BEST BETS | June 14-20, 2018

Topping this week’s curated Best Bets column: “The Color Purple” (opening at Actor’s Express), “Sweeney Todd” (heading into its final weekend at The Atlanta Opera) and “The Taming” (still championing America and satire at Synchronicity Theatre). Plus. Much. More. Pictured: Grant Chapman as the title bear in “Winnie-the-Pooh” at the Alliance Theatre. Photo by Greg Mooney.

Topping this week’s curated Best Bets column: “The Color Purple” (opening at Actor’s Express), “Sweeney Todd” (heading into its final weekend at The Atlanta Opera) and “The Taming” (still championing America and satire at Synchronicity Theatre). Plus. Much. More. Pictured: Grant Chapman as the title bear in “Winnie-the-Pooh” at the Alliance Theatre. Photo by Greg Mooney.

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

Recommended

Kevin Harry, Latrice Pace, Jasmyne Hinson. Photo: Actor’s Express

Kevin Harry, Latrice Pace, Jasmyne Hinson. Photo: Actor’s Express

** The Color Purple. OPENS SATURDAY. At Actor’s Express.

Alice Walker’s landmark, Pulitzer Prize-winning novel became a musical at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre in 2004, and then on Broadway in 2005 and 2015. The Express telling hews most closely to the 2015/17 revival. The story follows the hardscrabble journey of a woman in rural Georgia named Celie, who fights adversity and finds strength, love and the power of her own voice over a 40-year span. Atlanta-based actor-director-educator David Koté directs. His cast is led by Latrice Pace as Celie, Jasmyne Hinson as Shug Avery, Kevin Harry as Mister and Kayce Grogan-Wallace as Sophia.

$22-$44 and selling well. We hear Week 1 of the run is sold out. Through July 29. Previews at 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday. Regularly 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday (no show July 4; additional show at 2 p.m. July 7). In the King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. in West Midtown. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469 (opening-night tickets only available by calling). Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Artwork: original Broadway production.

Artwork: original Broadway production.

** Sweeney Todd. CLOSES SUNDAY. At The Atlanta Opera

Many experts consider this piece, subtitled The Demon Barber of Fleet StreetStephen Sondheim’s greatest achievement, one balanced on the precipice of musical theater and American opera. The Grand Guignol revenge story follows Todd, a barber who returns to London after many years away to settle a score, or four, or more. Mrs. Lovett, purveyor of the worst pies in London, becomes his co-conspirator. Baritone Michael Mayes sings Todd. Mezzo-soprano Maria Zifchak sings Mrs. Lovett. God, that’s good!

$35-$131. Performances at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.

[PENNY DREADFULS + THE RISE OF FLEET STREET’S DEMON BARBER]

Caroline Arapoglou. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Caroline Arapoglou. Photo: Jerry Siegel

** The Taming. THROUGH JUNE 24. At Synchronicity Theatre.

A modern political farce suggested by Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. When a conservative senatorial aide, a liberal political activist and a sparkly beauty queen find themselves locked in a hotel room during the Miss America pageant, they might prove to be revolutionary geniuses. The script is from Decatur-born, San Francisco-based writer Lauren Gunderson, the most-frequently-produced playwright in America this season. The Taming, critics say, “spanks America’s sound-bite politics with the switch of actual history.”

The cast: Caroline Arapoglou, Jimmica Collins and Kelly Criss. Atlanta theater artist Suehyla El-Attar directs.

$23-$41. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Synchronicity is in Midtown’s One Peachtree Pointe building, 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or 404.484.8636.

Thursday night only

Khari Joyner

Khari Joyner

ASO in Piedmont Park. 7:30 p.m.

Join the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and assistant conductor Stephen Mulligan for a free concert under the stars. The program: Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to Candide and Symphonic Dances from West Side Story; Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overtureplus his Variations on a Rococo Theme, Opus 33 (featuring ASO Talent Development Program alumnus Khari Joyner on cello) and the 1812 Overture, Opus 49.

Yes, it’s free and requires no tickets. Admission is first-come, first-served. Piedmont Park is at Monroe Drive and Piedmont Drive (best GPS address: 1320 Monroe Drive — but parking is limited and the ASO recommends alternative transportation).

The concert is at Oak Hill, in the park’s southwest corner. For park and concert details, do’s and don’ts, go HERE

Opening this week

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. THROUGH JULY 29. At the Center for Puppetry Arts. 

Cows that type? Chickens on strike? Farmer Brown can’t believe what’s happening. Check out his topsy-turvy barnyard in this adaptation (by the Center’s Jon Ludwig and Jason Hines) of the Caldecott Honor-winning children’s book published in 2000. The comedy uses marionette, rod and shadow puppets and is appropriate for age 4 and up. The cast/puppeteers: Dolph Amick, Brian Harrison, Mandy Mitchell, head puppeteer Amy Sweeney and Tim Sweeney.

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

Randi Garza (center) and company. Photo: Greg Mooney

Randi Garza (center) and company. Photo: Greg Mooney

Freaky Friday. JUNE 20-23. Horizon Theatre at Piedmont Park.

When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have one day to put things right before Mom’s big wedding. The musical is based on the Mary Rodgers novel and the Disney movies. The score comes from Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to NormalIf/Then). Director Heidi Cline McKerley’s cast includes Jennifer Alice AckerRandi Garza, Jill HamesAbby HollandChristian Magby and Juan Carlos Unzueta. 

Free general admission; $15 reserved seating; $35 table seats; private tables for six available. 7:30 nightly. Piedmont Park is at Monroe Drive and Piedmont Drive (best GPS address: 1320 Monroe Drive). Performed in the Promenade area near the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Sage parking garage. Park details and rules HERE. Tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450. Note: If Horizon cancels the show because of rain, you can exchange your ticket for another performance.

Andrew Houchins (from left), Troy Willis, Joshua Goodridge. Photo: Daniel Parvis

Andrew Houchins (from left), Troy Willis, Joshua Goodridge. Photo: Daniel Parvis

The Life and Death of King John. OPENS SATURDAY. At the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse.

This history play dramatizes King John of England’s 17-year reign (1199-1216). It tells the story of a country questioning how its leaders are chosen and facing an uncertain future with an uncertain leader. It depicts murder, betrayal and religious intolerance at the highest levels of government and questions the reason for, and price of, war. Sounds timely, yes? Troy Willis plays King John. Playhouse artistic director Jeff Watkins directs. Pub menu and libations available.

$21-$42 ($15 preview June 14; $20 preview June 15). Through July 1. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. NE (parking suggested in the Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across the street). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0.

Still running

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

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

Citizens Market. THROUGH JUNE 24.

A Southeastern premiere at Horizon Theatre. This dramatic rom-com from New York-based playwright/actor Cori Thomas follows a hopeful group of immigrants who form an unlikely family and work to master the ups and downs of language, love and staying afloat in their new world. The cast is noteworthy, especially Atlanta-based actors Cynthia D. BarkerCarolyn Cook and Allan Edwards. Horizon co-artistic director Jeff Adlerdirects. Suggested for older teens and up (mature language and situations).

$25-$45 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. at Euclid Avenue NE. Parking is free, with limitations. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia! THROUGH JUNE 24. Aurora Theatre at the Ferst Center for the Arts on the Georgia Tech campus.

