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 | Oct. 11-17, 2018

GarretTurner_ TheRoyale

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

Recommended

fall.en

Fall-en. CLOSES SUNDAY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Brandon Partrick, Courtney Moors. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Brandon Partrick, Courtney Moors. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Nell Gwynn. THROUGH OCT. 21.

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

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

NinaSimone

Nina Simone: Four Women. THROUGH OCT. 21.

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

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

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

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

Waiting for Godot. CLOSES SUNDAY.

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

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

Last chance

a-red-plaid-shirt

A Red Plaid Shirt. CLOSES SUNDAY.

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

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

This weekend only

Jun Märkl

Jun Märkl

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY + SATURDAY. 

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

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

Paige Hernandez

Paige Hernandez

Paige in Full. SATURDAY ONLY. Alliance Theatre

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

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

[ONE WOMAN. ONE TEACHER. ONE STORY.]

Opening this week

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

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

The Royale. PREVIEWS THURSDAY-FRIDAY. OPENS SATURDAY.

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

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

For Halloween

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

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

The Ghastly Dreadfuls. THROUGH OCT. 27.

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

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

Robert Lee Hindsman. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Robert Lee Hindsman. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Edgar Allan Poe Experience. OPENS OCT. 17.

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

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

 

SleepyHollow

The Sleepy Hollow Experience. THROUGH NOV. 4. 

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

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

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

Still running

be-here-now

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

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

$31-$50. At 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Chris Hecke (left), Jonathan Horne.

Chris Hecke (left), Jonathan Horne.

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

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

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

Nick’s Flamingo Grill. THROUGH OCT. 28.

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

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


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

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

Wai Yim (left), Kevin Qian

Wai Yim (left), Kevin Qian

Nomad Motel. THROUGH OCT. 21.

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

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

Next week

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

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

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

fashionado

BEST BETS | Aug. 9-15, 2018

Branford Marsalis

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

Recommended

Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival

Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival.MONDAY-TUESDAY.

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

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

Dash Clowdus-Howe. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Dash Clowdus-Howe. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Titanic. THROUGH AUG. 19.

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

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

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

Opening this week

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

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

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

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

This weekend only

Photo: Eric Ryan Anderson

Photo: Eric Ryan Anderson

Branford Marsalis Quartet. SATURDAY ONLY.

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

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

Closing this week

Denise Burse, Benedetto Robinson. Photo: Brenda Nicole Photography

Denise Burse, Benedetto Robinson. Photo: Brenda Nicole Photography

Dot. CLOSES SUNDAY. At True Colors Theatre Company.

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

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

Still running

Blackbird

Blackbird. THROUGH AUG. 19.

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

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

Built To Float

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

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

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

On the third day

On the Third Day. THROUGH AUG. 19.

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

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

Adrianna Trachell. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Adrianna Trachell. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Newsies. THROUGH SEPT. 2.

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

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

Aaron Schilling. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Aaron Schilling. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Peter Pan. THROUGH AUG. 26. 

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

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

Avery Sharpe

Avery Sharpe

Woke. THROUGH AUG. 26. World premiere.

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

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

Next week

book of will

The Book of Will. BEGINS AUG. 15.

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

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

BunchOfDifferentWaysIdLikeToDie

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

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

Coming up

 Joe Gransden (left), Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

 Joe Gransden (left), Landau Eugene Murphy Jr.

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

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

Sutton Foster   

Sutton Foster

 

Sutton Foster. AUG. 18 ONLY. Highly recommended.

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

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

 

fashionado

BEST BETS | July 12-18, 2018

The RMS Titanic

“The Color Purple” (Actor’s Express), “Titanic” (Serenbe Playhouse) and the final days of “Winnie-the-Pooh” (Alliance Theatre) top this week’s curated edition of BEST BETS. Learn why while you check out this week’s openings, closings and what’s just ahead. Pictured: The RMS Titanic at Serenbe Playhouse. Design and rendering by Adam Koch. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus.

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

Recommended

Kevin Harry as Mister. Photo: Casey Gardner

Kevin Harry as Mister. Photo: Casey Gardner

** The Color Purple. THROUGH JULY 29. At Actor’s Express.

Alice Walker’s landmark, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel became a musical at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre in 2004, and on Broadway in 2005 and 2015. The Express telling hews most closely to the more intimate 2015/17 revival.

The story follows the hardscrabble journey of a rural Georgia woman named Celie, who fights adversity to find strength, love and the power of her own voice over a 40-year span. Atlanta-based actor/director/educator David Koté directs. Latrice Pace is Celie, Jasmyne Hinson is Shug Avery, Kevin Harry is Mister and Kayce Grogan-Wallace is Sophia.

