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Four top picks, two openings and one last chance. Step inside to find out which is which. (Plus much more.) Pictured: Molly Tynes as Sally Bowles and Brian Clowdus as the Emcee in Serenbe Playhouse’s “Cabaret,” opening tonight. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta summer season recommendation.


TC_-_Riverside** Between Riverside and Crazy. CLOSES SUNDAY. The New York Times called this 2015 Pulitzer winner “a dizzying and exciting place to be,” and said that playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis “has a splendid ear in blurring lines between the sacred and profane.” The story: Ex-cop “Pops” Washington (Earl Billings, the AFLAC commercial guy) is trying to hold onto his dignity and one of the last great rent-stabilized apartments in Manhattan, but he’s had enough. His wife has died, the liquor store can’t keep pace with his thirst and his last living relative is complicating everything. Eric J. Little directs. Recommended for ages 16 and up. $20-$60. 8 tonight-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road. Details HERE. Tickets at Ticket Alternative HERE or 877.725.8849. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

TC Carson (left), Brittany Inge and Christian Magby. Photo: Greg Mooney
TC Carson (left), Brittany Inge and Christian Magby. Photo: Greg Mooney

Blackberry Daze. THROUGH AUG. 27. At Horizon Theatre. Secrets and seduction stun a small Virginia town at the end of World War I, when a provocative gambler (TC Carson) works his magic on three unsuspecting women. Adapted by Ruth P. Watson and Thomas W. Jones II from Watson’s novel Blackberry Days of Summer. The blues score is by William Knowles; Jones directs. Also in the cast: Christy Clark, Brittany Inge, Naomi Lavette, Christian Magby and Ayana Reed. $25 and up. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE (at Euclid Avenue). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Haden Rider, Julissa Sabino. Photo: Daniel Parvis
Halen Rider, Julissa Sabino. Photo: Daniel Parvis

The Hunchback of Notre Dame. THROUGH AUG. 27. Critical and audience response has been enthusiastic for this musical about a deformed bell ringer named Quasimodo and his travails in 1482 Paris. The Aurora Theatre season opener is co-produced by Theatrical Outfit. The two previously teamed on In the Heights and Memphis. Justin Anderson directs a cast led by Halen Rider as Quasimodo and Julissa Sabino as Esmeralda. $30-$65. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10 a.m. Aug.  15 ($20). Aug. 22-24 shows are sold out; other performances are selling well, so please check ticket availability before you go. 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. (The Theatrical Outfit staging runs Sept. 7-17 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta.)

Seymour (Juan Carlos Unzueta) with the Audrey II. Photo: Casey Gardner
Seymour (Juan Carlos Unzueta) with the Audrey II. Photo: Casey Gardner

** Little Shop of Horrors. THROUGH AUG. 29. A true joy. Actor’s Express has added Saturday matinees to the run of this Skid Row-set cult musical about a nebbish botanist, his unrequited love, his cranky boss and a very hungry, very mean plant. The horror-comedy ran off-Broadway for five years in the 1980s, became a 1986 movie and was revived on Broadway in 2003. You might know the tunes “Suddenly Seymour” and “Somewhere That’s Green.” The cast is led by Juan Carlos Unzueta (the Piragua Guy from Aurora/Theatrical Outfit’s In the Heights) as Seymour, Kylie Brown as Audrey and William S. Murphey as Mr. Mushnik. $28 and up, plus taxes. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Additional shows at 1 p.m. Aug. 12 + 19. At the 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.

Opening this week

another mother logoAnother Mother. OPENS FRIDAY. This world premiere by Atlanta playwright G.M. Lupo is the second entry in Essential Theatre’s summer play fest. It follows the journey of a woman named Genevieve, who’s  piecing together the identities and relationships between her biological mother, her birth mother and the mother who raised her. $15 preview tonight. Regularly $20-$25. Through Aug. 26. In repertory. Check the schedule HEREDetails HERE, tickets HERE. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.