The Lawrenceville playhouse brings its most recent musical in-town. The 2001 jukebox tuner built around the ABBA songbook will never be one of the great musicals, but it has a fervid fan base and a devoted ABBA following. The slight story unfolds on a small Greek island where a single mother reunites with old friends, and her daughter tries to discover the identity of her father before she marries. The score includes “Dancing Queen,” “S.O.S.,” “Take a Chance on Me,” plus 19 more. In the Aurora cast: Kristin Markiton as the mom; Terry Henry and Marcie Millard as her friends; Hannah Church as the daughter; Nick Arapoglou as the daughter’s boyfriend, and Greg Frey, Chris Kayser and Travis Smith as the possible dads. 

$30-$75; VIP tables $85. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Ferst is near the traffic light at Ferst and Regents drives (GPS address: 353 Ferst Drive NW). Tickets + all sorts of details HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

midsummer nights dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. THROUGH JUNE 23.

Does this make anyone think of the late, great Georgia Shakespeare? Midsummer is the inaugural production of Shakespeare Kennesaw, a professional outdoor summer company created by Kennesaw State University’s theater department. The performances take place in the Legacy Gazebo Amphitheatre on campus, which becomes an outdoor Elizabethan playhouse. Much like Theater Emory, this company employs professional actors, KSU faculty and alumni, and the school’s undergraduate intern company. The bard’s comedy features crossed loves, fairy spells and strange transformations. KSU’s Rick Lombardo (Little Shop of Horrors at Actor’s Express) directs. 

$10-$27; $120 for reserved table seating. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday (play introduction at 7:30 p.m.). KSU is at 1000 Chastain Road in Kennesaw. Venue details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 404.578.6650.s

Jeremy Gee as Captain Hook. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdu

Jeremy Gee as Captain Hook. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdu

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 the Mado Hideaway at Serenbe. Serenbe shows take place in the woods and require a walk along a wooded (sometimes muddy) path. Appropriate footwear suggested. If you need 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.

winnie-the-pooh

Winnie-the-Pooh. THROUGH JULY 8. 

The Alliance Theatre opens its 50th anniversary season with a family musical based on A.A. Milne’s books. Journey through the Hundred Acre Wood with Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo and Owl as one adventure turns into another and we learn that friendship is the greatest gift and simplicity a virtue beyond measure. The cast includes Atlanta actors Isake Akanke (Synchronicity’s Eclipsed), Grant Chapman (Actor’s Express’ Angels in America), Maria Rodriguez-Sager (Theatrical Outfit’s Christmas at Pemberley) and Joe Sykes (Angels in America), plus child actors Caleb Baumann, CJ Cooper and Mabel Tyler.

$15; $10 ages 6-17; $5 ages 3-5; age 2 and under free. 10 + 11:45 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 10:30 a.m., 1 p.m. + 3:30 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. No shows on July 4. Rich Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE. Note: The High Museum of Art runs the exhibition Winnie-the-Pooh: Exploring a Classic through Sept. 2. High details, tickets HERE. For either the musical or the exhibit, call 404.733.5000.

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

Next week

Yael Rasooly. Photo: Boaz Zippor

Yael Rasooly. Photo: Boaz Zippor

Paper Cut. JUNE 21-24. Center for Puppetry Arts. 

A lonely secretary remains in the office after hours. In her little corner, she escapes into a glamorous world of fantasy created with photos and old film magazines. When her imagination collides with reality, her romantic tale becomes a Hitchcockian nightmare. This internationally acclaimed, one-woman piece by and with Israel’s Yael Rasooly explores the powerful, unpredictable nature of dreams.

$30 + $35. For age 15 and up. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

fashionado

BEST BETS | April 19-25, 2018

Flower Room

World premieres — the opening of “The Flower Room” at Actor’s Express and the continuing run of “Ripe Frenzy” at Synchronicity — lead this week’s curated BEST BETS. Say goodbye, meanwhile, to “Freaky Friday” (Horizon), “Little Mermaid” (Serenbe), “Love’s Labours Lost” (Shakespeare Tavern) and “Something Rotten!” (Fox Theatre). Pictured (from left): Matthew Busch, Joshua Quinn, Stacy Melich and Eliane Marianes in “Flower Room.” Photo by Chris Bartelski.

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

Recommended

TheFlowerRoom

** The Flower Room. IN PREVIEWS  | OPENS SATURDAY. Actor’s Express. World premiere. 

Atlanta playwright Daryl Lisa Fazio’s comedy follows an uptight academic named Ingrid (Stacy Melich), who researches sexual behavior in primitive cultures while remaining closed off from her own sexual side. When she loses her university job, she turns to writing erotica to pay the bills — unleashing her own journey of, well, discovery.

Express regular Melissa Foulger directs a cast that includes Matthew Busch (The Thrush and the Woodpecker)Eliana Marianes and Joshua Quinn

$31-$44 (previews cheaper, opening night most expensive). Through May 13. King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Megan Cramer (from left), Taylor M. Dooley, Danyé Brown. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Megan Cramer (from left), Taylor M. Dooley, Danyé Brown. Photo: Jerry Siegel

** Ripe Frenzy.THROUGH MAY 6. Synchronicity Theatre

This world premiere by Jennifer Barclay won the National New Play Network’s 2016 Smith Prize for Political Theater. It tells the before and after of a mass shooting in a small American town from multiple points of view and through the lens of Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our Town. “It’s about what got us here,” says director Rachel May. “And what we do afterward.” Community conversations follow each performance.

The cast: Taylor M. Dooley (Aurora Theatre’s Burnpile); Danyé Brown; Megan Cramer (Georgia Shakespeare, back in the day); Parker Fox Ciliax; and Lizzy Liu. 

$27-$31 (swanky seat upgrades available). 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Synchronicity Theatre in Midtown’s One Peachtree Pointe building, 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

 

This weekend only

Matthias Pintscher

Matthias Pintscher

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY + SATURDAY.

Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti joins the ASO for Beethoven’s “monumental” Violin Concerto, a piece she calls a favorite because it’s “tender, and sensitive, and intimate.” The program, conducted by Matthias Pintscher, includes his Ex nihilo and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2. Pintscher is in his fifth season as music director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, a world-renowned, Paris-based ensemble dedicated to contemporary chamber music. He also is principal conductor of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra in Switzerland.

$32-$108. 8 nightly (all ticket holders are invited to attend a 6:45 p.m. chamber recital in Symphony Hall on Thursday). Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[ASO IN 18/19: MORE BERNSTEIN, BEETHOVEN + BISS]

 

Natural-Shocks-logo

Natural Shocks. SUNDAY ONLY.

The latest from Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson is an unpublished piece about guns in America. It’s being performed at more than 100 locations around the country this weekend in conjunction with the National School Walkout and the 19th anniversary of the Columbine school shooting. In Atlanta, Sheri Mann Stewart performs the one-woman piece, with narration by Yvonne Singh.

A panel of Atlanta artists and activists will discuss arts and activism following the 65-minute piece. Gunderson, incidentally, is the most-produced playwright in America this season. 

$20. 3 p.m. Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta, 1911 Cliff Valley Way NE (off the I-85 north frontage road).  Details HERE or at 404.634.5134.

