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. 6-12, 2018

The-Alliance's-Christmas-Carol

FESTIVE OUTINGS await. The bad news: “Knead” (Alliance) closes Sunday. The good news: “Christmas Canteen” (Aurora),  “A Christmas Carol” (Alliance), Atlanta Ballet’s new “Nutcracker” and “Frog and Toad” (Synchronicity) open or continue; and the ASO plays its first holiday concert. Intriguing: Aurora’s one-man “This Wonderful Life.” Pictured: The Alliance’s “Christmas Carol” company. Photo by Greg Mooney.

Top picks

Christian Magby, Chani Maisonet. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christian Magby, Chani Maisonet. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christmas Canteen.THROUGH DEC. 23.

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

$30 and up. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 10 a.m. matinees ($20 and up) Dec. 11 + 18. Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

Bart Hansard as the Ghost of Christmas Present (he also plays Fezziwig). Photo: Greg Mooney

Bart Hansard as the Ghost of Christmas Present (he also plays Fezziwig). Photo: Greg Mooney

A Christmas Carol. OPENS DEC. 12.

The biggest “bah humbug” of them all. The Alliance Theatre takes its musical, multicultural telling (penned by David H. Bell) back to Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre for a second season. David de Vries returns as Ebenezer Scrooge. Joining him again are many familiar faces, including Neal A. Ghant (Bob Cratchit); Bart Hansard (Fezziwig, Ghost of Christmas Present); and Courtney Patterson (Ghost of Christmas Past). Rosemary Newcott once again directs. The caroling is gorgeous, and irresistible. Family-friendly. Note: Metal detectors are in place for every performance, so allow extra time to enter the venue.

$14-$115. Through Dec. 24. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 7 p.m. Dec. 23. 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

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

Mary Lynn Owen. Photo: Greg Mooney

Mary Lynn Owen. Photo: Greg Mooney

Knead. CLOSES SUNDAY.

An Alliance Theatre world premiere. In the wee hours, a woman attempts to bake bread from her mother’s incomprehensible recipe. But the ingredients of time and memory keep interfering, and the process — the kneading, rising, shaping and baking, all in real time — becomes a journey into unpredictability. Bread will be baked and, perhaps, shared. Two-time Suzi Bass Award-winning actor Mary Lynn Owen wrote the one-person script, her first, and is the lone cast member. Knead was developed in the Alliance’s Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab and was a semifinalist for the prestigious O’Neill National Playwrights Conference. David de Vries (the same artist who plays the Alliance’s Ebenezer Scrooge) directs. Recommended for age 14 and up.

$45; $10 teens. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Hertz Stage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[MORE: HOW A PLAYWRIGHT RISES]

Theatrical Outfit’s “Miss Bennet” company (from left) Stephanie Friedman, Juan Carlos Unzueta, Jeanette Illidge, Devon Hales, Amelia Fischer, Jonathan Horne, Justin Walker, Jasmine Thomas. Photo: David Woolf

Theatrical Outfit’s “Miss Bennet” company (from left) Stephanie Friedman, Juan Carlos Unzueta, Jeanette Illidge, Devon Hales, Amelia Fischer, Jonathan Horne, Justin Walker, Jasmine Thomas. Photo: David Woolf

 Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. THROUGH DEC. 23. Theatrical Outfit reprises its 2017 holiday hit with this script by Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson and colleague Margot Melcon. This witty sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice focuses on socially awkward sister Mary and a potential romantic entanglement. Miss Bennet is the fourth-most-popular play in America this season, with productions at 13 theaters nationwide. Notable Atlanta theater artist Carolyn Cook directs the Outfit staging. Amelia Fischer and Jonathan Horne return as Mary Bennet and Arthur De Bourgh. Also returning are Devon Hales and Juan Carlos Unzueta. New to the cast are Stephanie Friedman,Jeanette IllidgeJasmine Thomas and Justin Walker

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

The-Nutcracker

The Nutcracker. OPENS SATURDAY. 

