OKLAHOMA 3Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? We recommend “Oklahoma!,” in its final week at Serenbe Playhouse, performed outdoors at the circa 1905 Hay Barn. Pictured (from left): Bryant Smith as Jud Fry and Edward McCreary as Curly. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus.



Mary Poppins. THROUGH AUG. 31. Aurora Theatre takes on the Broadway version of this well-told tale, based on 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 matinee ($20) at 10 a.m. Aug. 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! CLOSES SUNDAY. 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); “Finds the resonance, subtlety and subtext all just beneath the homespun surface” (Manning Harris, Atlanta INtown). $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.



Ravens & Seagulls. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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 tonight-Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday. 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. (Pictured, front row, from left: Suzanne Rousch and Jill Perry. Back row: Sarah Elizabeth Wallis, Theresa DeBerry and Patricia French. Photo: Stungun Photography.)

The Very Hungry Caterpillar. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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 and Mermaid Theatre of Nova Scotia, Canada. $16.50; under 2 free. 10 a.m. & noon today-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.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. CLOSES SUNDAY. Serenbe Playhouse has broken its own box-office records with its signature retelling of the classic stor, featuring a bookish Dorothy who creates magic in her own backyard with organic visuals (from the Center for Puppetry Arts). 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.



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. The critics: “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.



 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.

b52d88_04d0b65906da48b2a6ea42af82c356da.jpg_srz_p_366_472_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzChainz/Broken. BEGINS AUG. 29 | CLOSES SEPT. 14. Rising Sage Theatre ends its first season with this double bill by playwright  and co-founder Paris Crayton III. In Chainz, four men come together in a police holding cell in the aftermath of a murder and while there, learn about each other and being an endangered species in America. In Broken, five women tell their stories after losing children to gun violence. $20-$30. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. Details, tickets HERE.

M-1Heath Brothers Quartet & Jeremy Pelt. AUG. 23 ONLY. “When he walks into a room, jazz history is made.” That’s how Wynton Marsalis describes the great Jimmy Heath (right), the tenor sax man and NEA Jazz Master. Jimmy is in concert with the Heath Brothers Quartet — and pre-eminent young trumpeter Jeremy Pelt — as part of the National Black Arts Festival. They join forces for an evening of classics from the Great American Songbook and signature Heath compositions. $28-$58. 8 p.m. Rialto Center for the Arts, 80 Forsyth St. N.W. Details HERE or at 404.413.9849. Tickets HERE.

Savannah copySavannah Disputation. PREVIEWS AUG. 21 | OPENS AUG. 23. Theatrical Outfit opens its 38th season with this 2009 dramatic comedy about a holy war of words. Two plain-as-potatoes Roman Catholic siblings forget all about Southern charm when a peppy evangelical Christian comes to their door. “If you’re nice to them, they keep coming back,” one sister tells the other. “They’re just like cats.” The script is by Georgia-born Evan Smith. Tess Malis Kincaid directs a cast comprising Alex Bond, Lane Carlock, Shannon Eubanks and Mark Kincaid. Through Sept. 7. $20-$50. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 & 7:30 p.m. Saturday (no matinee Aug. 23); and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. N.W. Tickets, details HERE, at 678.528.1500 or 1.877.725.8849. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com. (Picture: Alex Bond, left, and Shannon Eubanks, right.)


 Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s managing editor, has been seeing, working in or covering the performing arts for most of her life. 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.

View all posts by Kathy Janich