Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Here are Encore Atlanta’s recommendations (in alphabetical order). Pictured: Maurice Ralston as Titus Andronicus in Shakespeare’s blood-soaked tragedy, at the New American Shakespeare Tavern.

Assassins. LAST CHANCE. The brilliant Stephen Sondheim explores the dark side of the American dream through the lives of nine men and women who assassinated, or tried to assassinate, a U.S. president. The critics: “I was amazed at the quality of the production of this odd and wonderful Sondheim gem, and I’d easily place it among my top ‘can’t-miss’ shows of the year” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com); “Fabrefaction’s cast and staging do justice to some genuinely troubling material, acknowledging the flawed humanity of the characters without reducing them to ironic jokes” (Curt Holman, Creative Loafing). 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. $18-$27. Fabrefaction Theatre Company, 999 Brady Ave. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.876.9468. For discounts, visit PoshDealz.com. (Meet Brian Clowdus, Fabrefaction’s John Wilkes Booth, in this ENCORE SNAPSHOT.)

Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY. The talented young artists under the care/baton of music director Jere Flint perform Chabrier’s Joyeuse marche; Hovhannes’ Mysterious Mountain (Symphony No. 2), Opus 132; Arnold’s Four Scottish Dances, Opus 59; and Borodin’s Symphony No. 2 in B minor. 3 p.m. Sunday. $10. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Brothers of Affliction. ONE WEEKEND ONLY. Say hello to 3 Hill Productions, created in August with a focus on “creating cutting-edge theater for the consciousness.” Brothers of Affliction is the story of three siblings and the secrets that bond, and tear, them apart. The script is by 3 Hill co-founder Paris Crayton III. Cast: Crayton, Robb Douglas and Kirk D. Henry. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 3 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. $25. 7 Stages BackStage Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.826.9720.

Carmen. SEASON OPENER. Atlanta Opera presents Bizet’s classic, set in sultry Spain and tracing Don José’s doomed attraction to the alluring gypsy. Opens at 8 p.m. Saturday (pre-performance talk at 7 p.m.). Maria José Montiel sings the title role. Through Nov. 18. 3 p.m. Nov. 11 and 18; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13; and 8 p.m. Nov. 16-17. $22-$123. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.882.8885.

Fat Boy. OPENING WEEKEND. 7 Stages introduces Atlanta to Teo Castellanoa and his dance project (left), qgi blend hip-hop with ritual to shine a line on the “me” era. Fat Boy explores the contrast between the greed and materialism in American culture, and the desperate need and necessary frugality in less materialistic nations. Through Nov. 18. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10 a.m. Nov. 14-15 and 2 p.m. Nov. 17. $10-$25. 7 Stages mainstage, 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647. For discounts, visit PoshDealz.com.

Firebird, a Mozartian Debut. Violinist Karen Gomyo joins the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra for a program that features Stravinsky’s Suite From the Firebird, Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, Ravel’s Rapsodie Espagnol and Pintscher’s Towards Osiris. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. $24-$75. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

The Minotaur. LAST CHANCE. A rabbi, a priest and a lawyer walk into an updated Greek myth in this world premiere about the part man, part bull trapped in a twisty labyrinth. Ariadne, his sister, betrays him. Theseus, the hero, wants to kill him. The rabbi, the priest and the lawyer try to keep the story on the straight and narrow. Synchronicity Theatre opens its 15th season with this smart and sexy modern retelling of the famous myth. The critics: “Fascinating, fun and lively territory for cast, creators and audience” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com); “Wearing human clothes and a horned mask that leaves most of his face unobstructed, [Tony] Larkin gives a fascinating performance as the Minotaur” (Curt Holman, Creative Loafing). 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. $20-$35. Synchronicity at Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave. N.E. (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636. For discounts, visit PoshDealz.com.

