BEST BETS | Dec. 13-19, 2018

best bets encore atlanta fashionado

CHRISTMAS, ANYONE? Your best bets this week range from concerts to a ballet and include musicals, puppets, dramas, satires, one-person shows and something for families, kids, grown-ups and the biggest “bah, humbugs” in your bunch. Pictured: Greg Maurice Hunter (left) and Matt Baum as best buddies Toad and Frog, respectively, at Synchronicity Theatre. Photo by Jerry Siegel.

Cecil Washington Jr. (left), Jimi Kocina. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Cecil Washington Jr. (left), Jimi Kocina. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Top picks

Christmas Canteen.THROUGH DEC. 23.

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

Check the Aurora website for sold-out dates before you go. $30 and up. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 10 a.m. matinee ($20 and up) Dec. 18. Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

David de Vries

David de Vries

A Christmas Carol. THROUGH DEC. 24.

The biggest “bah humbug” of them all. The Alliance Theatre takes its musical, multicultural telling (penned by David H. Bell) back to Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre for a second season. David de Vries returns as Ebenezer Scrooge. Joining him are many familiar faces, including Neal A. Ghant (Bob Cratchit); Bart Hansard (Fezziwig, Ghost of Christmas Present); and Courtney Patterson (Ghost of Christmas Past). Rosemary Newcott once again directs.

The caroling is gorgeous, and irresistible. Family-friendly. Note: Metal detectors are in place for every performance, so allow extra time to enter the venue. $14-$115. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Also at 7 p.m. Dec. 23. 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

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

 

Justin Walker, Jasmine Thomas. Photo: David Woolf

Justin Walker, Jasmine Thomas. Photo: David Woolf

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley.THROUGH DEC. 23. 

Theatrical Outfit reprises its 2017 holiday hit with a script by Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson and colleague Margot Melcon.

This witty sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice focuses on socially awkward sister Mary and a potential romantic entanglement. 

Miss Bennet is the fourth-most-popular play in America this season, with productions at 13 theaters nationwide. Notable Atlanta theater artist Carolyn Cook directs the Outfit staging. Amelia Fischer and Jonathan Horne return as Mary Bennet and Arthur De Bourgh. Also returning are Devon Hales and Juan Carlos Unzueta. New to the cast are Stephanie FriedmanJeanette IllidgeJasmine Thomas and Justin Walker

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


nutcracker ballet

The Nutcracker. THROUGH DEC. 24. 

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

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

$35-$140. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 + 7 p.m. Sunday. Also at 1 p.m. Dec. 24. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303.

[A NUTCRACKER FOR A NEW GENERATION]

 

frog-toad-logo.jpg

A Year With Frog and Toad. THROUGH DEC. 30.

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

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

Opening this week

Chris Damiano. Photo: Cayce Callaway Photography

Chris Damiano. Photo: Cayce Callaway Photography

Million Dollar Quartet. DEC. 14-JAN. 12. 

Georgia Ensemble Theatre reprises its popular staging and takes it on the road to the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University. Return to Dec. 4, 1956, the magical day that Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins made music together — for the only time ever — at 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; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Conant is at 4484 Peachtree Road N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260 (do not call the Conant box office). Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

New holiday shows

Jordan Patrick. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Jordan Patrick. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Christmas Carol Experience. THROUGH DEC. 30.

Charles Dickens’ Scrooge story gets spun on its head in this immersive event from Brian Clowdus Experiences. Follow Ebenezer and his otherworldly goings-on through the rooms of the historic Wren’s Nest, where you’ll find holiday merriment, carols and lessons to remember. Atlanta-based actor Daniel Burns is Ebenezer Scrooge. The cast of five includes Rosie Gyselinck, Jordan Patrick as Jacob Marley, Lilliangina Quiñones and Julie Trammel. Clowdus, known for his environmental, site-specific work at Serenbe Playhouse, directs. The Wren’s Nest, once the home of Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbitcreator Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908), is now a cultural center that preserves Harris’ legacy and the heritage of African-American folklore through storytelling, tours and student publishing.

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

Jerry Aggers. Photo: Casey Gardner

Jerry Aggers. Photo: Casey Gardner

This Wonderful Life. THROUGH DEC. 23.