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

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

$35-$140. Through Dec. 24. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 + 7 p.m. Sunday. Also at 1 p.m. Dec. 24. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303. (Pictured: Designer Sandra Woodall’s costume rendering for the Act 2 Nutcracker Prince.)

[A WHOLE NEW NUTCRACKER]

Frog-and-Toad

 A Year With Frog and Toad. OPENS FRIDAY.

A rare family show that speaks to adults as well as the kiddos. This musical tale about a year in the lives of two best friends returns to Synchronicity Theatre

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

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

This weekend only

Christmas-With-ASO

Christmas With the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. SATURDAY-SUNDAY ONLY.

Four performances. These concerts continue a tradition started decades ago by then-music director Robert Shaw. The Gwinnett Young Singers and the Morehouse College Glee Club join the orchestra and ASO Chorus to perform carols and hymns. Norman Mackenzie conducts.

$29-$79. Selling well.  Limited seating remains (best availability is 8 p.m. Sunday). 3 + 8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E.  Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

 

Curious-Holiday-Encounters

Curious Holiday Encounters. THURSDAY-SUNDAY ONLY.

This festival of interactive performances takes place throughout the 7 Stages building. Expect an offbeat brand of holiday cheer as you stroll around and check out offerings from the Little Five Points Rockstar Orchestra, Arís Theatre, the Weird Sisters Theatre Project, Atlanta theater artist Rebekah Suellau and others. Artistic director Heidi S. Howard curates.

$15-$25. 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday (last entry at 9 p.m.); 5 p.m. Sunday (last entry at 7 p.m.). 1105 Euclid Ave. NE in Atlanta’s Little Five Points neighborhood. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

Deb Bowman

Deb Bowman

A Merry Little Christmas With Deb Bowman. SATURDAY ONLY.

Singer-actor Deb Bowman (Serenbe Playhouse’s Little Mermaid and A Streetcar Named Desire; Actor’s Express’ Sweeney Todd) serenades the holidays in a sultry style all her own for one night only, backed by keyboards and percussion.

$40; $60 VIP table. Grange Hall at Serenbe, 10640 Serenbe Lane, Chattahoochee Hills (about 33 miles southwest of downtown Atlanta). Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.


New holiday shows

Lilliangina Quiñones. Photo : BreeAnne Clowdus

Lilliangina Quiñones. Photo : BreeAnne Clowdus

The Christmas Carol Experience. DEC. 12-30.

See Charles Dickens’ Christmas classic in a new way. The Scrooge story gets spun on its head in this immersive event. Follow Ebenezer and his otherworldly goings-on through the rooms of the historic Wren’s Nest. Expect holiday merriment, carols and lessons to remember. Atlanta-based actor Daniel Burns is Ebenezer Scrooge. The cast of five includes Rosie Gyselinck, Jordan Patrick, Lilliangina Quiñones and Julie Trammel. Presented by Brian Clowdus Experiences. Clowdus directs. The Wren’s Nest, once the home of Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit creator Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908), is now a cultural center that preserves Harris’ legacy and the heritage of African-American folklore through storytelling, tours and student publishing.

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

Cansler McGhee (from left), Michael Dotson, Max Mattox.

Cansler McGhee (from left), Michael Dotson, Max Mattox.

The Ethel Merman Disco Christmas Spectacular. OPENS THURSDAY.

Out Front Theatre Company imagines what the great Ethel Merman’s unaired 1979 Christmas TV special would look like. It takes place onstage at the iconic Studio 54, the same year the Queen of Broadway released her infamous disco record. The show features classic Christmas songs done to a dance-floor beat and visited by a cavalcade of celebrities, including Andy Warhol, Donna Summer and Truman Capote. The world premiere is written and directed by Out Front artistic director Paul Conroy.

