connie sue day

What to see? What to do? It’s really up to you and what makes your holiday sing. There’s something for every taste. If we were planning a weekend, we’d start with Home Brew at 7 Stages, “Christmas Canteen” at Aurora, “Frog and Toad” at Synchronicity and the one-of-a-kind Libby Whittemore at Actor’s Express. Pictured, at right: Connie Sue Day, the 31st Lady of Country Music, in “Ho Ho Home for the Holidays and a Connie Sue Day Christmas.” Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus.


Christmas Canteen 2015. THROUGH DEC. 20. Aurora Theatre’s annual holiday revue turns 20 with more of the audience-pleasing jokes and songs for which it’s known. $30-$65; 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Selling out, so please check ahead. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222

Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays and a Connie Sue Day Christmas. OPENS FRIDAY | THROUGH DEC. 20. Funny lady and singer extraordinaire Libby Whittemore returns to Actor’s Express for her seventh annual holiday show. Expect holiday classics, a few surprises, and tunes made classic by Whittemore herself (including, perhaps, “The 12 Days of a White Trash Christmas” by alter ego Connie Sue Day, the 31st Lady of Country Music). $40 plus tax. 7:30 nightly. Also Saturday and Dec. 18-20. 887 West Marietta St. in the King Plow Arts Center. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

HOMEBREW_logo_v1bHome Brew Series: Richard Garner and Lee Nowell. SATURDAY ONLY. 7 Stages continues its free play-development series with Commission, a piece based on historical facts that explain why Shakespeare wrote Macbeth. Garner, an actor, director and writer, was the longtime artistic director at Georgia Shakespeare. Nowell, an actor, playwright and arts administrator, is managing director at Synchronicity Theatre. Free. 2 p.m. Includes free local craft beer sponsored by Red Hare Brewery. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details HERE or at 404.523.7647. Details on upcoming Home Brew events HERE.
Frog (Chase Davidson) and Toad (Robert Lee Hindsman). Photo: Chris Bartelski

A Year With Frog and Toad. THROUGH DEC. 27. Synchronicity Theatre reprises its popular musical with a mostly new cast. The cheerful Frog and grumpy Toad might get hopping mad at each other, but their friendship sees them through a year of adventures, from growing seeds to sledding down a snowy hill at breakneck speed. Chase Davidson (Actor’s Express’ Rent) is Frog; Robert Lee Hindsman (AE’s Stupid F*cking Bird) is Toad. This is Synchronicity’s sixth staging of the show and, perhaps, its best. $15-$35. 7:30 p.m. Friday; 1 + 4:30 p.m. Saturday; 2 + 5:30 p.m. Sunday; 2 p.m. Dec. 21-23; 11 a.m. Dec. 24. Student matinees (call ahead) at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday-Thursday through Dec. 17. Synchronicity Theatre at Peachtree Pointe, 1545 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.3686.

This weekend only

christmas-tree-clip-art-christmas-tree-clip-art-2Christmas With the ASO. SATURDAY-SUNDAY. A cast of 400 — the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, the Gwinnett Young Singers and the Morehouse College Glee Club — tell the story of Christmas as they have so beautifully for years. Maestro Norman Mackenzie is on the podium. $21-$70. 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

New this week

Rats! Photo: Charlie McCullers

Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. THROUGH DEC. 27. A hallmark of metro Atlanta’s holiday season. This year marks the 20th anniversary of artistic director John McFall’s staging; he’s announced he’ll retire at the end of the season. $20-$127, plus ticketing fees of up to $17.95 per ticket. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 2 p.m. Dec. 22; 2 + 7:30 p.m. Dec. 23; 1 p.m. Dec. 24; and at 2 p.m. only on Dec. 27. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303. Discount tickets at For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.

Now playing

Hofmann as Mary, dishing on her dates.

The 12 Dates of Christmas. THROUGH DEC. 19. Funny lady Jaclyn Hofmann returns for a third season as a woman named Mary who, unfortunately, sees her fiancé kiss another woman on national TV during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. At Aurora Theatre, in repertory with artistic director Anthony P. Rodriguez’s one-man A Christmas Carol. $20-$30. 8 tonight, Saturday and Dec. 16 + 18; 2:30 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 19. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

Black Nativity. THROUGH DEC. 20. This gospel adaptation of Langston Hughes’ original Broadway song-play tells the Nativity story through Scripture, poetry, dance and song, connecting a contemporary church revival to the time of Christ’s birth. Presented by Dominion Entertainment Group in association with Fulton County. $15-$50. 8 tonight-Friday and Dec. 17-18; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 19; 4 p.m. Sunday and Dec. 20; and 11 a.m. Dec. 16. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road. Tickets HERE.l

A Christmas Carol. THROUGH DEC. 27. Bah, humbug, indeed. The Alliance Theatre’s  multicultural, musical staging of the Dickens classic returns with David de Vries as Scrooge for a second season; longtime Scrooge Chris Kayser returns, after a year off, as Marley. Tickets start at $20. Show times vary; details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.