Brian Clowdus. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus
Brian Clowdus. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Cabaret. OPENS TONIGHT. It’s 1931 Berlin and the Nazis are coming to power. The setting at Serenbe Playhouse is outdoors, of course, in and around the seedy Kit Kat Klub, where a young American writer (Lee Osorio) pursues English cabaret performer Sally Bowles (Molly Tynes) and everything is overseen by the Emcee (Serenbe artistic director Brian Clowdus). The score is by John Kander and Fred Ebb. The 1967 original won the Tony Award for best musical and made a star of Joel Grey. The 1998 version won the Tony Award for best revival of a musical and cemented stardom for Alan Cumming. $35 + $40; VIP seating is extra. Through Aug. 27. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. 9110 Selborne Lane, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.

Last chance

Annie-SQ cropAnnie Get Your Gun. CLOSES SUNDAY. At Stage Door Players. Irving Berlin’s valentine to show biz tells the tale of sharpshooting rivals Annie Oakley (Paige Mattox) and Frank Butler (Bryant Smith) with a million-dollar score — “Doin’ What Comes Natur’lly,” “You Can’t Get a Man With a Gun,” “They Say It’s Wonderful,” “Lost in His Arms,” “I Got the Sun in the Morning,” “Anything You Can Do” and, of course, “There’s No Business Like Show Business.” The 1946 Broadway original, starring the legendary Ethel Merman, ran three years. $15-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details HERE. Tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.

Still running

adaAda and the Memory Engine. THROUGH AUG. 27. The first entry in the 2017 Essential Theatre summer fest is this script by Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson. Her subject is Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the British mathematician who became the world’s first computer programmer. In calling this 2015 bio-play a “rare and special artistic achievement,” The Huffington Post deemed it an “intelligent play about intelligent historical people that has been crafted by intelligent theater artists for an intelligent audience.” Ashley Anderson is Ada, with Mark Cosby as the supportive, influential Charles Babbage. $20-$25. In repertory, check the schedule HERE. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details HERE, tickets HERE.

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

Robin Hood. THROUGH AUG. 27. Serenbe Playhouse takes to the skies (via zip lines) to tell the family-friendly story of the outlaw (Jordan Patrick) devoted to Maid Marian (Casey Shuler) and doing good deeds with his Merry Men. This 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. Directions HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Next week

space girl weird summer 2017Space Girl. PREVIEWS AUG. 10 | OPENS AUG. 11. World premiere from the second-gen producers at the Weird Sisters Theatre Project (Shelli Delgado, Rachel Frawley, Kate Donadio MacQueen, Julie Skrzypek and Rebekah Suellau). The plot: Arugula just wants to fit in, but it’s not easy when you’re a teenage alien from the planet Zlagdor. In an alien world where the only things that make sense are roller derby and salad, Arugula and her father, Nancy, must find out what it means to be human before time runs out for Planet Earth. This Mora V. Harris comedy was a finalist in the 2017 Alliance/Kendeda National Playwriting Competition. Skrzypek directs. $15 preview; regularly $20. Plus fees. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 3 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 7 p.m. Sunday. Pay-what-you-can show at 8 p.m. Aug. 14. Alliance Theatre, 3rd Floor Black Box, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets HERE.

Coming up

Fox_-_American_in_ParisAn American in Paris. OPENS AUG. 15. New to Atlanta and, by all accounts, one of the most gorgeous productions of the 2015 Broadway season. Playwright Craig Lucas (Prelude to a Kiss, The Light in the Piazza) updates the story from the 1951 Gene Kelly movie, setting it in 1945, at the close of World War II. The lush score is compliments of George and Ira Gershwin — “I Got Rhythm,” “The Man I Love,” “’S Wonderful,” “Shall We Dance,” “But Not for Me,” “I’ll Build a Stairway to Paradise” and “They Can’t Take that Away From Me.” Nominated for 14 Tony awards, including best musical. Won for choreography, orchestrations, scenic design and lighting design. The first national tour makes its first stop in Atlanta, at the Fox Theatre, under the aegis of Broadway in Atlanta. $30-125. Through Aug. 20. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.





About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich 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