Looking for something cultural to do in the next week or so? Here’s our select list of recommendations. Pictured: Actor’s Express’ “Seminar.” From left: Andrew Benator, Cara Mantella, Barrett Doyle, Bryn Striepe, David Plunkett. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus
Atlanta Jazz Festival. SATURDAY-MONDAY. Everything is free! Did we mention that every concert, gig, set, performance is free? It’s all free. The 36th annual jazz fest in Piedmont Park emphasizes emerging talent and includes traditional and Latin jazz, swing, neo-soul, hip-hop, R&B and world music on two stages. Plus two KidZone areas and vendors selling food, art, clothing and jewelry. 10 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. Sponsored by the city of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs. Details, including lineups, HERE.
Decatur Arts Festival. FRIDAY-SUNDAY. On Saturday the annual Memorial Day weekend festival features a musical review from OnStage Atlanta (noon); excerpts from Horizon Theatre‘s The Book Club Play (1 p.m.); and Decatur Stories from Working Title Playwrights (3:30 p.m.). On Sunday, see monologues at 2 p.m. and puppeteer Peter Hart at 3:30 p.m. The 25th festival includes more than 165 visual artists, musical entertainment, children’s activities, performances, literary events and more. Free. Hours: 5-10 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. In the Old Courthouse Square and surrounding downtown Decatur streets. Schedule HERE.
Seminar. THROUGH JUNE 16. Actor’s Express finishes its season with this comedy by Theresa Rebeck (Mauritius, TV’s “Smash”). It follows four aspiring writers who take a class from a brilliant, egomaniacal, world-famous author (Andrew Benator). The critics: “A whip-smart 90 minutes of intense infighting among some pretty feral cats. In the next few weeks, a lot of Atlantans — especially the writers in town — will be asking one another, ‘Have you seen Seminar yet?’ ” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com); “Somewhat cerebral, and the text alone can be rather dry at times. Its success rises and falls with the cast” (Kenny Norton, AtlantaTheaterFans.com). Artistic director Freddie Ashley directs. $22-$45 (buy ONLINE and save). 887 W. Marietta St. in West Midtown. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.SHOW.
THIS WEEKEND ONLY
Michael Feinstein and the ASO. 8 p.m. FRIDAY-SATURDAY. The popular singer-pianist, arguably the reigning expert on the Great American Songbook, mixes songs by and stories about the great George and Ira Gershwin. Feinstein, a multiplatinum-selling, five-time Grammy-nominated recording artist, is as much anthropologist and archivist as he is a performer. He spent six years in the 1970s and ’80s working for Ira Gershwin, from whom many of his tales come. Expect to hear such classics as “Strike Up the Band,” “Rhapsody in Blue,” ” ‘S Wonderful,” “Embraceable You” and many, many more. $29-$65. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. OPENS SATURDAY. Through June 22 in repertory with Hamlet. A hilarious inversion of Hamlet, as seen through the eyes of two minor characters from that tragedy. The bumbling gravediggers R&G live in a surreal, existential world while the plot of Hamlet unfolds in the background. Previews (tonight-Friday) $15; regularly $24-$36. New American Shakespeare Tavern, 499 Peachtree St. N.E. Details (including show dates), tickets HERE. Get a $50 gift card at PoshDealz.com for only $25.
Lark Eden. CLOSES SUNDAY. Aurora Theatre stages this comedy about best friends who feel like family. Follow Emily, Mary and Thelma from their note-passing school days through letters that span 75 years. Take your best friend, buy an adult beverage at the bar and enjoy. The cast (pictured, from left): Rachel Garner, Naima Carter Russell and Minka Wiltz. Melissa Foulger directs. $20-$30. 8 tonight-Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 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. (Photo by Chris Bartelski)
Apnea. THROUGH JUNE 1. To sleep, perchance to dream. Or not. Mike Schatz takes over the Top Shelf space at Dad’s Garage for his one-man comedic fever dream about sleep apnea. Expect video, a visit from the wise old Spirit Moose, bumbling sex-capades and a trash-talking Winnie the Pooh. $7-$20. The critics: “Apnea includes the jokes and wild creativity that Dad’s audience has come to expect but with a greater maturity of purpose. Schatz’s play suggests that you can enjoy pleasant dreams when you find them, as long as you take care of business in your waking life” (Curt Holman, Creative Loafing). 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.
Dancing at Lughnasa. THROUGH JUNE 9. Stage Door Players presents this 1992 Tony Award-winning best play by Brian Friel, detailing the lives of five unmarried sisters in 1930s Ireland. Tess Malis Kincaid directs a cast featuring Erin Considine, Rachel Frawley, Gina Rickicki, Mary Saville and Ann Wilson and some guys. $12-$27. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday (except this Sunday). Also at 8 p.m. June 6. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.
Hamlet. THROUGH JUNE 23 in repertory with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. Jonathan Horne plays the melancholy Dane in this New American Shakespeare Tavern staging. $15-$36. 499 Peachtree St. N.E. Details (including show dates), tickets HERE. Get a $50 gift card at PoshDealz.com for only $25.
Atlanta Fringe Festival. JUNE 5-9. Celebrate indie, underground, risky, weird and edgy live theater with 120 performances, 24 shows, five venues and parties. This second annual festival is dedicated to connecting adventurous artists with appreciative audiences at multiple venues: 7 Stages, Horizons School (theater and gym), the Village Theatre in Decatur and Theatrical Outfit. Passes recommended: $40 for six shows, $60 for 10 shows and $99 for entire fest. Single tickets $10 (cash only at door). Details HERE. Tickets HERE.
The Great McAnigan. PREVIEWS MAY-30-31 | OPENS JUNE 1. Through June 22. This Collective Project world premiere tells a tale of the amazing, the astounding and the poetically disabled. Our hero: Young Andrew McAnigan, who excels at everything except poetry. The script is by Atlanta writer-actor-teacher-director Dave Lauby. The tickets are free, sort of. The Collective is experimenting with a “see the play before you pay” system. Reserve your seat or, if you prefer, buy tickets HERE. $20; $15 age 25 and under. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Goat Farm Arts Center’s Rodriguez Room, 1200 Foster St. Directions HERE. (Photo by Dylan York)
Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s managing editor, has been seeing, covering or working in the performing arts for most of her life. Please email: email@example.com.