 

Last chance

Abby Holland, Jennifer Alice Acker. Photo: Greg Mooney

Abby Holland, Jennifer Alice Acker. Photo: Greg Mooney

Freaky Friday: A New Musical. CLOSES SUNDAY. Horizon Theatre.

When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have one day to put things right before Mom’s big wedding. The musical is based on the Mary Rodgers novel and the Disney movies. The score comes from Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to NormalIf/Then).

Director Heidi Cline McKerley’s cast includes Jennifer Alice AckerRandi Garza, Jill Hames, Christian Magby and Juan Carlos Unzueta. 

$25-$45. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE at Euclid Avenue (Inman Park + Little Five Points). Free parking.

Details tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Niki Badua. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Niki Badua. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Little Mermaid. CLOSES SUNDAY. 

Go under the sea (or at least lakeside) with Serenbe Playhouse in Chattahoochee Hills. All Serenbe shows are outdoors and site-specific, so Ariel and Prince Eric, Flounder, Flotsam, Jetsam and the rest will spin their musical tale at the Grange Lake. The Tony Award-nominated score includes “Part of Your World,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and, of course, “Under the Sea.” Miss Saigon‘s Niki Badua and Chase Peacock return as Ariel and Eric, with Deborah Bowman (Cabaret) as the deliciously evil sea witch Ursula. Look closely at the set: It’s made entirely of recyclables.

$30-$43. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Note: Beachfront seats have been added to previously sold-out performances. Details, tickets, directions HERE or at 770.463.1110.

 

Love’s Labours Lost. CLOSES SUNDAY. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

Can four young men honor their pledge to avoid the opposite sex, food, drink and sleep for the sake of becoming more intellectual and contemplative? Not in Shakespeare’s comedic universe, especially when four young women arrive on the scene. The 17-person cast includes Chris Hecke, Cory PhelpsJ.L. ReedSeun Soyemi and, as Don Armado, Aurora Theatre Artistic Director Anthony P. RodriguezJaclyn Hofmann directs. $22-$45. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Pub menu and full bar available. 499 Peachtree St. NE (parking suggested in the Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across the street). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0.

Adam Pascal. Photo: Joan Marcus

Adam Pascal. Photo: Joan Marcus

Something Rotten! CLOSES SUNDAY. 

Broadway in Atlanta presents the national tour of the musical-inventing musical. We’re in the 1590s, where brothers Nick and Nigel Bottom are tired of rocking Will Shakespeare’s shadow and  desperate to write their own hit. When a soothsayer foretells a singing-dancing-acting future for theater, the brothers set out to write the world’s very first musical. The show had a 20-month Broadway run. Adam Pascal (Rent) plays Shakespeare here.

$33.50-$99 plus fees. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 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 MORE: RENT, ROTTEN + ADAM PASCAL TODAY]

 

Still running

Jeremy Aggers. Photo: Dan Carmody / Studio 7

Jeremy Aggers. Photo: Dan Carmody / Studio 7

Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story. THROUGH APRIL 29. Georgia Ensemble Theatre.

The true story of Holly’s meteoric rise to fame, from the moment in 1957 when “That’ll Be The Day” hit the airwaves until his death less than two years later. The show features more than 20 of Buddy Holly’s greatest hits (“That’ll Be The Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” “Oh Boy,” etc.), plus Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” and the Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace.” 

Jeremy Aggers (Edward Foote at the Alliance) makes his GET debut as Holly, with Ricardo Aponte (who also directs) as Valens and Ethan Ray Parker as the Big Bopper.

$33-$43. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday (some shows sold out). 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.

 

cat-in-the-hat

Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat. THROUGH MAY 13. Center for Puppetry Arts

It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how, says the sassy cat in the red-and-white hat. He’s feline full of mischief (and magic) in this stage telling, done with rod puppets and based on the 1957 children’s book by Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. This version was first produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain.

The center’s Jon Ludwig directs here. For age 4 and up.

$11.25-$19.50. Showtimes: 10 + 11 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW. 

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

 

Limara Meneses Jimenez. Photo: Casey Gardner

Limara Meneses Jimenez. Photo: Casey Gardner

El Gran Día de la Madre (The Great Mother’s Day). THROUGH APRIL 29. Aurora Theatre.

A mother, daughter and granddaughter — all keepers of dark secrets — have a Mother’s Day reckoning in a family mausoleum. Expect multigenerational love, tears and laughs in this comedy from Chile, which next travels to Spain. Part of Teatro Aurora and performed in Spanish with English supertitles.

The script is by Chascas y Quintanilla. Daniel Jáquez directs.

$20-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. In Aurora’s Harvel Lab. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. 

Next week

Elizabeth Koch Tiscione

Elizabeth Koch Tiscione

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. APRIL 26, 28, 29.

Italian conductor Carlo Rizzi leads the ASO in a program featuring Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1, “Classical”; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2; and Mozart’s Oboe Concerto. The latter is performed by the symphony’s principal oboist, Elizabeth Koch Tiscione,who joined the ASO in the 2007/08 season.

$22-$102. 8 p.m. Thursday + Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Carmen. APRIL 28-MAY 6. The Atlanta Opera

Georges Bizet’s opéra comique might be the most beloved opera of all time. It tracks the downfall of Don José, a naïve soldier seduced by a Gypsy. Its story was groundbreaking in the 19th century. Franco-Armenian mezzo-soprano Varduhi Abrahamyan sings Carmen. Italian tenor Gianluca Terranova, seen as Rodolfo in Atlanta Opera’s La bohème, sings Don José. Carmen was last seen in Atlanta in 2012 and played to sold-out houses. It’s sung in French with English supertitles.

$50-$156. 8 p.m. April 28 + May 4; 7:30 p.m. May 1; and 3 p.m. May 6. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com

Photo: The Atlanta Opera

Photo: The Atlanta Opera

aris

Lazybed. APRIL 26-MAY 13. 

Arís!, Atlanta’s stage for Celtic culture, takes on Scottish playwright Iain Crichton Smith’s dark philosophical comedy about a man in the midst of a metaphysical crisis, essentially a meditation on life, death, love and the meaningfulness of the things we all hold dear. Murdo, the man in question, is a Scottish crofter (farmer) who has taken to his bed. While he malingers, he’s visited by his brother, his gossipy neighbor, his girlfriend, an insurance salesman, a minister, a medical specialist, Immanuel Kant and Death — who keeps stopping by to chat. Kyle Crew directs. 

$23-$28 (April 26 preview is $18). 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 7 Stages Back Stage Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE.

 

Mary Lynn Owen

Mary Lynn Owen

** Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. APRIL 26-MAY 13. 7 Stages.

British playwright Alice Birch’s 2014 script has a way of making you question everything you say when it comes to discussing women and their relationships with men, one another and the world. 7 Stages says it decided to produce Revolt “to address the urgent mood in our community and nation surrounding issues of women’s rights and systemic prejudice.” Atlanta-based theater artist Rachel Parish directs.

Her cast: Dorothy Victoria Bell-Polk, Christopher Hampton, Renita JamesBrooke OwensMary Lynn Owen (a two-time Suzi Bass Award winner) and Patrick Wade. On the mainstage.

