plutobiggerLooking for something cultural to do in the next week or so? Here’s our select list of recommendations. Pictured: Stephanie Friedman and Wyatt Ealey in “Pluto” at Actor’s Express. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus.


Pluto. THROUGH NOV. 24. A world premiere at Actor’s Express and clearly one of the best shows of the 2013-14 season to date. Atlanta-bred, Los Angeles-based playwright Steve Yockey (WolvesOctopus) 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); “Impressively finds the right balance of dysfunctional family drama, dark comedy and rich metaphor” (Curt Holman, Creative Loafing). 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 For more, read this Encore SNAPSHOT on Pluto actor Stephanie Friedman.

IMG_5239Salome. FRIDAY ONLY. 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 a private home — this one in the Mount Paran/Northside area of 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, 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.



gil-shaham376x283Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. 8 P.M. THURSDAY-FRIDAY; 7:30 P.M. SATURDAY. Carmina burana anchors a program of many players and voices. Also featured: Bartok’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with soloist Gil Shaham. Maestro Robert Spano leads the ASO and its chorus, the Gwinnett Young Singers, and soloists Kiera Duffy (soprano), Nmon Ford (baritone) and Marco Panuccio (tenor). $24-$75. Woodruff Arts Center, Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Phone Whore: A One-Act Play With Frequent Interruptions. 8 TONIGHT-SATURDAY. 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.



Macbeth. CLOSES SUNDAY. The relatively new Fern Theatre delivers an “all-female, even more dangerous” take on Shakespeare’s tragedy. The 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. The critics: “A new and intriguing take on a very old and immortal play, which is no small accomplishment” (Andrew Alexander, 8 tonight-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. At 7 Stages, 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE.

Warrior Class. CLOSES SUNDAY. This 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. $33-$38. 8 tonight-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 For more on playwright Ken Lin, see this Encore FEATURE.



Deathtrap. THROUGH 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. 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

King Lear. THROUGH 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.

Center_for_Puppet_-_Rudolph_2013Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. THROUGH DEC. 29. He’s back! Our little red-nosed reindeer friend; his pal, Hermie; and even the Bumble. Christmas must be coming. The Center for Puppetry Arts’ holiday adaptation is based on the classic 1964 stop-motion animated TV special. A live-camera, behind-the-scenes demonstration will follow select performances. $16.50-$20.50; age 2 and under free. Show times vary; check the schedule HERE. 1404 Spring St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.



chris-scroogeA Christmas Carol. NOV. 29-DEC. 29. This annual staging at the Alliance Theatre features an ending: This is Chris Kayser’s 16th and final season as Ebenezer Scrooge, although he doesn’t rule out returning in another role. Celebrate him and many other of Atlanta’s finest actors in a magical, musical staging of the Dickens classic. A multicultural cast, clothed in gorgeous period costumes, tells the tale and sings classic carols in rich harmonies. God bless us, everyone. $20-$70; family four-packs are $149. Show times vary. Details HERE. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets, details HERE or at 404.733.5000. Tickets discounts at For more in Chris Kayser’s run as Scrooge, see this Encore FEATURE.

peterpan-comingup_1Peter Pan and Wendy. DEC. 6-29. In this musical version of the popular tale, Wendy is the one who won’t grow up. To avoid the inevitable she flies off to Neverland with Peter Pan, where the Lost Boys, Tinkerbell, Tiger Lily, Captain Hook and his misfit pirates offer challenges and joy. A swashbuckling adventure from Synchronicity Theatre, in which young audience members can help tell the story. A co-production with Aurora Theatre. Recommended for ages 4 and up. $10-$40. Show times vary; details HERE. Synchronicity at the 14th Street Playhouse, Stage 2, 173 14th St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

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. Full disclosure: She’s affiliated with Synchronicity Theatre listed above. Please email:

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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