the Ghost of Christmas Present (he also plays Fezziwig). Photo: Greg Mooney

Bart Hansard as the Ghost of Christmas Present (he also plays Fezziwig). Photo: Greg Mooney

A Christmas Carol. OPENS DEC. 12.

The biggest “bah humbug” of them all. The Alliance Theatre takes its musical, multicultural telling (penned by David H. Bell) back to Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre for a second season. David de Vries returns as Ebenezer Scrooge. Joining him again are many familiar faces, including Neal A. Ghant (Bob Cratchit); Bart Hansard (Fezziwig, Ghost of Christmas Present); and Courtney Patterson (Ghost of Christmas Past). Rosemary Newcott once again directs. The caroling is gorgeous, and irresistible. Family-friendly. Note: Metal detectors are in place for every performance, so allow extra time to enter the venue.

$14-$115. Through Dec. 24. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 7 p.m. Dec. 23. 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

[DIRECTOR ROSEMARY NEWCOTT GOES ‘CAROL’-ING ONE MORE TIME]

Mary Lynn Owen. Photo: Greg Mooney

Mary Lynn Owen. Photo: Greg Mooney

Knead. CLOSES SUNDAY.

An Alliance Theatre world premiere. In the wee hours, a woman attempts to bake bread from her mother’s incomprehensible recipe. But the ingredients of time and memory keep interfering, and the process — the kneading, rising, shaping and baking, all in real time — becomes a journey into unpredictability. Bread will be baked and, perhaps, shared. Two-time Suzi Bass Award-winning actor Mary Lynn Owen wrote the one-person script, her first, and is the lone cast member. Knead was developed in the Alliance’s Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab and was a semifinalist for the prestigious O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. David de Vries (the same artist who plays the Alliance’s Ebenezer Scrooge) directs. Recommended for age 14 and up.

$45; $10 teens. 7:30 p.m. 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.

[MORE: HOW A PLAYWRIGHT RISES]

Theatrical Outfit’s “Miss Bennet” company (from left) Stephanie Friedman, Juan Carlos Unzueta, Jeanette Illidge, Devon Hales, Amelia Fischer, Jonathan Horne, Justin Walker, Jasmine Thomas. Photo: David Woolf

Theatrical Outfit’s “Miss Bennet” company (from left) Stephanie Friedman, Juan Carlos Unzueta, Jeanette Illidge, Devon Hales, Amelia Fischer, Jonathan Horne, Justin Walker, Jasmine Thomas. Photo: David Woolf

 Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. THROUGH DEC. 23. Theatrical Outfit reprises its 2017 holiday hit with this script by Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson and colleague Margot Melcon. This witty sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice focuses on socially awkward sister Mary and a potential romantic entanglement. Miss Bennet is the fourth-most-popular play in America this season, with productions at 13 theaters nationwide. Notable Atlanta theater artist Carolyn Cook directs the Outfit staging. Amelia Fischer and Jonathan Horne return as Mary Bennet and Arthur De Bourgh. Also returning are Devon Hales and Juan Carlos Unzueta. New to the cast are Stephanie Friedman,Jeanette IllidgeJasmine Thomas and Justin Walker

$18-$51 plus fees. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 11 a.m. Dec. 13 + 20. The Outfit performs at the Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

The-Nutcracker

The Nutcracker. OPENS SATURDAY. 

Atlanta Ballet debuts its first new Nutcracker in 23 seasons, a $3.7 million staging choreographed by Russian-born Yuri Possokhov, an old friend and colleague of artistic director Gennadi Nedvigin.

This telling returns to the original source material: German author E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 fantasy story “Nutcracker and Mouse King.” It sets the opening Christmas Eve party in a small German village, and features new scenic, costume and lighting designs as well as projections to tell the story of a little girl named Marie and her come-to-life Nutcracker Prince.

$35-$140. Through Dec. 24. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 + 7 p.m. Sunday. Also at 1 p.m. Dec. 24. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303. (Pictured: Designer Sandra Woodall’s costume rendering for the Act 2 Nutcracker Prince.)

[A WHOLE NEW NUTCRACKER]

Frog-and-Toad

 A Year With Frog and Toad. OPENS FRIDAY.

A rare family show that speaks to adults as well as the kiddos. This musical tale about a year in the lives of two best friends returns to Synchronicity Theatre

The Tony-nominated show follows the cheerful, popular Frog (Matt Baum) and the rather grumpy Toad (Greg Maurice Hunter) through four, fun-filled seasons. It’s part vaudeville and part make-believe as well as funny and moving. Also in the cast: Taryn Carmona, Elliott Folds and Lyndsay Ricketson. Jenna Tamisea, artistic director of GLOW Lyric Theatre in Greenville, S.C., directs. Synchronicity’s 2006 staging won Suzi Bass awards for outstanding musical, direction and costume design. The show is based on the Newbery and Caldecott Medal-winning books by Arnold Lobel.

$16-$31 (under age 2 free). Through Dec. 30. 7 p.m. Friday; 1 + 4:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 + 5:30 p.m. Sunday. School matinees available. Every Friday is PJs and Play. Kids in PJs get free milk and fresh-baked cookies. Synchronicity Theatre is in the Peachtree Pointe Complex, 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

This weekend only

Christmas-With-ASO

Christmas With the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. SATURDAY-SUNDAY ONLY.

Four performances. These concerts continue a tradition started decades ago by then-music director Robert Shaw. The Gwinnett Young Singers and the Morehouse College Glee Club join the orchestra and ASO Chorus to perform carols and hymns. Norman Mackenzie conducts.

$29-$79. Selling well.  Limited seating remains (best availability is 8 p.m. Sunday). 3 + 8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E.  Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

 

Curious-Holiday-Encounters

Curious Holiday Encounters. THURSDAY-SUNDAY ONLY.

