SweeneyProd-4Welcome to a week jam-packed with openings: “Disgraced” at the Alliance, “I and You” at Aurora, “Moxie” at Theatrical Outfit and “The Toxic Avenger” at Horizon. Also: The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival is underway, and “Wit” (Aurora) and “Sweeney Todd” (Actor’s Express) continue. Pictured: Kevin Harry as Sweeney Todd. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus.


“Disgraced”: Andrew Benator (from left), Tinashe Kajese, Andrew Ramcharan Guilarte, Courtney Patterson and Ali Sohaili. Photo courtesy of the Alliance Theatre.

Disgraced. THROUGH FEB. 14. Winner of the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for drama, a Tony Award nominee for best play, this season’s most-produced American play and soon to be an HBO movie. American playwright Ayad Akhtar tells the story of a lawyer who’s rapidly moving up the corporate ladder while distancing himself from his Muslim roots. When he and his wife host a dinner party, friendly conversation turns deeper and more dangerous. Post-show conversations follow most performances. Note: Contains profanity, extreme violence and adult themes. Suggested for ages 17 and up. $20-$95. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. (no show at 2:30 p.m. Jan. 30). Alliance Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE.


"Sweeney Todd" at Actor's Express: Deborah Bowman as Mrs. Lovett. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus
“Sweeney Todd”: Deborah Bowman as Mrs. Lovett. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. THROUGH FEB. 22. Kevin Harry is the reason to see the Actor’s Express version of this dark musical, often cited as Stephen Sondheim’s masterwork. Harry (AE’s Murder Ballad, Aurora’s Les Miserables) plays the wronged barber bent on revenge as well as he can be played, and with a deep, dangerous baritone made of iron-fisted velvet. Deborah Bowman (Serenbe’s A Streetcar Named Desire) is his Mrs. Lovett, a scheming partner in crime and the making of meat pies. $21-$40. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Selling out, so plan ahead. At the King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

"Wit": Mary Lynn Owen as Dr. Vivian Bearing.
“Wit”: Mary Lynn Owen as Vivian. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Wit. THROUGH FEB. 7. Atlanta actor Mary Lynn Owen kills (sorry!) in this Pulitzer Prize-winning drama by Atlanta educator Margaret Edson. Owen, it seems, was born to play the exacting and brilliant Dr. Vivian Bearing, an English professor dying of ovarian cancer and learning how to live along the way. $30-$50. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10 a.m. Feb. 3. 128 East Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 East Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. Meet Owen in this ENCORE SNAPSHOT.


Special event

A scene from "Breakfast at Ina's," a feature film about This affectionate homage to a beloved Chicago eatery and its magnetic namesake. Screening Friday and Sunday.
A scene from “Breakfast at Ina’s,” an homage to a beloved Chicago eatery and its magnetic namesake. Screening Friday and Sunday.

Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. THROUGH FEB. 17. The biggest film festival in metro Atlanta — and the largest Jewish film festival in the United States — presents a mix of features, documentaries and shorts screening variously at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts CentreGTC Merchants Walk in Marietta, Lefont Sandy SpringsRegal Atlantic StationRegal Avalon in Alpharetta, SCADshow (formerly the 14th Street Playhouse in Midtown), UA Tara Cinemas and Symphony Hall at the Woodruff Arts Center. $9-$13 for individual films, $18 for special events via the AJFF website or the box office at 678.701.6104. Phone orders include an additional $2.50 fee. Details, daily schedules and more HERE.

Opening this weekend

"I and You": Devon Hales (left) and J.L. Reed. Photo: Chris Bartelski
“I and You”: Devon Hales (left) and J.L. Reed. Photo: Chris Bartelski

I and You. OPENS FRIDAY | THROUGH FEB. 21. None of Decatur-bred, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson’s considerable works has achieved the acclaim of this two-character drama about teenage classmates and the strange, transcendent connection between them. Winner of the 2014 Steinberg/American Theatre Critics Association new play award. Gunderson recently earned a Dramatists Guild honor, as well. $20. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Harvel Lab, Aurora Theatre, 128 East Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 East Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

i_hate_hamletI Hate Hamlet. OPENS FRIDAY | THROUGH FEB. 21. Stage Door Players presents Paul Rudnick’s comedy about a successful TV actor who relocates to New York only to see his career bottom out until he has a chance to play Hamlet onstage. The problem: He hates Hamlet. Cast features Robin Bloodworth, Dan Ford and Gina Rickicki. $15-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details HERE, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.

