BEST BETS | May 9 – May 15, 2019

Georgia-Renaissance-Festival

WELCOME TO OUR weekly curated column. Feature photo: Looking for a 16th-century Mother’s Day celebration? Head to the Georgia Renaissance Festival, recently voted “Favorite Renaissance Festival in the Southeast”! 

Best bets for Mother’s Day weekend!

Billy Elliot. Through May 12. City Springs Theatre Company @ Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center. Based on the hit film and featuring a score by legend Elton John, Billy Elliot the Musical is the inspirational story of a young boy’s struggle against the odds to make his dream come true. Billy journeys from the boxing ring to ballet class where his passion for dance is ignited, inspiring both his family and community and changing their lives forever. Set in a northern English mining town against the background of the 1984 miners’ strike, Billy Elliot the Musical uplifts with its powerful storyline, rousing score, and sensational choreography. Info on the City Springs Theatre Company website. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

FASHIONADO

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 | Nov. 15-21, 2018

best bets encore atlanta

“Knead,” an Alliance Theatre world premiere, runs on, as does Aurora Theatre’s festive “Christmas Canteen;” Steve Yockey’s bloody-fun-smart “Reykjavik” (Actor’s Express) and “Dry Land” (Atlanta Theatre Club) close; and the ASO does Tchaikovsky and Theofanidis. Details on these and more in this week’s curated column. Pictured: Mary Lynn Owen in “Knead.” Photo by Greg Mooney.

Top picks

Mary Lynn Owen

Mary Lynn Owen

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 plays the woman. Knead was developed in the Alliance’s 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. $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]

 

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Not About Heroes. CLOSES SUNDAY. 

Arís Theatre commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I with this 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.

Ben Thorpe (top), Michael Vine. Photo: Casey Gardner

Ben Thorpe (top), Michael Vine. Photo: Casey Gardner

Reykjavik. CLOSES SUNDAY. 

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. Thursday-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.

This weekend only

Christopher Theofanidis

Christopher Theofanidis

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. 

THURSDAY + SATURDAY. Music director Robert Spano returns to the podium to lead Symphony No. 1 by Christopher Theofanidis and Tchaikovsky’s famously difficult Piano Concerto No. 1 (with guest artist Louis Lortie).

Theofanidis, who has a long history with the ASO, is a professor at Yale and composer-in-residence and co-director of the composition program at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. Lortie, a French-Canadian pianist, is the master in residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel of Brussels.

$19-$79. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.


Last chance

Melissa McGrath (left), Samantha Binkerd. Photo: Casey Gardner

Melissa McGrath (left), Samantha Binkerd. Photo: Casey Gardner

Dry Land. CLOSES SUNDAY.

A regional premiere worth a look. Atlanta Theatre Club, a newish, female-driven theater company, does contemporary work that hasn’t been seen in the metro area before. Dry Land — a visceral play about abortion, female friendship, resiliency and what happens when Ester (Samantha Binkerd) and Amy (Melissa McGrath) are left alone in a locker room — was written in 2014, when playwright Ruby Rae Spiegel was a student at Yale. Ester is a swimmer trying to stay afloat. Amy is curled up on the floor. Contains adult content.

 Rebeca Robles, an actor-director-producer who founded the company, directs.

$35 plus fees ($17.50 for artists). 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday. Windmill Arts Center, 2823 Church St., East Point. Details HERE. Tickets (via Brown Paper Tickets) HERE

Jeff Watkins

Jeff Watkins

A Man for All Seasons. CLOSES SUNDAY. 

Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse concludes its 11-performance run of the 1960 Robert Bolt drama about the fatal struggle between King Henry VIII of England and his lord chancellor, Sir Thomas More. They clash 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. 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.

Holiday shows

The 2017 cast of Aurora Theatre’s “Christmas Canteen.” Photo: Chris Bartelski

The 2017 cast of Aurora Theatre’s “Christmas Canteen.” Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christmas Canteen. THROUGH DEC. 23. Christmas arrives before Thanksgiving at Aurora Theatre, which stages its 23rd original holiday revue. This show sells 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 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.

Jonathan Horne and Amelia Fischer return as Arthur and Mary. Photo: David Woolf

Jonathan Horne and Amelia Fischer return as Arthur and Mary. Photo: David Woolf

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, as do Devon Hales and Juan Carlos Unzueta. New to the cast are Stephanie Friedman,Jeanette IllidgeJasmine 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.

Jeremy Aggers. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Jeremy Aggers. Photo: Chris Bartelski

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 directorAnthony 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.


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Waffle Palace Christmas. BEGINS NOV. 15. 