This festival of interactive performances takes place throughout the 7 Stages building. Expect an offbeat brand of holiday cheer as you stroll around and check out offerings from the Little Five Points Rockstar Orchestra, Arís Theatre, the Weird Sisters Theatre Project, Atlanta theater artist Rebekah Suellau and others. Artistic director Heidi S. Howard curates.

$15-$25. 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday (last entry at 9 p.m.); 5 p.m. Sunday (last entry at 7 p.m.). 1105 Euclid Ave. NE in Atlanta’s Little Five Points neighborhood. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

Deb Bowman

Deb Bowman

A Merry Little Christmas With Deb Bowman. SATURDAY ONLY.

Singer-actor Deb Bowman (Serenbe Playhouse’s Little Mermaid and A Streetcar Named Desire; Actor’s Express’ Sweeney Todd) serenades the holidays in a sultry style all her own for one night only, backed by keyboards and percussion.

$40; $60 VIP table. Grange Hall at Serenbe, 10640 Serenbe Lane, Chattahoochee Hills (about 33 miles southwest of downtown Atlanta). Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.


New holiday shows

Lilliangina Quiñones. Photo : BreeAnne Clowdus

Lilliangina Quiñones. Photo : BreeAnne Clowdus

The Christmas Carol Experience. DEC. 12-30.

See Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic in a new way. The Scrooge story gets spun on its head in this immersive event. Follow Ebenezer and his otherworldly goings-on through the rooms of the historic Wren’s Nest. Expect holiday merriment, carols and lessons to remember. Atlanta-based actor Daniel Burns is Ebenezer Scrooge. The cast of five includes Rosie Gyselinck, Jordan Patrick, Lilliangina Quiñones and Julie Trammel. Presented by Brian Clowdus Experiences. Clowdus directs. The Wren’s Nest, once the home of Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit creator Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908), is now a cultural center that preserves Harris’ legacy and the heritage of African-American folklore through storytelling, tours and student publishing.

$50; $45 under 18, seniors, military. 7 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Also at 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday. 1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., Atlanta. Tickets HERE.

Cansler McGhee (from left), Michael Dotson, Max Mattox.

Cansler McGhee (from left), Michael Dotson, Max Mattox.

The Ethel Merman Disco Christmas Spectacular. OPENS THURSDAY.

Out Front Theatre Company imagines what the great Ethel Merman’s unaired 1979 Christmas TV special would look like. It takes place onstage at the iconic Studio 54, the same year the Queen of Broadway released her infamous disco record. The show features classic Christmas songs done to a dance-floor beat and visited by a cavalcade of celebrities, including Andy Warhol, Donna Summer and Truman Capote. The world premiere is written and directed by Out Front artistic director Paul Conroy.

$15-$25. Through Dec. 22. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Also at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17. 999 Brady Ave. NW in West Midtown. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.448.2755

This Wonderful Life. THROUGH DEC. 23. This one-man version of the Jimmy Stewart film classic is new to Aurora Theatre’s holiday lineup. Jeremy Aggers (Singles in Architecture, Hands on a Hardbody) plays everybody — George Bailey, Clarence, Mr. Potter, Uncle Billy, Mary, Mr. Gower, Zuzu, etc. The script is by playwright Steve Murray (whom you might know from his days as an Atlanta Journal-Constitution critic). In repertory with the company’s one-man Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (featuring producing artistic director Anthony P. Rodriguez). Associate artistic director Justin Anderson directs.

$20. Performances at 8 p.m. Dec.13, 15, 18, 20 + 22; and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 8, 16 + 23. 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.

Jeremy Aggers as George Bailey and everyone else in “This Wonderful Life.” Photo: Casey Gardner

Jeremy Aggers as George Bailey and everyone else in “This Wonderful Life.” Photo: Casey Gardner

Returning holiday shows of note

Miss Connie Sue Day

Miss Connie Sue Day

Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays and a Connie Sue Day Christmas. DEC. 14-23.

Singer and funny lady Libby Whittemore returns to Actor’s Express with her 10th edition of this happy holiday songfest. It dates back even further, though, to her entrepreneurial days as the headliner at Buckhead’s late, great Libby’s, A Cabaret. She’s joined, as always, by Connie Sue Day, the 31st Lady of Country Music. Expect holiday classics old and new (“Hard Candy Christmas,” “River”), novelty tunes (“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”) and perhaps a verse or two penned by Connie Sue herself. You’ll hear plenty at the two-hour show and go home merry.  But beware the Dynel wig.

$40. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday.  Actor’s Express is in the King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

Also for the holidays (ongoing)

IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER:

CHARLES DICKENS’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Ongoing. Through Dec. 22. The return of the one-man telling with actor/artistic director Anthony P. Rodriguez. At Aurora Theatre’s Harvel Lab. 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Drew Reeves (left), Enoch King.

Drew Reeves (left), Enoch King.

CHARLES DICKENS’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Ongoing. Through Dec. 23. As they have for 20-plus years, a handful of actors brings the story alive at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. 404.874.5299, Ext. 0.

INVASION: CHRISTMAS CAROL. Ongoing. through Dec. 20. An improvised version of the Dickens classic with surprise special guests. Even cast members don’t know who will show up, or when. Dad’s Garage. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.  404.523.3141.

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER. Ongoing. Through Dec. 30. Based on the timeless Rankin/Bass stop-motion animated TV special from 1964. At the Center for Puppetry Arts404.873.3391.

THE SNOW QUEEN. Ongoing. Through Jan. 6. A traveling, site-specific show done outdoors and based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale. At Serenbe Playhouse770.463.1110.

