Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Our select list of recommendations includes this Saturday’s free Talent Development Program Alumni Legacy Concert at Atlanta Symphony Hall. Pictured: Violinist Keanu Mitanga, 16, a current member of the groundbreaking orchestra. (Photo: Jeff Roffman)
Little Raindrop Songs. THROUGH JAN. 18. The Alliance Theatre’s latest Theatre for the Very Young production uses bright colors, puppetry and the catchy pajama-pop of the Japanese band Lullatone to engage audience members ages 18 months to 5 years in an interactive landscape. $10. 9:30 and 11 a.m. Friday, Saturday, Monday, Jan. 9-11 and 18. Woodruff Arts Center, Alliance Black Box Theatre on the third floor. 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.4200.
THIS WEEKEND ONLY
TDP Alumni Legacy Concert. SATURDAY. 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. For more on this program, see this Encore Atlanta FEATURE.
The Only Light in Reno. OPENS JAN 9. 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. Through Jan. 26. 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.
Six Degrees of Separation. PREVIEWS BEGIN WEDNESDAY. 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. The 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). Through Feb. 9. 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.
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 Geller Girls. PREVIEWS BEGIN JAN. 15. A world premiere romantic comedy. The latest tale from Atlanta playwright Janece Shaffer (He Looks Great in a Hat, Bluish, Managing Maxine, Broke) revisits 1895 Atlanta and the Cotton States and International Exposition. Young sisters Rosalee and Louisa Geller find their hometown a city full of optimism and opportunity. Rosalee has finally convinced her father to help her open her own dress shop (maybe), and Louisa’s childhood sweetheart is about to pop the question. Then the handsome and charming Charles Heyman comes to town, all the way from New York City. The cast: Mark Cabus, Courtenay Collins, Ann Marie Gideon, Courtney Patterson and Joe Sykes. $30-$65. Through Feb. 9. Schedule varies, details HERE. Woodruff Arts Center, Alliance mainstage, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE. Discount tickets for preview performances at PoshDealz.com. For more with Janece Shaffer, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
Harabel: A Sparrow Over a Minefield. 7 P.M. JAN. 23 ONLY. This one-woman triumph received its world premiere at Theatrical Outfit two seasons ago and returned for an encore run this year. Here’s another chance to catch one of Atlanta theater’s don’t-miss events (a description sometimes handed out too easily but richly deserved here). 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. And it’s FREE! But reservations are required. 7 p.m. Theater Emory’s Munroe Theatre in the Dobbs University Center, 605 Asbury Circle on the Emory University campus. Reserve tickets at 404.727.5050. (Pictured: Jonida Beqo. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)
Master and Commander. JAN. 9 & 11. The “ever-immaculate, ever-imaginative” (London Times) pianist Louis Lortie returns to Atlanta Symphony Hall for Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21. Toronto Symphony Orchestra Music Director Peter Oundjian makes his ASO debut leading the orchestra in Vaughan Williams’ Tallis Fantasia and Dvorák’s Symphony No. 7. $24-$75. 8 p.m. Thursday; 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Peter Pan & Wendy. JAN. 9-19. 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, Smee, offer challenges and joys. A swashbuckling adventure from Synchronicity Theatre, in which young audience members help tell the story. A co-production with Aurora Theatre. Recommended for ages 4 and up. $18 and $22. 10:30 a.m. Thursday; 10:30 a.m. and 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday. Synchronicity at the Marcus Jewish Community Center Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.812.4000.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.