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 | July 12-18, 2018

The RMS Titanic

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

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

Recommended

Kevin Harry as Mister. Photo: Casey Gardner

Kevin Harry as Mister. Photo: Casey Gardner

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

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

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

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

 

Dash Clowdus-Howe. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Dash Clowdus-Howe. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Titanic. THROUGH AUG. 12. 

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

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

Appropriate footwear recommended. For mobility assistance (parking, accessibility cart, etc.), contact the box office.

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

 

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

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

Winnie-the-Pooh. CLOSES SUNDAY.

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

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

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

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

Opening this week

Photo: Dad’s Garage

Photo: Dad’s Garage

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

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

This dark comedy follows a young man as he navigates the expectations of his black family and white friends, where race and geekdom collide. The script is the first solo effort from Dad’s company member Jon Carr, who collaborated on the earlier Wrath of Con.

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

 

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

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

 

dot

Dot. OPENS TUESDAY.  At True Colors Theatre Company.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Still running

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

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

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

Alexandria Joy as Tinker Bell. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Alexandria Joy as Tinker Bell. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

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

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

All shows take place in the woods and require a walk along a sometimes muddy path. Appropriate footwear recommended. For mobility assistance (parking, accessibility cart, etc.), contact the box office.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coming up

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

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

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre. JULY 27-28.

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

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

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

Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

 

fashionado

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 | May 17-23, 2018

Hamilton musical

 The long-awaited arrival of “Hamilton” (opening Tuesday) leads this week’s curated BEST BETS column. Openings include vocalist Libby Whittemore’s weekend gig at Actor’s Express and “Citizens Market” at Horizon Theatre. And we say goodbye to the Alliance/Atlanta Symphony “Candide.” Pictured: Chris De’Sean Lee (left) as the Marquis de Lafayette, and friends. Photo by Joan Marcus.

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

Recommended

Alexandra Schoeny (left) and Terry Burrell. Photo: Greg Mooney

Alexandra Schoeny (left) and Terry Burrell. Photo: Greg Mooney

** Candide.CLOSES SUNDAY.

The Alliance Theatre and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra co-produce a staged concert version of Leonard Bernstein’s notoriously challenging 1956 musical opera, based on Voltaire’s satirical 1759 novel about a naïve young man who searches the world for his lost beloved while fiercely believing — as he’s been taught — that his is the best of all possible worlds. 

Candide features a cast of 17 (including Broadway’s Christopher Sieber and Broadway-and-Atlanta’s Terry Burrell), plus the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, with Robert Spano conducting. Expect puppetry and projections, too. Recommended for age 12+ (violence and mild sexual situations).

$10-$75. 8 tonight-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[THE ALLIANCE’S SUSAN V. BOOTH ON CANDIDE, PUPPETS + PARTNERSHIPS]

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton

** Hamilton. OPENS TUESDAY.

This musical drama’s pedigree includes 11 Tony awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. 

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s game-changing, genre-mixing masterpiece finally comes to Atlanta, for a three-week run. It tells the story of Founding Father Alexander Hamilton — and the young nation he adopts — from his impoverished island boyhood to his infamous death. American history never sounded better than it does with Miranda’s award-winning score, which blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B and Broadway sounds. It’s no hyperbole when producers claim that “Hamilton is the story of America then, as told by America now.” With a multicultural cast no less.

$80-$625 (if you can find a ticket). Limited seats remain and producers have announced a #Ham4Ham digital lottery for 40 orchestra seats ($10) for each performance.

Download the phone app HERE or register online HERE. Through June 10. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Broadway in Atlanta at the Fox Theatre660 Peachtree St. NE in Midtown.

Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499. Good luck! To get an official program, go to PoshDealz.com.

[MORE: WHO KNEW OUR FOUNDING FATHERS COULD BE THIS COOL?]

This weekend only

Libby Whittemore

Libby Whittemore

Libby’s at the Express: Musical Cavalcade. THURSDAY-SUNDAY.

Atlanta cabaret legend Libby Whittemore sings a mix of tunes, from Rosemary Clooney and Lady Antebellum, to Motown and Carolina shag, and everything in between.

In case you haven’t heard, she’s really good. And funny, too. You might want to take a spare $20 or $40 with you to pick up one of her CDs at intermission or post-show.

$40. 7:30 nightly. At Actor’s Express in West Midtown’s King Plow Arts Center, 8887 West Marietta St.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

Opening this week

Sarah Newby Halicks, Chris Hecke.

Sarah Newby Halicks, Chris Hecke.

As You Like It. IN PREVIEWS THURSDAY | OPENS SATURDAY. 

Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse takes you into the bard’s enchanted woods where Rosalind (Sarah Newby Halicks) disguises herself as a man and Orlando (Chris Hecke) fills the trees with love notes praising her beauty and virtue. When all the world’s a stage, can love ever be true? Pub menu and libations available.

