BEST BETS | Feb. 28-Mar. 6, 2019

WELCOME TO ENCORE ATLANTA’S BEST BETS. A    weekly curated column. Feature photo: Cast of the US National Tour of  Les Misérables . Catch the show at the Fox Theatre this week! Photo by Matthew Murphy.

WELCOME TO ENCORE ATLANTA’S BEST BETS. A weekly curated column. Feature photo: Cast of the US National Tour of Les Misérables. Catch the show at the Fox Theatre this week! Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Les Misérables. Through March 3. Broadway in Atlanta @ Fox Theatre.

Broadway in Atlanta brings Les Misérables to the Fox Theatre! Les Misérables began its life as a concept album by creators Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg.  Now in its 32nd year, the show continues to break box offices records and is known worldwide. The show has been famously produced in 44 countries and translated to 22 languages. Set in 19th-century France and based on the eponymous novel by Victor Hugo, the show introduced many now-beloved songs to musical theatre repertoire, including “I Dreamed A Dream,” “On My Own,” “One Day More,” and many more. This epic and uplifting story has become one of the most celebrated musicals in musical theatre history.  Tickets and info on the Fox Theatre website.

FASHIONADO

BEST BETS | Dec. 20-31, 2018

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WELCOME TO OUR LAST COLUMN of the year. With it, a jolly holiday to all. Many holiday shows exit after this weekend, although four hold onto a bit longe (“Christmas Carol Experience,” “Frog and Toad,” “Rudolph,” “Snow Queen”). Then set your sleigh’s GPS for some of the bigger openings of the season: “A Doll’s House, Part 2” (Aurora); “Ever After” (Alliance); and “An Octoroon” (Actor’s Express). Pictured: The Dolls and Officer Dolls of Atlanta Ballet’s “The Nutcracker.” Photo by David Woolfe. 

Holiday shows: Last chance 

Cecil Washington Jr., Briana Young. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Cecil Washington Jr., Briana Young. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christmas Canteen. CLOSES DEC. 23. Recommended.

 Aurora Theatre wraps its 23rd original holiday revue with a singing, dancing cast of eight that channels the golden days of TV Christmas specials (think Bing Crosby and Andy Williams) and mixes in a few contemporary moves to create a show that will have you glowing with the magic of the season. Ricardo Aponte and Anthony P. Rodriguez co-direct. Aponte choreographs, with musical direction by Ann-Carol Pence, who also performs. The 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. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 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.

Courtney Patterson, David de Vries. Photo: Greg Mooney

Courtney Patterson, David de Vries. Photo: Greg Mooney

A Christmas Carol. CLOSES CHRISTMAS EVE.

The biggest “bah humbug” of them all winds down. The Alliance Theatre has taken its musical, multicultural telling (by one-time associate artistic director David H. Bell) to Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre for a second season of family-friendly revelry. David de Vries returns as Ebenezer Scrooge. He’s joined by such familiar faces as Neal A. Ghant (Bob Cratchit); Bart Hansard (Fezziwig, Ghost of Christmas Present); and Courtney Patterson(Ghost of Christmas Past). Rosemary Newcott again directs. The caroling is gorgeous. Note: Metal detectors are in place for every performance, so allow extra time to enter the venue.

$14-$115. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday; 2:30 p.m. Monday. 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]

 

Libby Whittemore

Libby Whittemore

Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays and a Connie Sue Day Christmas. CLOSES DEC. 23. Recommended.

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

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

Jonathan Horne, Amelia Fischer. Photo: David Woolf

Jonathan Horne, Amelia Fischer. Photo: David Woolf

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. CLOSES DEC. 23. Recommended. 

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

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

Jonathan Horne, Amelia Fischer. Photo: David Woolf

Jonathan Horne, Amelia Fischer. Photo: David Woolf

The Nutcracker. CLOSES CHRISTMAS EVE. Recommended. Atlanta Ballet‘s first new Nutcracker in 23 seasons is a $3.7 million staging choreographed by Russian-born Yuri Possokhov, an old friend and colleague of artistic director Gennadi Nedvigin. It returns to the original source material: German author E.T.A. Hoffmann’s 1816 fantasy story “Nutcracker and Mouse King,” and sets the opening Christmas Eve party in a small German village. Look for new scenic, costume and lighting designs as well as projections to tell the story of a little girl named Marie and her come-to-life Nutcracker Prince. $35-$140. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 + 7 p.m. Sunday; 1 p.m. Christmas Eve. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303.

Jacob Bush and Jackie Nash (standing) with their chicks. Photo: Gene Schiavone

[A NUTCRACKER FOR A NEW GENERATION]

Jeremy Aggers. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Jeremy Aggers. Photo: Chris Bartelski

This Wonderful Life. CLOSES DEC. 23.

New this season. This one-man version of the Jimmy Stewart film classic joins 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. Three performances remain: 8 p.m. Dec. 20 + 22; 2:30 p.m. Dec. 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.

Holiday shows: Still running

Daniel Burns (left), Jordan Patrick, Lilliangina Quiñones. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Daniel Burns (left), Jordan Patrick, Lilliangina Quiñones. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Christmas Carol Experience. THROUGH DEC. 30.

