BB xmas collage

The holiday show onslaught or bounty (you choose) is here. Also, final days for “Appropriate” (Actor’s Express), “Proof” (True Colors) and “On the Verge” (Georgia Ensemble Theatre). Pictured, clockwise from left: Renita James in “12 Dates of Christmas” (Aurora), David de Vries as Scrooge in “A Christmas Carol” (Alliance) and a scene from “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” (Center for Puppetry Arts). Photos by Chris Bartelski, Greg Mooney and the Center for Puppetry Arts.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta fall season best bet

Recommended

The family relationships are as messy as the family home in "Appropriate," with Kevin Stillwell and Jan Wikstrom. Photo: Chris Bartelski
Kevin Stillwell (left) and Jan Wikstrom. Photo: Chris Bartelski

** Appropriate. CLOSES SUNDAY. Award-winning playwright Branden Jacobs-Jenkins — a name to watch — creates a darkly comic domestic drama about the adult children of a deceased Southern patriarch who just might have swung with the KKK. Artistic director Freddie Ashley’s directs an Actor’s Express cast that includes Cynthia Barrett, Alexandra Ficken, Devon Hales, Kevin Stillwell and Joe Sykes. $22-$44. 8 tonight-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

[VIDEO: PEEK IN ON “APPROPRIATE’S” DYSFUNCTIONAL LAFAYETTE FAMILY]

Eric Mendenhall, Jacquet. Photo: Greg Mooney
Eric Mendenhall, Fedna Jacquet. Photo: Greg Mooney

** Proof. CLOSES SUNDAY. David Auburn’s 2001 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama earned an acting Tony Award for Mary-Louise Parker and became a middling 2005 feature film with Gwyneth Paltrow. The plot focuses on Catherine (New York’s Fedna Jacquet), the troubled younger daughter of a recently deceased master mathematician. She might have inherited his genius or his madness. 8 tonight-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. True Colors Theatre Company at the Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road. Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 877.725.8849.

This weekend only

O'Connor
O’Connor

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. TONIGHT + SATURDAY. Principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles makes his season debut with Mahler’s The Song of the Earth, a work for two vocalists and orchestra. It’s based on ancient Chinese poetry. The soloists are mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor and tenor Russell Thomas, a former ASO artist-in-residence. Japanese composer Toru Takemitsu’s A flock descends into the Pentagonal Garden is also on the program. NOTE: A chamber music recital (6:15 p.m.) precedes tonight’s performance and is free for ticket holders of both Mahler concerts. $20-$49. At 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[ASO GROWS WITH ASSIST FROM DELTA AIR LINES FOUNDATION]

Last chance

Park Krausen. Photo: Dan Carmody / Studio7
Park Krausen. Photo: Dan Carmody / Studio7

** On the Verge. CLOSES SUNDAY. Subtitled Or the Geography of Learning. The year is 1888, and three female explorers begin a witty and whimsical safari through space and time to a place called Terra Incognita. The New York Times said Eric Overmyer’s 1985 comedy blends “Tom Stoppard’s limber linguistics with the historic overview of a Thornton Wilder.” Atlanta actor Carolyn Cook directs a Georgia Ensemble Theatre cast comprising Keena Redding Hunt, Park Krausen, Michelle Maria Pokopac and Topher Payne. $26-$35. 8 p.m. tonight-Friday; 4 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.

Holiday shows

The 12 Dates of Christmas. OPENS NOV. 26 | THROUGH DEC. 23. At Aurora TheatreRenita James plays Mary, the unlucky woman who sees her fiancé kiss someone else while watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV, and grown-up hilarity ensues. $20-$30. At 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday in repertory with Anthony P. Rodriguez’s one-man A Christmas Carol. Harvel Lab, 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