$22-$44 and selling well. Don’t delay. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. In the King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. in West Midtown. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

 

Dash Clowdus-Howe. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Dash Clowdus-Howe. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Titanic. THROUGH AUG. 12. 

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

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

Appropriate footwear recommended. 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. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Joe Sykes (Eeyore), Mabel Tyler (Piglet). Photo: Greg Mooney

Joe Sykes (Eeyore), Mabel Tyler (Piglet). Photo: Greg Mooney

Winnie-the-Pooh. CLOSES SUNDAY.

It’s nearly time to bid the Hundred Acre Wood goodbye. The Alliance Theatre opens its 50th anniversary season with this fanciful family musical based on the A.A. Milne books. Spend a life-affirming hour with Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo and Owl as one adventure (or misadventure) turns into another, friendship triumphs and a certain donkey’s birthday is celebrated.

The cast is led by Atlanta actors Isake Akanke(Synchronicity’s Eclipsed), Grant Chapman (Actor’s Express’ Angels in America), Maria Rodriguez-Sager (Theatrical Outfit’s Christmas at Pemberley) and Joe Sykes (Angels in America).

$15; $10 ages 6-17; $5 ages 3-5; age 2 and under free. 10 + 11:45 a.m. through Friday; 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. + 3:30 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Rich Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE. Note: The High Museum of Art exhibition, Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic, runs through Sept. 2. Museum details, tickets HERE. For either the musical or the exhibit, call 404.733.5000. Discount tickets for the musical at PoshDealz.com.

[FOR THE LOVE OF POOH + THE HUNDRED ACRE WOOD]

Opening this week

Photo: Dad’s Garage

Photo: Dad’s Garage

Black Nerd. OPENS FRIDAY. At Dad’s Garage Theatre Company.

What happens when a black kid prefers listening to Weird Al over Kendrick Lamar, attending Dragon Con over seeing Jay-Z, or watching Star Wars instead of Tyler Perry?

This dark comedy follows a young man as he navigates the expectations of his black family and 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.

$15.50-$29.50. Through Aug. 4. Dad’s is at 569 Ezzard St. SE. Details, tickets HERE (you’ll save money if you buy online) or at 404.523.3141.

 

The Book of Mormon. OPENS TUESDAY. Those shiny-faced Mormon missionaries revisit Atlanta (and Uganda) for more equal-opportunity offensiveness and a surprising amount of heart. The Broadway company is in its seventh year; Atlanta sees the national touring company. The show, by Matt Stone and Trey Parker (“South Park”) and Robert Lopez (Avenue Q), won nine 2011 Tony awards, including best musical.$34-$139 plus fees. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE, in person at the Fox ticket office or at 855.285.8499.

[WHY MORMON STILL WORKS, AFTER 6-PLUS YEARS ON BROADWAY AND TOUR]

 

dot

Dot. OPENS TUESDAY.  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, Variety.com says, “sees the absurdity and human comedy in a messy, volatile, all-too-real family dynamic.” Atlanta-born, New York-based stage/film actor Denise Burse is Dot.

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

$20-$35. Through Aug. 12. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. True Colors performs at the Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road SW. Details, tickets HERE or at 877.725.8849 (Ticket Alternative).

Amanda Cucher (from left), Shelli Delgado, Holly Stevenson, Maggie Birgel. Photo: Casey Gardner

Amanda Cucher (from left), Shelli Delgado, Holly Stevenson, Maggie Birgel. Photo: Casey Gardner

Enchanted April. OPENS FRIDAY. From the Weird Sisters Theatre Project.

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

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

$10 plus fees for July 12 preview; otherwise $15 plus fees. Through July 29. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday. Performed at Out of Box Theatre,  585 Cobb Parkway South in Marietta. Tickets HERE.

Still running

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. THROUGH JULY 29. At the Center for Puppetry Arts. Cows that type? Chickens on strike? Check out Farmer Brown’s topsy-turvy barnyard in this adaptation by the Center’s Jon Ludwig and Jason Hines. It’s based on the Caldecott Honor-winning children’s book published in 2000. The comedy uses marionette, rod and shadow puppets and is appropriate for age 4 and up. The cast/puppeteers: Dolph Amick, Brian Harrison, Mandy Mitchell, head puppeteer Amy Sweeney and Tim Sweeney. $19.50. 10 a.m. + noon Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. THROUGH JULY 29. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. ‘Tis the Midsummer season. Shakespeare Kennesaw, new this summer, recently finished its run, and September brings an outdoor version from the Alliance Theatre. At the Tavern, Kenneth Wigley (Theseus, Oberon) and Dani Herd (Hippolyta, Titania) lead a large band of storytellers in a comic tale about two pairs of lovers (one requited, one not so much) and a ragtag bunch of thespians who stumble upon a chaotic fairy kingdom. J. Tony Brown directs. Pub menu and libations available. $21-$42. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. NE (parking suggested in the Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across the street). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0.

