We don’t know how you’re going to choose, so good luck. Excellent options include Theatrical Outfit’s “Boy” and Atlanta Opera’s “Seven Deadly Sins,” both opening; Aurora’s “Burnpile,” which closes; and anything here that tickles your fancy. Pictured (from left): Rachel Mewbron, Marcello Audino, Shelli Delgado, Jennifer Schottstaedt, J.L. Reed and Justin Walker. Photo by Jerry Siegel.

** Indicates an Encore Atlanta fall/winter season top pick. See them all HERE.


Kevin Stillwell

Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo. THROUGH OCT. 8. 7 Stages begins its season with this Pulitzer-nominated drama from playwright Rajiv Joseph (Gruesome Playground Injuries). The lives of two U.S. Marines and their Iraqi translator are irrevocably changed when they meet a tiger who haunts Baghdad’s rubble-strewn streets. Co-artistic director Michael Haverty directs a cast that features Kevin Stillwell as the Tiger and includes Paris Benjamin, Marium Khalid, Rudy Roushdi, Joe Sykes, Markell Williams and Sam Younis. The drama had a limited run on Broadway in 2011 with Robin Williams as the tiger. $22 and up. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

** Boy. BEGINS TONIGHT. At Theatrical Outfit. The Huffington Post called this “a smart, fresh transgender-play twist” and said, “It’s likely there are none like this one, certainly not any more beautifully realized.” Anna Ziegler’s 2016 drama spans 22 years and begins in 1968 Iowa after an accident, when a doctor persuades the parents of an infant boy to raise him as a girl. The drama is based on a true story. Atlanta actor Clifton Guterman, the Outfit’s associate artistic director, plays the title role, and is directed by frequent collaborator Melissa Foulger, who makes her Outfit debut. Also in the cast: Daryl Lisa Fazio, Matt Lewis, Annie York and Outfit artistic director Tom Key. 7:30 p.m. previews tonight-Friday ($18-$36); opens at 7:30 p.m. Saturday ($23.50-$51); regularly $22.50-$49. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Enoch King. Photo: Studio 7 Photography

** The Christians. THROUGH OCT. 15. This 2014 script by Lucas Hnath (Broadway’s A Doll’s House, Part 2) asks how far you’ll go for something to believe in. Actor’s Express calls it “a provocative excavation of modern faith.” The setting is a megachurch that’s rocked when its pastor discards fundamentalist Christianity for something more inclusive. Director Freddie Ashley’s cast is led by Brian Kurlander and Enoch King. Expect to hear church choirs, too. $28 (subject to change). 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. At the King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Jose Llana and Laura Michelle Kelly. Photo: Matthew Murphy

** The King and I. CLOSES SUNDAY. At the Fox Theatre. East meets West — and they don’t always get on nicely — in what is, by all accounts, a definitive version of the Rodgers & Hammerstein classic. It comes from Lincoln Center and director Bartlett Sher, both responsible for the picture-perfect South Pacific that played the Fox in 2010. The King and I takes place in the 1860s, when the King of Siam hires an English schoolteacher to tutor his wives and children. The score includes “I Whistle a Happy Tune,” “Hello, Young Lovers,” “A Puzzlement,” “Getting to Know You,” “We Kiss in a Shadow,” “Something Wonderful” and “Shall We Dance,” among others. 660 Peachtree St. NE. $30-$135. 7:30 tonight; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.


