Looking for something cultural to do in the next week or so? Here’s our select list of recommendations. Pictured: Wyatt Fenner and Kathleen Wattis as mother and son in the world premiere of “Pluto” at Actor’s Express (photo by BreeAnne Clowdus).
Harabel: A Sparrow Over a Minefield. FINAL WEEKEND. This one-woman triumph received its world premiere in a two-night preview at Theatrical Outfit last winter and returns for a full run now. The bad news: Only five performances remain. The autobiographical piece is written and performed in stunning fashion by Jonida Beqo (Yo-NEE-duh BAY-chow). It’s told in poetic snapshots that follow her journey from Albanian refugee to American citizen. Talkbacks follow Nov. 8-9 shows. The critics: “By turns shattering and transformative. … Harabel is a one-of-a-kind evening of theater” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution); “Extraordinary. … If the show sounds a bit heavy, fret not. It’s full of whimsy and humor” (Manning Harris, Atlanta INtown Paper). $20-$50. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 84 Luckie St. N.W. Details HERE or at 678.528.1500.
Pluto. THROUGH NOV. 24 | WORLD PREMIERE. Atlanta-bred, Los Angeles-based playwright Steve Yockey, who brought Wolves to the Express last season and Octopus a few years back, turns his dark and twisty imagination to a mother and son, who, in the wake of a tragedy, try to jump-start their relationship over the breakfast table. It’s a wild, inventive and mesmerizing 80-minute ride. Melissa Foulger directs. The cast: Wyatt Fenner, Stephanie Friedman, Alison Hastings, Joe Sykes and Express regular Kathleen Wattis. The critics: “Yockey delivers an American tragedy as important as it is disturbing” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. $26-$45 plus fees (buy online, save money). 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. For more, read this Encore SNAPSHOT on Pluto actor Stephanie Friedman.
Salome. THROUGH NOV. 15. Out of Hand Theater stages a contemporary, one-woman piece about the biblical Salome, exploring sex, pleasure, manipulation, violence and discovering who one is. The playwright is Charles L. Mee (Big Love). The cast is Out of Hand co-founder Maia Knispel. The concept is irresistible. The 45-minute piece is performed in private homes throughout metro Atlanta, accompanied by tea and a post-show wine-and-nibbles reception. The critics: “The small groups that are lucky and brave enough to go along for the ride will have one of the Atlanta theatrical season’s most unusual, provocative and compelling experiences” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com). Tickets still available for this Friday’s show in Marietta. Performances may be added. $25 plus fees. Ticket buyers choose their performance, the exact address is emailed the day before. Details, tickets HERE. For more, see this Encore FEATURE. (Pictured: Maia Knispel)
THIS WEEKEND ONLY
The 24-Hour Plays. 8 P.M. SUNDAY. One of the most popular kamikaze events in Atlanta theater history returns, presented by Working Title Playwrights with producing partner Onstage Atlanta. Sixteen writers will meet at 10 p.m. Saturday and be randomly paired. They’ll have until dawn to create eight 12-minute scripts. Eight directors arrive at 9 a.m. Sunday and are randomly assigned a script. They cast their plays from 60 headshots. Then it’s a marathon day of rehearsing, staging, costuming and setting tech. Ready or not, the show goes on at 8 p.m. Sunday and ends at 10, exactly 24 hours after the writers first convened. The whirlwind event is a fundraiser for Working Title, which helps new plays happen in Atlanta. $10-$15 at the door. OnStage Atlanta, 2969 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. 8 P.M. THURSDAY-FRIDAY; 7:30 P.M. SATURDAY. Take a trip around the world with the ASO and guest conductor Carlo Montanaro of Italy. The program features Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien and Dvorak’s New World symphony, based on American folk music. French pianist Pascal Rogé makes his ASO debut playing Saint-Saëns’ Egyptian, an ode to Northern Africa. $24-$75. Woodruff Arts Center, Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Stars Shine on Shaw. 3 P.M. SUNDAY. A musical celebration of the life and legacy of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra choral master and maestro Robert Shaw with vocalists Christine Brewer, Lynn Harrell, Sylvia McNair and Marietta Simpson. ASO music director Robert Spano is at the piano. The gala recital honors Shaw and benefits the making of the film Robert Shaw — Man of Many Voices, co-produced by Georgia Public Broadcasting in association with the ASO and the Yale University Music Library. $50-$75. Woodruff Arts Center, Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. (Follow the film’s progress HERE.)
