BEST BETS | May 2 – May 8, 2019

Ride-The-Cyclone

WELCOME TO OUR weekly curated column. Feature photo: Lillian Castillo (as Constance Blackwood) and Tiffany Tatreau (as Ocean OConnell Rosenburg) from the cast of the Alliance Theatre’s Ride the Cyclone.

Opening this weekend

Ride the Cyclone. Runs May 1 – 26. Alliance Theatre. Shortly after boarding the Cyclone ride at a traveling fair, a broken front axle sends the teenagers to their tragic demise. While stuck in a sort of purgatory, a mechanical fortune teller invites each student to compete in a macabre contest with the prize of a return to the world of the living. Bewildered, the teens take turns sharing their stories, making a case for themselves. Ride the Cyclone is a wildly original new musical—part comedy, part tragedy, and wholly unexpected. Info on the Alliance Theatre website. Discounted tickets at PoshDealz.com.

FASHIONADO

BEST BETS | Jan. 3-9, 2019

LeonardoBernstein

THE ATLANTA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA continues its Leonard Bernstein celebration on Jan. 10 + 12; “Love’s Labour’s Lost” opens at the Shakespeare Tavern; and Georgia Ensemble’s “Million Dollar Quartet” continues at Oglethorpe University. Just ahead: a “Della’s Diner” reunion, the Alliance’s Cinderella-themed “Ever After” and “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” which moves to Aurora Theatre. Pictured: The great Leonard Bernstein (Los Angeles Times). 

Opening this weekend BEST BETS | Jan. 3-9, 2019

Tatyana Arrington (from left), Amanda Lindsey, Chris Hecke, Sarah Newby Halicks, Kelly Criss.

Tatyana Arrington (from left), Amanda Lindsey, Chris Hecke, Sarah Newby Halicks, Kelly Criss.

Love’s Labour’s Lost. BEGINS THURSDAY.

Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. Can four young men honor their pledge to avoid the opposite sex, food, drink and sleep in order to become more intellectual and contemplative? Not in Shakespeare’s comedy, especially after four young women arrive on the scene. Leading the merry predicament are Tatyana Arrington, Kelly Criss, Chris Hecke, Amanda LindseySarah Newby Halicks, Tamil Periasamy, Cory Phelps and J.L. Reed. Georgia Gwinnett College’s Jaclyn Hofmann directs.

$15 preview Thursday; $20 preview Friday. Regularly $22-$45. Through Jan. 27. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Food and drink, including libations, 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.

Last chance

TheSnowQueen

The Snow Queen. CLOSES SUNDAY. 

At Serenbe Playhouse. The Hans Christian Andersen tale gets a site-specific, outdoor telling that emphasizes its wintry nature. Young Gerda fights fear on a journey to save her brother from the icy lady’s evil magic. Audiences travel with the actors (without seating). 

Request chairs or mobility assistance through the box office. Note: This is the queen’s fifth and final season. Serenbe plans to debut a new holiday show next season.

$25-$30; $13 or $15 children. 2 + 5 p.m. Thursday-Friday and Sunday; 2, 5 + 7 p.m. Saturday. GPS address: 10640 Serenbe Lane,  Chattahoochee Hills, GA 30268. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.

This weekend only

RockofAges

Rock of Ages. THURSDAY-FRIDAY.

A 10th anniversary tour of the Broadway show visits the Fox Theatre and revisits the towering anthems and power ballads that made the sounds of the 1980s indelible. Think Styx, Journey, Bon Jovi, Pat Benatar, Twisted Sister and Foreigner, among others.

The 32-song score includes “I Wanna Rock,” “We’re Not Gonna Take It,” “To Be With You,” “Here I Go Again,” “Any Way You Want It” and “Don’t Stop Believing.” The Broadway original ran six years and earned five Tony Award nominations.

 $30-$106. 8 nightly. 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.

[A LOVE LETTER TO THEATER, ROCK ‘N’ ROLL]

 

Still running

Chris Damiano. Photo: Cayce Calloway

Chris Damiano. Photo: Cayce Calloway

Million Dollar Quartet. THROUGH JAN. 12.

 Georgia Ensemble Theatre reprises its popular staging and takes it to the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University. Return to Dec. 4, 1956, the magical day that Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins made music together — for the first and only time ever — at Sun Records in Memphis.

The score includes “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Walk the Line,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Hound Dog” and 15 more. Chris Damiano directs, music directs and plays Cash, with Alex Canty as Elvis, Christopher Kent as Perkins and Sean McGibbon as Lewis.

$35-$40. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 4 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Conant is at 4484 Peachtree Road N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260 (do not call the Conant box office).

Just ahead

AllBernstein

All Bernstein. JAN. 10 + 12 ONLY.

Guest conductor Christopher Allen leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and two soloists in a program dedicated to the music of Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990). Expect to hear Symphonic Dances from West Side Story plus music from the composer’s 1971 Mass and the Broadway shows On the Town, Wonderful Town and Peter Pan. Soloists Sasha Cooke (mezzo-soprano) and Joseph Lattanzi (baritone) join the ASO, and principal clarinetist Laura Ardan is featured. 

$22-$99. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

DellasDiner

Della’s Diner: Blue Plate Special. JAN. 12 ONLY.

Tickets going fast for this reunion show, which dates to Atlanta’s 1970s and ’80s cabaret heyday. You also may know the characters — Della, daughter Ramona, country singer Connie Sue Day, Ricky Jim Robinson and Sheriff Ronnie Frank Flaugher — and Morning Glory Mountain from Libby Whittemore’s club act or Christmas shows. She returns for one more chapter in the musical comedy soap opera, as do singer-actor Megan McFarland and creator Tom Edwards. For the uninitiated, Della is the sassy, big-hearted café owner who dispenses love, wisdom and moral advice to the parade of oddballs who visit her small-town diner. Rest assured, there will be a whole lot goin’ on. 

$40. 8 p.m. Out Front Theatre999 Brady Ave. NW in West Midtown. Details, tickets HERE.

Tess Malis Kincaid, Rob Cleveland. Photo: Casey Gardner

Tess Malis Kincaid, Rob Cleveland. Photo: Casey Gardner

A Doll’s House, Part 2. JAN. 10-FEB. 10.

