Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Our select list of recommendations includes “Cowgirls,” which returns to Horizon Theatre with a brand-new cast of country-classical artists. The musical was a resounding hit there in 1999. Pictured, seated, from left: Christy Clark and Ally Duncan. Back row, from left: Katherine Anderson, Paige Mattox, Christy Baggett and Pearl Rhein. Yee-haw!
Mass Transit Muse. THROUGH SUNDAY. 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. 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. 8 tonight-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Origin Story. FINAL WEEKEND. 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, for A Thousand Circlets (2011) and this year’s 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.
THIS WEEKEND ONLY
The “Heroic Greek.” TONIGHT-SATURDAY. Leonidas Kavakos, who “might be the most deeply satisfying violinist performing today” (Philadelphia Inquirer), does double duty playing violin and conducting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. On the program: Bach’s First Violin Concerto; Sibelius’ orchestral suite from the play about forbidden, doomed love; and Beethoven’s powerful and volcanic “Heroic” symphony. $24-$75. 8 tonight-Friday; 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
MAYhem. FRIDAY-SUNDAY. 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). TONIGHT-SUNDAY. 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 tonight-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.
OPENING THIS WEEKEND
Cowgirls. OPENS FRIDAY | 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. $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.
End of the Rainbow. PREVIEWS TONIGHT-FRIDAY | OPENS SATURDAY. Actor’s Express closes its season with this look at the last year in the life of Judy Garland. It’s December 1968, and Garland is making one last stab at a comeback. In a London hotel room with her young, new fiance, pills and a cocktail, she prepares for a series of high-profile concerts. Features many of Garland’s signature songs, including “The Man That Got Away,” “Come Rain or Come Shine” and “Over the Rainbow.” With Natasha Drena as Garland. Through June 15. $15-$40 plus fees (buy online, save money). King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. (Note: The new parking decks at King Plow do not accept cash.)
Godspell. OPENS FRIDAY | THROUGH JUNE 8. The 1970s musical based on the gospel according to St. Matthew was updated during a 2012 run on Broadway, and that’s what audiences will see at Stage Door Players. Brian Clowdus (Serenbe Playhouse artistic director) directs a cast of young professionals. $12-$27. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.
CLOSING THIS WEEKEND
Terminus. THROUGH SATURDAY. Saïah Arts International, which staged 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.
Harabel: A sparrow over a minefield. MAY 22-23 ONLY. Join Theatrical Outfit in saying good-bye 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 returning to her native Albania to focus on other things, particularly arts education, so this is very likely Atlanta’s last chance to see the performer called “an artist of the first order. A very rare bird indeed” by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. $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)
The Secret History of Love. MAY 22-25 ONLY. Expect full-throttle dancing, storytelling and firsthand tales of the risk, love, courage, loss and resistance found within the human heart. This piece at 7 Stages reveals the underground ways that LGBT people managed to love each other and survive in decades past. Performed by Sean Dorsey Dance. $15-$25. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.
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.