New this season. Charles Dickens’ Scrooge story is spun on its head in this immersive event from Brian Clowdus Experiences. Follow Ebenezer and his otherworldly goings-on through the rooms of the historic Wren’s Nest, where you’ll find holiday merriment, carols and lessons to remember. Atlanta-based actor Daniel Burns is Ebenezer Scrooge. Also in the cast of five: Rosie Gyselinck, Jordan Patrick as Jacob Marley, Lilliangina Quiñones and Julie Trammel. Clowdus, known for his environmental, site-specific work at Serenbe Playhouse, directs. The Wren’s Nest, once the home of Uncle Remus and Brer 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 age 18, senior citizens and military. 7 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Also at 9 p.m. Friday-Saturday. 1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., Atlanta. Tickets HERE.

Greg Maurice Hunter (left), Matt Baum. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Greg Maurice Hunter (left), Matt Baum. Photo: Jerry Siegel

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

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

Still running (non-holiday)

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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).

 

Returning for the holidays

IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER:

Yukon Cornelius in “Rudolph.”

CHARLES DICKENS’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Closes Dec. 22. The one-man telling with actor/artistic director Anthony P. Rodriguez. At Aurora Theatre’s Harvel Lab. 678.226.6222. 

CHARLES DICKENS’ A CHRISTMAS CAROL. Closes 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.

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

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

Coming up

A Doll’s House, Part 2. JAN. 10-FEB. 10. Recommended. 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 on that door, wanting 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 Broadway’s 2017 season. It’s smart, funny and modern. Joining Kincaid onstage are Rob ClevelandShelli Delgadoand 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.

Ever After. Jan. 15-Feb. 17. Recommended. This musical update on the Cinderella story christens the Alliance Theatre’s new mainstage, aka 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) as Danielle, Tony Award nominee David Garrison (A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine) as da Vinci, Jeff McCarthy (Urinetown, Side Show) and Rachel York (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Head Over Heels), along with Atlanta-based artists Terry Burrell (Ethel, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill), Chris Kayser (Alliance, Georgia Shakespeare) and Rhyn McLemore Saver. This one has the scent of Broadway-bound all 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.

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 Hechtlock themselves in an office with a five-day supply of peanuts and bananas trying to rescue a near-disaster 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.

An Octoroon. JAN. 26-FEB. 24. Recommended. Actor’s Express. An imaginative new work from Branden Jacobs-Jenkins(2016’s Appropriate) turns 19th-century melodrama on its ear in 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.

fashionado

BEST BETS | April 26-May 2, 2018

best bets encore atlanta

Topping this week’s curated BEST BETS column are the world premieres of “The Flower Room” at Actor’s Express and “Ripe Frenzy” at Synchronicity, plus 7 Stages’ timely “Revolt” and The Atlanta Opera’s “Carmen.” Plus. Much. More. Pictured: A scene from Bizet’s “Carmen,” onstage this weekend and next at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. Photo: The Atlanta Opera.

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

Recommended

Eliana Marianes

Eliana Marianes

 ** The Flower Room. THROUGH MAY 13. Actor’s Express. World premiere. 

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

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

$31-$44. King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

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Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. OPENS THURSDAY. 7 Stages.

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

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

$22.50-$28. Through May 13. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

[WHY ‘REVOLT’ + WHY NOW AT 7 STAGES]

Parker Fox Ciliax, Taylor M. Dooley. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Parker Fox Ciliax, Taylor M. Dooley. Photo: Jerry Siegel

** Ripe Frenzy. THROUGH MAY 6. Synchronicity Theatre

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

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

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

Opening this week

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Carmen. OPENS SATURDAY. The Atlanta Opera

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

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

[READ MORE: IN CARMEN, THREE’S A CROWD]

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Lazybed. PREVIEWS THURSDAY | OPENS FRIDAY. 

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

$23-$28 (Thursday preview is $18). Through May 13. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 7 Stages Back Stage Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE.

 

Lee Osorio

Lee Osorio

The Life and Death of Richard the Second. IN PREVIEWS | OPENS SATURDAY.

In this Shakespeare history play, King Richard (Lee Osorio) lies and steals his way to riches in order to finance his invasion of Irish lands but is taken down by Henry Bolingbroke (Maurice Ralston) and the Earl of Northumberland (Al Stilo) and imprisoned, leading to the crowning of King Henry IV.

Also in the cast: J. Tony Brown, Chris Hecke, Heidi Cline McKerley and Tamil Periasamy.

$21-$42 ($15 preview Thursday; $20 preview Friday). Through May 13. 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.

This weekend only

Carlo Rizzi

Carlo Rizzi

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY-SUNDAY.

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

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

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

Last chance

Ethan Ray Parker (from left), Jeremy Aggers, Ricardo Aponte. Photo: Dan Carmody / Studio 7

Ethan Ray Parker (from left), Jeremy Aggers, Ricardo Aponte. Photo: Dan Carmody / Studio 7

Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story. CLOSES SUNDAY.

