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Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Here are Encore Atlanta’s recommendations (in alphabetical order). Pictured: Jaclyn Hofmann and Greg Bosworth in Aurora Theatre’s “Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom.” Photo by Chris Bartelski.
Adam Schoenberg, Grieg & Nielsen. André Watts stars in Grieg’s much-loved Piano Concerto. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Musical Director Robert Spano also offers a world premiere by Adam Schoenberg, the youngest composer in ASO’s in-house program for composers, plus Nielsen’s searing Symphony No. 5. 8 p.m. Thursday and March 2; 3 p.m. March 4. Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta, Ga., 30309. $21-$79.www.atlantasymphony.org. 404.733.4900.
Avenue Q. EXTENDED THROUGH APRIL 1. The award-winning musical for adults contains such life lessons as “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist” and “The Internet Is for Porn.” Not only will you have a grand time at the theater, but afterward the entire cast — including puppets — will hang onstage to take photos with you. Many, many adults have taken advantage of this perk. 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. 1083 Austin Ave. N.E., Atlanta, Ga., 30307. $20-$50. tickets.horizontheatre.com. 404.584.7450. (Learn more about Nick Arapoglou, who won a Suzi for his work as Princeton, in this Encore Atlanta Snapshot.)
The Fairytale Lives of Russian Girls. FINAL WEEKEND. This year’s winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition is a fractured fairy tale for adults in which 20-year-old Annie, an American, goes in search of her roots. What she finds is, well, strange to say the least: a man-bear, magic taters and a very odd auntie. By Meg Miroshnik. On the Hertz Stage. 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Alliance Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta, Ga., 30309. $30. Tickets: alliancetheatre.org, 404.733.5000. (Learn more about Sarah Elizabeth Wallis, who plays Annie, in this Encore Atlanta Snapshot.)
Haydn, Thomas Ades, Wagner & Debussy. Leila Josefowicz joins the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for the violin concerto of Thomas Adès. Debussy’s La Mer, an ode to the sea; Wagner’s gorgeous Lohengrin Prelude; and Haydn’sOverture to l’Isola disabitatae complete the program. American conductor James Gaffigan is on the podium. 8 p.m. Saturday. Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta, Ga., 30309. $21-$79.www.atlantasymphony.org. 404.733.4900.
Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom. The hottest video game around, Neighborhood 3: Requisition of Doom, uses cutting-edge technology and GPS coordinates to create a playing environment identical to your subdivision. To win, you must smash through an army of zombies and escape. But what’s real and what’s virtual? The lines blur in this contemporary piece by up-and-coming American playwright Jennifer Haley. Rated M for mature. Directed by popular Atlanta actor Daniel Thomas May. Through March 4 at Aurora Theatre, 153 W. Crogan St., Lawrenceville, Ga., 30046 (for adjacent free parking deck). 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. $15. Tickets: email@example.com, 678.226.6222.
Red. The 2010 Tony Award winner for best play takes us inside the head and claustrophobic studio of enigmatic painter Mark Rothko, a 1960s modernist. Many theatergoers are raving about this piece; for others, it’s a bit talky. The physical design and performances by Tom Key and Jimi Kocina, however, are first-rate. Through March 11 at Theatrical Outfit. 84 Luckie St. N.W., Atlanta, Ga., 30303. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.$15 – $35. Tickets: theatricaloutfit.org or 877.725.8849. (Learn more about Jimi Kocina, who plays Rothko’s put-upon assistant, in this Encore Atlanta Snapshot.)
Petite Rouge. OPENING WEEKEND. Synchronicity Theatre presents a zydeco retelling of the Little Red Riding Hood tale featuring a young and exuberant cast of six playing more than 20 human and animal characters. Little Red is a duck, her best friend is a timid cat, and a big, bad gator chases them through Mardi Gras as they try to take gumbo to Petite’s ailing Gran’mere. Good for ages 3+. Through March 25 at 7 Stages Backstage Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E., Atlanta, Ga., 30307. 1 and 3 p.m. Saturday; 2 and 4 p.m. Sunday; and 10:30 a.m. Wednesday-Thursday. $15-$30. Tickets: synchrotheatre.com or 404.484.8636.
Ruth and the Green Book. FINAL WEEKEND. This Center for Puppetry Arts adaptation follows an African-American family as it travels from Chicago to Alabama in the Jim Crow South of the 1950s. The Green Book was an actual publication that told black travelers where they would be welcome to stay, eat, sleep and refuel. Adapted by the amazingly versatile and talented Jon Ludwig and good for ages 9+. (If the story sounds familiar, you may be recalling Theatrical Outfit’s staging of the play The Green Book in August 2011.) 1404 Spring St. N.W., Atlanta, Ga., 30309. 7:30 p.m. Friday; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. $25 (tonight is half-price). firstname.lastname@example.org or 404.873.3391.
The Wizard of Oz. Director Rosemary Newcott works her magic on the well-known story about Dorothy’, Toto and friends in this 70-minute version for young audiences, Don’t worry, you will hear “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and “Follow the Yellow Brick Road.” Stick around after the show and chat with the cast. Good for ages 4+. Show times vary. This weekend: 3:30 and 7 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday. Alliance Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta, Ga., 30309. $35. Tickets: alliancetheatre.org, 404.733.5000.
Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s managing editor, has been seeing, editing, writing about or working in 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 (disclaimer!). To suggest someone for this column, please email email@example.com.