Maria Rodriguez-Sager. Photo: Greg Mooney

** Project Dawn. THROUGH OCT. 29. At Horizon Theatre. This fact-based drama shows both sides of the judicial system as it depicts an innovative program dedicated to rehabilitating sex workers instead of punishing them. Seven actors double as victims/participants and court staff. Artistic director Lisa Adler leads a cast of familiar Atlanta faces (Lane CarlockCarolyn CookMarianne FrauloMaria Rodriguez-SagerBobbi Lynne Scott) and some that will be familiar soon: Brooke Owens, a Suzi Bass Award nominee for Synchronicity’s Anne Boleyn; and Christy Clark, Horizon’s Blackberry Daze). This National New Play Network rolling world premiere was written by Karen Hartman, who used a revolutionary Philadelphia court as the basis for her script. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. at Euclid Avenue. $25 and up. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

** Sense and Sensibility. THROUGH OCT. 15. A regional premiere at Synchronicity Theatre. Jane Austen is fun, just ask playwright Kate Hamill. Her 2014 adaptation of the beloved novel ratchets up the energy level, using inventive staging and a cast of 10 to play the Dashwoods, the Ferrars and a busy bunch of gossips that show just how much privacy the private lives of Georgian-era Brits lacked. Artistic director Rachel May directs an athletic cast led by Shelli Delgado as Elinor Dashwood, Jennifer Schottstaedt as Marianne Dashwood, Justin Walker as Edward Ferrars and Bryant Smith as Colonel Brandon. $30. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. One Peachtree Pointe, 1545 Peachtree St. NE.  Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

Taylor M. Dooley. Photo: Daniel Parvis

Throw Me on the Burnpile and Light Me Up. CLOSES SUNDAY. A lecherous goat, Pentecostals on the radio, a clutter of in-bred cats, phone calls from death row and Daddy’s burnpile are among the elements in this Southern coming-of-age tale from Lucy Alibar, the Oscar-nominated screenwriter of Beasts of the Southern Wild. Atlanta actor Taylor M. Dooley — a Dad’s Garage regular seen too infrequently on other stages — is the sole cast member. Part of Aurora Theatre’s Harvel Lab Series. $20-$30. 8 tonight-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 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. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.


Opening this week

The Seven Deadly Sins. BEGINS TONIGHT. The Atlanta Opera starts its season with an intimate cabaret experience that looks at the duality of the character(s) Anna I and Anna II, two sides of the same woman. She embarks on a seven-city pursuit of the American Dream, uncovering envy, gluttony, greed, lust, pride, sloth and wrath along the way. The Kurt WeillBertolt Brecht piece was first performed in 1933. Serenbe Playhouse Artistic Director Brian Clowdus directs his first opera; Rolando Salazar conducts. $50 all seats (VIP upgrades available). Through Oct. 6. 7:30 tonight-Saturday + Oct. 3-6; 3 p.m. Oct. 1. Performed at Le Maison Rouge at Paris on Ponce as part of the opera’s Discoveries series, 716 Ponce de Leon Place NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.


The Sleepy Hollow Experience. OPENS TONIGHT. Serenbe Playhouse reprises its annual Halloween season spook-tacular, which always comes with a new twist or two. This year’s edition features a new adaptation by artistic director Brian Clowdus and family performances at 2 p.m. Sundays throughout October, with a pumpkin patch, harvest games, popcorn, hot cider and a chance to meet the actors before the show and at intermission (grounds open at 1 p.m.). Note: This is a traveling performance without seating, but chairs can be requested through the box office. $15-$40. Through Nov. 5. Regularly at 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 + 10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; and 8 p.m. Sunday. Performed in the Horse’s Meadow at Serenbe. 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Closing this week

Once on This Island. CLOSES SUNDAY. Georgia Ensemble Theatre begins its 25th season with this 1991 musical by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty (Ragtime, Anastasia). It’s a beautifully told story of life, pain, love, grief, faith, hope and buoyant Caribbean rhythms. One stormy night on an island in the French Antilles, insistent thunder makes a small girl cry. To comfort her, storytellers share the tale of Ti Moune, a peasant girl who falls in love with a rich man. Nominated for eight 1991 Tony awards, including best musical. Ricardo Aponte directs and choreographs. $33-$43. 8 tonight-Friday; 4 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. At the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

