Your best bet this week is the smart and sneaky fun of “City of Conversation” (pictured) at Horizon Theatre. Opening are “Charlotte’s Web” (Serenbe) and “Pancakes, Pancakes!” (Alliance). Closing are “Beautiful” (Fox Theatre) and “Two Gents” (Shakespeare Tavern). Also this weekend: the Decatur Arts Festival and the Atlanta Jazz Festival. Pictured: “Conversation’s” Rachel Garner (left) and Tess Malis Kincaid as a fiancée and would-be mother-in-law who go toe-to-toe on everything. Photo by Bradley Hester.
The City of Conversation. THROUGH JUNE 26. The New York Times called this 2014 comedy “smart, literate and funny,” and it is, indeed, just that. Anthony Giardina‘s play follows the Washington, D.C., lives of one politically active family from the Carter years through Obama’s historic election. Justin Anderson directs a must-see Horizon Theatre cast: Deborah Bowman, Carolyn Cook, Allen Edwards, Rachel Garner, Chris Kayser, Tess Malis Kincaid, Joshua D. Mitchell and Justin Walker. $25 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday (no Saturday matinee June 4). 1083 Austin Ave. at Euclid Avenue. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.
Charlotte’s Web. OPENS FRIDAY | THROUGH JULY 31. Best friends Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider tell truths about life, death and harsh realities in this staging based on E.B. White‘s classic children’s story. At Serenbe Playhouse, where the story unfolds outdoors, real animals keep you company and a cast of six plays live folk music. Performed rain or shine. $20; $14 students + senior citizens; $10 age 12 + under. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. The Animal Village in Serenbe, 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, directions, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Pancakes, Pancakes! OPENS TUESDAY | THROUGH JULY 10. A world premiere with original music inspired by the iconic book by Eric Carle. Pancakes, Pancakes! explores the process of cooking and celebrates the joy in the labor and the final feast. Adaptation by Kenneth Lin (Warrior Class, said Saïd), with original songs by Atlanta playwright and composer Phillip DePoy (Edward Foote). $15; $8 age 6-17; under 5 free. 11:45 a.m. May 31; 10 + 11:45 a.m. June 1-2; and 7 p.m. June 3. Performances become more frequent beginning June 11. Staged by the Alliance Theatre in conjunction with the High Museum of Art exhibit I See a Story: The Art of Eric Carle, which continues through Jan. 8. Hertz Stage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
The Swan: An Ugly Duckling Tale. THROUGH JUNE 5. As told by Théâtre de Deux Mains of Montréal. A cygnet seeking his identity and his parents meets chickens, a snowy owl and ducks as he gets closer and closer to his goal. Told with rod and marionette puppets. For age 2-5. Length: 30 minutes. $20.50. 10 a.m. + noon Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 p.m. + 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. N.W. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.
This weekend only
ASO: The Music of Elton John. FRIDAY-SUNDAY. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra closes its POPS! season with San Francisco-based conductor Stuart Chafetz leading the musicians and guest artist Michael Cavanaugh (on vocals and piano) through the John songbook. $20-$65. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
ASO: Side-By-Side Concert With the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra. TONIGHT ONLY. Assistant conductor Joseph Young leads the combined orchestras in the first movement of Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 (featuring ASYO concertmaster Malhar Kute), Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet Overture and Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra. $5. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. CLOSES SUNDAY. Broadway in Atlanta presents this bio-musical about Carol Klein from Brooklyn, who grew up to be singer-songwriter extraordinaire Carole King (Abby Mueller here). The 2014 Tony Award nominee features such songs as “So Far Away,” “It Might As Well Rain Until September,” “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “One Fine Day” and “Up on the Roof.” $30-$115. 7:30 tonight; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E. Tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.
Two Gentlemen of Verona. CLOSES SUNDAY. In one of Shakespeare’s earliest comedies, two close friends vie for the Duke of Milan’s beautiful daughter. See, too, how a pup named Crab (“the sourest-natured dog that lives”) offers an early example of how animals can steal a show. Full pub menu and libations. $20-$39. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse, 499 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299.
The 39 Steps. THROUGH JUNE 12. Playwright Patrick Barlow mixes Hitchcock and Monty Python in this 2005 comic whodunit that features a plane crash, missing fingers, romance and a handful of actors playing more than 150 characters, At Stage Door Players. Cast: Stephanie Friedman, Tony Larkin, John Markowski and Jacob York. $15-$30. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.
I’m Not Rappaport. THROUGH JUNE 5. Aurora Theatre closes its 2015/16 mainstage season with this gentle 1996 Tony Award-winning comedy about two old men who inhabit a bench in New York’s Central Park. Kenny Raskin and Rob Cleveland reprise the roles they played in younger days at Theatrical Outfit. Contains salty language and mature themes. $20-$55. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.
Significant Other. THROUGH JUNE 19. In this script by Joshua Harmon (last season’s Bad Jews), a man named Jordan is looking for Mr. Right. As each close-knit girlfriend couples off, he moves from best friend to lonely friend, searching for love and learning to move on. The funny-sad comedy, which closes the Actor’s Express season, had its world premiere in New York last summer, becoming a New York Times critic’s pick. The cast: Jeremy Aggers, Brittany Inge, Judy Leavell, Cara Mantella, Edward McCreary, Lee Orsorio and Diany Rodriguez. Jessica Holt directs. $26 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. King Plow Arts Center in West Midtown, 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
ASO: Berlioz and Philip Glass. JUNE 2 + 4. Toronto-born conductor Peter Oundjian leads a program featuring Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique, Opus 14, and Glass‘ Violin Concerto No. 2, The American Four Seasons. Glass composed the piece for violinist Robert McDuffie, who will perform it at Symphony Hall. $20-$89. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.