Alvin Ailey dances on, and “King Hedley” and “Rent” arrive. Last call for “Angels in America” (Actor’s Express), “Klook and Vinette” (Horizon Theatre), “The Mystery of Love & Sex” (Out Front Theatre) and “Picnic” (Stage Door Players). Pictured: Eddie Bradley Jr. as Stool Pigeon (with Tonya Jackson and Tiffany Denise Hobbs) in “King Hedley II” at True Colors. Photo by Horne Bros. Productions.
** INDICATES AN ENCORE ATLANTA WINTER SEASON TOP PICK.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. THROUGH SUNDAY. This brilliant 32-member company concludes its annual Atlanta visit with a program that looks to the past — specifically 1960, the 1980s and 2004 — to entertain, provoke and inform the future. The lineup includes artistic director Robert Battle’s Mass; Shelter by Jawole Willa Jo Zollar; Twyla Tharp’s The Golden Section; Talley Beatty’s Stack-Up; and the Alvin Ailey creation Revelations (which concludes every performance). $22-$86. 8 tonight-Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.
** Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2. CLOSES SATURDAY. At Actor’s Express. Sex, religion, politics and history collide in Tony Kushner’s time-traveling saga set at the dawn 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, many of whom play multiple roles. $22-$40. See Part 2 at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday. See Part 1 at 2 p.m. Saturday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Millennium Approaches details, tickets HERE; Perestroika details, tickets HERE. Or call 404.607.7469.
** The Ballad of Klook and Vinette. CLOSES SUNDAY. American premiere. Horizon Theatre tells a contemporary love story with a soulful jazz score. Klook is a drifter who’s tired of drifting; Vinette is on the run but doesn’t know why. Together, they take a stab at love. Amari Cheatom (the film Django Unchained and a Freddie Hendricks Youth Ensemble of Atlanta alum) is Klook. Brittany Inge (Horizon’s Blackberry Daze) is Vinette. The script is by London-based playwright Ché Walker, who directs. $23 and up, plus fees. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. at Euclid Avenue. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.
** The Followers; A Retelling of the Bacchae. THROUGH FEB. 25. At 7 Stages. The 38-year-old Little Five Points company looks to ancient Greece for its first production of 2018. Euripides’ The Bacchae delves into opposite sides of human nature and remains frighteningly topical with its warning about what can happen when citizens blindly follow their political leaders. This world premiere telling comes from Margaret Baldwin, an Atlanta playwright of note, and uses opera, dance, puppetry and physical theater to tell its story of faith, abuse of power and vengeance. Co-artistic director Michael Haverty directs. Klimchak, who builds and plays unusual instruments, provides original music. With musical direction by Bryan Mercer and choreography by Israel-based actor, dancer and clown Ofir Nahari, who’s also in the cast. In the Back Stage Black Box. Runs 80 minutes with no intermission. $15-$25. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday + Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. THROUGH FEB. 25. At Synchronicity Theatre. Edward Tulane is an expensive toy rabbit made of china who’s loved by a little girl but must go on a miraculous journey before he can love anyone back. This family-friendly adaptation — which includes toy piano, harmonica, guitar and banjo — is told simply and elegantly by a versatile cast of four: Josh Brook, Jimmica Collins, Caitlin Hargraves and Justin Walker. Mira Hirsch directs. The piece is based on Newbery Medalist Kate DiCamillo’s 2006 young adult novel. Note: Every Friday is PJs & Play. Kids in pajamas get complimentary milk and cookies. Runs two hours with one intermission. $15-$22. 7 p.m. Friday; 1 + 4 p.m. Saturday; 2 + 5 p.m. Sunday. One Peachtree Pointe, 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.