 Aurora Theatre gets its turn with this stunning Actor’s Express co-production, a sequel of sorts to master dramatist Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 classic, A Doll’s House (but you needn’t know that piece to enjoy this one). Well-known contemporary playwright Lucas Hnath’s Part 2 takes place 15 years after wife and mother Nora Helmer (Tess Malis Kincaid) leaves her husband and family to seek out independence unheard of in that day. Now she’s knocking to get back in and ask a big favor. The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, W Magazine and Time Out New York all described Part 2 as the best play of Broadway’s 2017 season. It’s smart, funny and modern. Joining Kincaid onstage are Rob ClevelandShelli Delgado and Deadra Moore. AE artistic director Freddie Ashley directed.

$20 and up. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10 a.m. Jan. 22. 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.

Creators Zina Goldrich (left) and Marcy Heisler.

Creators Zina Goldrich (left) and Marcy Heisler.

Ever After. JAN. 15-FEB. 17.

This musical update on the Cinderella story christens the Alliance Theatre’s new mainstage, named the Coca-Cola Stage. It’s based on the 1998 Drew Barrymore movie (and the original 1729 fairy tale). Follow a young woman named Danielle de Barbarac, who risks everything to save a friend. With the help of Leonardo da Vinci (yes, da Vinci), she must decide who she is, what she’ll fight for and how far she’ll go for love. The musical comes from the award-winning songwriting team of Zina Goldrich (music) and Marcy Heisler(book and lyrics). Alliance artistic director Susan V. Booth directs. Her 30-person cast is led by Broadway regulars Sierra Boggess (The Little Mermaid, School of Rock); Tony Award nominee David Garrison (A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine); Jeff McCarthy (Urinetown, Side Show); and Rachel York (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Head Over Heels). Also in the cast: Atlanta-based artists Terry Burrell (Ethel, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill), Chris Kayser (Alliance, Georgia Shakespeare) and Rhyn McLemore Saver. This show has the scent of Broadway-bound about it.

$25 and up. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15 + 29. No shows Feb. 3. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[NO PUMPKINS IN THIS CINDERELLA STORY]

William S. Murphey (left), Bart Hansard, Googie Uterhardt.

William S. Murphey (left), Bart Hansard, Googie Uterhardt.

Moonlight & Magnolias. JAN. 10-27. 

Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Playwright Ron Hutchinson’s 2004 inside-Hollywood farce peeks behind the camera as producer-screenwriter David O. Selznick, director Victor Fleming and screenwriter Ben Hecht lock themselves in an office with a five-day supply of peanuts and bananas trying to rescue a disastrous 1939 movie. Its title: Gone With the Wind. Great cast: William S. Murphey is Selznick, Bart Hansard is Fleming and Googie Uterhardt is Hecht. All are Atlanta actors. Note: Contains mature language and content. 

$26-$40. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 4 p.m. Jan. 19 + 26. GET performs in the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 959 Forrest St. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins

Brandon Jacobs-Jenkins

An Octoroon. JAN. 26-FEB. 24. 

Actor’s Express. An imaginative new work from Branden Jacobs-Jenkins  (2016’s Appropriate) turns 19th-century melodrama on its ear in what’s being called a riotous romp. The script puts the antebellum South, says the Express, on a collision course with 21st-century cultural politics. The piece won off-Broadway’s 2014 Obie Award for best new play. The plot: Trouble has been brewing at the Terrebonne Plantation ever since Judge Peyton died. Money is low, an evil overseer is up to no good, and the heir to the estate is in love with the wrong person. Jacobs-Jenkins, 33, is a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grantee and has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Donya K. Washington, an Alliance Theatre producer, directs. Her cast of 11 includes Isake Akanke (Cardboard Piano), Neal A. Ghant (The Motherf**ker With the Hat) and Parris Sarter (Angels in America). 

$20-$50 and subject to change based on demand. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

TheUnexpectedPlayFestival

The Unexpected Play Festival. JAN. 14-15.

See three staged readings in two days at Theatrical Outfit. In If I Forget by Steven Levenson (noon Jan. 14), three Jewish siblings gather for their father’s 75th birthday and negotiate how much of the past they’re willing to sacrifice for a chance at a new beginning. The cast includes Andrew BenatorLane Carlock and Brian Kurlander. Outfit education director Mira Hirsch directs. In Gershwin’s America (7:30 p.m. Jan. 14), concert pianist Alpin Hong interprets George Gershwin songs in a one-man tale about music, being a second-generation immigrant and what it means to be American. Presented in partnership with New York’s Flying Carpet Theatre Company. Flying Carpet artistic director Adam Koplan directs. In Bellwether by Steve Yockey, (7:30 p.m. Jan. 15), a 6-year-old girl’s disappearance uncovers what’s really beneath the surface in her nice, safe surburban town. The cast includes Suehyla El-Attar, Eliana Marianes, Diany Rodriguez and Joe Sykes. Outfit associate artistic director Clifton Guterman directs. $10 per reading; $25 for all three. Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500.

fashionado

BEST BETS | Dec. 6-12, 2018

The-Alliance's-Christmas-Carol

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

Top picks

Christian Magby, Chani Maisonet. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christian Magby, Chani Maisonet. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christmas Canteen.THROUGH DEC. 23.

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

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

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

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

A Christmas Carol. OPENS DEC. 12.

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

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

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

Mary Lynn Owen. Photo: Greg Mooney

Mary Lynn Owen. Photo: Greg Mooney

Knead. CLOSES SUNDAY.

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

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

[MORE: HOW A PLAYWRIGHT RISES]

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

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

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

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

The-Nutcracker

The Nutcracker. OPENS SATURDAY. 

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

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

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

[A WHOLE NEW NUTCRACKER]

Frog-and-Toad

 A Year With Frog and Toad. OPENS FRIDAY.

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

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

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

This weekend only

Christmas-With-ASO

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

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

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

 

Curious-Holiday-Encounters

Curious Holiday Encounters. THURSDAY-SUNDAY ONLY.

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

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

Deb Bowman

Deb Bowman

A Merry Little Christmas With Deb Bowman. SATURDAY ONLY.