Making another return to Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Tells the story of Holly’s meteoric rise to fame, from the moment in 1957 when “That’ll Be The Day” hit the radio until his death less than two years later.

The show features more than 20 of his greatest hits, including “That’ll Be The Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” “Oh Boy,” etc., plus Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” and the Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace.” Jeremy Aggers (Edward Foote at the Alliance) makes his GET debut as Holly, with Ricardo Aponte (who directs) as Valens and Ethan Ray Parker as the Big Bopper.

$33-$43. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.

Joselin Reyes. Photo: Casey Gardner

Joselin Reyes. Photo: Casey Gardner

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

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

Part of Teatro Aurora and performed in Spanish with English supertitles. The script is by Chascas y Quintanilla. Daniel Jáquez directs.

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

Still running

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

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

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

 

fashionado

A HIGH C’s ADVENTURE with DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT

The-Daughter-of-the-Regiment

WITH ITS DEMANDING SCORE, DONIZETTI’S COMIC DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT TURNS SINGERS INTO RISK-TAKERS — WITHOUT A NET.

The Atlanta Opera’s four-performance run of “The Daughter of the Regiment” takes place Feb. 24-March 4 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.885.

All photos by Scott Suchman

All photos by Scott Suchman

TENORS CALL The Daughter of the Regiment a “High C’s” adventure. To put it in context, think of 19th-century circus paintings by such artists as Degas and Seurat: They show a crowd of people gathered around acrobats performing implausibly dangerous stunts. Donizetti is the opera singer’s equivalent.

His brilliance lies not only in great storytelling and heartrending arias but also in his risk-taking. By writing music that is almost unsingable — except by the most skilled and daring — he dazzled Parisians and fed their appetite for spectacle.

Gaetano Donizetti was born in 1797 to a poor family in Bergamo, Italy. A benevolent teacher and advocate steered him into a boy choir and saw to his schooling. As a young adult, Donizetti began to work his way into the fraught world of Italian opera. Bouncing between success and failure, rejection and adulation, the young composer settled in Naples in 1822, where he wrote as many as five operas per year.

Life, frustration in Naples

Naples was a mixed blessing. Although Donizetti was incredibly productive, he chafed against a considerable amount of prejudice toward northern Italians. Worse, censors in the kingdom were strict and inconsistent.

REGIMENTA

He repeatedly tripped their wires by depicting topics ranging from suicide (a mortal sin) to religious imagery (sacred subjects in theater were considered an act of indecency). Twice, operas approved at the libretto stage were canceled just before opening night. Some that had had successful runs in other cities were not permitted onstage in Naples.

The Royal Opera House’s John Snelson wrote: “One of the censors there was so horrified [by Lucrezia Borgia] that he protested about it to the police, stating that ‘It ends with the death of six individuals, five of whom are poisoned at one table, where they have been enticed by the blackest perfidy disguised as polite and chivalrous hospitality.’ So, not just a dangerous example of treachery among the ruling classes, but an appalling breach of manners.”

Undaunted, Donizetti worked at an energetic pace. In 1830, with more than 30 operas to his credit, the 32-year-old scored his first international hit with Anna Bolena. More hits followed, until he endured one too many humiliations from the king: Ferdinand II decided that the theater was an unfit place to depict a saint’s martyrdom and canceled the 1838 premiere of Poliuto. Donizetti left for Paris.

Welcome to Paris

There, his instinct for theater met an eager audience. In a testament to his rock-star status (and to jealousy), Hector Berlioz complained:

“Two major scores for the Opéra …  two oth­ers at the Renais­sance … two at the Opéra-Comique … and yet another for the Théâtre-Italien will have been writ­ten or tran­scribed in one year by the same com­poser! M. Donizetti seems to treat us like a con­quered coun­try; it is a ver­i­ta­ble inva­sion. One can no longer speak of the opera houses of Paris, but only the opera houses of M. Donizetti.”

REGIMENT

Paris was the pinnacle for 19th-century opera composers. Donizetti’s first order of business was to turn Poliuto into the French-language grand opera Les Martyrs. As final preparations were underway, he tossed off TheDaughter of the Regiment.

The romantic comedy, written in about 40 days, premiered in February 1840 at the Opéra-Comique, whose name is slightly misleading. It comes from a type of show called opéra comiques en vaudevilles, which, at first, combined popular songs with spoken sections. Although many of the shows were comedies, they weren’t exclusively so. Bizet’s Carmen — a tragedy — came from this tradition. That Daughter of the Regiment is opéra comique suggested it had spoken dialogue, not that it is a comedy (although it is). The Atlanta Opera sings the opera in French with English supertitles.

Based on a libretto by Jules-Henri Vernoy de Saint-Georges and Jean-François-Alfred Bayard, the story hatches amid a lovable pack of grenadiers from Napoleon’s army. Peppered with popular French military tunes and nods to army life (minus the brutality), the comedy isn’t so much a series of gags as it is an outlandish situation: What happens when soldiers raise a little girl?