$22.50-$28. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

[WHY ‘REVOLT’ + WHY NOW AT 7 STAGES]

 

fashionado

BEST BETS | April 5-11, 2018

Out of Darkness

The best of our curated Best Bets picks this week includes “Hospice + Pointing at the Moon” (Alliance Theatre); the Holocaust-themed “Out of Darkness: Two Remain” (Atlanta Opera); and Out Front Theatre Company’s “Red Ribbon Readings.” Plus. Much. More. Pictured above: Tom Key as Gad Beck (left) and Ben Edquist as Manfred, Beck’s one true love, in “Out of Darkness.” Photo: Scott Hazelton / The Atlanta Opera.

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

Recommended

Terry Burrell (left), Tinashe Kajese-Bolden. Photo: James Barker

Terry Burrell (left), Tinashe Kajese-Bolden. Photo: James Barker

** Hospice + Pointing at the Moon.THROUGH APRIL 15. Alliance Theatre.

Two one-acts become a single piece of theater in the hands of playwright Pearl Cleage and A-list Atlanta actors Terry Burrell and Tinashe Kajese-BoldenHospice dates to 1983; Pointing at the Moon is a world premiere. Both feature the same house in Atlanta’s West End and a character named Jenny Anderson, seen at two stages in her life. The piece wrestles with the complexities of womanhood and how a parent’s love — or a longing for that love — shapes us.

$60-$75; $10 teens with high school/middle school ID. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. 

Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road SW. Details, tickets HERE or 404.733.5000.

[PLAYWRIGHT PEARL CLEAGE: ‘I WONDERED WHAT CHOICES SHE HAD MADE’]

Out of Darkness

Out of Darkness: Two Remain. OPENS THURSDAY. Atlanta Opera

Composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer’s two-act piece centers on Holocaust survivors visited by ghosts of their past.

In Act 1, Krystyna shares her survival story with a journalist and is helped by the ghosts of Auschwitz who were inspired by her lyrics. In Act 2, Gad Beck is visited by his first true love, the poet Manfred Lewin, who died in Auschwitz. As Manfred implores Gad to remember and celebrate their love, the truth of their stories and fates emerges. Based in part on the true stories of the Polish dissident Krystyna Zywulska (1914-1993) and Beck (1923-2012), a gay German Jew. General & artistic director Tomer Zvulun directs.

$50. 7:30 nightly. Performed in English with English supertitles. Presented in collaboration with Theatrical Outfit at the Outfit’s Balzer Theater at Herren’s downtown, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885

Red-Ribbon-Readings

Red Ribbon Readings. FRIDAY-SATURDAY ONLY. Out Front Theatre Company

Staged readings of three plays from the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. See Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart at 8 p.m. Friday; Harvey Fierstein’s Safe Sex at 2 p.m. Saturday; and Paul Rudnick’s Jeffrey at 8 p.m. Saturday. The readings are a collaboration with Living Room, a housing assistance program for those living with HIV/AIDS.

Three-show packages are $50 and $75 (VIP); each reading is $20. 999 Brady Ave. in West Midtown. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.448.2755.

[READ MORE: OUT FRONT BUMPS 18/19 SEASON TO 5 SHOWS]

New this week

Joselin Reyes (from left), Irma Cristancho, Limara Meneses Jimenez Photo: Up the Hill Productions

Joselin Reyes (from left), Irma Cristancho, Limara Meneses Jimenez Photo: Up the Hill Productions

El Gran Día de la Madre (The Great Mother’s Day). OPENS FRIDAY. Aurora Theatre.

A mother, daughter and granddaughter — all keepers of dark secrets — have a Mother’s Day reckoning in a family mausoleum.

Expect multi-generational love, tears and laughs in this comedy from Chile, which next travels to Spain. Part of Teatro Aurora and performed in Spanish with English supertitles. The script is by Chascas y Quintanilla. Daniel Jáquez directs.

$20-$30. Through April 29. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. In the Harvel Lab. 

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

 

This weekend only

ASO

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY-FRIDAY.

Artistic director Robert Spano conducts. With guest violinist Robert McDuffie. The program: the effervescent May Cause Dizziness by the ASO’s Michael Kurth; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, “Eroica;” and Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade (after Plato’sSymposium).

$12-$87. 8 nightly. Ticket holders for both concerts are invited to attend a chamber concert by the ASO’s 2018 Talent Development Program Aspire Award winners at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Still running

Abby-Holland-and-Jennifer-Alice-Acker

Freaky Friday: A New Musical. THROUGH APRIL 22. Horizon Theatre.

When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again before mom’s big wedding.

The new musical is based on the Mary Rodgers novel and Disney movies. The score comes from Tom Kittand Brian Yorkey (Next to NormalIf/Then). Director Heidi Cline McKerley’s cast includes Jennifer Alice AckerRandi Garza, Jill Hames, Christian Magby and Juan Carlos Unzueta. 

$25-$45. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE at Euclid Avenue (Inman Park + Little Five Points). Free parking.

Details tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

 

dr-seuss-the-cat-in-the-hat

Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat. THROUGH MAY 13. Center for Puppetry Arts. 

It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how, says the sassy cat in the red-and-white hat. He’s feline full of mischief (and magic) in this stage telling, done with rod puppets and based on the 1957 children’s book by Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss.

This version was first produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain. The center’s Jon Ludwig directs. For ages 4 and up.

$11.25-$19.50. 10 + 11 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Character-Triton

The Little Mermaid. THROUGH APRIL 22. 

Go under the sea (or at least lakeside) with Serenbe Playhouse in Chattahoochee Hills. All Serenbe shows are outdoors and site-specific, so Ariel and Prince Eric, Flounder, Flotsam, Jetsam and the rest will spin their musical tale at the Grange Lake.

The Tony Award-nominated score includes “Part of Your World,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and, of course, “Under the Sea.” Miss Saigon‘s Niki Badua and Chase Peacock return as Ariel and Eric, with Deborah Bowman (Cabaret) as the deliciously evil sea witch Ursula. Look closely at the set: It’s made entirely of recyclables.

$30-$43. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets, directions HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com

 

Anthony P. Rodriguez

Anthony P. Rodriguez

Love’s Labours Lost. THROUGH APRIL 22.Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

Can four young men honor their pledge to avoid the opposite sex, food, drink and sleep for the sake of becoming more intellectual and contemplative? Not in Shakespeare’s comedic universe, especially when four young women arrive on the scene. 

The 17-person cast includes Chris Hecke, Cory PhelpsJ.L. ReedSeun Soyemi and Anthony P. Rodriguez, Aurora Theatre’s artistic director, as Don Armado, among others. Jaclyn Hofmann directs.

$22-$45. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Pub menu and full bar available. 499 Peachtree St. NE (parking suggested in the Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across the street).

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0.

Next week

Conrad Tao

Conrad Tao

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY + SATURDAY.

Guest conductor Christian Arming and 23-year-old American pianist/composer Conrad Tao (YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter) join the ASO for Janáček’s Taras Bulba, Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Dvořák’s stormy Symphony No. 1. Arming, an Austrian conductor, is music director of Belgium’s Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège.

