drenaLooking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Our select list of holiday weekend recom-mendations includes “End of the Rainbow” with Natasha Drena as Judy Garland at Actor’s Express. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus.



Cowgirls3Cowgirls. 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. Cowgirls doesn’t pretend to be anything more than it is, a rollicking good time. Yee-haw! 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. (Pictured, from left: Pearl Rhein, Katherine Anderson and Paige Mattox)

End of the Rainbow. THROUGH JUNE 15. Actor’s Express closes its season with this look at the last comeback attempt by Judy Garland (Natasha Drena). Features such standards as “The Man That Got Away,” “Come Rain or Come Shine” and “Over the Rainbow.” The critics: “Drena imbues the Garland mystique with the megawatt intensity of a supernova” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution); “Hearing Drena perform ‘I Can’t Give You Anything but Love’ is worth the price of admission alone. But the play’s mix of drama and music is occasionally awkward” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com). $15-$40 plus fees (buy online, save money). 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 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.




jbell.jpgAtlanta Symphony Orchestra & Joshua Bell. TONIGHT-SATURDAY. The popular Bell brings his technical prowess to Brahms’ Violin Concerto, considered by some to be the Mount Everest of violin concertos. Also on the program: the world premiere of a work from new composer Charles Zoll, the 2012 Rapido! Composition Competition winner, and Hindemith’s Mathis der Maler Symphony. Maestro Robert Spano is on the podium. $24-$75. 8 tonight-Friday; 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.



The Comedy of Errors. THROUGH SUNDAY. Shakespeare’s tale of the merchant twins Antipholus and the servant twins Dromio is full of errors, upsets and fun at the New American Shakespeare Tavern. Featuring Annie York Hester, Jaclyn Hofmann, Vinnie Mascola and Michael Taver. Go early and avail yourself of the pub menu and fine beer selection. Hint: The front bar offers hard liquor, too. $15-$36. 7:30 tonight-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299.



Godspell. 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 are seeing at Stage Door Players. Brian Clowdus (Serenbe Playhouse artistic director) directs a cast of young professionals. The critics: “Technically and musically, it’s a triumph” (Jim Farmer, ArtsATL.com).$12-$27. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.


JOSH YOUNG as Che with Krystina Alabado as the Mistress.


Evita. JUNE 3-8. This early success by the team of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber made Patti LuPone a Broadway star. This version of the Tony Award-winning musical, based on the slightly retooled 2013 Broadway revival, again tells the story of poor girl Eva Duarte and her determined rise to power, the presidential palace and a cult-like following. Presented by Broadway in Atlanta. The score includes “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” “Another Suitcase in Another Hall” and “High Flying, Adored.” $30-$80. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 & 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499. For more on the show and the actor playing Che, see this ENCORE FEATURE. Pictured: Josh Young as Che, with Krystina Alabado as the Mistress.



Aida. JUNE 5, 7-8. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and maestro Robert Spano close out the season with Verdi’s operatic masterpiece. Soprano Latonia Moore and mezzo-soprano Michelle DeYoung are the soloists. $24-$75. 8 p.m. Thursday; 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

The Ark. TUESDAY. Atlanta’s improv community comes together for the first time in a single event at the Plaza Theatre. Two improvisers from each theater will form one super improv team. Featured theaters include Automatic Improv, Basement Theatre, Dad’s Garage Theatre Company, Laughing Matters, Village Theatre and Whole World Theatre. This is the culmination and celebration of the birth of improv in Atlanta 30 years ago. $15 in advance; $18 at the door. 8 p.m. 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave. Details, tickets at 404.873.1939.

Atlanta Fringe Festival. JUNE 5-8. The third annual Atlanta theater festival celebrates works “on the fringe” of mainstream offerings. This year’s lineup features 22 lucky productions, whose names were pulled from a hat full of applicants. Each production will perform five times over four days for a total of 110 performances. The acts come from 11 states and Canada. Full lineup HERE. Venues: 7 Stages’ mainstage, the Big House on Ponce, the Highland Inn Ballroom, Horizons School and the Wrecking Bar Brewpub’s Marianna event space. $10 single tickets; festival passes TBA.

C.S. Lewis On Stage. JUNE 19-29. Actor-director-playwright Tom Key embodies the personality and fiction of the author of The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters and much, much more. Lewis, known to his friends as Jack, is considered one of the great thinkers of the 20th century. $25-$35. 7:30 p.m. June 19-20, 26-27; 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. June 21 & 28; and 2:30 p.m. June 22 & 29. Theatrical Outfit at the Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500


Levi. JUNE 7-22. In this world premiere from Atlanta playwright Paris Crayton III and Rising Sage Theatre, a self-proclaimed free-spirited radical returns home for the first time in 13 years when he hears his father’s church is being torn down. Featuring stage and TV actor Taurean Blacque. $25 plus fees. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.500-SAGE.

The New Electric Ballroom. JUNE 5-15. Things aren’t what they seem since the night the Roller Royle came and took away two sisters’ hearts. This comic drama by Irish playwright Enda Walsh mixes naturalism and fantasy and marks the arrival of the Celtic-themed Arís collective, a new player on the metro theater scene. Arís (ah-REESH) is the Irish word for “again!” Not suitable for children.  $15-$25. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Georgia Public Broadcasting, Studio B, 260 14th St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE.

One-Minute Play Festival. JUNE 8-9. Atlanta’s third annual One-­Minute Play Festival (#1MPF), part of a New York-based franchise, features the work of more than 50 Atlanta or Georgia-based playwrights (and a few who used to call the ATL home), more than 10 directors and an untold number of actors. It’s smart, fast, frantic fun. Playwrights include Margaret Baldwin, Gabriel Jason Dean, Suehyla El-Attar, Karla Jennings, Vynnie Meli, Theroun d’Arcy Patterson, Steve Yockey and many more. $20. 6 and 8 p.m. June 8; 8 p.m. June 9. Actor’s Express, 887 West Marietta St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.875.1606. See who’s writing in this ENCORE FEATURE.

Shakespeare in the Park: As You Like It. JUNE 4-8. Georgia Shakespeare returns to Piedmont Park with this frothy tale about disguises and the magical forest of Arden. Producing artistic director Richard Garner directs. All 3,000 of the free tickets available are gone. $10; $250 for tables of six. 7:30 nightly, rain or shine. 1071 Piedmont Ave. N.E. Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 404.504.1473.


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: kathy@encoreatlanta.com.





About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

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