Looking for something cultural to do in the next week or so? Here’s our select list of recommendations. Pictured, from left: Rachel Garner, Minka Wiltz and Naima Carter Russell in Aurora Theatre’s “Lark Eden,” opening this weekend and running through May 26 in Lawrenceville. Photo by Colleen McCreary.

Apnea. A comedy about one man’s struggle to sleep, written and performed by Mike Schatz, who once dealt with sleep apnea. Schatz’s story, video, a visit from the wise old Spirit Moose, bumbling sex-capades and a trash-talking Winnie the Pooh are pretty much guaranteed to keep you wide awake. Note: This is the last show in the Top Shelf space at Dad’s Garage, which will temporarily move to 7 Stages while it looks for a new home. Bah, development! $7-$20. Through June 1. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. 280 Elizabeth St. N.E. (The Top Shelf is around the back, so you may want to enter off North Highland Avenue.) Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.3141. Read more about Schatz in this Encore Q&A.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. Pianist Inon Barnatan makes his ASO debut with Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4. The Israeli-born musician, called “a pianist of uncommon sensitivity” by The New York Times, replaces the previously scheduled Marc-André Hamelin. Guest conductor Hugh Wolff also leads Ades’ Dances from Powder Her Face and Schumann’s Symphony No. 1 (“Spring”). $24-$75. 8 tonight and Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s 43rd annual Decorators’ Show House & Gardens. The Tuffeau estate in Buckhead, a French-inspired home in a West Paces Ferry neighborhood, gets the magic touch from 40 or so designers for the annual fundraiser. This week’s special events: “Soiree: Entertaining With Style & Gracious Living” with Danielle Rollins at 11:30 a.m. today; “Designing Great American Homes” with Tuffeau architect William T. Baker at 1:30 p.m. Friday; and “A Time to Plant & Cook” with James Farmer at 11:30 a.m. May 9. Through May 12. 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m. (last entry) Tuesday-Wednesday, Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m.-7:30 p.m. (last entry) Thursday; noon-4:30 p.m. (last entry) Sunday. $25. Parking at 3284 Northside Parkway.

Between Worlds. TONIGHT ONLY. This dance piece imagines four young people lost on a dying planet, who 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. Rialto Center for the Arts, 60 Forsyth St. N.W.

Brer Rabbit & Friends. Competition can be heated, even when it’s among friends. In this family story, told with hand-and-rod, rod, body, and shadow puppets at the Center for Puppetry Arts, the whole gang battles for bragging rights. Who’s the swiftest? The strongest? The smartest? Join Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, Sister Mud Turtle and Sister Bird for a tuneful adventure. Recommended for ages 4 and older. $9.25 and $16.50 (nonmembers). Through May 26. 10 and 11:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; noon and 2 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 3 p.m. Sunday. Details HERE or at 404.873.3391. For ticket discounts (this Sunday only), visit PoshDealz.com.

Get the Guy Live! Relationship coach Matthew Hussey (NBC’s matchmaking “Ready for Love”) leads an intensive love-life coaching event for individuals looking to increase their personal and professional impact. Hussey (pictured) is a British author, TV personality and human dynamics coach. 1 p.m. Sunday. Egyptian Ballroom at the Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets normally $48.20 including fees, but PoshDealz.com fans can get tickets HERE for $25 (plus fees that make the total ticket $41.95. You save $6).

The Italian Girl From Algiers. FINAL WEEKEND. 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. The critics: “All in all, the surprise hit of the season, and one of the finest achievements ever for the Atlanta Opera” (James L. Paulk, ArtsATL.com); “A worthy reminder that we don’t always have to take the arts that seriously” (Jamila Robinson, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). 8 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday. $21.70-$122.64. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway. Details, tickets HEREor at 404.881.8885. (Pictured: Sandra Piques Eddy as Isabella and The Atlanta Opera company. Photo: Jeff Rothman)

Lady Lay. U.S. PREMIERE. 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. New artistic director Heidi S. Howard directs. The critics: “Lady Lay truly rocks. … What distinguishes [it] as such a departure for Melich — and her performance as something of a revelation — is how beautifully she conveys MariAnne’s developing sense of self and humanity, how deeply she makes us care” (Bert Osborne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution).; $20.37. 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. (Pictured: Stacy Melich and Jed Drummond)

Lark Eden. OPENING WEEKEND. Aurora Theatre stages a comedy by Natalie Symons about best friends who feel like family. Visit a fictional Georgia town and peek into the lives of Emily, Mary and Thelma. Follow them from their days of passing notes at school to a series of letters that span 75 years. The perfect outing to share with your best friend, a close family member or your soul mate. The cast: Rachel Garner, Naima Carter Russell and Minka Wiltz. Melissa Foulger directs. $20-$30. Through May 26. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday (no evening show May 22). 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, attached and covered parking garage at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.2222. For ticket discounts, visit PoshDealz.com.

Larry the Cable Guy and Bill Engvall. Two of the three blue-collar comics take the Fox Theatre stage for two shows of regular guy, down-home humor. Larry the Cable Guy (real name Daniel Lawrence Whitney), a Nebraska native, is a stand-up comic, actor, country singer and former radio personality. Engvall, who was born in Texas, is best known as a stand-up comic with several albums to his name. $52.50-$65. 5 and 8 p.m. Saturday. 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 1.855.ATL.TIXX.

Shakespeare in the Park. THROUGH SUNDAY. Selling fast! Georgia Shakespeare takes to the wooded vistas near Piedmont Park’s Legacy Fountain for its annual staging under the stars. Much Ado About Nothing features the battles of lovers Beatrice and Benedick and the misadventures of sweethearts Hero and Claudio. Picnicking before and during the show is encouraged. New this year: Happy Belly Food Truck. Inclement weather policy: All paid reservations will get a voucher for another Shakespeare in the Park performance or a performance later in the season. Check the website or call the box office for updates. 7:30 tonight-Sunday; doors open at 6 p.m.  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. (Pictured: Longtime company members Joe Knezevich and Courtney Patterson, who square off as Benedick and Beatrice.)

Zorro. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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. 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. For ticket discounts (May 2 and 5 only), visit PoshDealz.com. Read more about the score and the Gipsy Kings in this Encore FEATURE.


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.

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