A Christmas Carol. THROUGH DEC. 20. Aurora Theatre artistic director Anthony P. Rodriguez again delivers his one-man version of Dickens’ classic holiday parable, playing all the roles, from Scrooge to Tiny Tim. In repertory with the one-woman comedy The 12 Dates of Christmas. $20-$30. 8 p.m. Friday and Dec. 17 + 19; 2:30 p.m. Saturday and Dec. 20. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.


Let Nothing You Dismay. THROUGH DEC. 20. A world premiere comedy by Atlanta playwright Topher Payne at Stage Door Players, in which eight actors play 22 characters. It’s Christmas, and a young couple is about to become parents. Although they’ve asked their families to stay away until the baby is home, no one listens. Cast: Bryan Brendle, Amanda Kucher, Mark Gray, Shelly McCook, Doyle Reynolds, Gina Rickicki, Emily Sams, Ben Silver. $15-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 16. 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road,  Dunwoody. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.

CXX-Olivia Windley as Ermengarde, Allison Gann as Lottie, Emerson Steele as Sara and Brenna McConnell as Becky
From left: Olivia Windley, Allison Gann, Emerson Steele as Sara Crewe and Brenna McConnell. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

A Little Princess. THROUGH DEC. 27. Privileged Sara Crewe, daughter of an adventurer in Africa, finds herself in Victorian London, where she’s forced to become a servant. Emerson Steele (Broadway’s recent Violet) plays Sara. This family musical by Brian Crawley and Andrew Lippa is based on the 1905 Frances Hodgson Burnett novel. $25-$50. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 22 and 2:30 p.m. Dec. 23. At Theatrical Outfit‘s Balzer Theatre at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at

merrybleepingxmas-hiMerry %#!*ing Christmas. THROUGH DEC. 19. World premiere. An all-new scripted holiday show from the merry mayhem-makers at Dad’s Garage Theatre Company. The premise: When Santa’s gift-giving mania destabilizes the world economy and global warming threatens to turn Frosty into a puddle, Ebenezer Scrooge and a single dad in an ugly sweater team up to save Christmas. Not for kids. $18-$25. 7:30 tonight and Dec. 17; 8 +10:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday and Dec. 18-19. Hertz Stage, Alliance Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.

CX-photo by clay walker
Photo: Clay Walker

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. THROUGH DEC. 27. Rudolph, Hermey the Elf, Clarice, Yukon Cornelius and the Adbominable Snow Monster are all here, in this Center for Puppetry Arts adaptation of the classic holiday TV special. You know the story. It has something to do with reindeer games. Told with rod, body, blacklight and animated puppets. For ages 4 and up. $20.50. 10 and 11:45 a.m. today-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 p.m. + 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1, 3 + 5 p.m. Sunday. Show times Dec. 15-20: 10 a.m. + noon Tuesday-Wednesday; 10 a.m., noon + 2 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 p.m. + 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. All show times through end of run HERE. 1404 Spring St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Snow Queen. THROUGH DEC. 30. The story of best friends Gerda and Kai, and the evil queen who separates them, returns for a second season at Serenbe Playhouse. Adapted by frequent Serenbe collaborator Rachel Teagle from the Hans Christian Andersen tale that also led to the Disney movie Frozen. The 50-minute show takes place outdoors in the Natural Playground at Serenbe. It’s family-friendly, performed rain or shine, requires walking and takes place in a dark environment. Warm clothing advised. Note: Selling out, so please check ahead. $15-$20. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 6 + 8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 10642 Serenbe Lane, Chattahoochee Hills. Directions HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at

The Santaland Diaries. THROUGH DEC. 31. Crumpet’s back, and he’s not happy about it. Crumpet (Harold M. Leaver) recounts the true-life tale of an unemployed writer working as a Macy’s Department Store elf. By David Sedaris — and not for children. Enoch King and Lala Cochran complete the cast. $25-$45. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 6 p.m. Sunday. Horizon Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450. Discount tickets at

Next week

nikolaus_und_krampusprimaryKrampus Christmas. DEC. 17-19. This beloved (and beer-filled) tradition returns to 7 Stages. The Little Five Points Rockstar Orchestra and Syrens of the South anchor a company of burlesque dancers, stilt-walkers, aerialists and other performers in this hard-rocking, sexy comedy that looks askance at Christmas traditions with Krampus, St. Nick’s demonic companion. $22.50. 8 nightly. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647. Discount tickets at

popsA Very Merry Holiday POPS! DEC. 17 + 19. Find your merry and your ho-ho-ho’s to the sounds of holiday classics led by principal pops conductor Michael Krajewski; Broadway and concert soloist Capathia Jenkins; Morris Robinson, the orchestra’s artist-in-residence; and the All-City High School Chorus. Santa may show up, too. $20-$70. 8 p.m. Thursday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. (Note: On Friday, the  8 p.m. concert is at Bailey Performance Center, Morgan Hall, at Kennesaw State University. Tickets HERE.) Symphony Hall details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at

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