Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Our select list of recommendations includes world premiere of “The Tall Girls” at the Alliance Theatre’s Hertz Stage. Pictured are Veronika Duerr and Travis Smith. Photo by Greg Mooney.
The Great Gatsby. CLOSES SUNDAY. The glamour and decadent excess of the Jazz Age fill the stage in an adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel. With Jason McDonald as Jay Gatsby, Elizabeth Wells Berkes as Daisy Buchanan and David Plunkett as Nick Carraway. The critics: “Director Tess Malis Kincaid delivers a chilling, jazz-haunted treatment of a novel that feels almost preternaturally designed for the stage” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $10-$33. 8 tonight-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. THROUGH MARCH 23. Two high-profile lawyers — one black, one white — are called to defend a wealthy white client charged with raping a black woman in this “intellectually salacious” (Chicago Tribune) thriller from David Mamet. They find a complex case in which blatant prejudice is as disturbing as the evidence. John Dillon directs a cast comprising Andrew Benator, Neal Ghant, Tiffany Hobbs and Ric Reitz. Expect adult language. The critics: “An intense and riveting production” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com); “An open-and-shut case of scintillating theater” (Bert Osborne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $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.
The Tall Girls. THROUGH MARCH 30. World premiere. The Alliance Theatre’s Hertz Stage season concludes with this basketball story by Meg Miroshnik (winner of the 2012-13 Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition with The Fairy Tale Lives of Russian Girls). We’re in the Dust Bowl town of Pure Prairie in the 1930s, where sometimes basketball is the only way out, even for a girl. When a stranger gets off the train, only a few things are clear: He’s teaching at the high school, he knows basketball and he has the only inflated ball in town. $33-$38. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Sunday. 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE. Get the story behind the play in this ENCORE FEATURE.
THIS WEEKEND ONLY
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. TONIGHT-SUNDAY. Principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles makes his season premiere, joining music director Robert Spano for a program featuring Wagner (“Liebestod” from Tristan and Isolde), Ravel (La valse) and Stravinsky (The Rite of Spring). $24-$75. 8 p.m. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. SATURDAY ONLY. The young players are led by maestro Jere Flint, who soon retires after more than four decades with the ASO and almost as much time with the ASYO. The program features Copland (“Four Dance Episodes” from Rodeo), Weber (Concerto No. 2, Movement 3, Recitative Alla Pollaca), Ravel (introduction and allegro for harp and orchestra), Sibelius (Finlandia) and Prokofiev (excerpts from Symphony No. 5). $10. 2 p.m. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Modern Atlanta Dance Festival. FRIDAY-SATURDAY. The 20th annual event presents the best of Georgia’s modern/contemporary dance. Performers include host company Full Radius Dance, SWADanceCollective, Project 7 Contemporary Dance, Atlanta Dance Connection and works by independent choreographers Christen S. Weimer, Emily Cargill and Anicka Austin. The critics: “Clear evidence that there is more happening on the Atlanta dance scene than many people realize” (Gillian Renault, ArtsATL.com). $20. 8 p.m. Theatrical Outfit’s Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE.
OPENING THIS WEEKEND
Elemeno Pea. OPENS FRIDAY | THROUGH APRIL 13. Horizon Theatre’s 30th season continues with this dark comedy set at summer’s end on Martha’s Vineyard, where the haves and have-nots are all flying without a net. The cast: Cynthia D. Barker (Third Country), Adam Fristoe (Venus in Fur at Actor’s Express), Tony Guerrero, Cara Mantella and Tiffany Porter. Includes explicit language and adult situations. Recommended for ages 16 and up. $20-$30. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. N.E. at Euclid Avenue. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com. For more on the Horizon season, see this ENCORE FEATURE. (Pictured: Tiffany Porter, left, and Cynthia D. Barker. Photo by Bradley Hester)
The Unauthorized Autobiography of Samantha Brown. OPENS TONIGHT | THROUGH APRIL 6. Regional premiere. Aurora Theatre stages this 2009 musical about a high school grad who has everything a teenager wants: brains, a boyfriend, functional parents and an acceptance letter to the college of her choice. Her bags are packed, and she’s ready to take off, but something is holding her back. Justin Anderson directs a cast featuring Kylie Brown (Samantha), Chris Damiano, Stephanie Friedman, Jeremiah Parker Hobbs and Wendy Melkonian. $25-$35. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10 a.m. April 2 (replacing evening show, $16). 128 East Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, attached, covered parking in city of Lawrenceville deck at 153 Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com. (Pictured: Stephanie Friedman, left, and Kylie Brown as Sam. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)
CLOSING THIS WEEKEND
Faust. FRIDAY & SUNDAY. 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? With Noah Stewart as Faust. Arthur Fagen conducts. Sung in French with projected English translations. $26-$140. 8 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.
