This week’s best: The Atlanta Symphony, Out of Hand’s “Dogs of Rwanda,” the Alliance’s “Hand to God,” Horizon’s “Project Dawn” and the national tour of “The Color Purple.” “The Ghastly Dreadfuls” (pictured) is among several Halloween shows. Photo courtesy of the Center for Puppetry Arts.

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

Special event

Taste of Atlanta. FRIDAY-SUNDAY. Atlanta’s biggest food festival celebrates its 16th year at a new permanent location — Historic Fourth Ward Park near the Atlanta BeltLine. Go for bites, sips, classes, demos, conversation and more. Nearly 100 metro restaurants and bars take part. Friday Kickoff Party is $85 in advance only; general admission is $25 + $35; Saturday’s Grand Tasting Experience (age 21+ only) is $75 + $95. 7:30 p.m. Friday; noon-6 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 680 Dallas St. NE. Details, tickets HERE.

[READ MORE: SWEET! TASTE OF ATLANTA TURNS 16]

Recommended

Adam Fristoe

Dogs of Rwanda. THROUGH NOV. 18. A National New Play Network rolling world premiere from Out of Hand Theater. Sean Christopher Lewis’ drama begins in 1994 and ends in 2014. Its only character is a 16-year-old boy on a mission trip, who stumbles into the nation’s ongoing genocide. Twenty years later, a letter arrives from a boy he tried to save. Performed by Out of Hand’s Adam Fristoe in living rooms and other intimate spaces in metro Atlanta and beyond. Note: The venue address for the performance you choose will be emailed 24 hours before the show. $30. Upcoming performances (mostly Friday-Saturday nights) are in the Old Fourth Ward, Cabbagetown, All Saints Episcopal Church on West Peachtree Street, East Atlanta, Inman Park, Lake Claire, Marietta, Tifton and St. Simons Island. Details, tickets HERE. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Meet Tyrone. Photo: Alliance Theatre

** Hand to God. BEGINS FRIDAY. The Alliance Theatre stages Robert Askins’ irreverent Tony-nominated puppet comedy, last season’s favorite play at American regional theaters. Hand to God details a puppet ministry that goes very, very wrong, and explores the fragile nature of faith, morality and the ties that bind us. The New York Times called the comedy “darkly delightful.” Note: Recommended for age 16+ due to strong language and sexual situations. $20-$42. Through Nov. 12. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday (no 2:30 p.m. show Oct. 21). Performed at Dad’s Garage Theatre Company (the Alliance’s home is under renovation), 569 Ezzard St. SE. Parking info HERE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[ALLIANCE, DAD’S SAY TIME IS RIGHT FOR CHEEKY PUPPET COMEDY]

** Project Dawn. THROUGH OCT. 29. At Horizon Theatre. This fact-based drama shows both sides of the judicial system as it depicts a 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 should 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 based her script on a groundbreaking Philadelphia court. 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.

Lane Carlock (from left), Maria Rodriguez-Sager, Carolyn Cook, , Christy Clark, Marianne Fraulo, Bobbi Lynn Scott, Brooke Owens. Photo: Greg Mooney

Opening this week

The Color Purple. OCT. 24-29. The musical that began at the Alliance Theatre, and played Broadway in 2005 and 2015, returns home. This telling, from visionary director John Doyle, won the 2016 Tony Award for best musical revival. It’s said to emphasize storytelling over big design elements. Atlanta is the second city on this brand-new national tour. The Color Purple, based on the Alice Walker novel, covers 40 years in the life of Celie, her family and friends in rural Georgia. $30-$150. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Broadway in Atlanta at the Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.

[READ MORE: THIS SHUG AVERY KNOWS HOW TO ‘PUSH DA BUTTON’]

Dangerous Women. PREVIEWS TONIGHT | OPENS FRIDAY. A world premiere from the Weird Sisters Theatre Project. Half haunted house, half new works festival, it’s an immersive horror experience inspired by the crimes of women in history and legend. Directed by Rachel Frawley, Pam Joyce, Ibi Owolabi, Tiffany Porter and Rebekah Suellau and featuring the work of more than 35 artists. This show completes the first season of Weird Sisters’ new producing team. $15 plus fees. 8 tonight ($10 preview); 8 p.m. Oct. 20-30. Additional shows at 11:30 p.m. Oct. 21 + 28. Windmill Arts Center, 2823 Church St., East Point. Details HERE. Tickets HERE.

Weird Sisters (from left) Shelli Delgado, Rebekah Suellau, Kate Donadio MacQueen, Julie Skrzypek, Rachel Frawley. Photo: Lola Scott
Ally Duncan (from left), Jacob Jones, Kiona D. Reese, Max Mattox. Photo: Tyler Ogburn

The Rocky Horror Show. OPENS TONIGHT. Out Front Theatre Company starts its second season with a reimagined Rocky Horror, perhaps the most popular cult musical ever. Rocky Horror was edgy and groundbreaking in the ’70s,” says director Matthew Busch. “The biggest challenge we faced in staging it in 2017 was the question ‘What makes this story need to be told again?’ We purposefully ‘gender-bent’ the transsexual aliens to continue the dialogue regarding gender and sexual identity.” $15-$25. Through Nov. 5. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Out Front is at 999 Brady Ave. Details, tickets HERE.

