Looking for something cultural to do this weekend and beyond? Our recommendations include “How I Learned What I Learned” at True Colors Theatre Company. It features the words and life experiences of the great playwright August Wilson. Eugene Lee is the cast in this one-man show.
Clybourne Park. THROUGH OCT. 26. A brutally funny and fiercely provocative play about race, real estate and the volatile values of each. The script, playwright Bruce Norris’ reaction to events real and fictional before and after Lorraine Hansberry’s landmark A Raisin in the Sun, won nearly every honor a play can win. It takes place in two acts 50 years apart, in the same Chicago neighborhood. At Aurora Theatre. $20-$40. 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. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. (Pictured, from left, Joe Sykes, Eric J. Little and Robin Bloodworth. Photo by Chris Bartelski)
Detroit. LAST CHANCE | CLOSES SUNDAY. This Pulitzer Prize finalist was one of The New York Times’ Top 10 plays of 2012. Playwright Lisa D’Amour takes us to the suburbs, where two couples bond over backyard barbecues, until things get way too hot. At Horizon Theatre. For ages 18 and up. The critics: “Grade A. … A terrific night of theater” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $20-$40. 8 p.m. Thursday-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.
Driving Miss Daisy. LAST CHANCE | CLOSES SUNDAY. The Alfred Uhry masterwork set in 1948 Atlanta is parked at Aurora Theatre with Jill Jane Clements as Daisy and Geoffrey Williams as Hoke. This simple, profound and much-honored drama details the growing friendship between a Jewish widow and her African-American chauffeur. The critics: “About as fine a reading as you’ll ever see” (Wendell Brock, AJC). $20. 8 tonight-Friday; 2:30 & 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.
How I Learned What I Learned. THROUGH NOV. 2. Atlanta premiere. This solo show, created and performed in 2003 at Seattle Rep by the great August Wilson (1945-2005), shares the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright’s personal stories about racism, music, love, a stint in jail, his first kiss, life-changing friendships and what it means to be a black artist in America. This staging features Eugene Lee (Miss Evers’ Boys, Fences). The critics: “The show is beautifully designed by a first-class team with Broadway credentials. … But a Wilson autobiography would be nothing without a strong performer. And Lee captures the playwright’s intellectual vigor, his irony and sarcasm, his physicality and movement in sharp and telling detail” (Wendell Brock, AJC). $20-$50. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 & 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. True Colors Theatre Company at the Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road S.W. Map HERE. Tickets, details HERE or at 1.877.725.8849.
Lasso of Truth. LAST CHANCE | CLOSES SUNDAY. 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, voice-overs and comic-book-style video. Synchronicity Theatre presents this National New Play Network rolling world premiere at its new home at Peachtree Pointe in Midtown. Adult content. The critics: “A bold undertaking. … The actors are definitely up for the sillier challenges of the piece and bravely tackle its shadier scenes, too” (Bert Osborne, AJC). $25-$35. 1545 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636. (Pictured: Matthew Myers and Christen Orr. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)
Native Guard. LAST CHANCE | CLOSES SUNDAY. World premiere. The Alliance Theatre presents the 2007 Pulitzer Prize winner for poetry with a gorgeous blending of text, storytelling, song, environment 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. Act 1 juxtaposes her deeply personal experiences as the 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 conversation hosted by community leaders, actors and Alliance staff. It includes complimentary wine, beer or soft drinks. Details HERE). Tickets HERE. (Pictured: Neal Ghant. Photo by Greg Mooney)
White Rabbit Red Rabbit. THROUGH NOV. 22. Out of Hand Theater brings us another out-of-the-box experience. This one-person piece is done with no rehearsal, no director, no set and by a different actor doing a cold reading each time. It’s being done in a dozen private homes and at least that many theaters. Upcoming performances: 8 p.m. Oct. 17 at the Inman Park home of Charlie & Anne Henn (actor Bryan Mercer); 8 p.m. Oct. 19 at OnStage Atlanta (actor Googie Uterhardt); 8 p.m. Oct. 24 at Oglethorpe University (actor Chris Kayser); twice at 8 p.m. Oct. 25, one in the Marietta Historic District (actor Mary Lynn Owen), the other at the Marcus Jewish Community Center (actor John Lemley); and 8 p.m. Oct. 27 at Theatrical Outfit (actor Tom Key). $20-$25 plus fees. Details, tickets and a complete schedule HERE. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
THIS WEEKEND ONLY
Atlanta-Toulouse: A Creative Dialogue. SATURDAY-SUNDAY. The modern dance CORE Performance Company continues its 29th annual Atlanta season with two events done in partnership with the dance company Association Manifeste of Toulouse, France. See Je Suis/I am, choreographed by CORE founder Sue Schroeder, at 2 & 3 p.m. Saturday on the Sifly Piazza outside the High Museum of Art at the Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. The piece will also be danced at 2:15 p.m. Sunday in Historic Fourth Ward Park, 680 Dallas St., on the Atlanta Beltline (map HERE). Also, Point of View on the Street Corner: The American Street Corner will be danced at 7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday at Forsyth and Poplar streets downtown. All events are free. (Pictured: Je Suis/I am, choreographed by Sue Schroeder)
The Doctor, the Devil & My Dad. THROUGH OCT. 26. World premiere. Atlanta playwright Suehyla El-Attar (A Perfect Prayer, Third Country) melds memories of her late father with her love of science fiction and fantasy for this otherworldly adventure through time and space. At 7 Stages. $22.50, $25 at the door. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Also at 8 p.m. Oct. 22 and 2 p.m. Oct. 25. Thursday talkbacks tonight and Oct. 16 & 23. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com. Read more in this ENCORE FEATURE.
