Looking for something cultural to do in the next week or so? Here’s our select list of recommendations. Pictured: Nick Arapoglou as Bobby Strong and Caroline Freedlund as Hope Cladwell in “Urinetown: The Musical” at Fabrefaction Theatre Company.
Choir Boy. THROUGH OCT. 13. The Alliance Theatre opens its Hertz Stage season with a coming-of-age story by award-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney. Follow a young man named Pharus, whose confidence, charisma, clarity of purpose and talent belie the struggle he endures at his all-boys prep school. The drama, told with spirituals, is fresh from London and New York’s Manhattan Theatre Club. McCraney, one of the most original voices in American theater today, was recently awarded a MacArthur “genius” grant. You might remember his In the Red and Brown Water, a breathtaking exploration of a high school track star forced to make difficult life choices, from 2008. For ages 14 and up. The critics: “McCraney masterfully pulls into the frame matters of history, sexuality, identity and politics, all of them specifically grounded in [his] characters and their world, but also with all their immensity, complexity and uncertainty left intact” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com); “An exceptionally beautiful, heart-pummeling piece of theater … McCraney is a ferocious talent” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $33-$38. 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. 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more on McCraney, read this Encore FEATURE.
Milvotchkee, Visconsin. THROUGH OCT. 20. World premiere. Meet Molly. She has a hole in her head. Find out why in this comedy about a tragedy, staged by Synchronicity Theatre at the 14th Street Playhouse. Molly guides us through and beyond Wisconsin Concrete Park (a real place) and the vagaries of getting older with a sense of bewilderment and a can-do attitude. The script is by Laura Jacqmin (TV’s “Lucky 7”). Synchronicity just won a 50/50 Applause Award from the International Center for Women Playwrights; this play is its seventh world premiere by a female playwright in six years. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. $15-$45. 173 14th St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636. For ticket discounts, visit PoshDealz.com. (Pictured: Steve Hudson as Hole and Ellen McQueen as Molly. Photo: KVC Photography)
THIS WEEKEND ONLY
Atlanta Black Theatre Festival. TODAY-SUNDAY. The ABTF hosts 40 plays in four days — a mix of dramas, musicals, late-night comedies and solo productions from 18 states and South Africa. The fest include such free events as a Reader’s Theatre series, an Author’s Alley, a speaker’s series, nightly parties and family-friendly workshops. Single-show tickets are available as is a “Black Card” pass. All events take place at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. For a complete schedule and tickets, go HERE or call 650.440-PLAY. For ticket discounts, visit PoshDealz.com.
ASO World Premiere. TONIGHT-SATURDAY. ASO favorite Garrick Ohlsson (pictured, at left) plays one of the great late-Romantic piano concertos, Rachmaninov’s Second, the composer’s passionate return after losing his musical voice. The program includes the world premiere of … of shadow and light … by Richard Prior, director of orchestral studies at Emory University, and Adam Schoenberg’s American Symphony. 8 tonight-Friday; 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $24-$75. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Flux Night 2013. 7 P.M.-MIDNIGHT SATURDAY. Atlanta’s Castleberry Hill neighborhood becomes a one-night public art mecca, as its streets and empty spaces are filled with live performance art and installations. This free family-friendly event combines projections, dance, performance, music, and sound and light installations that illuminate the night in this little corner of downtown. At Peters and Walker streets S.W. Details HERE.
All Childish Things. THROUGH OCT. 27. A long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away … Cincinnati, actually … Dave and friends plan a risky maneuver from his mom’s basement. It will deliver them from the Darth Vader-like clutches of life’s dark side. The plan is so crazy, it just might work. Aurora Theatre stages the comedy by Joseph Zettelmaier. Contains adult language and situations. $20-$30. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (also at 10 a.m. Oct. 23, $16; no evening show that day). Theater at 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking available via entrance at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 578.226.6222. For ticket discounts, visit Poshdealz.com. (Pictured, from left, Enoch King and Bryan Brendle. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)
Hamlet. THROUGH OCT. 27. Georgia Shakespeare gives the bard’s greatest murder mystery a fast-paced, muscular treatment — with a body count. Featuring Joe Knezevich as Hamlet, Carolyn Cook as Gertrude, Chris Kayser as Claudius and Ann Marie Gideon as Ophelia. $16-$48. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday (additional shows at 7 p.m. Oct. 7 and 2 p.m. Oct. 12). Conant Performing Arts Center on the Oglethorpe University campus, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.504.1473. Ticket discounts at Poshdealz.com.
