“Smart People” continues at True Colors, musicals open at Georgia Ensemble, Horizon and Stage Door Players, and “In the Heights” (Aurora) arrives next week. Pictured: The cast of GET’s “Almost Heaven” (from left) Christopher Damiano, Scott DePoy, Mary Nye Bennett, Dolph Amick and Jeremy Wood. Photo: Georgia Ensemble Theatre.
Smart People. THROUGH AUG. 7. If the quest for love, achievement and identity is universal, what role does racial identity play in our lives? That’s what playwright Lydia Diamond (Stick Fly) asks through four Harvard intellectuals on the eve of Obama’s first election. The True Colors Theatre Company cast: Julee Cerda, Danielle Deadwyler, Neal A. Ghant and Joe Knezevich. Contains adult language and content. $10-$50. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road SW. Details, tickets HERE or at 877.725.8849.
Almost Heaven: John Denver’s America. BEGINS TONIGHT | THROUGH JULY 30. Georgia Ensemble Theatre reprises this popular title as a concert under the stars at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Hear “Rocky Mountain High,” “Sunshine on My Shoulders,” “Annie’s Song,” “Leaving on a Jet Plane” and about 17 more. $15 general admission lawn seating; $30 reserved table seating. Blankets, coolers and food allowed (but no glass or alcohol). Catered meals can be pre-ordered from Talk of the Town. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.
‘da Kink in My Hair. BEGINS FRIDAY | THROUGH AUG. 28. “If you want to know a black woman, you touch her hair,” says Novelette (Terry Burrell), as she digs into the tresses and stresses of her clients. On this day in her salon, customers converge to prep for dates, jobs and upkeep but leave with uplifted souls and lightened hearts. A musical written by Trey Anthony and directed by Thomas W. Jones II, with musical direction by the great S. Renee Clark. The cast includes Minka Wiltz, Jeanette Illidge and Maiesha McQueen, among others. $25 + up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. At Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave. NE at Euclid Avenue. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.
Kiss Me, Kate. BEGINS FRIDAY | THROUGH AUG. 7. If you don’t know Cole Porter, you should. His last and best is a musical comedy that goes backstage and onstage with a show on the road in its pre-Broadway tryout. The show-within-a-show is Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. This tuneful battle of the sexes includes such Porter classics as “So in Love,” “Too Darn Hot,” “Wunderbar,” “From This Moment On” and “Another Op’nin’ Another Show.” Kate won five 1949 Tony awards, including best musical. At Stage Door Players, Paige Mattox is Kate/Lilli Vanessi and Bryant Smith is Petruchio/Fred Graham. $15-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.
The Little Pirate Mermaid. CLOSES SUNDAY. The mermaid princess-turned-pirate ends her voyage at the Center for Puppetry Arts. Look for rod, marionette, shadow and black-light puppets in this adaptation by artistic director Jon Ludwig. For ages 4+. $20.50. At 10 + 11 a.m. today-Friday; 11 a.m., noon and 1, 2, 3 + 4 p.m. Saturday; and 1, 2, 3 + 4 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.
Charlotte’s Web. THROUGH JULY 31. Best friends Wilbur and Charlotte, a pig and a spider, tell truths about life, death and hard choices in this staging based on the E.B. White children’s book. At Serenbe Playhouse, where the action unfolds outdoors, real animals keep you company, and a cast of six plays live folk music. $10-$20. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. The Animal Village at Serenbe, 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, directions, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
In the Heights. JULY 21-AUG. 28. Expect this to be a hot, hot ticket. The Aurora Theatre / Theatrical Outfit team behind last season’s Memphis, reunites for this 2007 Tony Award-winning best musical by an up-and-comer named Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton). It’s set in NYC’s Washington Heights area, where Usnavi’s corner bodega serves coffee light and sweet, the windows are always open and the breeze carries a current of change. Season subscriptions $95-$171; $30-$65 single seats. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10 a.m. ($20 + up) Aug. 10 + 17. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city of Lawrenceville deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. (The Outfit leg of the run is Sept. 8-18 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta, 80 Forsyth St. NW). Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Miss Saigon. OPENS JULY 21 | THROUGH AUG. 14. Not a personal favorite but already selling well enough that its run has been extended. Serenbe Playhouse puts its imprint on the 1991 musical drama from the Les Miserables team. Think Puccini’s Madama Butterfly reset during the Vietnam War, where a GI named Chris falls in love with, and is separated from, a Vietnamese barmaid named Kim. Performed outdoors, rain or shine, in Serenbe’s Wild Flower Meadow. There will be a helicopter. The cast of 19 is led by Niki Badua as Kim, Chase Peacock as Chris and Eymard Cabling as the Engineer. Best for age 15+. $35. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival. AUG. 1-2. Four shows get their first audiences in this inaugural event, modeled after the long-running New York Musical Festival and taking place at two venues — Synchronicity Theatre, 1545 Peachtree St. NE, and Actor’s Express, 887 W. Marietta St. The AMTF schedule: Underground, a slave story told through song, at noon Aug. 1 (Synchronicity); The Yellow Wallpaper, based on the experiences of 1890s feminist author Charlotte Perkins Gilman, at 8 p.m. Aug. 1 (Actor’s Express); The Fine Art of Forgetting, a story of family and memory told with magic realism, at noon Aug. 2 (Synchronicity); and What’s Past, in which a pair of siblings wonder what they’d do if they could remember all the things they never knew they forgot, at 8 p.m. Aug. 2 (Actor’s Express). Get passes and single tickets ($27.50-$80) online HERE or by calling Actor’s Express at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Company. PREVIEWS JULY 27-29 | OPENS JULY 30. Actor’s Express opens its 29th season promising a “modern makeover” of this 1971 Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim classic. Robert is a single New Yorker about to turn 35. He confronts perpetual bachelorhood in a series of funny-sad-awkward vignettes with his married, meddling friends. The cast (Libby Whittemore, Jill Hames, Jessica Miesel, Daniel Burns, Craig Waldrip, among others) and the score (“The Ladies Who Lunch,” “Another Hundred People” and “Being Alive,” among others) easily make this a best bet. $28 + up (previews are cheaper, opening night more expensive). Through Sept. 4. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday. 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.