Horizon Theatre has retired Crumpet and The Santaland Diaries in favor of this world premiere, a sequel of sorts to 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. Nov. 20 and Dec. 4, 11 + 18. Matinees at 11 a.m. Dec. 6, 13 + 19. Free parking. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

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ALSO FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, running through Dec. 30 at the Center for Puppetry Arts; Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, opening Nov. 23 at Aurora TheatreInvasion Christmas Carol, opening Nov. 23 at Dad’s GarageIrving Berlin’s White Christmas, running Nov. 27-Dec. 8 at the Fox Theatre; The Snow Queen, beginning Nov. 28 at Serenbe PlayhouseA Nice Family Christmas, opening Nov. 29 at Stage Door PlayersCurious Holiday Encounters, running Dec. 6-9 at 7 StagesThe Ethel Merman Disco Christmas Spectacular, running Dec. 6-22 at Out Front Theatre CompanyElf the Musical, opening Dec. 7 at City Springs Theatre CompanyA Year With Frog and Toad, opening Dec. 7 at Synchronicity TheatreAtlanta Ballet’s new production of The Nutcracker, opening Dec. 8 at the Fox Theatre; the Alliance Theatre’s A Christmas Carol, opening Dec. 12 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre; and Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays and a Connie Sue Day Christmas, opening Dec. 14 at Actor’s Express.

fashionado

BEST BETS | Jan. 4-10, 2018

Metro theaters go for the bold, ambitious and audacious this winter. It begins with “Angels in America” at Actor’s Express, with (from left)   Robert Bryan Davis, Carolyn Cook, Grant Chapman, Parris Sarter, Louis Greggory, Cara Mantella, Joe Sykes, Thandiwe DeShazor. Photo by Ashley Earles-Bennett.

Metro theaters go for the bold, ambitious and audacious this winter. It begins with “Angels in America” at Actor’s Express, with (from left) Robert Bryan Davis, Carolyn Cook, Grant Chapman, Parris Sarter, Louis Greggory, Cara Mantella, Joe Sykes, Thandiwe DeShazor. Photo by Ashley Earles-Bennett.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta winter season top pick. 

Opening this week

Simba (Gerard Caesar) atop Pride Rock. Photo: Deen van Meer

Simba (Gerard Caesar) atop Pride Rock. Photo: Deen van Meer

The Lion King. OPENS JAN. 10. 

Broadway in Atlanta brings Disney’s circle of life back to the Fox Theatre for a three-week run.

A cast of more than 40 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. Through Jan. 28. Seats for the first week of the run and weekends are selling well.

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.

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

 

Last chance

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The Adventures of Gingerbread Man. CLOSES SUNDAY.

The folktales “Hansel and Gretel,” “Androcles and the Lion,” “The Frog Prince” and “The Three Wishes” are told with glove, rod, and hand-and-rod puppets by Atlanta’s All Hands Productions. For ages 4 and up.

$11.25-$19.50. 10 + 11:30 a.m. weekdays; 11 a.m., 1 + 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday.

Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

 

 

Next week

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** Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2. OPENS JAN. 12.

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 is titled Millennium Approaches, Part 2 is titled Perestroika. 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 Greggory (new spelling), Cara MantellaParris Sarter and Joe Sykes

$22-$40. In repertory through Feb. 17, so not both shows are seen every night. 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. 

 

Leonard Bernstein. Photo: Paul de Hueck, courtesy of the Leonard Bernstein office

Leonard Bernstein. Photo: Paul de Hueck, courtesy of the Leonard Bernstein office

Leonard Bernstein and the Beethoven Seventh. JAN. 11 + 13.

Ludwig Beethoven and Leonard Bernstein were lifelong champions of two things: 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 (written when Bernstein was 25 and the basis for On the Town) and for Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, the last piece Bernstein conducted before his death in 1990  at age 72.

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

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

 

ladyday

** Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. PREVIEWS JAN. 11-12. OPENS JAN. 13.

At Theatrical Outfit. Philadelphia, 1959. An audience gathers at Emerson’s on the city’s south side to witness, unknowingly, one of legendary singer Billie Holiday’s last solo performances.

The evening, both intimate and epic, includes stories about her down-and-out life and a songlist that features “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.

Photo: Jeff Rothman / 2010

Photo: Jeff Rothman / 2010

The Magic Flute. JAN. 13-14.

 The Atlanta Opera Studio performs an hourlong 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.

 

poshmaytag

** Maytag Virgin. OPENS JAN. 11.

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.

 

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Native Guard. OPENS JAN. 13. 

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 Native Guard — black soldiers fighting for the Union during the Civil War.

