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What to see, what to do? “Say hello to “Sotto Voce” (Aurora), “Inside I” (7 Stages) and “The Light in the Piazza (Theatrical Outfit), and goodbye to “Dreamgirls” (Atlanta Lyric), closing Sunday. Recommended (and pictured): The cast of Synchronicity Theatre’s “Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Troy Davis Project.” Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus.

Recommended

Runnicles
Runnicles

ASO: Mahler’s Ninth. TONIGHT + SATURDAY. Principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in Mahler’s Ninth Symphony, composed in the wake of a daughter’s death and his wife’s affair. The epic work premiered after the composer’s death in 1911. Note: The ASO travels to New York’s Carnegie Hall for an April 30 engagement. $20-$89. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Troy Davis Project. THROUGH MAY 1. World premiere. Atlanta playwright Lee Nowell and Synchronicity Theatre take on justice and race in this drama 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 points to his guilt; the other to his innocence. They’re played in alternating order from night to night. A post-show conversation follows each performance. $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. MUST CLOSE 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 Broadway regular Terry Burrell. 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 — the show has been extended twice and must close May 1. 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.

[READ MORE: BURRELL ON ‘ETHEL’S’ 20-YEAR JOURNEY TO THE STAGE]

Robert Shaw — Man of Many Voices. SUNDAY ONLY. This film documentary looks at the life and legacy of Shaw, music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, for more than 20 years. The documentary uses a vast archive of photo, sound and motion picture images plus musical recordings from Shaw’s tremendously successful 60-year career. Actor David Hyde-Pierce narrates. $25-$50. 4 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 128 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

The Man With the Fac (Gilbert Glenn Brown). Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus, with lighting by beautiful lighting Rebecca M.K. Makus.
The Man with the Face (Gilbert Glenn Brown). Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus, with lighting by Rebecca M.K. Makus.

Serial Black Face. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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 tonight-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

[READ: AMERICAN THEATRE MAGAZINE DISCUSSES ‘BLACK FACE’]

Last chance

DreamgirlsCLOSES SUNDAY. 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 tonight-Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. 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 PoshDealz.com.

The Dreams, aka Dreamettes (from left): Kayce Grogan-Wallace, Judith Franklin and Chimére Scott. Photo: Atlanta Lyric Theatre
The Dreams, aka Dreamettes (from left): Kayce Grogan-Wallace, Judith Franklin and Chimére Scott. Photo: Atlanta Lyric Theatre

Yesterday and Today: The Interactive Beatles Experience. CLOSES SUNDAY. This touring show ends its stay at Georgia Ensemble Theatre, where it’s sharing 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. 8 tonight-Friday; 4 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. At the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

This weekend only

S.T.E.A.M. Team. SATURDAY ONLY. A world premiere for family audiences by award-winning Atlanta playwright Topher Payne. Five neighborhood friends use their interests in science, technology, engineering, the arts and math to solve mysteries in their own backyards. The fun fades when they hit middle school — until a bully targets one of them. For ages 7-13. $10. 11 a.m. only. Georgia Ensemble Theatre at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.

Opening this weekend

BeBe and CeCe Winans in 1991. Photo: BeBe and CeCe Winans in 1991. Dana Tynan / Associated Press
BeBe and CeCe Winans in 1991. Photo: BeBe and CeCe Winans in 1991. Photo: Dana Tynan / AP

Born for This: The BeBe Winans Story. IN PREVIEWS | OPENS SATURDAY. Universal themes run through this personal story, a new American musical, about Detroit-born gospel singers BeBe and CeCe Winans, who experience the ultimate in culture shock when they 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. Through May 15. $20-$120. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday (no 2:30 show April 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. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Watkins, other guy.
Watkins (left) and Taylor.

Equivocation. IN PREVIEWS | OPENS SATURDAY. At the New American Shakespeare Tavern. Bill Cain’s drama is set in 1605 England, where terrorists are threatening to assassinate King James I and blow up Parliament. The prime minister commissions Shagspeare (a contemporary spelling) to write the “true historie” of the plot. With witches. Director Jaclyn Hofmann’s cast: Robin Bloodworth, Nicholas Faircloth, Matt Felton, Clark Taylor, Jeff Watkins and Elizabeth Diane Wells. Through May 8. $15-$20 previews; $17-$34 regularly. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299.

7ST-INSIDE-042315-0800-1Inside I. OPENS TONIGHT | THROUGH MAY 8. This world premiere, written and directed by 7 Stages’ associate artistic director Michael Haverty and Erwin Maas, portrays the life and dreams of a boy on the autism spectrum, from birth to age 18, and his obsession with, and escape into, the world of video. It features visual spectacle, puppets, performers and live-feed. Each performance opens with I Direct Myself, a 15-minute play written and performed by Sam Gross, who’s on the spectrum. Cast: Matt Baum, Tera Beurkle, Reay Kaplan, Luis Hernandez and Jeffrey Zwartjes. $22.50 and up. 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Still playing

Beauty & the Beast. THROUGH MAY 22. A fairy tale reimagined for today. In an urban setting, trash is turned to treasure, and true love prevails 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.

18.Clara (Devon Hales) and Margaret (Christy Baggett)
Hales (left) and Baggett. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Light in the Piazza. THROUGH MAY 15. Themes of sacrifice, destiny and the effervescence of first love ripple through this period musical from the grandson of the great Richard Rodgers. It’s 1953, and Margaret Johnson (Christy Baggett) of North Carolina is on holiday in Italy with her grown, yet off-center, daughter, Clara (Devon Hales). When Clara falls for a handsome Italian, Margaret must decide whether to spill a family secret or OK the marriage. This 2005 musical won six Tony awards, including best original score for composer-lyricist Adam Guettel. $20-$50. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Theatrical Outfit at the Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Sotto Voce. THROUGH MAY 8. A story of the resiliency of true love and the enduring power of memories by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Nilo Cruz (Anna in the Tropics). It features a German-born novelist who lost the love of her life in World War II, and a young  writer who contacts her decades later. Director Justin Anderson’s cast: Marianne Fraulo, Louis Gregory and Denise Arribas. $20-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday + Sunday. Aurora Theatre, 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE.

Next week

ploughCROPThe Plough & the Stars. APRIL 26-27 ONLY. Staged reading. Arís!, Atlanta’s Celtic-themed theater company, presents Sean O’Casey’s seminal play as part of the worldwide centenary commemoration of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin. This reading is part of an international celebration organized by the Irish government. $10. 7:30 nightly. Morris & Rae Frank Theater, Marcus Jewish Community Center, 5342 Tilly Mill Road, Dunwoody. Details HERE. Tickets HERE.

 

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich, Encore Atlanta’s editor, 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