ELF THE MUSICAL. Dec. 7-16. The stage version of the 2003 Will Ferrell movie comedy. Allow extra time to get through venue security at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center.  City Springs Theatre Company. 404.477.4365.

Also for the holidays (limited performances)

IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER:

HANDEL’S MESSIAHDec. 13-14 only. Two performances. Featuring the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Chorus. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

A FESTIVE FAMILY HOLIDAY. Dec. 16 only. Two performances. Join the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and conductor Stephen Mulligan to hear favorite holiday tunes and … maybe … see Santa. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

A CHRISTMAS MEMORY. Dec. 17 only. A one-man telling of the Truman Capote story about an Alabama boy and his elderly, eccentric cousin with actor/artistic director Tom Key.  At Theatrical Outfit. 678.528.1500.

fashionado

BEST BETS | April 11-18, 2018

best bets

by Kathy Janich

The opening of “Ripe Frenzy,” a world premiere at Synchronicity Theatre, tops this week’s curated BEST BETS. Joining it are “Hospice + Pointing at the Moon” (Alliance Theatre) and “Out of Darkness: Two Remain” (Atlanta Opera), both in their final days. This weekend only:  Atlanta Ballet’s “Tu Tu & More.” Pictured: Parker Fox Ciliax (left) and Taylor M. Dooley in “Ripe Frenzy.” Photo by Maddie Mahood.

**  INDICATES AN ENCORE ATLANTA WINTER/SPRING SEASON TOP PICK.

Recommended

Alliance_-_Pearle_Cleage.jpg

** Hospice + Pointing at the Moon. CLOSES SUNDAY. Alliance Theatre.

Two one-acts become a single piece of theater in the hands of playwright Pearl Cleage and A-list Atlanta actors Terry Burrell and Tinashe Kajese-Bolden

Hospice dates to 1983; Pointing at the Moon is a world premiere. Both feature the same house in Atlanta’s West End and a character named Jenny Anderson, seen at two stages in her life. The piece wrestles with the complexities of womanhood and how a parent’s love — or a longing for that love — shapes us.

$60-$75; $10 teens with high school/middle school ID. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road SW. Details, tickets HERE or 404.733.5000.

[PLAYWRIGHT PEARL CLEAGE: ‘I WONDERED WHAT CHOICES SHE HAD MADE’]

 

Maria Kanyova as the Polish dissident. Photo: Jeff Roffman

Maria Kanyova as the Polish dissident. Photo: Jeff Roffman

Out of Darkness: Two Remain. CLOSES SUNDAY. Atlanta Opera

Composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer’s two-act piece centers on Holocaust survivors visited by ghosts of their past. In Act 1, Krystyna shares her survival story with a journalist and is helped by the spirits of Auschwitz who were inspired by her lyrics. In Act 2, Gad Beck (Tom Key) is visited by his first true love, the poet Manfred Lewin (Ben Endquist), who died in Auschwitz. As Manfred implores Gad to remember and celebrate their love, the truth of their stories and fates emerges.

Based in part on the true stories of Polish dissident Krystyna Zywulska (1914-1993) and Beck (1923-2012), a gay German Jew. General & artistic director Tomer Zvulun directs.

$50. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. Performed in English with English supertitles and presented in collaboration with Theatrical Outfit at the Outfit’s Balzer Theater at Herren’s downtown, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.

 

Danyé Evonne (from left), Taylor M. Dooley, Megan Cramer. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Danyé Evonne (from left), Taylor M. Dooley, Megan Cramer. Photo: Jerry Siegel

** Ripe Frenzy. OPENS FRIDAY. Synchronicity Theatre

This world premiere by Jennifer Barclay won the National New Play Network’s 2016 Smith Prize for Political Theater. It tells the story of a mass shooting in a small American town from multiple points of view and through the lens of Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our Town. “It’s about what got us here,” says director Rachel May. “And what we do afterward.” Community conversations follow each performance. The cast: Taylor M. Dooley (Aurora Theatre’s Burnpile); Megan Cramer (Georgia Shakespeare, back in the day); Danyé Evonne; Parker Fox Ciliax; and Lizzy Liu. 

$27-$31 ($10 preview at 8 p.m. Thursday; swanky seat upgrades available). Through May 6. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Synchronicity Theatre in Midtown’s One Peachtree Pointe building, 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

This weekend only

Christian Arming

Christian Arming

 Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY + SATURDAY.

Guest conductor Christian Arming and 23-year-old American pianist/composer Conrad Tao (YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter) join the ASO for Janáček’s Taras Bulba, Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Dvořák’s stormy Symphony No. 1. Arming, an Austrian conductor, is music director of Belgium’s Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège.

$22-$97. 8 nightly. Saturday’s concert is Atlanta PRIDE Night. Use the promo code ATLPRIDE for concert tickets plus a post-concert reception.

Some proceeds benefit Atlanta Pride. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[MORE BERNSTEIN, BEETHOVEN + BISS FOR ASO IN 18/19]

 

Ohad Naharin

Ohad Naharin

Tu Tu & More. FRIDAY-SUNDAY. Atlanta Ballet.

Three works spotlight the range of dance today: Blink, a world premiere by former Atlanta Ballet dancer Tara Lee, a founder of the new Terminus Modern Ballet TheatreMinus 16 by frequent collaborator and Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin; and the Atlanta Ballet premiere of Tu Tu, promising a highly stylized classical work with a twist (choreography by frequent collaborator Stanton Welch, music by Maurice Ravel).

$20-$129. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

[A NEW ‘NUT,’ BIG NAMES FOR ATLANTA BALLET IN 18/19]

Still running

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Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat. THROUGH MAY 13. Center for Puppetry Arts

It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how, says the sassy cat in the red-and-white hat. He’s feline full of mischief (and magic) in this stage telling, done with rod puppets and based on the 1957 children’s book by Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss.

