Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Our recommendations include the world premiere musical “Bull Durham” at the Alliance Theatre with (from left) Will Swenson as Crash Davis, Melissa Errico as Annie Savoy and John Behlmann as Nuke LaLoosh.
OPENING THIS WEEKEND
Bull Durham. IN PREVIEWS | OPENS SATURDAY. Baseball and romance go toe to toe at the Alliance Theatre in this world premiere musical, which is likely Broadway bound. 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 Miz) as “Crash” Davis; John Behlmann as “Nuke” LaLoosh; and Melissa Errico (Broadway’s White Christmas, High Society, My Fair Lady) as Annie Savoy. Recommended for ages 16 and up. $30-$75. Through Oct. 5. 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. IN PREVIEWS| OPENS SATURDAY. Two rivals and ex-lovers play a dangerous game of sexual conquest in pre-revolutionary France. This season opener at Actor’s Express is based on a scandalous 1782 novel and is 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). Through Oct. 5. Previews at 8 tonight-Friday ($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. (Costume design, left, by Erik Teague)
CLOSING THIS WEEKEND
The Savannah Disputation. THROUGH SUNDAY. Theatrical Outfit begins its 38th season with this holy war of words in which two plain-as-potatoes Roman Catholic siblings forget their Southern charm when a peppy evangelical Christian comes to their door. Bless their hearts. Tess Malis Kincaid directs the comedy by Georgia-born Evan Smith. The critics: “Cleverly acted and genuinely funny” (Kenny Norton, Atlanta Theater Fans); “There may not be any one ‘right’ religion, but The Savannah Disputation states its obvious case in a mostly wrongheaded way” (Bert Osborne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution); “It’s a great group of characters, but [the playwright] never really unleashes the wicked sense of humor that’s required to skewer two competing systems of belief” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL). $20-$50. 7:30 tonight-Friday; 2:30 & 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 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.
THIS WEEKEND ONLY
2014 NBAF Legends Celebration. SATURDAY ONLY. The National Black Arts Festival recognizes artistic luminaries in five fields in this event, modeled after the annual Kennedy Center honors. The legends — Wynton Marsalis (music), Melvin van Peebles (film), Ntozake Shange (theater), Samella Lewis (visual arts) and Maurice Hines (dance) — are celebrated through tribute performances by Tony Award-winning stage, film and TV actor Anika Noni Rose, jazz artists Melissa Aldana and Crash Trio, jazz trumpeter Marcus Belgrave, the singing-dancing Manzari Brothers and more. $28-$78. Rialto Center for the Arts, 80 Forsyth St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE.
Curious Encounters 2. TONIGHT-SUNDAY. 7 Stages presents six curated performances from some of Atlanta’s more contemporary and original performers, all playing with the notion of interactive art. The lineup includes Shana Robbins and the Nomadic Love Mesa, Josh Brooks & Megan Jance, the Object Group, Mike Stasny & Maggie Ginestra, and Johnny Drago. The performances take place throughout 7 Stages and environs, and patrons move among them. $15 advance; $20 at door. 7-10 tonight-Saturday; 6-9 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.
Chainz/Broken. THROUGH SEPT. 14. Rising Sage Theatre ends its first season with this pair of one-acts by playwright/co-founder Paris Crayton III. In Chainz, four men come together in a police holding cell after a murder, learning about each other and being an endangered species in America. In Broken, five women talk about children they’ve lost 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. (Pictured: Na’Jahri Atkins, left, and Justin Smith in Chainz)
Shake a Tail Feather With Mother Goose. THROUGH SEPT. 21. Recommended for ages 2-5. Welcome to Rhymeville, where Mother Goose is mayor — and something’s amiss. The citizens are forgetting their rhymes and the mayor is nowhere to be found. The audience helps solve the mystery. Told with hand, shadow and rod puppets. $16.50; 2 and under free. 10 & 11:30 a.m. Thursday-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 & 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 & 3 p.m. Sunday. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.
Driving Miss Daisy. SEPT. 11-OCT. 19. The much-honored and well-known Alfred Uhry play comes to Aurora Theatre with Jill Jane Clements as Daisy Werthan and Rob Cleveland as Hoke Colburn. Justin Anderson directs. Set in 1948 Atlanta, this simple and profound drama details the growing friendship between a Jewish widow and her African-American chauffeur. The 1987 off-Broadway original won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and several Outer Critics Circle awards, including best play. The 1989 movie won the best picture Academy Award plus Oscars for Uhry and leading lady Jessica Tandy. Note: Geoffrey Williams takes over the role of Hoke in October. $20. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Harvel Lab, 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city of Lawrenceville deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. (Pictured: Clements, Cleveland. Photo by Chris Bartelski)
Pump Boys and Dinettes. SEPT. 11-28. A high-octane blend of country music, bluegrass and rock ‘n’ roll propels this down-home show about the folks who frequent the Double Cupp Diner on North Carolina’s Highway 57. The Cupp sisters will serve you a slice of pie, a cup of joe or an ice-cold beer. And don’t be surprised if the boys from the gas station next door stop by to say hi. The 1983 show is heavy on toe-tapping tunes and light on plot, but it’s a fun place to sit a spell and hear tales about life, love and good times along America’s roadside. $15-$39. Georgia Ensemble Theatre at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s managing editor, has been seeing, working in or covering the performing arts for most of her life. Please email: email@example.com.