Want to get your culture on this weekend? Here are our recommendations. And check out our “Looking Ahead” section for some of the biggest happenings in the next month. 




Marin Alsop and the ASO. TONIGHT & SATURDAY. The New York Times calls Marin Alsop “a formidable musician and a powerful communicator, a conductor with a vision of what an American orchestra could be in the 21st century.” The San Francisco Chronicle says “there’s no denying the wit and vitality that Alsop — a lively entertainer as well as a powerhouse musician —brings to her performances.” See what they mean when Alsop, the first female conductor of a major U.S. orchestra, returns to lead the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in a program that includes Barber’s Essay No. 2, Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 and Tchaikovsky’s final symphony, Pathétique. Lithuanian-born violinist/violist Julian Rachlin plays the Prokofiev. 8 tonight; 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Atlanta Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.


Fried Chicken & Latkes. THROUGH SATURDAY. Rain Pryor use impressions, songs, monologues and a three-piece jazz band to share what it was like growing up as the daughter of famed comic Richard Pryor and a Jewish go-go dancer named Shelley R. Bonis. She discusses racial tensions in Beverly Hills and explains how she learned to embrace her African-American roots, her Jewish ancestry and her father’s unique style of parenting. $25-$100 in advance. 8 tonight-Friday; 6 & 8 p.m. Saturday. Presented by True Colors Theatre Company and the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta at the Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road S.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.613.3220.



Center_for_Puppet_-_Little_Red_PigThe Big Bad, Little Red, Pig Show. THROUGH JAN. 25. The Big Bad Wolf is working double-time in this mash-up of fairy tales. Along the way, you’ll meet Little Red Riding Hood, pigs named Hamlet and Miss Barb B. Que, and their famous cousin, Kevin Bacon. Presented with hand, rod and glove puppets by Lee Bryan, an Emmy-nominated Atlanta puppeteer known as “That Puppet Guy.” $9.25 members age 2 and up; $16.50 nonmembers. 10 & 11:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 p.m. & 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.

The Lizard & El Sol. THROUGH JAN. 31. The latest show in the Alliance Theatre’s innovative Theatre for the Very Young program (for ages 18 months to 5 years). This interactive adventure is based on a famous Mexican folktale about a time when El Sol (the Sun), disappeared from the sky. Young ones will help the tenacious Lizard coax the sleepy Sol out of his hiding place. With puppets and Mexican-inspired music and dance. $10. Check ahead, tickets go fast. These are morning performances. Alliance Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.



Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. FEB. 11-15. This storied and beautiful dance company makes its nearly annual Atlanta visit for six performances only. The company’s athlete-dancers will showcase 10 works (most performances are different), including its signature piece “Revelations,” and the new “Odetta,” a tribute to American singer, actress, guitarist and songwriter Odetta Holmes, often called “the voice of the civil rights movement.” $19.50-$70. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Details HERE, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.

BADJEWS_artworkWEBBad Jews. JAN. 21-FEB. 22. A comedy written and developed by playwright Joshua Harmon during a residency at Actor’s Express. The plot: Daphna Feygenbaum is a “real Jew.” Her cousin Liam is a self-described “bad Jew,” complete with a shiksa girlfriend. Not surprisingly, the two clash when they meet up for a family funeral. New York Times critics named Bad Jews the best comedy of the 2012-13 season. Cast: Suzi Bass Award winner Galen Crawley (Mary Poppins), Rachel DeJulio, Wyatt Fenner (Pluto) and Louis Gregory. Some performances are selling out, others are being added. Check the website. $20-$32 (parking $5). 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Tickets, details HERE or at 404.875.1606.

thm_DetroitDetroit ’67. FEB. 10-MARCH 8. It’s 1967 in Detroit, and Motown music is the sound. Chelle and her brother make ends meet by turning their basement into a cool, after-hours club. But when a mysterious woman enters, the siblings clash. As their feelings erupt, so does the city around them, and they find themselves caught in the middle of the ’67 riots in America’s Motor City. Of Detroit ’67, the 2014 Kennedy Center award winner for drama, The New York Times said: “Crackling with humor! Fire up some Motown, get those hips moving and everything will work out fine.” True Colors Theatre at the Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road. Details, tickets HERE or at 877.725.8849.

Newsies. JAN. 20-15. Disney’s musical revisits the 1899 newsboys’ strike in New York City, a real-life event in which underdogs became unlikely heroes by battling powerhouse newspaper publishers Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. Winner of 2012 Tony awards for score and choreography. $25-$95. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 & p.m. Saturday; and 1 & 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 855-285-8499. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.

14-15_thumb_RJ copyRoméo et Juliette. FEB. 6-14. Atlanta Ballet reprises this popular story ballet choreographed by Jean-Christophe Maillot, a fresh take on Shakespeare’s masterpiece that digs deep into the power of young, forbidden love. Of last season’s performance, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution said: “Audiences should pack a tissue or two and see this production.” $23-$124. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Additional show at 2 p.m. Feb. 7. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway. Details, tickets HERE. Ticket discounts at PoshDealz.com.


Tuck Everlasting. JAN. 21-FEB. 21. A young girl dreaming of adventure meets a family with a fascinating secret. Their chance encounter will change them all forever. A world premiere musical at the Alliance Theatre, based on Natalie Babbitt’s 1975 novel. Atlanta’s Sarah Charles Lewis plays Winnie, the young girl. The script is by Tony Award nominee Claudia Shear; the score by the young, award-winning team of Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen; and the direction and choreography by Tony winner Casey Nicholaw (The Book of Mormon, Aladdin, The Drowsy Chaperone, Spamalot). For ages 10 and up. $21-$60. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 & 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 & 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Alliance Theatre mainstage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Ticket discounts at PoshDealz.com. For more on Nicholaw, see this ENCORE FEATURE.


Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s managing editor, has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. Please email: kathy@encoreatlanta.com.


About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

View all posts by Kathy Janich