Looking for something cultural to do in the next week or so? Here’s our select list of recommendations. Pictured: 7 Stages’ version of the Berlin Wall with the cast of “Lady Lay,” a U.S. premiere opening Saturday. Pictured (from left): Faye Allen, Bajo Sanubi, Del Hamilton, Stacy Melich, Jed Drummond and Tara Ochs. Photo: Courtesy of 7 Stages.

The Adventures of Alvin Sputnik: Deep Sea Explorer. ONE WEEKEND ONLY. The Center for Puppetry Arts hosts Australia’s Perth Theatre Company and Weeping Spoon Productions for this one-person puppet show blending technology and multimedia for a story of love and the end of the world. For ages 12 and older. $25. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 6 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. N.W. (at 18th Street). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391. (Pictured, right: Tim Watts. Photo by Michelle Robin Anderson.)

Assistance. A comedy about life in the corporate employment rat race, with touches of Mamet and The Devil Wears Prada. The six-person cast – Barrett Doyle, Mandi Lee, Grant McGowen, Morgan Pelligrino, Liz Schad and Joe Sykes — plays it at warp speed. The critics: “A firecracker of a play” (Manning Harris, Atlanta INtown); “Strong performances, particularly from the female cast members” (Andrew Wesley, AtlantaTheaterFans.com). $15-$25. Through May 4. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre. 1085 Ponce de Leon Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 1.800.838.3006.

Between Worlds. The dance piece imagines four young people lost on a dying planet. Thrust together with little in common, they embark on a journey of self-discovery, reconnecting with forgotten values as they work to restore harmony to the world. With live music, original poetry and performances by Moving in the Spirit students and professional dancers. Moving in the Spirit, now 27 years old, is a nationally recognized youth development program that uses dance to transform the lives of children and teens in Atlanta. $12 at door; $6 ages 4-14; 3 and under free. 7 p.m. May 2. Rialto Center for the Arts, 60 Forsyth St. N.W.

Burundanga. FINAL WEEKEND. Aurora Theatre’s Teatro del Sol stages this comedy about a poor and pregnant Barcelona woman, her boyfriend and the dangers of telling the truth. The burundanga of the title, it turns out, is a powerful truth serum. In Spanish with English supertitles. $15. 8 tonight-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

The Italian Girl From Algiers. FOUR PERFORMANCES ONLY. The Atlanta Opera introduces us to Rossini’s madcap adventure, set in a 1930s pop-up book. In it, Isabella is captured by an Algerian ruler who dreams of adding an Italian wife to his harem. That doesn’t sit so well with Isabella, who sets out to rescue the man of her dreams. Sung in Italian with projected English translations. 8 p.m. Saturday; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; 8 p.m. May 3; 3 p.m. May 5. $21.70-$122.64. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885. For ticket discounts paired with a restaurant gift card, visit PoshDealz.com. (Pictured, left: A scene from The Italian Girl. Photo by Ken Howard, courtesy of The Santa Fe Opera.)

Julius Caesar. FINAL WEEKEND. The New American Shakespeare Tavern becomes ancient Rome in this tale of political intrigue, ambition, betrayal, conspiracy and murder. The Tavern offers a pub menu and tasty adult beverages. $15-$36. 7:30 tonight-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299. For discounts, visit PoshDealz.com.

Lady Lay. U.S. PREMIERE. Previews  Thursday-Friday. Opens Saturday. A joy ride through life’s rules and regulations by American ex-pat Lydia Stryk. What is freedom, it asks. And can Bob Dylan take you there? The questions in this comedy revolve around MariAnne, who has worked at the Berlin Employment Office all her life. When she hears Dylan on the radio she can hardly understand the words, but that moment sets her on a path that’s both joyful and terrifying. The cast features 7 Stages‘ co-founders Del Hamilton and Faye Allen, and Stacy Melich (2007’s My Left Breast) as MariAnne, among others. Artistic director Heidi S. Howard (right) directs. $15.74 previews; $20.37 regularly. Through May 19. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647. For ticket discounts, visit PoshDealz.com.

Moby-Dick. Saïah Arts International (Rua | Wulf) puts its spin on the epic whale tale with an immersive, migrating experience in the 60,000-square-foot Lifecycle Building Center  in West Midtown. Audience members follow Ishmael on his journey to the edge of  madness. Wear good, sturdy, comfortable shoes. Each audience limited to 60 people. The critics: “Go see this show. That’s about all that needs to be said about a production that’s inarguably special, worthwhile and remarkable” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com); “The bold, environmental theater of young Atlanta company Saïah delivers a remarkable spectacle that evokes the texture of Melville’s book, even though the staging introduces new challenges” (Curt Holman, Creative Loafing). $25 advance; $30 at door. Through May 12. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Performance begins at sundown. No intermission. 1116 Murphy Ave. Tickets HERE.

Perlman Commands. Violinist extraordinaire Itzhak Perlman (left) plays the “Summer” and “Winter” portions of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons and conducts the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Symphony No. 1. $32-$84. 8 tonight-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Shakespeare in the Park. OPENS WEDNESDAY. Georgia Shakespeare takes to the wooded vistas of Piedmont Park for its annual staging under the stars at Legacy Fountain. Much Ado About Nothing features the battles of lovers Beatrice and Benedick and the misadventures of sweethearts Hero and Claudio (Courtney Patterson, Joe Knezevich, Ann Marie Gideon and Eugene H. Russell IV, respectively). Picnicking before and during the show is encouraged. New this year: Happy Belly Food Truck. Through May 5. 7:30 nightly; doors open at 6 p.m. Limited free tickets are available on a first-come, first-serve basis 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at the Piedmont Park Green Market. Reserved tables for six, chairs and general admission tickets ($10-$30) are available HERE or at 404.504.1473. For ticket discounts, visit PoshDealz.com.

Sister Act. THROUGH SUNDAY. Broadway in Atlanta presents the musical based on Whoopi Goldberg’s 1992 feature film about a diva wannabe trying to tunefully elude the mob. The score is by Alan Menken. $30-$70. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets, details HERE or at 1.855.ATL.TIXX. Read more about the musical in this Encore FEATURE.

The UNICEF Experience Atlanta. This annual peek into the work of the United Nations Children’s Fund features local celebrities, business leaders and philanthropists of all ages. Come see how you can help children being denied clean water, health and nutrition. This one-of-a-kind event includes interactive exhibits that showcase the nonprofit’s work and lets guests experience what children in developing countries face. Individual tickets begin at $250. 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Mason Murer Fine Art, 199 Armour Drive. Details, tickets HERE.

Zorro. From the American West comes the legend of Zorro, a fighter of corruption and lover of beautiful women. This flamenco extravaganza, which has played Europe and London’s West End, comes to the Alliance Theatre in a new American adaptation featuring songs from the Gipsy Kings. The critics: “After all this time, Zorro should, quite frankly, be further along in its development. What the production has going for it, however, is flair” (Jim Farmer, ArtsATL.com); “The narrative is crowded, the fight choreography sometimes lacks sizzle, and some of the big ensemble numbers look and sound a little messy, yet the music and the visuals never fail” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $30-$70. Through May 5. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 and 7 :30 p.m. Sunday. Alliance Theatre mainstage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Read more about the score and the Gipsy Kings in this Encore FEATURE. (Pictured: Andrea Goss and Adam Jacobs. Photo by Greg Mooney.)


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