This version was first produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain. The center’s Jon Ludwig directs.

For ages 4 and up. $11.25-$19.50. 10 + 11 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW. 

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

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El Gran Día de la Madre (The Great Mother’s Day). THROUGH APRIL 29. Aurora Theatre.

A mother, daughter and granddaughter — all keepers of dark secrets — have a Mother’s Day reckoning in a family mausoleum. Expect multigenerational love, tears and laughs in this comedy from Chile, which next travels to Spain. Part of Teatro Aurora and performed in Spanish with English supertitles. The script is by Chascas y Quintanilla. Daniel Jáquez directs.

$20-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. In Aurora’s Harvel Lab. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St.

Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. 

Freaky Friday: A New Musical. THROUGH APRIL 22. Horizon Theatre. When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have one day to put things right again before Mom’s big wedding. The musical is based on the Mary Rodgers novel and the Disney movies. The score comes from Tom Kittand Brian Yorkey (Next to NormalIf/Then). Director Heidi Cline McKerley’s cast includes Jennifer Alice AckerRandi Garza, Jill Hames, Christian Magby and Juan Carlos Unzueta. $25-$45. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE at Euclid Avenue (Inman Park + Little Five Points). Free parking. Details tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Randi Garza (center) and the “Freaky Friday” ensemble. Photo: Greg Mooney

Randi Garza (center) and the “Freaky Friday” ensemble. Photo: Greg Mooney

India S. Tyree as Sebastian. S/he’s a crab. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

India S. Tyree as Sebastian. S/he’s a crab. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Little Mermaid. THROUGH APRIL 22. 

Go under the sea (or at least lakeside) with Serenbe Playhouse in Chattahoochee Hills. All Serenbe shows are outdoors and site-specific, so Ariel and Prince Eric, Flounder, Flotsam, Jetsam and the rest will spin their musical tale at the Grange Lake. The Tony Award-nominated score includes “Part of Your World,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and, of course, “Under the Sea.” Miss Saigon‘s Niki Badua and Chase Peacock return as Ariel and Eric, with Deborah Bowman (Cabaret) as the deliciously evil sea witch Ursula. 

Look closely at the set: It’s made entirely of recyclables. $30-$43. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Note: Beachfront seats have been added to previously sold-out performances. 

Details, tickets, directions HERE or at 770.463.1110.

Corey Phelps (from left), Seun Soyemi, Chris Hecke, J.L. Reed.

Corey Phelps (from left), Seun Soyemi, Chris Hecke, J.L. Reed.

Love’s Labours Lost. THROUGH APRIL 22. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

Can four young men honor their pledge to avoid the opposite sex, food, drink and sleep for the sake of becoming more intellectual and contemplative? Not in Shakespeare’s comedic universe, especially when four young women arrive on the scene. 

The 17-person cast includes Chris Hecke, Cory PhelpsJ.L. ReedSeun Soyemi and, as Don Armado, Anthony P. Rodriguez, Aurora Theatre’s artistic director. Jaclyn Hofmanndirects.

$22-$45. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Pub menu and full bar 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, Ext. 0.

Next week

Nicola Benedetti

Nicola Benedetti

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. APRIL 19 + 21.

Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti joins the ASO for Beethoven’s “monumental” Violin Concerto, a piece she says is a favorite, calling it “tender, and sensitive, and intimate.”

The program, conducted by Matthias Pintscher, includes his Ex nihilo and Brahms Symphony No. 2. Pintscher is in his fifth season as music director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, a world-renowned, Paris-based ensemble dedicated to contemporary chamber music. He also is principal conductor of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra in Switzerland.

$32-$108. 8 nightly (all ticket holders are invited to attend a 6:45 p.m. chamber recital in Symphony Hall on April 19). Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

 

Stacy Melich, and friends. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Stacy Melich, and friends. Photo: Chris Bartelski

** The Flower Room. PREVIEWS APRIL 18-20 | OPENS APRIL 21. Actor’s Express. World premiere. 

Atlanta playwright Daryl Lisa Fazio’s comedy follows an uptight academic named Ingrid (Stacy Melich), who researches sexual behavior in primitive cultures while remaining closed off from her own sexual side. When she loses her university job, she writes erotica to pay the bills — unleashing her own journey of, well, discovery.

Express regular Melissa Foulger directs a cast that includes Matthew Busch (The Thrush and the Woodpecker)Eliana Marianes and Joshua Quinn

$31-$44 (previews cheaper, opening night most expensive). Through May 13. King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Coming up

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Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. APRIL 26-MAY 13. 7 Stages.

British playwright Alice Birch’s 2014 script has a way of making you question everything you say when it comes to discussing women and their relationships with men, one another and the world. 7 Stages says it decided to produce Revolt  “to address the urgent mood in our community and nation surrounding issues of women’s rights and systemic prejudice.” Atlanta-based theater artist Rachel Parish directs.

Her cast: Dorothy Victoria Bell-Polk, Christopher Hampton, Renita JamesBrooke OwensMary Lynn Owen and Patrick Wade. On the mainstage. $22.50-$28. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

[WHY ‘REVOLT’ AND WHY NOW AT 7 STAGES]

 

fashionado

BEST BETS | Feb. 8-14, 2018

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater arrives, Aurora’s “Maytag Virgin” departs, and attention is paid to two of America’s greatest playwrights — Tony Kushner (“Angels” at Actor’s Express) and August Wilson (“King Hedley II” at True Colors Theatre). Pictured: Jimmica Collins and Caitlin Hargraves in “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” at Synchronicity Theatre. Photo by Jerry Siegel.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater arrives, Aurora’s “Maytag Virgin” departs, and attention is paid to two of America’s greatest playwrights — Tony Kushner (“Angels” at Actor’s Express) and August Wilson (“King Hedley II” at True Colors Theatre). Pictured: Jimmica Collins and Caitlin Hargraves in “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” at Synchronicity Theatre. Photo by Jerry Siegel.

