Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? We recommend Aurora Theatre’s musical “Mary Poppins” before the winds change and it blows away; the happy feet of modern dancers Wabi Sabi, Wabi Sabi; and the season opener at Theatrical Outfit, “The Savannah Disputation.”
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. 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.
Wabi Sabi: Cocktails in the Garden. TONIGHT ONLY. Atlanta Ballet’s modern dance branch performs among the trees and topiaries during the weekly cocktails at the Atlanta Botanical Garden. Scheduled: Holding Ground by Gretchen Alterowitz; Angel’s Share by John Heginbotham; Me in Your Fall by Bennyroyce Royon; Lost Rite (world premiere) by Heather Myers; and RINPOCHE (Celebrating Matt Howard) by Ivan Pulinkala. Free with Garden admission ($18.95). Begins at 7:15 p.m. 1345 Piedmont Ave. N.E. Wabi Sabi details HERE. Cocktails details, tickets HERE. (Wabi Sabi’s dancers return to the Garden on Sept. 18.)
Wabi Sabi: Mi Casa, Your Casa. FRIDAY ONLY. Atlanta Ballet’s modern dancers perform three pieces as part of the High Museum of Art’s summer piazza installation, Mi Casa, Your Casa. Scheduled: Me in Your Fall by Bennyroyce Royon; Holding Ground by Gretchen Alterowitz; and Yours Is Mine by Robert Dekker. Free. Begins at 8:15 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details HERE or at 404.733.5000. (Wabi Sabi returns to the High Museum piazza on Aug. 29.)
Heath Brothers Quartet & Jeremy Pelt. SATURDAY ONLY. “When he walks into a room, jazz history is made.” That’s how Wynton Marsalis describes the great Jimmy Heath, tenor sax man and NEA Jazz Master. He’s in concert with the Heath Brothers Quartet — and pre-eminent young trumpeter Jeremy Pelt (pictured) — as part of the National Black Arts Festival. Expect a mix 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. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
OPENING THIS WEEKEND
The Savannah Disputation. PREVIEWS AUG. 21 | OPENS AUG. 23. Theatrical Outfit opens its 38th season with this 2009 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 comedy comes from 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. Limited discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
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. Some of the best short-form adult puppet theater in the country converges at the Center for Puppetry Arts. This year’s 10 curated pieces come from California, Connecticut, Maryland, Minnesota and New York, and include such titles as Moon Gas (a rock opera set in in a subterranean moon tavern); Hot Carl (a tabletop piece with 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.
Bull Durham. BEGINS SEPT. 3 | THROUGH OCT. 5. Baseball and romance go toe to toe in this (likely Broadway-bound) world premiere musical at the Alliance Theatre. It’s based on the 1988 movie and writer Ron Shelton’s own minor-league baseball experiences. The big three are Will Swenson (Broadway’s “Hair” and “Les Miserables” revival) as “Crash” Davis; John Behlmann as Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh; and Melissa Errico (Broadway’s “White Christmas,” “High Society” and “My Fair Lady” revival) as Annie Savoy. Please note: Contains sexual content/innuendo. Recommended for ages 16 and up. $30-$75. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Alliance mainstage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets for Sept. 9 only at PoshDealz.com.
Les Liaisons Dangereuses. OPENS SEPT. 6 | THROUGH OCT. 5. Two rivals and ex-lovers play a dangerous game of sexual conquest in pre-revolution France in this season opener at Actor’s Express. Based on a scandalous 1782 novel and familiar, perhaps, from the Oscar-winning movie. Melissa Foulger (Pluto, Wolves) directs a nine-person cast that includes Park Krausen (Théâtre du Rêve), Edward McCreary (Serenbe’s recent Oklahoma!) and AE favorite Kathleen Wattis (Pluto). Director’s Rough Cut preview at 8 p.m. Sept. 3 (pay what you can at the door); previews at 8 p.m. Sept. 4-5 ($20.) Opening night is $40 and includes a post-show reception. Regularly $26-$45 (buying online saves $2). 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.SHOW.
Chainz/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.
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.