The Mountaintop. True Colors Theatre Company stages the Katori Hall drama directed on Broadway by founder Kenny Leon. The piece re-imagines events the night before the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis. Danny Johnson (right), recently seen as politco J.P. Madison in the Alliance Theatre’s What I Learned in Paris, plays King. Jasmine Guy directs. The Broadway production received decidedly mixed reviews with thumbs up from Newsday and The Associated Press (in an oversimplification) and thumbs down from The New York Times, BackStage and AM New York (read more HERE). Nov. 13-Dec. 16. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 6 p.m. Nov. 25 and 11 a.m. Nov. 28. (No 8 p.m. shows Nov. 22-23). $20-$60. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road S.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 1.877.725.8849. For discounts, see PoshDealz.com.

The Summer of Daisy Fay. The new Marietta Theatre company (taking up residence in the old Theatre in the Square space) begins business with this semi-autobiographical one-character comedy about a young girl’s coming-of-age in 1950s Mississippi. It’s based on the novel Daisy Fay and the Miracle Man by Fannie Flagg and features Veronika Duerr as Daisy (left), a role she performed to much applause at Actor’s Express in 2011. Through Nov. 25. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. $20. 11 Whitlock Ave., Marietta. Details HERE. Tickets at 470.255.0074.

Titus Andronicus. Shakespeare’s first tragedy is the blood-spattered tale of one ancient Roman’s descent into madness, revenge and redemption. (It’ll go down easier with a pint from the bar, and maybe a snack.) This staging at the New American Shakespeare Tavern features Maurice Ralston in the title role. Through Nov. 25. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $15-$36. Running in conjunction with Out of Hand Theater‘s Titus Clown! 499 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE. For discounts, visit PoshDealz.com.

Titus Clown!  FOUR SHOWS LEFT. Out of Hand Theater founding artistic director Maia Knispel returns after two years in London with this beautiful, horrible and terribly funny 45-minute spin on Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus. She and husband Tyler Owens, a stage director and Fulbright scholar, created this three-person clown show that toured the United Kingdom; he directs, she’s in the cast. 11 p.m. Nov. 9-10, 14 and 16-17. $8-$15. Running in conjunction with the New American Shakespeare Tavern staging of Titus Andronicus (through Nov. 25), the bard’s first tragedy and bloodiest play. 499 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE.

Two Drink Minimum. WORLD PREMIERE. Atlanta philanthropist William Balzer details the journey of a boy and his mother through four stages of her life: the Great Depression, World War II, before he married and afterward. The Theatrical Outfit cast: Wendy Melkonian, William S. Murphey, Matthew Myers and Susan Shalhoub Larkin. The critics: “An accomplished play … a great match for Atlanta audiences: tender, funny, nostalgic, plain-spoken and charming” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com); “That plays often serve a therapeutic purpose for their writers doesn’t always translate into a universally meaningful experience for an audience” (Bert Osborne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Through Nov. 18. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. matinee ($15-$20) on Nov. 10 and 17. $15-$40, plus fees. 84 Luckie St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 1.877.725.8849. For discounts, visit PoshDealz.com.

Wolves. WORLD PREMIERE. This savagely funny fairy tale for grown-ups tells the story of a timid young city dweller who freaks out when his roommate brings a big, bad wolf home for a one-night stand. Melissa Foulger directs this Actor’s Express staging. The play comes from the wild imagination of playwright Steve Yockey (Octopus), a former Atlantan now living and working in Los Angeles. Through Dec. 2. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. Previews at 8 p.m. Nov. 8-9 (Saturday’s opening is sold out). Previews: $15, otherwise $22-$45 and least expensive when purchased online. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or via human at 404.607.7469. For discounts, visit PoshDealz.com. Pictured: Clifton Guterman (standing), Brian Crawford and Joe Sykes. Not pictured: Kate Donadio.


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’s affiliated with Synchronicity Theatre, Fabrefaction Theatre Company and Actor’s Express mentioned above. Please email: kathy@atlantametropub.com.

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

2 Comments on “This weekend's best bets: Nov. 8”

  1. I love your summations. However, doesn’t the final weekend of “Next to Normal” rate a mention? Are they sold out or something? Thanks! Best wishes–Manning

    1. Thanks for reading, Manning. “N2N” was listed in best bets for several weeks, on the strength of critics’ reviews. With all due respect to the work of the production team and cast, when I saw it, I found it lacking.

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