The twist this time: It’s performed alongside 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’]

 

tenderly

Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical. OPENS JAN. 11.

At Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Billed as a “fresh, personal and poignant” picture of the singer/actor who became a Hollywood legend. Tenderly follows Clooney (1928-2002) from her childhood in Maysville, Ky., through her girl-singer days and onto 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.

 

Coming up

Kathleen Battle

Kathleen Battle

Kathleen Battle: Underground Railroad. JAN. 19 ONLY.

Join renowned soprano Kathleen Battle, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, the Morehouse College Glee Club, the Spelman College Glee Club and conductor Chelsea Tipton II to celebrate the life and legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

The evening features spirituals inspired by the journey to freedom along the Underground Railroad.

$39. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE.

Details HERE or at 404.733.5000. Tickets only at Ticketmaster HERE.

 

fashionado

BEST BETS | Oct. 5-11, 2017

BOY-actors-Tom-Keyl-and-Clifton-Guterman

Catch “Boy” (Theatrical Outfit), “The Christians” (Actor’s Express) and “Sense and Sensibility” (Synchronicity) through Oct. 15; “Bengal Tiger” closes Sunday at 7 Stages; and “The Ghastly Dreadfuls” returns Wednesday at the Center for Puppetry Arts. Pictured (from left): Tom Key, Clifton Guterman in the Outfit’s “Boy.” Photo by David Woolf Photography.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta fall/winter season top pick. See them all HERE.

Recommended

Joe Sykes. Photo: Stungun Photography

Joe Sykes. Photo: Stungun Photography

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. CLOSES SUNDAY. 

7 Stages begins 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. 8 tonight-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

 

 

 

 

BOY

** Boy. THROUGH OCT. 15.

At Theatrical Outfit. The Huffington Post called this drama “a smart, fresh transgender-play twist” and said, “It’s likely there are none like this one, certainly not any more beautifully realized.” Anna Ziegler’s 2016 piece spans 22 years and begins in 1968 Iowa after an accident, when a doctor persuades the parents of an infant boy to raise him as a girl. The drama is based on a true story.

Atlanta actor Clifton Guterman, the Outfit’s associate artistic director, plays the title role. He’s directed by frequent collaborator Melissa Foulger, making her Outfit debut. Also in the cast: Daryl Lisa FazioMatt LewisAnnie York and Outfit artistic director Tom Key.

$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.

 

Brian Kurlander. Photo: Studio 7 Photography

Brian Kurlander. Photo: Studio 7 Photography

** The Christians.THROUGH OCT. 15.

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 calls it “a provocative excavation of modern faith.”

The setting is a megachurch that’s rocked when its pastor discards fundamentalist Christianity for something more inclusive. Director Freddie Ashley’s cast is led by Brian Kurlander and Enoch King. Expect to hear church choirs, too.

$28 (subject to change). 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday.

At the King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

 

Marianne Fraulo (from left), Christy Clark, Bobbi Lynn Scott, Carolyn Cook. Photo: Greg Mooney

Marianne Fraulo (from left), Christy Clark, Bobbi Lynn Scott, Carolyn Cook. Photo: Greg Mooney

** Project Dawn. THROUGH OCT. 29. 

At Horizon Theatre. This fact-based drama shows both sides of the judicial system as it depicts a program dedicated to rehabilitating sex workers instead of punishing them. Seven actors double as victims/participants and court staff.

Artistic director Lisa Adler leads a cast of familiar Atlanta faces (Lane CarlockCarolyn CookMarianne FrauloMaria Rodriguez-SagerBobbi Lynne Scott) and some that should be familiar soon: Brooke Owens, a Suzi Bass Award nominee for Synchronicity’s Anne Boleyn; and Christy Clark, Horizon’s Blackberry Daze).

This National New Play Network rolling world premiere was written by Karen Hartman, who used a revolutionary Philadelphia court as the basis for her script.

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

 

“Sense and Sensibility”: Shelli Delgado (from left), Marcie Millard, Michelle Pokopac, J.L. Reed, Robert Hindsman, Rachel Mewbron, Jennifer Schottstaedt. Photo: Jerry Siegel

“Sense and Sensibility”: Shelli Delgado (from left), Marcie Millard, Michelle Pokopac, J.L. Reed, Robert Hindsman, Rachel Mewbron, Jennifer Schottstaedt. Photo: Jerry Siegel

** Sense and Sensibility. THROUGH OCT. 15.

A regional premiere at Synchronicity Theatre. Jane Austen is fun. Just ask playwright Kate Hamill. Her 2014 adaptation of the beloved novel ratchets up the energy level, using inventive staging and a cast of 10 to play the Dashwoods, the Ferrars and a busy bunch of gossips that show just how much privacy the private lives of Georgian-era Brits lacked. Artistic director Rachel May directs an athletic cast led by Shelli Delgado as Elinor Dashwood, Jennifer Schottstaedt as Marianne Dashwood, Justin Walker as Edward Ferrars and Bryant Smith as Colonel Brandon.

