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. 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

BEST BETS | Aug. 23-29, 2018

TessMalisKincaid

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

Recommended

Tom Key, Eliana Marianes. Photo: Greg Mooney

Tom Key, Eliana Marianes. Photo: Greg Mooney

The Book of Will.THROUGH SEPT. 9.

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

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

$22.50-$49. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

ADollsHousePart2

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

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

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

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

Opening this week

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

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

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

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

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

Closing this week

Blackbird

Blackbird. CLOSES SUNDAY.

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

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

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

BuiltToFloat

Built to Float. CLOSES SATURDAY. World premiere.

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

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

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

SerenbePlayhouse

Peter Pan. CLOSES SUNDAY.

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

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

 

SeeRockCity

See Rock City. CLOSES SUNDAY.

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

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

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

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

WOKE

Woke. CLOSES SUNDAY. World premiere.

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

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

Still running

Newsies_AuroraTheatre

Newsies. THROUGH SEPT. 2.

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

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

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

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

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

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

Coming up

MidsummerNightsDream

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

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

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

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

Park Krausen as Irina Arkadina. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Park Krausen as Irina Arkadina. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Seagull. SEPT. 5-30.

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

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

Jack Ha, Vivi Thai. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Jack Ha, Vivi Thai. Photo: Chris Bartelski

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

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

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

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

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

 

fashionado