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

$20. Performances at 8 p.m. Dec. 13, 15, 18, 20 + 22; and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 16 + 23. Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Returning holiday shows of note

Libby Whittemore

Libby Whittemore

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

Singer and funny lady Libby Whittemore returns to Actor’s Express with her 10th edition of this happy holiday songfest. It dates back even further, though, to her entrepreneurial days as the headliner at Buckhead’s late, great Libby’s, A Cabaret.

She’s joined, as always, by Connie Sue Day, the 31st Lady of Country Music. Expect holiday classics old and new (“Hard Candy Christmas,” “River”), novelty tunes (“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”) and perhaps a verse or two penned by Connie Sue herself. You’ll hear plenty at the two-hour show and go home merry and bright. Just beware of Miss Day’s Dynel wig.

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

Holiday shows: This week only

a-christmas-memory-2018-165x200.jpg

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

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

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


Also for the holidays (ongoing)

IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER:

Anthony P. Rodriguez. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Anthony P. Rodriguez. Photo: Chris Bartelski

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

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

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

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

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

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

fashionado

BEST BETS | Dec. 14-20, 2017

IF YOU’RE NOT  in a holiday mood, you’re kind of out of luck. Our top picks: “Christmas Canteen” ( Aurora ), “Ho, Ho Home for the Holidays” with Libby Whittemore ( Actor’s Expre  ss ) and, delightfully new this season, “Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley” ( Theatrical Outfit ). PLEASE NOTE: The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Dec. 22 “Messiah” concert is sold out. Pictured: The company of the  Alliance Theatre’s  “A Christmas Carol.” Photo by Greg Mooney.

IF YOU’RE NOT in a holiday mood, you’re kind of out of luck. Our top picks: “Christmas Canteen” (Aurora), “Ho, Ho Home for the Holidays” with Libby Whittemore (Actor’s Express) and, delightfully new this season, “Miss Bennett: Christmas at Pemberley” (Theatrical Outfit). PLEASE NOTE: The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Dec. 22 “Messiah” concert is sold out. Pictured: The company of the Alliance Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol.” Photo by Greg Mooney.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta fall/winter season top pick. 

Recommended

The “Christmas Canteen” company (from left) Lyndsay Ricketson Brown, Nick Arapoglou, Jen MacQueen, Christian Magby, Cheyanne Osoria, Caroline Arapoglou, Benjamin Strickland, Chani Maisonet, Daisean Garrett, Cecil Washington Jr. Photo: Chris Bartelski

The “Christmas Canteen” company (from left) Lyndsay Ricketson Brown, Nick Arapoglou, Jen MacQueen, Christian Magby, Cheyanne Osoria, Caroline Arapoglou, Benjamin Strickland, Chani Maisonet, Daisean Garrett, Cecil Washington Jr. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christmas Canteen. THROUGH DEC. 23.

A holiday favorite (of mine). Aurora Theatre’s annual revue, one of its three seasonal shows, turns 22. The jolly variety show is schmaltzy, fun and moving in all the right ways. Think of “The Ed Sullivan Show” or Andy Williams’ Christmas specials, spin the time machine forward a bit, and you’ll know what to expect: songs, dances, novelty numbers and a few not-so-sly references to businesses that support Aurora. New this year: Nick and Caroline Arapoglou as co-hosts.

$30-$65. Many performances are already sold out, so please check before you go. Rush tickets may be available. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 

Watch the website for updates. 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. 

Libby Whittemore as Connie Sue Day. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Libby Whittemore as Connie Sue Day. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays. CLOSES SUNDAY.

Visit Actor’s Express for a slice of Christmas fruitcake unlike any other.

Singer Libby Whittemore and alter ego Connie Sue Day (the 31st Lady of Country Music) serenade you with holiday favorites new and old (“Santa Baby,” “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree,” “Christmas in Dixie”) and novelty numbers (“The 12 Days of a White Trash Christmas”) in this two-act celebration of tinsel, jingle bells and just a titch too much eggnog.

$40. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

 

Amelia Fischer as Mary Bennett. Photo: David Woolf

Amelia Fischer as Mary Bennett. Photo: David Woolf

** Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. THROUGH DEC. 24.

An Encore Atlanta top pick. Theatrical Outfit presents the Southeastern premiere of this smart, witty, joyful piece from Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson (Silent Sky, I and You, The Taming)and colleague Margot Melcon.

