They’re here! Now open: “In the Heights” (Aurora) and “Miss Saigon” (Serenbe), with “Company” (Actor’s Express) just ahead. Check out “Smart People” (True Colors), too. Pictured: Diego Klock-Rivera as Usnavi and Julissa Sabino as Vanessa in “In the Heights.” Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus.
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. Adult language, 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.
In the Heights. THROUGH AUG. 28. Aurora Theatre and Theatrical Outfit team to stage this 2007 Tony Award-winning best musical, the first Broadway musical written by Lin-Manuel Miranda (Hamilton). We’re in Washington Heights, New York City, here, where the corner bodega serves coffee light and sweet, the windows are always open, and the breeze carries a current of change. $30-$65. 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). Discount tickets for both runs at PoshDealz.com.
Miss Saigon. THROUGH AUG. 14. Not a personal favorite but selling well enough to have its run 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 a Vietnamese barmaid named Kim. Performed outdoors, rain or shine, in Serenbe’s Wild Flower Meadow. 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.
Almost Heaven: John Denver’s America. 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 (no glass or alcohol). Pre-order catered meals at Talk of the Town. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.
Charlotte’s Web. THROUGH AUG. 14. 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.
‘da Kink in My Hair. 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 lightened hearts and souls. Thomas W. Jones II directs this Trey Anthony musical, with a cast that includes Minka Wiltz, Jeanette Illidge and Maiesha McQueen. $25 + up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave. NE at Euclid Avenue. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.
Kiss Me, Kate. THROUGH AUG. 7. “So in Love.” “Too Darn Hot.” “Wunderbar.” “From This Moment On.” “Another Op’nin’ Another Show.” Those are a few of the Cole Porter classics in this 1949 Tony Award-winning best musical that goes backstage and onstage with a show on the road in its pre-Broadway tryout. Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew never sounded so pretty. 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.
La Esquinita, USA. JULY 28-31. Aurora Theatre hosts this new solo theatrical work by L.A.-based actor Ruben C. González. He presents the interlocking stories of 10 characters in the once-booming fictional town of the title, a place in disarray ever since the Thompson Tire Factory decided to move to China. $20-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 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.
Palefsky Collision Project. JULY 29-30. For three weeks each summer, the Alliance Theatre assembles a group of 20 metro teenagers to explore and unpack a classic text under the guidance of a professional playwright and director. Together they create a piece inspired by the classic text but is wholly their own. This year it’s Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass. There are two free public performances, at 7:30 p.m. July 29 + 2:30 p.m. July 30. Reservations strongly suggested. Alliance Theatre’s Hertz Stage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, reservations HERE or at 404.733.5000.
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 begins its 29th season promising a “modern makeover” of this 1971 Tony Award-winning Stephen Sondheim hit. Robert (Lowrey Brown) 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). Extended — now through Sept. 11. 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.