Shrek the Musical. CLOSES SUNDAY. The Alliance Theatre presents an hourlong version of the Broadway musical/fractured fairy tale about a snarky ogre, a donkey sidekick and an optimistic princess. Directed by Rosemary Newcott. $20-$35. 1 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday- Sunday. Mainstage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. (Pictured: Monté J. Howell as Donkey and Caleb Clark at Shrek. Photo by Greg Mooney)
Red Badge of Courage. THROUGH MARCH 23. A co-production of 7 Stages and Kennesaw State University, 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. The critics: “Can be dense and difficult to unpack but provides a fascinatingly feverish theatrical experience” (Curt Holman, Creative Loafing); “An inventive one-act production [that] manages to capture the novel’s depiction of the chaos of war and its overall haunting tone, as well as its absurdist, existentialist edge” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com). $10-$20. 8 tonight; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Also at 2 p.m. March 22. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647. Listen to the creators discuss their show in this ENCORE VIDEO. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Weather Rocks! THROUGH MARCH 23. Kids of all ages can discover Mother Nature’s secrets in this original musical featuring rockin’ meteorologists who share fun 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 2 free. 10 & 11:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; noon and 2 p.m. Saturday; and 1 & 3 p.m. Sunday. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. MARCH 20-21. World premiere. Music director Robert Spano and soloists Jessica Rivera and Stuart Skelton join the ASO for Fire Angels, composed by Mark Grey and Niloufar Talebi for the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack on New York City. The original piece has been expanded for full orchestra, which is what the ASO will debut. $24-$75. 8 p.m. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Maple and Vine. PREVIEWS MARCH 20-21 | OPENS MARCH 22. The “darkly playful” (The New York Times) story of a modern couple who have have become allergic to their 21st-century lives and attempt to escape to simpler times by joining a community of 1950s re-enactors. At Actor’s Express. Through April 20. The cast, led by Kate Donadio and Michael Sung-Ho as the couple, is joined by John Benzinger, Jeremy Harrison and Tiffany Morgan. The playwright is Jordan Harrison (2008’s Finn in the Underworld). $26-$45. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. 887 W. Marietta St. in the King Plow Arts Center. Details, tickets (buy online and save) HERE or at 404.607.SHOW. (Pictured: Michael Sung-Ho and Kate Donadio)
Miracle on South Division Street. MARCH 21-APRIL 13. Regional premiere. Stage Door Players takes on this comedy/drama about the Nowak family of Buffalo, N.Y. It’s led by matriarch Clara, who runs a soup kitchen and tends to the family heirloom, a 20-foot shrine to the Blessed Mother commemorating the day in 1942 when the Blessed Virgin Mary materialized in her father’s barber shop. When Clara’s daughter plans to go public with a one-woman play about the sacred event, the family’s faith is shaken and the miracle threatens to unravel. The cast features the mother-son duo of Susan Shalhoub-Larkin and Tony Larkin, who’ve never been on a professional stage together before, along with Kara Cantrell and Kelly Criss. $22-$27. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details HERE. For tickets call 770.396.1726.
Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s managing editor, has been seeing, working in or covering the performing arts for most of her life. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.