Looking for something cultural to do in the next week or so? Here’s a select list of recommendations from Encore managing editor Kathy Janich (in alphabetical order). Pictured: Veronika Duerr and Dan Triandiflou in “Bob,” opening Saturday at Aurora Theatre. Photo: Ben Massey.

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. This sexy explosion of theater and music re-imagines our nation’s seventh president as a rock god maverick who fights for the common man and looks hot in skinny jeans. This show has plenty of buzz, and tickets are going fast. See for yourself? The critics: “A a lively, loud and slyly funny rock musical … The show owes more to the theater of the absurd and “South Park” than to Oklahoma! or even Hair” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com); “Gets by on rock ‘n’ roll poses and laugh-out-loud parody without quite being one for the history books” (Curt Holman, Creative Loafing); “I can’t guarantee that you’ll love BBAJ, but the Express once again pushes the envelope. See it — or you won’t know what the fuss is all about” (Manning Harris, Atlanta INtown). Note: For this show, there’s a fully functioning bar inside the theater(!). $26-$47. Through Feb. 17. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. Actor’s Express, 887 West Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE (buy online and save fees) or at 404.607.7469. For discounts, visit PoshDealz.com.

Blue Man Group. Theater of the Stars presents these performance artists who blend light, sound, experimental music, antics and amazement. See what they do with marshmallows and gum balls. $23-$58. 8 tonight; 2 p.m. Saturday; and 1:30 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 1.800.745.3000. More on Blue Man Group in this Encore FEATURE.

Bob. OPENING WEEKEND. Meet Bob, an unfailing optimist born on Valentine’s Day in the bathroom of a White Castle restaurant in Kentucky and left to fend for himself by his birth mother. This fast-paced comedy by San Francisco playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb is said to be reminiscent of The Jerk and Forrest Gump. The Aurora Theatre cast features Dan Triandiflou as Bob along with Veronika Duerr, Wendy Melkonian, Doyle Reynolds and Scott Warren. Directed by Sean Daniels, formerly of Dad’s Garage and now with Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, N.Y, which co-produces. $20-$30. Opens at 8 p.m. Saturday. Through Feb. 10. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Wednesday discount matinee ($16) at 10 a.m. Feb. 6. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free parking in attached deck at 153 Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

Dear Dr. King. SPECIAL EVENT. The Alliance Theatre honors the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with this script written by artist-in-dialogue Pearl Cleage and based on the film It’s a Wonderful Life. It uses the voices of teenagers to explore issues of legacy and the power each individual life can play in changing our world. Free (but reservations are encouraged at atedu@woodruffcenter.org or 404.733.4749). 1 and 3 p.m. Monday. Rich Auditorium, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E.

Good People. OPENS WEDNESDAY (in previews now). What happens when chasing the American dream collides with doing the right thing? That’s what Pulitzer-winning playwright David Lindsay-Abaire explores in his comedy-tinged drama about an out-of-work cashier and mother. It’s about class and status and his growing-up days in South Boston, aka Southie. Susan Booth directs this Alliance Theatre staging. Previews tonight-Sunday and Tuesday. Through Feb. 10. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Additional show at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10. $30-$60. Alliance mainstage, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. For discounts, visit PoshDealz.com. More on the playwright and his play in this Encore FEATURE.

Mass Transit Muse. PLAY READING. 7 Stages launches its free Home Brew Series of new-play readings with this piece written by Michael Molina in rhymed and metered prose and spoken-word poetry, and visual and musical accompaniment. Mass Transit Muse follows a city bus on its journey, and tells the diverse stories of the riders we encounter. The theme: The transition from dislocation and disconnection back to connection and community. Free. 7:30 tonight. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details HERE or at 404.522.0911.

Swell Party. WORLD PREMIERE. Playwright-about-town Topher Payne penned this fact-based comedy about a tobacco heir; his new wife from the North; a wild wedding party; and the mystery it produces. His intention: To prove that for Southerners, the truth isn’t nearly as important as a good story. Cast includes Kate Donadio, Suehyla El-Attar, Jo Howarth, Tess Malis Kincaid (pictured) and Tony Larkin. The critics: “A delightful and original treatment that balances froth with gravitas while investigating the meaning of lust, greed, hypocrisy and loss” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution); “Charming, funny, lively and winningly old-fashioned. It’s a play that deserves to be a hit…. Payne is a super-talented writer — he’s proved himself time and again — and it’s now fair for him to expect more from audiences, and for audiences to expect more from him” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com). $23-$33. Tonight-Jan. 27. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Additional shows at 4 p.m. Saturday and Jan. 26. Georgia Ensemble Theatre at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Photo: Stephanie Slusser

The Waffle Palace: Smothered, Covered & Scattered 24/7/365. Horizon Theatre gets smothered, covered and scattered all over again with an open-ended encore run of its summer hit. The script, by Larry Larson and Eddie Levi Lee, is inspired by real-life news stories about Waffle Houses everywhere. It follows a Midtown diner owner, his staff and a crazy cast of customers as they battle to save the eatery from encroaching real estate developers. Six of seven original cast members return. $20-$40. Opens Friday. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. N.E. (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Waiting for Balloon. FINAL WEEKEND. 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. Shades of Waiting for Godot, anyone? Directed by Rosemary Newcott as part of the Alliance Theatre‘s acclaimed Theatre for the Very Young. $10. 9:30 and 11 a.m. Saturday. Black Box Theatre (third floor), Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details HERE or at 404.733.4702.


Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. The second entry in 7 Stages’ Home Brew Series of new-play readings explores cults and the exit counselings that help members leave them. Atlanta playwright Nathaniel Lachenmeyer uses the framework of an exit counseling session that is much more than it appears to explore universal themes of family, lossand responsibility. The cast: Harrison Long, Ann Marie Gideon, Mark Kincaid, Tess Malis Kincaid and Jimi Kocina. Free. 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details HERE or at 404.522.0911.


Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s managing editor, has been seeing, covering or working in the performing arts for most of her life. 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.

View all posts by Kathy Janich