11400992_10152931985932091_8346516394390683592_nWant to get your culture on? Topping our recommendations this week is “Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike” at Horizon Theatre for its final weekend. Pictured, from left, Edward McCreary (Spike), Tess Malis Kincaid (Masha) and Bill Murphey (Vanya).



Q3Avenue Q. THROUGH JULY 12. Horizon Theatre takes its irreverent hit with puppets and people to the former home of Georgia Shakespeare, with both the original and PG-13 versions of this smart, hilarious, risqué Tony and Suzi Bass Award-winning musical. The neighbors are nice on Avenue Q, the only address you can afford when you’re fresh out of college, out of a job or just trying to find your purpose. (See the PG-13 version at 5 p.m. June 28 or 8 p.m. July 8.) $30 and up; $50 tickets include a reserved table pre-show and a drink. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. Conant Center for the Performing Arts at Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450. (Pictured: JC Long and his buddy Rod.)

Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. THROUGH SUNDAY. Regional premiere and arguably the best thing now running in town right now. Horizon and Aurora theaters partner on this co-pro of playwright Christopher Durang’s Tony Award-winning riff on Chekhov. See a voodoo doll, a crying match and a reverse striptease, among other antics. The mostly first-rate cast: Denise Arribas, Lala Cochran, Danielle Deadwyler, Tess Malis Kincaid, Edward McCreary and Bill Murphey. $25 and up. 8 tonight-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450. Runs Oct. 1-25 at Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville.



_D6X0099Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Musical. THROUGH SUNDAY. The Alliance Theatre presents a musicalized version of the Mo Willems children’s story about Trixie and Daddy and their trip to the laundromat. $15; $8 ages 6-17; 5 and under free. 10 + 11:30 a.m. today-Friday; 1 + 3:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. Alliance Theatre’s Hertz Stage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE. (Pictured: Devon Hales and Jeremiah Parker Hobbs — Trixie and Daddy. Photo by Greg Mooney)



Center_for_Puppet_-_Click_Clack_MooClick, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. THROUGH JULY 26. See what happens when Farmer Brown’s chickens go on strike and his cows learn to type. Adapted from the children’s book by Caldecott Honoree Doreen Cronin. Created by artistic director Jon Ludwig and resident puppet-builder Jason Hines and told with marionette and rod puppets. For age 4 and up. $16.60; under 2 free. 10 a.m. + noon Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 p.m. + 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. No shows July 4. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

The Secret Garden. THROUGH AUG. 2. World premiere. The coming-of-age story about recently orphaned Mary Lennox is adapted by playwright Rachel Teagle and performed in the new (and permanent) English Garden at Serenbe. Based on the Frances Hodgson Burnett book of the same name. $10-$20. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Serenbe Playhouse, 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com 



True_Colors_-_Chasin_dem_BluesChasin ‘dem Blues. PREVIEWS JULY 10-12 | OPENS JULY 13. True Colors Theatre Company closes its 2014-15 season with this music drama about the untold story of Paramount Records in Chicago and bluesman Willie Dixon’s belief that “blues is the roots, the other musics are the fruits.” Written and directed by Kevin Ramsey. Cast: Jeremy Cohen, Anthony David, Che Marshall, Maiesha McQueen and Brad Raymond. Through Aug. 2. $15-$60. 8 p.m. July 7. Regularly 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. No show July 31. Additional shows at 11 a.m. July 15, 23 (no evening show). Performed at the Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road S.W. Details, tickets HERE. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Collision Project performances. JULY 10-11. For the fifth year, the Alliance Theatre brings together a group of diverse teenagers from throughout the metro area to “collide” with a classic text, this time the drama Inherit the Wind. These Collision Project performances are what they discovered, under the guidance of playwright Pearl Cleage and director Patrick McColery. FREE, but tickets must be reserved by calling 404.733.4749 or emailing collision.project@woodruffcenter.org. 7:30 p.m. Friday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Alliance’s Hertz Stage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E.

11051919_899069093448483_8393138123621947362_nA Night of Twisted Tales. JULY 5-11. Weird Sisters Theatre Project welcomes you to summer with an evening of short new works by nationally recognized and up-and-coming Atlanta playwrights, all directed by women. The writers: Katie Causey, Annie Harrison Elliott, Daryl Fazio, Rachel Frawley, Lauren Gunderson, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Wendy MacLeod and Anna Ziegler. The acting company includes Blanca Aguero, Chelcy Cutwright, Barret Doyle, Rachel Frawley, Jennifer Lamourt, Betty Mitchell, Stephen Ruffin, Jayme Smith and Annie York. $15; $10 students. 7:30 p.m. July 5 at Emory University’s Schwartz Lab, 1700 North Decatur Road; 7:30 p.m. July 6-7 at the New American Shakespeare Tavern, 499 Peachtree St. N.E.; and 8 p.m. July 10-11 at Aurora Theatre, 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Tickets HERE.

RentPR-4Rent. PREVIEWS JULY 8-9, OPENS JULY 10. Jonathan Larson’s groundbreaking (Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize) rock musical reimagines Puccini’s la Boheme in New York City’s East Village. The 1996 show feels a bit dated today, but Actor’s Express promises to blow the dust off with an environmental staging (think this season’s Murder Ballad). The original Rent was the first big Broadway credit for Taye Diggs, Jesse L. Martin, Idina Menzel and Daphne Rubin-Vega. Previews $20; opening night (with reception) $40; otherwise $26-$45. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. AE at King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. (Pictured: Jeremiah Parker Hobbs as Roger and Julissa Sabino as Mimi. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)


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.

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