Othello. PREVIEWS TONIGHT-FRIDAY | OPENS SATURDAY | THROUGH NOV. 3. A false friend and a dainty handkerchief spell ruin for the great and powerful Othello in this classic tragedy. Featuring Victor Love (Horizon Theatre’s recent Every Tongue Confess) as Othello, Jennifer Alice Acker as Desdemona and Andrew Houchins as Iago. $15 previews; regularly $15-$36, with discounts for students, senior citizens, educators and the military. New American Shakespeare Tavern, 499 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299.
Tosca. OCT. 5, 8, 11 AND 13. The Atlanta Opera opens its season with a production of Giacomo Puccini’s dramatic love triangle. Tomer Zvulun, the company’s new general and artistic director, directs. Sung in Italian with projected English translations. $26-$133. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 200 Cobb Galleria Parkway. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885. For ticket discounts (plus a restaurant gift card), visit PoshDealz.com.
Urinetown: The Musical. OPENS FRIDAY | THROUGH OCT. 20. It’s a privilege to pee! So says Urinetown, the 2001 award-winning Broadway musical that tells a smart, hilarious and pointed tale of greed, corruption, love and revolution in the midst of a serious water shortage. This irreverent musical satire, opening Fabrefaction Theatre Company‘s professional season, is set in a Gotham-like city, where a 20-year drought has led to a government-enforced ban on private toilets. This upstart musical, which defied all naysayers on its way to success, paved the way for such shows as Avenue Q, The Book of Mormon and Spamalot. $13-$27. 999 Brady Ave. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.876.9468. For ticket discounts, visit PoshDealz.com.
The Guys. CLOSES SUNDAY. Theatrical Outfit’s season opener is based on the experiences of playwright Anne Nelson. Her alter ego is an editor named Joan (Jasmine Guy), who comes to help a fire captain (Brian Kurlander) write eulogies for the men he lost on 9/11. The critics: “It’s hard not to be moved by the characters’ efforts to understand each other and their mutual search for meaning in the face of an incomprehensibly tragic event” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com); “A poignant, yet uplifting piece of theater” (Andrew Wesley, AtlantaTheaterFans.com). $20-$50. 7:30 tonight-Friday; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 84 Luckie St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. (Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)
Harmony. CLOSES SUNDAY. The Alliance Theatre hosts the newest version of this musical from the Barry Manilow-Bruce Sussman writing team. Meet the Comedian Harmonists, six talented young men in 1920s Germany who could harmonize and cut-up with the best of them. They took the world by storm — until Adolf Hitler came to power. The critics: “Highly theatrical and from a technical point of view almost flawless. … But it’s never really that deep, or emotional, save for a few moments near the end” (Jim Farmer, ArtsATL.com); “In the end, a nearly flawless work of art that almost manages to cloak the harrowing underside of history in a bubble of elegance, sophistication and wit” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution); “Although a little fine-tuning here and there is inevitable, this show feels Broadway-bound” (Manning Harris, Atlanta INtown). $30-$75. 7:30 tonight; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Venus in Fur. CLOSES SUNDAY. David Ives’ Broadway hit opens the season at Actor’s Express. The sexy (at times, kinky) comedy concerns a young actress late for an audition. The play-within-the-play is based on a classic erotic novel. The cast: Veronika Duerr and Adam Fristoe. The critics: “Duerr’s performance is a tour de force. … A pinwheel-eyed puzzle of a play about the eternal and irresolvable struggles between men and women that swirl around sex and power (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com); “So much is required of Veronica Duerr; that she delivers in spades does not surprise me. This is a star-making role (Manning Harris, Atlanta INtown). $26-$45 plus fees (buy online and save). 8 tonight-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. 887 W. Marietta St. Note: The King Plow Arts Center parking lot is under construction. Alternate parking options HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607-SHOW. Ticket discounts at PoshDealz.com.