The World Goes ‘Round. OPENS FRIDAY. Atlanta Lyric Theatre dips into the Kander-and-Ebb songbook with this musical revue built around five people who find themselves careering through the worlds of love, babies and coffee. The tunes come from the three-time Tony Award-winning team’s stage work (70, Girls, 70; The ActCabaret; Chicago; Flora the Red Menace; The Happy TimeKiss of the Spider Woman; The RinkWoman of the Year; and Zorba) and the movies Funny Lady and New York, New York. The cast: Deb Bowman, Mary Nye Bennett, Jeff McKerley, Brad Raymond and Adrianna Trachell. With music direction by S. Renee Clark and choreography by Ricardo Aponte. Through Nov. 5. $33-$58. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Additional show at 2 p.m. Nov. 4. Jennie T. Anderson Theatre at the Cobb Civic Center, 548 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. Details, tickets HERE.

Closing this week

Charlotte’s Web. THROUGH SUNDAY. 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, Dolph Amick, Nikolas Carleo, Anna Caudle and Brian Harrison. $9.75 members, $19.50 nonmembers plus tax. 10 + 11:30 a.m. today-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.

This weekend only

Ludovic Morlot

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. TONIGHT + SATURDAY. Bernstein, Prokofiev and Ravel are three of a kind — irrepressible, brazen and poetic. French conductor Ludovic Morlot, music director of the Seattle Symphony, takes the podium for Bernstein’s “Divertimento;” Prokofiev’s Violin Concerto No. 2 with guest artist Ray Chen (an artist “to die for,” says the Huffington Post); and Ravel’s La valse. $22-$97. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount balcony tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Goosebumps: The Phantom of the Auditorium Musical. TONIGHT-SUNDAY. Part of Aurora Theatre’s Learning Library. Strange things are disrupting rehearsals of the musical at Woods Mill Middle School — which, as rumors have it, might be cursed. The student actors wonder if the interruptions are coincidence, some kind of joke or the curse of an actual, factual Phantom. Goosebumps — more funny than scary — is based on the R. L. Stine children’s novel series of the same name. $10-$15. 7 tonight-Friday; 2:30 + 7 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.

For Halloween

The Ghastly Dreadfuls. THROUGH OCT. 28. A Center for Puppetry Arts reprise for the 18-and-up crowd. This spooktacular musical, which salutes the season of ghosts and goblins, was written by artistic director Jon Ludwig and puppeteer Jason Hines. The ghoulish cast once again includes Scott DePoy, Reay Kaplan Maxwell and Spencer Stephens. $24. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.

Chris Mayers. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

The Sleepy Hollow Experience. THROUGH NOV. 5. Serenbe Playhouse (call it Serenboo this time of year) reprises its annual event with a new adaptation by artistic director Brian Clowdus and family performances at 2 p.m. Sundays throughout October. (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.) This year’s cast: Jennifer Alice Acker and Brandon Partrick as Storytellers, Blake Burgess as Brom Bones, Erin Burnett as Katrina Van Tassel and Chris Mayers as Ichabod Crane. Note: This is a traveling performance without seating, but chairs can be requested through the box office. $15-$40. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 + 10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 8 p.m. Sunday. Performed in the Horseman’s Meadow at Serenbe. 10950 Hutchesons Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com

Ongoing

Crossing Delancey. THROUGH NOV. 25. The Alliance Theatre stages the romantic comedy that inspired the 1988 movie of the same name. Bubbie is an 80-year-old Jewish grandmother determined to see granddaughter Izzy marry the right man. Izzy only has eyes for an author; Bubbie zeroes in on Sam the pickle man. Who will prevail? The cast includes Andrew BenatorDaniel Thomas May and Mary Lynn Owen. $10-$70. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Performed at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta, 5342 Tilly Mill Road (as part of the Alliance’s 2017/18 on-the-road season, made necessary by renovations at its Midtown home). Tickets, details HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[READ MORE: EVERYBODY OUGHT TO HAVE A BUBBIE]

Dani Herd (left), Matt Nitchie. Photo: Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse

Macbeth. THROUGH OCT. 29. At the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. One fateful evening, three weird sisters greet Macbeth and Banquo with visions of what could be. Is it their magic or Macbeth’s (and his wife’s) hunger for power that sets in motion some of the most murderous events that Scotland has ever seen? With Matt Nitchie as Macbeth and Dani Herd as Lady Macbeth. Pub menu and libations available. $22-$45. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-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.

Next week

Morningside. OCT. 26-NOV. 12. A world premiere at Georgia Ensemble Theatre. This new comedy from Atlanta playwright Topher Payne (Greetings Friend Your Kind Assistance Is Required, The Only Light in RenoPerfect ArrangementAngry Fags) takes place on a sunny spring afternoon in Atlanta’s Morningside neighborhood. Nine women with secrets are thrown together at a baby shower — with a case of champagne. What could possibly go wrong? Shannon Eubanks directs. Her cast: Lala Cochran, Kelly CrissKate DonadioKeena Redding HuntShelly McCook, Ellen McQueen, Stacy MelichGina Rickicki and Ann Wilson. $29-$53 plus fees. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details HERE, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

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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