Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Here are Encore Atlanta’s recommendations (in alphabetical order). Pictured: The cast of “Musicals Suck, The Musical” at Dad’s Garage (clockwise, from left) Jessica Hill, Sebastian Dascawicz-Davis, Z Gillispie, Whittney Millsap, Chris Rittelmeyer, Barbara Tushbant, Gina Rickicki and Karen Cassady. Photo by Stacey Bode.
Alice in Wonderland. WORLD PREMIERE. Serenbe Playhouse and Atlanta playwright Rachel Teagle give us a diffident Alice who finds her true self with an assist from a band of magical masked characters. Critics call this adaptation “imaginative,” “goofy” and “creative.” This hourlong site-specific romp is staged outdoors on the Forest Glen Stage. Through July 28. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday. Serenbe is in Chattahoochee Hills, west of Palmetto and about 30 minutes from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. $15; $10 students and children; under 2 free. Details, tickets, directions: www.serenbeplayhouse.com or 770.436.1110. For discounts, visit poshdealz.com.
Illyria: A Twelfth Night Musical. This gender-bending love triangle is set to a musical mix of rock ‘n’ roll, country, gospel and Andrew Lloyd Webber-ish theater songs. The score is by John R. Briggs (Shrew: The Musical) and Eric Frampton. Company regulars Courtney Patterson, Joe Knezevich and Chris Kayser (pictured, at left, with Mark Cabus and Eugene H. Russell IV) take the leading roles. Good for ages 6 and up. Picnicking before the show is encouraged. Bring a basket and a bottle of wine or pre-order from Carole Parks Catering. Check the website for a schedule of pre-show and post-show chats and performance dates once the rest of the summer repertory opens. Through Aug. 5. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday. (Much Ado About Nothing begins June 21, The Importance of Being Earnest on July 5.) Season packages still available; single tickets $15-$45. Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E. Details, tickets: www.gashakespeare.org or 404.504.1473. For discounts, visit poshdealz.com.
The Little Pirate Mermaid. Marionettes tell the Hans Christian Andersen story about a mermaid princess turned buccaneer. Adapted and directed by the wonderful Jon Ludwig. Through July 15. 10 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday. $16.50; under age 2 free. Mainstage Theater at the Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. N.W. Tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.
Musicals Suck, The Musical. If you love to hate musicals or hate to love them, Dad’s Garage promises you’ll love this show. Got that? The story: Sydney was scarred by a musical as a child and hates them, but the Ironic Curse Gypsy has turned her life into a musical. To escape, Sydney must learn to sing and dance. Written by Travis Sharp and Dad’s Artistic Director Kevin Gillese, who also directs. Music by Eric Frampton (Illyria: A Twelfth Night Musical at Georgia Shakespeare). Through June 30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. $14-$20 (cheapest if you buy online). Also available: Fancy Pants VIP seats for a $5 upcharge (online and by phone). Dad’s Garage Theatre Company, 208 Elizabeth St. N.E. Tickets HERE or at 404.523.3141.
Playmaking for Girls. This often stunning lineup of short plays from Synchronicity Theatre‘s outreach program is written and performed by formerly incarcerated young woman and professional actors. The plays deal with the girls’ real-life problems — school, parents, incest, rape, running away, babies, violence, drugs, death and more. They were created over the past year as part of an ongoing program at regional youth detention centers that is dedicated to engaging young women in the creation of theater as a tool for creative expression, healing and personal growth. It’s an hour at the theater that you are unlikely to forget. 6 p.m. Saturday. Free, but reservations are strongly, strongly recommended. Reserved seats are available beginning at $10. University Theatre (Dahlberg Hall, formerly Alumni Hall) at Georgia State University, 30 Courtland St. S.E. (at Gilmer). Reservations HERE or at 404.484.8636 (by 4 p.m. Friday).
The Waffle Palace: Smothered, Covered and Scattered 24/7/365. WORLD PREMIERE. This loving sendup of that most Southern of institutions has heart and plenty of quirky humor. The script is by Eddie Levi Lee and Larry Larson. The nimble, often hilarious cast features LaLa Cochran, Allan Edwards, Marguerite Hannah, Enoch King, Eric Mendenhall and Maria Rodriguez-Sager. Horizon is selling waffle-flavored pastries at the theater and will have Nana G’s Chicken & Waffles food truck outside the theater from 5 to 8 p.m. June 23 (call 404.584.7450, buy a $13 meal voucher and part of the proceeds benefit Horizon). Through July 1. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. $20-$30 plus taxes. 1083 Austin Ave. N.E. at Euclid Avenue. Tickets HERE or 404.584.7450. READ MORE about cast member LaLa Cochran.
Wabi Sabi Performance. Atlanta Ballet and the Atlanta Botanical Garden partner for an evening of world premieres by Atlanta Ballet dancers-turned-choreographers Peng-Yu Chen, Jonah Hooper and Tara Lee. The evening also includes pieces by guest choreographers Nathan Griswold (Ballett Augsburg in Germany); Jimmy Orrante (BalletMet in Columbus, Ohio); and Rachelle Scott (Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet in New York City). The performances are staged throughout the evening and throughout the Garden during Cocktails in the Garden. 6-10 p.m. Thursday, June 21. Free with Garden admission. $18.95; $12.95 ages 3-12; under 2 free. 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E. Details: 404.876.5859.
What’s Eating Katie? WORLD PREMIERE. A musical performed by teens, for teens, about the issue of eating disorders. Composed and directed by Bryan Mercer with book by Dina Zeckhausen. It tells the story of a 13-year-old girl dealing with an eating disorder, and the family and friends who love her. 7 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets: $12 HERE. To pay at the door, call 404.733.4749 to reserve your seat. Alliance Theatre Hertz Stage (200 seats), 1280 Peachtree St. N.E.
Xanadu. FINAL WEEKEND. See the disco balls, roller-skating muses and bad hair before the show ascends to Mount Olympus for good. Actor’s Express wraps its 24th season with this powder puff of a musical, a surprise hit in the 2007-08 Broadway season that parodies the Olivia Newton-John movie. Critics, save one, call it “silly fun” and “completely wacky, delightfully preposterous and totally irresistible.” 8 tonight-Saturday. $25-$47 plus fees ($2 discount when you buy ONLINE). 887 W. Marietta St., in the King Plow Arts Center. Box office: 404.607.7469. For discounts, visit poshdealz.com.
Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s managing editor, has been seeing, covering or working in the performing arts for most of her life. Full disclosure: She is associated with Synchronicity Theatre, mentioned above. Please email: email@example.com