**  INDICATES AN ENCORE ATLANTA WINTER SEASON TOP PICK.

Recommended

A scene from the Robert Battle-choreographed “Mass.” Photo: Paul Kolnik

A scene from the Robert Battle-choreographed “Mass.” Photo: Paul Kolnik

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. FEB. 14-18.

This brilliant, one-of-a-kind 32-member company makes its annual Atlanta visit with a program that looks to the past — specifically 1960, the 1980s and 2004 — to entertain, provoke and inform the future. The lineup includes six performances and 13 pieces (not all seen at every performance). Among them: artistic director Robert Battle’s MassShelter by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar; Twyla Tharp’s The Golden Section; Talley Beatty’s Stack-Up; and the Alvin Ailey creation Revelations (which concludes every performance). 

$22-$86. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.

[AILEY’S ROBERT BATTLE: ‘THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IS NOT A ONE-NOTE SAMBA’]

Parris Sarter, Grant Chapman. Photo: Ashley Earles-Bennett

Parris Sarter, Grant Chapman. Photo: Ashley Earles-Bennett

** Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2. THROUGH FEB. 17, IN ROTATING REPERTORY.

At Actor‘s Express. See both.

Your time investment will be mostly rewarded. Sex, religion, politics and history collide in Tony Kushner’s time-traveling saga set at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic. Part 1 is titled Millennium Approaches; Part 2 is Perestroika. Kushner’s achievement, a 20th-century theatrical landmark, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and four 1993 Tony awards. The Express cast: Robert Bryan Davis as Roy Cohn and Grant Chapman as Prior Walter, with Carolyn CookThandiwe DeShazorLouis GreggoryCara MantellaParris Sarter and Joe Sykes, several of whom play multiple roles.

$22-$40. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Millennium Approaches details, tickets HEREPerestroika details, tickets HERE. Or call 404.607.7469. 

[SEE: THE STAGES OF WINTER —  ENCORE NAMES THE BEST OF THE SEASON]

Amari Cheatum, Brittany Inge. Photo: Greg Mooney

Amari Cheatum, Brittany Inge. Photo: Greg Mooney

** The Ballad of Klook and Vinette. THROUGH FEB. 18.

American premiere. Horizon Theatre tells a contemporary love story with a soulful jazz score. Klook is a drifter who’s tired of drifting; Vinette is on the run but doesn’t know why. Together, they take a stab at love. 

Amari Cheatom (the film Django Unchained and a Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta alum) is Klook. Brittany Inge (Horizon’s Blackberry Daze) is Vinette. The script is by London-based playwright Ché Walker, who directs. 

$23 and up, plus fees. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. at Euclid Avenue. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

 

Courtney Patterson.

Courtney Patterson.

** Maytag Virgin. CLOSES SUNDAY.

Regional premiere at Aurora TheatreAudrey Cefaly’s dramatic comedy follows an Alabama schoolteacher (Courtney Patterson) and her new neighbor (Brad Brinkley) in the year following her husband’s unexpected death. DC Theatre Scene called this comic-drama “a witty and earnest meditation on how people connect even when they feel they’re not ready.” Melissa Foulger, an Actor’s Express regular and a name you should know, directs. Cefaly is a playwright to keep your eyes on.

$20-$55. 8 tonight-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

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

 

Josh Brook, with Edward. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Josh Brook, with Edward. Photo: Jerry Siegel

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. THROUGH FEB. 25.

At Synchronicity Theatre

Edward Tulane is an expensive toy rabbit made of china who’s loved by a little girl but must go on a miraculous journey before he can love anyone back. This family-friendly adaptation — which includes toy piano, harmonica, guitar and banjo music — is told simply and elegantly by a versatile cast of four: Josh Brook, Jimmica Collins, Caitlin Hargraves and Justin Walker. 

Mira Hirsch directs. The piece is based on Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo’s 2006 novel. Note: Every Friday is PJs & Play. Kids in pajamas get complimentary milk and cookies. Runs two hours with one intermission.

$15-$22. 7 p.m. Friday; 1 + 4 p.m. Saturday; 2 + 5 p.m. Sunday. One Peachtree Pointe, 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636. 

 

Opening this week

Seun Soyemi, Brittany L. Smith. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Seun Soyemi, Brittany L. Smith. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Ontario Was Here. OPENS SATURDAY.

At Aurora Theatre. Kansas-based playwright Darren Canady, the 2007 winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, returns to metro Atlanta with this drama. It  follows two social workers  (Brittany L. SmithSeun Soyemi) on the front lines of Kansas City’s Department of Children and Families. Tempers flash when the co-workers (and ex-lovers) clash over what’s best for a 9-year-old boy named Ontario. The stakes are life and death.  

Cynthia D. Barker, better known for her work onstage, directs. This show is part of Aurora’s Harvel Lab Series, done in its smaller black-box space.

$20-$30. Through March 4. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday.  

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

 

This weekend only

biolgASO-Chorus

Mozart’s “Requiem.”  THURSDAY + SATURDAY-SUNDAY. 

Italian-born guest conductor Roberto Abbado leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorusin Mozart’s 1791 masterpiece, written as he was dying. The orchestra and chorus are joined by soloists Jessica Rivera(soprano), Magdalena Wór (mezzo-soprano), William Burden (tenor) and Tom McNichols (bass). Also scheduled: Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1, with guest artist Jorge Federico Osorio, who has been spending a lot of time in Atlanta lately.

$32-$108. 8 p.m. Thursday + Saturday (Saturday nearly sold out); 3 p.m. Sunday (call the ASO for tickets).

Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Still running

Abagail Dawkins (from left), Diany Rodriguez, Anna Haworth. Photo: StunGun Photography

Abagail Dawkins (from left), Diany Rodriguez, Anna Haworth. Photo: StunGun Photography

** The Followers; A Retelling of the Bacchae. THROUGH FEB. 25. 

At 7 Stages. The 38-year-old L5P company looks to ancient Greece for its first production of 2018. Euripides’ The Bacchae delves into opposite sides of human nature and is surprisingly topical with its warning about blindly following political leaders.  This world premiere telling comes from Margaret Baldwin, an Atlanta playwright of note, and uses opera, dance, puppetry and physical theater to tell its story of blind faith, abuse of power and vengeance.

Michael Haverty directs. Klimchak, who builds and plays unusual instruments, provides original music, with musical direction by Bryan Mercer and Ofir Nahari choreographing. In the Back Stage Black Box. Runs 80 minutes with no intermission.

$15-$25). 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday + Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

Terrance Smith, Rachel Wansker.

Terrance Smith, Rachel Wansker.

The Mystery of Love & Sex. THROUGH FEB. 18.  

At Out Front Theatre Company.

London-born playwright Bathsheba “Bash” Doran’s four-character drama is an unexpected love story about where souls meet and the consequences of growing up. Charlotte and Jonny have been best friends since age 9. She’s Jewish, he’s Christian; he’s black, she’s white. Their differences intensify their connection until the complications of sexual desire tiptoe in.

The drama premiered in 2014 at Lincoln Center (“written with compassion and wry wisdom,” said The New York Times) and has played Chicago and Los Angeles. Doran also has written for TV (“Boardwalk Empire,” “Masters of Sex,” “Smash”). Working Title Playwrights‘ Amber Bradshaw directs a cast comprising Donald McNamusTiffany Morgan, Terrance Smith and Rachel Wansker. Note: Contains nudity. 

$20 + $25. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday.

999 Brady Ave. in West Midtown. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.448.2755.

 

Shannon McCarren, Blake Burgess.

Shannon McCarren, Blake Burgess.

Picnic. THROUGH FEB. 18. At Stage Door Players

William Inge’s 1953 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama argues that youth is a gift to be savored, not squandered.

When Labor Day weekend arrives in the Kansas backyards of two middle-aged widows, so does a vital young man who upsets the social order.

The cast: Blake BurgessKara Cantrell, Larry Davis and Shelby Folks. Tess Malis Kincaid directs. Inge (Bus Stop; Come Back, Little Sheba)was known for bringing small-town life in the American Midwest to Broadway.

$33. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 8 p.m. Feb. 15. 

5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.

Photo: David Zeiger

Photo: David Zeiger

Rainforest Adventures. THROUGH MARCH 4.

Return to the Amazonian jungle with the Center for Puppetry Arts.

Brazilian music accompanies this communion with 30-plus exotic plants and animals, including howler monkeys, harpy eagles, sloths, big cats and pink river dolphins.

Performed in Czech Black style by puppeteers Brian Harrison, Jake Krakovsky, Emily MarshTim Sweeney and Anna Claire Walker. For ages 4 and up.

$19.50 non-members; $9.75 members. 10 + 11 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday.

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

 

Next week

Jorge Federico Osorio

Jorge Federico Osorio

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. FEB. 15 + 17. 

Italian maestro Roberto Abbado returns For Franz Schubert’s haunting Unfinished symphony. And guest pianist Jorge Federico Osorio (“a serious and cultivated Beethoven player,” says the Chicago Tribune) leads Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, completing the ASO’s performances of all five Beethoven piano concertos this season. 

Also scheduled: Rossini’s overture to Semiramide.

$17-$97. 8 nightly.

Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

August Wilson, in 2003.

August Wilson, in 2003.

** King Hedley II. PREVIEWS FEB. 13, OPENS FEB. 14. 

At True Colors Theatre Company

August Wilson (1945-2005) is one of the great American playwrights of any century, and a personal favorite. King Hedley II is part of his 10-play Century, or Pittsburgh, Cycle, all reflecting the black experience in 20th-century America. King (Neal A. Ghant, fresh from the Alliance Theatre’s Native Guard) is an ex-con peddling stolen refrigerators in inner-city Pittsburgh in the 1980s.

His goal: Buy a new business and thus, a new life. Surrounding him for better or worse in his quest are his wife, his mother, his mother’s ex-lover, his best friend and a neighbor named Stool Pigeon (Eddie Bradley), a mystical sort of truthsayer. Also in the cast: Tiffany Denise HobbsTonia Jackson, E. Roger Mitchell and Eugene H. Russell IV). Jamil Jude directs. Some consider King Hedley II a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. It seemed so in a mesmerizing production at the Alliance in 2003/04. Recommended for age 16 and up (language, content).

$20-$35 ($25 preview Tuesday). 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m.  Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 

Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road SW. Details HERE, tickets at Ticket Alternative HERE or at 877.725.8849.

fashionado

BEST BETS | Sept. 14-20, 2017

shakespeare in love

“The Christians” (Actor’s Express) and “Bengal Tiger” (7 Stages) open this week. Other top picks: “Burnpile” (Aurora) and “Shakespeare in Love” (Alliance). Pictured: Thomas Azar as Will Shakespeare and Bethany Anne Lind as Viola. Photo by Greg Mooney

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta fall/winter season recommendation.

Special event

Washington, D.C., in the 1950s, in a scene from “The Lavender Scare.” Photo: Courtesy of the Atlanta Jewish Film Fest

Washington, D.C., in the 1950s, in a scene from “The Lavender Scare.” Photo: Courtesy of the Atlanta Jewish Film Fest

AJFF Selects: The Lavender Scare. 7 tonight. 

