Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Here’s our select list of top picks.
Harabel: A Sparrow Over a Minefield. 7 P.M. JAN. 23 ONLY. This one-woman triumph received its world premiere at Theatrical Outfit last season and returned for an encore run this season. 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! 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.
OPENING THIS WEEKEND
Lombardi. OPENS TONIGHT | THROUGH FEB. 9. Football’s Super Bowl trophy is named for him, but few know the real story of iconic Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi — his inspirations, his passions and his ability to drive people to achieve what they never thought possible. Diligent young reporter Michael McCormick takes us inside the life of this giant in this Aurora Theatre production. Justin Anderson directs. Cast: Bart Hansard as Lombardi; Carolyn Cook as his wife, Marie; Christopher Moses as McCormick; John Stewart as Dave Robinson; Brody Wellmaker as Paul Hornung; and Jacob York as Jim Taylor. $20-$30. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Additional show at 10 a.m. Feb. 5 ($16); no evening show that night. Already sold out: opening night, Jan. 17, 18 (both shows) and 19. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered and attached parking available in city of Lawrenceville deck at 153 Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
The Geller Girls. IN PREVIEWS | OPENS JAN. 22. 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 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. $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 the playwright, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
The Only Light in Reno. THROUGH JAN 26. World premiere. 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, 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. The critics: “The match of writer to outrageous subject is so deliciously fitting. … Fans of Payne — or Monroe, Taylor and Clift — will find plenty to enjoy here” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com); “Not much happens in Reno. But it sure makes a delicious setup for a nonstop catfight. … The problem here is that Payne can’t seem to leave anything out, and it’s hard to discern whose story this is exactly” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $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. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Six Degrees of Separation. THROUGH 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 children and that he’s the son of Sidney 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, Mary Lynn Owen and James Donadio. The critics: “A smartly paced, witty, often thought-provoking, often scorchingly satiric show. But those who have seen the movie or other productions may leave slightly baffled: why this, why now?” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com); “Director Freddie Ashley’s chic Express staging is [mostly] a resounding success, briskly paced and smoothly orchestrated. It’s mainly left to Owen’s Ouisa to negotiate the play’s deepest concerns, however, and she does so with delicate skill” (Bert Osborne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $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. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. JAN. 23-26. Multi-faceted, multitalented pianist Wu Han, Musical America’s 2012 Musician of the Year, joins the ASO for Britten’s only piano concerto. Maestro Robert Spano conducts Berlioz’s semi-autobiographical tale of love found and then lost, the brilliant and colorful Symphonie fantastique. $24-$75. 8 p.m. Thursday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
The Book of Mormon. JAN. 28-FEB. 9. Broadway in Atlanta presents the irreverent, multi-awarding musical juggernaut about two young elders’ mission to Uganda. Ben Brantley of The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century.” Entertainment Weekly calls it “the funniest musical of all time.” This musical from “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, nearing its third anniversary on Broadway, makes its first stop in Atlanta. It won nine 2011 Tony awards, including best musical. $40-$145. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE. For more on Book of Mormon, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
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.
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 Aurora Theatre listed above. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.