The Navigator. THROUGH OCT. 13. A large-scale, interactive theatrical spectacle for brave children and thrill-seeking adults, says 7 Stages. It’s based on the young-adult fantasy adventure novel by Eoin McNamee in a production masterminded by associate artistic director Michael Haverty. It combines puppetry, video and shadow projection, live performers, music and roving set pieces. Theatergoers will meet Owen, a young boy whose life is upended when time begins to flow backward and his family and friends disappear, and accompany him over the grounds of the Goat Farm Arts Center. Audience members are blended into the performance. The critics: “Using multi-disciplinary styles Haverty has created a world of chaos, fights, oddball characters, creatures known as ‘bog hounds’ and nifty special effects. … As ambitious as it is, it can be exhausting, both mentally and physically” (Jim Farmer, ArtsATL.com). $7-$16. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday. 1200 Foster St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647. For ticket discounts, visit PoshDealz.com. (Pictured: Reay Kaplan. Photo by Stungun Photography)
Spunk. THROUGH OCT. 13. True Colors Theatre Company offers a compendium of three stories by Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neale Hurston, adapted by George C. Wolfe and infused with great blues music by Chic Street Man and S. Renee Clark. The critics: “Spunk delivers on its title, offering bold and brassy tales in the key of life” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com); “Evocative and, eventually, entertaining” (Bert Osborne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $15-$60. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE.
Third Country. THROUGH OCT. 20. This Horizon Theatre world premiere, by Atlanta playwright Suehyla El-Attar, is inspired by real-life events in Clarkston. The story: Nura, a refugee, clings to her soccer ball like a lifeline as she meets Sasha, a resettlement worker who becomes her guide to a strange new home in a small Southern town named Siddington. “El-Attar ambitiously takes on a formidable subject … [but] ultimately, the choice before Sidington’s residents — whether to be more or less accepting — hardly seems a compellingly dramatic or intriguing one” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL); “Her good intentions alone aren’t enough to sustain the show as a whole, but El-Attar’s heart is clearly in the right place — which is to say firmly on her sleeve” (Bert Osborne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $20-$30. 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.
Walter Cronkite Is Dead. THROUGH OCT. 6. Aurora Theatre‘s two-woman comedy features a chatty, blue-collar Southerner and a reserved Washingtonian grounded together at an East Coast airport. Its question: What might be possible if people from opposite sides of the aisle could take time to listen? The cast: Lane Carlock and Lala Cochran. The critics: “Make no mistake: Ms. Cochran and Ms. Carlock are superb. In the hands of lesser performers, Cronkite would fall flat as pancake” (Manning Harris, Atlanta INtown); “Two of Atlanta’s more reliable acting talents fly high in an otherwise pedestrian comedy” (Bert Osborne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $15. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. In the Harvel Lab, 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking available via entrance at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.
The Sleepy Hollow Experience. OPENS OCT. 10 | THROUGH OCT. 31. Serenbe Playhouse gets ghostly for its first-ever fall production. The storybook tale, based on the Washington Irving story, revolves around awkward schoolteacher Ichabod Crane, the coquettish Katrina and Ichabod’s brutish rival, Brom Bones. In this version, minstrel storytellers lead audience members through the haunted halls of Serenbe Stables. Beware the Headless Horseman and his thundering steed. $20; $50 VIP. 8 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. 9110 Selborne Lane, Chattahoochee Hills/Palmetto (about 30 minutes from Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport). Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Ticket discounts at Poshdealz.com. (Pictured: Jessica Miesel as the Woman in White. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)
Waiting for Balloon. OCT. 17-NOV. 9. In this Alliance Theatre play for the very young, two childlike hobo-clown characters wait near railroad tracks for “balloon.” Neither, however, knows what exactly “balloon” is. This joyful, gentle riff on Waiting for Godot introduces clowning and puppets made from found objects. For ages 18 months to 5 years. Note: Get your tickets early. Seats for this innovative programming sell out early. $10. Black Box Theatre, 3rd Floor, Alliance Theatre at the Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s managing editor, has been seeing, working in or covering the performing arts for most of her life. Full disclosure: She is affiliated with Synchronicity Theatre and Fabrefaction Theatre Company, both mentioned above. Please email: email@example.com.