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

 

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

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

Citizens Market. OPENS FRIDAY.

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 first-rate cast: Cynthia D. BarkerCarolyn CookAllan EdwardsCristian Gonzalez and Jasmine Thomas. Horizon co-artistic director Jeff Adler directs. Suggested for older teens and up (mature language and situations).

$25-$45 (will increase based on demand). Through June 24. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday (no matinees May 19 or June 3); 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. at Euclid Avenue NE. Parking is free but has limitations.

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Gabi Anderson, Adam King.

Gabi Anderson, Adam King.

Measure 4 Measure. OPENS FRIDAY.

The Make Mom Proud Project describes its take on Shakespeare’s tragicomedy as “a sort of feminist protest piece, an anti-sexual-assault one-act, updated slightly to fit with the cultural zeitgeist (#MeToo, #TimesUp).”

It sets Angelo, one of the bard’s nastiest villains, before a jury of audience members and shows how common crimes like his are today. This newish company with attitude just may be worth a look. Jacob McKee directs a cast comprising Gabi Anderson, Jasmine Renee EllisAdam KingStephen RuffinApril Singley, Rachel Wansker and Jake West.

$15. Through May 27. 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday. The Blackbox at the 4048, 4048 Flowers Road, Doraville. Details, tickets HERE.

 

Last chance

cat in the hat

Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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. Thursday-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.

 

Ellen McQueen

Ellen McQueen

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City. CLOSES SUNDAY. 

Southeastern premiere by the new Atlanta Theatre Club, which calls itself an itinerant, women-centric company that produces contemporary plays.

The New York Times called Halley Feiffer’s 2016 comedy “as deeply felt as its name is long” and said it “explores that tender spot where uncontrollable laughter and uncontainable tears meet.” Jennifer Silver directs. Her cast: Douglas Dickerman, Ellen McQueen, Rebeca Robles and Virginia Kirby

$27. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 6 p.m. Sunday. Performed at Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre, 1085 Ponce de Leon Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE.

 

T.K. Habtemariam

T.K. Habtemariam

Sordid Lives. CLOSES SUNDAY. Out Front Theatre. 

Chaos erupts in Winters, Texas, when a good Christian woman hits her head on the sink and bleeds to death in a motel room after tripping over her lover’s wooden legs. The 1996 comedy is by the somewhat-infamous Del Shores, a Texas-born, Los Angeles-based director, writer, producer, stand-up comic, gay and human rights activist and, in his own words, all-around sh*t-stirrer.

The Los Angeles Times calls him “a master of Texas comedy;” Daily Variety the “grand master of Southern lowlife sensibilities.” In a twist, Out Front’s staging is being done with a largely African-American cast. Two special events coincide with the run: At 3 p.m. Saturday, Out Front partners with Out on Film to screen Shores’ A Very Sordid Wedding, a sequel to the stage comedy. Shores plans to attend ($10 + $35). At 7 p.m. Sunday, Out Front presents Shores in his one-man Pirandello riff-off, Six Characters in Search of a Play ($35 + $70). 

Sordid Lives tix: $15-$25. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. 999 Brady Ave. NW in West Midtown.Details, tickets HERE or at 404.448.2755.

 

Still running

Jill Jane Clements (left), Donna Biscoe. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Jill Jane Clements (left), Donna Biscoe. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Ripcord. THROUGH JUNE 3. 

Aurora Theatre describes this 2016 comic-drama from Pulitzer Prize winner David Lindsay-Abaire (Good People, Rabbit Hole, Kimberly Akimbo) as “The Odd Couple” meets “The Golden Girls.”

Crabby Abby (Donna Biscoe) and her new roommate (the too-rarely-seen Jill Jane Clements) vie for prime real estate at the Bristol Place Senior Living Facility until their contest becomes a pitched battle with no end in sight. Jaclyn Hofmann directs. Also in the cast: Megan Rose, Seun Soyemi and Jacob York. 

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

 

Next week

Heath Gill (from left), Christian Clark, Rachel Van Buskirk.

Heath Gill (from left), Christian Clark, Rachel Van Buskirk.

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre.OPENS MAY 25. 

The Vertical, a world premiere from this exciting, year-old company, is danced outdoors beneath the stars at Deer Hollow at Serenbe.

 

The Terminus company consists of Christian Clark, Heath Gill, Tara Lee, Rachel Van Buskirk and John Welker, all former Atlanta Ballet stalwarts and much of the buzz behind Wabi Sabi, a contemporary, site-specific dance initiative under John McFall, then Atlanta Ballet’s artistic director.

$50 opening night. Otherwise $30; $15 students. Through June 3. 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday (June 2 performance sold out). Deer Hollow is at 8715 Atlanta Newnan Road in Palmetto. Details, tickets HERE.

 

 

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