Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? We recommend all three showcases in the inaugural year of the Alliance Theatre-based Atlanta Artists Lab. The creators are (from left) Lane Carlock and Brian Kurlander (“Moxie”), Ellen McQueen (“The Projects Project”) and Gabrielle Fulton (“Uprising”). The free showcases are Friday and Saturday.
Mary Poppins. THROUGH AUG. 31. The nanny who’s practically perfect takes flight at Aurora Theatre in the Broadway version of the show, which uses both P.L. Travers’ original stories and the Disney movie. Selling well, so check — or secure tickets — before you go. The critics: “How cool to think a new generation of theatergoers will be exposed to the silly pleasures of ‘Chim Chim Cher-ee’ … Like Bert, we are all ‘as lucky as lucky can be’ ” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $30-$50. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 & 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Discount matinees ($20) at 10 a.m. Aug. 13 & 20. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered and attached parking in city of Lawrenceville deck at 135 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Oklahoma! THROUGH AUG. 17. Serenbe Playhouse emphasizes the dark side of the classic Rodgers & Hammerstein musical about farmers, cowmen, their loves and desires. The critics: “The most magical production of the 1943 classic I’ve ever seen” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution); “A sturdy enough production but not the bravura staging it could have been” (Jim Farmer, ArtsATL); “Finds the resonance, subtlety and subtext all just beneath the homespun surface” (Manning Harris, Atlanta INtown). You decide! $15-$30. 8:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. This outdoors, site-specific piece is performed at the Hay Barn, circa 1905, at The Inn, 10950 Hutcheson Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Follow signs to “show today/parking.” Tickets HERE until one hour before show, then available on-site. Details HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
RECOMMENDED | THIS WEEKEND ONLY
Moxie. SATURDAY ONLY. One of three showcase performances from the Atlanta Artists Lab, a new commitment to local artists from the Alliance Theatre. Actor-writers Brian Kurlander and Lane Carlock have teamed with director-dramaturg Elisa Carlson to chronicle the journey of a book handmade by a Marine for his son before being killed in Afghanistan. Moxie details the many lives the book touches. Free; reservations recommended. 1 p.m. Hertz Stage, Alliance Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Reservations HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
The Projects Project. FRIDAY ONLY. Also part of the Atlanta Artists Lab. Atlanta actor-writer Ellen McQueen is the driving force behind this theater piece built from the true stories of people who grew up in Atlanta’s housing projects. It includes spoken word, visual images, music and dance. Free; reservations recommended. 7 p.m. Hertz Stage, Alliance Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Reservations HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
Uprising. SATURDAY ONLY. Also part of the Atlanta Artists Lab. Gabrielle Fulton’s piece, pegged to the sesquicentennial of the Emanicipation Proclamation, examines notions of freedom in a play that looks at liberty, self-determination and sacrifice in a free black community in Secession-era America. Free; reservations recommended. 8 p.m. Hertz Stage, Alliance Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Reservations HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
OPENING THIS WEEK
The Very Hungry Caterpillar. THROUGH AUG. 17. This Eric Carle title and two others — Little Cloud and The Mixed-Up Chameleon — come to life at the Center for Puppetry Arts with the help of black light, courtesy of Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, Canada. $16.50; under 2 free. 10 a.m. & noon Tuesday-Friday; noon & 2 p.m. Saturday; and 1 & 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.
CLOSING THIS WEEKEND
The Rocky Horror Show. CLOSES SATURDAY. Audiences of all ages are happily doing the Time Warp with Actor’s Express. Follow innocents Brad and Janet as they seek refuge in a mysterious castle on a rainy night, encountering the lab of Dr. Frank N. Furter and his gaggle of aliens and misfits. Madness and rock ‘n’ roll ensue. Not for kids. Contains strobe lights, haze, adult language, nudity, violence, sex, loud music and aliens. The critics: “A fun, light-as-a-feather-boa production to see in the summertime, but the feeling … is very Halloween, so it occasionally feels out of place” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL.com). $26-$46. Selling well, please call ahead. No fees if you buy online. 8 tonight-Friday; 8 p.m. & midnight Saturday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.SHOW. (Pictured: Brian Hatch, left, and Craig Waldrip. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus.)
Ravens & Seagulls. THROUGH AUG. 17. World premiere. This co-winner of the Essential Theatre Play Festival features a family facing the final days of an ailing sister’s life. The drama, by Atlanta playwright Karla Jennings, is described as “emotionally raw and painfully funny.” The critics: “Jennings’ writing is remarkably thoughtful and moving” (Bert Osborne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $18-$23. Performances at 8 p.m. Aug. 9, 12-15 and 2 p.m. Aug. 10 & 17. West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.756.6465. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
Right On. THROUGH AUG. 31. Horizon Theatre stages this story from playwright Darren Canady, the 2007 winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition (False Creeds). It features the reunion of former black radicals and the education of one of their sons. The cast: Donna Biscoe, Marguerite Hannah, Tonia Jackson, Dane Troy, Minka Wiltz and LaParee Young. Contains strong language and adult situations. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Staged in conjunction with the National Black Arts Festival. The critics: “Right On is billed as ‘a soul-filled story with laughs, tears and a funky beat.’ In the end, two out of three ain’t bad” (Bert Osborne, The Atlanta Journal Constitution). $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.
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. THROUGH AUG. 17. Serenbe Playhouse has broken its own box-office records with this signature retelling of the classic story featuring a bookish Dorothy who creates magic in her own backyard with organic visuals (from the Center for Puppetry Arts). Don’t expect Judy Garland or a musical. Performed outdoors in the Animal Village (enter at The Inn). Bring your own seating. The critics: “In the theatrical landscape of Atlanta, there really is no place like Serenbe” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $15; $10 ages 13 and under. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. 10950 Hutcheson Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Details HERE. Tickets available HERE until one hour before show time, then on-site. (Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus)
2014 National Puppet Slam. Aug. 28-30. The best short-form adult puppet theater from across the country converges at the Center for Puppetry Arts for three days. The 10 curated pieces in this year’s slam come from California, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota and New York, and include such titles as Moon Gas (a wild rock opera set in in a subterranean moon tavern); Hot Carl (a tabletop piece featuring a dancing skeleton); and Real Puppetry of the Penis (go see for yourself). $12. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. 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. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.