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

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


New holiday shows

Lilliangina Quiñones. Photo : BreeAnne Clowdus

Lilliangina Quiñones. Photo : BreeAnne Clowdus

The Christmas Carol Experience. DEC. 12-30.

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

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

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

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

The Ethel Merman Disco Christmas Spectacular. OPENS THURSDAY.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Returning holiday shows of note

Miss Connie Sue Day

Miss Connie Sue Day

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

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

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

Also for the holidays (ongoing)

IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER:

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

Drew Reeves (left), Enoch King.

Drew Reeves (left), Enoch King.

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

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

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

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

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

Also for the holidays (limited performances)

IN CHRONOLOGICAL ORDER:

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

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

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

fashionado

BEST BETS | Nov. 21-28, 2018

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

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

Top picks

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

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

Christmas Canteen.THROUGH DEC. 23.

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

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

Mary Lynn Owen. Photo: Greg Mooney

Mary Lynn Owen. Photo: Greg Mooney

Knead. THROUGH DEC. 9.

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

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

[MORE: HOW A PLAYWRIGHT RISES]

Miss-Bennet

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

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

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

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

New holiday shows

Curious-Holiday-Encounters

Curious Holiday Encounters. DEC. 6-9.

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

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

The-Ethel-Merman-Disco-Christmas-Spectacular

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

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

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

Irving-Berlin's-White-Christmas

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

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

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

[HOW THE CREATIVE TEAM GUARANTEES SNOWS]

The-Nutcracker

 The Nutcracker. DEC. 8-24.

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

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

Jeremy Aggers. Photo illustration: Chris Bartelsk

Jeremy Aggers. Photo illustration: Chris Bartelsk

This Wonderful Life. OPENS NOV. 24.

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

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

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

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

Waffle Palace Christmas. THROUGH DEC. 30.

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

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

Returning holiday shows of note

David de Vries

David de Vries

A Christmas Carol. DEC. 12-24.

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

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

Connie Sue Day

Connie Sue Day

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

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

Frog-and-Toad

A Year With Frog and Toad. DEC. 7-30.

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

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

Also for the holidays

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

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

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

Hermey the Elf and Rudolph.

Hermey the Elf and Rudolph.

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

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

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

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

fashionado

BEST BETS | Nov. 8-14, 2018

Not-About-Heroes

Arís Theatre commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I with the Veterans Day-timed “Not About Heroes;” “Knead” (Alliance) premieres; Steve Yockey’s bloody fun-smart “Reykjavik” (Actor’s Express) runs on; and Halloween shows give way to Christmas stories. Details in this week’s curated column. Pictured: Chris Harding (left) and Eric Lang in “Not About Heroes.” Photo by Marcus Geduld.

Top picks

Knead

Knead. BEGINS TUESDAY.

An Alliance Theatre world premiere. In the wee hours, a woman attempts to bake bread from her mother’s incomprehensible recipe. But the ingredients of time and memory keep interfering, and the bread-baking process — the kneading, rising, shaping and baking, all in real time —becomes a journey into the unpredictability of, well, just about everything. Bread will be baked and, maybe, shared. Two-time Suzi Bass Award-winning actor Mary Lynn Owen wrote the one-person script, her first, and plays the woman. Knead was developed in the Alliance’s third Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab and was a semifinalist for the important O’Neill National Playwrights Conference in Waterford, Conn. David de Vries directs.

Recommended for age 14 and up. Through Dec. 9. 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13 ($30) + Nov. 14 ($45). Regularly $45; $10 teens. Runs 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. No show Thanksgiving Day. Hertz Stage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

[MORE: HOW A PLAYWRIGHT RISES]

Not-About-Heroes

Not About Heroes. THROUGH NOV. 18. 

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

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

Gil Eplan-Frankel. Photo: Casey Gardner

Gil Eplan-Frankel. Photo: Casey Gardner

Reykjavik. THROUGH NOV. 18. 

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

$35 and subject to change based on demand. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Andrew Bidlack (from left), Vanessa Becerra and DJ Petrosino sing Tony, Maria and Bernardo, respectively, for The Atlanta Opera.

Andrew Bidlack (from left), Vanessa Becerra and DJ Petrosino sing Tony, Maria and Bernardo, respectively, for The Atlanta Opera.

West Side Story. CLOSES SUNDAY.

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

$43-$139. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.

[HOW WEST SIDE STORY MADE THE LEAP TO OPERA]

This weekend only

Veronika Eberle

Veronika Eberle

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY + SATURDAY. 

Guest conductor Roberto Abbado of Italy returns to conduct Beethoven’s buoyant Eighth Symphony and Rossini’s String Sonata No. 1, written when the composer was 12. Also on the program: Brahms’ Violin Concerto, about which a curmudgeonly 19th-century maestro once sniped that it isn’t a concerto for violin, it’s a “concerto against the violin.” Or so says the ASO website. Audiences have always loved the famously difficult piece, performed here by German violinist Veronika Eberle, making her ASO debut.

$22-$103 Thursday; $38-$69 Saturday (most sections are sold out). 8 nightly. Symphony Hall,Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Translation

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre. FRIDAY-SUNDAY. 

Translation, a world premiere, is described as an immersive dance work by Atlanta native Troy Schumacher, a soloist and New York City Ballet choreographer. The living art installation is designed to lead audiences on a sensory journey. These performances expand on Schumacher’s 2017 version of the piece. TMBT, as the company is known, was founded a year ago by five former Atlanta Ballet principal dancers with a combined 85 years of professional experience — Christian Clark, Heath Gill, Tara Lee, Rachel Van Buskirk and John Welker. Their mission: mixing ballet and modern styles to create new theatrical dance.

$35-$40. 2 p.m. Saturday; 2 + 8 p.m. Sunday (Friday + Saturday night performances sold out). Westside Cultural Arts Center, 760 10th St. NW. Details, tickets HERE.

Last chance

Jennifer Levison. Photo: Casey Gardner

Jennifer Levison. Photo: Casey Gardner

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti.CLOSES SUNDAY.

