Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Our list of top picks includes the Alliance Theatre’s comic drama “The Geller Girls,” with Ann Marie Gideon (left) and Courtney Patterson. (Photo by Jeff Rothman). Because of this week’s weather situation, please check with the venue before heading to a performance or event.
The Book of Mormon. THROUGH FEB. 9. Broadway in Atlanta presents the irreverent, multi-award-winning musical about two young Mormon missionaries dispatched to Uganda. The New York Times’ Ben Brantley calls it “the best musical of this century.” Entertainment Weekly calls it “the funniest musical of all time.” The show from “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Avenue Q‘s Robert Lopez, nearing its third anniversary on Broadway, makes its first stop in Atlanta. Winner of nine 2011 Tony awards, including best musical. $40-$145. Because Tuesday-Wednesday performances were canceled this week due to weather, a 7 p.m. show has been schedule for Monday, for those ticket holders. Rest of run: 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.
The Geller Girls. THROUGH FEB. 9. This wonderful world premiere by Atlanta playwright Janece Shaffer (He Looks Great in a Hat, Bluish, Managing Maxine, Broke) is a delightful and layered story of dreams, whimsy and difficult decisions. Visit 1895 Atlanta during the Cotton States and International Exposition, a time in which young sisters Rosalee (Courtney Patterson) and Louisa Geller (Ann Marie Gideon) find their hometown full of optimism and opportunity. Also with Mark Cabus, Courtenay Collins and Joe Sykes. The critics: “A wonderfully textured comedy about a world on the cusp of change, and a family that must find a new way to live and to love” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution); “An enchanting play tailor-made for Atlanta” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com). $30-$65. Schedule varies, details HERE. Woodruff Arts Center, Alliance mainstage, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more with the playwright, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
Lombardi. THROUGH FEB. 9. The 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 the giant in this Aurora Theatre production. Recent Suzi Award winner 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. 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. (Pictured, from left, Christopher Moses as the reporter, Jacob York as fullback Jim Taylor and John Stewart as linebacker Dave Robinson. Photo by Chris Bartelski.)
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? Deliciously and provocatively in another fine staging from Actor’s Express. John Guare’s piece won London’s 1993 Olivier Award for best play and the 1991 New York Drama Critics Circle Award. The large cast features Jason-Jamal Ligon as Paul and a devastatingly fine Mary Lynn Owen. The critics: “A smartly paced, witty, often thought-provoking, often scorchingly satiric show” (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, and she does so with delicate skill” (Bert Osborne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Contains nudity and adult content. $15-$40 plus fees (buy online and save). 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. 887 W. Marietta St. Note: The new King Plow Arts Center parking lot is open; it’ll now cost you $5 to park. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.SHOW. (Pictured, from left: Ligon, Owen, Doyle Reynolds and James Donadio. Photo by Jenny Hofstetter Photography)
OPENING THIS WEEKEND
Off the EDGE. FRIDAY-FEB. 1. The Rialto Center for the Arts and Kennesaw State University partner to bring some of the world’s most innovative dance companies to town. Friday’s performance includes Dance Heginbotham of New York, Wayne McGregor Random Dance of London, Atlanta Ballet’s Wabi Sabi and Compagnie Käfig of France. Saturday’s performance features Hubbard Street Dance of Chicago, Dance Heginbotham of New York, Wayne McGregor Random Dance of London, the KSU Dance Department and Michelle Dorrance of New York with Atlanta vocalist Aaron Marcellus. $34-$62. At the Rialto, 80 Forsyth St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.413.9849.