$30. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. One Peachtree Pointe in Midtown, 1545 Peachtree St. NE.  Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

Opening this week

The Ghastly Dreadfuls. Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

The Ghastly Dreadfuls. Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

The Ghastly Dreadfuls. OPENS OCT. 11.

A Center for Puppetry Arts offering for the 18-and-up crowd. This spooktacular musical annually salutes the season of ghosts and goblins. Written by artistic director Jon Ludwig and puppeteer Jason Hines. The ghoulish cast once again includes Scott DePoy, Reay Kaplan Maxwell and Spencer Stephens.

A Ghastly Ghathering Halloween Party welcomes them back from the dead at 7 p.m. this Saturday ($30). Show tickets $24. Through Oct. 28. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. 

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

 

 

Dani Herd (left), Matt Nitchie. Photo: Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

Dani Herd (left), Matt Nitchie. Photo: Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

Macbeth. PREVIEWS TONIGHT | OPENS FRIDAY.

At the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. One fateful evening, three weird sisters greet Macbeth and Banquo with visions of what could be. Is it their magical prophecies, or Macbeth and his wife and their hunger for power, that sets in motion some of the most murderous events that Scotland has ever seen? With Matt Nitchie as Macbeth and Dani Herd as Lady Macbeth.

Pub menu and libations available.

$15 preview tonight; regularly $22-$45. Through Oct. 29. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

 99 Peachtree St. NE (across from Emory University Hospital Midtown). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299. Discount gift cards at PoshDealz.com.

 

Closing this week

atlanta opera

The Seven Deadly Sins. TONIGHT + FRIDAY. 

The Atlanta Opera starts its season with an intimate cabaret experience that looks at the duality of the character(s) Anna I and Anna II, two sides of the same woman. She embarks on a seven-city pursuit of the American Dream, uncovering envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath along the way. The Kurt WeillBertolt Brecht piece was first performed in 1933. Serenbe Playhouse Artistic Director Brian Clowdus directs his first opera; Rolando Salazar conducts.

Only VIP seating at $80 and $150 remains). 7:30 nightly. 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.

[MORE: BRECHT & WEILL COLLEAGUES NOT BUDDIES

 

wicket-logo

Wicket. CLOSES SATURDAY.

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’ll sing, dance and share the true story of life inside the Galactic Federation.

Not recommended for anyone not cool with 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 (always cheapest online). 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. 569 Ezzard St. SE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.3141.

 

Still running

Lee Osorio (left), Diany Rodriguez. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Lee Osorio (left), Diany Rodriguez. Photo: Chris Bartelski

**Abigail/1702. THROUGH OCT. 15. 

Aurora Theatre catches up with Abigail Williams from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible.

It’s 10 years later, and she’s haunted by the lives she ruined and the blood on her hands. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s 2012 script finds her in Boston, seeking salvation. 

Justin Anderson directs a cast led by Diany Rodriguez. You may know Aguirre-Sacasa from Say You Love Satan (Dad’s Garage, 2001), Weird Comic Book Fantasy (Dad’s, 2003) and Good Boys and True (Actor’s Express, 2010). This 90-minute drama has no intermission and contains mature themes.

$20-$55. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. $20-$55.

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

 

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Photo: Center for Puppetry Arts

Charlotte’s Web. THROUGH OCT. 22.

At the Center for Puppetry Arts. E.B. White’s novel comes to life with Wilbur the pig, Charlotte the spider and other barnyard animals portrayed with Czech Black and rod puppets.

The cast: head puppeteer Amy Sweeney, Dolph Amick, Nikolas Carleo, Anna Caudle and Brian Harrison.

$9.75 members, $19.50 nonmembers plus tax. 10 + 11:30 a.m. Wednesday-Friday; 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday.

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

 

 

dial-m-for-murder

Dial M for Murder. THROUGH OCT. 15.

At Stage Door Players. Frederick Knott’s killer drama follows a man who married his wife for money and now plans to kill her. An alibi, a blackmail scheme and Scotland Yard are all part of the action before the case gets cracked.