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

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

The-Sleepy-Hollow-Experience

The Sleepy Hollow Experience. CLOSES SUNDAY.

Spooky season ends at Serenbe Playhouse, which stages its sixth Sleepy Hollow. Washington Irving’s 1820 horror story follows schoolmaster Ichabod Crane and his efforts to win the heart of Katrina Van Tassel. This adaptation comes from artistic director Brian Clowdus. The cast: Erik Poger Abrahamsen, Erin Burnett, Jeremy Gee, Anna Lanier, Jordan Patrick and Madison Welch.

$30-$45 (rain insurance available). 8 p.m. Thursday; 8 + 10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Family-friendly staging at 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday includes fall festival events before the show and at intermission. Done in the Horseman’s Meadow. Most Serenbe shows require a walk along a path that can be muddy. Appropriate footwear suggested. This is a traveling show, without seating. For mobility assistance (parking, accessibility cart, chairs, etc.), contact the box office. 9110 Selborne Lane in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.

Byron Wigfall (left), Kyle Larkins. Photo: Tyler Ogburn

Byron Wigfall (left), Kyle Larkins. Photo: Tyler Ogburn

The View Upstairs. CLOSES SATURDAY.

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

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

Opening this week

Jeff Watkins as Sir Thomas More.

Jeff Watkins as Sir Thomas More.

A Man for All Seasons. IN PREVIEWS. OPENS SATURDAY.

Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse stages a short (11-performance) run of the 1960 Robert Bolt drama. It tells of the fatal struggle between King Henry VIII of England and his lord chancellor, Sir Thomas More, over issues of religion, power and conscience. Artistic director Jeff Watkins as More and Troy Willis as Henry VIII lead a cast of 13.

$22-$45.  Previews Nov. 8 ($14)  and Nov. 9 ($20). Through Nov. 25. 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.

Next week

Christian Magby returns to the “Canteen” this season. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christian Magby returns to the “Canteen” this season. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christmas Canteen. NOV. 15-DEC. 23.

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

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

Coming up

Miss-Bennet:Christmas-at-Pemberley

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

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

$18-$51 plus fees. Through Dec. 23. Previews at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 21 + 24; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23. Opens at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 24. Regularly at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 11 a.m. Nov. 29, Dec. 13 + Dec. 20. No show Thanksgiving Day. The Outfit performs at the Balzer Theater at Herren’s at 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500.

fashionado

ACTOR’S EXPRESS HAS BIG NIGHT AT 2018 SUZIS

Angels-in-America

ABOVE: Thandiwe DeShazor (left) and Grant Chapman in “Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2” at Actor’s Express. The AIDS-era drama was named best play of the 2018 season and took home Suzis for best ensemble of a play, director and lighting design. Photo by Casey Gardner.

The West Midtown company wins big with its stagings

of Angels in America and The Color Purple

ACTOR’S EXPRESS isn’t the biggest theater company in town. Its black-box space seats an intimate 145 and its  full-time staff numbers three. But under the leadership of artistic director Freddie Ashley and managing director Alex Scollon, it consistently produces some of the best theater we see.

Jasmyne Hinson (as Shug Avery, left) and Suzi award-winning best actress Latrice Pace (as Celie) in “The Color Purple.” Photo: Casey Gardner

Jasmyne Hinson (as Shug Avery, left) and Suzi award-winning best actress Latrice Pace (as Celie) in “The Color Purple.” Photo: Casey Gardner

The  company, based in West Midtown’s King Plow Arts Center, earned 11 Suzi Bass awards on Monday night — including six for its vibrant staging of The Color Purple and four for playwright Tony Kushner’s two-part AIDS-era epic, Angels in America.

In all, 10 professional companies and 17 productions won 2018 Suzis, honors that are, more or less, Atlanta’s equivalent of Broadway’s Tony awards. Lawrenceville’s Aurora Theatre followed with six Suzi wins, and downtown Atlanta’s Theatrical Outfit had five.

The awards are named for longtime Atlanta actor Suzi Bass, a force of nature who died of cancer in 2002 at age 56. She performed regularly, and to acclaim, at the Alliance Theatre, Marietta’s Theatre in the Square, Stone Mountain’s ART Station and Theatrical Outfit, along with North Carolina’s Flat Rock Playhouse and Blowing Rock Stage.

Actor’s Express’ The Color Purple was named best musical and won Suzis for lead actress/musical (Latrice Pace’s Celie), supporting actress/musical (Kayce Grogan-Wallace’s Sofia), director David Koté, musical director Amanda Wansa Morgan and sound designer Angela Bryant.

Angels in America was named best play and won Suzis for directors Freddie Ashley and Martin Wilkins, outstanding ensemble and Joseph P. Monaghan’s lighting design.

In addition, Enoch King was named best supporting actor in the Express production of Lucas Hnath’s The Christians. 

Playwright Jon Carr’s “Black Nerd” won the Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award. Photo: Dad’s Garage

Playwright Jon Carr’s “Black Nerd” won the Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award. Photo: Dad’s Garage

Eleven new plays — a record — vied for the Gene-Gabriel Moore Playwriting Award, which went to Jon Carr and The Black Nerd, staged at Dad’s Garage Theatre Company. The other nominees: Alice Between by Steve Coulter + Neely Gossett, Alliance Theatre; Built to Floatby Rachel Graf Evans, Essential Theatre; Empty Rooms by Annie Harrison Elliott, Found Stages; Hospice & Pointing at the Moon by Pearl Cleage, Alliance; Morningside by Topher Payne, Georgia Ensemble Theatre; The Dancing Granny by Jireh Breon Holder, Alliance; The Flower Room by Daryl Lisa Fazio, Actor’s Express; The Followers by Margaret Baldwin, 7 Stages; Three Ladies of Orpington by Daniel Guyton, Onion Man Productions; and Woke by Avery Sharpe, Essential.

Lifetime Achievement awards, given for a body of work that has had a significant, long-term effect on Atlanta’s theater community, went to Liz Lee, Center for Puppetry Arts’ producer and lighting designer since 1978, and  Rosemary Newcott, who has spent 20 years acting and directing at the Alliance Theatre, largely as the Sally G. Tomlinson Artistic Director of Theatre for Youth.

