BRD mainWhat to see, what to do? Choose from such seriously good stuff as “Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Troy Davis Project,” a world premiere at Synchronicity; “Ethel” at the Alliance; “Serial Black Face” at Actor’s Express; and “Sex With Strangers” at Horizon. Pictured: The  “Reasonable Doubt” cast (top, from left): Eddie Bradley Jr., Lane Carlock, Danielle Deadwyler; (middle, from left): Terry Henry, Stephen Ruffin; and (bottom, from left) Eric Mendenhall, Cynthia D. Barker, John Benzinger. Photo illustration by BreeAnne Clowdus.


synchro-logo-BRD-CROPBeyond Reasonable Doubt: The Troy Davis Project. OPENS FRIDAY | THROUGH MAY 1. World premiere. Atlanta playwright Lee Nowell and Synchronicity Theatre take on  justice and race in this drama, four years in the making, and based on trial transcripts, legal documents, photographs, letters, interviews, blog posts and published articles about the 2011 execution of Troy Anthony Davis for the murder of off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail. One act in this play brings forth evidence of Davis’ guilt; the other, evidence of his innocence. The acts are played in alternating order from night to night. A post-show conversation follows each performance. Artistic director Rachel May directs. Cast: Cynthia D. Barker, John Benzinger, Eddie Bradley Jr., Lane Carlock, Danielle Deadwyler, Terry Henry, Eric Mendenhall and Stephen Ruffin. $20-$48. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Synchronicity Theatre at Peachtree Pointe, 1545 Peachtree St. N.E. in Midtown. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.


Terry Burrell as Ethel Waters. Photo: Greg Mooney
Terry Burrell as Ethel Waters. Photo: Greg Mooney

Ethel. EXTENDED THROUGH MAY 1. A one-woman glimpse into the magnificent and complicated life of legendary radio/stage/film star Ethel Waters (“Stormy Weather,” Cabin in the Sky). It’s written and performed by Atlanta-based Terry Burrell (Broadway’s original Dreamgirls, Threepenny Opera, Into the Woods, Thoroughly Modern Millie). The show includes such songs as “Dinah,” “Happiness Is Just a Thing Called Joe,” “His Eye Is on the Sparrow” and Am I Blue?” She must be doing something right — this is the show’s second two-week extension. Profanity, adult situations. For ages 11 + up. $20-$39. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Hertz Stage, Alliance Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.


Tinashe Kajese-Bolden and Gilbert Glenn Brown in "Serial Black Face." Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus
Tinashe Kajese-Bolden and Gilbert Glenn Brown in “Serial Black Face.” Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Serial Black Face. THROUGH APRIL 24. One of the most-anticipated shows of the Atlanta season. This world premiere from Janine Nabers is set against the backdrop of the Atlanta Child Murders. It’s 1979, and a single mother copes with her son’s disappearance while dealing with a difficult teenage daughter and a new love. Nabers’ script won the 2014 Yale Drama Series, besting more than 1,600 entries from 41 countries. At Actor’s Express. $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


Michael Shenefelt and Megan Hayes. Photo: Horizon Theatre
Michael Shenefelt and Megan Hayes. Photo: Horizon Theatre

Sex With Strangers. THROUGH MAY 1. Playwright Laura Eason’s comedy about fame, cyber-identity and ambition made this year’s list of the Top 10 most-produced plays in America. The contemporary romantic dram-com concerns a 24-year-old sexcapades blogger and an unsuccessful 30-year-old writer, who meet at a Michigan retreat. The two-person cast: Megan Hayes (The Hunger Games: Catching Fire), a longtime Atlanta actor-writer now based in Los Angeles, and Florida’s Michael Shenefelt. $25 + up. At Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.


Last chance

Jessica Miesel as Carrie Pipperidge and Daniel Burns as Mr. Snow. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus
Jessica Miesel as Carrie Pipperidge and Daniel Burns as Mr. Snow. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Carousel. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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 19th-century Maine. The production — either a gimmick or a stroke of genius — pops out of an actual working fair, which theatergoers can experience before the show. All Serenbe shows take place outdoors, rain or shine. $30-$35. 8 tonight-Sunday; also 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Fair opens an hour before “curtain” and noon-5 p.m. Saturday. Serenbe is in Chattahoochee Hills about 35 miles south of Atlanta. Carousel directions HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.