Acutely aware of his public, Donizetti combined the vocal high-wire act, the stirring arias, and those huggable grenadiers for a lob straight at the hearts of Parisians. It worked. Donizetti’s first French opera became an annual Bastille Day tradition. Its special challenges gained a reputation of a different kind among opera insiders: Luciano Pavarotti made his big break singing the role of Tonio, notably because of his aria “Ah! Mes amis,” which floats nine high C’s. (And why not? Tonio has just been told he gets to marry the girl of his dreams.)

The fiendishly difficult soprano part combines buffoonery, pathos, athleticism and its own array of vocal acrobatics. Like the French paintings of circus performers, The Daughter of the Regiment sets up a juxtaposition of two separate experiences: the people who watch, and the people who risk everything.

REGIMENT

fashionado

BEST BETS | Feb. 15-21, 2018

best bets encore atlanta

 by Kathy Janich

Alvin Ailey dances on,  and “King Hedley” and “Rent” arrive. Last call for “Angels in America” (Actor’s Express), “Klook and Vinette” (Horizon Theatre), “The Mystery of Love & Sex” (Out Front Theatre) and “Picnic” (Stage Door Players). Pictured: Eddie Bradley Jr. as Stool Pigeon (with Tonya Jackson and Tiffany Denise Hobbs) in “King Hedley II” at True Colors. Photo by Horne Bros. Productions.

**  INDICATES AN ENCORE ATLANTA WINTER SEASON TOP PICK.

Recommended

“Revelations” concludes each Alvin Ailey performance.

“Revelations” concludes each Alvin Ailey performance.

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. THROUGH SUNDAY.

This brilliant 32-member company concludes its annual Atlanta visit with a program that looks to the past — specifically 1960, the 1980s and 2004 — to entertain, provoke and inform the future.

The lineup includes artistic director Robert Battle’s MassShelterby Jawole Willa Jo Zollar; Twyla Tharp’s The Golden Section; Talley Beatty’s Stack-Up; and the Alvin Ailey creation Revelations (which concludes every performance). 

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

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

 

Thandiwe DeShazor, Grant Chapman. Photo: Casey Gardner

Thandiwe DeShazor, Grant Chapman. Photo: Casey Gardner

** Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2. CLOSES SATURDAY. At Actor’s Express.

Sex, religion, politics and history collide in Tony Kushner’s time-traveling saga set at the dawn of the AIDS epidemic. Part 1 is titled Millennium Approaches; Part 2 is Perestroika. Kushner’s achievement, a 20th-century theatrical landmark, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and four 1993 Tony awards. 

The Express cast: Robert Bryan Davis as Roy Cohn and Grant Chapman as Prior Walter, with Carolyn CookThandiwe DeShazorLouis GreggoryCara MantellaParris Sarter and Joe Sykes, many of whom play multiple roles.

$22-$40. See Part 2 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday. See Part 1 at 2 p.m. Saturday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Millennium Approaches details, tickets HEREPerestroika details, tickets HERE. Or call 404.607.7469. 

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

 

Amari Cheatom, Brittany Inge. Photo: Greg Mooney

Amari Cheatom, Brittany Inge. Photo: Greg Mooney

** The Ballad of Klook and Vinette. CLOSES SUNDAY.

American premiere. Horizon Theatre tells a contemporary love story with a soulful jazz score. Klook is a drifter who’s tired of drifting; Vinette is on the run but doesn’t know why. Together, they take a stab at love. Amari Cheatom (the film Django Unchained and a Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta alum) is Klook. Brittany Inge (Horizon’s Blackberry Daze) is Vinette.

The script is by London-based playwright Ché Walker, who directs. 

$23 and up, plus fees. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. at Euclid Avenue. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

 

Lowrey Brown. Photo StunGun Photography

Lowrey Brown. Photo StunGun Photography

** The Followers; A Retelling of the Bacchae. THROUGH FEB. 25. At 7 Stages

The 38-year-old Little Five Points company looks to ancient Greece for its first production of 2018. Euripides’ The Bacchae delves into opposite sides of human nature and remains frighteningly topical with its warning about what can happen when citizens blindly follow their political leaders. This world premiere telling comes from Margaret Baldwin, an Atlanta playwright of note, and uses opera, dance, puppetry and physical theater to tell its story of faith, abuse of power and vengeance. Co-artistic director Michael Haverty directs. Klimchak, who builds and plays unusual instruments, provides original music.

With musical direction by Bryan Mercer and choreography by Israel-based actor, dancer and clown Ofir Nahari, who’s also in the cast. In the Back Stage Black Box. Runs 80 minutes with no intermission.

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

 

Josh Brook and Edward. Photo: Jerry Siegel

Josh Brook and Edward. Photo: Jerry Siegel

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. THROUGH FEB. 25. At Synchronicity Theatre

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

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

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

Opening this week

true-King-Hedley

** King Hedley II. NOW OPEN | THROUGH  MARCH 11. At True Colors Theatre Company

August Wilson (1945-2005) is one of the great American playwrights of any century, and a personal favorite. King Hedley is part of his 10-play Century, or Pittsburgh, Cycle, all reflecting the black experience in 20th-century America. King (Neal A. Ghant, fresh from the Alliance Theatre’s Native Guard) is an ex-con peddling stolen refrigerators in inner-city Pittsburgh in the 1980s. His goal: Buy a new business and, thus, a new life. Surrounding him in his quest, for better or worse, are his wife, his mother, his mother’s ex-lover, his best friend and a neighbor named Stool Pigeon (Eddie Bradley Jr.), a mystical sort of truthsayer.