The comic drama, based on characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, takes us to 1815 England and into the life of middle sister Mary Bennet — who just might find romance amid the floor-to-ceiling volumes in the library. The cast: Amelia Fischer as Mary, with Galen CrawleyDevon HalesJonathan HorneLee OsorioMaria Rodriguez-SagerJulissa Sabino and Juan Carlos Unzueta.

 $20.50-$49. 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. 

 

This weekend only

Only very limited seating remains.

Only very limited seating remains.

A Very Merry Holiday POPS! FRIDAY-SATURDAY.

Only very limited seating still available. This year’s lineup includes the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Joe Gransden Big Band, Broadway’s Allison Blackwell (The Lion King, Porgy and Bess, A Night With Janis Joplin), the Melodica Men, the Atlanta All-City Chorus and choirs from Greenforest Community Baptist Church. Look for Santa and special helpers, as well. 

David Charles Abell, the new principal guest conductor of the Philly POPS, returns to the podium for a second year.

$20-$135. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

 

Select holiday

AtlantaBalletNutcracker

Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. THROUGH DEC. 28. 

Atlanta Ballet dances its John McFall-choreographed Nut for the 23rd and final time. A new version debuts in 2018. McFall, the company’s artistic director from 1994 to 2016, slipped out of retirement to lead the company one more time.

You know the story. A nutcracker doll comes to life, turns into a prince and takes young Marya on a fantastical adventure.

$21.25-$125.25. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 + 7 p.m. Sunday. Also at 2 p.m. Dec. 21-22, 26 + 28; and 1 p.m. Dec. 24. No show Christmas Day. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE.

Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499. Tickets also at the Fox and Atlanta Ballet box offices.

[MORE: McFALL ‘NUT’ KNOWN FOR ITS MAGIC, STORYTELLING]

 

Courtney Patterson, David de Vries. Photo: Greg Mooney

Courtney Patterson, David de Vries. Photo: Greg Mooney

A Christmas Carol. THROUGH DEC. 24. 

Alliance Theatre. Scrooge & Co. take their musical, multicultural story to Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre while magic, in the form of renovations, consumes their Midtown mainstage. 

David de Vries returns as ol’ Ebenezer for a fourth season, ably assisted by such longtime cohorts as Cynthia D. Barker (Mrs. Cratchit); Andrew Benator (Marley); Lowrey Brown (Young Scrooge); Je Nie Fleming (Mrs. Fezziwig, Mrs. Dilber); Neal A. Ghant (Bob Cratchit); Bart Hansard (Mr. Fezziwig, Ghost of Christmas Present); Joe Knezevich (Fred); and Courtney Patterson (Ghost of Christmas Past). Marco Schittone again plays Tiny Tim. Rosemary Newcott again directs.

$20-$60. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 800.745.3000. Also at Bank of North Georgia and Cobb Energy Centre box offices.

[MORE: FOR LONGTIME DIRECTOR, EVERY ‘CAROL’ IS A NEW ONE]

 

Photo: True Colors Theatre Company

Photo: True Colors Theatre Company

The First Noel. THROUGH DEC. 24.

 True Colors Theatre Company. This musical, set in 1980s Harlem, follows three generations of a family faced with loss. The score reimagines traditional holiday favorites in jazz, gospel and pop styles.

For all ages. The cast includes Terry HenryBrittany L. IngeMargo Moorer and Brad RaymondJasmine Guy directs.

$16 + $28 including fees (and selling well). 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19; 11 a.m. Dec. 20; and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 23. Ferst Center for the Arts on the Georgia Tech campus, 349 Ferst Drive NW. Free parking.

Details, tickets HERE or at 877.725.8849 (Ticket Alternative).

 

Emily Parrish Stembridge as Clara, Jessenia Ingram as Heidi. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Emily Parrish Stembridge as Clara, Jessenia Ingram as Heidi. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Heidi. THROUGH DEC. 31.

At Synchronicity Theatre. Johanna Spyri’s 19th-century children’s novel becomes a family-friendly musical in this staging for ages 3 and up. Heidi brings joy to everyone she meets, whether it’s her crusty grandfather in the Swiss Alps or a wheelchair-bound friend in the city. Even the goats sing.

