Want to get your culture on? Our recommendations include the deliciously twisty “Murder Ballad” at Actor’s Express with (from left) Kristen Browne as the wife, Kevin Harry as the husband, Jeremy Harrison as the lover and Jessica De Maria as the narrator. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. TONIGHT & SATURDAY. The ASO and music director Robert Spano are back in action following a two-month lockout, so it’s no surprise that these concerts are approaching sellouts. The program: Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 and Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5, featuring ASO concertmaster David Coucheron. The ASO is joined by its Chorus and soloists Joseph Kaiser, Nancy Maultsby, Stephen Powell and Twyla Robinson. 8 tonight; 7:30 p.m. Saturday. $34-$109. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtreee St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
The Elephant Man. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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. At Georgia Ensemble Theatre. The critics: “Stylistically evocative and thoroughly moving. … Stunning” (Bert Osborne, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). $10-$35. 8 tonight-Friday; 4 & 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Map HERE. Ticket discounts at PoshDealz.com. (Pictured: Jonathan Horne as Merrick. Photo by Martina Schmidt.)
Madama Butterfly. FINAL WEEKEND. NOV. 11, 14 & 16. The Atlanta Opera opens its season, the first fully programmed by general & artistic director Tomer Zvulun, 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. Friday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.
Murder Ballad. THROUGH DEC. 7. You have about a month to catch this must-see rock musical about a love triangle gone bad, getting a taut and twisty tellling at Actor’s Express. The New York Times called this 2013 off-Broadway hit a “savvy guilty pleasure” and “fun.” Freddie Ashley directs. His cast: Kristen Browne, Jessica De Maria, Jeremy Harrison and Kevin Harry. The reviews: “An exuberant, intoxicating piece of theater” (Jim Farmer, ArtsATL.com); “Winningly straddles the line between musical theater and gritty little club gig” (Wendell Brock, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. $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. Ticket discounts at PoshDealz.com.
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. This week’s performances: 8 p.m. Friday at Emory’s Schwartz Theatre Lab (actor Tim McDonough); 8 p.m. Saturday in Brookhaven (actor Richard Garner); 8 p.m. Saturday at Serenbe Playhouse (actor Frances Fisher); 8 p.m. Sunday at Aris Theatre (actor Kathleen McManus); and 8 p.m. Nov. 20 at Kennesaw State University (actor Harrison Long). Tickets to see Fisher at Serenbe are $50 HERE. All others are $20-$25 plus fees. Details, tickets and the rest of the schedule HERE. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
OPENING THIS WEEKEND
Morgan Freeman Presents the Magic Negro and Other Blackness. OPENS TONIGHT | THROUGH DEC. 6. Have you ever wondered whether Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham might be racially charged? And just whose uncle is Uncle Ben? Using comedic sketches, improv and character pieces, this one-man show from the mind of Dad’s Garage’s Mark Kendall examines how black men are represented in the media, as told by the character of Morgan Freeman. From prison to white flight, Aunt Jemima and even Black Jesus — they’ll explore how these images influence views on race in everyday life. 8 p.m. Thursday-Sunday (shows Nov. 21-22 start at 7 p.m.). Pay-what-you-can performance at 8 p.m. Nov 24. $10.50-$27.50. Dad’s Garage Theatre at 7 Stages, 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.3141.
Rabbit Hole. PREVIEWS THURSDAY | OPENS FRIDAY (sold out). A couple tries to piece their life together after a devastating tragedy in David Lindsay-Abaire’s 2007 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama. The cast: Chase Alford, Patricia French, Cara Mantella, Matthew Myers and Mary Saville. Through Dec. 7. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. $30. Stage Door Players, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Directions HERE. Tickets at 770.396.1726. (Pictured: Saville, left, and Myers)
Trust Byron. PREVIEWS TONIGHT | OPENS FRIDAY. A one-man show about one of the most notorious characters of the 19th century, described as a “provocative and intelligent look at the present, and perhaps the future, through the eyes of a savage mind from the past.” Arís Theatre promises a piece that’s funny, edgy, sexy and downright challenging at times. Winslow Thomas is Byron. Not suitable for children. Through Nov. 23. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. $15-$25. Arís Theatre at Georgia Public Broadcasting, Studio B, 260 14th St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.692.0053. Ticket discounts at PoshDealz.com.
Chainz/Broken. CLOSES SUNDAY. Rising Sage Theatre reprises this double bill by playwright/co-founder Paris Crayton III. In Chainz, four men who come together in a police holding cell, learn 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). 8 p.m. Friday; 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur, 404.687.2731. Details HERE. Tickets HERE.
Urban Nutcracker. NOV. 20-23 | FOUR PERFORMANCES ONLY. Ballethnic Dance Company reprises its annual holiday tradition. This Nut takes place on Sweet Auburn Avenue in 1940s Atlanta. It’s a soulful, whimsical journey populated by the Reggae Ragdolls, the Black Russian, Mother Spice and her tumbling Spice Drops, the bubbly Coca Cola Pas de Six, and the elegant Brown Sugar with her Chocolatier. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. $39-$52. Ferst Center for the Arts on the Georgia Tech campus, 349 Ferst Drive N.W. Details HERE. Tickets HERE. Questions at 404.894.9600.
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.