Kate Donadio MacQueen directs a cast that includes Charles Green, David Alan Grindstaff, Kristin Markiton, Chad N. MartinDoyle Reynolds and Robert Egizio, Stage Door’s producing artistic director.

$15-$33. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. At the North DeKalb Cultural Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.

 

Verdis-Otello-ASO-Poshdealz

Otello. SATURDAY & TUESDAY.

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra presents a mash-up of theater (William Shakespeare) and opera (Giuseppe Verdi). 

Verdi’s Otello propels you through Shakespeare’s stormy seas, soaring love duet, tender “Ave Maria” and crushing conclusion. Music director Robert Spano conducts.

Tenor Russell Thomas sings the title role, with Mary Elizabeth Williams as Desdemona and Nmon Ford as Iago.

$22-$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.

 

 

Photo illustration: BreeAnne Clowdus

Photo illustration: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Sleepy Hollow Experience. THROUGH NOV. 5.

 Serenbe Playhouse reprises its annual Halloween season spook-tacular with a new twist or two. This year’s edition features a new adaptation by artistic director Brian Clowdus and family performances at 2 p.m. Sundays throughout October, with a pumpkin patch, harvest games, popcorn, hot cider and a chance to meet the actors before the show and at intermission (grounds open at 1 p.m.). This season’s cast: Jennifer Alice Acker and Brandon Partrick as Storytellers, Blake Burgess as Brom Bones, Erin Burnett as Katrina Van Tassel and Chris Mayers as Ichabod Crane. 

Note: This is a traveling performance without seating, but chairs can be requested through the box office.

$15-$40. Regularly at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 + 10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 8 p.m. Sunday. Performed in the Horse’s Meadow at Serenbe. 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Next week

Michael Gandolfi

Michael Gandolfi

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. OCT. 12 + 14. 

Chic. Inspired. Eclectic. Fun.

Take a sonic journey with music director Robert Spano and the ASO.

The program features the world premiere of American composer Michael Gandolfi’s A Garden Feeds also the Soul; Croatian-born composer/pianist Dejan Lazić in his own Piano Concerto “In Istrian Style”; and Rachmaninov’s Third Symphony.

$22-$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.

fashionado

BEST BETS | Aug. 10-16, 2017

Best Bets by Kathy Janich

Ada and Her Memory Engine

We have four top picks, including “Ada and the Memory Engine” (Essential), and three openings, including Weird Sisters’ world premiere of “Space Girl.” Pictured (from left): Holly Stevenson, Mark Cosby (as Babbage), Ashley Anderson (as Ada) and Brandon Partrick in “Ada and Her Memory Engine.” Photo by Elisabeth Cooper.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta summer season recommendation.

Recommended

Ada and Her Memory Engine

Ada and the Memory Engine. THROUGH AUG. 27.

Audience and critical acclaim has greeted this script by Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson, part of  this summer’s Essential Theatre play fest. The subject is Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the British mathematician who became the world’s first computer programmer.

In calling this 2015 bio-play a “rare and special artistic achievement,” The Huffington Post praised its intelligence, which shines through in a finely acted, though bare-bones staging, here. Ashley Anderson is Ada, with Mark Cosby as the supportive, influential Charles Babbage.

$20-$25. In repertory, check the schedule HERE. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details HERE, tickets HERE.

 

TC Carson. Photo: Greg Mooney

TC Carson. Photo: Greg Mooney

Blackberry Daze. THROUGH AUG. 27.

At Horizon Theatre. Secrets and seduction stun a small Virginia town at the end of World War I, when a provocative gambler (TC Carson) works his magic on three unsuspecting women.

Adapted by Ruth P. Watson and Thomas W. Jones II from Watson’s novel Blackberry Days of Summer. The blues score is by William Knowles; Jones directs.

Also in the cast: Christy Clark, Brittany IngeNaomi LavetteChristian Magby and Ayana Reed.

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

 

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame. THROUGH AUG. 27.

Critics and audiences are applauding  this Aurora Theatre musical, staged in partnership with Theatrical Outfit.

The show follows a deformed bell ringer named Quasimodo and his travails in 1482 Paris. Justin Anderson directs a cast led by Halen Rider as Quasimodo and Julissa Sabino as Esmeralda.

$30-$65. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Aug. 22-24 shows are sold out; check other performances before you go. 

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

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

 

Kandace Arrington as Audrey II. Photo: Casey Gardner

Kandace Arrington as Audrey II. Photo: Casey Gardner

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

A true joy. Actor’s Express has added Saturday matinees to the run of this Skid Row-set cult musical about a nebbish botanist, his unrequited love, his cranky boss and a very hungry, very mean plant.