The company (from left): Adrianna Jackson, Marcus Hopkins-Turner, India S. Tyree, Benjamin Moore, Myshay Pretty, Adrianna Trachell, Brian Walker, Christian Magby, Robert John Connor, Terry Henry, Mahalia Jackson. Photo: Dan Carmody/Studio 7

The Reign of King Edward III. CLOSES SUNDAY. At the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. In this two-part history play, Edward claims the French throne and the Hundred Years War begins. In Part 1, Edward woos the Countess of Salisbury. Both married, they strike a deal to kill the other’s spouse. In Part 2, a young Edward takes to the battlefield to win his father’s respect and the right to rule England. With Drew Reeves as King Edward, Kati Grace Brown as the Countess of Salisbury and David Sterritt as Edward, Prince of Wales. Pub menu and libations available. $22-$45. 7:30 tonight-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 99 Peachtree St. NE (across from Emory University Hospital Midtown). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299. Discount gift cards at PoshDealz.com.

Still running

Olivia Dawson (left) and Diany Rodriguez. Photo: Chris Bartelski

** Abigail/1702. THROUGH OCT. 15. Aurora Theatre catches up with the evil Abigail Williams from Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. It’s 10 years later, and she’s haunted by the lives she ruined and the blood on her hands. Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa’s 2012 script finds her in Boston, seeking salvation. Justin Anderson directs a cast led by Diany Rodriguez. You may know Aguirre-Sacasa from Say You Love Satan (Dad’s Garage, 2001), Weird Comic Book Fantasy (Dad’s, 2003) and Good Boys and True (Actor’s Express, 2010). This 90-minute drama has no intermission and contains mature themes. $20-$55. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 10 a.m. this Tuesday only ($16 and up). 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. $20-$55. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at  678.226.6222. Discounts at PoshDealz.com.

Charlotte’s Web. THROUGH OCT. 22. At the Center for Puppetry Arts. E.B. White’s novel comes to life with Wilbur the pig, Charlotte the spider and other barnyard animals portrayed with Czech Black and rod puppets. The cast: head puppeteer Amy Sweeney plus Dolph Amick, Nikolas Carleo, Anna Caudle and Brian Harrison. $9.75 members, $19.50 nonmembers plus tax. 10 + 11:30 a.m. Wednesday-Friday; 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Dial M for Murder. THROUGH OCT. 15. At Stage Door Players. Frederick Knott’s killer drama follows a man who married his wife for money and now plans to kill her. An alibi, a blackmail scheme and Scotland Yard are all part of the action before the case gets cracked. Kate Donadio MacQueen directs a cast that includes Charles Green, David Alan Grindstaff, Kristin Markiton, Chad Martin, Doyle Reynolds and Robert Egizio, Stage Door’s producing artistic director. $15-$33. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. At the North DeKalb Cultural Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.

Wicket. THROUGH OCT. 7. World premiere. Many Bothans died in the making of this musical parody, say the folks at Dad’s Garage Theatre CompanyWicket tells the classic Star Wars tale from the Ewoks’ perspective, which means they’ll sing, dance and share the true story of life inside the Galactic Federation. Not recommended for anyone not old enough for/who doesn’t enjoy adult humor. Kennesaw State’s Rick Lombardo (Little Shop of Horrors at Actor’s Express) directs, with script & lyrics by Travis Sharp and score & lyrics by Haddon Kime. $12.50-$29.50 (always cheapest online). 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday. 569 Ezzard St. SE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.3141.

Next week

Russell Thomas. Photo: Fay Fox

Otello. OCT. 7 & 10. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra presents a mash-up of theater (William Shakespeare) and opera (Giuseppe Verdi). Verdi’s Otello propels you through Shakespeare’s stormy seas, soaring love duet, tender “Ave Maria” and crushing conclusion. Music director Robert Spano conducts. Tenor Russell Thomas sings the title role, with Mary Elizabeth Williams singing Desdemona and Nmon Ford singing Iago. $22-$97. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.







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