What to do, what to see? Our top picks: the one-woman Ethel at the Alliance Theatre and a reimagined — for better or worse, you tell us — Carousel at Serenbe Playhouse. Don’t look now, but Serial Black Face (Actor’s Express) and Sex With Strangers (Horizon Theatre) arrive next week. Pictured: Terry Burrell as Ethel Waters in Ethel. Photo by Mark Garvin/Walnut Street Theatre.


Ethel. IN PREVIEWS | OPENS MARCH 30. A one-woman glimpse into the magnificent and complicated life of legendary stage and film star Ethel Waters (“Stormy Weather,” Cabin in the Sky, The Member of the Wedding), written and performed by Atlanta-based Terry Burrell (Broadway’s original Dreamgirls, Threepenny Opera, Into the Woods, Thoroughly Modern Millie). Profanity, adult situations. For ages 11 + up. Through April 17. $20-$39. Hertz Stage, Alliance Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.


Last chance

Shak_Tav-_LOGO_CROPMuch Ado About Nothing. CLOSES SATURAY. Confirmed bachelor Benedick and the independent Beatrice engage in Shakespeare’s second-most-famous battle of the sexes. Matt Nitchie and Laura Cole play B+B in this iteration. Pub menu, brews and a full bar available. Also apple crisp. $30. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. New American Shakespeare Tavern, 499 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0.

What’s new

Edward McCreary as Billy Bigelow. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus
Edward McCreary as Billy Bigelow. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Carousel. OPENS TONIGHT | THROUGH APRIL 10. In the spirit of go big or go home, Serenbe Playhouse opens its seventh season with its own spin on the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic about a carnival barker, the girl he marries and the townsfolk of coastal Maine at the end of the 19th century. Serenbe’s staging returns much of the cast from 2014’s Oklahoma!,  and — either a gimmick or a stroke of genius — the production pops out of an actual working fair, which theatergoers can take part in before the performance. Founder/executive artistic director Brian Clowdus directs, with music direction by Chris Brent Davis and choreography by Bubba Carr. A reminder: All Serenbe shows take place outdoors, rain or shine. $30-$35. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday; 2:30 p.m. April 3 + 10. The fair opens one hour before show time and will be open noon-5 p.m. April 2 + 9. Serenbe is in the Chattahoochee Hills/Palmetto area south of Hartstfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Carousel directions HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.


J. Harrison Ghee as Lola. Photo: Matthew Murphy
J. Harrison Ghee as Lola. Photo: Matthew Murphy

Kinky Boots. OPENS  TUESDAY | THROUGH APRIL 3. Inspired by true events. Travel from a gentlemen’s shoe factory in Northampton, England, to the glamorous catwalks of Milan. Charlie Price, struggling to keep the family factory alive, finds help in the unlikely but spectacular form of Lola, a performer in need of new stilettos. Winner of six 2013 Tony awards, including best musical. Still running on Broadway; presented here by Broadway in Atlanta. $30-$125. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 6 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.


Still playing

Photo: Warren Johnson
Photo: Warren Johnson

Galapagos George, the Little Tortoise. THROUGH APRIL 3. This eco-fable by Barefoot Puppets of Richmond, Va., tells the true story of a not-so-little tortoise named George, who’s the last of his kind. Performed with rod, shadow and tabletop puppets. For ages 4 and up. $20.50. 10 + 11:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 p.m. + 3 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. No show March 27. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. N.W. (at 18th Street). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Caroline Arapoglous as Rapunzel (and her hair. Photo: Chris Bartelski
Caroline Arapoglous as Rapunzel (and her hair. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Into the Woods. THROUGH APRIL 17. Atlanta’s season of Sondheim continues at Aurora Theatre with this award-winning musical (three Tonys, five Drama Desk awards), a collection of fractured fairy tales that explores what happens after “happily ever after.” Aurora’s take isn’t wholly successful, but it does include some fine Atlanta talent: Caroline Arapoglou (Rapunzel), Natasha Drena (the Witch), Brandon O’Dell (the Baker) and Wendy Melkonian (the Baker’s Wife). Adult content. Not. For. Children. Selling fast. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE. Discount tickets at

Next week


ASO: Debussy, Ravel & Berlioz. MARCH 31 + APRIL 2. Danish conductor Thomas Søndergård leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in a program comprising Berlioz’s overture for Le corsaire, Opus 21; Debussy’s seafaring La Mer; and Ravel’s Rapsodie espagnole and Piano Concerto for the Left Hand. French pianist Alexandre Tharaud solos on the concerto. A free chamber recital precedes Thursday’s concert, beginning at 6:45 p.m. It’s open to anyone with a ticket for either concert$39-$79. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

ASO: All-Night Vigil (Vespers). APRIL 3 ONLY. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chamber Chorus sings Rachmaninoff’s Vespers, Opus 37, a purely choral work done a cappella in Symphony Hall. Part of the ASO’s monthlong April Centennial Celebration of Robert Shaw’s birth. $25. 3 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Tinashe Kajese-Bolden (left) in “Serial Black Face.” Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Serial Black Face. IN PREVIEWS MARCH 30 | OPENS APRIL 2. A world premiere from Janine Nabers, whose script won the 2014 Yale Drama Series, besting more than 1,600 entries from 41 countries. In 1979, Atlanta is a city with 23 missing children. A single mother copes with the disappearance of her son while trying to give her teenage daughter a fresh start. Then love walks in. At Actor’s Express. Artistic director Freddie Ashley directs. Through April 24. $20-$40. 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


Sex With Strangers. OPENS APRIL 1 | THROUGH MAY 1. Playwright Laura Eason’s comedy about fame, cyber-identity and ambition is a contemporary romantic dram-com about a 24-year-old scenester who blogs about his sexcapades and a 30-year-old failed writer who meet at a Michigan retreat. The 2011 piece is one of the Top 10 most-produced plays of the 2015-16 season in American regional theaters. The two-person cast features Megan Hayes (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), a longtime Atlanta actor-writer now based in Los Angeles, and Florida’s Michael Shenefelt. $25 and up. At Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave. N.E. (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

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