The winners, capitalized and highlighted in bold, are:

Best play

  • Abigail/1702 at Aurora Theatre (script by Roberto Aguire-Sacasa)

  • ANGELS IN AMERICA, Parts 1 and 2 at Actor’s Express (script by Tony Kushner)

  • Boy at Theatrical Outfit (script by Anna Ziegler)

  • Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Theatrical Outfit (script by Lauren Gunderson and Margot Marcon)

  • Perfect Arrangement at Theatrical Outfit (script by Topher Payne)

Best musical

  • Blackberry Daze at Horizon Theatre

  • Cabaret at Serenbe Playhouse

  • Candide at the Alliance Theatre

  • THE COLOR PURPLE at Actor’s Express

  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame, an Aurora Theatre/Theatrical Outfit co-production

World premiere

Sheltered

“Sheltered” (with Park Krausen, left, and Amanda Drinkall) tells the true story of a Philadelphia couple that plotted to save Jewish children from the Nazis. It won the 2018 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition and had its world premiere at the Alliance Theatre. Photo: Greg Mooney

  • The Flower Room by Daryl Lisa Fazio at Actor’s Express

  • Hospice and Pointing at the Moon by Pearl Cleage at the Alliance Theatre

  • Il Etait Une Fois (Once Upon a Time) at Théâtre du Rêve

  • Morningside by Topher Payne at Georgia Ensemble Theatre

  • SHELTERED by Alix Sobler the Alliance Theatre

Theatre for Young Audiences production

  • Heidi at Synchronicity Theatre

  • The Jungle Book at Georgia Ensemble Theatre

  • THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE at Synchronicity Theatre

  • Mother Goose at the Center for Puppetry Arts

  • Winnie the Pooh at the Alliance Theatre

Lead actor female / play

Olivia Dawson (left) and 2018 Suzi award winner Diany Rodriguez as Abigail in Aurora Theatre’s “Abigail/1702.” Photo: Chris Bartelski

Olivia Dawson (left) and 2018 Suzi award winner Diany Rodriguez as Abigail in Aurora Theatre’s “Abigail/1702.” Photo: Chris Bartelski

  • Terry Burrell for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill at Theatrical Outfit

  • Taylor M. Dooley for Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up at Aurora Theatre

  • Mary Lynn Owen for Crossing Delancey at the Alliance Theatre

  • Courtney Patterson for Maytag Virgin at Aurora Theatre

  • DIANY RODRIGUEZ for Abigail/1702 at Aurora Theatre

Lead actor female / musical

  • Naomi Lavette for Blackberry Daze at Horizon Theatre

  • Kristin Markiton for Mamma Mia! at Aurora Theatre

  • LATRICE PACE for The Color Purple at Actor’s Express

  • Ayanna Reed for Blackberry Daze at Horizon Theatre

  • Julissa Sabino for The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Aurora Theatre/Theatrical Outfit

Lead actor male / play

Lee Osorio was named best actor/play for his work at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse.

Lee Osorio was named best actor/play for his work at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse.

  • Andrew Benator for Crossing Delancey at the Alliance Theatre

  • Brad Brinkley for Maytag Virgin at Aurora Theatre

  • Clifton Guterman for Boy at Theatrical Outfit

  • LEE OSORIO for The Life and Death of Richard the Second at Atlanta Shakespeare Company

  • Ben Thorpe for Hand to God at the Alliance Theatre

Lead actor male / musical

  • Aaron Blake for Candide at the Alliance 

  • Brian Clowdus for Cabaret at Serenbe Playhouse

  • Stanley Allyn Owen for Tarzan at Atlanta Lyric Theatre

  • HADEN RIDER for The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Aurora/Theatrical Outfit

  • Juan Carlos Unzueta for Little Shop of Horrors at Actor’s Express

Supporting actor female / play

Carolyn Cook (with Allan Edwards) won for her work in Horizon Theatre’s “Citizens Market.” Photo: Greg Mooney

Carolyn Cook (with Allan Edwards) won for her work in Horizon Theatre’s “Citizens Market.” Photo: Greg Mooney

  • CAROLYN COOK for Citizens Market at Horizon Theatre

  • Galen Crawley for Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Theatrical Outfit

  • Sarah Newby Halicks for The Christians at Actor’s Express

  • Tess Malis Kincaid for Shakespeare in Love at the Alliance Theatre

  • Diany Rodriguez for Between Riverside and Crazy at True Colors Theatre Company

Supporting actor female / musical

  • Kandice Arrington for Little Shop of Horrors at Actor’s Express

  • Deborah Bowman for The Little Mermaid at Serenbe Playhouse

  • Christy Clark for Blackberry Daze at Horizon Theatre

  • KAYCE GROGAN-WALLACE for The Color Purple at Actor’s Express

  • Jasmyne Hinson for The Color Purple at Actor’s Express

Supporting actor male / play

Suzi winner Enoch King in “The Christians” at Actor’s Express. Photo: Studio 7

Suzi winner Enoch King in “The Christians” at Actor’s Express. Photo: Studio 7

  • Allen Edwards for Citizens Market at Horizon Theatre

  • Tom Key for Boy at Theatrical Outfit

  • ENOCH KING for The Christians at Actor’s Express

  • Lee Osorio for Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Theatrical Outfit

  • Sam Younis for Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo at 7 Stages

Supporting actor male / musical

  • Kevin Harry for The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Aurora Theatre/Theatrical Outfit

  • Lamont Hill for The Color Purple at Actor’s Express

  • Christian Magby for Blackberry Daze at Horizon Theatre

  • Commodore Primous for Tarzan at Atlanta Lyric Theatre

  • ROBERT WAYNE for Cabaret at Serenbe Playhouse

Ensemble / play

  • ANGELS IN AMERICA at Actor’s Express (Grant Chapman, Joe Sykes, Louis Gregory, Cara Mantella, Robert Bryan Davis, Thandiwe DeShazor, Carolyn Cook, Parris Sarter)

  • Il Etait Une Fois (Once Upon a Time) at Théâtre du Rêve (Natalie Karp, Eliana Marianes, Jennifer Schottstaedt)

