Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Our select list of recommendations includes “The Great Gatsby,” opening this weekend at Georgia Ensemble Theatre. The cast includes (from left) Bryan Brendle, Elizabeth Wells Berkes (as Daisy Buchanan), Jason McDonald (as Jay Gatsby), Rachel Garner and David Plunkett (as Nick Carraway). Photo by Dan Carmody/Studio 7.
Shakespeare’s R&J. FINAL WEEKEND. In this adaptation of Shakespeare’s play, four prep school students, weary of routine, dig into a copy of the tragedy and discover how it mirrors their own structured lives. Brian Clowdus of Serenbe Playhouse directs a cast featuring Chase Steven Anderson, Kyle Brumley, Brian Hatch and Justin Walker. The Joe Calarco play is at Fabrefaction Theatre Conservatory. The reviews: “Steamy, dangerous and violent … haunting and exceptionally eloquent” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution); “Fabrefaction has assembled an excellent cast. … A big problem is that incidental music has been threaded throughout … often loud or anxiously throbbing techno music” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com). $18-$22. 8 tonight-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. 999 Brady Ave. Details, tickets HERE. Ticket discounts at PoshDealz.com.
Where the Mountain Meets the Moon. THROUGH MARCH 9. Based on Grace Lin’s popular 2010 Newbery Honor novel. The story: Young Minli lives with her parents near Fruitless Mountain, surviving on the meager fare they can produce. Inspired by the rich tales her father tells (and by a magical goldfish), Minli determines she will find the Old Man of the Moon who, it is said, knows the secret of good fortune. Told with actors, puppetry, masks and flying kites. Recommended for ages 5 and up. A Synchronicity Theatre staging directed by Justin Anderson. The reviews: “A fantastic and magical theatrical adaptation” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com). $10-$40. 7:30 p.m. Friday; 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday; and 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday. Synchronicity at the 14th Street Playhouse, 173 14th St. N.E. at Juniper Street. Details, tickets HERE.
Johnny Mercer Celebration. FRIDAY ONLY. Jazz trumpeter Joel Gransden joins Count Basie Orchestra vocalist Carmen Bradford and the Georgia State University Jazz Band in this annual tribute to Georgia-born songwriter Johnny Mercer. Between 1929 and 1976, Mercer wrote more than 1,000 songs (music, lyrics or both), received 19 Oscar nominations and co-founded Capitol Records. His hit list includes “Accentuate the Positive,” “Moon River,” “One for My Baby,” “P.S. I Love You,” “Hooray for Hollywood” and “Come Rain or Come Shine.” $39.72-$65.64. 8 p.m. Rialto Center for the Arts, 80 Forsyth St. N.W. Details HERE or at 404.413.9849.
OPENING THIS WEEKEND
The Great Gatsby. THROUGH MARCH 16. The glamour and decadent excess of the Jazz Age fills the stage in an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel. Self-made millionaire Jay Gatsby pursues the elusive Daisy Buchanan, as newcomer Nick Carraway is drawn into their world of obsession, greed and danger. Tess Malis Kincaid directs a cast that features Elizabeth Wells Berkes, Robin Bloodworth, Bryan Brendle, Rachel Garner, Vicki Gray Ellis, Steve Hudson, Jason MacDonald, Stacy Melich and David Plunkett. $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, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Race. BEGINS TUESDAY | THROUGH MARCH 23. A suspense story from David Mamet that the Chicago Tribune calls “intellectually salacious.” The story: Two high-profile lawyers — one black, one white — are called to defend a wealthy white client charged with the rape of an African-American woman. They find themselves in the midst of a complex case where blatant prejudice is as disturbing as the evidence at hand. John Dillon directs a cast comprising Andrew Benator, Neal Ghant, Tiffany Hobbs and Ric Reitz. It’s Mamet, so expect adult language. $15-$50. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. True Colors Theatre Company at the Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road S.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.532.1901.
Red Badge of Courage. THROUGH MARCH 23. A co-production of 7 Stages and Kennesaw State University’s College of the Arts, using live actors, tabletop puppetry, projected silhouettes and animation to tell Stephen Crane’s story about the Civil War and a Union soldier named Henry Fleming. Co-created by 7 Stages’ Michael Haverty and KSU’s Jane Barnette. $10-$20. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Also at 2 p.m. March 15 & 22. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
THIS WEEKEND ONLY
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. TONIGHT & SATURDAY. Guest conductor Thierry Fischer makes his ASO debut in a program that features Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and and Nielsen’s Violin Concerto. The latter features much-in-demand soloist Hilary Hahn. $24-$75. 8 tonight; 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Romance Repertory. THROUGH MARCH 30. Much Ado About Nothing, Romeo and Juliet and The Taming of the Shrew rotate performances at the New American Shakespeare Tavern. British pub menu (and libations) available. $20. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299.
Shrek the Musical. THROUGH MARCH 16. The Alliance Theatre presents an hourlong musical version of the fractured fairy tale about a snarky ogre, a donkey and a princess. Directed by Rosemary Newcott. 1 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday; 1 and 3:30 p.m. Sunday (Saturday showtimes change throughout the run; Sundays remain the same). Mainstage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. (Pictured: Caleb Clark as everyone’s favorite green ogre. Photo: Greg Mooney)
Weather Rocks! THROUGH MARCH 23. Kids of all ages can discover Mother Nature’s secrets in this original musical in which rockin’ meteorologists share facts about rain, snow, hurricanes and sunshine. Written by Jon Ludwig. Five actors use hand-and-rod, rod, marionette, shadow and black light puppets to share the story. $16.50; under age 2 free. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. MARCH 6 ONLY. In a program titled “We’ll Always Have Paris,” music director Robert Spano and flutist Jeffrey Khaner unite for the ASO debut of Jonathan Leshnoff’s Flute Concerto, which they premiered in 2011 in Philadelphia. Also scheduled: Ravel’s Pavane, Debussy’s Jeux and Mozart’s Paris symphony. $24-$75. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Faust. MARCH 8-16. The Atlanta Opera presents Gounod’s retelling of the famous legend about an elderly scholar who sells his soul to the devil Méphistophélès for a chance to seduce the beautiful Marguerite. Faust’s diabolical struggle between good and evil must surely end in tragedy … or does it? Arthur Fagen conducts. $26-$140. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday; 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.
Once. TUESDAY-MARCH 9. Broadway in Atlanta presents this 2012 Tony Award-winning musical about a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. $30-$75. 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 or at 1.855.285-8499. For more on the romance behind the show, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
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.