Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Our recommendations include the world premiere of the Wonder Woman-themed “Lasso of Truth” at Synchronicity Theatre (in its first permanent space at Peachtree Pointe in Midtown) with, from left, Kevin Stillwell as the Inventor, Bryn Striepe as the Amazon and Tenaya Cleveland as the Wife. Photo illustration by BreeAnne Clowdus.
Detroit. THROUGH OCT. 19. This Pulitzer Prize finalist was named one of The New York Times’ Top 10 plays of 2012. Playwright Lisa D’Amour takes us to a suburb in a midsized American city, where two couples bond over backyard barbecues and more than the food gets skewered. The Horizon Theatre cast features such Atlanta favorites as Carolyn Cook and Adam Fristoe. The show runs 1 hour, 35 minutes with no intermission. Recommended for ages 18 and up. The critics: “Grade A. … A terrific night of theater … Lurid. Intense. Irresistible” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution); “The most interesting notions seem to be derived from Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, with its two sets of couples, and Detroit’s best moments emulate that show’s radioactive, unsettled bondings, alliances, flirtations and sparrings” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL). $20-$40. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 & 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave. N.E. at Euclid Avenue. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450. (Pictured: Kylie Brown and Adam Fristoe)
Driving Miss Daisy. THROUGH OCT. 19. The Alfred Uhry masterwork 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, profound and much-honored drama details the growing friendship between a Jewish widow and her African-American chauffeur. Note: Geoffrey Williams replaces Cleveland in October. The critic: “About as fine a reading as you’ll ever see” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $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: Cleveland, Clements. Photo by Chris Bartelski)
Lasso of Truth. PREVIEWS TONIGHT | OPENS FRIDAY. Put Wonder Woman, film noir, Gloria Steinem and Gen X comic-book lovers in the blender that is playwright Carson Kreitzer’s imagination, and what you get is a smart, seductive and wild romp through generations of sexual politics. This story of Wonder Woman’s origin is told with actors, voiceovers and comic-book-style video. Synchronicity Theatre presents this National New Play Network rolling world premiere, rescheduled from last season, at its new home at Peachtree Pointe in Midtown. Contains seriously adult content. Opening night is sold out; the run continues through Oct. 19. $25-$35 (Preview $10). 1545 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.
White Rabbit Red Rabbit. THROUGH NOV. 23. Out of Hand Theater brings us another out-of-the-box experience. This one-actor piece is done with no rehearsal, no director, no set and by a different actor each time (who doesn’t see the script until show time). It’s being done in a dozen private homes and at least that many theaters. Upcoming performances: 8 p.m. Friday at the Atlanta International School (actor Isma’il ibn Connor); 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Aurora Theatre (actor Anthony Rodriguez); 8 p.m. Saturday at the Midtown home of Bruce Harlan (actor Clint Thornton); 8 p.m. Sept. 29 at Actor’s Express (actor Freddie Ashley); 8 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Inman Park home of Pam Hughes (actor Eliana Marianes); and 8 p.m. Oct. 6 at Horizon Theatre (actor Carolyn Cook). $20 plus fees. Details, tickets and a complete schedule HERE. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
a home is a home is a home. 7 & 8 TONIGHT (two performances). Contemporary dance’s CORE Performance Company opens its 29th Atlanta season with this world premiere, an on-site piece choreographed by artistic director Sue Schroeder. The location is the plaza at the High Museum of Art, specifically its “Mi Casa, Your Casa” interactive, outdoor art installation. The work explores concepts of “home,” “places of origin” and “social units formed among people living together.” Free. 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Directions, parking info HERE.