$15-$25. Through Dec. 22. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Also at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17. 999 Brady Ave. NW in West Midtown. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.448.2755

This Wonderful Life. THROUGH DEC. 23. This one-man version of the Jimmy Stewart film classic is new to Aurora Theatre’s holiday lineup. Jeremy Aggers (Singles in Architecture, Hands on a Hardbody) plays everybody — George Bailey, Clarence, Mr. Potter, Uncle Billy, Mary, Mr. Gower, Zuzu, etc. The script is by playwright Steve Murray (whom you might know from his days as an Atlanta Journal-Constitution critic). In repertory with the company’s one-man Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (featuring producing artistic director Anthony P. Rodriguez). Associate artistic director Justin Anderson directs.

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

Jeremy Aggers as George Bailey and everyone else in “This Wonderful Life.” Photo: Casey Gardner

Jeremy Aggers as George Bailey and everyone else in “This Wonderful Life.” Photo: Casey Gardner

Returning holiday shows of note

Miss Connie Sue Day

Miss Connie Sue Day

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

Singer and funny lady Libby Whittemore returns to Actor’s Express with her 10th edition of this happy holiday songfest. It dates back even further, though, to her entrepreneurial days as the headliner at Buckhead’s late, great Libby’s, A Cabaret. She’s joined, as always, by Connie Sue Day, the 31st Lady of Country Music. Expect holiday classics old and new (“Hard Candy Christmas,” “River”), novelty tunes (“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”) and perhaps a verse or two penned by Connie Sue herself. You’ll hear plenty at the two-hour show and go home merry.  But beware the Dynel wig.

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

Also for the holidays (ongoing)

IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER:

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

Drew Reeves (left), Enoch King.

Drew Reeves (left), Enoch King.

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

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

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

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

ELF THE MUSICAL. Dec. 7-16. The stage version of the 2003 Will Ferrell movie comedy. Allow extra time to get through venue security at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center.  City Springs Theatre Company. 404.477.4365.

Also for the holidays (limited performances)

IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER:

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

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

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

fashionado

BEST BETS | Nov. 21-28, 2018

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

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

Top picks

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

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

Christmas Canteen.THROUGH DEC. 23.

Aurora Theatre joyously stages its 23rd original holiday revue. It sells quickly, so if you’re interested, don’t delay. Performances are already selling out. A singing, dancing cast of eight channels the golden days of TV Christmas specials (think Bing Crosby and Andy Williams) and mixes in a few contemporary moves to create a show that will have you glowing with the magic of the season. Ricardo Aponte and Anthony P. Rodriguez co-direct. Aponte also choreographs, with musical direction by Ann-Carol Pence, who also performs. This year’s merrymakers are Galen Crawley, Jimi Kocina, Christian Magby, Kristin Markiton, Chani Maisonet, Kenny Tran, Cecil Washington Jr. and Briana Young.

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

Mary Lynn Owen. Photo: Greg Mooney

Mary Lynn Owen. Photo: Greg Mooney

Knead. THROUGH DEC. 9.

An Alliance Theatre world premiere. In the wee hours, a woman attempts to bake bread from her mother’s incomprehensible recipe. But the ingredients of time and memory keep interfering, and the bread-baking process — the kneading, rising, shaping and baking, all in real time — becomes a journey into unpredictability. Bread will be baked and, perhaps, shared. Two-time Suzi Bass Award-winning actor Mary Lynn Owen wrote the one-person script, her first, and is the lone cast member. Knead was developed in the Alliance’s Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab and was a semifinalist for the prestigious O’Neill National Playwrights Conference in Connecticut. David de Vries (who takes the Alliance stage as Ebenezer Scrooge next month) directs. Recommended for age 14 and up.

$45; $10 teens. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. No show Thanksgiving Day. Hertz Stage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

[MORE: HOW A PLAYWRIGHT RISES]

Miss-Bennet

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

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

$18-$51 plus fees. Through Dec. 23. Previews at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 21 + 24 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23. Opens at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 24. Regularly at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 11 a.m. Nov. 29, Dec. 13 + Dec. 20. No show Thanksgiving Day. The Outfit performs at the Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW.

Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

New holiday shows

Curious-Holiday-Encounters

Curious Holiday Encounters. DEC. 6-9.