  • Morningside at Georgia Ensemble Theatre (Shelly McCook, Ann Wilson, Ellen McQueen, Keena Redding Hunt, Gina Rickicki, Kate Donadio, Stacy Melich, Kelly Criss, Lala Cochran)

  • Perfect Arrangement at Theatrical Outfit (Joe Knezevich, Ann-Marie Gideon, Clifton Guterman, Courtney Patterson, Stacy Melich, Kevin Stillwell, Ann Wilson)

  • Sense & Sensibility at Synchronicity Theatre (Marcello Audino, Shelli Delgado, Robert Lee Hindsman, Rachel Mewbron, Marcie Millard, Michelle Pokopac, J.L. Reed, Jennifer Schottstaedt, Bryant Smith, Justin Walker)

 Ensemble / musical

  • ALWAYS … PATSY CLINE at Atlanta Lyric Theatre (Laura Hodos and Karen Howell)

  •  Breath and Imagination at ART Station (Theresa Hightower, Marcellis Cutler, Patrick Hutchinson, Tony Hayes)

  • Million Dollar Quartet at Legacy Theatre (Janine DeMichele Baggett, Daniel Black, Daniel Burns, Ross Griffin, Bert Groover, Stephen Hardy, Edward La Cardo, David Perry)

  • The Followers at 7 Stages (Ofir Nahari, Lowery Brown, Diany Rodriguez, Stephen Devillers, Nicolette Emanuelle)

  • The World Goes ‘Round at Atlanta Lyric Theatre (Deborah Bowman, Jeff McKerley, Adrianna Trachell, Brad Raymond, Mary Nye Bennett, Chloe Cordle, Cansler McGhee, Brian Jordan, Grace Joo)

Ensemble / TYA

Synchronicity Theatre’s “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” won Suzis for Outstanding TYA Production and Outstanding Ensemble. Pictured: Jimmica Collins and Edward, a china rabbit: Photo: Jerry Siegel

Synchronicity Theatre’s “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” won Suzis for Outstanding TYA Production and Outstanding Ensemble. Pictured: Jimmica Collins and Edward, a china rabbit: Photo: Jerry Siegel

  • Heidi at Synchronicity Theatre (Taryn Carmona, Jessenia Ingram, Jake Krakovsky, Robert Owenby, Emily Parrish Stembridge, Julie Trammel, Alex Van, Patrick Wade)

  • The Jungle Book at Georgia Ensemble Theatre (Erik Poger Abrahamsen, Shelli Delgado, Robert Lee Hindsman, Asia Howard, JD Myers, Angelica K. Spence) 

  • THE MIRACULOUS JOURNEY OF EDWARD TULANE at Synchronicity Theatre (Josh Brook, Jimmica Collins, Caitlin Hargraves, Justin Walker) 

  • Mother Goose at the Center for Puppetry Arts (Jimmica Collins, Luis R Hernandez)

  • Winnie the Pooh at the Alliance Theatre (Isake Akanke, Caleb Baumann, Grant Chapman, CJ Cooper, Maria Rodriguez-Sager, Joe Sykes, Mabel Tyler)

Direction / play

  • ANGELS IN AMERICA at Actor’s Express (Freddie Ashley, Martin Wilkins)

  • Boy at Theatrical Outfit (Melissa Foulger)

  • Citizens Market at Horizon Theatre (Jeff Adler, Jennifer Alice Acker, Lisa Adler)

  • Crossing Delancey at the Alliance Theatre (Leora Morris)

  • Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Theatrical Outfit (Carolyn Cook)

Direction / musical

  • Justin Anderson for The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Aurora/Theatrical Outfit

  • Justin Anderson for Mamma Mia! at Aurora 

  • Brian Clowdus for Cabaret at Serenbe Playhouse

  • DAVID KOTÉ for The Color Purple at Actor’s Express

  • Thomas W. Jones II for Blackberry Daze at Horizon Theatre

Direction / TYA

  • Heidi at Synchronicity Theatre (Julie Skrzypek)

  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane at Synchronicity Theatre (Mira Hirsch)

  • MOTHER GOOSE at the Center for Puppetry Arts (Amy Sweeney + Dolph Amick)

  • Polkadots, the Cool Kids Musical at Legacy Theatre (Mark Smith)

  • Winnie the Pooh at the Alliance (Leora Morris)

Music direction

  • S. Renee Clark for Blackberry Daze at Horizon Theatre

  • Ann-Carol Pence for Mamma Mia! at Aurora Theatre

  • Ann-Carol Pence for The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Aurora/Theatrical Outfit

  • Robert Spano for Candide at Alliance 

  • AMANDA WANSA MORGAN for The Color Purple at Actor’s Express

Choreography

  • Ricardo Aponte for The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Aurora/Theatrical Outfit

  • Ricardo Aponte for Mamma Mia! at Aurora 

  • Bubba Carr for Cabaret at Serenbe Playhouse

  • Meredith Moore for The Color Purple at Actor’s Express

  • CINDY MORA REISER for Tarzan at Atlanta Lyric 

Scenic design / play

  • Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay for Abigail/1702 at Aurora

  • Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay for Between Riverside and Crazy at True Colors Theatre

  • ISABEL AND MORIAH CURLEY-CLAY for Citizens Market at Horizon 

  • Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill at Theatrical Outfit

  • Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay for Maytag Virgin at Aurora 

  • Elizabeth Jarrett for Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up at Aurora 

Scenic design / musical

  • Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay for Little Shop of Horrors at Actor’s Express

  • Isabel and Mariah Curley-Clay for Once on This Island at Georgia Ensemble Theatre

  • Daniel Pattillo for Tarzan at Atlanta Lyric 

  • Julie Ray for Mamma Mia! at Aurora 

  • SHANNON ROBERT for The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Aurora/Theatrical Outfit

Sound design / play

  • MARC GWINN for Abigail/1702 at Aurora Theatre

  • Jake Harbour for Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up at Aurora Theatre

  • Stowe Nelson for Hand to God at the Alliance Theatre

  • Daniel Terry for Maytag Virgin at Aurora Theatre

  • Ed Thrower for Angels in America at Actor’s Express

Sound design / musical

  • Rob Brooksher for Mamma Mia! at Aurora 

  • ANGELA BRYANT for The Color Purple at Actor’s Express

  • Preston Goodson for Tarzan at Atlanta Lyric 

  • Daniel Pope for The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Aurora/Theatrical Outfit

