PM-Thrush-PR-1cxWhat to do? What to see? Our top recommendation is the world premiere of Steve Yockey’s “The Thrush & the Woodpecker,” something we’ve been looking forward to since Actor’s Express announced its season. The cast: Matthew Busch and Stacy Melich (pictured) and Kathleen Wattis. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus


thrushlogoThe Thrush & the Woodpecker. PREVIEWS TONIGHT-FRIDAY | OPENS SATURDAY. Actor’s Express stages this National New Play Network rolling world premiere by onetime Atlantan Steve Yockey. Danger and vicious humor collide in his revenge thriller about an estranged mother and son, and the surprise visitor who may blow their world apart. Frequent Yockey collaborator Melissa Foulger directs. Cast: Matthew Busch, Stacy Melich and Kathleen Wattis. Through Nov. 15, in repertory with Yockey’s Blackberry Winter. 8 tonight-Friday (both $21.60 plus fees). Opens at 8 p.m. Saturday ($39.96-$43.20 plus fees). Other performances this week: 2 p.m. Sunday; 8 p.m. Nov. 3; 2 + 8 p.m. Nov. 7; and 7 p.m. Nov. 8. ($21.60-$33.48 plus fees). Yockey ticket packages available. King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469 Discount tickets at For more on Yockey, see this ENCORE FEATURE.

This weekend only

monsterHalloween Hijinks. SATURDAY. Join the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and assistant conductor Joseph Young for a program of music from Harry Potter, The Sorcerer’s Apprentice and Night on Bald Mountain. Come early, in costume, and compete for prizes; get creative at a pumpkin-inspired art-making station; and hold a violin or trumpet at the Instrument Petting Zoo. $15-$20. Pre-concert activities begin at noon, the concert at 2 p.m. Galleria and Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Closing this weekend

Shak_Tav-_LOGO_CROPThe Crucible. CLOSES SUNDAY. Arthur Miller’s attack on 1950s McCarthyism is set in 1692 Massachusetts. Salem killed witches then, didn’t it? The New American Shakespeare Tavern features a full pub menu and tasty libations. $20-$39. 7:30 tonight-Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0. Discount gift certificates for two VIP box seats available at

Jon Ludwig as Simply Dreadful. Photo: Clay Walker
Ludwig as Simply Dreadful. Photo: Clay Walker

The Ghastly Dreadfuls: Raising Spirits. CLOSES SATURDAY. This Suzi Bass Award-winning fright fest finishes it 2015 run at the Center for Puppetry Arts. It’s the brainchild of artistic director Jon Ludwig and head puppet builder Jason Hines, both of whom are in the cast. Also appearing: a surprise guest along with regulars Scott DePoy, Kristin Haverty, Reay Kaplan, T.T. Mahony and Spencer G. Stephens. Ages 18 and up. $18.75 + $25. 8 tonight-Saturday. Post-show party Saturday. 1404 Spring St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Opening this weekend

Fetch Clay, Make Man. PREVIEWS THURSDAY | OPENS FRIDAY. In the days leading to one of Cassius Clay’s most anticipated fights, the heavyweight boxing champ forms an unlikely friendship with the out-of-favor Hollywood actor Stepin Fetchit. Fetch Clay, Make Man gets inside the improbable bond between these two cultural touchstones. By Will Power. Eric J. Little directs for True Colors Theatre. Rob Demery is Clay, Brad Raymond is Stepin Fetchit. Through Nov. 22. $20 preview; regularly $20-$50. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road. Details, tickets HERE or at 877.725.8849. Discount tickets at

Demery as Clay, Brad Raymond as Stepin Fetchit. Photo: Joshua Lamkin

Now playing

informedInformed Consent. THROUGH NOV. 8. Southeastern premiere. At Horizon Theatre. This very recent off-Broadway hit by Deborah Zoe Laufer follows one woman’s quest to answer the mysteries of science and her own life, inspired by a landmark court case between a large university and a Native American tribe. $25 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. N.E. (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450. Discount tickets at

Next week


ASO: Spano conducts world premiere. NOV. 5 + 7. American composer Jonathan Leshnoff’s Symphony No. 2, inspired by the book Innerspace by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, explores the wonders of Jewish mysticism. Music director Robert Spano also leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7. $20-$89. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Carolyn Cook. Photo/art: BreeAnne Clowdus

Blackberry Winter. NOV. 6-22. Another National New Play Network rolling world premiere from Steve Yockey at Actor’s Express. Years of success and meticulous planning have not prepared Vivienne Avery for her mother’s dementia. Carolyn Cook, who is dealing with her own mother’s dementia, plays Vivienne. A co-production with Out of Hand Theater. Ariel Fristoe directs. Runs in repertory with The Thrush & the Woodpecker. 8 p.m. Nov. 4 (Director’s Rough Cut) and 8 p.m. Nov. 5 (preview), both $21.60 plus fees. Opens at 8 p.m. Nov. 6 ($21.60-$30.24 plus fees). This week’s performances: 2 p.m. Sunday and Nov. 12 ($21.60-$30.24 plus fees). Yockey ticket packages available. King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at For more on Yockey, see this ENCORE FEATURE.

The brothers (from left): Anthony Goolsby, Kerwin Thompson, Carlus Houston.

Brothers of Affliction. NOV. 5- 22. Rising Sage Theatre ends its three-show 2015 season with this drama about three troubled siblings and the secrets that bond them. The script is by Atlanta playwright Paris Crayton III. Cast: Anthony Goolsby, Carlos Houston and Kerwin Thompson. $17-$50. West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph D. Abernathy Blvd. S.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.500.7243.

cinderRodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. NOV. 3-8. This is a new version of the musical first written for TV in 1957. The story has been updated (diluted?) to make the Prince and Cinderella seem more real and the score has been augmented in ways good and bad. Still here: “In My Own Little Corner,” Ten Minutes Ago,” “Do I Love You Because You’re Beautiful?” Presented by Broadway in Atlanta at the Fox Theatre. $30-$145. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Details and tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE on the actor playing the Prince.

Acker and Horne as Juliet and Romeo. Photo:
Acker and Horne as Juliet and Romeo. Photo:

Romeo & Juliet. NOV. 5-NOV. 22.  Georgia Ensemble Theatre stages Shakespeare for the first time in its 23-year history. “It’s not your regular stuffy old Shakespeare,” says director David Crowe, promising a “beautiful, romantic, sexy and surprising” story. Jonathan Horne (The Elephant Man) and Jennifer Alice Acker (Camelot) play the unlucky lovers in a cast that includes Allan Edwards, Megan McFarland, Brandon Patrick, Chris Rushing and Kevin Stillwell. Tickets start at $26. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Also at 4 p.m. Nov. 14 + 21. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at

Coming up

AO_-_Soldier_SongsSoldier Songs. NOV. 11-15. Southeastern premiere. The Atlanta Opera presents this multimedia event that combines elements of theater, opera, concert music and animation. American composer David T. Little adapted interviews with veterans of five wars to create the piece. $44-$72. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday + Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Rialto Center for the Arts, 80 Forsyth St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.413.9849.



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