This festival of interactive performances takes place throughout 7 Stages’ entire building. Expect an offbeat brand of holiday cheer as you stroll and check out offerings from the Little Five Points Rockstar Orchestra, Arís Theatre, the Weird Sisters Theatre Project, Atlanta theater artist Rebekah Suellau and others. Artistic director Heidi S. Howard curates.

$15-$25. 7 p.m. Thursday-Saturday (last entry at 9 p.m.); 5 p.m. Sunday (last entry at 7 p.m.). 1105 Euclid Ave. NE in the Little Five Points neighborhood. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

The-Ethel-Merman-Disco-Christmas-Spectacular

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

Out Front Theatre Company imagines what the great Ethel Merman’s unaired 1979 Christmas TV special would look like. It takes place onstage at the iconic Studio 54, the same year the Queen of Broadway released her infamous disco record. The show shimmers with classic Christmas songs set to a dance-floor beat and visited by a cavalcade of celebrities, including Andy Warhol, Donna Summer and Truman Capote. The world premiere is written and directed by artistic director Paul Conroy.

$15-$25. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Also at 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17. 999 Brady Ave. NW in West Midtown. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.448.2755

Irving-Berlin's-White-Christmas

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

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

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

[HOW THE CREATIVE TEAM GUARANTEES SNOWS]

The-Nutcracker

 The Nutcracker. DEC. 8-24.

Atlanta Ballet debuts its first new Nutcracker in 23 seasons, a $3.7 million staging choreographed by Russian-born dancer Yuri Possokhov, an old friend and colleague of artistic director Gennadi Nedvigin. This telling returns to the original source material: German author E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 fantasy story “Nutcracker and Mouse King.” It sets the opening Christmas Eve party in a small German village, and features new scenic, costume and lighting designs as well as projections to help tell the story of a little girl named Marie and her come-to-life Nutcracker Prince. The production features some 40 dancers.

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

Jeremy Aggers. Photo illustration: Chris Bartelsk

Jeremy Aggers. Photo illustration: Chris Bartelsk

This Wonderful Life. OPENS NOV. 24.

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

$20. Performances at 8 p.m. Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 5, 13, 15, 18, 20 + 22; 2:30 p.m. Nov. 25 and Dec. 1, 8, 16 + 23. Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

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

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

Waffle Palace Christmas. THROUGH DEC. 30.

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

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

Returning holiday shows of note

David de Vries

David de Vries

A Christmas Carol. DEC. 12-24.

The Alliance Theatre takes its musical, multicultural telling, penned by David H. Bell,back to Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre for a second season. David de Vries returns as Ebenezer Scrooge. Joining him again are Neal A. Ghant (Bob Cratchit); Bart Hansard (Fezziwig, Ghost of Christmas Yet to Be); and Courtney Patterson (Ghost of Christmas Past), among many others. Rosemary Newcott once again directs. The caroling is gorgeous, and irresistible. Family-friendly. Note: Metal detectors are in place for every performance, so allow extra time to enter the venue.

$14-$115. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 7 p.m. Dec. 23. 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Connie Sue Day

Connie Sue Day

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

Singer and funny lady Libby Whittemore returns to Actor’s Express with her 10th edition of this joyful holiday songfest. It dates back even further, to her entrepreneurial days as the headliner at the late, great Libby’s, A Cabaret in Buckhead. She’s joined, as always, by Connie Sue Day, the 31st Lady of Country Music. Expect holiday classics old and new, novelty tunes and perhaps a verse or two penned by Connie Sue Day herself. You’ll hear plenty at the two-hour show and go home happy. Beware the Dynel wig. $40. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday.  Actor’s Express is in the King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

Frog-and-Toad

A Year With Frog and Toad. DEC. 7-30.

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

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

Also for the holidays

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

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

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

Hermey the Elf and Rudolph.

Hermey the Elf and Rudolph.