  • Mike Sal for Blackberry Daze at Horizon Theatre

Costume design / play

  • Anne Carole Butler for The Life and Death of Richard the Second at Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

  • Angela Balogh Calin for Shakespeare in Love at the Alliance 

  • Linda Patterson for Perfect Arrangement at Theatrical Outfit

  • ELIZABETH RASMUSSON for Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley at Theatrical Outfit

  • Jennifer Schottstaedt for Il Etait Une Fois (Once Upon a Time) at Théâtre du Rêve

Costume design / musical

  • L. Nyrobi N. Moss for Blackberry Daze at Horizon Theatre

  • L. Nyrobi N. Moss for The Color Purple at Actor’s Express

  • Erik Teague for Cabaret at Serenbe Playhouse

  • Amanda Edgerton West for Tarzan at Atlanta Lyric 

  • ALAN YEONG for The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Aurora/Theatrical Outfit

Lighting design / play

  • Maranda DeBusk for Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up at Aurora 

  • Rob Dillard for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill at Theatrical Outfit

  • Liz Lee for Hand to God at the Alliance 

  • JOSEPH P. MONAGHAN for Angels in America at Actor’s Express

  • Ben Rawson for Abigail/1702 at Aurora 

Lighting design / musical

  • Andre C. Allen for The Color Purple at Actor’s Express

  • Kevin Frazier for Cabaret at Serenbe Playhouse

  • Kevin Frazier for Mamma Mia! at Aurora 

  • MARIA CRISTINA FUSTE for The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Aurora/Theatrical Outfit

  • Mary Parker for Tarzan at Atlanta Lyric 

Projection design / play

  • BRADLEY BERGERON for Project Dawn at Horizon Theatre

  • Matt Brohammer for The Taming at Synchronicity Theatre

  • Barrett Doyle and Joel Coady for Boy at Theatrical Outfit

  • Jared Mezzochi for Ripe Frenzy at Synchronicity Theatre

  • Ed Thrower for Il Etait Une Fois (Once Upon a Time) at Théâtre du Rêve

Projection design / musical

  • Robbie Hayes for Blackberry Daze at Horizon Theatre

  • Bobby Johnston for Holler If Ya Hear Me at True Colors Theatre 

  • Bobby Johnston for The Ballad of Klook and Vinette at Horizon 

  • SVEN ORTEL for Candide at the Alliance 

Design team TYA

  • Heidi at Synchronicity Theatre (scenic design by Elizabeth Jarrett; costumes and puppets by Derrick Vanmeter; lighting by Elisabeth Cooper; sound by Rob Brooksher; music direction by Christopher Cannon; choreography by Ricardo Aponte)

  • The Jungle Book at the Alliance Theatre (scenic design by Kat Conley; costumes by Sydney Roberts; lighting by Steven Love; sound by Clay Benning; composer/musical direction by S. Renee Clark; choreography by Jen McQueen; puppet consultation byJason Hines)

  • The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane at Synchronicity Theatre (scenic design by Jon Nooner; costumes by Linda Patterson; lighting by Chris Crawford; sound by Dan Baumann; properties by Jillian Haughey)

  • Mother Goose at the Center for Puppetry Arts (scenic design by Ryan Sbaratta; costumes by Erik Teague; lighting by Gregory Montague; sound by Dolph Amick; puppets by Jason Hines)

  • WINNIE THE POOH at the Alliance (scenic design by Mariana Sanchez; costumes by Fabian Fidel Aguilar; lighting by Steven Love; sound by Clay Benning; music direction by Dylan Frederick)

Wins by company ( nominations in parentheses) 

  • Actor’s Express — 11 (22)

  • Aurora Theatre — 6 (31)

  • Theatrical Outfit — 5 (27)

  • Alliance Theatre — 3 (19)

  • Horizon Theatre — 3 (14)

  • Synchronicity Theatre — 2 (11)

  • Atlanta Lyric Theatre — 2 (9)

  • Serenbe Playhouse — 1 (8)

  • Center for Puppetry Arts — 1 (4)

  • Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse — 1 (2)

fashionado

BEST BETS | Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 2018

LeeOsorio

The first shows of fall offer tantalizing choices, including THE BOOK OF WILL at Theatrical Outfit; A DOLL’S HOUSE, PART 2 at Actor’s Express; an acrobatic MIDSUMMER NIGHT’S DREAM at the Alliance Theatre; and THE SEAGULL, lakeside at Serenbe Playhouse. Pictured: Lee Osorio in “The Seagull.” Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus.

Recommended

Suehyla El-Attar, Elisa Carlson. Photo: Greg Mooney

Suehyla El-Attar, Elisa Carlson. Photo: Greg Mooney

The Book of Will.THROUGH SEPT. 9.

Get thee to Theatrical Outfit. Positive buzz surrounds this love letter to Shakespeare, the company’s 2018/19 season opener. It features the trademark smarts and humor of oft-produced playwright Lauren Gunderson and a first-rate cast of actors. 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, among others, Elisa Carlson, Suehyla El-Attar, artistic director/actor Tom Key, William S. Murphey and Doyle Reynolds. Cast bios HERE. 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.

Tess Malis Kincaid. Photo: Kevin Harry

Tess Malis Kincaid. Photo: Kevin Harry

A Doll’s House, Part 2. IN PREVIEWS. OPENS SATURDAY.

An exciting regional premiere of a certifable Broadway hit. The Actor’s Express Aurora Theatre co-production is a sequel of sorts to master dramatist Henrik Ibsen’s1879 classic, A Doll’s House. You needn’t have seen it to enjoy this one. Playwright Lucas Hnath’s Part 2 takes place 15 years after wife and mother Nora Helmer (Tess Malis Kincaid) shockingly decided to leave her husband and family and seek out unheard-of independence. Now she’s knocking on the same door … and wants a favor. 

