Get thee to the Alliance for the most wonderful time of the year — Allliance/Kendeda Week (details below). “The Mountaintop” (Aurora) is a must-see before it closes Sunday. Other titles to check out: “Sweep,” Aurora; “The One and Only Ivan” (Synchronicity); “Constellations” (Horizon). Pictured: Neal A. Ghant and Cynthia D. Barker in “The Mountaintop.” Photo by Chris Bartelski.
** Indicates an Encore Atlanta winter season recommendation.
Alliance/Kendeda Week. TODAY-FRIDAY. Four of six events remain in the Alliance Theatre’s annual celebration of up-and-coming playwrights and new plays. 2 p.m. today (staged reading): My Lover Joan by Emily Feldman of the University of California, San Diego; 2 p.m. Friday (staged reading): Moonlight on the Bayou by Lindsey Ferrentino (Ugly Lies the Bone) of Yale University; 5:30 p.m. Friday: A conversation with 2017 Alliance/Kendeda winner Jiréh Breon Holder, whose Too Heavy for Your Pocket is playing on the Hertz Stage; and 7:30 p.m. Friday (staged reading): Space Girl by Mora V. Harris of Carnegie Mellon University. Free but reservations for each event are strongly suggested. Black Box Theatre (third floor), Alliance Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. For reservations, go HERE or call 404.733.5000.
** The Crucible. THROUGH FEB. 19. The witching hour is at hand in the tight-knit community of Salem, where personal vendettas collide with lust and superstition. Do witches walk among us, or has revenge created a monster? Arthur Miller’s American classic, written in response to McCarthyism in the 1950s, is as frighteningly timely as ever. Actor’s Express gives it a vivid, unsettling staging that might shake you — in a necessary way. $20-$40. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
** The Mountaintop. CLOSES SUNDAY. See this! Return to April 3, 1968, and Memphis’ Lorraine Motel in this Aurora Theatre staging of Katori Hall’s 2008 script. It reimagines the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last night on Earth, a magical encounter told with humor, history and two of Atlanta’s finest actors — the excellent Neal A. Ghant as King and Cynthia D. Barker, in a luminous tour-de-force performance as a hotel maid named Camae. The two-character drama, written when Hall was in her 20s, earned London’s 2010 Olivier award and ran nearly four months on Broadway. $20-$55. 8 tonight-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 28 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered and attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
** Troubadour. CLOSES SUNDAY. An Alliance Theatre world premiere musical by Atlanta playwright Janece Shaffer (The Geller Girls, Broke) and Sugarland’s Kristian Bush. This “feel-good romantic comedy” begins in 1951 Nashville and features a country music legend about to retire, his musician son, an aspiring singer-songwriter and a rodeo tailor. $20-$72. 7:30 tonight; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
This weekend only
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. TONIGHT-SATURDAY. Finnish pianist Juho Pohjonen displays the poetry and complexity of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4 in a program led by music director Robert Spano. Also planned: Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, a work that takes its inspiration from visual art, poetry and klezmer music. Note: Friday’s concert (6:30 p.m., $25) features only the Beethoven. $20-$99. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Opening this weekend
** A Kid Like Jake. OPENS TONIGHT. Out Front Theatre, which focuses on work about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intergender and allied community, is in its first season, likely with some wrinkles to work out. Still, Jake is an intriguing title. It features a New York City couple seeking the best private school for their precocious 4-year-old son (who never appears). What makes Jake special — a lack of conformity and a passion for Cinderella dress-up — also causes family conflict. The drama by Daniel Pearle became a New York Times Critics’ Pick during its 2013 premiere at Lincoln Center. $15-$25. Through Feb. 26. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Out Front performs at the former Fabrefaction Theatre space, 999 Brady Ave. in West Midtown. Details, tickets HERE. Mini-season tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Seminar. IN PREVIEWS | OPENS SATURDAY. Theatrical Outfit and Dad’s Garage Theatre Company partner to present a stage version of Walker Percy’s best-selling personal improvement book, which asks: If Earthlings zoomed to a planet with intelligent life, would the inhabitants let us land or label us a threat to a more-evolved universe? Outfit artistic director Tom Key adapted the book for the stage; Dad’s artistic director Kevin Gillese directs a great cast: Bart Hansard, Amber Nash, Tara Ochs, Gina Rickicki and Dan Triandiflou. $20-$50. Through Feb. 26. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500.
