See any of these. Better yet, see all of them: “Angels in American, Parts 1 & 2” (Actor’s Express); “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill” (Theatrical Outfit); “Maytag Virgin” (Aurora Theatre); “Native Guard” (Alliance Theatre at the Atlanta History Center); “Tenderly” (Georgia Ensemble); “Klook and Vinette” (Horizon Theatre). Pictured: Courtney Patterson and Brad Brinkley in “Maytag Virgin.” Photo by Chris Bartelski.
** INDICATES AN ENCORE ATLANTA WINTER SEASON TOP PICK.
** Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2. PART 2 BEGINS SATURDAY. See both, in repertory on different days or the same one, at Actor‘s Express. Sex, religion, politics and history collide in Tony Kushner’s sweeping, time-traveling, two-part saga set at the beginning of the AIDS epidemic. Part 1 is titled Millennium Approaches; Part 2 is Perestroika. Kushner’s achievement, a 20th-century theatrical landmark, won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and four 1993 Tony awards. The Express cast: Robert Bryan Davis as Roy Cohn and Grant Chapman as Prior Walter, with Carolyn Cook, Thandiwe DeShazor, Louis Greggory, Cara Mantella, Parris Sarter and Joe Sykes, several of whom play multiple roles. $22-$40. Through Feb. 17. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Millennium Approaches details, tickets HERE; Perestroika details, tickets HERE. Or call 404.607.7469.
** Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill. THROUGH FEB. 4. Highly recommended. At Theatrical Outfit. Singer/actor Terry Burrell shimmers in this bruising bio of Billie Holiday, performing months before her death at age 44. It’s Philadelphia, 1959. The evening, both intimate and epic, includes stories about Lady Day’s down-and-out life and a song list that includes “God Bless the Child,” “Strange Fruit,” “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” and about a dozen others. Burrell’s considerable credits include Thoroughly Modern Millie, Dreamgirls and Into the Woods on Broadway; Lady Day off-Broadway; and Ethel, among others, at the Alliance Theatre. $18-$51. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 p.m. Jan. 14, 18, 20-21, 25, 27-28 and Feb. 1, 3, 4. Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
** Maytag Virgin. THROUGH FEB. 11. A regional premiere at Aurora Theatre. Audrey Cefaly’s dramatic comedy follows an Alabama schoolteacher (Courtney Patterson) and her new neighbor (Brad Brinkley) for a year after the unexpected death of her husband. DC Theatre Scene called the play “a witty and earnest meditation on how people connect even when they feel they’re not ready.” Melissa Foulger, an Actor’s Express regular and a name you should know, directs. $20-$55. 8 p.m. Tuesday-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.
Native Guard. THROUGH FEB. 4. Alliance Theatre at the Atlanta History Center. A reprise of the 2014 staging based on poet Natasha Trethewey’s Pulitzer Prize-winning collection, which juxtaposes her life as a mixed-race child with the lives of the Native Guard — black soldiers fighting for the Union in the Civil War. The twist this time: It’s performed near the History Center’s Civil War exhibition. The entire cast returns: Neal A. Ghant as the Native Guard, January LaVoy as the Poet, vocalist Nicole Banks Long and composer/music director Tyrone Jackson. Recommended for age 12 and up. $20-$47; $10 teens. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. 130 West Paces Ferry Road NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Tenderly: The Rosemary Clooney Musical. THROUGH JAN. 28. At Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Described as a “fresh, personal and poignant” picture of the singer/actor who became a Hollywood legend. Tenderly follows Clooney (1928-2002) from her Kentucky childhood to Tinseltown and beyond, showing the bumps, bruises and successes along the way. The score includes “Come On-a My House,” “It’s Only a Paper Moon,” “Count Your Blessings,” “Hey There,” “Mambo Italiano” and more. The cast: Rachel Sorsa as Clooney and Mark Cabus as the Doctor (and 11 other roles). $30-$46. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 4 p.m. Jan. 20 +27. At the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Opening this week
** The Ballad of Klook and Vinette. OPENS FRIDAY. American premiere. Horizon Theatre begins its 2018 season with a contemporary love story that comes with a soulful jazz score. Klook is a drifter who’s tired of drifting; Vinette is on the run but doesn’t know what’s chasing her. Together, they make a tentative stab at love. Amari Cheatom (a Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta alum, the film Django Unchained) is Klook. Brittany Inge (Horizon’s Blackberry Daze) is Vinette. The script is by Lond0n-based playwright Ché Walker, who directs. Music and lyrics by Anoushka Lucas and Omar Lye-Fook, with musical direction by Atlanta’s Christian Magby. $23 and up, plus fees. Through Feb. 18. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. No matinee Jan. 20; no show Feb. 4 (Super Bowl Sunday). 1083 Austin Ave. at Euclid Avenue. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.
Rainforest Adventures. OPENS TUESDAY. Return to the Amazonian jungle once again with the Center for Puppetry Arts. Brazilian music accompanies this communion with 30-plus exotic plants and animals, including howler monkeys, bats, harpy eagles and pink river dolphins. Performed in Czech Black style by puppeteers Brian Harrison, Jake Krakovsky, Emily Marsh, Tim Sweeney and Anna Claire Walker. For ages 4 and up. $19.50 non-members; $9.75 members (discounted previews at 10 + 11:30 a.m. Jan. 23-24). Through March 4. 10 + 11 a.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m. + 1 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 3 p.m. Sunday. 1404 Spring St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.873.3391.
The Lion King. THROUGH JAN. 28. Broadway in Atlanta brings Disney’s circle of life back to the Fox Theatre. A cast of 40-plus breathes life into a lion cub named Simba, strutting giraffes, lumbering elephants, swooping birds and leaping gazelles. The original production, which won six Tony awards, is in its 21st season on Broadway. This is a new North American tour. $39-$169, plus fees. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 1.855.285.8499.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. JAN. 25 + 27. Join music director Robert Spano and the ASO for a program comprising Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5, “Emperor”; Leonard Bernstein’s Symphony No. 1, “Jeremiah”; and the graffiti-inspired “Everything Lasts Forever,” composed by ASO bassist Michael Kurth. The ASO is joined by Mexico-born pianist Jorge Federico Osorio and American mezzo-soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano. Includes a pre-concert chamber music recital at 6:45 p.m. Thursday, free for anyone with tickets to either concert. $22-$97. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Picnic. OPENS JAN. 26. At Stage Door Players. William Inge’s 1953 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama argues that youth is a gift to be savored, not squandered. When Labor Day weekend arrives in the Kansas backyards of two middle-aged widows, so does a vital young man who upsets the social order. The cast: Blake Burgess, Kara Cantrell, Larry Davis and Shelby Folks. Tess Malis Kincaid directs. $33. Previews Jan. 25. Through Feb. 18. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 8 p.m. Feb. 15. 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.