BEST BETS | Jan. 10-16, 2019

TessMalisKincaid

WELCOME TO OUR weekly curated column. Nora returns as the delicious Aurora Theatre / Actor’s Express co-pro of “A Doll’s House, Part 2” begins its Lawrenceville run. Among other notables: a one-night-only “Della’s Diner” reunion; and the approaching “Ever After” (Alliance) and  “Unexpected Play Festival” (Theatrical Outfit). Pictured: Tess Malis Kincaid as Nora Helmer in “Part 2.” Photo by Casey Gardner.

Recommended

Clarinetist Laura Ardan (left) and vocal soloists Sasha Cook, Joseph Lattanzi.

Clarinetist Laura Ardan (left) and vocal soloists Sasha Cook, Joseph Lattanzi.

All Bernstein. THURSDAY + SATURDAY ONLY.

Guest conductor Christopher Allen leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and two soloists in a program dedicated to the music of Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). Expect to hear Symphonic Dances from West Side Story plus music from the composer’s 1971 Mass and the Broadway shows On the Town, Wonderful Town and Peter Pan. Soloists Sasha Cooke (mezzo-soprano) and Joseph Lattanzi (baritone) join the ASO, and principal clarinetist Laura Ardan is featured.

$22-$99. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

DellasDiner

Della’s Diner: Blue Plate Special. SATURDAY ONLY.

Tickets are going fast for this reunion show, which recalls Atlanta’s 1970s and ’80s cabaret heyday. You might know Morning Glory Mountain and the characters Della, daughter Ramona, country singer Connie Sue Day, Ricky Jim Robinson and Sheriff Ronnie Frank Flaugher from Libby Whittemore’s club act or Christmas shows. She returns for one more chapter in the musical comedy soap opera, as do singer-actor Megan McFarland and creator Tom Edwards. For the uninitiated, Della is the sassy, big-hearted café owner who dispenses love, wisdom and moral advice to the parade of oddballs who visit her small-town diner. There will be a whole lot goin’ on. 

$40. 8 p.m. Out Front Theatre999 Brady Ave. NW in West Midtown. Details HERE. Online tickets no longer available. Call the box office at 404.448.2755.

ADollsHousePart2

A Doll’s House, Part 2. OPENS THURSDAY.

Aurora Theatre takes its turn with this stunning Actor’s Express co-production, a sequel of sorts to master dramatist Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 classic, A Doll’s House (but you needn’t know that piece to enjoy this one). Well-known contemporary playwright Lucas Hnath’s Part 2 takes place 15 years after wife and mother Nora Helmer (Tess Malis Kincaid) leaves her husband and family to seek independence unheard of in her day. Now she’s knocking to get back in and ask a huge favor. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, W Magazine and Time Out New York all called Part 2 the best play of Broadway’s 2017 season. It’s smart, funny and modern. Joining Kincaid onstage are Rob ClevelandShelli Delgado and Deadra Moore. AE artistic director Freddie Ashley directed.

$20 and up. Through Feb. 10. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10 a.m. Jan. 22. Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Opening this weekend

Moonlight&Magnolias

Moonlight & Magnolias. OPENS THURSDAY.

At Georgia Ensemble TheatreFrankly, my dear, it almost didn’t happen. Playwright Ron Hutchinson’s 2004 inside-Hollywood farce peeks behind the camera as producer-screenwriter David O. Selznick, director Victor Fleming and screenwriter Ben Hecht lock themselves in an office with a five-day supply of peanuts and bananas trying to rescue a disastrous 1939 movie. The title: Gone With the Wind. Great cast: William S. Murphey is Selznick, Bart Hansard is Fleming, and Googie Uterhardt is Hecht. All are Atlanta actors. Note: Contains mature language and content. 

$26-$40. Through Jan. 27. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 4 p.m. Jan. 19 + 26. GET performs in the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 959 Forrest St. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com

Last chance

MillionDollarQuartet

Million Dollar Quartet. CLOSES SATURDAY.