Also in the cast: Tiffany Denise HobbsTonia Jackson, E. Roger Mitchell and Eugene H. Russell IV). Jamil Jude directs. Some consider King Hedley II a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. It seemed so in a mesmerizing production at the Alliance Theatre in 2003/04. Recommended for age 16 and up (language, content).

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

Aaron Alcaraz as Angel. Photo: Carol Rosegg

Aaron Alcaraz as Angel. Photo: Carol Rosegg

 Rent. OPENS TUESDAY. A 25th anniversary tour. 

Jonathan Larson’s groundbreaking rock musical was the Hamilton of its day. Loosely based on Puccini’s opera La Bohème, it follows an unforgettable year in the hand-to-mouth lives of seven artists — a filmmaker, a musician, a performance artist and a drag queen among them — struggling in the shadow of drugs, poverty and AIDS. 

Rent won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and four 1996 Tony awards, including best musical, and helped launch the careers of Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs.

The score includes Seasons of Love, Light My Candle and La Vie Boheme.

$30-$145.50. Through Feb. 28. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.

[BACK TO THE BEGINNING: REMEMBERING JONATHAN LARSON’S EPIC ACHIEVEMENT]

This weekend only

Jorge Federico Osorio

Jorge Federico Osorio

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY + SATURDAY. 

Italian maestro Roberto Abbado returns for Franz Schubert’s Unfinished symphony.

Guest pianist Jorge Federico Osorio (“a serious and cultivated Beethoven player,” says the Chicago Tribune) leads Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, completing the ASO’s performances of all five Beethoven piano concertos this season.

Also scheduled: Rossini’s overture to Semiramide.

$17-$97. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Last chance

Terrance Smith (left), Tiffany Morgan, Rachel Wansker,  Donald McNamus. Photo: Tyler Ogburn

Terrance Smith (left), Tiffany Morgan, Rachel Wansker,  Donald McNamus. Photo: Tyler Ogburn

The Mystery of Love & Sex. CLOSES SUNDAY.  At Out Front Theatre Company.

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

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

$20 + $25. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. 999 Brady Ave. in West Midtown. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.448.2755.

Still running

Jungle Book-Drawing.jpg

The Jungle Book. THROUGH MARCH 4. Alliance Theatre at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center.

Mowgli, a boy abandoned in the jungle, must find his place in the community of animals with the help of Baloo the bear, Bagheera the black panther and Akela the old wolf.  Shere Khan the tiger, however, doesn’t think he belongs.

Based on the Rudyard Kipling stories. With a score and musical direction by S. Renee Clark. Rosemary Newcott directs.

$18-$32. 1 + 3:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[MARKELLE GAY IS BEARLY FAMOUS, BUT YOU’LL LIKELY BE HEARING FROM HIM]

 

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

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

Ontario Was Here. THROUGH MARCH 4. At Aurora Theatre.

Kansas-based playwright Darren Canady, the 2007 winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, returns to metro Atlanta with this contemporary drama. It follows two social workers (Brittany L. SmithSeun Soyemi) on the front lines of Kansas City’s Department of Children and Families. Tempers flash when the co-workers (and former lovers) clash over what’s best for a 9-year-old boy named Ontario. Their decisions could mean life or death. Cynthia D. Barker, better known for her work onstage, directs.

This show is part of Aurora’s Harvel Lab Series, done in its smaller black-box space.

$20-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Picnic. CLOSES SUNDAY. At Stage Door Players

William Inge’s 1953 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama argues that youth is a gift to be savored, not squandered. When Labor Day weekend arrives in the Kansas backyards of two middle-aged widows, so does a vital young man who upsets the social order. The cast: Blake BurgessKara Cantrell, Larry Davis and Shelby Folks. Tess Malis Kincaid directs. Inge (Bus Stop; Come Back, Little Sheba) was known for bringing small-town life in America’s Midwest to Broadway. $33. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.

Rainforest-Adventures-Photo-by-David-Zeiger.jpg

Rainforest Adventures. THROUGH MARCH 4.

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

Brazilian music accompanies this communion with 30-plus exotic plants and animals, including howler monkeys, harpy eagles, sloths, big cats and pink river dolphins. Performed in Czech Black style by puppeteers Brian Harrison, Jake Krakovsky, Emily MarshTim Sweeney and Anna Claire Walker. For ages 4 and up.

$19.50 non-members; $9.75 members. 10 + 11 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

fashionado

BEST BETS | Jan. 11-17, 2018

LADY DAY

Wow, what a weekend for openings! “Angels in America,” Billie Holiday, a “Maytag Virgin,” a Native Guardsman, and Rosemary Clooney. Your dance card this weekend, and beyond, should be very full. Pictured: Images from Theatrical Outfit’s “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.” Illustration by Daryl Fazio.