Million Dollar Quartet. OPENS FRIDAY. Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins jam again in this 2010 musical based on the quartet’s legendary Sun Records session in Memphis on Dec. 4, 1956. The 90-minute show, a co-production from Atlanta Lyric and Georgia Ensemble theaters, features wall-to-wall rock ‘n’ roll classics — “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Long Tall Sally,” “I Walk the Line,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Hound Dog” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” among them. The staging features Chris Damiano as Johnny Cash, Chase Peacock (Serenbe’s Miss Saigon) as Elvis, Christopher Kent as Carl Perkins and Ethan Parker as Jerry Lee Lewis. $33-$58. Through Feb. 26. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Jennie T. Anderson Theatre, Cobb County Civic Center, 548 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.377.9948. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
** Sweep. OPENS FRIDAY. This femme-fantasy story by up-and-coming Latina playwright Georgina H. Escobar sounds like a kick. Her adventure — receiving its world premiere at Aurora Theatre — follows two sisters trying to reset history’s imperfections by hunting biblical and modern-day targets through alternate realities. Runs 90 minutes with no intermission. $20-$30. Through March 5. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. In Aurora’s Harvel Lab, 28 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered and attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.
Carmina Burana. CLOSES SATURDAY. At Atlanta Ballet. Choreographer David Bintley puts a lush, modern spin on the classic parable about three young seminarians tested by pleasures of the flesh. The Carl Orff score is performed by the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and the Georgia State University Singers & Master Singers. $20-$128. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta (at the intersection of Cobb Galleria Parkway and Akers Mill Road at I-75/285). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303.
** Le Petit Prince. CLOSES SUNDAY. Théâtre du Rêve, Atlanta’s French-language theater company, stages Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s 1943 classic about a stranded aviator and a mysterious child. Atlanta everyman Chris Kayser plays the pilot; Jasmine Thomas is the prince. Carolyn Cook directs. Performed in French with English supertitles. $18.50-$27.50. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. 7 Stages’ BackStage space, 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE.
Constellations. THROUGH FEB. 26. Horizon Theatre launches its 2017 season with British playwright Nick Payne’s romantic adventure. Roland (Enoch King) knows a lot about bees and how they make honey. Marianne (Bethany Irby) would be comfortable in a room with Einstein. The probability of them meeting is slim to none. Yet in the multiverse, the possibilities of a single moment are infinite. Justin Anderson directs. $25-$40. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.
** The One and Only Ivan. THROUGH FEB. 26. You might remember Ivan the mighty silverback gorilla from his time at Zoo Atlanta. Katherine Applegate’s 2013 Newbery Medal-winning novel, the basis for this script, revisits his 27 years in a glass-and-concrete cage in a Tacoma, Wash., shopping center. This Synchronicity Theatre stage adaptation uses actors who bring the animals — Ivan, elephants Stella and Ruby, and a dog named Bob — to life through movement, headpieces, masks, costumes and puppetry. Julie Skrzypek (last season’s Fancy Nancy) directs. Part of Synchronicity’s Family Series. $15-$22. 7 p.m. Friday (free cookies and milk for kids in PJs); 1 + 4 p.m. Saturday; 2 + 5 p.m. Sunday. One Peachtree Pointe, 1545 Peachtree St. NE in Midtown. Tickets, details HERE or at 404.484.8636.
** Too Heavy for Your Pocket. OPENS TONIGHT. This Alliance Theatre world premiere is the 2017 winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. Jiréh Breon Holder’s script, set in 1961 Nashville, follows two couples grappling with life, love and responsibilities as the era’s Freedom Riders begin to roll. Holder, a Memphis native and Morehouse College grad, earned his M.F.A. in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama and is working at Emory University as a playwriting fellow. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Through Feb. 26. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Hertz Stage, Alliance Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
U Up? THROUGH FEB. 17. This world premiere at Dad’s Garage Theatre Company satirizes love in the digital age, from first dates and awkward music choices, to late-night booty calls and sexting. The two-person show was created by Mark Kendall and Alison Hastings, who co-star. Kendall premiered his one-man show The Magic Negro and Other Blackness at Dad’s in 2014; it went on to receive a Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab grant at the Alliance Theatre, which produces it in March on the Hertz Stage. $12.50-$20.50 plus taxes (cheapest online); add $7 for reserved “Fancy Pants” seats. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. 569 Ezzard St. (behind Thumbs Up diner). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.3141.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. FEB. 15-19. The storied New York company makes its annual Atlanta pilgrimage with 11 pieces in six shows. The lineup varies from performance to performance and includes r-Evolution, Dream, choreographed by Ailey dancer Hope Boykin, and the famous Revelations. Boykin’s piece began with her visit to the Center for Civil and Human Rights in downtown Atlanta on a previous visit. $21.50-$75.50. 8 p.m. Feb. 15-17; 2 + 8 p.m. Feb. 18; 3 p.m. Feb. 19. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.