The score is by Joan Cushing (Junie B. Jones, Miss Nelson, Petite Rouge). Every Friday is PJs & Play (kids in pajamas  get free milk, cookies and — for this show only — Swiss chocolates).

 $20-$22; $15-$17 children. 7 p.m. Friday; 1 + 4 p.m. Saturday; and 2 + 5 p.m. Sunday. Also at 2 p.m. Dec. 19-21, 26-28 and 11 a.m. Dec. 24. No show Christmas Day. KidNight Countdown, with a kid-friendly toast and treat, follows the 5 p.m. show Dec. 31. Synchronicity is in the One Peachtree Pointe complex at 1545 Peachtree St. NE.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

 

ALSO FOR THE HOLIDAYS:

invasionchristmascarol

fashionado

BEST BETS | Nov. 30-Dec. 6, 2017

t’s beginning to look a lot like … well, you know. Pictured, from left: “Christmas Canteen” with Caroline and Nick Arapoglou (Aurora Theatre); “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” (Theatrical Outfit); and “The Snow Queen” (Serenbe Playhouse). Photo/illustrations by Chris Bartelski, Daryl Fazio, BreeAnne Clowdus.

t’s beginning to look a lot like … well, you know. Pictured, from left: “Christmas Canteen” with Caroline and Nick Arapoglou (Aurora Theatre); “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” (Theatrical Outfit); and “The Snow Queen” (Serenbe Playhouse). Photo/illustrations by Chris Bartelski, Daryl Fazio, BreeAnne Clowdus.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta fall/winter season top pick. 

Recommended

Stephen Ruffin (from left), Ashley Anderson, Isake Akanke, Rob Demery. Photo: Studio 7 Photography

Stephen Ruffin (from left), Ashley Anderson, Isake Akanke, Rob Demery. Photo: Studio 7 Photography

** Cardboard Piano. CLOSES SUNDAY.

 New Year’s Eve, 1999, in a remote Ugandan village. Two girls — one a villager (Isake Akanke), the other from a missionary family (Ashley Anderson) — sneak into a church to wed. A boy soldier (Stephen Ruffin) interrupts and lives are changed forever. Also in the cast: Rob Demery. The script is by South Korea-born playwright Hansol Jung. Kennesaw State’s Karen Robinson directs.

The drama, intense and provocative, debuted at the Humana Festival of New American Plays, where Express artistic director Freddie Ashley has found fertile ground.

8 tonight-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. At the King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Aurora-ChristmasCanteen

Christmas Canteen. THROUGH DEC. 23.

A holiday favorite (of mine). Aurora Theatre’s annual revue, one of its three seasonal shows, turns 22.

The jolly variety show is schmaltzy, fun and moving in all the right ways. Think of “The Ed Sullivan Show” or Andy Williams’ Christmas specials, spin the time machine forward a bit, and you’ll know what to expect: songs, dances, novelty numbers and a few not-so-sly references to businesses that support Aurora.

New this year: Nick and Caroline Arapoglou as co-hosts. Get tickets soon; this show sells out fast.

$30-$65. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Already sold out: Dec. 3; Dec. 5 (both shows); Dec. 9 (both shows); Dec. 10 (2:30 p.m. show); Dec. 12 (both shows); 8 p.m. Dec. 16 (both shows); and Dec. 17 (10 a.m.); and Dec. 19 (10 a.m.) Watch the website for updates.

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. 

Lauren Gunderson is the most-produced playwright in America this season.

Lauren Gunderson is the most-produced playwright in America this season.

** Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. IN PREVIEWS | OPENS SATURDAY.

An Encore Atlanta fall/winter top pick. Theatrical Outfit presents the Southeastern premiere of this piece from Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson (Silent Sky, I and You, The Taming) and colleague Margot Melcon.

The drama, based on characters from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, takes us to 1815 England and into the life of middle Bennet sister Mary, her hopes for independence, intellectual rigor and perhaps even love. 

Atlanta actor/director Carolyn Cook leads a strong cast featuring Amelia Fischer as Mary, with Galen CrawleyDevon HalesJonathan HorneLee OsorioMaria Rodriguez-SagerJulissa Sabino and Juan Carlos Unzueta.