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

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

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

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

fashionado

BEST BETS | Oct. 25-31, 2018

BenThorpe

“Nick’s Flamingo Grill” ends its world premiere run at the Alliance Theatre, Steve Yockey’s “Reykjavik” opens at Actor’s Express and “The Royale” continues punching at Theatrical Outfit. Read on for details on these and much more in our weekly curated column. Pictured: Ben Thorpe in “Reykjavik.” Photo by Kevin Harry. Composite by Ashley Earles-Bennett.

Top picks

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

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

Nick’s Flamingo Grill.CLOSES SUNDAY.

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 in Paris nightclubs. Convinced 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, although short-lived, nightclub. 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. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Hertz Stage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[MEET THE MULTITALENTED MR. DePOY]

Playwright Steve Yockey

Playwright Steve Yockey

Reykjavik. IN PREVIEWS. OPENS SATURDAY. 

Reykjavik at Actor’s Express unfolds beneath the otherworldly glow of the Northern Lights, where tourists and locals mingle in the shadows of Iceland’s capital city. As told by Los Angeles-based playwright Steve Yockey, an Atlanta favorite with a strong national reputation, eight interconnected vignettes play out. We eavesdrop on lovers, siblings, hotel employees, sex workers and even some birds with really strong opinions. In true Yockey style (Pluto, Blackberry Winter, Wolves, Octopus), this collision of sex and danger introduces a world in which the supernatural is closer than we think. The six-person cast is directed by frequent Express (and Yockey) collaborator Melissa Foulger and features such familiar faces as Stephanie FriedmanEliana MarianesJoe Sykes and Ben Thorpe (Alliance Theatre’s Hand to God). This is a National New Play Network rolling world premiere.

$20 (Thursday-Friday previews). $42 opening night. Regularly $33-$35 and subject to change based on demand. Through Nov. 18. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

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

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

The Royale. THROUGH NOV. 4.

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, which made 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. 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.

This weekend only

Conductor Donald Runnicles

Conductor Donald Runnicles

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.THURSDAY + SATURDAY.

Principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles takes the podium for the first time this season for Britten’s War Requiem, an English choral masterpiece. Written for the consecration of England’s Coventry Cathedral in 1962, it weaves verses from the Latin Mass for the Dead with World War I battlefield poems by Wilfred Owen, a British commander killed in action a week before the war’s end. Runnicles is joined by the ASO Chorus, the Gwinnett Young Singers and three soloists — Russian soprano Evelina Dobračeva, American tenor Thomas Cooley and Canadian baritone Russell Braun.

$17-$93. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Opening this week

Jennifer Levison. Photo: Casey Gardner

Jennifer Levison. Photo: Casey Gardner

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti. OPENS THURSDAY.

Georgia Ensemble Theatre in Roswell presents this one-woman romantic comedy with live, onstage cooking (eight audience members can sit onstage and dine as the show progresses). The piece is based on the 2009 book I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti: A Memoir of Good Food and Bad Boyfriends by Giulia Melucci. I Loved, I Lost has been described as “a foodie’s dream version of ‘Sex and the City.'” Atlanta actor Jennifer Levison, perhaps better known for her Souper Jenny eateries, is the lone cast member. Rachel May, Synchronicity Theatre artistic director, directs.

$26-$42. Through Nov. 11. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 4 p.m. Nov. 3 + 10. GET performs in the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 959 Forrest St. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Matt Nitchie

Matt Nitchie

Macbeth. IN PREVIEWS. OPENS FRIDAY.

This two-week run at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse casts Matt Nitchie in the title role. One fateful evening, three weird sisters greet Macbeth and Banquo with visions of what could be. Do their magical prophecies lead to blood-curdling, murderous and tragic events in Scotland? Or, are Macbeth and his wife to blame? Dani Herd is Lady Macbeth.

$22-$45 ($15 preview Thursday). Through Nov. 4. 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.

The-View-Upstairs

The View Upstairs. OPENS THURSDAY. At Out Front Theatre Company.