Georgia Ensemble Theatre reprises its popular staging and moves it to the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University. Return to Dec. 4, 1956, the first and only time in history that Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins made music together. The spot was Sun Records in Memphis. The score includes “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Walk the Line,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Hound Dog” and 15 more. Chris Damiano directs, music directs and plays Cash, with Alex Canty as Elvis, Christopher Kent as Perkins and Sean McGibbon as Lewis.

$35-$40. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 4 + 8 p.m. Saturday. The Conant is at 4484 Peachtree Road N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260 (do not call the Conant box office).

Still running

ShakespeareTavernPlayhouse

Love’s Labour’s Lost. THROUGH JAN. 27.

At Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. Can four young men honor their pledge to avoid the opposite sex, food, drink and sleep in order to become more intellectual and contemplative? Not in Shakespeare’s comedy, especially after four young women arrive on the scene. The cast: Tatyana Arrington, Kelly Criss, Chris Hecke, Amanda LindseySarah Newby Halicks, Tamil Periasamy, Cory Phelps and J.L. Reed, among others. Georgia Gwinnett College’s Jaclyn Hofmann directs.

$22-$45. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Food and drink, including libations, available. 499 Peachtree St. NE (parking suggested in the Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across the street). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299.

Next week

EverAfter

Ever After. BEGINS JAN. 15.

This musical update on the Cinderella story christens the Alliance Theatre’s new mainstage, the Coca-Cola Stage. The show is based on the 1998 Drew Barrymore movie (and the original 1729 fairy tale). Follow a young woman named Danielle de Barbarac, who risks everything to save a friend. With the help of Leonardo da Vinci (yes, da Vinci), she must decide who she is, what she’ll fight for and how far she’ll go for love. The show comes from the award-winning New York songwriting team of Zina Goldrich (music) and Marcy Heisler (book and lyrics). Alliance artistic director Susan V. Booth directs. Her 30-person cast is led by Broadway regulars Sierra Boggess (The Little Mermaid, School of Rock); Tony Award nominee David Garrison (A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine); Jeff McCarthy (Urinetown, Side Show); and Rachel York (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Head Over Heels). Also in the cast: Atlanta-based artists Terry Burrell (Ethel, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill), Chris Kayser (Alliance, Georgia Shakespeare) and Rhyn McLemore Saver. We smell Broadway aspirations.

$25 and up. Through Feb. 17. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15 + 29. No shows Feb. 3. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[NO PUMPKINS IN THIS CINDERELLA STORY]

 

Johannes Moser

Johannes Moser

Shostakovich + Bernstein. JAN. 17 + 19.

Music director Robert Spano leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in Dmitri Shostakovich’s “Leningrad” Symphony, a defiant and tuneful 1941 piece that was smuggled out of Russia during Hitler’s 900-day siege of the city. German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser joins the ASO for Leonard Bernstein’s Three Meditations from Mass. Thursday’s concert includes a 6:45 p.m. chamber recital open to ticket holders for either night.

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

The Unexpected Play Festival. JAN. 14-15. See three staged readings in two days at Theatrical Outfit. $10 per reading; $25 for all three. Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. The lineup …

TheUnexpectedPlayFestival
  •         Noon Jan. 14: If I Forget by Steven Levenson (Dear Evan Hansen). Three Jewish siblings gather for their father’s 75th birthday and negotiate how much of the past they’re willing to sacrifice for a chance at a new beginning. The cast includes Andrew BenatorLane Carlock and Brian Kurlander. Outfit education director Mira Hirsch directs.

  •           7:30 p.m. Jan. 14: Gershwin’s America. Concert pianist Alpin Hong interprets George Gershwin songs in a one-man tale about music, being a second-generation immigrant and what it means to be American. Presented in partnership with New York’s Flying Carpet Theatre Company. Flying Carpet artistic director Adam Koplan directs.

  •           7:30 p.m. Jan. 15: Bellwether by Steve Yockey. A 6-year-old girl’s disappearance uncovers what’s really beneath the surface in her nice, safe surburban town. The cast includes Suehyla El-Attar, Eliana Marianes, Diany Rodriguez and Joe Sykes. Outfit associate artistic director Clifton Guterman directs.