"Moxie": Jaden Robinson as Marcus. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus
“Moxie”: Jaden Robinson as Marcus. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Moxie. PREVIEWS THURSDAY-FRIDAY | OPENS SATURDAY. This world premiere is a big deal. The script, by Atlanta playwrights Lane Carlock and Brian Kurlander, was developed in part in the inaugural year of the Alliance Theatre’s Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab. The story: A Marine in Afghanistan connects with his son by crafting a handmade book. As the unfinished book journeys around the world, all who touch it are sparked to add their personal stories, which adds a mystical force. The 11-member cast incudes Carolyn Cook, Bobby Labartino and Maria Rodriguez-Sager. At Theatrical Outfit. $20-$55. Through Feb. 21. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday (7:30 p.m. show only on opening night); and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500.

SPACE! Courtesy Center for Puppetry ArtsSpace! OPENS TODAY | THROUGH MARCH 10. An out-of-this-world adventure in which five rocking space aliens present scientific facts about planets, stars, meteors and more with the help of 15 original songs, Sir Isaac Newton and Galileo. Written and directed by the Center for Puppetry Arts’ Jon Ludwig. Told with rod, shadow and black-light puppetry. For age 4 and up. $10.25 members; $20.50 nonmembers. 10 + 11:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; noon + 2 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

toxicavenger-websiterotator2The Toxic Avenger. OPENS FRIDAY | THROUGH MARCH 13. Horizon Theatre presents off-Broadway’s 2008-09 Outer Critics Circle Award-winning rock musical based on the 1984 superhero horror comedy movie. It features Nick Arapoglou — who has been away from the stage too long — as the hero, and the supremely talented Michael Stiggers and Leslie Bellair, among others. $25 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. At Austin and Euclid avenues in Little Five Points/Inman Park. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

This weekend only


ASO: Dvořák and Kholodenko’s debut. TONIGHT + SATURDAY. Peruvian maestro Miguel Harth-Bedoya returns to Atlanta to conduct a program featuring composer Jimmy López’s Perú Negro, Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and  Dvořák’s Symphony No. 7, perhaps his finest. The Prokofiev features the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra debut of Ukrainian pianist Vadym Kholodenko. López’s Perú Negro is described as a “thrilling fusion of folk and classical elements.” $20-$79. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Next week

ASO: New Work. FEB. 4 + 6. ASO concertmaster David Coucheron is featured on  Brahms’ Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Major, Opus 77, an Everest of the repertoire. Also scheduled: the premiere of an ASO commission titled A Thousand Words, by Atlanta composer and ASO double-bassist Michael Kurth, and Richard Strauss’ Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks. Music director Robert Spano conducts. $20-$79. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733,5000.
Belle and her Beast (Jillian Butterfield and Ryan Everett Wood. Photo: Matthew Murphy
Belle and her Beast (Jillian Butterfield and Ryan Everett Wood. Photo: Matthew Murphy

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. OPENS TUESDAY | THROUGH FEB. 7. Broadway in Atlanta presents the musical fairy tale about a girl who likes to read and the monstrous creature to whom she’s attracted. The Alan Menken-Howard Ashman-Tim Rice score, augmented a bit from the 1991 feature film, features “Be Our Guest,” “Something There,” “Human Again” and the title song. $30-$125. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499. For more, see this ENCORE FEATURE on the actor who plays Cogsworth, the grandfather clock.

The Missing Generation. FEB. 4-7. 7 Stages brings San Francisco’s Sean Dorsey Dance to town with this new work that explores the contemporary impact of the 1980s-90s AIDS epidemic. The piece was created over two years through oral history interviews with survivors in six U.S. cities, including Atlanta. $22.50. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.


Just ahead

amerbuffaloAmerican Buffalo. PREVIEWS FEB. 9-11 | OPENS FEB. 12. Three small-time criminals work together to pull off one big-time heist in this award-winning drama, which put playwright David Mamet on the map. Former Milwaukee Rep artistic director John Dillon directs the True Colors Theatre Company cast: Neal A. Ghant (True Colors’ Race, the Alliance’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), G. Valmont Thomas and Garrett Gray. Contains adult language; suggested for age 15 and up. $15-$60. Through March 6. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Additional shows at 8 p.m. Feb. 9 and 11 a.m. Feb. 17. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road. Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 877.725.8849 (Ticket Alternative).

Moulin Rouge: The Ballet. FEB. 5-13. Atlanta Ballet invites you into the bohemian world of Paris in its heyday, the spiritual birthplace of the squealing, skirt-flipping cancan and the most famous cabaret in history. Experience a tale of young love and rising stardom in this story ballet choreographed by Jorden Morris. $20-$127. 8 p.m. Feb. 5 and 11-13; 2 p.m. Feb. 6-7. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303.


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