Devon-Hales-and-Tom-Key-_2_-in-THE-DANCING-HANKERCHIEF

We recommend “Eclipsed” (Synchronicity), “The Dancing Granny” (Alliance) and “The Dancing Handkerchief” (Theatrical Outfit). Last chance for “Father Comes Home” (Actor’s Express). Next: Horizon plays Piedmont Park for free. Pictured (from left): Devon Hales and Tom Key in “Handkerchief.” Photo by Chris Bartelski.

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

Recommended

Deborah Bowman as the Balladeer. Photo: Chris Bartelski
Deborah Bowman as the Balladeer. Photo: Chris Bartelski

** The Dancing Handkerchief.  THROUGH JUNE 18. At Theatrical Outfit. Described as part magic act, part musical and part puppet show, and featuring early songs by multi-award-winner Robert Lopez (Avenue Q, The Book of MormonFrozen). Meet Mysterioso the Magician (Tom Key) and his curious child, Bastienne (Devon Hales), who learn to see each other in a truer, hope-filled light with the help of a beckoning handkerchief, an otherworldly suitcase and one rather large rabbit. A co-production with New York’s Flying Carpet Theatre Company. $20-$48. 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.

Charity Jordan (from left), Asha Duniani and Shayla Love. Photo: Jerry Siegel
Charity Jordan (from left), Asha Duniani and Shayla Love. Photo: Jerry Siegel

** Eclipsed. THROUGH JUNE 25. Regional premiere at Synchronicity Theatre. Five women 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. This stunning, funny and moving drama was nominated for six Tony awards and made Broadway history as the first 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. Tinashe Kajese-Bolden directs. 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. $23-$45. 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.

Richard McDonald as Smith. Photo: Chris Bartelski
Richard McDonald as Smith. Photo: Chris Bartelski

** Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3). CLOSES SUNDAY. 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 must decide whether to follow his master into battle for the Confederacy. Father, which won off-Broadway’s 2015 Obie Award for playwriting, is among the most celebrated plays of the decade. $22 and up. 8 tonight-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.

Opening this weekend

"The Dancing Granny" company. Photo: Alliance Theatre
“The Dancing Granny” company. Photo: Alliance Theatre

** The Dancing Granny. OPENS SATURDAY. 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 Honoree 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). $15; $8 ages 6-17; age 5 and under free. Through July 16. See Granny here: 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]

Jordan Patrick. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus
Jordan Patrick. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Robin Hood. THROUGH AUG. 13. 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. 11 a.m. Friday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Performed at the Farmers Market Hideaway in Serenbe, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Last chance

The 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 critter stealing the show. Food and drink available. $15-$36. 7:30 tonight-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.

Special event

Wendy Melkonian
Wendy Melkonian

Nobody Loves You. BEGINS TUESDAY | THROUGH JUNE 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 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. 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.

Still running

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. Note: Uses language not intended for children. $25-$45 (subject to change). 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 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.

Libby Whittemore
Libby Whittemore

Coming up

Libby at the Express. JUNE 15-18. In a show titled The More the Merrier, Libby Whittemore — one of Atlanta’s favorite singers — salutes musical groups from the 1940s to the 1990s. $43.50 plus fees (subject to change). 7:30 nightly. Actor’s Express at the King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469.

 

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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