The horror-comedy ran off-Broadway for five years in the 1980s, became a 1986 movie and was revived on Broadway in 2003.

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

$28 and up, plus taxes. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Additional shows at 1 p.m. Aug. 12 + 19.

At the King Plow Arts Center in West Midtown, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

 

Opening this week

Sara Esty brings her ballet background to “Paris.” Photo: Matthew Murphy

Sara Esty brings her ballet background to “Paris.” Photo: Matthew Murphy

An American in Paris. OPENS TUESDAY.

New to Atlanta and, by all accounts, one of the most gorgeous productions of the 2015 Broadway season.

Playwright Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss, The Light in the Piazza) updates the story from the 1951 Gene Kelly movie, setting it in 1945 at the close of World War II.

The lush score is compliments of George and Ira Gershwin — “I Got Rhythm,” “The Man I Love,” “’S Wonderful,” “Shall We Dance,” “But Not for Me,” “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise” and “They Can’t Take that Away From Me.” Nominated for 14 Tony awards, including best musical. Won for choreography, orchestrations, scenic design and lighting design. The first national tour makes its first stop in Atlanta, at the Fox Theatre, under the aegis of Broadway in Atlanta.

$30-125. Through Aug. 20. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.

[BALLET TO THEATER & BACK FOR LEADING LADY LEIGH-ANN ESTY]

 

Jimmica Collins

Jimmica Collins

Mother Goose. OPENS AUG. 15.

In this Center for Puppetry Arts staging, Mother Goose is missing, and audience members are asked to sing, wiggle and clap along to help Mary Mary find her.

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

For ages 2 and up. Uses rod, hand-and-rod and glove puppets. $19.50.

Through Sept. 17. 10 + 11 a.m. some Tuesdays + Wednesdays; 10 + 11 a.m. Thursday-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 + 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sundays.

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

 

space girl

Space Girl. PREVIEWS TONIGHT | OPENS FRIDAY.

World premiere from the second-gen producers of the Weird Sisters Theatre Project (Shelli Delgado, Rachel Frawley, Kate Donadio MacQueen, Julie Skrzypek and Rebekah Suellau).

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

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

Still running

Another Mother

Another Mother. THROUGH AUG. 26.

World premiere. Atlanta playwright G.M. Lupo’s script is the second entry in Essential Theatre’s summer play fest.

It follows the journey of a woman named Genevieve, who’s piecing together the identities and relationships between her biological mother, her birth mother and the mother who raised her.

$20-$25. In repertory; check schedule HERE

Details HERE, tickets HERE. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.

 

Molly Tynes. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Molly Tynes. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Cabaret. THROUGH AUG. 27.

It’s 1931 Berlin and the Nazis are coming to power. The setting at Serenbe Playhouse is outdoors, of course, in and around the squalid Kit Kat Klub, where a young American writer (Lee Osorio) pursues English cabaret performer Sally Bowles (Molly Tynes) and everything is overseen by the androgynous see-no-evil, hear-no-evil Emcee (Serenbe artistic director Brian Clowdus).

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

$35 + $40; VIP seating is extra. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. 9110 Selborne Lane, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

 

Into the woods with “Robin Hood.” Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Into the woods with “Robin Hood.” Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Robin Hood. EXTENDED THROUGH AUG. 27.

 Serenbe Playhouse takes to the skies (via zip lines) to tell the family-friendly story of the outlaw (Jordan Patrick) devoted to Maid Marian (Casey Shuler) and doing good deeds with his Merry Men.

This adaptation by frequent Serenbe collaborator Rachel Teagle includes original music by Grammy nominee John Burke.

$10-$20. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday.

Performed at the Farmers Market Hideaway in Serenbe, Chattahoochee Hills. Directions HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Next week

His and Hers Cabaret. AUG. 19 ONLY. Stage Door Players presents a gender-bending benefit of music in which women sings songs usually sung by men and vice versa. The lineup, subject to change, includes Paige Mattox and Bryant Smith of the just-closed Annie Get Your Gun, Daniel Burns, Sarah Cave, Kelly Martin, Jen MacQueen, Jeremy Wood and Laura Floyd Wood, among others. $20 in advance, $25 at the door. VIP tickets ($50) include a private reception, a bottle of champagne and reserved prime seating. 8 p.m. (VIP reception at 7 p.m.) 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road in Dunwoody. Tickets, details HERE or at 770.396.1726. 

Coming up

A Lesson Before Dying

A Lesson Before Dying. PREVIEWS AUG. 24 | OPENS AUG. 25.

This drama, based on Ernest J. Gaines’ 1993 novel, loosely adapts the true story of a young man twice sentenced to die in the Louisiana electric chair in the 1940s.