**  INDICATES AN ENCORE ATLANTA WINTER SEASON TOP PICK.

Recommended

Parris Sarter, as the Angel.

Parris Sarter, as the Angel.

** Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2. OPENS FRIDAY.

In repertory, at Actor‘s Express. Sex, religion, politics and history collide in Tony Kushner’s sweeping, time-traveling, two-part saga set at the onset of the AIDS epidemic.

Part 1,  Millennium Approaches opens Friday; Part 2, Perestroika, begins Jan. 19. 

Kushner’s achievement, one of the landmark theatrical events of the 20th century, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and four 1993 Tony awards. 

The Express cast: Robert Bryan Davis as Roy Cohn and Grant Chapman as Prior Walter, with Carolyn CookThandiwe DeShazorLouis GreggoryCara MantellaParris Sarter and Joe Sykes

$22-$40. In repertory through Feb. 17. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Millennium Approaches details, tickets HEREPerestroika details, tickets HERE. Or call 404.607.7469. 

[READ: THE STAGES OF WINTER, ENCORE’S PICKS OF THE SEASON]

 

Terry Burrell

Terry Burrell

 ** Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. IN PREVIEWS. OPENS SATURDAY.

At Theatrical Outfit. Philadelphia, 1959. An audience gathers at Emerson’s on the city’s south side to witness, unknowingly, one of the last performances of legendary singer Billie Holiday. The evening, both intimate and epic, includes stories about her down-and-out life and a song list that includes “God Bless the Child,” “Strange Fruit,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” and about a dozen others. 

Terry Burrell (Broadway’s Thoroughly Modern Millie, Dreamgirls, Into the Woods; the Alliance Theatre’s Ethel) plays Holiday, a role she’s done off-Broadway. 

$18-$51. Through Feb. 4. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 p.m. Jan. 14, 18, 20-21, 25, 27-28 and Feb. 1, 3, 4. The Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Courtney Patterson, Brad Brinkley. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Courtney Patterson, Brad Brinkley. Photo: Chris Bartelski

 ** Maytag Virgin. OPENS THURSDAY.

A regional premiere at Aurora TheatreAudrey Cefaly’s dramatic comedy follows Alabama schoolteacher Lizzy Nash (Courtney Patterson) and her new neighbor, Jack Key (Brad Brinkley), in the year following the unexpected death of Lizzy’s husband.

DC Theatre Scene called the play “a witty and earnest meditation on how people connect even when they feel they’re not ready.” 

Melissa Foulger, an Actor’s Express regular and a name you should know, directs.

$20-$55. Through Feb. 11. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Jan. 16 show sold out. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Neal A. Ghant as the Native Guard. Photo: Greg Mooney

Neal A. Ghant as the Native Guard. Photo: Greg Mooney

Native Guard. OPENS SATURDAY. 

Alliance Theatre at the Atlanta History Center.

A reprise of the 2014 staging based on poet Natasha Trethewey’s Pulitzer Prize-winning collection, which juxtaposes her life as a mixed-race child with the lives of the Native Guard — black soldiers fighting for the Union in the Civil War. The twist this time: It’s performed near the History Center’s Civil War exhibition.

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

Recommended for age 12 and up.

$20-$47; $10 teens. Through Feb. 4. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

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

 

Opening this week

 

Mark Cabus, Rachel Sorsa. Photo: Dan Carmody / Studio 7

Mark Cabus, Rachel Sorsa. Photo: Dan Carmody / Studio 7

Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical. OPENS THURSDAY. At Georgia Ensemble Theatre.

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

Tenderly follows Clooney (1928-2002) from her Kentucky childhood, through her girl-singer days and on to Tinseltown and beyond, showing the bumps, bruises and successes along the way.

The score includes “Come On-a My House,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” “Count Your Blessings,” “Hey There,” “Mambo Italiano” and more.

The cast: Rachel Sorsa as Clooney and Mark Cabus as the Doctor (and 11 other roles). James Donadio directs.

$30-$46 (previews cheaper). Performed at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

This weekend only

Leonard Bernstein and the Beethoven Seventh

Leonard Bernstein and the Beethoven Seventh. THURSDAY + SATURDAY.

Ludwig van Beethoven and Leonard Bernstein were lifelong champions of music and liberty. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra celebrates them throughout the 2017/18 season.

Join guest conductor Peter Oundjian for the toe-tapping ballet Fancy Free (the basis for the movie On the Town and written when Bernstein was 25) and Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, the last piece Bernstein conducted before dying in 1990 at age 72.

Also on the program: ASO concertmaster David Coucheron performing the Saint-Saëns Violin Concerto No. 3.

$22-$107 (some sections, especially on Saturday, are already sold out). 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

atlanta opera

The Magic Flute. SATURDAY-SUNDAY. 

The Atlanta Opera Studio performs an hour long version of the Mozart piece about Prince Tamino’s quest to rescue the beautiful Pamina, a story of good and evil and love, told with singing actors and puppets.

The Studio artists, part of the opera company’s artist-in-residence program, will sing in English.

$20. 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. Sunday (a 3 p.m. performance is sold out). Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.