$22-$97. 8 nightly. Saturday’s concert is Atlanta PRIDE Night. Use the promo code ATLPRIDE for concert tickets plus a post-concert reception. Part of the proceeds benefits Atlanta Pride. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

ripe-frenzy

** Ripe Frenzy. OPENS APRIL 13. Synchronicity Theatre

This world premiere by Jennifer Barclay won the National New Play Network’s 2016 Smith Prize for Political Theater. It tells the story of a mass shooting in a small American town from multiple points of view and through the lens of Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our Town. Barclay examines all sides of a tragedy that has ruptured the spirit of this community. Community conversations follow each performance. The cast: Taylor M. Dooley (Aurora Theatre’s Burnpile); Megan Cramer (Georgia Shakespeare back in the day); Danyé Evonne; Parker Fox Ciliax; and Lizzy Liu. Rachel May directs. 

$27-$31 (previews cheaper; swanky seat upgrades available). Through May 6. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Synchronicity Theatre in Midtown’s One Peachtree Pointe building, 1545 Peachtree St. NE.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

 

Stanton Welch

Stanton Welch

Tu Tu & More. APRIL 13-15. Atlanta Ballet.

Three works spotlight the range of dance today: Blink, a world premiere by former Atlanta Ballet dancer Tara Lee, a founder of the new Terminus Modern Ballet TheatreMinus 16 by frequent collaborator and Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin; and the Atlanta Ballet premiere of Tu Tu, promising a highly stylized classical work with a twist (choreography by frequent collaborator Stanton Welch, music by Maurice Ravel).

$20-$129. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

[A NEW ‘NUT,’ BIG NAMES FOR ATLANTA BALLET IN 18/19]

 

Coming up

The-Flower-Room

** The Flower Room. PREVIEWS APRIL 18-20 | OPENS APRIL 21. Actor’s Express. World premiere. 

Atlanta playwright Daryl Lisa Fazio’s comedy follows Ingrid (Stacy Melich), an uptight academic who researches sexual behavior in primitive cultures while remaining completely closed off from her own sexual self. When she loses her university job, she writes erotica to pay the bills — unleashing her own journey of, well, discovery. Express regular Melissa Foulger directs a cast that includes Matthew Busch (The Thrush and the Woodpecker)Eliana Marianes and Joshua Quinn

$31-$44 (previews cheaper, opening night most expensive). Through May 13. King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

fashionado

BEST BETS | March 28-April 4, 2018

Serenbe Playhouse

The Alliance Theatre’s “Hospice + Pointing at the Moon” and Serenbe Playhouse’s “The Little Mermaid” (opening Thursday) top this week’s curated Best Bets column, which sees less action than usual, perhaps because of the Easter holiday. Pictured: Sydney Robert’s scenic design for Serenbe’s “Mermaid,” made entirely from recyclables. Illustration courtesy of Serenbe Playhouse.

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

Recommended

Terry Burrell (left), Tinashe Kajese-Bolden. Photo: James Barker

Terry Burrell (left), Tinashe Kajese-Bolden. Photo: James Barker

** Hospice + Pointing at the Moon. THROUGH APRIL 15. Alliance Theatre.

Two one-acts become a single piece of theater in the hands of playwright Pearl Cleage and A-list Atlanta actors Terry Burrell and Tinashe Kajese-BoldenHospice dates to 1983; Pointing at the Moon is a world premiere. Both feature the same house in Atlanta’s West End and a character named Jenny Anderson, seen at two stages in her life, 30 years apart. The piece wrestles with the complexities of womanhood and how a parent’s love — or a longing for that love — shapes us.

$60-$75; $10 teens with high school/middle school ID. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road SW. Details, tickets HERE or 404.733.5000.

[PLAYWRIGHT CLEAGE: ‘I WONDERED WHAT CHOICES SHE HAD MADE.’]

New this week

The Little Mermaid. BEGINS THURSDAY. 

Go under the sea (or at least lakeside) with Serenbe Playhouse in Chattahoochee Hills. All Serenbe shows are outdoors and site-specific, so Ariel and Prince Eric, Flounder, Flotsam, Jetsam and the rest will be spinning their musical tale at the Grange Lake at Serenbe. The Tony Award-nominated score includes “Part of Your World,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and, of course, “Under the Sea.” Miss Saigon‘s Niki Badua and Chase Peacock return as Ariel and Eric, with Deborah Bowman (Cabaret) as the deliciously evil sea witch Ursula. Look closely at the set: It’s made entirely of recyclables.

$30-$43. Through April 22. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets, directions HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Tatyanna Arrington (bottom, from left), Chris Hecke, Kelly Criss. Top, from left: Amanda Lindsey, Sarah Newby Halicks.

Tatyanna Arrington (bottom, from left), Chris Hecke, Kelly Criss. Top, from left: Amanda Lindsey, Sarah Newby Halicks.

Love’s Labours Lost. OPENS SATURDAY. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

Can four young men honor their pledge to avoid the opposite sex, food, drink and sleep for the sake of becoming more intellectual and contemplative? Not in Shakespeare’s world, especially when four young women arrive on the scene. The cast includes Anthony P. Rodriguez, Aurora Theatre’s artistic director, as Don Armado. Jaclyn Hofmann directs.

$15 preview Thursday; $20 preview Friday. Regularly $22-$45. Through April 22. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday (no show April 1). 

Pub menu and full bar available. 499 Peachtree St. NE (parking suggested in the Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across the street). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0.

Still running

Freaky-Friday-New

Freaky Friday: A New Musical. THROUGH APRIL 22. Horizon Theatre.

When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again before mom’s big wedding. Freaky Friday, a new musical based on the Mary Rodgers novel and Disney movies, updates an American staple known for its heart and laughs.

The score comes from Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning team behind Next to Normal and If/Then. Director Heidi Cline McKerley’s cast includes Jennifer Alice AckerRandi Garza, Jill Hames, Christian Magby and Juan Carlos Unzueta

$25-$45. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE at Euclid Avenue (Inman Park + Little Five Points). Free parking.

Details tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

cat-in-the-hat

Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat. THROUGH MAY 13. Center for Puppetry Arts. 

It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how, says the sassy cat in the red-and-white hat. He’s feline full of mischief (and magic) in this stage telling, done with rod puppets and based on the 1957 children’s book by Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. This version was first produced by the National Theatre of Britain. The center’s Jon Ludwig directs here. For ages 4 and up.

$11.25-$19.50. 10 + 11 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday (no shows April 1). 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Coming up

Robert McDuffie

Robert McDuffie

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. APRIL 5-6.

Artistic director Robert Spano conducts. With guest violinist Robert McDuffie. The program: the effervescent May Cause Dizziness by the ASO’s Michael Kurth; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, “Eroica;” and Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade (after Plato’sSymposium).

$12-$87. 8 nightly. Ticket holders for both concerts are invited to attend an chamber concert by the ASO’s 2018 Talent Development Program Aspire Award winners. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

 

Photo: Aurora Theatre

Photo: Aurora Theatre

El Gran Día de la Madre (The Great Mother’s Day). OPENS APRIL 6. Aurora Theatre.

A mother, daughter and granddaughter — all keepers of dark secrets — have a Mother’s Day reckoning in a family mausoleum. Expect multi-generational love, tears and laughs in the comedy from Chile, which travels next to Spain.  As part of Teatro Aurora, El Gran Día de la Madre is performed in Spanish with English supertitles. The script is by Chascas y Quintanilla. Daniel Jáquez directs.

