Troub Feb2

All opening this week: “Le Petit Prince” (Théâtre du Rêve), “The One and Only Ivan” (Synchronicity), “Too Heavy for My Pocket” (Alliance), “U Up?” (Dad’s Garage) and “Carmina Burana” (Atlanta Ballet). Note: Atlanta Opera’s “Maria de Buenos Aires” is sold out. Pictured: Sylvie Davidson, Andrew Benator from the Alliance’s world premiere musical “Troubadour.” Photo by Greg Mooney.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta winter season recommendation.

Recommended

** The Crucible. THROUGH FEB. 19. The witching hour is at hand in the tight-knit community of Salem, Mass., where personal vendettas collide with lust and superstition. Do witches walk among us, or has revenge created a monster? Arthur Miller’s American classic, written in response to McCarthyism in the 1950s, is as frighteningly timely as ever. Actor’s Express gives it a vivid, unsettling staging that may leave you shaken — in a necessary way. $20-$40. 8 p.m. Wednesday-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.

Neal A. Ghant as MLK. Photo: Chris Bartelski
Neal A. Ghant. Photo: Chris Bartelski

** The Mountaintop. THROUGH FEB. 12. At Aurora Theatre. Return to April 3, 1968, and Memphis’ Lorraine Motel in Katori Hall’s 2008 script, which reimagines the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s last night on Earth. It’s a magical encounter told with humor, history and two of Atlanta’s best actors — the excellent Neal A. Ghant as King and Cynthia D. Barker, in a tour-de-force role as a hotel maid named Camae. The two-character drama, written when Hall was in her 20s, earned a 2010 Olivier award in London but fared less well on Broadway, receiving mixed reviews and running less than four months. $20-$55. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 28 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.

Troubadour-Poshdealz-400** Troubadour. THROUGH FEB. 12. An Alliance Theatre world premiere musical by Atlanta playwright Janece Shaffer (The Geller Girls, Broke) and Sugarland’s Kristian Bush. This “feel-good romantic comedy” begins in 1951 Nashville and features a country music legend about to retire, his musician son, an aspiring singer-songwriter and a rodeo tailor. $20-$72. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[READ: HOW SCRAMBLED EGGS & DIET COKES SEALED THE DEAL]

This weekend only

junmarko 2
Jun Märkl

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. TONIGHT + SATURDAY. German-born conductor Jun Märkl leads a program featuring Schumann (Symphony No. 1, Spring), R. Strauss (Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme), and Tchaikovsky’s Rococo Variations with German-Canadian cellist Johannes Moser as soloist. Ticket holders for both performances can see a free pre-concert chamber music recital at 6:45 p.m. tonight. $20-$99. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Opening this weekend

** Le Petit Prince. OPENS FRIDAY. Six shows only. Théâtre du Rêve, Atlanta’s French-language theater company (the name means Theater of the Dream) stages Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s 1943 classic about a stranded aviator and a mysterious child. Atlanta everyman Chris Kayser plays the pilot; Jasmine Thomas is the prince. Carolyn Cook directs. Performed in French with English supertitles. $18.50-$27.50. Through Feb. 12. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. 7 Stages’ BackStage space, 1105 Euclid Ave. N.E. Details, tickets HERE.

Book illustration by Patricia Castelao
Book illustration by Patricia Castelao

** The One and Only Ivan. OPENS FRIDAY. You might remember Ivan the gorilla from his time at Zoo Atlanta. Katherine Applegate’s 2013 Newbery Medal-winning novel, the basis for this script, revisits his 27 years in a glass-and-concrete cage in a Tacoma, Wash., shopping mall. This Synchronicity Theatre stage adaptation uses actors who bring the animals — Ivan, elephants Stella and Ruby, and a dog named Bob — to life through movement, headpieces, masks, costumes and puppetry. Julie Skrzypek (last season’s Fancy Nancy) directs. Part of Synchronicity’s Family Series. $15-$22. Through Feb. 26. 7 p.m. Friday (free cookies and milk for kids in pajamas); 1 + 4 p.m. Saturday; 2 + 5 p.m. Sunday. One Peachtree Pointe at 1545 Peachtree St. NE in Midtown. Tickets, details HERE or at 404.484.8636.

Alliance-TooHeavy-220x220** Too Heavy for Your Pocket. BEGINS SATURDAY. This Alliance Theatre world premiere is the 2017 winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting CompetitionJiréh Breon Holder’s script, set in 1961 Nashville, follows two black couples grappling with life, love and responsibilities as the era’s Freedom Riders begin to roll. Holder, a Memphis native and Morehouse College grad, earned his M.F.A. in playwriting from the Yale School of Drama and is working at Emory University as a playwriting fellow. Recommended for ages 13 and up. Plays by four Kendeda finalists receive free staged readings Feb. 8-10. Tickets: $20-$42; $10 teens. Through Feb. 26. 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. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[MEET HOLDER   |   DETAILS ON THE FREE READINGS]

U Up 2U Up? THROUGH FEB. 17. This world premiere at Dad’s Garage Theatre Company satirizes love in the digital age, from first dates and awkward music choices, to late-night booty calls and sexting. The two-person show was created by Mark Kendall and Alison Hastings, who co-star. Kendall premiered his one-man show The Magic Negro and Other Blackness at Dad’s in 2014; it went on to receive a Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab grant at the Alliance Theatre, which will produce it in March on the Hertz Stage. Creative Loafing readers have named Hastings “best local actress” on several occasions. $12.50-$20.50 plus taxes (cheapest online); add $7 for reserved “Fancy Pants” seats. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. 569 Ezzard St. (behind Thumbs Up diner). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.3141.