Alexandria Joy as Tinker Bell. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Alexandria Joy as Tinker Bell. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Peter Pan.THROUGH AUG. 26. Serenbe Playhouse calls this a “world premiere musical pirate adventure.”

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

All shows take place in the woods and require a walk along a sometimes muddy path. Appropriate footwear 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.

Scott DePoy (from left), Chris Damiano, Christopher Kent, Mark W. Schroeder (at piano). Photo: Georgia Ensemble Theatre

Scott DePoy (from left), Chris Damiano, Christopher Kent, Mark W. Schroeder (at piano). Photo: Georgia Ensemble Theatre

Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. OPENS THURSDAY. 

Georgia Ensemble Theatre reprises last season’s jukebox musical about the Man in Black. Ring of Firetells Cash’s story through his songs — from vintage country to rockabilly and ballads — including “Daddy Sang Bass,” “A Boy Named Sue,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Going to Memphis,” “Jackson,” “If I Were a Carpenter,” “I Walk the Line” and 32 more. The run continues GET’s partnership with the Chattahoochee Nature Center for a fourth consecutive summer and features the same cast as last season: Chris DamianoScott DePoy, Christopher Kent, Laura Lindahl and Mark W. Schroeder.

$16.50 general admission lawn seating; $36.50 reserved table seating under the pavilion; $365 for a 10-person table. Cash bar (no outside alcohol or glass allowed). Through July 28. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday (grounds open at 6:30 p.m.). 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.

Coming up

Rachel Van Buskirk, Christian Clark. Photo: Kyle Sager / TMBT

Rachel Van Buskirk, Christian Clark. Photo: Kyle Sager / TMBT

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre. JULY 27-28.

Two pop-up performances at the High Museum of Art feature Heath Gill’s Confronting Genius, described as “a whimsical duet that looks at unshackling the artist that lives inside us all.” Dancers from the company’s Advanced Summer Intensive program also perform. Terminus, founded in fall 2017, is dedicated to expanding ballet’s boundaries through contemporary movement and nontraditional approaches. Gill, along with co-founders Christian Clark, Tara Lee, Rachel Van Buskirk and John Welker, were longtime Atlanta Ballet dancers.

Free for High Museum members; $14.50 non-members. Seating limited.

7:30 p.m. Friday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday. The High Museum is at the Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE.

Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

 

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BEST BETS | Feb. 8-14, 2018

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

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

**  INDICATES AN ENCORE ATLANTA WINTER SEASON TOP PICK.

Recommended

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At Actor‘s Express. See both.

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

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

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

Amari Cheatum, Brittany Inge. Photo: Greg Mooney

Amari Cheatum, Brittany Inge. Photo: Greg Mooney

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

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

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

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

 

Courtney Patterson.

Courtney Patterson.

** Maytag Virgin. CLOSES SUNDAY.

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

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

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

 

Josh Brook, with Edward. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Josh Brook, with Edward. Photo: Jerry Siegel

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

At Synchronicity Theatre

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

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

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

 

Opening this week

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

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

Ontario Was Here. OPENS SATURDAY.

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

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

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

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

 

This weekend only

biolgASO-Chorus

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

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

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

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

Still running

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

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

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

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

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

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

Terrance Smith, Rachel Wansker.

Terrance Smith, Rachel Wansker.

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

At Out Front Theatre Company.

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

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

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

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

 

Shannon McCarren, Blake Burgess.

Shannon McCarren, Blake Burgess.

Picnic. THROUGH FEB. 18. At Stage Door Players

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: David Zeiger

Photo: David Zeiger

Rainforest Adventures. THROUGH MARCH 4.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Next week

Jorge Federico Osorio

Jorge Federico Osorio

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. FEB. 15 + 17. 

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

Also scheduled: Rossini’s overture to Semiramide.

$17-$97. 8 nightly.

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

August Wilson, in 2003.

August Wilson, in 2003.

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

At True Colors Theatre Company

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

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

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

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

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