Eclipsed 3_Jerry Siegel CROP

Highlights this week include “Eclipsed,” opening at Synchronicity, “Dancing Handkerchief,” opening at Theatrical Outfit, and the Atlanta Symphony’s season finale. Pictured (from left): Charity Jordan, Shayla Love and Asha Duniani in “Eclipsed.” Photo by Jerry Siegel. 

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta spring/summer season recommendation.

Recommended

eclipsed-seasonlistsm** Eclipsed. OPENS FRIDAY. Regional premiere at Synchronicity Theatre. Five women trapped in the Second Liberian Civil War (2000-2003) negotiate power, protection and peace in a story with hope, resilience and humor by playwright Danai Gurira (Michonne on “The Walking Dead”). The drama was nominated for six Tony awards and made history as the first Broadway show with an all-black, all-female creative team and cast. The cast here: Asha Duniani, Charity Jordan, Shayla Love, Parris Sarter and Isake Akanke. Eclipsed has been called “miraculous and savagely funny” (Deadline), “rare and powerful” (The New York Times) and “a moving must-see” (New York Magazine). Synchronicity is among the first regional companies in the country to get post-Broadway rights to the play. $23-$45. Through June 25. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. At One Peachtree Pointe in Midtown, 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

ason-jamal Ligon (from left), Seun Soyemi, Meagan Dilworth, Damian Lockhart. Photo: Chris Bartelski
Jason-Jamal Ligon (from left), Seun Soyemi, Meagan Dilworth, Damian Lockhart. Photo: Chris Bartelski

** Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3). THROUGH JUNE 11. A great American play, at Actor’s Express. Suzan-Lori Parks’ 2015 Pulitzer Prize finalist sets Homer’s Greek poem The Odyssey during the American Civil War. In exchange for a promise of freedom, a slave named Homer follows his master into battle for the Confederacy. Father, which won off-Broadway’s 2015 Obie Award for playwriting, is one of the most celebrated plays of the decade. Parks’ poetry and vision are breathtaking. $22 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. King Plow Arts Center in West Midtown, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

handkerchief costumeOpening this weekend

** The Dancing Handkerchief.  BEGINS TONIGHT. At Theatrical Outfit. Described as part magic act, part musical and part puppet show. It features early songs by multi-award-winner Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, The Book of MormonFrozen) and tells the story of Mysterioso the Magician (Tom Key) and his curious child, Bastienne (Devon Hales), who learn to see each other in a truer, hope-filled light. Their world includes a beckoning handkerchief, an otherworldly suitcase, magical creatures and one rather large rabbit. A co-production with New York’s Flying Carpet Theatre Company. $20-$48 ($50 opening night). Through June 18. Performance times vary by date, schedule HERE. Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Serenbe_-_Robin_Hood-300x300Robin Hood. OPENS FRIDAY. Serenbe Playhouse takes to the skies (via zip lines) to tell the story of the renegade knight and outlaw (Jordan Patrick) devoted to Maid Marian (Casey Shuler) and doing good deeds with his Merry Men. The family-friendly adaptation, by frequent Serenbe collaborator Rachel Teagle, includes original music by Grammy nominee John Burke. $10-$20. Through Aug. 13. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Performed at the Farmers Market Hideaway in Serenbe in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.

This weekend only

Mark Buller
Mark Buller

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. TONIGHT + SATURDAY. The season concludes with works from Benjamin Britten, Richard Wagner and the Rapido! Commission world premiere of The Songs of Ophelia by Mark Buller. From Britten’s opera Peter Grimes, we get “Four Sea Interludes.” From Wagner we get Act 1 of the opera Die Walküre. Rapido!, a 14-day composition contest, is sponsored by the Atlanta Chamber Players. Music director Robert Spano is joined by soloists Twyla Robinson (soprano), Clifton Forbis (tenor) and Daniel Sumegi (bass). All remaining seats $25 with the promo code SPANO. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Two nights only

ulyssesUlysses. TUESDAY-WEDNESDAY. Arís Theatre offers a staged reading of a script based on James Joyce’s famous novel, itself based on Homer’s The Odyssey. It follows a day in the life of a man named Leopold Bloom. Arís says this adaptation by Dublin-based playwright Dermot Bolger makes the work approachable, understandable and entertaining. The cast: Josh Brook, Kara Cantrell, Reay Kaplan, Matt Lewis, Vinnie Mascola, Gina Rickicki, Pat Young and Jeffrey Zwartjes. $10 HERE or at the door. 7:30 nightly. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse, 499 Peachtree St. NE (park in Emory University Midtown’s deck).

Still running

Brian Kurlander, Cynthia D. Barker. Photo: Britt Else
Brian Kurlander, Cynthia D. Barker. Photo: Britt Else

How to Use a Knife. THROUGH JUNE 25. At Horizon Theatre. Playwright Will Snider’s 2016 comedy takes place in the melting pot of a New York City restaurant, where varied personalities and nationalities clash and coexist. “The writing is visceral, hilarious and up-to-the-minute in its urgency,” co-artistic director Lisa Adler says about choosing the piece. About 1 hour, 45 minutes with no intermission. Uses language not intended for children. $25-$45 (subject to change). 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday (no matinee June 3); and 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. at Euclid Avenue in Little Five Points/Inman Park. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

shakespeare-tavern-atlantaThe Two Gentlemen of Verona. THROUGH JUNE 11. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse presents the comedy about pals Valentine (Stephen Ruffin) and Proteus (Adam King) who are after the same woman — the Duke of Milan’s beautiful daughter, Silvia (Sarah Newby Halicks). And there’s a dog! See how Crab — “the sourest-natured dog that lives” — provides an early example of a four-legged beast stealing the show. Food and drink available. $15-$36. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. NE (park in Emory University Midtown’s deck). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299.

Next week

Alliance_-_Dancing_GrannyThe Dancing Granny. JUNE 10-JULY 16. The Alliance Theatre begins its season-long road trip, necessitated by renovations at its Woodruff Arts Center space. Granny is a family-friendly world premiere based on the children’s book by 2017 Newbery Honor recipient Ashley Bryan. In this play with music, Ananse, the clever spider from African folklore, tries to trick Granny into dancing away from her garden so he can take her vegetables. The script is by Alliance/Kendeda Competition alumnus Jiréh Breon Holder (Too Heavy for Your Pocket). Staged in conjunction with the High Museum of Art’s Painter and Poet: The Wonderful World of Ashley Bryan$15 adults; $8 ages 6-17; age 5 and under free. See Granny at any of three sites: the Conant Performing Arts Center at Oglethorpe University, 4484 Peachtree Road NE in Brookwood (June 10-18); The Galloway School, 215 W. Wieuca Road NW in Buckhead (June 24-July 2); and Spelman College in southwest Atlanta (July 8-16). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[LEARN THE STORY BEHIND GRANNY AND HER GARDEN]

Coming up

nobodylovesyou-park-rotator-2Nobody Loves You. JUNE 14-17.  Outdoors at Piedmont Park. Horizon Theatre restages its musical about the game of love, a look at modern relationships and cluelessly self-obsessed contestants who compete for romance and adoring fans on a reality-TV show. 7:30 nightly. Free. Also available: reserved seating near the stage ($15), table seats ($35) or a private table for six ($200). Picnicking allowed but no alcoholic beverages except those purchased on-site. Food and drink available at food trucks and concession stands. The performances are in the park’s Promenade area, near the Atlanta Botanical Garden and Sage Parking Garage, 521 Park Drive NE. Details (including park rules) and tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

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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