Coming up

K2

K2. JAN. 25-FEB. 9.

From Catalyst Arts Atlanta. Two climbers are stranded at 27,000 feet on their descent from an expedition to the peak of the world’s second-highest mountain. One has a broken leg; the other is trying to recover a lost rope. Playwright Patrick Meyers’ drama uses mountain climbing as a metaphor to explore a deeper theme: the recognition that human beings are free to choose whether they will live or die and do so calmly and objectively, even under the most severe conditions. The cast: Joel Coady and Dan Ford. Barrett Doyle directs. Catalyst, a six-person collective of Atlanta-based artists, storytellers, performers, designers, musicians, craftspeople and filmmakers, stages the piece in an immersive format that includes wandering through a snow-covered base camp in which sherpa tea will be served, a camp speakeasy for drinks and a cliffside environment. 

$15-$25 plus fees. 8 p.m. Monday and Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. In the Hangar space at The Bakery Atlanta825 Warner St. SW. Details, tickets HERE.

Neal A. Ghant. Photo: Kevin Harry

Neal A. Ghant. Photo: Kevin Harry

An Octoroon. JAN. 26-FEB. 24.

At Actor’s Express. An imaginative new work from Branden Jacobs-Jenkins  (2016’s Appropriate) turns 19th-century melodrama on its ear. The script, which won off-Broadway’s 2014 Obie Award for best new play, puts the antebellum South on a collision course with 21st-century cultural politics. Trouble has been brewing at the Terrebonne Plantation ever since Judge Peyton died. Money is low, an evil overseer is up to no good, and the heir to the estate is in love with the wrong person. Jacobs-Jenkins, 33, is a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grantee and has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Donya K. Washington, an Alliance Theatre producer, directs. Her cast of 11 includes Isake Akanke (Cardboard Piano), Neal A. Ghant (The Motherf**ker With the Hat) and Parris Sarter (Angels in America). 

$20-$50 and subject to change based on demand. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

fashionado

BEST BETS | Aug. 2-8, 2018

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

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

 Recommended

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Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival. BEGINS MONDAY. 

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

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

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

Avery Sharpe. Photo: Dad’s Garage

Avery Sharpe. Photo: Dad’s Garage

Black Nerd. CLOSES SATURDAY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Titanic. THROUGH AUG. 19.

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

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

Opening this week

Jayson Warner Smith, Heather Rule. Photo: Jamie Maciuszek

Jayson Warner Smith, Heather Rule. Photo: Jamie Maciuszek

Blackbird. OPENS FRIDAY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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On the Third Day. OPENS FRIDAY.

A world premiere by Atlanta playwright Amina S. McIntyre.

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

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

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Woke. OPENS FRIDAY. World premiere.

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

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

Still running

Rachel Graf Evans

Rachel Graf Evans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newsies. THROUGH SEPT. 2.

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

$30-$65. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 10 a.m. matinee (tickets start at $20) on Aug. 7. (Note: The show, a co-production with Atlanta Lyric Theatre, plays the Lyric’s Marietta space Oct. 19-Nov. 4.) Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

serenbe

Peter Pan. THROUGH AUG. 26. 

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

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

fashionado

BEST BETS | May 17-23, 2018

Hamilton musical

 The long-awaited arrival of “Hamilton” (opening Tuesday) leads this week’s curated BEST BETS column. Openings include vocalist Libby Whittemore’s weekend gig at Actor’s Express and “Citizens Market” at Horizon Theatre. And we say goodbye to the Alliance/Atlanta Symphony “Candide.” Pictured: Chris De’Sean Lee (left) as the Marquis de Lafayette, and friends. Photo by Joan Marcus.

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

Recommended

Alexandra Schoeny (left) and Terry Burrell. Photo: Greg Mooney

Alexandra Schoeny (left) and Terry Burrell. Photo: Greg Mooney

** Candide.CLOSES SUNDAY.

The Alliance Theatre and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra co-produce a staged concert version of Leonard Bernstein’s notoriously challenging 1956 musical opera, based on Voltaire’s satirical 1759 novel about a naïve young man who searches the world for his lost beloved while fiercely believing — as he’s been taught — that his is the best of all possible worlds. 