 $20.50-$49. Through Dec. 24. 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 Opening this weekend

christmas-at-sweet-apple

Christmas at Sweet Apple. BEGINS FRIDAY.

At Stage Door Players. A feel-good, hometown celebration told through story and song and based on the writings of celebrated Atlanta Journal-Constitution columnist Celestine Sibley(1914-1999). Sibley’s sharp but folksy take on life and people remains timeless. Atlanta playwright Phillip DePoy wrote the script. The cast includes Scott E. DePoy, Karen Howell, Kate Johnson, Paige Mattox and Jeremy Wood.

$15-$33. Through Dec. 17. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.

 

SnowQueen

The Snow Queen. OPENS TONIGHT. 

Serenbe Playhouse takes the Hans Christian Andersen tale into the woods once again, emphasizing the wintry nature of the tale, as young Gerda fights fear on a journey to save her brother from the icy lady’s evil magic.

Performed outdoors in a staging that travels (without seating); request chairs through the box office at 770.463.1110.

$15 + $20. Through Dec. 30. 6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (expands to Tuesday-Sunday on Dec. 19); 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday (Tuesdays added as of Dec. 19).

10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Directions, parking info HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

This week only

Fox-Phantom

Love Never Dies. THROUGH SUNDAY. 

Broadway in Atlanta presents this sequel to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera.

The year is 1907, and it has been a decade since the Phantom vanished from the Paris Opera House. He has made a new life for himself among the screaming joy rides and freak shows of Coney Island — but has never stopped yearning for his musical protégée, Christine Daaé.

$44-$144. 7:30 tonight; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE.

Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.

[READ: BROADWAY’S KAREN MASON PLAYS THE DEVOTED MADAME GIRY]

 

One night only

opera to opry

From Opera to Opry: Liquor, Love and the Lord. TUESDAY. 

The Atlanta Opera mixes arias with twang in its second annual holiday concert at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. Opera singers (tenor Jonathan Burton, baritones Corey Crider and Michael Mayes, soprano Leah Partridge) mix it up with Cletus McHatfield and the McHatfield Fambly Singers, performing everything from Mozart, Puccini and Verdi to Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline and George Jones.

$35. 7:30 p.m. All seats general admission. The Tavern opens at 6:15 p.m. for early drinks and dinner.

499 Peachtree St. NE (across from Emory University Hospital Midtown). Parking in the hospital deck is recommended. Tickets, details HERE or at 404.881.8885.

 

Select holiday

blacknativity

Black Nativity. THROUGH DEC. 17.

This African-American telling of the Christmas story was written in 1961 by acclaimed poet/playwright Langston Hughes (1902-1967). This one-act version, produced by Dominion Entertainment Group, takes audiences from a traditional black church to an Africanized Jerusalem through dance, spirituals, anthems and toe-tapping gospel numbers (“My Way Is Cloudy,” “Poor Baby Jesus,” “Mary Did You Know,” “What Child Is This” and many others).

$25-$50. Runs Wednesday-Sunday, but curtain times vary, so please check HERESouthwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road SW. Details, tickets HERE. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

OTHER HOLIDAY SHOWS WORTH A LOOK:

Coming up

Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. OPENS DEC. 8. Atlanta Ballet dances its John McFall-choreographed Nut for the 23rd and final time. A new version debuts in 2018. McFall, the company’s artistic director from 1994 to 2016, slipped out of retirement and into his ballet slippers to lead the company one more time. You know the story. A nutcracker doll comes to life, turns into a prince and takes young Marya on a fantastical adventure.

$21.25-$125.25. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 + 7 p.m. Sunday. Also at 2 p.m. Dec. 21-22, 26 + 28; and 1 p.m. Dec. 24. No show on Christmas. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499. Tickets also at the Fox and Atlanta Ballet box offices. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

[MORE: McFALL ‘NUT’ KNOWN FOR ITS MAGIC, STORYTELLING]

David de Vries returns as Scrooge for a fourth season. Photo: Greg Mooney

David de Vries returns as Scrooge for a fourth season. Photo: Greg Mooney

A Christmas Carol. OPENS DEC. 8.