This 77-minute documentary provides the first in-depth account of a Cold War campaign to purge homosexuals from the federal government.

Directed by Josh Howard, an Emmy Award-winning  “60 Minutes” producer, it captures the outrage and activism that helped ignite the modern gay rights movement. Howard will attend the screening.

(Note: The play Perfect Arrangement, by Atlanta’s Topher Payne, looks at the same era and runs Feb. 22-March 11 at Theatrical Outfit.) 

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival co-presents this 2017 docu with Out on Film, Atlanta’s LGBT Film Festival.

$15; $30 VIP (includes a chance to meet Howard at a post-screening reception at Apres Diem, a ticket for one drink and light appetizers).

Midtown Art Cinema, 931 Monroe Drive NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.701.6104.

 

 

Recommended

Brian Kurlander. Photo: Ashley Earles-Bennett

Brian Kurlander. Photo: Ashley Earles-Bennett

** The Christians. IN PREVIEWS | OPENS SATURDAY.

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

 Actor’s Express calls it “a provocative excavation of modern faith.” The setting is a megachurch that’s rocked when its pastor discards fundamentalist Christianity in favor of something more inclusive. Director Freddie Ashley’s cast is led by Brian Kurlander and Enoch King. Expect to hear church choirs, too.

$20 previews; $40 opening night; regularly $28 (subject to change). Through Oct. 15. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday.

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

 

Kevin Harry in “Hunchback.” Photo: Daniel Parvis

Kevin Harry in “Hunchback.” Photo: Daniel Parvis

The Hunchback of Notre Dame. CLOSES SUNDAY. 

This Theatrical Outfit / Aurora Theatre co-production finishes its run downtown at the Rialto Center for the Arts. 

The Alan Menken-Stephen Schwartz-scored show is based on the Victor Hugo novel and the 1996 Disney movie, and follows a deformed bell ringer named Quasimodo and his travails in 1482 Paris. 

Haden Rider returns as Quasimodo and Julissa Sabino as Esmeralda.

$18-$51 (subject to change). 11 a.m. + 7:30 p.m. today; 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 

80 Forsyth St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500.

 

Acworth-Shakespeare

** Shakespeare in Love. THROUGH SEPT. 24. 

The Alliance Theatre‘s fall opener features a reunion of some of the most talented folks from the late, lamented Georgia Shakespeare, including artistic director Richard Garner. He directs this love letter to the bard, based on the 1998 film that won seven Academy Awards, including best picture.

Young Will Shakespeare (Thomas Azar) has writer’s block as the deadline for his new play looms.

Enter his muse, Viola (Bethany Anne Lind). The 23-member cast includes such former Georgia Shakes regulars as Barrett Doyle, Allan Edwards, Neal A. Ghant, Chris Kayser, Tess Malis KincaidJoe Knezevich and Lind. 

$10-$75. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday (no 8 p.m. show Sept. 24).

Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[THE STAGES OF FALL: OUR MUST-SEES THROUGH DECEMBER]

 

Taylor M. Dooley. Photo: Daniel Parvis

Taylor M. Dooley. Photo: Daniel Parvis

Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up. THROUGH OCT. 1. 

A lecherous goat, Pentecostals on the radio, a clutter of in-bred cats, phone calls from death row and Daddy’s burnpile are among the elements in this Southern coming-of-age tale from Lucy Alibar, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Beasts of the Southern Wild. Atlanta actor Taylor M. Dooley, a Dad’s Garage regular seen too infrequently on other stages, is the sole cast member.

Part of Aurora Theatre’s Harvel Lab Series. $20-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 

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

 

Opening this week

Joe Sykes. Photo: Stungun Photography

Joe Sykes. Photo: Stungun Photography

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. PREVIEWS TONIGHT | OPENS FRIDAY.

7 Stages begins its season with this Pulitzer-nominated drama from playwright Rajiv Joseph (Gruesome Playground Injuries). 

The lives of two U.S. Marines and their Iraqi translator are irrevocably changed when they meet a tiger who haunts Baghdad’s rubble-strewn streets.

Co-artistic director Michael Haverty directs a cast that features Kevin Stillwell as the Tiger and includes Paris Benjamin, Marium Khalid, Rudy Roushdi, Joe Sykes, Markell Williams and Sam Younis. 

The drama had a limited run on Broadway in 2011 with Robin Williams as the tiger.

$22 and up. Through Oct. 8. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday (no show Sept. 17). Additional show at 8 p.m. Sept. 18. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

 

 

Once-On-Island

Once on This Island. OPENS TONIGHT.

 Georgia Ensemble Theatre begins its 25th season with this 1991 musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Anastasia). It’s a beautifully told story of life, pain, love, grief, faith, hope and buoyant Caribbean rhythms. One stormy night on an island in the French Antilles, the cracking thunder makes a small girl cry. To comfort her, the village storytellers share the tale of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who falls in love with a grand homme.

Nominated for eight 1991 Tony awards, including best musical. Ricardo Aponte directs and choreographs. 

$33-$43. Through Oct. 1. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 4 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. No 4 p.m. show Sept. 16. GET performs at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Closing this week

Jimmica Collins

Jimmica Collins

Mother Goose. CLOSES SUNDAY.

In this Center for Puppetry Arts staging, audience members must sing, wiggle and clap to help Mary Mary (Jimmica Collins) find a missing Mother Goose.

All the citizens of Rhymeville are also on the case, including Humpty Dumpty, Little Bo Peep, and both Jack and Jill.

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

$19.50. 10 + 11 a.m. today-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 + 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

 

Shakespeare-Tavern

The Taming of the Shrew. CLOSES SUNDAY.