Still running

The Lion King. THROUGH JAN. 28. Broadway in Atlanta brings Disney’s circle of life back to the Fox Theatre. A cast of 40-plus breathes life into a lion cub named Simba, strutting giraffes, lumbering elephants, swooping birds and leaping gazelles. The original production, which won six Tony awards, is in its 21st season on Broadway. This is a new North American tour. $39-$169 plus fees. Be warned, seats for the first week of the run and weekends are selling briskly. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 1 p.m. Jan 11. 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 1.855.285.8499.

Nia Holloway and company. Photo: Joan Marcus

Nia Holloway and company. Photo: Joan Marcus

Amari Cheatom, Brittany Inge. Photo: Greg Mooney

Amari Cheatom, Brittany Inge. Photo: Greg Mooney

** The Ballad of Klook and Vinette. OPENS JAN. 19.

Put this on your radar. 

Horizon Theatre opens its 2018 season with a contemporary love story that comes with a soulful jazz score. Klook is a drifter who’s tired of drifting; Vinette is on the run but doesn’t know what’s chasing her. Together, they make a tentative stab at love. 

Amari Cheatom (the film Django Unchained) is Klook. Brittany Inge (Horizon’s Blackberry Daze) is Vinette.

The script is by London-based playwright Ché Walker, who directs. 

Music and lyrics by Anoushka Lucas and Omar Lye-Fook, with musical direction by Atlanta’s Christian Magby.

$23 plus fees and up. Through Feb. 18. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. No matinee on Jan. 20; no show Feb. 4 (Super Bowl Sunday). 1083 Austin Ave. at Euclid Avenue. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

 

fashionado

BEST BETS | Sept. 7-13, 2017

hrow Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up

“Burnpile” opens at Aurora, Shakespeare’s in love, “Hunchback” returns, and something “Wicket” this way comes. Pictured: Taylor M. Dooley in “Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up.” Photo by Daniel Parvis.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta fall/winter season recommendation.

Recommended

Haden Rider as Quasimodo (right) and friends. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Haden Rider as Quasimodo (right) and friends. Photo: Chris Bartelski

The Hunchback of Notre Dame. IN PREVIEWS | OPENS SATURDAY. 

This Theatrical Outfit / Aurora Theatre co-production takes its turn downtown at the Rialto Center for the Arts. 

The Alan Menken-Stephen Schwartz-scored show is based on the Victor Hugo novel and the 1996 Disney movie, and follows a deformed bell ringer named Quasimodo and his travails in 1482 Paris. Haden Rider returns as Quasimodo and Julissa Sabino as Esmeralda.

$18-$51 and subject to change. Through Sept. 17. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

Additional matinee at 11 a.m. Sept. 14. 80 Forsyth St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

shakespeare in love

** Shakespeare in Love. IN PREVIEWS | OPENS SEPT. 6 

 The Alliance Theatre‘s fall opener features a reunion of some of the most talented folks from the late, lamented Georgia Shakespeare, including artistic director Richard Garner. He directs this love letter to the bard, based on the 1998 film that won seven Academy Awards including best picture. Young Will Shakespeare (Thomas Azar) has writer’s block as the deadline for his new play looms, and is desperate for inspiration. Enter his muse, Viola (Bethany Anne Lind). The 23-member cast includes one-time Georgia Shakes regulars Barrett Doyle, Allan Edwards, Neal A. Ghant, Chris Kayser, Tess Malis KincaidJoe Knezevich and Lind. $10-$75. Through Sept. 24. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. (No 8 p.m. show Sept. 24.) Conant Performing Arts Theatre at Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[THE STAGES OF FALL: OUR MUST-SEE THROUGH DECEMBER]

burnplie

Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up. OPENS FRIDAY. 

A lecherous goat, Pentecostals on the radio, a clutter of in-bred cats, phone calls from death row and Daddy’s burnpile are among the elements in this Southern coming-of-age tale from Lucy Alibar, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Beasts of the Southern Wild. Atlanta actor Taylor M. Dooley, a Dad’s Garage regular seen too infrequently on other stages, is the sole cast member. Part of Aurora Theatre’s Harvel Lab Series. $20-$30. Through Oct. 1. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Opening this week

Karen Cassady. Photo: Haylee Anne Kitties

Karen Cassady. Photo: Haylee Anne Kitties

Wicket. OPENS FRIDAY | THROUGH OCT. 7. World premiere. 

Many Bothans died in the making of this musical parody, say the folks at Dad’s Garage Theatre Company

Wicket tells the classic Star Wars tale from the Ewoks’ perspective, which means they will sing, dance and share the true story of life inside the Galactic Federation.

Not recommended for anyone not old enough to experience adult humor or anyone who doesn’t like adult humor. Kennesaw State’s Rick Lombardo (Little Shop of Horrors at Actor’s Express) directs, with script & lyrics by Travis Sharp and score & lyrics by Haddon Kime.

$12.50-$29.50 and always cheapest to buy online. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday.

569 Ezzard St. SE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.3141. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Still running

Jimmica Collins and friend.

Jimmica Collins and friend.

Mother Goose. THROUGH SEPT. 17.