Opening this week
** King Hedley II. NOW OPEN | THROUGH MARCH 11. At True Colors Theatre Company. August Wilson (1945-2005) is one of the great American playwrights of any century, and a personal favorite. King Hedley is part of his 10-play Century, or Pittsburgh, Cycle, all reflecting the black experience in 20th-century America. King (Neal A. Ghant, fresh from the Alliance Theatre’s Native Guard) is an ex-con peddling stolen refrigerators in inner-city Pittsburgh in the 1980s. His goal: Buy a new business and, thus, a new life. Surrounding him in his quest, for better or worse, are his wife, his mother, his mother’s ex-lover, his best friend and a neighbor named Stool Pigeon (Eddie Bradley Jr.), a mystical sort of truthsayer. Also in the cast: Tiffany Denise Hobbs, Tonia Jackson, E. Roger Mitchell and Eugene H. Russell IV). Jamil Jude directs. Some consider King Hedley II a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions. It seemed so in a mesmerizing production at the Alliance Theatre in 2003/04. Recommended for age 16 and up (language, content). $20-$35. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road SW. Details HERE, tickets at Ticket Alternative HERE or at 877.725.8849.
Rent. OPENS TUESDAY. A 25th anniversary tour. Jonathan Larson’s groundbreaking rock musical was the Hamilton of its day. Loosely based on Puccini’s opera La Bohème, it follows an unforgettable year in the hand-to-mouth lives of seven artists — a filmmaker, a musician, a performance artist and a drag queen among them — struggling in the shadow of drugs, poverty and AIDS. Rent won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and four 1996 Tony awards, including best musical, and helped launch the careers of Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs. The score includes Seasons of Love, Light My Candle and La Vie Boheme. $30-$145.50. Through Feb. 28. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1 + 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 855.285.8499.
This weekend only
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY + SATURDAY. Italian maestro Roberto Abbado returns for Franz Schubert’s Unfinished symphony. Guest pianist Jorge Federico Osorio (“a serious and cultivated Beethoven player,” says the Chicago Tribune) leads Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 4, completing the ASO’s performances of all five Beethoven piano concertos this season. Also scheduled: Rossini’s overture to Semiramide. $17-$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.
The Mystery of Love & Sex. CLOSES SUNDAY. At Out Front Theatre Company. London-born playwright Bathsheba “Bash” Doran’s four-character drama is an unexpected love story about where souls meet and the consequences of growing up. Charlotte and Jonny have been best friends since age 9. She’s Jewish, he’s Christian; he’s black, she’s white. These differences intensify their connection until the complications of sexual desire tiptoe in. The drama premiered in 2014 at Lincoln Center (“written with compassion and wry wisdom,” said The New York Times) and has played Chicago and Los Angeles. Doran also has written for TV (“Boardwalk Empire,” “Masters of Sex,” “Smash”). Working Title Playwrights‘ Amber Bradshaw directs a cast comprising Donald McNamus, Tiffany Morgan, Terrance Smith and Rachel Wansker. Note: Contains nudity. $20 + $25. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. 999 Brady Ave. in West Midtown. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.448.2755.
The Jungle Book. THROUGH MARCH 4. Alliance Theatre at the Porter Sanford III Performing Arts Center. Mowgli, a boy abandoned in the jungle, must find his place in the community of animals with the help of Baloo the bear, Bagheera the black panther and Akela the old wolf. Shere Khan the tiger, however, doesn’t think he belongs. Based on the Rudyard Kipling stories. With a score and musical direction by S. Renee Clark. Rosemary Newcott directs. $18-$32. 1 + 3:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. 3181 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Ontario Was Here. THROUGH MARCH 4. At Aurora Theatre. Kansas-based playwright Darren Canady, the 2007 winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition, returns to metro Atlanta with this contemporary drama. It follows two social workers (Brittany L. Smith, Seun Soyemi) on the front lines of Kansas City’s Department of Children and Families. Tempers flash when the co-workers (and former lovers) clash over what’s best for a 9-year-old boy named Ontario. Their decisions could mean life or death. Cynthia D. Barker, better known for her work onstage, directs. This show is part of Aurora’s Harvel Lab Series, done in its smaller black-box space. $20-$30. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 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.
Picnic. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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. Inge (Bus Stop; Come Back, Little Sheba) was known for bringing small-town life in America’s Midwest to Broadway. $33. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 5339 Chamblee Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.396.1726.
Rainforest Adventures. THROUGH MARCH 4. Return to the Amazonian jungle with the Center for Puppetry Arts. Brazilian music accompanies this communion with 30-plus exotic plants and animals, including howler monkeys, harpy eagles, sloths, big cats 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. 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.