The untamed, unwed Katherine is wooed for convenience by the charismatic but bawdy bachelor Petruchio in one of Shakespeare’s best-known comedies. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse regulars Dani Herd and Matt Nitchie play the warring duo. Pub menu and libations available. 

$22-$45. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

499 Peachtree St. NE (across from Emory University Hospital Midtown). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0. Discount gift cards at PoshDealz.com.

Still running

The “Wicket” company. Photo: Haylee Anne Kitties

The “Wicket” company. Photo: Haylee Anne Kitties

Wicket. THROUGH OCT. 7. World premiere. 

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

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

Not recommended for anyone not old enough for adult humor and anyone who doesn’t enjoy it. Kennesaw State’s Rick Lombardo (Little Shop of Horrors at Actor’s Express) directs, with script & lyrics by Travis Sharp and score & lyrics by Haddon Kime.

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

 

Next week

Diany Rodriguez. Photo: Up the Hill Productions

Diany Rodriguez. Photo: Up the Hill Productions

** Abigail/1702. SEPT. 21-OCT. 15.

Aurora Theatre catches up with the evil Abigail Williams from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. Ten years later she’s haunted by the lives she ruined and the blood on her hands. 

Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s 2012 script finds her in Boston, seeking salvation. To her, forgiveness is everything, but it might come at an unthinkable price.

Justin Anderson directs a cast led by Diany Rodriguez. You may know Aguirre-Sacasa from Say You Love Satan (Dad’s Garage, 2001), Weird Comic Book Fantasy (Dad’s, 2003) and Good Boys and True (Actor’s Express, 2010).

This 90-minute drama has no intermission and contains mature themes.

128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. $20-$55. Details, tickets HERE or at  678.226.6222.

 

Michael Kurth

Michael Kurth

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. SEPT. 21 + 23.

Music director Robert Spano and the ASO begin a new season with An American in Paris, George Gershwin’s postcard from France.

The swinging showpiece, which inspired the Academy Award-winning film and recent Broadway musical, caps a night of American music.

The program includes “A Thousand Words” by ASO bassist Michael Kurth; and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, an Atlanta favorite, who solos in Bernstein’s jazz-inspired Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety.

$32-$113. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

 

project-dawn

** Project Dawn. SEPT. 22-OCT. 29. 

At Horizon Theatre. Audiences will be on both sides of the judicial system in this fact-based story about an innovative program dedicated to rehabilitating sex workers, not  punishing them. Seven actors double as victims/participants and court staff.

Artistic director Lisa Adler leads a cast of familiar Atlanta faces (Lane CarlockCarolyn CookMarianne FrauloMaria Rodriguez-Sager) and some that will be familiar soon (Shayla Love, Synchronicity’s Eclipsed; Brooke Owens, Synchronicity’s Anne Boleyn; and Christy Clark, Horizon’s Blackberry Daze). This National New Play Network rolling world premiere was written by Karen Hartman, who used a revolutionary Philadelphia court as the basis for her script. Her drama tests the thin lines between freedom and slavery, and activism and obsession. 1083 Austin Ave. at Euclid Avenue.

$25 and up. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

 

Shelli Delgado, Jennifer Schottstaedt. Photo: Herry Siegel

Shelli Delgado, Jennifer Schottstaedt. Photo: Herry Siegel

** Sense and Sensibility. SEPT. 22-OCT. 15

A regional premiere at Synchronicity Theatre. Jane Austen can be fun! Just ask playwright Kate Hamill.

Her 2014 adaptation of the beloved novel ratchets up the energy level, using inventive staging and a cast of 10 to play the Dashwoods, the Ferrars and a busy bunch of gossips that show just how the very private worlds of Georgian-era Brits lacked privacy. Wall Street Journal critic Terry Teachout calls it “a version so full of galloping comic vitality as to suggest a bunch of stupendously clever kids playing dress-up in the nursery.” Artistic director Rachel May directs an athletic cast led by Shelli Delgado as Elinor Dashwood, Jennifer Schottstaedt as Marianne Dashwood, Justin Walker as Edward Ferrars and Bryant Smith as Col. Brandon.

One Peachtree Pointe, 1545 Peachtree St. NE. $30. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

 

atlanta-opera

The Seven Deadly Sins. OPENS SEPT. 28.

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

$50 all seats. Through Oct. 6. Note: Sept. 28, 30 and Oct. 6 performances are sold out. Remaining shows: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28, Oct. 3-5; 3 p.m. Oct. 1. Performed at Le Maison Rouge at Paris on Ponce as part of the opera’s Discoveries series, 716 Ponce de Leon Place NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.

[MORE: BRECHT & WEILL COLLEAGUES NOT BUDDIES.]

 

Coming up

Jose Llana as the King of Siam. Photo: Matthew Murphy

Jose Llana as the King of Siam. Photo: Matthew Murphy

** The King and I. SEPT. 26-OCT. 1. At the Fox Theatre.

East meets West — and they don’t always get on nicely — in what is, by all accounts, a definitive version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic. This production comes from Lincoln Center  and director Bartlett Sher, both responsible for the wonderfully inventive, picture-perfect South Pacific that played the Fox in 2010. If you need a refresher, The King and I takes place in the 1860s, when the King of Siam hires an English schoolteacher to tutor his wives and children. There’s an undeniable emotional and intellectual attraction between them; a slave girl from Burma (Tuptim) and her forbidden lover (Lun Tha) have the primary romance, with the King’s favorite wife (Lady Thiang) also playing a key role. The score includes “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Hello, Young Lovers,” “A Puzzlement,” “Getting to Know You,” “We Kiss in a Shadow,” “Something Wonderful” and “Shall We Dance,” among others.

660 Peachtree St. NE. $30-$135. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.

[MORE: RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN’S SUCCESS NOT A PUZZLEMENT]

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