Candide features a cast of 17 (including Broadway’s Christopher Sieber and Broadway-and-Atlanta’s Terry Burrell), plus the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, with Robert Spano conducting. Expect puppetry and projections, too. Recommended for age 12+ (violence and mild sexual situations).

$10-$75. 8 tonight-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[THE ALLIANCE’S SUSAN V. BOOTH ON CANDIDE, PUPPETS + PARTNERSHIPS]

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

** Hamilton. OPENS TUESDAY.

This musical drama’s pedigree includes 11 Tony awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. 

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s game-changing, genre-mixing masterpiece finally comes to Atlanta, for a three-week run. It tells the story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton — and the young nation he adopts — from his impoverished island boyhood to his infamous death. American history never sounded better than it does with Miranda’s award-winning score, which blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway sounds. It’s no hyperbole when producers claim that “Hamilton is the story of America then, as told by America now.” With a multicultural cast no less.

$80-$625 (if you can find a ticket). Limited seats remain and producers have announced a #Ham4Ham digital lottery for 40 orchestra seats ($10) for each performance.

Download the phone app HERE or register online HERE. Through June 10. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Broadway in Atlanta at the Fox Theatre660 Peachtree St. NE in Midtown.

Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499. Good luck! To get an official program, go to PoshDealz.com.

[MORE: WHO KNEW OUR FOUNDING FATHERS COULD BE THIS COOL?]

This weekend only

Libby Whittemore

Libby Whittemore

Libby’s at the Express: Musical Cavalcade. THURSDAY-SUNDAY.

Atlanta cabaret legend Libby Whittemore sings a mix of tunes, from Rosemary Clooney and Lady Antebellum, to Motown and Carolina shag, and everything in between.

In case you haven’t heard, she’s really good. And funny, too. You might want to take a spare $20 or $40 with you to pick up one of her CDs at intermission or post-show.

$40. 7:30 nightly. At Actor’s Express in West Midtown’s King Plow Arts Center, 8887 West Marietta St.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

Opening this week

Sarah Newby Halicks, Chris Hecke.

Sarah Newby Halicks, Chris Hecke.

As You Like It. IN PREVIEWS THURSDAY | OPENS SATURDAY. 

Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse takes you into the bard’s enchanted woods where Rosalind (Sarah Newby Halicks) disguises herself as a man and Orlando (Chris Hecke) fills the trees with love notes praising her beauty and virtue. When all the world’s a stage, can love ever be true? Pub menu and libations available.

$15 preview Thursday; $20 preview Friday. Regularly $21-$42. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. NE (parking suggested in the Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across the street). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0.

 

Jasmine Thomas (left), Cynthia D. Barker. Photo: Greg Mooney

Jasmine Thomas (left), Cynthia D. Barker. Photo: Greg Mooney

Citizens Market. OPENS FRIDAY.

A Southeastern premiere at Horizon Theatre. This dramatic rom-com from New York-based playwright/actor Cori Thomas follows a hopeful group of immigrants who form an unlikely family and work to master the ups and downs of language, love and staying afloat in their new world. The first-rate cast: Cynthia D. BarkerCarolyn CookAllan EdwardsCristian Gonzalez and Jasmine Thomas. Horizon co-artistic director Jeff Adler directs. Suggested for older teens and up (mature language and situations).

$25-$45 (will increase based on demand). Through June 24. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday (no matinees May 19 or June 3); 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. at Euclid Avenue NE. Parking is free but has limitations.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Gabi Anderson, Adam King.

Gabi Anderson, Adam King.

Measure 4 Measure. OPENS FRIDAY.

The Make Mom Proud Project describes its take on Shakespeare’s tragicomedy as “a sort of feminist protest piece, an anti-sexual-assault one-act, updated slightly to fit with the cultural zeitgeist (#MeToo, #TimesUp).”

