Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Our select list of recommendations includes the Alliance’ Theatre’s “A Christmas Carol,” with Chris Kayser in his final turn as Ebenezer Scrooge. Pictured: Kayser as Scrooge, on Christmas morning when he realizes all is not lost. Photo by Greg Mooney. (Merry Christmas, everybody!)
A Christmas Carol. FINAL WEEK. This annual Alliance Theatre staging marks Chris Kayser’s 16th and final season as Ebenezer Scrooge. Celebrate him and many of Atlanta’s finest actors in a magical, musical telling of the Dickens classic. A multicultural cast, clothed in gorgeous period costumes, tells the tale and sings classic carols in rich harmonies. $20-$70; family four-packs are $149. Through Dec. 29. Show times vary. Details HERE. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more on Chris Kayser’s run as Scrooge, see this Encore FEATURE. Thanks, Chris.
Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. FINAL WEEK. The tradition continues with another trip to the Sugar Candy Kingdom. This year’s staging features new illusions, and the Georgia Youth Choir in Act 1’s “Snow Scene.” Choreography by artistic director John McFall. The score, of course, is Tchaikovsky’s, played by the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra. $20-$80. Through Dec. 29. 1 p.m. today; 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 2 and 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets, details HERE. For more, see this Encore FEATURE.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. FINAL WEEK. Our little red-nosed reindeer friend soon flies off to the North Pole for another year. Catch him, his pal Hermie and even the Bumble before he goes. The Center for Puppetry Arts‘ adaptation is based on the classic 1964 stop-motion animated TV special. $16.50-$20.50; age 2 and under free. Through Dec. 29. Show times vary; check the schedule HERE. 1404 Spring St. N.W. Tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.
The Santaland Diaries. FINAL WEEK. Want a little snark with your Santa? Look no further than Horizon Theatre Company‘s Santaland Diaries, featuring Crumpet, a rebel without a, uh, Clause. This David Sedaris-penned piece — back for a 14th season — tells the true-life tale of an out-of-work writer who spent one unhappy holiday season as a Macy’s department store elf. Note: Contains mature language and situations. Don’t bring the kids! Through Dec. 30. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 6 p.m. Sunday (no show on Christmas Day). $25-$40. 1083 Austin Ave. N.E. (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE.
Peter Pan & Wendy. FINAL WEEK. 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 pirate pal offer challenges and joys. A swashbuckling adventure from Synchronicity Theatre, in which young audience members can help tell the story and decorate a Neverland-ish holiday tree. A co-production with Aurora Theatre. Recommended for ages 4 and up. The critics: “A pleasant option for parents and kids who are either tired of, or not interested in, Christmas shows” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com). $10-$40. Through Dec. 29. Show times vary; details HERE. Synchronicity at the 14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com. (Pictured, from left, Daniel Hilton as Smee, Shelli Delgado as Tiger Lily and Monté J. Howell as Captain Hook. Photo by KVC Photography)
ASO New Year’s Eve. DEC. 31. Welcome the new year with the music and lyrics of George and Ira Gershwin. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and guest conductor Jack Everly are joined by vocalist Judy McLane and pianist Michael Chertock for such Gershwin favorites as “I Got Rhythm” and “They Can’t Take That Away from Me.” $31-$69. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets, details HERE or at 404.733.5000.
CRUSH: A Valentine to the ’90s. FEB. 3 ONLY. Excited about The Book of Mormon coming to town? Now there’s even more reason. TheBestArts.com will present cast members in a one-night-only cabaret event that will benefit Project Open Hand and Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS. More than 20 singers, dancers and actors will showcase their talents, backed by a live band. Includes a cash bar. $50; $100 VIP (includes pre-show reception with the show’s leading performers). 6:30 p.m. silent auction with Mormon memorabilia; 7:30 p.m. show. A live auction mid-show will let audience members bid for a chance to join the company backstage at the Fox Theatre, where Book of Mormon will play. 14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th St. N.E. in Midtown. Tickets HERE.
The Only Light in Reno. JAN 9.-26. World premiere. If the photos are any indication, this looks delicious. Prolific Atlanta playwright Topher Payne (Swell Party, Angry Fags) returns to Georgia Ensemble Theatre with this trippy trip back in time. It’s August 1960 and 106 degrees in Reno, Nev., where filming on the movie The Misfits is hopelessly behind schedule. Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift are playing board games with an accused murderess, and Marilyn Monroe is locked in the bathroom. See what happened when Hollywood came to “The Biggest Little City in the World.” Cast: Kate Donadio, Johnny Drago, Elizabeth Genge, Shelly McCook and Rachel Sorsa. $10-$33. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 4 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Georgia Ensemble Theatre at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forest St. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. (Pictured: Johnny Drago as Montgomery Clift, Kate Donadio as Elizabeth Taylor and Rachel Sorsa as Marilyn Monroe. Photo: R. Todd Fleeman)
Six Degrees of Separation. JAN. 8-FEB. 9. A young man named Paul artfully cons himself into the lives of New York’s bourgeois by claiming to know a wealthy couple’s Ivy League children and that he’s the son of Sydney Poitier. How will this charade play out? Award-winning playwright John Guare’s bitterly comic piece explores the intimacy of the universe, and the comfort and chaos found within it. Winner of London’s 1993 Olivier Award for best play and the 1991 New York Drama Critics Circle Award. At Actor’s Express. Cast includes Jason-Jamal Ligon as Paul, plus Lane Carlock, Luis R. Hernandez, Mary Lynn Owen and Doyle Reynolds. $15-$40 plus fees (buy online, save money). 8 p.m. Wednesday-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.
TDP Legacy Concert. JAN. 4. Alumni of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Talent Development Program gather for this free event, celebrating the program’s 20th anniversary. TDP, established in 1993, identifies musically gifted and motivated African-American and Latino instrumentalists in the greater metro area and prepares them for acceptance into top music programs — Oberlin Conservatory of Music, the Juilliard School, the Cleveland Institute of Music, New England Conservatory of Music and the Curtis Institute of Music, among others — and professional careers. Monica Pearson, formerly of WSB-TV, hosts. 7 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Yes, it’s free, but tickets are required. Details 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: email@example.com.