Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Here is a select list of recommendations (in alphabetical order) from Encore managing editor Kathy Janich. Pictured: Frog (Bryan Mercer) explains how he loves being a frog to his bird friends (from left) Janee Ann Smith, Denise Arribas and Chris Brent Davis in Synchronicity Theatre’s family musical “A Year With Frog and Toad.” Photo: Chris Bartelski.

Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. FINAL SHOWS. Journey to the  land of rat kings, sugar plum fairies and Russian dancers — and see some new sleight-of-hand. $20-$88. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 and 7 p.m. Sunday; 1 p.m. Dec. 24; and 2 p.m. Dec. 26. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 1.800. 982.2787. For more about this edition’s magic, see this ENCORE FEATURE.

Atlanta Xmas Apocalypse. 7 Stages celebrates the holidays in its inimitable anti-Christmas style. Join the Little Five Points Rockstar Orchestra (right); St. Nicholas and his dark companion, Krampus; some sexy Syrens of the South; and other friends for a “holiday” concert. Bring your loved ones, but leave the kids at home. $15 advance; $20 at door. 9 p.m. Friday. 7 Stages, 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

A Christmas Carol. FINAL WEEKEND. God bless us, everyone. Celebrate the season with this annual multi-culti gift from the Alliance Theatre, featuring some of the city’s finest actors. You know the story: miserly Ebenezer Scrooge, the poor Cratchit family, the ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future. This staging features gorgeous harmonies, sumptuous sets and characters that levitate. $21-$60. 7 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Alliance Mainstage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more about what happens backstage at A Christmas Carol, see this ENCORE FEATURE.

A Diva’s Christmas. FINAL SHOWS. Serenbe Playhouse reprises its holiday tour of this cabaret show, which features three singers doing Christmas standards and contemporary favorites. Dinner pairings available. 6 tonight at the Cellar in Newnan ($60 with dinner, reservations at 706.683.6328) and 7 p.m. Friday at Montaluce Winery, Le Vigne, in Dahlonega ($65 with dinner, reservations at 706.867.4060). Details HERE.

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. FINAL WEEKEND. Actor (and producing artistic director) Anthony P. Rodriguez channels Dickens in this solo performance featuring Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob Cratchit, Jacob Marley and a trio of Victorian ghosts. $15. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Aurora Theatre, 128 East Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free parking deck attached to theater (enter at 153 Crogan St.). Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays and a Connie Sue Day Christmas. FINAL WEEKEND. The incomparable Libby Whittemore rings in the holidays — it’s safe to say —  like no one else. Hear “The Christmas Song,” “Merry Christmas Darling,” “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and, if we’re lucky. “The Twelve Days of a White Trash Christmas.” She’ll be joined, of course, by Connie Sue Day, the 31st Lady of Country Music, along with Robert Strickland and His Super-Sized Combo. Careful now, she’s addictive. Bar closed Sunday (BYOB). $40 plus tax online; $42 plus tax by phone or in person. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday. Actor’s Express, in the King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

Holidays With the Chalks. FINAL WEEKEND. Belly up to the bar inside the Alliance Theatre’s Hertz Stage before sisters Judeen, Judelle and Belva Chalk load their pickup and take off for parts unknown. This country-singing, joke-cracking trio from Boggy Depot, Okla., offers original music and  hilarious stories. So raise a glass of good cheer (or two, or three) and hear the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the Chalky truth. The critics: “There’s a delightful, late-night, boozy, slightly ribald giddiness” to the show (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com). $20-$45. 7:30 tonight; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. For discounts, visit PoshDealz.com. For more on the Chalky truth, see this ENCORE FEATURE. (Pictured: Mary Brienza at Judeen Chalk and Leenya Rideout as Belva Chalk. Photo: Greg Mooney)

Little Women. FINAL WEEKEND. Charming if imperfect. Fabrefaction Theatre Company stages the Broadway musical based on Louisa May Alcott’s 1868 novel. The score is lovely, but fans should know that the plot doesn’t always follow the book. The critics: The cast does a fine job…. It’s a charming show, but this particular mix of music and story never quite gels” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com); “The musical highlights belong to Mary Welch Rogers as Marmee, who delivers a pair of moving ballads” (Bert Osborne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $18-$27. 8 tonight-Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Fabrefaction Theatre, 999 Brady Ave. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.876.9468. For discounts, visit PoshDealz.com.


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This Center for Puppetry Arts holiday entry is based on the classic 1964 stop-motion animated special about Rudolph and his misfit friends. Catch up with Yukon Cornelius, Hermey the elf-dentist, Charlie-in-the-Box and the Bumble. Adapted and directed by Jon Ludwig. Various times through Jan. 6 (no shows Christmas Day or New Year’s Day). $13.25-$20.50; age 2 and under free. 1404 Spring St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

The Santaland Diaries. For a little snark with your Santa look no further than Horizon Theatre Company‘s Santaland Diaries, featuring the sarcastic, put-upon Crumpet. This David Sedaris-penned piece — back for a 14th season — tells the true-life tale of an out-of-work writer who spent one unhappy holiday season as a Macy’s department store elf. Note: Contains mature language and content. Don’t bring the kids! $25-$40. Through Dec. 30 (no Christmas Day show). 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 6 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. N.E. (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE.

The Theory of Everything: Solve for “X.” FINAL WEEKEND. This theatrical experiment from the Collective Project features all-new shorts in which pistols are drawn over Old West gender roles, a boy is sued by his own mother over confectionary thievery and robots get a little too sexy for their own good. Each evening’s show is crafted by an audience vote that begins 15 minutes before show time. $20; age 25 and under with ID are $15. Note: Age 18 and older only. 8 tonight-Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Rodriguez Room at the Goat Farm Arts Center, 1200 Foster St. Details, tickets HERE.


A Very Merry Holiday Pops. You’ll have a cool yule at conductor Michael Krajewski’s annual anything-goes holiday variety show featuring Jodi Benson (a 1992 Tony Award nominee for Crazy for You, the voice of Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid); the Grady High School Chorus; a kickin’ drumline; and a jitterbugging Santa. $22-$60. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

A Year With Frog and Toad. Merry almost Christmas! The funny, sunny twosome is back with a little help from Snail and various bird friends. This tale of a fabulous friendship is charming, inventive, wry and laugh-out-loud funny. Director Clint Thornton, Bryan Mercer (music direction and Frog), Spencer G. Stephens (Toad) and Denise Arribas (Mouse/Lady Bird) return from previous Synchronicity Theatre incarnations, winners of three Suzi Bass awards and best children’s show of 2005 (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Good for age 4+. $20-$40; $15 ages 3-12. Through Dec. 30. The remaining schedule: 7:30 tonight-Friday and Dec. 28; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 29; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday; 11 a.m. on Christmas Eve; 2 p.m. Dec. 26-27; and 2 and 5:30 p.m. Dec. 30. Synchronicity Theatre at the 14th Street Playhouse, Stage 2, 173 14th St. N.E. (at Juniper Street). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636. 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’s affiliated with both Synchronicity Theatre and Fabrefaction Theatre mentioned above. Please email: kathy@encoreatlanta.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.

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