Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Here are Encore Atlanta’s recommendations (in alphabetical order). Pictured: Theatre du Reve’s “The Red Balloon.”

Avenue Q. See it! This 2004 Tony Award-winning best musical is back at Horizon Theatre by popular demand. Ten hard-working actors sing funny songs and say dirty words. Adults only. Winner of seven 2011-12 Suzi Bass Atlanta theater awards. Through March 11. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. $20-$50. tickets.horizontheatre.com. 404.584.7450.

A Body of Water. Reviews have been mixed but any time Tess Malis Kincaid is onstage, I’m there. This 2005 mystery by Lee Blessing (A Walk in the Woods, Eleemosynary) is at Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville. Through Feb. 12. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. $20-$30. Selling well, so please call ahead.  678.226.6222.

God of Carnage. Final three performances. This dark Tony Award-winning comedy by Yasmina Reza has folks talking. Jasmine Guy leads the Alliance Theatre‘s four-actor cast battling it out in a wildly emotional 80-minute sprint about parenting and personal responsibility. 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday. $20-$50. alliancetheatre.org, 404.733.5000.

Memphis. Final five performances. Good notices have accompanied this musical, the 2010 Tony Award winner now at the Fox Theatre. The story, played out to a rock ‘n’ roll backbeat, concerns a white radio DJ who wants to change the world, and the black club singer ready for her big break. 8 tonight; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $39-$77. Ticketmaster.

Next Fall. Religion and relationships clash in this Gregory Nauffts drama onstage at Actor’s Express. The New York Times called it “smart, sensitive and utterly contemporary.” Mitchell Anderson and Joe Sykes play the couple in conflict. Through Feb. 11. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. $25-$30. www.actors-express.com, 404.607.7469. Visit

Ravel, Beethoven & Dvorak. Soloist Gabriela Montero, an “extraordinary improviser,” according to The New York Times, makes her Atlanta Symphony Orchestra debut with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. Also on the program: Ravel’s “Mother Goose Suite” and Dvorak’s Symphony No. 8. At 8 tonight and Saturday. Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center. $21-$79. www.atlantasymphony.org. 404.733.4900.

Red. Opening weekend. Another Tony winner, in 2010 for best play. Step inside the world of enigmatic painter Mark Rothko, a 1960s modernist who turned the art world on its ear with his attitude and talent. Early buzz on this Theatrical Outfit two-hander  with Tom Key and Jimi Kocina, is rave-ish. Through March 11. $15 – $35. For tickets: theatricaloutfit.org or 877.725.8849. Visit POSHdealz.com for ticket discounts.

The Red Balloon. This story of magic, childhood and friendship (pictured above) is back by popular demand at Theatre du Reve, Atlanta’s small but fierce French-language company. Based on the 1956 movie many of us saw in grade school. Told in French and English with human actors, puppets and live music. Appropriate for families. At 7 Stages Backstage Theatre in Little Five Points. 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday; 8 p.m. Feb. 10; 3 and 8 p.m. Feb. 11; and 3 p.m. Feb. 12. $30; discounts for students and senior citizens. Selling well, so please call ahead. $20-$30. 678.226.6222. Info: TdRcontact@gmail.com, 404.875.3829.

The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls. By Meg Miroshnik. This year’s winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, tells the story of 20-year-old Annie, an American in Moscow in search of her roots. The trip is a fairy tale come true — in more than one way, hint, hint. Recommended for ninth-graders and up. Through Feb. 26 on the Alliance Theatre‘s Hertz Stage. In previews: 8 tonight and Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday; and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. Opens at 8 p.m. Wednesday. $30. Visit the website for half-price tickets to the Super Bowl Sunday show. alliancetheatre.org, 404.733.5000. Related story: How Kendeda works.


Kathy Janich has been seeing, writing about or working in theatre and the performing arts for most of her life. She spent 25 years in daily newspapers and was most recently on staff at Atlanta’s smart, bold and gutsy Synchronicity Theatre.

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich 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