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

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

Recommended

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

** Hospice + Pointing at the Moon. THROUGH APRIL 15. Alliance Theatre. Two one-acts become a single piece of theater in the hands of playwright Pearl Cleage and A-list Atlanta actors Terry Burrell and Tinashe Kajese-Bolden. Hospice dates to 1983; Pointing at the Moon is a world premiere. Both feature the same house in Atlanta’s West End and a character named Jenny Anderson, seen at two stages in her life, 30 years apart. The piece wrestles with the complexities of womanhood and how a parent’s love — or a longing for that love — shapes us. $60-$75; $10 teens with high school/middle school ID. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Southwest Arts Center915 New Hope Road SW. Details, tickets HERE or 404.733.5000.

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

New this week

The Little Mermaid. BEGINS THURSDAY. Go under the sea (or at least lakeside) with Serenbe Playhouse in Chattahoochee Hills. All Serenbe shows are outdoors and site-specific, so Ariel and Prince Eric, Flounder, Flotsam, Jetsam and the rest will be spinning their musical tale at the Grange Lake at Serenbe. The Tony Award-nominated score includes “Part of Your World,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and, of course, “Under the Sea.” Miss Saigon‘s Niki Badua and Chase Peacock return as Ariel and Eric, with Deborah Bowman (Cabaret) as the deliciously evil sea witch Ursula. Look closely at the set: It’s made entirely of recyclables. $30-$43. Through April 22. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets, directions HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

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

Love’s Labours Lost. OPENS SATURDAY. Shakespeare Tavern PlayhouseCan four young men honor their pledge to avoid the opposite sex, food, drink and sleep for the sake of becoming more intellectual and contemplative? Not in Shakespeare’s world, especially when four young women arrive on the scene. The cast includes Anthony P. Rodriguez, Aurora Theatre’s artistic director, as Don Armado. Jaclyn Hofmann directs. $15 preview Thursday; $20 preview Friday. Regularly $22-$45. Through April 22. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday (no show April 1). Pub menu and full bar available. 499 Peachtree St. NE (parking suggested in the Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across the street). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0.

Still running

Freaky Friday: A New Musical. THROUGH APRIL 22. Horizon Theatre. When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again before mom’s big wedding. Freaky Friday, a new musical based on the Mary Rodgers novel and Disney movies, updates an American staple known for its heart and laughs. The score comes from Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, the Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning team behind Next to Normal and If/Then. Director Heidi Cline McKerley’s cast includes Jennifer Alice AckerRandi Garza, Jill Hames, Christian Magby and Juan Carlos Unzueta$25-$45. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE at Euclid Avenue (Inman Park + Little Five Points). Free parking. Details tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat. THROUGH MAY 13. Center for Puppetry Arts. It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how, says the sassy cat in the red-and-white hat. He’s feline full of mischief (and magic) in this stage telling, done with rod puppets and based on the 1957 children’s book by Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. This version was first produced by the National Theatre of Britain. The center’s Jon Ludwig directs here. For ages 4 and up. $11.25-$19.50. 10 + 11 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday (no shows April 1). 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Coming up

Robert McDuffie

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. APRIL 5-6. Artistic director Robert Spano conducts. With guest violinist Robert McDuffie. The program: the effervescent May Cause Dizziness by the ASO’s Michael Kurth; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, “Eroica;” and Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium). $12-$87. 8 nightly. Ticket holders for both concerts are invited to attend an chamber concert by the ASO’s 2018 Talent Development Program Aspire Award winners. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

 

Photo: Aurora Theatre

El Gran Día de la Madre (The Great Mother’s Day). OPENS APRIL 6. Aurora Theatre. A mother, daughter and granddaughter — all keepers of dark secrets — have a Mother’s Day reckoning in a family mausoleum. Expect multi-generational love, tears and laughs in the comedy from Chile, which travels next to Spain.  As part of Teatro Aurora, El Gran Día de la Madre is performed in Spanish with English supertitles. The script is by Chascas y Quintanilla. Daniel Jáquez directs. $20-$30. Through April 29. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. In the Harvel Lab. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. 

Photo: The Atlanta Opera

Out of Darkness: Two Remain. OPENS APRIL 5. Atlanta Opera. Composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer’s two-act piece centers on Holocaust survivors visited by ghosts of their past. In Act 1, Krystyna shares her survival story with a journalist and is helped by the ghosts of Auschwitz inspired by her lyrics. In Act 2, Gad Beck is visited by his first true love, the poet Manfred Lewin, who died in Auschwitz. As Manfred implores Gad to remember and celebrate their love, the truth of their stories and fates emerges. Based in part on the true stories of two Holocaust survivors: the Polish dissident Krystyna Zywulska (1914-1993) and Gad Beck (1923-2012), a gay German Jew. General & artistic director Tomer Zvulun directs. $50. Through April 15. 7:30 nightly. Performed in English with English supertitles. Presented in collaboration with Theatrical Outfit at the Outfit’s Balzer Theater at Herren’s downtown, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.

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

** Ripe Frenzy. OPENS APRIL 13. Synchronicity TheatreThis world premiere by Jennifer Barclay won the National New Play Network’s 2016 Smith Prize for political theater. It tells the story of a mass shooting in a small American town from multiple points of view and through the lens of Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our Town. Barclay examines all sides of a tragedy that has ruptured the spirit in a once- idyllic community. Community conversations follow every performance. The cast: Taylor M. Dooley (Aurora Theatre’s Burnpile); Megan Cramer (Georgia Shakespeare back in the day); Danyé Evonne; Parker Fox Ciliax; and Lizzy Liu. Rachel May directs. $27-$31 (previews cheaper; swanky seat upgrades available). Through May 6. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Synchronicity in Midtown’s One Peachtree Pointe building, 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

Tu Tu & More. APRIL 13-15. Atlanta Ballet. Three works spotlight the range of dance today: Blink, a world premiere by former Atlanta Ballet dancer Tara Lee, a founder of the new Terminus Modern Ballet TheatreMinus 16 by frequent collaborator and Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin; and the Atlanta Ballet premiere of Tu Tu, promising a highly stylized classical work with a twist (choreography by frequent collaborator Stanton Welch, music by Maurice Ravel). $20-$129. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

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

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s editor, is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

View all posts by Kathy Janich