BEST BETS | July 11 – July 17, 2019

To-Kill-A-Mockingbird

WELCOME TO OUR weekly curated column. Feature photo: Still image from To Kill a Mockingbird, showing on Sunday, July 14th as part of the Fox Theatre’s Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival. 

Opening this weekend

HairsprayRuns July 12 – 21. City Springs Theatre Company @ Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center. In 1962 in Baltimore, Tracy Turnblad dreams of dancing on the popular Corny Collins Show. Tracy fights against exclusion because of her size, and stands beside her friends who are fighting against exclusion based on race. In 2003, Hairspray won eight of its 13 Tony Award nominations, including Best Musical, and has since toured the country and been adapted into a musical film.  Hairspray is full of laughter, romance, and toe-tapping songs! Tickets and information on the City Springs Theatre Company website.

FASHIONADO

BEST BETS | June 27 – July 3, 2019

Driving-Miss-Daisy

WELCOME TO OUR weekly curated column. Feature photo: Jill Jane Clements and Rob Cleveland in Georgia Ensemble Theatre’s previous production of Driving Miss Daisy. Photo by Casey Gardner Photography.

Last chance

Five Guys Named Moe. Through June 30. Theatrical Outfit. Get ready for this musical tribute to R&B pioneer Louis Jordan, whose slant on jazz paved the way for rock and roll in the ‘50s. See the story of down-on-his-luck Nomax as he’s listening to the radio in the wee hours of the morning. Five guys — Big Moe, Four-Eyed Moe, Eat Moe, No Moe and Little Moe — materialize and encourage Nomax to shake off the blues and seize the day. Louis Jordan’s chart-topping tunes like, “Is You Is, or Is You Ain’t My Baby,” “Let the Good Times Roll,” and “Knock Me a Kiss,” put Nomax, and audiences, onto the road toward bliss. Tickets and information on the Theatrical Outfit website.

FASHIONADO

BEST BETS | May 9 – May 15, 2019

Georgia-Renaissance-Festival

WELCOME TO OUR weekly curated column. Feature photo: Looking for a 16th-century Mother’s Day celebration? Head to the Georgia Renaissance Festival, recently voted “Favorite Renaissance Festival in the Southeast”! 

Best bets for Mother’s Day weekend!

Billy Elliot. Through May 12. City Springs Theatre Company @ Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center. Based on the hit film and featuring a score by legend Elton John, Billy Elliot the Musical is the inspirational story of a young boy’s struggle against the odds to make his dream come true. Billy journeys from the boxing ring to ballet class where his passion for dance is ignited, inspiring both his family and community and changing their lives forever. Set in a northern English mining town against the background of the 1984 miners’ strike, Billy Elliot the Musical uplifts with its powerful storyline, rousing score, and sensational choreography. Info on the City Springs Theatre Company website. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

FASHIONADO

BEST BETS | Apr. 18 – 24, 2019

Dear-Evan-Hansen

WELCOME TO OUR weekly curated column. Feature photos: Ben Levi Ross as Evan Hansen and the Company of the First North American Tour of Dear Evan Hansen, coming to the Fox Theatre next week. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Last chance

Pipeline. Through April 21. Horizon Theatre. Nya Joseph is a dedicated, inner-city public high school teacher who is committed to her students’ achievement, while she sends her only son, Omari, to a private boarding school. When Omari is threatened with expulsion from his school after being involved in an incident, Nya is forced to reconcile her own decisions with their impact on Omari, wrestle with the public and private school systems, any rally to support her son. The play was written by Dominique Morisseau – a MacArthur Foundation Fellow and playwright of True Colors Theatre Company’s recent Skeleton Crew – who aims to shed light on broken systems and hardships that affect life in urban African-American communities across various eras. Tickets and info on Horizon Theatre’s website.

FASHIONADO

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 | Nov. 21-28, 2018

The outlook turns tinselly, with holiday shows dominating the calendar. We highly recommend Aurora Theatre’s “Christmas Canteen” and Theatrical Outfit’s “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.” If you’re not yet ready for ugly Christmas sweaters, check out the world premiere of “Knead,” running through Dec. 9 at the Alliance Theatre. Pictured: Amelia Fischer as Mary Bennet. Photo by David Woolf.