Alliance Theatre. Scrooge & Co. take their musical, multicultural story to Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre this season while magic, in the form of renovations, consumes their Midtown mainstage. David de Vries returns as ol’ Ebenezer for a fourth season, ably assisted by such longtime cohorts as Cynthia D. Barker (Mrs. Cratchit); Andrew Benator (Marley); Lowrey Brown (Young Scrooge); Je Nie Fleming (Mrs. Fezziwig, Mrs. Dilber); Neal A. Ghant (Bob Cratchit); Bart Hansard (Mr. Fezziwig, Ghost of Christmas Present); Joe Knezevich (Fred); and Courtney Patterson (Ghost of Christmas Past). Marco Schittone plays Tiny Tim for a second season. Rosemary Newcott again directs.

$20-$60. Through Dec. 24. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. No shows Dec. 9. 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 800.745.3000. Also at Bank of North Georgia and Cobb Energy Centre box offices.

[MORE: FOR LONGTIME DIRECTOR, EVERY YEAR IS A NEW YEAR]

 

Photo: True Colors Theatre Company

Photo: True Colors Theatre Company

The First Noel. OPENS DEC. 8.

True Colors Theatre Company. This musical, set in 1980s Harlem, follows three generations of a family faced with loss. The score reimagines traditional holiday favorites in jazz, gospel and pop styles. Good for all ages. The cast includes Terry HenryBrittany L. IngeMargo Moorer and Brad RaymondJasmine Guy directs.

$16 + $28 including fees (selling well). Through Dec. 24. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 12; 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19; 11 a.m. Dec. 20; and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 23. Ferst Center for the Arts on the Georgia Tech campus, 349 Ferst Drive NW.

Free parking. Details, tickets HERE or at 877.725.8849 (Ticket Alternative).

Jessenia Ingram is Heidi. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Jessenia Ingram is Heidi. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Heidi. OPENS DEC. 8.

At Synchronicity Theatre. Johanna Spyri’s 19th-century children’s novel becomes a family-friendly musical in this staging for ages 3 and up. Heidi brings joy to everyone she meets, whether it’s her crusty grandfather in the Swiss Alps or a wheelchair-bound friend in the city. Even the goats sing.

The score is by Joan Cushing (Junie B. Jones, Miss Nelson, Petite Rouge). Note: Every Friday is PJs & Play. Kids can wear pajamas and get milk, cookies and — for this show only — chocolates. Julie Skrzypek (Fancy Nancy, The One and Only Ivan) directs.

$20-$22; $15-$17 children. Through Dec. 31. 7 p.m. Friday; 1 + 4 p.m. Saturday; and 2 + 5 p.m. Sunday. Also at 2 p.m. Dec. 19-21, 26-28 and 11 a.m. Dec. 24. No show Christmas Day. KidNight Countdown, with a kid-friendly toast and a treat, follows 5 p.m. show Dec. 31. Synchronicity is in the One Peachtreee Pointe complex at 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

Libby Whittemore

Libby Whittemore

Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays. DEC. 9-17.

Visit Actor’s Express for a slice of Christmas fruitcake unlike any other.

Singer Libby Whittemore and alter ego Connie Sue Day (the 31st Lady of Country Music) serenade you with holiday favorites (“Santa Baby,” “Rockin Around the Christmas Tree,” “Christmas in Dixie”) and novelty numbers (“The 12 Days of a White Trash Christmas”) in this two-act celebration of tinsel, jingle bells and just a titch too much eggnog.

$40. 7:30 p.m. Dec. 9-10, 15-17. At the King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

Photo: Ballethnic Dance Company

Photo: Ballethnic Dance Company

Urban Nutcracker. DEC. 9-10.

Ballethnic Dance Company’s soulful celebration takes place on Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn Avenue in the 1940s. See the smooth Chocolatier sweep Brown Sugar off to a magical land filled with leaping Reggae Rag Dolls and the spinning Black Russian. This take — also featuring Mother Spice and her tumbling Spice Drops and the bubbly Coca-Cola Pas de Six — mixes the classical ballet with modern, jazz and tap dance.

$30-$60 (a Dec. 8 dress rehearsal/preview is $15). 8 nightly. Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel, Morehouse College, 830 Westview Drive SW. Details, tickets HERE.

 

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