Diany Rodriguez (left), Brian Walker. Photo: Chris Bartelski
Diany Rodriguez (left), Brian Walker. Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christmas Canteen. THROUGH DEC. 23. Back for its 21st year at Aurora Theatre. This original variety show changes annually but always includes physical comedy, holiday favorites, novelty numbers and a few surprises. Performers Lindsay Ricketson Brown, Jen MacQueen, Brandon O’Dell (who wrote the script) and Diany Rodriguez return, joined by newcomers Christian Magby and Cecil Washington Jr. If you want to go, act fast: The Canteen always sells out. $30-$65. At 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10 a.m. Dec. 7, 14 + 21 ($20 + up). No shows on Thanksgiving eve or Thanksgiving Day. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered and attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

Bart Hansard as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Photo: Greg Mooney
Bart Hansard as the Ghost of Christmas Present. Photo: Greg Mooney

A Christmas Carol. BEGINS NOV. 25 | THROUGH DEC. 24. This is your last chance to see this telling of the Alliance Theatre’s annual staging in its current configuration. David H. Bell’s multicultural, carol-filled celebration will be done off-site in 2017 (as the Alliance undergoes renovations). Bell will write a new version for the new mainstage, opening in 2018 in time for the company’s 50th anniversary season. This year, David de Vries returns as Scrooge, Chris Kayser is Jacob Marley and Marc Schittone debuts as Tiny Tim. $20 and up. Tuesday-Sunday, but times vary. Details HERE. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

[MEET UP WITH 8 TINY TIMS FROM CHRISTMASES PAST]

Anthony P. Rodriguez. Photo: Chris Bartelski
Anthony P. Rodriguez. Photo: Chris Bartelski

A Christmas CarolOPENS NOV. 25 | THROUGH DEC. 23. At Aurora TheatreArtistic director Anthony P. Rodriguez returns as Ebenezer Scrooge for the 10th time, in his annual one-man telling of the Christmas classic. $20-$30. At 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday in repertory with The 12 Dates of Christmas. Harvel Lab, 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. THROUGH DEC. 31. Rudolph, Clarice, Hermey and Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster all return to the Center for Puppetry Arts. The Jon Ludwig script is based on the 1964 stop-motion animated TV special from Rankin/Bass. Told with rod, black light and body puppets. For ages 4 and up. $20.50. 10 + 11:45 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; noon + 2 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. No shows Nov. 24, Dec. 25 or Jan. 1. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3089.

Harold M. Leaver
Harold M. Leaver

The Santaland Diaries. OPENS FRIDAY | THROUGH DEC. 31. Harold M. Leaver returns as Crumpet in this Horizon Theatre tradition, recounting the sad-but-true tales of an unemployed writer’s stint as a Macy’s Department Store elf. The script is by David Sedaris. Expect snark and satire. (Not recommended for children. Take them to Madeline’s Christmas here instead.) $25-$40. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 6 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Urban Nutcracker. FRIDAY-SATURDAY. Ballethnic Dance Company’s riff on the Tchaikovsky classic moves the action to Atlanta’s Sweet Auburn Avenue in the 1940s, a neighborhood populated by the Reggae Ragdolls, Arabian dancers, a leaping Black Russian, Mother Spice and her tumbling Spice Drops, the bubbly Coca Cola Pas de Six, the elegant Brown Sugar and her Chocolatier. $30-$40. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday. Riverside EpiCenter, 135 Riverside Parkway, Austell. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.762.1416. (NOTE: The ballet plays Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center in Decatur on Dec. 17-18.)

A scene from "Urban Nutcracker." Photo: Ballethnic Dance Company
A scene from “Urban Nutcracker.” Photo: Ballethnic Dance Company

Next week

Stripling
Stripling

A Tribute to Louis Armstrong. NOV. 25-26. Jazz trumpeter Byron Stripling, an Atlanta native, brings his show to Symphony Hall for the first time. You’ll hear such classics as “What a Wonderful World,” “Ragtime Blues,” “All That Jazz” and a few holiday tunes. Principal pops conductor Michael Krajewski is on the podium, joined by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. $21-$65. At 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details HERE. Tickets via Ticketmaster HERE.

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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