Looking for something cultural to do this long holiday weekend? Here’s a select list of recommendations (in alphabetical order) from Encore managing editor Kathy Janich. Pictured: A scene from the Alliance Theatre’s “Waiting for Balloon,” from its Theatre for the Very Young series.

ASO New Year’s Eve. Celebrate the new year with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and singer-pianist Tony DeSare and his trio, with songs from the Great American Songbook: Rodgers and Hammerstein, Cole Porter and Prince. Yes, Prince. Principal pops conductor Michael Krajewski swings from the podium. Join the ASO after the concert for a complimentary glass of champagne.$31-$69. 8 p.m. Monday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Cinderella. SIX PERFORMANCES. Atlanta Ballet tells the tale in this hourlong version for families. $8.02-$41.04. 2 and 5 p.m. Jan. 4-6. Gwinnett Performing Arts Center, 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Duluth. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.813.7500. (Performed Feb. 16-17 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.)

New Year’s Shizzazzle. TWO PERFORMANCES. An enthusiastic (and possibly inebriated) collection of Dad’s Garage improvisers entertain with games and scenes. They promise a bellyful of laughs and moderately palatable champagne. Expect adult humor. $35-$45. 7 and 10 p.m. 280 Elizabeth St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.3141.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. This Center for Puppetry Arts 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 and would-be dentist, Charlie-in-the-Box and the Bumble. Adapted and directed by Jon Ludwig. Various times through Jan. 6 (no show 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. FINAL WEEKEND. For a little snark with your new year look no further than Horizon Theatre Company‘s Santaland Diaries, featuring the sarcastic, put-upon Crumpet. This David Sedaris-penned piece retells 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. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 6 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. N.E. (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE.

Waiting for Balloon. Recommended for ages 18 months to 5 years. Two childlike hobo-clowns wait near railroad tracks for “balloon,” but neither knows exactly what “balloon” is. Directed by Rosemary Newcott and part of the Alliance Theatre‘s acclaimed Theatre for the Very Young. $10. 9:30 and 11 a.m. Dec. 27-30. Also 9:30 and 11 a.m. Jan. 3-6, 12 and 19. Black Box Theatre (third floor), Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details HERE or at 404.733.4702.

A Year With Frog and Toad. FINAL WEEKEND. 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. 2 p.m. today; 7:30 p.m. Friday; 3 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 and 5:30 p.m. Sunday. 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. (Pictured: Bryan Mercer as Frog and Spencer G. Stephens as Toad. Photo by Chris Bartelski.)


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 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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