THIS WEEKEND ONLY
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. TONIGHT-SATURDAY. Guest conductor Roberto Abbado leads the orchestra in Mussorgsky’s Prelude to Khovanshchina, Rachmaninov’s Symphonic Dances and Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1, the latter with violinist Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg as soloist. $24-$75. 8 tonight-Friday; 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Georgia Innocence Project’s Life: 20/20. 7 P.M. SUNDAY. An evening of stories and song, featuring live music from “Life: 20/20,” a new release from the Georgia Innocence Project inspired by the life of its first exoneree, Clarence Harrison. Harrison joins musicians Melanie Hammet and Ben Holst. Presented by True Colors Theater Company in advance of its staging of David Mamet’s Race (Feb. 25-March 23). $15 requested at the door. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road S.W. Details at 404.613.3220. (Pictured: Harrison and Hammet)
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. THROUGH FEB. 20. This annual event, now in its 14th year, is an international cinematic exploration of Jewish life, culture and history. The 2014 lineup features 65 narrative and documentary films, including 12 shorts. Both contemporary and classic films are screened. The festival will close with the documentary Next Year Jerusalem, about eight Connecticut nursing home residents who make a transformative trip to the Holy Land. $11 (single tickets). At six venues including the Lefont Sandy Springs and Atlantic Station Stadium 16. Details at 866.214.2072 and www.ajff.org. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
The Best of Enemies. IN PREVIEWS | OPENS FEB. 1. Based on the true story told in Osha Gray Davidson’s book of the same name about two very different people – a civil rights activist (Elisabeth Omilami) and a high-ranking KKK official – (Bruce Evers) come together for a common good. Enoch King and Lala Cochran complete the Theatrical Outfit cast. The New York Times called it “one of the most important historical plays about America to ever reach the stage.” $20-$35; opening night $50. Through Feb. 23. Schedule varies, details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 877.725.8849.
Brave New Works. TONIGHT-FEB. 15. The Playwriting Center of Theater Emory celebrates new plays with this free festival of readings and workshops. All events begin at 7 p.m. The schedule: Tonight — selections from In Love and Warcraft and other new work by Madhuri Shekar, the 2014 winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition; Feb. 1 — The Bitch of Balaclava by Patricia Henritze, about Florence Nightingale’s work during the Crimean War; Feb. 6 — selections from A Work of Pure Fiction and Total Power Exchange by Edith Freni; Feb. 7 — a reading of Native Guard by U.S. Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey; Feb. 13 — selections from An Elaborate System of Ropes and Pulleys and other new work by Jeff J. Peterson; and Feb. 15 — The Sapelo Project, curated by Josiah Watts and directed by Janice Akers, using music, movement, spoken word, acting and video to celebrate Sapelo Island’s culture and oral history. Free. Reservations required (call 404.727.5050). Emory University’s Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts, 1700 North Decatur Road. Details HERE. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
In Love and Warcraft. IN PREVIEWS | OPENS FEB. 5. The 2013-14 winner of the prestigious, one-of-a-kind Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. In this world premiere by Madhuri Shekar (University of Southern California), meet Evie, a master of relationships. Other people’s relationships, and she has a waiting list of classmates willing to pay her top dollar. How does she do it? By using the skills she learned in becoming one of the best World of Warcraft players on the planet. $25-$33. Previews at 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday; and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 4. Opens at 8 p.m. Feb. 5. Regular schedule: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 and 7 p.m. Sunday. Hertz Stage, Alliance Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets, details HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount dinner-and-show packages for Jan. 31, Feb. 1 and 4 at PoshDealz.com. For more on playwright Shekar, see this ENCORE FEATURE; for more on Kendeda Week happenings, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
On Golden Pond. THROUGH FEB. 16. Theo Harness and Jackie Prucha, (two Atlanta actors we don’t see enough of), play the bickering Thayers spending a summer at their lake home, facing the vagaries of age and a generation gap. Kelly Criss (Weird Sisters Theatre Project) directs. $22-$27; $12 under age 12. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Stage Door Players, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details HERE or at 770.396.1726. Tickets HERE.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. OPENS FEB. 13 | FIVE SHOWS ONLY. Thrill to new works by some of the world’s best choreographers and enjoy the famed New York-based company’s classic Revelations. Program varies from show to show, all worth the price of admission. $16.50-$62. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Details and tickets HERE.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. FEB. 6 & 8. James Feddeck, assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, leads the ASO in Schubert’s Symphony No. 3, Elgar’s Enigman Variations and Paganini’s first violin concerto. Augustin Hadelich solos on the latter. Of the violinist, The Washington Post said: “The essence of Hadelich’s playing is beauty.” $24-$75. 8 p.m. Thursday; 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000
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.