The outlook turns tinselly, with holiday shows dominating the calendar. We highly recommend Aurora Theatre’s “Christmas Canteen” and Theatrical Outfit’s “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.” If you’re not yet ready for ugly Christmas sweaters, check out the world premiere of “Knead,” running through Dec. 9 at the Alliance Theatre. Pictured: Amelia Fischer as Mary Bennet. Photo by David Woolf.

Top picks

Kristin Markiton (center) backed by Briana Young (from left), Chani Maisonet and Galen Crawley. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Kristin Markiton (center) backed by Briana Young (from left), Chani Maisonet and Galen Crawley. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christmas Canteen.THROUGH DEC. 23.

Aurora Theatre joyously stages its 23rd original holiday revue. It sells quickly, so if you’re interested, don’t delay. Performances are already selling out. 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.

$30 and up; $20 and up for Tuesday matinees. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 10 a.m. matinees Nov. 27, Dec. 11 + Dec. 18. Limited Thanksgiving week performances, so please check ahead. Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

Mary Lynn Owen. Photo: Greg Mooney

Mary Lynn Owen. Photo: Greg Mooney

Knead. THROUGH DEC. 9.

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 bread-baking 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 in Connecticut. David de Vries (who takes the Alliance stage as Ebenezer Scrooge next month) 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. No show Thanksgiving Day. Hertz Stage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

[MORE: HOW A PLAYWRIGHT RISES]

Miss-Bennet

 Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. BEGINS NOV. 21.

Theatrical Outfit reprises its 2017 holiday hit with a script by Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson and colleague Margot Melcon. This romantic and witty sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice focuses on socially awkward sister Mary and a potential romantic entanglement. Well-known Atlanta theater artist Carolyn Cook directs. Amelia Fischer and Jonathan Horne return as Mary Bennet and Arthur De Bourgh, along with Devon Hales and Juan Carlos Unzueta. New to the cast are Stephanie FriedmanJeanette Illidge,Jasmine Thomas and Justin Walker

$18-$51 plus fees. Through Dec. 23. Previews at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 21 + 24 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23. Opens at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 24. Regularly at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 11 a.m. Nov. 29, Dec. 13 + Dec. 20. No show Thanksgiving Day. 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.

New holiday shows

Curious-Holiday-Encounters

Curious Holiday Encounters. DEC. 6-9.

This festival of interactive performances takes place throughout 7 Stages’ entire building. Expect an offbeat brand of holiday cheer as you stroll 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 the Little Five Points neighborhood. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

The-Ethel-Merman-Disco-Christmas-Spectacular

The Ethel Merman Disco Christmas Spectacular. DEC. 6-22.

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 shimmers with classic Christmas songs set 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 artistic director Paul Conroy.

$15-$25. 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

Irving-Berlin's-White-Christmas

Irving Berlin’s White Christmas. NOV. 27-DEC. 1. National tour.

The stage version of the classic Christmas movie visits the Fox Theatre with all the familiar songs and a few others from the Berlin songbook. The 17-tune lineup includes “Sisters,” “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing,” “Happy Holiday,” “Snow,” “Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep,” “I Love a Piano,” “Let Me Sing and I’m Happy” and “What Can You Do With a General?” You might recognize Karen Ziemba (a Tony Award winner for Contact) as Martha Watson and Conrad John Schuck (a longtime Daddy Warbucks) as General Waverly. Presented by Broadway in Atlanta.

$31-$116. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 p.m. Sunday. 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.

[HOW THE CREATIVE TEAM GUARANTEES SNOWS]

The-Nutcracker

 The Nutcracker. DEC. 8-24.

Atlanta Ballet debuts its first new Nutcracker in 23 seasons, a $3.7 million staging choreographed by Russian-born dancer 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 help tell the story of a little girl named Marie and her come-to-life Nutcracker Prince. The production features some 40 dancers.

