A rich weekend of things to see and do. Our top recommendations include “In the Next Room, or the vibrator play,” opening Friday at Synchronicity Theatre. Pictured, from left: Wendy Melkonian as Mrs. Daldry and Bryn Striepe as Mrs. Givings. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus.
In the Next Room, or the vibrator play. OPENS FRIDAY | THROUGH OCT. 18. Synchronicity Theatre reprises its 2011 hit with a mostly new cast. It’s 1887. Chester Arthur is in the White House. Women wear corsets, and men drive horse-drawn carriages. The invention of the light bulb and a handy new instrument to treat “hysteria” has Dr. Givings’ patients all aglow and his young wife very curious. Sarah Ruhl’s comedy about intimacy and equality, a sex comedy with a brain and a heart, was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize and three 2010 Tony awards, including best play. Adult themes. The cast: Daniel May (“The Walking Dead”) and Bryn Striepe (Lasso of Truth) as Dr. and Mrs. Givings, plus Tony Larkin, Wendy Melkonian, Danielle Mills, Doyle Reynolds and Maria Rodriguez-Sager. $20-$28 (reserved seats $10 more). 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Synchronicity Theatre at Peachtree Pointe, 1545 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE. (Pictured: May as Dr. Givings. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus)
A Steady Rain. THROUGH OCT. 11. The Alliance Theatre stages what’s described as a harrowing, intimate story of two Chicago police officers pushing their moral boundaries to the breaking point. A Joseph Jefferson Award winner (Chicago’s theater honors) for best new work and best production. For ages 18 and up. Contains strong profanity, descriptions of extreme violence and sexual situations. The playwright is Keith Huff (ABC’s “American Crime,” Syfy’s “Helix,” AMC’s “Mad Men” and Netflix’s “House of Cards”). Directed by Steppenwolf Theatre co-founder Jeff Perry (Cyrus Beene on TV’s “Scandal”). $20 + $35. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Alliance’s Hertz Stage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more on the show and Jeff Perry, see this ENCORE FEATURE. (Pictured, from left: Thomas Vincent Kelly and Sal Viscuso. Photo by Enci)
Stupid F*cking Bird. THROUGH OCT. 11. Visit Actor’s Express this season, and you’ll thank us. Start with Aaron Posner’s comedy, adapted from Chekhov’s The Seagull and butterflied into a tale of love, art and revolution featuring a passionate young director, a famous novelist, a beautiful young actress, and an aging Hollywood star and her lover, all discovering the disappointments and joys of life and love. The cast: Lane Carlock, Evan Cleaver, Matt Felton, Stephanie Friedman, Theo Harness, Robert Lee Hindsman and Rhyn Saver. $26. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com. (Pictured: Saver and Felton. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus)
THIS WEEKEND ONLY
ASO: Spano Conducts Avner Dorman’s Spices, Perfumes, Toxins! TONIGHT + SATURDAY. Israeli composer Avner Dorman describes his concerto for percussion and orchestra this way: “The title refers to three substances that are extremely appealing, yet filled with danger. Spices delight the palate but can cause illness; perfumes seduce but can also betray; toxins bring ecstasy but are deadly.” The piece showcases ASO percussionists Thomas Sherwood and Charles Settle. 8 nightly. $20-$79. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. (Pictured: Dorman)
Jar the Floor. THROUGH OCT. 4. Cheryl West’s beloved dramatic comedy features four generations of women who gather to celebrate their matriarch’s 90th birthday, airing both the good and the bad. The cast: Cycerli Ash, Donna Biscoe, Cara Mantella, Bernardine Mitchell and D. Woods. Staged by Dominion Entertainment. $15-$35. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 4 p.m. Sunday. Additional show at 11 a.m. Sept. 30. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road, Atlanta. Tickets HERE or at 800.838.3006. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
The Playboy of the Western World. OPENS FRIDAY | THROUGH OCT. 11. Arís Theatre, Atlanta’s stage for Celtic culture, presents a true classic. In J.M. Synge’s play, Christy Mahon thinks he killed his da and, as a result, every girl in the county can’t stop thinking about him. Synge’s comedy caused riots at its 1907 debut, revived an Anglo-Irish word and quite possibly launched the title of a magazine read only for its articles. $15-$25. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Additional show at 8 p.m. Sept. 30. Georgia Public Broadcasting, 260 14th St. N.W., Studio B. Details, tickets HERE. Information at 404.692.0053. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com. (Pictured: Chris Rushing as Christy Mahon. Photo by Jessica Fern Hunt)
ASO: Spano Conducts Beethoven With Jonathan Biss. 8 p.m. Oct. 1 + 3. The program features Concerto for Orchestra by Jennifer Higdon and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, Emperor. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Higdon, a member of the ASO’s Atlanta School of Composers, describes her piece as a true concerto because it “requires virtuosity from the principal players, the individual sections and the entire orchestra.” Biss, an American pianist, solos on the Beethoven. $20-$79. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
ASO: Casual Fridays. 6:30 P.M. OCT. 2. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra launches its 2015-16 season of less-expensive shorter evenings for commuters and the like. This program features the first movement of Jennifer Higdon’s Concerto for Orchestra and Beethoven’s “Emperor” concerto with pianist Jonathan Biss. $25 all seats. 6:30 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Curious (Literary) Encounters. OCT. 1-4. Seven Atlanta artists/ensembles create original, interactive work based on such literary works as The Great Gatsby, The Joy Luck Club and The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter. Join 7 Stages’ Michael Haverty, the Imperial OPA Circus, Found Stages theater, the Artisan Company, choreographer Erik Thurmond, playwright-actor Johnny Drago and others in exploring art pieces tucked into the nooks and corners of the 7 Stages space in Little Five Points. $22; $15 students. 7-9 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6-8 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
La bohème. OCT. 3-11. The Atlanta Opera stages the Puccini masterpiece featuring Mimi and Rodolfo, young lovers in 19th-century Paris, and their group of bohemian poets, painters and philosophers. Together they travel the emotional landscapes of love, poverty and loss. Expect a cinematic approach to the staging. Sung in Italian with English supertitles. $29.53-$140.47; season subscriptions available. 8 p.m. Oct. 3, 7:30 p.m. Oct. 6, 8 p.m. Oct. 9 and 3 p.m. Oct. 11. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.
Tiger Style! BEGINS PREVIEWS SEPT. 30 | OPENS OCT. 7. World premiere. Playwright Mike Lew (the Kendeda-winning Bike America) returns to the Alliance Theatre with another boisterous work, a new comedy about two young Asian-Americans who wonder what, if anything, they owe their immigrant heritage. They’ve failed at everything in life so far, and react by embarking on an Asian Freedom Tour that takes them from California to China. Ultimately, Tiger Style! embraces the inner slacker and outer tiger parent in all of us. For ages 13 and up. The five-person cast includes Emily Kuroda, perhaps more familiar as Mrs. Kim on “Gilmore Girls” and Francis Jue (Broadway’s Thoroughly Modern Millie). $20-$55 previews; $50-$95 opening night; $20-$63 regularly. Through Oct. 18. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets (previews only) at PoshDealz.com. For more on Mike Lew, 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. Full disclosure: She’s affiliated with Synchronicity Theatre, mentioned above. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.