OPENING THIS WEEKEND
Philadelphia, Here I Come. OPENS TONIGHT | THROUGH OCT. 5. Atlanta’s newish Arís Theatre celebrates the 50th anniversary of this well-loved Brian Friel piece. It’s the night before Gar O’Donnell is to leave Ireland for America and his life flashes before him as he contemplates what he’ll miss — his friends; his lost love, Katie; his housekeeper; and his aging father. Note the short run; get tickets now. $15-$25. Georgia Public Broadcasting, Studio B, 260 14th St. N.E. Free, covered parking. Details, tickets HERE. Directions HERE. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
CLOSING THIS WEEKEND
Pump Boys and Dinettes. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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. $15-$39. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 4 & 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Georgia Ensemble Theatre at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Bull Durham. THROUGH OCT. 5. It’s not perfect, but this world premiere musical at the Alliance Theatre scores often enough to make things interesting. The show moves the story of the Durham Bulls minor-league baseball team from screen to stage, following the exploits of aging catcher “Crash” Davis, rookie phenom “Nuke” LaLoosh, and Durham’s high priestess of baseball, Annie Savoy. Recommended for ages 16 and up. The critics: “Brilliantly reimagined as a song-and-dance spectacle” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution); “A solid double … the musical feels more formulaic than inspired” (Charles Isherwood, The New York Times); “A pleasurable but uneven new tuner. … The show has its scruffy charms, renegade spirit and occasional dazzle. But there’s still work to do before this tuner steps up to the ‘show’ ” (Frank Rizzo, Variety). $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 at PoshDealz.com. (Pictured: John Behlmann as Nuke LaLoosh and Melissa Errico as Annie Savoy. Photo by Greg Mooney)
Les Liaisons Dangereuses. THROUGH OCT. 5. 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. The critics: “Salacious fun — the plot and characters feel compellingly alive and contemporary, even zeitgeisty — though the length of the play and memories of the classic film may have viewers wondering why we should be returning to this story at the theater” (Andrew Alexander, ArtsATL). $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. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
The Old Man and the Monkeys and Other Chinese Tales. THROUGH OCT. 5. Dragon Art Studio of Portland, Ore., weaves together five traditional and not-so-traditional tales from ancient China: “The Crane and the Tortoise,” “A Donkey’s Best Friend,” “The Dancer,” “The Super Duper Ping Pong Match” and the title tale. Told with glove and rod puppets. Recommended for ages 4 and up. $16.50; under 2 free. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. N.W. Tickets, details HERE or at 404.873.3391.
Clybourne Park. OCT. 2-26. A brutally funny and fiercely provocative play about race, real estate and the volatile values of each. The script is Bruce Norris’ reaction to events real and fictional before and after Lorraine Hansberry’s landmark A Raisin in the Sun. It won nearly every honor a play can win, including the Tony and Olivier awards, and the Pulitzer Prize. The play takes place in two acts 50 years apart. In Act 1, it’s 1959, and nervous leaders of a well-appointed Chicago community anxiously try to stop the sale of a home to a black family. In Act 2, we’re at the same house in 2009, where the predominantly African-American neighborhood battles to hold its ground in the face of gentrification. Note: The language is harsh, but — as Aurora Theatre says — the conversation is worth it. Melissa Foulger (Pluto, Wolves, Les Liaisons Dangereuses at Actor’s Express) directs a nine-actor cast led by Tess Malis Kincaid, Danielle Deadwyler and Eric J. Little. $20-$40. Recommended for adult audiences. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 & 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday (no evening show Oct. 22). 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, attached, lighted parking in city of Lawrenceville deck at 153 E. Crogan St., Lawrenceville. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. (Pictured: Danielle Deadwyler. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)
My Children! My Africa! OCT. 9-26. Theatrical Outfit presents this three-character thriller in which a humane black teacher in segregated South Africa tries to persuade a favorite student that education, not violence, is the answer to the nation’s problems. Staged in conjunction with Georgia Tech’s Africa-Atlanta Project, an initiative fostering art, business and educational collaborations between Georgia’s capital city and the African continent. The playwright is the great Athol Fugard. Cast: Rob Cleveland, Maria Rodriguez-Sager and Dane Troy. $20-$50. Previews at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 9-10; opens at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 11. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 & 7:30 Saturday (except opening night); and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Additional shows at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 15 & 22. Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. N.W. Tickets, details HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Native Guard. IN PREVIEWS | OPENS OCT. 1. This 2007 Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry comes to the Hertz Stage at the Alliance Theatre in an unusual blending of text, storytelling, song and discussion. The poetry collection of the title was written by Atlantan Natasha Trethewey, an Emory University professor and a former U.S. Poet Laureate. Artistic director Susan V. Booth directs. Act 1 of this world premiere juxtaposes the deeply personal experiences of Trethewey, a child of a then-illegal marriage between a black mother and white father in 1960s Mississippi, with the experience of a soldier in the Native Guard, the first African-American Union troop in the Civil War. Act 2 is a participatory experience hosted by community leaders, cast members and Alliance staff. It includes complimentary wine, beer or another beverage of your choice. Act 2 details and hosts HERE. Tickets HERE.
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 Synchronicity Theatre, listed above. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.