In this Center for Puppetry Arts staging, audience members must sing, wiggle and clap to help Mary Mary (Jimmica Collins) find a missing Mother Goose.

Also on the case: all the citizens of Rhymeville, including Humpty Dumpty, Little Bo Peep, and both Jack and Jill.

For ages 2 and up. Uses rod, hand-and-rod and glove puppets.

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

 

Shakespeare-Tavern

The Taming of the Shrew. THROUGH SEPT. 17.

The untamed, unwed Katherine is wooed for convenience by the charismatic but bawdy bachelor Petruchio in one of Shakespeare’s best-known comedies. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse regulars Dani Herd and Matt Nitchie play the warring duo. Pub menu and libations available. $22-$45. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. NE (across from Emory University Hospital Midtown). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0. Discount gift cards at PoshDealz.com.

 

Next week

Markell Williams. Photo: Stungun Photography

Markell Williams. Photo: Stungun Photography

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. PREVIEWS SEPT. 14 | OPENS SEPT. 15.

7 Stages opens its season with this Pulitzer-nominated drama from playwright Rajiv Joseph (Gruesome Playground Injuries). The lives of two U.S. Marines and their Iraqi translator are irrevocably changed when they meet a tiger who haunts Baghdad’s rubble-strewn streets.

Co-artistic director Michael Haverty directs a cast that features Kevin Stillwell as the Tiger and includes Paris Benjamin, Marium Khalid, Rudy Roushdi, Joe Sykes, Markell Williams and Sam Younis. The drama had a limited run on Broadway in 2011 with Robin Williams as the tiger.

$22 and up. Through Oct. 8. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. No show Sept. 17. Additional show at 8 p.m. Sept. 18. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

 

Brian Kurlander

Brian Kurlander

** The Christians. PREVIEWS SEPT. 13-15 | OPENS SEPT. 16.

This 2014 script by Lucas Hnath (Broadway’s A Doll’s House, Part 2) asks how far you’ll go for something to believe in.

 Actor’s Express bills this big-little drama, as it’s been called, as “a provocative excavation of modern faith.” The setting is a megachurch that’s rocked when its pastor discards fundamentalist Christianity in favor of something more inclusive.

Director Freddie Ashley’s cast is led by Brian Kurlander and Enoch King. Expect to hear church choirs, too.

$20 previews; $40 opening night; regularly $28 and subject to change.

Through Oct. 15. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. At the King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, ticket HERE or at 404.607.7469.

 

Once On Island

Once on This Island. IN PREVIEWS SEPT. 13 | OPENS SEPT. 14.

 Georgia Ensemble Theatre begins its 25th season with this 1991 musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Anastasia). It’s a beautifully told story of life, pain, love, grief, faith, hope and buoyant Caribbean rhythms. One stormy night on an island in the French Antilles, thunder crackles, making a small girl cry. To comfort her, the village storytellers share the tale of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who falls in love with a grand homme. Nominated for eight 1991 Tony awards, including best musical. Ricardo Aponte directs and choreographs. His cast includes Robert John ConnorMarcus Hopkins TurnerChristian Magby and India S. Tyree.

$15 preview. Regularly $33-$43. Through Oct. 1. 8 p.m. Sept. 13; regularly 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 4 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. No 4 p.m. show Sept. 16. GET performs at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Coming up

Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Jean-Yves Thibaudet

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. SEPT. 21 + 23.

Music director Robert Spano and the ASO begin a new season with An American in Paris, George Gershwin’s postcard from the French capital.

The swinging showpiece that inspired the Academy Award-winning film and recent Broadway musical caps a night of American music.

The program includes “A Thousand Words” by ASO bassist Michael Kurth, and pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, an Atlanta favorite, as soloist in Bernstein’s jazz-inspired Symphony No. 2, The Age of Anxiety.

$32-$113. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

 

The many faces of the wandering Anna. Meg Gillentine plays the Anna II, the dancer. Photo illustration: Matt Burkhalter / The Atlanta Opera

The many faces of the wandering Anna. Meg Gillentine plays the Anna II, the dancer. Photo illustration: Matt Burkhalter / The Atlanta Opera

The Seven Deadly Sins. OPENS SEPT. 28.

 The Atlanta Opera opens its season with an intimate cabaret experience that centers on the duality of the opera’s characters, Anna I and Anna II. She/They embark on a seven-city pursuit of the American Dream, uncovering each of the seven deadly sins along the way: envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath. The Kurt WeillBertolt Brecht piece was first performed in 1933.

Serenbe Playhouse Artistic Director Brian Clowdus directs his first opera; Rolando Salazar conducts.

$50 all seats. Through Oct. 6. Note: Sept. 28, 30 and Oct. 6 performances are sold out. Remaining shows: 7:30 p.m. Sept. 28, Oct. 3-5; 3 p.m. Oct. 1. Performed at Le Maison Rouge at Paris on Ponce as part of the opera’s Discoveries series, 716 Ponce de Leon Place NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.

[READ MORE: BRECHT AND WEILL DIDN’T LIKE EACH OTHER. AT ALL.]

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