My Children! My Africa! THROUGH OCT. 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 their nation’s problems. The playwright is the great Athol Fugard. Cast: Rob Cleveland, Maria Rodriguez-Sager and Dane Troy. The critics: “What’s most remarkable about director Gary Yates’ forceful staging is how vibrant and relevant it feels, when the drama could have come across like some kind of dated or didactic period piece” (Bert Osborne, AJC). $20-$50. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 & 7:30 Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Additional show at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 22. Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. N.W. Tickets, details HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com. (Pictured: Troy, Rodriguez-Sager. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)
The Sleepy Hollow Experience. THROUGH NOV. 1. The Horseman rides again as Serenbe Playhouse reprises its ghoulish fall production. Join the spirits at the Stables in Serenbe for this classic spooky story featuring the awkward schoolteacher Ichabod Crane, the coquettish Katrina and Ichabod’s brutish rival, Brom Bones. You’ll be guided by roving minstrel storytellers, while the Headless Horseman rushes about on a real horse. Note: Online sales of almost all performances are sold out, but you can call and check on availability. Shows have been added at 8 p.m. Oct. 29 & Nov. 2 and 10:30 p.m. Oct. 31. $20. Serenbe performs even in the rain, and seating is provided. 9237 Selborne Lane, Chattahoochee Hills. Directions HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Courage. NOV. 3 ONLY. World premiere. An experience tailor-made for middle-school students, using Stephen Crane’s classic Civil War novel, The Red Badge of Courage, to collide with the experiences of tweens today, including themes of isolation, respect, duty and courage through homework, video games and long waits at the bus stop. For ages 10 and up. Written by Atlanta playwright and actor Scott Warren. Directed by Rosemary Newcott. 7 p.m. $15-$25. Alliance Theatre mainstage, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Madama Butterfly. NOV. 8, 11, 14 & 16. The Atlanta Opera opens its season with a new production of Puccini’s story of love and sacrifice. Russian-American soprano Dina Kuznetsova sings the title role, with tenor Adam Diegel making his Atlanta debut as Pinkerton. $26-$137 plus fees (season tickets also available). 8 p.m. Nov. 8 & 14; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 11; and 3 p.m. Nov. 16. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.
Murder Ballad. PREVIEWS NOV. 6-7 | OPENS NOV. 8. What happens when a love triangle goes bad? Find out at Actor’s Express, which stages this sexy rock musical, a 2013 hit off-Broadway. The New York Times called it “steamy and fun. A love triangle with a razor’s edge.” Artistic director Freddie Ashley leads a cast featuring Kristen Browne, Jessica De Maria, Jeremy Harrison and Kevin Harry. Through Dec. 7. Director’s Rough Cut at 8 p.m. Nov. 5 (pay what you can at the door). Previews at 8 p.m. Nov. 6-7 ($20). Opens at 8 p.m. Nov. 8 ($40, includes reception). Regularly $26-$45 plus fees (buy online and save $2). $41-$60 VIP tickets include bistro table seating and a drink voucher). King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Tickets, details HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Steel Magnolias. OCT. 22-NOV. 9. This celebrated Southern classic of family and friendship is set in and around Truvy’s Beauty Parlor, where a group of strong and beautiful women in a small Louisiana parish deal with life, deal and the other stuff of life. This Alliance Theatre staging is directed by two-time Tony Award-winning actor Judith Ivey. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday & Sunday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 & 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. $25-$68. Mainstage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
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.