Romulus Linney’s script sets the action in 1948 in a small plantation community in Cajun country. A young man, jailed for a murder he didn’t commit, has lost his self-respect and will soon lose his life. He and a young teacher show each other how to face their very different futures with dignity and strength.

Presented by Dominion Entertainment (Jar the Floor, Black Nativity) with a cast led by Simeon Daise, Enoch King, Elisabeth Omilami and Kerwin Thompson.

$30 plus fees. Through Sept. 3. 8 p.m. Aug. 24-25; 11 a.m. Aug. 31; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive in Decatur. Details HERE. Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets HERE. Discount ticket at PoshDealz.com.

fashionado / Encore Atlanta

BEST BETS | July 20-26, 2017

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” opens at Aurora Theatre, and our top picks remain “Between Riverside and Crazy” (True Colors) and “Little Shop of Horrors” (Actor’s Express). Pictured: The cast of “Riverside” (from left) Cristian Gonzalez, Andrew Benator, Jerri Tubbs, Diany Rodriguez, Keith Arthur Bolden, Annamaria Dvorak and Earl Billings.

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

Recommended

between riverside and crazy

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

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

The story: Ex-cop “Pops” Washington (Earl Billings, the AFLAC commercial guy) is trying to hold onto his dignity and one of the last great rent-stabilized apartments in Manhattan, but he’s had enough. His wife has died, the liquor store can’t keep pace with his thirst, and his last living relative is complicating everything. Eric J. Little directs. Adult content: Recommended for ages 16 and up. $20-$60. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 11 a.m. July 26. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road. Details HERE. Tickets at Ticket Alternative HERE or 877.725.8849.

Bill Murphey, Juan Carlos Unzueta. Photo: Casey Gardner

Bill Murphey, Juan Carlos Unzueta. Photo: Casey Gardner

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

 Actor’s Express goes to Skid Row with this twisty cult musical about a nebbish flower shop worker, his unrequited love, his cranky boss, a demented dentist and an insatiable blood-sucking plant.

The horror-comedy ran off-Broadway for five years in the 1980s, became a 1986 movie and was revived on Broadway in 2003. You might know the tunes “Suddenly Seymour” and “Somewhere That’s Green.” Here, Juan Carlos Unzueta (the Piragua Guy from Aurora/Theatrical Outfit’s In the Heights) is Seymour, Kylie Brown is Audrey and Bill Murphey is Mr. Mushnik. Kennesaw State University’s Rick Lombardo directs. $28 and up, plus taxes. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. At the King Plow Arts Center in West Midtown, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

This weekend only

rialto atlanta

Be Downtown Film Festival. SATURDAY ONLY. This second annual film fest features Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast at 3 p.m. (1991, 84 mins); Star Wars: The Force Awakens at 5 p.m. (2015, 136 mins); and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story at 7:30 p.m. (2016, 133 mins). The Rialto Center for the Arts at Georgia State University presents the event in partnership with the Atlanta Film Society and Central Atlanta Progress . $5 per film (a portion benefits the education outreach program Rialto2Go. Rialto Center, 80 Forsyth St. NW. Tickets HERE or at 404.413.9849.

Opening this week

Julissa Sabino, Kevin Harry. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Julissa Sabino, Kevin Harry. Photo: Chris Bartelski

The Hunchback of Notre Dame. OPENS TONIGHT. Disney, novelist Victor Hugo, and songwriters Alan Menken & Stephen Schwartz tell the story of a deformed bell ringer named Quasimodo and his travails in 1482 Paris. This Aurora Theatre season opener is co-produced by Theatrical Outfit. The two previously teamed on In the Heights and MemphisJustin Anderson directs a cast led by Halen Rider as Quasimodo and Julissa Sabino as Esmeralda, along with Lowrey Brown, David de Vries and Kevin Harry. $30-$65. Through Aug. 27. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10 a.m. Aug. 1 and 15 ($20). Tonight’s and Aug. 24 shows are sold out; other performances selling well, so please check ticket availability before you go. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. (The Theatrical Outfit staging runs Sept. 7-17 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta.)

Last chance

cinderella della circus encore atlanta

Cinderella Della Circus. CLOSES SUNDAY.

The Center for Puppetry Arts reprises its fairy tale/circus mash-up, adapted by artistic director Jon Ludwig and told with marionette, rod and shadow puppets.

Recommended for ages 4 and up. $11.25-$19.50. 10 a.m. + noon today-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 p.m. + 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

 

Still running

annie get your gun encore atlanta fashionado

Annie Get Your Gun. THROUGH AUG. 6.