This weekend only


ASO: Sibelius and Grieg. 8 TONIGHT + FRIDAY. Maestro Robert Spano leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in a program featuring Alvin Singleton‘s Different River, an ASO commission; the Sibelius Symphony No. 2; and Grieg’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in A minor, Opus 16, with Louis Lortie on piano. Different River, says Singleton,  depicts “an ever-changing perspective on a river that is always moving. … Each time you step in you’re at a different place.” $29-$79. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Opening this weekend

A scene from "Beauty & the Beast."
A scene from “Beauty & the Beast.”

Beauty & the Beast. THROUGH MAY 22. A fairy tale reimagined for contemporary times. In an urban setting, trash is turned to treasure, and true love prevails in a modern-day city with alley cats, beauty shops and exercise videos. Told with object and rod puppets, and original music. Adapted and directed by Jon Ludwig, the Center for Puppetry Arts’ artistic director. For ages 4+. $20.50. 10 + 11:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; noon + 2 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Kayce Grogan-Wallace is Effie.
Kayce Grogan-Wallace is Effie.

DreamgirlsOPENS FRIDAY | THROUGH APRIL 24. Kevin Harry (Sweeney Todd at Actor’s Express) plays Curtis Taylor Jr., a mogul in the mold of Berry Gordy Jr., who takes raw talent and a few girl groups (the Supremes?) and creates a soundtrack for the 1960s and ’70s. Kayce Grogan-Wallace plays Effie Melody White, the role that made Jennifer Holliday famous. At Atlanta Lyric Theatre. $38-$58. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Also 2 p.m. April 23. Jennie T. Anderson Theatre at the Cobb Civic Center, 548 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.377.9948. Discount tickets at

ytodaylogoYesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience. OPENS TONIGHT | THROUGH APRIL 24. This touring show sets up shop at Georgia Ensemble Theatre to share the music of the Fab Four. Brothers Billy, Ryan and Matthew McGuigan avoid the bad-wigs-and-accents trap, sing as themselves and leave the song choices up to the audience. No two shows are alike. $25-$40. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 4 p.m. April 16 + 23. At the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at

Still playing

Hail Mary! THROUGH APRIL 17. A comic-drama by Tom Dudzick (Miracle on South Division Street) about a young nun who finds herself at odds with old-time religion. Critics have called it a show for “audiences who want a bracing combination of laughter and deep thoughts.” At Stage Door Players. $22-$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.

Natasha Drena as the Witch. Photo: Chris Bartelski
Natasha Drena as the Witch. 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), Wendy Melkonian (the Baker’s Wife). Adult content. Not. For. Children. 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: A world premiere and Brahms’ Requiem. APRIL 14 + 16. Music director Robert Spano leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in a program featuring the world premiere of American composer Jonathan Leshnoff‘s Zohar and Brahms’ unparalleled German RequiemZohar explores the wonders and beauties of Jewish mysticism; the Requiem is performed with the orchestra, the ASO Chorus, soprano soloist Jessica Rivera and baritenor soloist Nmon Ford. $29-$79. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

BeBe Winans today. Photo: John Bayley
BeBe today. Photo: John Bayley

Born for This: The BeBe Winans Story. IN PREVIEWS APRIL 13 | OPENS APRIL 23. Universal themes run through this personal story and new American musical about Detroit-born gospel singers BeBe and CeCe Winans, who experience the ultimate in culture shock when invited to join Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker’s Praise the Lord Network. As the siblings encounter fame and fortune, BeBe must learn to balance his desire for success with a truer calling. At the Alliance Theatre. $20- $120. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday (no 2:30 show April 16 or 23); and 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets, details HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Photo: Kim Kenney
Photo: Kim Kenney

Twyla Tharp’s The Princess and the Goblin. APRIL 15-17 ONLY. Atlanta Ballet reprises the piece it introduced in 2012. This family-friendly ballet chronicles the adventures of a young princess on a quest to save her kingdom. Twyla Tharp, the renowned American choreographer and dancer, combines ballet’s formality with the wit of modern dance to tell a story of bravery and independence. $20-$127. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303. 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.

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