The 2017 off-Broadway musical follows a young fashion designer (Kyle Larkins) in modern-day New Orleans. When he buys an abandoned building in the French Quarter, he’s transported to the UpStairs Lounge, a vibrant 1970s gay bar where a forgotten community comes to life. The piece is based on a 1973 arson attack at the Big Easy’s real-life UpStairs Lounge, which killed 32. Paul Conroy, Out Front’s founder and artistic director, directs. His cast includes Justin Dilley, Tony Hayes, Felicia Hernandez, Quinn Xavier Hernandez, Keena Redding Hunt, Trevor Perry, Jamie Smith, John Henry Ward and Byron Wigfall. 

$25. Through Nov. 10. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. 999 Brady Ave.Details, tickets HERE or at 404.448.2755. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

For Halloween

Spencer Stephens (left), Reay Kaplan. Photo: Clay Walker

Spencer Stephens (left), Reay Kaplan. Photo: Clay Walker

The Ghastly Dreadfuls. CLOSES SATURDAY. At the Center for Puppetry Arts.

The Dreadfuls rise from the dead for another frightful weekend 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 nightly. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Truman Griffin

Truman Griffin

The Edgar Allan Poe Experience. THROUGH OCT. 31.

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.

The Sleepy Hollow Experience. EXTENDED THROUGH NOV. 11. 

The Headless Horseman rides again as Serenbe Playhouse presents a sixth season of its outdoor fright fest. Washington Irving’s 1820 horror story follows schoolmaster Ichabod Crane and his efforts to win the heart of Katrina Van Tassel. This year’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.

The cast (from left): Erik Poger Abrahamsen, Madison Welch, Jordan Patrick, Erin Burnett and Jeremy Gee. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

The cast (from left): Erik Poger Abrahamsen, Madison Welch, Jordan Patrick, Erin Burnett and Jeremy Gee. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Next week

Not-About-Heroes

Not About Heroes. PREVIEWS NOV. 1. OPENS NOV. 2. 

Arís Theatre commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I with this story of the friendship between a shell-shocked British soldier and a famous poet. Wilfred Owen, 24, meets poet, protester and soldier Siegfried Sassoon at Scotland’s Craiglockhart War Hospital. Their mutual love of words and disillusionment with war draws them together. The script is by British playwright Stephen MacDonald (1933-2009). Chris Harding is Owen; Eric Lang is Sassoon. Both are Atlanta-based actors. Frank Miller, a longtime theater lecturer at Georgia State University, directs.

$18-$28. Through Nov. 18. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 7 Stages BackStage space, 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Tickets HERE.

West Side Story. NOV. 3-11.

The Atlanta Opera presents the American musical classic by Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim about battling gangs in 1950s New York. The score is indelible — “Maria,” “Tonight,” “America,” “Cool,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Somewhere,” among others. American soprano Vanessa Becerra is Maria, with American tenor Andrew Bidlack as Tony, American baritone Brian Vu as Riff and DJ Petrosino as Bernardo, a role he performed in August at The Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood Music Center in western Massachusetts. Internationally recognized director Francesca Zambello directs. Sung in English with English supertitles.

$43-$139. 8 p.m. Nov. 3, 9 + 10; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6; and 3 p.m. Nov. 11. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.

Photo: Lynn Lane

Photo: Lynn Lane

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

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 | Aug. 2-8, 2018

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

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

 Recommended

AMTF-2018-collage-@450p.jpg

Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival. BEGINS MONDAY. 

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

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

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

Avery Sharpe. Photo: Dad’s Garage

Avery Sharpe. Photo: Dad’s Garage

Black Nerd. CLOSES SATURDAY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Titanic. THROUGH AUG. 19.

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

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

Opening this week

Jayson Warner Smith, Heather Rule. Photo: Jamie Maciuszek

Jayson Warner Smith, Heather Rule. Photo: Jamie Maciuszek

Blackbird. OPENS FRIDAY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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On the Third Day. OPENS FRIDAY.

A world premiere by Atlanta playwright Amina S. McIntyre.

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

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

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Woke. OPENS FRIDAY. World premiere.

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

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

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Rachel Graf Evans

Rachel Graf Evans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Newsies. THROUGH SEPT. 2.

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

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

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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.

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