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Last chance for “Ada and the Memory Engine” (Essential), “Blackberry Daze” (Horizon) and “Hunchback” (Aurora). New this week: Dominion’s “A Lesson Before Dying.” Pictured: Galen York in Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s “My Fair Lady.”

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

Recommended

Holly Stevenson (left), Ashley Anderson. Photo: Elisabeth Cooper
Holly Stevenson (left), Ashley Anderson. Photo: Elisabeth Cooper

** Ada and the Memory Engine. CLOSES SUNDAY. Audience and critical acclaim have greeted this script by Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson, part of the Essential Theatre Play Festival. The subject is Ada Lovelace (1815-1852), the British math whiz who became the world’s first computer programmer. In calling this 2015 bio-play a “rare and special artistic achievement,” The Huffington Post praised its intelligence, which, it seems, shines through here in a finely acted, if bare-bones, staging. Ashley Anderson is Ada, with Mark Cosby as the supportive, influential Charles Babbage. $20-$25. Final shows at 8 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. Sunday. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Details HERE, tickets HERE.

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

Blackberry Daze. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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. $25 and up. 8 tonight-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.

Robert Wayne and Heidi Cline McKerley have an almost-love story as Herr Schultz and Fraulein Schneider. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus
Robert Wayne and Heidi Cline McKerley have an almost-love story as Herr Schultz and Fraulein Schneider. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

** Cabaret. THROUGH SEPT. 3. At Serenbe Play- house. We’re in Berlin, 1931, as  the Nazis goose-step their way to power. The setting is the squalid Kit Kat Klub, where a young American writer pursues English cabaret performer Sally Bowles and everything is overseen by the androgynous see-no-evil, hear-no-evil Emcee (Serenbe artistic director Brian Clowdus). All Serenbe shows are performed outdoors. 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 and $40; VIP seating extra. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Directions HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Haden Rider, Julissa Sabino.
Haden Rider, Julissa Sabino.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame. CLOSES SUNDAY. This Aurora Theatre musical is staged in partnership with Theatrical Outfit. The show follows a deformed bell ringer named Quasimodo and his travails in 1482 Paris. Justin Anderson directs a cast led by Haden Rider as Quasimodo and Julissa Sabino as Esmeralda. $30-$65. 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday (shows tonight + Sunday are sold out). 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. (Note: Theatrical Outfit’s staging runs Sept. 7-17 at the Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta.) Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Opening this week

The acting company (from left): Kerwin Thompson, Elisabeth Omilami, Lee Buechele, Simeon Daise, Trevor Goble, Enoch King and Brittany L. Smith.
The “Lesson” acting company (from left): Kerwin Thompson, Elisabeth Omilami, Lee Buechele, Simeon Daise, Trevor Goble, Enoch King and Brittany L. Smith.

A Lesson Before Dying. PREVIEWS TONIGHT | OPENS FRIDAY. This drama, based on the Ernest J. Gaines novel, adapts the true story of a young man in 1940s Louisiana twice sentenced to die in the electric chair. The script is by Romulus Linney (1930-2011). Presented by Dominion Entertainment (Jar the Floor, Black Nativity). The cast: Elisabeth Omilami, whom we rarely get to see onstage these days; Lee Buechele; Simeon Daise; Trevor Goble; Enoch King; Brittany L. Smith; and Kerwin Thompson. $30 plus fees. Through Sept. 3. 8 tonight; 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Additional performance at 11 a.m. Aug. 31. Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center, 3181 Rainbow Drive in Decatur. Details HERE. Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets HERE. Discount ticket at PoshDealz.com.

Matt Nitchie, Dani Herd.
Matt Nitchie, Dani Herd.

The Taming of the Shrew. IN PREVIEWSOPENS SATURDAY. The untamed, unwed Katherine is wooed for convenience by the charismatic but bawdy bachelor Petruchio in one of Shakespeare’s best-known comedies and fiercest battle of the sexes. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse regulars Dani Herd and Matt Nitchie play the warring duo. Pub menu and libations. $15 tonight; $20 Friday; regularly $22-$45. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 499 Peachtree St. NE (across from Emory University Hospital Midtown). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0. Discount gift cards at PoshDealz.com.

Last chance

Playwright G.M. Lupo
Playwright G.M. Lupo

Another Mother. CLOSES SATURDAY. World premiere. Atlanta playwright G.M. Lupo’s script is also part of the Essential Theatre Play Festival. It follows the journey of a woman named Genevieve as she pieces together the identities and relationships of her biological mother, her birth mother and the mother who raised her. $20-$25. 8 p.m. Thursday + Saturday. Details HERE, tickets HERE. At the West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd.

The swords fly for the last time this weekend in Serenbe's "Robin Hood." Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus
The swords fly for the last time this weekend in Serenbe’s “Robin Hood.” Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

Robin Hood. CLOSES SUNDAY. Serenbe Playhouse takes to the skies (via zip lines) for one last weekend, telling 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.

 Still running

Jimmica Collins
Jimmica Collins as Mary Mary.

Mother Goose. THROUGH SEPT. 17. In this Center for Puppetry Arts staging, Mother Goose is missing, and audience members are asked to sing, wiggle and clap along to help Mary Mary (Jimmica Collins) find her. Also on the case: Humpty Dumpty, Little Bo Peep, Jack and Jill, and other citizens of Rhymeville. For ages 2 and up. Uses rod, hand-and-rod and glove puppets. $19.50. 10 + 11 a.m. some Tuesdays + Wednesdays; 10 + 11 a.m. Thursday-Friday; 11 a.m., 1 + 3 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sundays. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Lyric_-_My_Fair_LadyMy Fair Lady. THROUGH SEPT. 3. Atlanta Lyric Theatre stages the Lerner and Loewe classic that turned George Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion into an award-winning musical. You know the story: Pompous phonetics professor Henry Higgins (Mark Bradley Miller) turns Cockney flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Galen York) into a lady — with all sorts of complications along the way. The score includes “Wouldn’t It Be Loverly?,” “With a Little Bit of Luck,” “I Could Have Danced All Night,” “On the Street Where You Live” and “Get Me to the Church on Time,” among other gems. $26-$58, subject to change. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Also at 2 p.m. Sept. 2. Cobb Civic Center, Jennie T. Anderson Theatre, 548 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.377.9948.

Next week

Shakespeare-in-Love_header_01** Shakespeare in Love. IN PREVIEWS AUG. 30 | OPENS SEPT. 6 | The Alliance Theatre‘s 49th season opener features a reunion of some of the most talented folks from the late, lamented Georgia Shakespeare. Richard Garner directs this love letter to the bard, based on the 1998 film that won seven Academy Awards including best picture. Young Will Shakespeare (Thomas Azar) has writer’s block as the deadline for his new play looms, and is desperate for inspiration. Enter his muse, Viola (Bethany Anne Lind). The 23-member cast includes one-time Georgia Shakes regulars Barrett Doyle, Allan Edwards, Neal A. Ghant, Chris Kayser, Tess Malis Kincaid and Joe Knezevich, plus Brian Hatch (Anne Boleyn at Synchronicity), Tinashe Kajese-Bolden (Serial Black Face at Actor’s Express) and Stephen Ruffin (Too Heavy for Your Pocket at the Alliance). $10-$75. Through Sept. 24. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday (8 p.m. only Sept. 2); 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday (2:30 p.m. only on Sept. 24. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[WHAT TO SEE ONSTAGE THIS FALL & WINTER? SEE OUR RECOMMENDATIONS]

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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