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

The 1946 Broadway original, starring Ethel Merman, ran three years. $15-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody.

Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.

Naomi Lavette. Photo: Greg Mooney

Naomi Lavette. Photo: Greg Mooney

Blackberry Daze. THROUGH AUG. 27. At Horizon Theatre.

Secrets and seduction stun a small Virginia town at the end of World War I, when a provocative gambler (TC Carson) works his magic on three unsuspecting women. Adapted by Ruth P. Watson and Thomas W. Jones II from Watson’s novel Blackberry Days of Summer. The blues score is by William Knowles; Jones directs.

Also in the cast: Christy Clark, Brittany IngeNaomi LavetteChristian Magby and Ayana Reed. $25 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE (at Euclid Avenue).

Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Kenneth Wigley, Dani Herd.

Kenneth Wigley, Dani Herd.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream. THROUGH JULY 30. At the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

Two pairs of lovers (one requited, one not so much) and a ragtag group of thespians find themselves lost in the woods as quarreling leaders turn a fairy kingdom on its head.

With Kenneth Wigley as Theseus and Oberon, Dani Herd as Hippolyta and Titania, and Charlie T. Thomas as Bottom. What fools these mortals be!

Pub menu and beverages available. $15-$39. 7:30 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.

Johnny Cash

Johnny Cash

Ring of Fire: The Music of Johnny Cash. THROUGH JULY 29.

Georgia Ensemble Theatre and the Chattahoochee Nature Center partner for this concert version of the 2006 Broadway tuner, which tells the story of the Man in Black through more than 20 of his hits, including “A Boy Named Sue,” “Daddy Sang Bass,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Jackson” and “I Walk the Line.”

The concert reunites Chris Damiano and Christopher Kent (GET’s Million Dollar Quartet) and includes Scott DePoy, Laura Lindahl and Mark Schroeder. Picnicking allowed; cash bar on-site. $15 general admission lawn seats; $30 reserved pavilion table. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. Nature Center opens at 6:30 p.m. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.

Casey Shuler. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Casey Shuler. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Robin Hood. THROUGH AUG. 13. 

Serenbe Playhouse takes to the skies (via zip lines) to tell the family-friendly story of the outlaw (Jordan Patrick) devoted to Maid Marian (Casey Shuler) and doing good deeds with his Merry Men.

This adaptation by frequent Serenbe collaborator Rachel Teagle includes original music by Grammy nominee John Burke. $10-$20. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Performed at the Farmers Market Hideaway in Serenbe, Chattahoochee Hills. Directions HERE.

Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Next week

Lauren Gunderson. Photo: Matthew Mammola

Lauren Gunderson. Photo: Matthew Mammola

Ada and the Memory Engine. PREVIEWS JULY 27 | OPENS JULY 28.

 Essential Theatre opens its 2017 festival with this script by Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson — the 2016/17 season’s most-produced living American playwright. Her subject this go-round is Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the British mathematician who became the world’s first computer programmer. In calling this 2015 bio-play a “rare and special artistic achievement,” The Huffington Post deemed it an “intelligent play about intelligent historical people that has been crafted by intelligent theater artists for an intelligent audience.”

Ashley Anderson is Ada, with Mark Cosby as the supportive, influential Charles Babbage. $15 preview; regularly $20-$25. In repertory through Aug. 27. Details HERE, tickets HERE. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.

Coming up

Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival

Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival. JULY 30-AUG. 1. The second annual event will introduce three shows, one that eyeballs corrupt politicians (titled Cakewalk), another that flips an Ovid myth (In the Middle of the Ocean) and a third that digs into the biblical stories of Mary of Nazareth (Mother of God). These are works-in-progress, with some more finished than others; you’ll be among the first theatergoers to see them. See In the Middle of the Ocean at 8 p.m. July 30; Cakewalk at 8 p.m. July 31; and Mother of God at 8 p.m. Aug. 1. $15 per show. The fest’s 2017 home base is Out Front Theatre, 999 Brady Ave. in West Midtown. Tickets HERE. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

aris outlying islands

Outlying Islands. AUG. 1 ONLY. A staged reading by Atlanta’s Celtic-themed Arís Theatre. Scottish playwright David Greig’s script is inspired by events that took place on Gruinard Island off the west coast of Scotland in August 1939, on the eve of World War II. What happened — the testing of biological weapons — wasn’t declassified until 1997. $10; $7.50 students. 7:30 p.m. Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts at Emory University.  1700 N. Decatur Road. Details, tickets HERE.

fashionado / Encore Atlanta