The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, W Magazine and Time Out New York all described Part 2 as the best play of the 2017 Broadway season. You might remember Hnath (silent “h”) from last season’s The Christians. Joining Kincaid onstage are Rob ClevelandShelli Delgado and Deadra Moore. AE artistic director Freddie Ashley directs. If this isn’t a hot ticket, there’s something wrong with Atlanta. 

$20 for Aug. 30-31 previews; $20-$40 for Sept. 1 opening. Regularly $20-$30 and subject to change, based on demand. Through Sept. 30. Part 2 returns after the first of the year, running Jan. 10-Feb. 10, 2019, at Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville. Actor’s Express is at the King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. 

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

Opening this week

AMidsummerNight'sDream

Midsummer Night’s Dream. OPENS SEPT. 5. 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). Through Oct. 21. 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]

SerenbePlayhouse

The Seagull. OPENS SEPT. 5.

A contemporary take on Russian dramatist Anton Chekhov’s action-packed 19th-century tragicomedy that looks plenty intriguing. 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 adult child, playwright Konstantin Tréplev (Maythinee Washington). Also in the cast: Allan EdwardsBrooke Owens  and Skye Passmore. 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. Through Sept. 30. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday plus 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.

Closing this week

Newsies-AuroraTheatre

Newsies. CLOSES SUNDAY.

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. Thursday-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.

Still running

Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales. THROUGH SEPT. 9.

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 tales in a variety of styles, including spaghetti western. The actors: Kirstin Calvert, Kirsten ChervenakLaura ColeNicholas FairclothAdam King, Enoch King, Rivka Levin and Drew Reeves.

$22-$45. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Pub menu and spirited beverages available. 499 Peachtree St. NE. Parking recommended in Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across Peachtree Street. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0. Discount Tavern gift cards at PoshDealz.com.

Matt Baum, Jimmica Collins.

Matt Baum, Jimmica Collins.

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 Greek storyteller’s famous tales. Come early to hear even more fables and color a puppet for 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. Directed by Amy Sweeney, the  Center’s head puppeteer. 

$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.

Next week

A still from “The Ancient Law.” Photo: AJFF

A still from “The Ancient Law.” Photo: AJFF

The Ancient Law. SEPT. 6 ONLY.

The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival screens its final Selects Series movie of 2018. The AJFF describes this 1923 film, considered a German-Jewish masterpiece, as an “intimate, visually stunning depiction of 19th-century shtetl life” that contrasts “the closed world of an Eastern European shtetl with the liberal mores of 1860s Vienna.” It’s considered a precursor to Hollywood’s The Jazz Singer (1927). This screening features live musical accompaniment by pianist Donald Sosin and klezmer violinist Alicia Svigals plus a Q&A with Emory Film Studies chairman Matthew Bernstein.

$18. 7:30 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, Rich Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.228.8872.

TheTwoKidsWhoBlowSh*tUp

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 (and end up hating them). Atlanta theater artist 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.

Coming up

9to5musical

9 to 5 the Musical. SEPT. 13-30.

This isn’t a show we’d give a second glance — except for the casting. Georgia Ensemble Theatre’s season opener features Jill HamesWendy Melkonian and newcomer Alyssa Flowers in the roles made famous by Dolly Parton, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the crowd-pleasing 1980 movie. Hames and Melkonian, who have succeeded on most metro stages, are joined by other familiar faces — Brian Kurlander (as the chauvinist boss), Josh BrookDaniel Burns (the recent Titanic), Kayce Grogan-Wallace (the recent Color Purple) and Gina Rickicki. The sobering news: The 2009 stage musical, with songs and lyrics by Parton, ran a mere four months on Broadway, probably for a reason. Shelly McCook directs, with musical direction by S. Renee Clark, both good reasons to take a look.

$33-$46. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 4 + 8 p.m. most Saturdays (check ahead); and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, GET performs at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.

42ndStreet

42nd Street. SEPT. 14-23.

The musicals-only City Springs Theatre Company opens its inaugural season with this Tony Award-winning song-and-dance show set during the Great Depression. Broadway director Julian Marsh (Shuler Hensley, who won a Tony for 2002’s Oklahoma! revival) is trying to stage a successful musical despite tall odds. The score — by the great Al Dubin, Johnny Mercer and Harry Warren — includes “You’re Getting to Be a Habit With Me,” “We’re in the Money,” “Lullaby of Broadway” and  “Shuffle Off to Buffalo.” The cast of 30 includes Deb BowmanBenjamin Davis (founder of the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival), Fenner EaddyMarcie Millard and Googie Uterhardt.

$30-$62. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. City Springs Theatre performs in the 1,100-seat Byers Theatre at the new Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs (bordered by Roswell Road, Johnson Ferry Road and Sandy Springs Circle).

Allow extra time for parking and to get through security. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.477.4365. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Atlanta Ballet: Return to Fall. SEPT. 14-16. 

Atlanta Ballet begins a new season with a mixed repertory featuring a selection of pas de deux; Return to a Strange Land by Czech choreographer Jiří Kylián, considered one of the best working today; the Czech National Ballet performing Vertigo by Mauro Bigonzetti; and a world premiere — titled The Premiere — by top-tier choreographer Ricardo Amarante of Brazil.

$20-$130. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.330.

Jessica Assef, Moises Martin. Photo: Rachel Neville

Jessica Assef, Moises Martin. Photo: Rachel Neville

TheElectricBaby

The Electric Baby. SEPT. 14-30. 

Weird Sisters Theatre Project at 7 Stages. When a woman named Helen causes a car accident that kills a young man, a group of fractured souls cross paths and connect around a mysterious baby that glows like the moon. Folk tales and folklore are woven throughout this story of endings, beginnings and the unlikely people that get you from one place to the next. Ibi Owolabi, a young Atlanta theater artist to watch, directs. Her cast: Alexandra FickenAnthony GoolsbyCharles GreenCaitlin Hargraves, Greg Hernandez and Ann Wilson. The script is from playwright Stefanie Zadravec.

$15 preview (plus fees) Sept. 13. Regularly $20 plus fees. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday. Also at 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17. 7 Stages is at 1105 Euclid Av. NE in Little Five Points. Details HERE. Tickets (via Brown Paper Tickets) HERE.

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