Evita. CLOSES SUNDAY. Serenbe Playhouse sings and dances through this account of the life, rise and demise of Argentine first lady Eva Duarte de Péron, the role that made Patti LuPone a Broadway star and gave Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice an early hit. Randi Garza is Eva. For ages 12 and up. Performed, rain or shine, in the Open Air Room. $30-$35. 8:30 tonight-Sunday. 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or art 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Memphis. THROUGH AUG. 30. This Aurora Theatre–Theatrical Outfit co-pro is playing the Lawrenceville stage before moving to downtown Atlanta in September. The 2010 Tony Award-winning best musical, inspired by true events, features pioneering disc jockey Huey Calhoun who moves the iconic sound of Southern rock ‘n’ roll from radio to TV while involved in an interracial romance. 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.
The Secret Garden. CLOSES SUNDAY. World premiere. This coming-of-age story about recently orphaned Mary Lennox is adapted by playwright and frequent Serenbe collaborator Rachel Teagle and performed in the new 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. (Pictured: David-Aaron Roth, left, as Colin and Justin Walker as Craven. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)
CREATE ATL: Family Fun at the Woodruff Arts Center. THROUGH AUG. 30. An afternoon of free programming led by the Alliance Theatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and High Museum of Art. Activities include family festivals, art-making activities, interactive musical story times, composers-in-training sessions, instrument making, drop-in acting classes and more. Noon-5 p.m. Free, but reservations are requested HERE. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Questions at 404.733.4200.
Shaking the Wind. FRIDAY-SUNDAY. The first installment of a trilogy about one woman’s experience as a black American growing up in 1980s Atlanta. Margie Minka Wiltz, the daughter of a pharmacist-turned-street preacher, has failed in every career attempt to find self-realization and creative freedom. Shaking the Wind traces how she finally discovered her voice in the world. Written and performed by Atlanta actor Minka Wiltz, a three-time Suzi Bass Award nominee. $20 plus fees. 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. Tickets HERE.
Lillian Likes It. THROUGH AUG. 23. In repertory with The Old Ship of Zion by Natalia Naman as part of the 2015 Essential Theatre Festival. Lillian, a world premiere by Joshua Mikel of Conyers, is a quirky comedy that begins as a satirical look at social media. It deepens when Lillian thinks she’s found the perfect guy. Does it matter that he’s dead if she can chat with him online? Winner of the 2015 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award. $15-$20 advance. Remaining performances: 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19-20 + 22; 7 p.m. Sunday; and 2 p.m. Aug. 22. Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at email@example.com.
The Old Ship of Zion. THROUGH AUG. 21. In repertory with Lillian Likes It by Joshua Mikel as part of the 2015 Essential Theatre Festival. This world premiere by Natalia Naman of Columbus is a drama with music about people searching for a spiritual life in trying times. The characters include an elder and a church-loving young man who’s beginning to realize he’s gay. $15-$20 advance. Remaining performances: 8 tonight, Saturday and Aug. 17 + 21; 2 p.m. Sunday. West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. S.W. Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rent. THROUGH AUG. 22. Jonathan Larson’s groundbreaking (Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize) rock musical reimagines Puccini’s la Boheme in New York City’s East Village. Actor’s Express’ staging is vibrant and mostly well-sung, if over the top in some places. Well worth seeing. It has become the best-selling show in AE history, so plan ahead. $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: Jeanette Illidge, left, and Jennifer Alice Acker as lovers Joanne and Maureen. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)
Uprising. THROUGH AUG. 23. Atlanta playwright Gabrielle Fulton tells a tale of freedom and romance in this world premiere, lacing it with blues-rooted spirituals, danger and magic realism. It 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. In September, it moves to Metro Stage in Alexandria, Va., with some of the same actors. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.
Hot Pink, or Ready to Blow. PREVIEWS AUG. 19 | RUNS AUG. 20-30. A world premiere by Atlanta playwright Johnny Drago, the second show this summer by the Weird Sisters Theatre Project. When New Pompeii’s annual sacrifice fails to satisfy the volcano’s appetite for virgins, three totally ’80s teenagers concoct a brilliant plan to save themselves. Weird Sisters co-founder Veronika Duerr directs a cast that features Casey Gardner (Aurora’s Mary Poppins), Bobby Labartino, Topher Payne, Dad’s Garage regular Gina Rickicki, Parris Sarter and Bryn Striepe (Synchronicity’s Lasso of Truth. $20. 8 nightly. Alliance Theatre’s 3rd floor black-box, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE.
Motown the Musical. OPENS TUESDAY | THROUGH AUG. 23. The story of Motown Records’ founder Berry Gordy Jr. is told through the music and the artists that made the label an American icon — the Supremes, the Jackson 5, the Temptations, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, etc. Nominated for five 2015 Tony awards. Presented by Broadway in Atlanta. $30-$150. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Details HERE. tickets HERE. For more on the show, see this ENCORE FEATURE.
Wabi Sabi at Serenbe. AUG. 23. This small troupe of Atlanta Ballet dancers performs WHIM, new works by first-time Wabi Sabi choreographer Robyn Mineko Williams, along with premieres by Atlanta Ballet’s Tara Lee, Heath Gill and Sarah Hillmer. Wabi Sabi, which performs modern works by up-and-coming choreographers, takes its name from a Japanese worldview that finds beauty in the sincerity, simplicity and integrity of the natural world. Free. 5 p.m. Serenbe Playhouse, 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, reservations HERE or at 770.463.1110. (Pictured: Wabi Sabi dancers at play. Photo by Kim Kenney)
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.