It sets Angelo, one of the bard’s nastiest villains, before a jury of audience members and shows how common crimes like his are today. This newish company with attitude just may be worth a look. Jacob McKee directs a cast comprising Gabi Anderson, Jasmine Renee EllisAdam KingStephen RuffinApril Singley, Rachel Wansker and Jake West.

$15. Through May 27. 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday. The Blackbox at the 4048, 4048 Flowers Road, Doraville. Details, tickets HERE.

 

Last chance

cat in the hat

Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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 here. For age 4 and up.

$11.25-$19.50. Showtimes: 10 + 11 a.m. Thursday-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.

 

Ellen McQueen

Ellen McQueen

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City. CLOSES SUNDAY. 

Southeastern premiere by the new Atlanta Theatre Club, which calls itself an itinerant, women-centric company that produces contemporary plays.

The New York Times called Halley Feiffer’s 2016 comedy “as deeply felt as its name is long” and said it “explores that tender spot where uncontrollable laughter and uncontainable tears meet.” Jennifer Silver directs. Her cast: Douglas Dickerman, Ellen McQueen, Rebeca Robles and Virginia Kirby

$27. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 6 p.m. Sunday. Performed at Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre, 1085 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE.

 

T.K. Habtemariam

T.K. Habtemariam

Sordid Lives. CLOSES SUNDAY. Out Front Theatre. 

Chaos erupts in Winters, Texas, when a good Christian woman hits her head on the sink and bleeds to death in a motel room after tripping over her lover’s wooden legs. The 1996 comedy is by the somewhat-infamous Del Shores, a Texas-born, Los Angeles-based director, writer, producer, stand-up comic, gay and human rights activist and, in his own words, all-around sh*t-stirrer.

The Los Angeles Times calls him “a master of Texas comedy;” Daily Variety the “grand master of Southern lowlife sensibilities.” In a twist, Out Front’s staging is being done with a largely African-American cast. Two special events coincide with the run: At 3 p.m. Saturday, Out Front partners with Out on Film to screen Shores’ A Very Sordid Wedding, a sequel to the stage comedy. Shores plans to attend ($10 + $35). At 7 p.m. Sunday, Out Front presents Shores in his one-man Pirandello riff-off, Six Characters in Search of a Play ($35 + $70). 

Sordid Lives tix: $15-$25. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. 999 Brady Ave. NW in West Midtown.Details, tickets HERE or at 404.448.2755.

 

Still running

Jill Jane Clements (left), Donna Biscoe. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Jill Jane Clements (left), Donna Biscoe. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Ripcord. THROUGH JUNE 3. 

Aurora Theatre describes this 2016 comic-drama from Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Good People, Rabbit Hole, Kimberly Akimbo) as “The Odd Couple” meets “The Golden Girls.”

Crabby Abby (Donna Biscoe) and her new roommate (the too-rarely-seen Jill Jane Clements) vie for prime real estate at the Bristol Place Senior Living Facility until their contest becomes a pitched battle with no end in sight. Jaclyn Hofmann directs. Also in the cast: Megan Rose, Seun Soyemi and Jacob York. 

$20-$55. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m 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. 

 

Next week

Heath Gill (from left), Christian Clark, Rachel Van Buskirk.

Heath Gill (from left), Christian Clark, Rachel Van Buskirk.

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre.OPENS MAY 25. 

The Vertical, a world premiere from this exciting, year-old company, is danced outdoors beneath the stars at Deer Hollow at Serenbe.

 

The Terminus company consists of Christian Clark, Heath Gill, Tara Lee, Rachel Van Buskirk and John Welker, all former Atlanta Ballet stalwarts and much of the buzz behind Wabi Sabi, a contemporary, site-specific dance initiative under John McFall, then Atlanta Ballet’s artistic director.

$50 opening night. Otherwise $30; $15 students. Through June 3. 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday (June 2 performance sold out). Deer Hollow is at 8715 Atlanta Newnan Road in Palmetto. Details, tickets HERE.

 

 

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