$35-$140. 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.

Jeremy Aggers. Photo illustration: Chris Bartelsk

Jeremy Aggers. Photo illustration: Chris Bartelsk

This Wonderful Life. OPENS NOV. 24.

This one-man version of the Jimmy Stewart film classic is new to Aurora Theatre’s holiday lineup. It features Jeremy Aggers (Singles in Architecture, Hands on a Hardbody) as, well, everybody — George Bailey, Clarence, Mr. Potter, Uncle Billy, Mary, Mr. Gower and even Zuzu. The script is by playwright Steve Murray (a name 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. Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 5, 13, 15, 18, 20 + 22; 2:30 p.m. Nov. 25 and Dec. 1, 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.

Marguerite Hannah (front) and (back, from left) Maria Rodriguez-Sager, playwright Larry Larson and Markell Williams.

Marguerite Hannah (front) and (back, from left) Maria Rodriguez-Sager, playwright Larry Larson and Markell Williams.

Waffle Palace Christmas. THROUGH DEC. 30.

New. Horizon Theatre has retired The Santaland Diaries in favor of this world premiere, a sequel of sorts to its Waffle Palace, the Larry LarsonEddie Levi Lee comedy it developed and staged thrice. The vintage, once-endangered Waffle Palace is now thriving as part of a modern multi-use complex. As the holiday season arrives, the staff is adjusting to new roles, an inexperienced employee and quirky regulars. Four cast members return: Lala CochranAllan EdwardsMarguerite Hannah and Maria Rodriguez-Sager. The newcomers are Jennifer Alice AckerRob ClevelandBarry Stolze and Markell Williams. Co-artistic director Lisa Adler directs.

Tickets begin at $30 on weeknights, $35 on weekends plus fees and are subject to change based on demand. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Additional shows at 8 p.m. Dec. 4, 11 + 18. Matinees at 11 a.m. Dec. 6, 13 + 19. Free parking. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Returning holiday shows of note

David de Vries

David de Vries

A Christmas Carol. DEC. 12-24.

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 Neal A. Ghant (Bob Cratchit); Bart Hansard (Fezziwig, Ghost of Christmas Yet to Be); and Courtney Patterson (Ghost of Christmas Past), among many others. 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. 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.

Connie Sue Day

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 joyful holiday songfest. It dates back even further, to her entrepreneurial days as the headliner at the late, great Libby’s, A Cabaret in Buckhead. She’s joined, as always, by Connie Sue Day, the 31st Lady of Country Music. Expect holiday classics old and new, novelty tunes and perhaps a verse or two penned by Connie Sue Day herself. You’ll hear plenty at the two-hour show and go home happy. 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.

Frog-and-Toad

A Year With Frog and Toad. DEC. 7-30.

The family favorite about a year in the lives of two best friends returns to Synchronicity Theatre. The Tony-nominated musical 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. The 2006 telling 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). 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.

Also for the holidays

CHARLES DICKENS’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL, a one-man telling with actor/artistic director Anthony P. Rodriguez, returns. Nov. 23-Dec. 22 at Aurora Theatre’s Harvel Lab.

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

ELF THE MUSICAL, a stage version of the 2003 Will Ferrell movie comedy. Dec. 7-16 at City Springs Theatre Company. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Hermey the Elf and Rudolph.

Hermey the Elf and Rudolph.

INVASION CHRISTMAS CAROL, another season of an improvised version of the Dickens classic with surprise special guests. Even cast members don’t know who will show up, or when. Nov. 30-Dec. 20 at Dad’s Garage. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

A NICE FAMILY CHRISTMAS, a 2017 script about the goings-on at one dysfunctional family’s Christmas reunion. Nov. 30-Dec. 16 at Stage Door Players

RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER, based on the timeless Rankin/Bass stop-motion animated TV special from 1964. Through Dec. 30 at the Center for Puppetry Arts.

THE SNOW QUEEN, a traveling show done outdoors and based on the Hans Christian Andersen tale. Nov. 28-Jan. 6 at Serenbe Playhouse.

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.

fashionado