Photo: Charlie McCullers
Photo: Charlie McCullers

Atlanta Ballet’s Carmina Burana. OPENS FRIDAY. Choreographer David Bintley puts a lush, modern spin on the classic parable about three young seminarians tested by pleasures of the flesh. This piece, featuring a Carl Orff score, is an Atlanta Ballet favorite. Performed with the Atlanta Ballet Orchestra and the Georgia State University Singers & Master Singers. $20-$128. Through Feb. 11. 8 p.m. Friday + Feb. 10-11; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta (at the intersection of Cobb Galleria Parkway and Akers Mill Road at I-75/285). Details, tickets HERE or at  404.892.3303.

Still running

Constellations. THROUGH FEB. 26. Horizon Theatre begins its 2017 season with British playwright Nick Payne’s romantic adventure. Roland (Enoch King) knows a lot about bees and how they make honey. Marianne (Bethany Irby) would be comfortable in a room with Einstein. The probability of them meeting is slim to none. Yet in the multiverse, the possibilities of a single moment are infinite. Justin Anderson directs. $25-$40. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; and 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

The evil Scorpiana.
The evil Scorpiana.

The Adventures of Mighty Bug. THROUGH MARCH 12. This science-filled, comic-book-style adventure pits the heroic Mighty Bug against the evil Scorpiana, who’s threatening the insect citizens of Bugville. Writer-director Jon Ludwig uses shadow, body and black-light puppets to tell this tale, which makes another return to the Center for Puppetry Arts. Recommended for age 4 and up. $20.50. 10 + 11:30 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; noon + 2 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW (at 18th Street). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Next week

jake small** A Kid Like Jake. OPENS FEB. 9. Out Front Theatre, which focuses on work about the LGBTQIA (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intergender and allied) community, is in its first season, likely with some wrinkles to work out. Still, Jake is an intriguing title. It features a New York City couple seeking the best private school for their precocious 4-year-old son (who never appears). What makes Jake special  — a lack of conformity and a passion for Cinderella dress-up — also causes family conflict. In its 2013 premiere at Lincoln Center, Daniel Pearle’s drama became a New York Times Critics’ Pick and was praised for being a “smart, fluent drama.” $15-$25. Through Feb. 26. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturdayl 3 p.m. Sunday. Out Front performs at the former Fabrefaction Theatre space, 999 Brady Ave. in West Midtown. Details, tickets HERE. Mini-season tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Photo illustration: BreeAnne Clowdus
Photo illustration: BreeAnne Clowdus

Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Seminar. PREVIEWS FEB. 9-10 | OPENS FEB. 11. Theatrical Outfit and Dad’s Garage Theatre Company partner to present a stage version of Walker Percy’s best-selling personal improvement book, which asked: If Earthlings zoomed to a planet with intelligent life, would they let us land or label us a threat to a more-evolved universe? Outfit artistic director Tom Key did the stage adaptation; Dad’s artistic director Kevin Gillese directs a great cast: Bart Hansard, Amber Nash, Tara Ochs, Gina Rickicki and Dan Triandiflou. $20-$50. Through Feb. 26. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500.

milliondollarMillion Dollar Quartet. FEB. 10-26. Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins jam again in this 2010 musical based on the quartet’s legendary session at Sun Records in Memphis on Dec. 4, 1956. The 90-minute show, a co-production of Atlanta Lyric and Georgia Ensemble theaters, features wall-to-wall rock ‘n’ roll classics — “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Long Tall Sally,” “I Walk the Line,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Hound Dog” and “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On,” among them. The staging features Chris Damiano as Johnny Cash, Chase Peacock (Serenbe’s Miss Saigon) as Elvis, Christopher Kent as Carl Perkins and Ethan Parker as Jerry Lee Lewis. $33-$58. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Jennie T. Anderson Theatre, Cobb County Civic Center, 548 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.377.9948. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

sweep_monitors-990x557** Sweep. FEB. 10-MARCH 5. An Aurora Theatre world premiere. Step into a splintered world of strange imaginings with this femme-fantasy story by up-and-coming Latina playwright Georgina H. Escobar. Her adventure follows two sisters trying to reset history’s imperfections by hunting biblical and modern-day targets through alternate realities called the multiverse. Runs 90 minutes with no intermission. $20-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:20 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. In Aurora’s Harvel Lab, 28 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.

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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