OPENING THIS WEEKEND
Deathtrap. TONIGHT-NOV. 24. Go ahead, scream a little — it’s good for you. Deathtrap, at Georgia Ensemble Theatre, is a wickedly clever thriller filled with twists, turns, shocking moments and a touch of laughter. The story involves a successful Broadway playwright in the midst of a dry spell — and his plan to usurp a student’s work. What Psycho did for the movies, Ira Levin’s Deathtrap did for the theater. The cast: James Baskin, James Donadio, Brian Hatch, Shelly McCook and Mary Lynn Owen. $10-$33. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Ticket discounts at PoshDealz.com.
King Lear. TONIGHT-DEC. 1. The ties that bind in this tragedy are woven of deceit, greed, grief and joyfulness. Often regarded as Shakespeare’s crowning achievement, this drama about the relationship between parents and their offspring shows how quickly one can become blinded by fear and killed with love. Featuring artistic director Jeffrey Watkins as Lear, with Erin Considine as Goneril, Laura Cole as Regan, Hayley Platt as Cordelia and a cast of, well, dozens. $15-$36. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday (no show on Thanksgiving). Food and drink available. New American Shakespeare Tavern, 499 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299.
Macbeth. THROUGH NOV. 17. The relatively new Fern Theatre promises an “all-female, even more dangerous” take on Shakespeare’s tragedy. The female takeover, a first in Atlanta, is worth checking out. Seven actors play 26 roles. Mary Russell is Macbeth and Bryn Striepe is Lady Macbeth, with Lynne Jensen, Kristin Kalbli, Jenny Lamourt, Christen Orr and Kristin Storla. $15 plus fees. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. At 7 Stages, 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE. (Pictured: Bryn Striepe, left, and Mary Russell)
CLOSING THIS WEEKEND
Ghost: The Musical. THROUGH SUNDAY. Based on the 1990 Demi Moore-Patrick Swayze movie that combined romance, murder, blackmail and otherworldly spirits. Presented by Broadway in Atlanta. $30-$75. 7:30 tonight; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets HERE or at 1.855.285.8499. Meet Ghost illusionist Paul Kieve in this Encore FEATURE.
Warrior Class. THROUGH NOV. 17. This critically acclaimed political drama by Kenneth Lin follows the fortunes of a rising Asian-American Republican with a sparkling reputation and Obama-like charisma. He seems unstoppable — until an ex-girlfriend enters the picture. Lin, the winner of the 2006 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, returns to celebrate the event’s 10th anniversary. The critics: “A captivating, well-written play (Andrew Wesley, AtlantaTheaterFans.com). $33-$38. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Alliance Theatre, Hertz Stage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details HERE or at 404.733.5000. Ticket discounts at PoshDealz.com. For more on playwright Ken Lin, see this Encore FEATURE.
Phone Whore: A One-Act Play With Frequent Interruptions. NOV. 14-16. The Atlanta Fringe Festival presents Montreal-based Cameryn Moore’s one-woman show, a hilarious and unflinching exploration of the phone sex industry and sexual taboos. The show is touring North America after a full run and sold-out shows at the 2013 Edinburgh Fringe. The critics: “The kind of wondrous work that forces you to face not just your own limits, but also what the limits are for text, performance and theater itself” (The Charlebois Post, Montreal); “… an incredibly brutal, piercing and thought-provoking commentary on sexuality” (ThreeWeeks, Edinburgh). $12 advance; $15 door. 8 p.m. The Highland Ballroom, 644 North Highland Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE.
Urban Nutcracker. NOV. 21-24. Ballethnic Dance Company‘s inventive take on the classic holiday ballet has only four performances, so don’t delay! Urban Nut is set on Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn Avenue in the 1940s, a high-stepping street populated by the Reggae Ragdolls, the Black Russian, Mother Spice and her tumbling Spice Drops, the bubbly Coca-Cola Pas de Six, and Brown Sugar and her Chocolatier. $29-$52. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. Ferst Center for the Arts on the Georgia Tech campus, 349 Ferst Drive N.W. Details, tickets HERE.
Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s managing editor, has been seeing, working in or covering the performing arts for most of her life. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.