Willy Wonka the Musical. FINAL WEEKEND. The story of the famous candy man and his quest to find an heir. Based on the Roald Dahl book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. With Craig Waldrip as Willie Wonka. This is the first show produced under Fabrefaction Theatre’s new name and conservatory model. The critics: “A telling for children to gobble and adults to savor” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $15-$30. 8 tonight-Friday; 2 p.m. Saturday (Saturday night, Sunday afternoon shows sold out). 99 Brady Ave. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.876.9468. See this ENCORE FEATURE and VIDEO CHAT with artistic director Christina Hoff to learn more about the cool new model.
THIS WEEKEND ONLY
Rock Tenors. FRIDAY-SATURDAY. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra backs up three vocal talents from the worlds of rock, country, Broadway and opera in this symphonic take on hits from the Doobie Brothers, Journey, Paul McCartney, Chicago, Coldplay, Sting, Queen and more. Principal pops conductor Michael Krajewski is on the podium. A dinner-and-show package with South City Kitchen is available Friday ($126 for two people; $252 for four) and includes two drink/food vouchers for a post-concert LGBT reception at Table 1280. Concert only $22-$60. 8 p.m. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree Road N.E. Details, concert tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
CLOSING THIS WEEKEND
Gutenberg! The Musical. TONIGHT-SATURDAY. Dad’s Garage Theatre Company sends up musicals with this two-man (George Faughnan, Rene Dellafont) show that romps through German history, evil monks, a love story and the greatest man of all time, the inventor of the printing press, Johann Gutenberg. Justin Anderson directs. 8 p.m. $10.50-$27.50 (buy online, save money). Dad’s Garage at 7 Stages, 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.3141.
Don’t Dress for Dinner. THROUGH MAY 25. A wacky tale of romantic entanglements and mistaken identities takes hold at Aurora Theatre in another comedy from Marc Camoletti (2010’s Boeing-Boeing). $20-$30. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Additional show at 10 a.m. May 21 (no 8 p.m. show; $16). 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, attached, covered parking in city deck at 153 Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. (Pictured, from left: Maria Rodriguez-Sager, Daniel Hilton and Bryan Brendle. Photo by Chris Bartelski)
Origin Story. THROUGH MAY 18. Award-winning Atlanta playwright Theroun D’arcy Patterson’s latest features a collision between family, sanity and history, and asks, can anyone escape unscathed? Patterson is a two-time winner of the Essential Theatre Playwriting Award, winning for A Thousand Circlets (2011) and co-winning this year with That Uganda Play, which gets its world premiere in July. This event is presented by the Academy Theatre. $15 advance; $20 at the door. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Hapeville Performing Arts Center, 599 N. Central Ave., Hapeville. Details HERE or at 404.474.8332. Tickets HERE.
Lakebottom Prime. THROUGH MAY 17. In this comedy from prolific, award-winning Atlanta playwright Topher Payne, it’s 1924 in Columbus, Ga., and the wedding of the year is being planned, but not wel. The critics: “A show that defiantly and winningly wears both silliness and implausibility as badges of honor” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com). $17-$20. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Process Theatre at OnStage Atlanta, 2969 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. Details HERE or at 404.245-4205. Tickets HERE.
Mass Transit Muse. THROUGH MAY 18. 7 Stages offers a rhythmic ride through the streets of New Orleans with spoken-word artist Michael Molina, who sketches portraits of unforgettable characters and offers insight into the human condition. Each tale of the “other” is meant to bring us closer to the possibility of making the human connections we all crave. The critics: “Wherever the bus takes us, it’s great to know we have a fantastic storyteller like Molina bringing us along for the ride” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com). $10-$20. Black Box. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Terminus. THROUGH MAY 17. Saïah Arts International (pronounced SIGH-uh), the folks who brought us site-specific productions of Rua | Wülf (2012) and Moby Dick (2013) put their spin on Watership Down. This version, done on 28 acres outdoors, is set in the South as the Civil War is ending and Sherman is burning his way through Georgia. Audience members choose one of three paths to follow (a certain degree of fitness is helpful). The critics: “The trend of immersive theater in Atlanta adds a fascinating ‘and’ to the options in the city, with Saiah among its most daring, inventive and productive proponents” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com). $25. 7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. Clyde Shepherd Nature Preserve, 2580 Pine Bluff Drive, Decatur. Details, tickets HERE.
Cowgirls. OPENS MAY 16 | THROUGH JUNE 29. Horizon Theatre reprises its 1999 hit with a whole new cast of singers and instrumentalists. It’s Beethoven-meets-bluegrass when the classical Coghill Trio is mistakenly booked for the grand reopening of a country music roadhouse. The cast: Katherine Anderson, Christy Baggett, Christy Clark, Ally Duncan, Paige Mattox and Pearl Rhein. $25-$60. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.
Harabel: A sparrow over a minefield. Join Theatrical Outfit in saying goodbye to actor, poet, spoken-word artist, dancer, writer, costume designer, sister, mother, daughter Jonida Beqo (pronounced Yo-NEE-duh BAY-chow) and her one-woman show. She’s moving on to focus on other things, particularly arts education. This very likely is Atlanta’s last chance to see the performer that The Atlanta Journal-Constitution called “An artist of the first order. A very rare bird indeed.” $20. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday. Theatrical Outfit at the Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 1.877.725.8849. (Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)
MAYhem. MAY 16-18. Atlanta Ballet’s boundary-pushing lineup features the world premieres of “The Exiled” (by resident choreographer Helen Pickett) and “THREE” by artistic director John McFall, plus the return of Jorma Elo’s “1st Flash.” The Saturday evening performance includes a farewell performance of “Berceuse” danced by Christine Winkler, who’s retiring from the company after 19 seasons. $20-$120. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303.
Xperimental Puppetry Theater (XPT). MAY 15-18. Original and bold puppet theater for adult audiences. Expect half a dozen or so short pieces in each of two acts. Dozens of artists make this popular event happen each year. Note: Only age 18 and up admitted. Get your tickets early. $12 plus fees. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.
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 Theatrical Outfit, mentioned above. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.