$20-$30. Through April 29. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. In the Harvel Lab. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. 

 

Photo: The Atlanta Opera

Photo: The Atlanta Opera

Out of Darkness: Two Remain. OPENS APRIL 5. Atlanta Opera

Composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer’s two-act piece centers on Holocaust survivors visited by ghosts of their past. In Act 1, Krystyna shares her survival story with a journalist and is helped by the ghosts of Auschwitz inspired by her lyrics. In Act 2, Gad Beck is visited by his first true love, the poet Manfred Lewin, who died in Auschwitz. As Manfred implores Gad to remember and celebrate their love, the truth of their stories and fates emerges. Based in part on the true stories of two Holocaust survivors: the Polish dissident Krystyna Zywulska (1914-1993) and Gad Beck (1923-2012), a gay German Jew. General & artistic director Tomer Zvulun directs.

$50. Through April 15. 7:30 nightly. Performed in English with English supertitles. Presented in collaboration with Theatrical Outfit at the Outfit’s Balzer Theater at Herren’s downtown, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.

 

Taylor M. Dooley (right). Photo: Jerry Siegel

Taylor M. Dooley (right). Photo: Jerry Siegel

** Ripe Frenzy. OPENS APRIL 13. Synchronicity Theatre

This world premiere by Jennifer Barclay won the National New Play Network’s 2016 Smith Prize for political theater. It tells the story of a mass shooting in a small American town from multiple points of view and through the lens of Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our Town. Barclay examines all sides of a tragedy that has ruptured the spirit in a once- idyllic community. Community conversations follow every performance. The cast: Taylor M. Dooley (Aurora Theatre’s Burnpile); Megan Cramer (Georgia Shakespeare back in the day); Danyé Evonne; Parker Fox Ciliax; and Lizzy Liu. Rachel May directs. 

$27-$31 (previews cheaper; swanky seat upgrades available). Through May 6. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Synchronicity in Midtown’s One Peachtree Pointe building, 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

Tara-Lee

Tu Tu & More. APRIL 13-15. Atlanta Ballet. Three works spotlight the range of dance today: Blink, a world premiere by former Atlanta Ballet dancer Tara Lee, a founder of the new Terminus Modern Ballet TheatreMinus 16 by frequent collaborator and Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin; and the Atlanta Ballet premiere of Tu Tu, promising a highly stylized classical work with a twist (choreography by frequent collaborator Stanton Welch, music by Maurice Ravel).

$20-$129. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

[A NEW ‘NUT,’ BIG NAMES FOR ATLANTA BALLET IN 18/19]

 

fashionado

BEST BETS | Feb. 8-14, 2018

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

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

**  INDICATES AN ENCORE ATLANTA WINTER SEASON TOP PICK.

Recommended

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

At Actor‘s Express. See both.

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

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

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

Amari Cheatum, Brittany Inge. Photo: Greg Mooney

Amari Cheatum, Brittany Inge. Photo: Greg Mooney

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

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

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

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

 

Courtney Patterson.

Courtney Patterson.

** Maytag Virgin. CLOSES SUNDAY.

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

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

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

 

Josh Brook, with Edward. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Josh Brook, with Edward. Photo: Jerry Siegel

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

At Synchronicity Theatre

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

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

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

 

Opening this week

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

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

Ontario Was Here. OPENS SATURDAY.

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

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

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

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

 

This weekend only

biolgASO-Chorus

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

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

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

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

Still running

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

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

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

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

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

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

Terrance Smith, Rachel Wansker.

Terrance Smith, Rachel Wansker.

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

At Out Front Theatre Company.

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

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

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

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

 

Shannon McCarren, Blake Burgess.

Shannon McCarren, Blake Burgess.

Picnic. THROUGH FEB. 18. At Stage Door Players

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

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

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

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

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

Photo: David Zeiger

Photo: David Zeiger

Rainforest Adventures. THROUGH MARCH 4.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Next week

Jorge Federico Osorio

Jorge Federico Osorio

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. FEB. 15 + 17. 

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

Also scheduled: Rossini’s overture to Semiramide.

$17-$97. 8 nightly.

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

August Wilson, in 2003.

August Wilson, in 2003.

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

At True Colors Theatre Company

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

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

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

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

fashionado

BEST BETS | Jan. 18-24, 2018

See any of these. Better yet, see all of them: “Angels in American, Parts 1 & 2” (Actor’s Express); “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” (Theatrical Outfit); “Maytag Virgin” (Aurora Theatre); “Native Guard” (Alliance Theatre at the Atlanta History Center); “Tenderly” (Georgia Ensemble); “Klook and Vinette” (Horizon Theatre). Pictured: Courtney Patterson and Brad Brinkley in “Maytag Virgin.” Photo by Chris Bartelski.

See any of these. Better yet, see all of them: “Angels in American, Parts 1 & 2” (Actor’s Express); “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” (Theatrical Outfit); “Maytag Virgin” (Aurora Theatre); “Native Guard” (Alliance Theatre at the Atlanta History Center); “Tenderly” (Georgia Ensemble); “Klook and Vinette” (Horizon Theatre). Pictured: Courtney Patterson and Brad Brinkley in “Maytag Virgin.” Photo by Chris Bartelski.

**  INDICATES AN ENCORE ATLANTA WINTER SEASON TOP PICK.

Recommended

Thandiwe DeShazor (left) and Grant Chapman.

Thandiwe DeShazor (left) and Grant Chapman.

** Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2. PART 2 BEGINS SATURDAY.

See both, in repertory on different days or the same one, at Actor‘s Express.

Sex, religion, politics and history collide in Tony Kushner’ssweeping, time-traveling, two-part saga set at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. Part 1 is titled Millennium Approaches; Part 2 is Perestroika

Kushner’s achievement, a 20th-century theatrical landmark, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and four 1993 Tony awards. The Express cast: Robert Bryan Davis as Roy Cohn and Grant Chapman as Prior Walter, with Carolyn CookThandiwe DeShazorLouis GreggoryCara MantellaParris Sarter and Joe Sykes, several of whom play multiple roles. 

$22-$40. Through Feb. 17. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 

King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Millennium Approachesdetails, tickets HEREPerestroika details, tickets HERE. Or call 404.607.7469. 

[MORE: THE STAGES OF WINTER —  ENCORE’S PICKS OF THE SEASON]

Terry Burrell. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Terry Burrell. Photo: Chris Bartelski

** Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. THROUGH FEB. 4.

Highly recommended. At Theatrical Outfit. Singer/actor Terry Burrell shimmers in this bruising bio of Billie Holiday, performing months before her death at age 44. 

It’s Philadelphia, 1959. The evening, both intimate and epic, includes stories about Lady Day’s down-and-out life and a song list that includes “God Bless the Child,” “Strange Fruit,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” and about a dozen others. Burrell’s considerable credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie, Dreamgirls and Into the Woods on Broadway; Lady Day off-Broadway; and Ethel, among others, at the Alliance Theatre.

$18-$51. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 p.m. Jan. 14, 18, 20-21, 25, 27-28 and Feb. 1, 3, 4. 

Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

poshmaytag

** Maytag Virgin. THROUGH FEB. 11.

A regional premiere at Aurora TheatreAudrey Cefaly’s dramatic comedy follows an Alabama schoolteacher (Courtney Patterson) and her new neighbor (Brad Brinkley) for a year after the unexpected death of her husband.

DC Theatre Scene called the play “a witty and earnest meditation on how people connect even when they feel they’re not ready.” Melissa Foulger, an Actor’s Express regular and a name you should know, directs.

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

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

 

January LaVoy. Photo: Greg Mooney

January LaVoy. Photo: Greg Mooney

Native Guard. THROUGH FEB. 4. 

Alliance Theatre at the Atlanta History Center.

A reprise of the 2014 staging based on poet Natasha Trethewey’s Pulitzer Prize-winning collection, which juxtaposes her life as a mixed-race child with the lives of the Native Guard — black soldiers fighting for the Union in the Civil War.

The twist this time: It’s performed near the History Center’s Civil War exhibition.

The entire cast returns: Neal A. Ghant as the Native Guard, January LaVoy as the Poet, vocalist Nicole Banks Long and composer/music director Tyrone Jackson. Recommended for age 12 and up.

$20-$47; $10 teens. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. 

130 West Paces Ferry Road NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

 

[ATTENTION MUST BE PAID: REVISITING ‘NATIVE GUARD’]

Rachel Sorsa as Rosemary Clooney and Mark Cabus as Bing Crosby. Photo: Dan Carmody / Studio 7

Rachel Sorsa as Rosemary Clooney and Mark Cabus as Bing Crosby. Photo: Dan Carmody / Studio 7

Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical. THROUGH JAN. 28.

At Georgia Ensemble Theatre.

Described as a “fresh, personal and poignant” picture of the singer/actor who became a Hollywood legend. 

Tenderlyfollows Clooney (1928-2002) from her Kentucky childhood to Tinseltown and beyond, showing the bumps, bruises and successes along the way. The score includes “Come On-a My House,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” “Count Your Blessings,” “Hey There,” “Mambo Italiano” and more. The cast: Rachel Sorsa as Clooney and Mark Cabus as the Doctor (and 11 other roles).

$30-$46. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 4 p.m. Jan. 20 +27.

At the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Opening this week

Amari Cheatum, Brittany Inge. Photo: Greg Mooney

Amari Cheatum, Brittany Inge. Photo: Greg Mooney

** The Ballad of Klook and Vinette.OPENS FRIDAY.

American premiere. Horizon Theatre begins its 2018 season with a contemporary love story that comes with a soulful jazz score. Klook is a drifter who’s tired of drifting; Vinette is on the run but doesn’t know what’s chasing her. Together, they make a tentative stab at love. Amari Cheatom (a Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta alum, the film Django Unchained) is Klook. Brittany Inge(Horizon’s Blackberry Daze) is Vinette.

The script is by London-based playwright Ché Walker, who directs. Music and lyrics by Anoushka Lucas and Omar Lye-Fook, with musical direction by Atlanta’s Christian Magby.

$23 and up, plus fees. Through Feb. 18. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday.

No matinee Jan. 20; no show Feb. 4 (Super Bowl Sunday). 1083 Austin Ave. at Euclid Avenue. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

 

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Rainforest Adventures. OPENS TUESDAY.

Return to the Amazonian jungle once again with the Center for Puppetry Arts. Brazilian music accompanies this communion with 30-plus exotic plants and animals, including howler monkeys, bats, harpy eagles and pink river dolphins.

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

$19.50 non-members; $9.75 members (discounted previews at 10 + 11:30 a.m. Jan. 23-24).

Through March 4. 10 + 11 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW.

Details, tickets HERE or at  404.873.3391.

Still running

TheLionKingBroadway

The Lion King. THROUGH JAN. 28. 

Broadway in Atlanta brings Disney’s circle of life back to the Fox Theatre.

A cast of 40-plus breathes life into a lion cub named Simba, strutting giraffes, lumbering elephants, swooping birds and leaping gazelles.

The original production, which won six Tony awards, is in its 21st season on Broadway. This is a new North American tour.

$39-$169, plus fees. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 1.855.285.8499.

[MORE: THIS TOUR’S GROWN-UP NALA GREW UP IN NORCROSS]

Next week

Jorge Federico Osorio

Jorge Federico Osorio

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. JAN. 25 + 27.

Join music director Robert Spano and the ASO for a program comprising Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor”; Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1, “Jeremiah”; and the graffiti-inspired “Everything Lasts Forever,” composed by ASO bassist Michael Kurth

The ASO is joined by Mexico-born pianist Jorge Federico Osorio and American mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano. Includes a pre-concert chamber music recital at 6:45 p.m.

Thursday, free for anyone with tickets to either concert.

$22-$97. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

picnic

Picnic. OPENS JAN. 26.

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

When Labor Day weekend arrives in the Kansas backyards of two middle-aged widows, so does a vital young man who upsets the social order. The cast: Blake BurgessKara Cantrell, Larry Davis and Shelby Folks. Tess Malis Kincaid directs.

$33. Previews Jan. 25. Through Feb. 18. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 8 p.m. Feb. 15. 

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

fashionado

BEST BETS | July 27-Aug. 2, 2017

TC Carson and Brittany Inge in “Blackberry Daze.” Photo by Greg Mooney.

Our number of top picks rockets with the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival, “Between Riverside and Crazy” (True Colors), “Blackberry Daze” (Horizon), “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (Aurora) and “Little Shop of Horrors” (Actor’s Express). Pictured: TC Carson and Brittany Inge in “Blackberry Daze.” Photo by Greg Mooney.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta spring/summer season recommendation.

Recommended

cakewalk In the Middle of the Ocean mother of god atlanta

Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival. SUNDAY-TUESDAY. The second annual AMTF introduces three shows — one that eyeballs corrupt politicians (titled Cakewalk), another that flips an Ovid myth upside down (In the Middle of the Ocean) and a third that digs into the biblical stories of Mary of Nazareth (Mother of God). These are works-in-progress, with some more finished than others; you’ll be among the first theatergoers to see them, often with some of Atlanta’s best actors. See In the Middle of the Ocean at 8 p.m. Sunday; Cakewalk at 8 p.m. Monday; and Mother of God at 8 p.m. Tuesday. $15 per show. The fest’s 2017 home base is Out Front Theatre, 999 Brady Ave. in West Midtown. Tickets HERE. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Earl Billings as “Pops.”

Earl Billings as “Pops.”

** Between Riverside and Crazy. THROUGH AUG. 6.

The New York Times called this 2015 Pulitzer winner “a dizzying and exciting place to be,” and said that playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis “has a splendid ear in blurring lines between the sacred and profane.”

The story: Ex-cop “Pops” Washington (Earl Billings, the AFLAC commercial guy) is trying to hold onto his dignity and one of the last great rent-stabilized apartments in Manhattan, but he’s had enough. His wife has died, the liquor store can’t keep pace with his thirst, and his last living relative is complicating everything. Eric J. Little directs.

Adult content: Recommended for ages 16 and up. $20-$60. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road. Details HERE.

