Want to add a little culture to your weekend? Our top recommenda-tions include “Uprising” by Atlanta playwright Gabrielle Fulton, opening Friday at Horizon Theatre with Cynthia D. Barker (pictured) as Sal. The cast, directed by Thomas W. Jones II, features Anthony Manough, Margo Moorer and LaParee Young. Photo by Jay Bowman.
Chasin’ dem Blues. EXTENDED THROUGH AUG. 9. True Colors Theatre Company closes its 2014-15 season with this musical drama about the untold story of Chicago’s Paramount Records and bluesman Willie Dixon’s belief that “blues is the roots, the other musics are the fruits.” $15-$60. 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. (Pictured: Anthony David. Photo by Josh Lamkin)
Rent. EXTENDED THROUGH AUG. 16. 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, but Actor’s Express promises to blow the dust off with an environmental staging (think this season’s Murder Ballad). $26-$45. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. (Pictured: Jennifer Alice Acker as Maureen. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)
The Secret Garden. EXTENDED THROUGH AUG. 16. 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 1911 Frances Hodgson Burnett novel. $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.
Nelle’s Story: The World of Harper Lee. CLOSES SUNDAY. Nelle’s Story by Melita Easter is the inaugural production of Synchronicity Presents, a new series of curated theatrical events at Synchronicity Theatre in Midtown. This one-woman show features Mandi Lee as the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of To Kill a Mockingbird. An Athena Group production directed by Carolyn Cook. 8 tonight-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. 1545 Peachtree St. N.E. in the Peachtree Pointe building. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636. (Pictured: Easter)
THIS WEEKEND ONLY
Brave New Voices Grand Slam. SATURDAY ONLY. See the final round of the nationwide poetry slam that began with more than 600 poets, spoken word artists and slam champions (ages 15-19) from 73 cities. The final competition is at Symphony Hall. Find details about earlier rounds of the slam (beginning July 15) HERE. $25; $5 youth. 8 p.m. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details HERE. Tickets HERE.
OPENING THIS WEEKEND
Uprising. OPENS FRIDAY | THROUGH AUG. 23. In this world premiere, Atlanta playwright Gabrielle Fulton tells a tale of freedom and romance, lacing it with blues-rooted spirituals, danger and magic realism. It all takes place in the aftermath of John Brown’s 1859 raid on Harpers Ferry, when a young woman named Sal (the wonderful Cynthia D. Barker) encounters a revolutionary on the run after the would-be slave revolt. Fulton has been developing her script for at least three years, through Horizon Theatre and the inaugural season of the Alliance Theatre’s Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab. It’s the first Reiser project to get a fully staged production, a very big deal! $25 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Avenue at Euclid Avenue. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Click, 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 by artistic director Jon Ludwig and resident puppet-builder Jason Hines. Told with marionette and rod puppets. For ages 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. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.
The Mystery of Edwin Drood. THROUGH AUG. 2. Stage Door Players’ final show of the season is this dark and twisty musical by Rupert Holmes (“The Piña Colada Song”). It begins when the Music Hall Royale “puts on” its rendition of an unfinished Dickens mystery. Drood, the title character, inexplicably disappears and, by the end of the night, the audience votes on who his murderer might be. $15-$30 in advance. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Additional show at 8 p.m. July 23. 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726. Meet Atlanta actor Jessica De Maria in this ENCORE SNAPSHOT. (Pictured: De Maria as Helena Landless)
Almost Heaven, John Denver’s America. OPENS JULY 23 | THROUGH AUG. 8. Georgia Ensemble Theatre reprises its popular 2013 staging of this folk-rock musical at the Chattahoochee Nature Center’s Ben Brady Pavilion. The score includes “Rocky Mountain High,” “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” “Annie’s Song,” “Leaving on a Jet Plane” and many more. The original cast returns: Dolph Amick, Mary Nye Bennett, Christopher Damiano, Scott DePoy and Jeremy Wood. Theatergoers can bring a picnic or order from Talk of the Town’s catering menu for pickup on-site. Cash bar before and during show. $15 lawn seating; $30 table seating. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Details, tickets, catering info HERE or 770.641.1260.
Evita. OPENS JULY 23 | THROUGH AUG. 16. Serenbe Playhouse wraps its summer season with this dramatized account of the life, rise and death of Argentine first lady Eva Duarte de Peron, the role that made Patti LuPone a certified Broadway star and gave Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice an early hit. Randi Garza is Eva. For ages 12 and up. Performed, as all Serenbe shows are, in an outdoor location, rain or shine. This time, it’s the Open Air Room. $30-$35. 8:30 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or art 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Memphis. OPENS JULY 23 | THROUGH AUG. 30. This Aurora Theatre–Theatrical Outfit co-pro opens in Lawrenceville before moving to downtown Atlanta in September. Southern rock ‘n’ roll was born in Memphis, but there’s a lot more to this story than Graceland. This 2010 Tony Award-winning best musical, inspired by true events, features pioneering disc jockey Huey Calhoun who moves the iconic sound from radio to TV while in the midst of an interracial romance. Contains adult situations and violence. $25-$60. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The theater is at 128 Pike St.; free, attached and covered parking in city lot at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s managing editor, has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. Full disclosure: She’s affiliated with Synchronicity Theatre mentioned above. Please email: email@example.com.