Want to get your culture on? Our recommendations include the highly anticipated musical “Murder Ballad” at Actor’s Express with (from left) Jessica De Maria, Kevin Harry, Kristen Browne and Jeremy Harrison. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus.
How I Learned What I Learned. CLOSES SUNDAY. Atlanta premiere. This solo show, created by the great August Wilson (1945-2005), shares the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright’s personal stories about racism, music, love, jail, a first kiss, life-changing friendships and what it means to be a black artist in America. Featuring Eugene Lee (Miss Evers’ Boys, Fences). The critics: “Beautifully designed by a first-class team with Broadway credentials. … 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 tonight-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.
My Children! My Africa! CLOSES SUNDAY. 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 tonight; 2:30 & 7:30 Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday (no Friday show this week). Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. N.W. Tickets, details HERE or at 678.528.1500. (Pictured: Troy and Rodriguez-Sager. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)
White Rabbit Red Rabbit. THROUGH NOV. 22. Cwazy wabbit. Out of Hand Theater brings us another out-of-the-box experience, a one-person piece done without rehearsal, director or set and by a different actor doing a cold reading each time. Upcoming performances: 8 p.m. Nov. 7 at Synchronicity Theatre (actor Brian Kurlander); 8 p.m. (cocktails 6:30 p.m.) Nov. 7 with Theatre du Reve at The Besharat Gallery (actor Christof Veillon, in French); 8 p.m. Nov. 8 with the Weird Sisters Theatre Project at the Alliance Theatre’s third-floor Black Box (actor Veronika Duerr); 8 p.m. Nov. 14 at Theater Emory (actor Tim McDonough); 8 p.m. Nov. 15 at the home of Gita Narayanan (actor Richard Garner); 8 p.m. Nov. 16 at Aris Theatre (actor Kathleen McManus); 8 p.m. Nov. 20 at Kennesaw State University (actor Harrison Long); 8 p.m. Nov. 21 in Candler Park (actor Stacy Melich); 8 p.m. Nov. 22 in Lenox Park (actor Tara Ochs); and at 8 p.m. Nov. 22 by Saiah International at the Goat Farm (actor Marium Khalid). $20-$25 plus fees. Details, tickets and a complete schedule HERE. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
ONCE CHANCE ONLY
Courage. 7 P.M. MONDAY. 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. Includes 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-actor Scott Warren. The great Rosemary Newcott directs. $15-$25. Alliance Theatre mainstage, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
OPENING THIS WEEKEND
The Elephant Man. BEGINS TONIGHT | THROUGH NOV. 16. This 1979 Tony Award-winning best play is based on the life of John Merrick (1862-1890), a Londoner born with disfiguring skin and bone diseases, who travels from freak shows to high society. The nine-member Georgia Ensemble Theatre cast is led by Jonathan Horne in the title role. $10-$35. 8 p.m. Thursday & Friday; 4 & 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday (no 4 p.m. show Nov. 1). Georgia Ensemble Theatre at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Map HERE. Ticket discounts at PoshDealz.com. (Pictured, from left, Rachel Garner, Sam R. Ross and Jonathan Horne. Photo by Martina Schmidt.)
CLOSING THIS WEEKEND
The Sleepy Hollow Experience. THROUGH SUNDAY. Serenbe Playhouse’s spooktacularly popular ode to Halloween rides for a few more days. Although most of the run has sold out, we have tickets for Sunday’s 8 p.m. show. Convene at Serenbe Stables with the awkward schoolteacher Ichabod Crane, the coquettish Katrina, Ichabod’s brutish rival, Brom Bones, and the spirits. $20. 9110 Selborne Laner, Chattahoochee Hills. Details HERE or at 770.463.1110. Ticket discounts at PoshDealz.com.
Chicago. THROUGH NOV. 9. Come for the old razzle dazzle, a taste of the Windy City in the 1920s or a host of “not guiltys.” Atlanta Lyric Theatre kicks up the crime rate with this musical first seen on Broadway in 1975 with the legendary Chita Rivera and Gwen Verdon and reimagined some years later in a Tony Award-winning revival with Bebe Neuwirth and Ann Reinking. What’s a little murder, greed and corruption among friends. (P.S. Don’t bring the kids.) $30-$50. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Also at 2 p.m. Nov. 8. Jennie T. Anderson Theatre, Cobb County Civic Center Complex, 548 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.377.9948. Ticket discounts at PoshDealz.com.
Steel Magnolias. THROUGH 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, death and other daily stuff. Directed by two-time Tony Award-winning actor Judith Ivey at the Alliance Theatre. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 & 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. & 7:30 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.
Chainz/Broken. ENCORE PERFORMANCES NOV. 7-16. Rising Sage Theatre presents eight more performances of these one-acts by playwright/co-founder Paris Crayton III (pictured). In Chainz, four men come together in a police holding cell, learning about each other and how they’re an endangered species in America. In Broken, five women talk about children they’ve lost to gun violence. $15 ($25 reserved seats). 8 p.m. Nov. 7; 2 & 8 p.m. Nov. 8; and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 9 at the West End Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Way S.W. 404.756.6465. ). 8 p.m. Nov. 14; 2 & 8 p.m. Nov. 15; and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 16 at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur, 404.687.2731. Details HERE. Tickets at West End HERE. Tickets at Porter Sanford HERE.
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.” Artistic director Freddie Ashley leads a cast of 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 post-show 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.
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.