Tickets at Ticket Alternative HERE or 877.725.8849.

blackberry daze horizon theatre

Blackberry Daze. THROUGH AUG. 27. At Horizon Theatre. Secrets and seduction stun a small Virginia town at the end of World War I, when a provocative gambler (TC Carson) works his magic on three unsuspecting women. Adapted by Ruth P. Watson and Thomas W. Jones II from Watson’s novel Blackberry Days of Summer. The blues score is by William Knowles; Jones directs. Also in the cast: Christy Clark, Brittany IngeNaomi LavetteChristian Magby and Ayana Reed. $25 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Julissa Sabino. Photo: Daniel Parvis

Julissa Sabino. Photo: Daniel Parvis

The Hunchback of Notre Dame. THROUGH AUG. 27. Critical and audience response has been nearly rapturous for this musical about a deformed bell ringer named Quasimodo and his travails in 1482 Paris. The Aurora Theatre season opener is co-produced by Theatrical Outfit. The two previously teamed on In the Heights and MemphisJustin Anderson directs a cast led by Halen Rider as Quasimodo and Julissa Sabino as Esmeralda.

$30-$65. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10 a.m. Aug. 1 and 15 ($20). The Aug. 22-24 shows are sold out; other performances are selling well, so please check ticket availability before you go. 

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. (The Theatrical Outfit staging runs Sept. 7-17 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta.)

William S. Murphey (from left), Juan Carlos Unzueta, Kylie Brown. Photo: Casey Gardner

William S. Murphey (from left), Juan Carlos Unzueta, Kylie Brown. Photo: Casey Gardner

** Little Shop of Horrors. THROUGH AUG. 29.

 Actor’s Express had added three Saturday-afternoon performances to its Skid Row-set cult musical about a nebbish botanist, his unrequited love, his cranky boss and a giant, insatiable plant. The horror-comedy ran off-Broadway for five years in the 1980s, became a 1986 movie and was revived on Broadway in 2003.

You might know the tunes “Suddenly Seymour” and “Somewhere That’s Green.” The talented cast is led by Juan Carlos Unzueta (the Piragua Guy from Aurora/Theatrical Outfit’s In the Heights) as Seymour, Kylie Brown as Audrey and William S. Murphey as Mr. Mushnik.

$28 and up, plus taxes. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Additional shows at 1 p.m. this Saturday and Aug. 12 + 19. At the King Plow Arts Center in West Midtown, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Opening this week

Ada and the Memory Engine

Ada and the Memory Engine. PREVIEWS TONIGHT | OPENS FRIDAY.

 Essential Theatre begins its 2017 festival with this script by Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson. Her subject is Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the British mathematician who became the world’s first computer programmer.

In calling this 2015 bio-play a “rare and special artistic achievement,” The Huffington Post deemed it an “intelligent play about intelligent historical people that has been crafted by intelligent theater artists for an intelligent audience.” Ashley Anderson is Ada, with Mark Cosby as the supportive, influential Charles Babbage. $15 preview; regularly $20-$25. In repertory through Aug. 27. Details HERE, tickets HERE. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.

Last chance

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. CLOSES SUNDAY. At the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. Two pairs of lovers (one requited, one not so much) and a ragtag group of thespians find themselves lost in the woods as quarreling leaders turn a fairy kingdom on its head. With Kenneth Wigley as Theseus and Oberon, Dani Herd as Hippolyta and Titania, and Charlie T. Thomas as Bottom. What fools these mortals be! Pub menu and beverages available. $15-$39. 7:30 tonight-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. NE (across from Emory University Hospital Midtown). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299.

Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash Georgia Ensemble Theatre

Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. CLOSES SATURDAY. Georgia Ensemble Theatre and the Chattahoochee Nature Center partner for a concert version of the 2006 Broadway tuner, which tells the story of the Man in Black through more than 20 of his hits, including “A Boy Named Sue,” “Daddy Sang Bass,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Jackson” and “I Walk the Line.” The concert reunites Chris Damiano and Christopher Kent (GET’s Million Dollar Quartet) and includes Scott DePoy, Laura Lindahl and Mark Schroeder. Picnicking allowed; cash bar on-site. $15 general admission lawn seats; $30 reserved pavilion table. 8 tonight-Saturday. Nature Center opens at 6:30 p.m. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.

Still running

Annie Get Your Gun

Annie Get Your Gun. THROUGH AUG. 6. At Stage Door Players. Irving Berlin’s valentine to show biz tells the tale of sharpshooting rivals Annie Oakley (Paige Mattox) and Frank Butler (Bryant Smith) with a million-dollar score — “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly,” “You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun,” “They Say It’s Wonderful,” “Lost in His Arms,” “I Got the Sun in the Morning,” “Anything You Can Do” and, of course, “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”

The 1946 Broadway original, starring the legendary Ethel Merman, ran three years. $15-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.

Robin Hood. EXTENDED THROUGH AUG. 27. Serenbe Playhouse takes to the skies (via zip lines) to tell the family-friendly story of the outlaw (Jordan Patrick) devoted to Maid Marian (Casey Shuler) and doing good deeds with his Merry Men. This adaptation by frequent Serenbe collaborator Rachel Teagle includes original music by Grammy nominee John Burke. $10-$20. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Performed at the Farmers Market Hideaway in Serenbe, Chattahoochee Hills. Directions HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Next week

Brian Clowdus. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Brian Clowdus. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Cabaret. OPENS AUG. 3.

It’s 1931 Berlin and the Nazis are beginning to take power.

The setting at Serenbe Playhouse: Outdoors, of course, in and around the seedy Kit Kat Klub, where a young American writer pursues English cabaret performer Sally Bowles (Molly Tynes) and everything is overseen by the Emcee (Serenbe artistic director Brian Clowdus).

The score is by John Kander and Fred Ebb. The 1967 original won the Tony Award for best musical and made a star of Joel Grey. The 1998 version won the Tony Award for best revival of a musical and cemented stardom for Alan Cumming.

$35 + $40; VIP seating costs extra. Through Aug. 27. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. 9110 Selborne Lane, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.

Outlying Islands

Outlying Islands. TUESDAY ONLY.

A staged reading by Atlanta’s Celtic-themed Arís Theatre. Scottish playwright David Greig’s script is inspired by events that took place on Gruinard Island off the west coast of Scotland in August 1939, on the eve of World War II.

What happened — the testing of biological weapons — wasn’t declassified until 1997.

$10; $7.50 students. 7:30 p.m. Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts at Emory University.  1700 N. Decatur Road. Details, tickets HERE.

Coming up

Space Girl. PREVIEWS AUG. 10 | OPENS AUG. 11.

Space Girl

World premiere from the Weird Sisters Theatre Project

Arugula just wants to fit in, but it’s not easy when you’re a teenage alien from the planet Zlagdor. In an alien world where the only things that make sense are roller derby and salad, Arugula and her father, Nancy, must find out what it means to be human before time runs out for Planet Earth. This Mora V. Harris comedy was a finalist in the 2017 Alliance/Kendeda National Playwriting Competition. Julie Skrzypek directs.

$15 preview; regularly $20. Plus fees. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 3 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 7 p.m. Sunday. Pay-what-you-can show at 8 p.m. Aug. 14. Alliance Theatre, 3rd Floor Black Box, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets HERE.

fashionado / Encore Atlanta