New this week: “Perfect Arrangement” (Theatrical Outfit) and “The Daughter of the Regiment” (Atlanta Opera). Going, going, almost gone are “The Followers” (7 Stages), “The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane” (Synchronicity) and the national tour of “Rent” (Fox Theatre). Pictured: “Perfect Arrangement’s” Millie and Bob and Norma and Jim (Ann Marie Gideon, Joe Knezevich, Courtney Patterson and Clifton Guterman). They’re so 1950s. Photo by Greg Mooney.
** INDICATES AN ENCORE ATLANTA WINTER SEASON TOP PICK.
** The Followers; A Retelling of the Bacchae. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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 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. Musical direction by Bryan Mercer, with choreography by Israel-based actor-dancer-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. Thursday + Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. CLOSES SUNDAY. At Synchronicity Theatre. Edward Tulane is an expensive toy rabbit made of china who’s loved by a little girl but must travel far and wide and experience life’s bumps 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.
** Perfect Arrangement. PREVIEWS THURSDAY-FRIDAY | OPENS SATURDAY. At Theatrical Outfit. Bob loves Jim, and Norma loves Millie. Both couples are masquerading as heterosexual during the Lavender Scare of the 1950s (when sexual “deviants” were targeted for dismissal from federal employment). Topher Payne, well-known to metro audiences (Angry Fags, The Only Light in Reno, Let Nothing You Dismay, Swell Party), won the 2014 American Theatre Critics Association Osborn Prize for his script, called “a clever canapé of a comedy” by The New York Times. Although this run — already extended by one week — signifies its Atlanta professional premiere, the comedy workshopped in its early days at the Process Theatre. The cast: Ann Marie Gideon, Clifton Guterman, Joe Knezevich, Stacy Melich, Courtney Patterson, Kevin Stillwell and Ann Wilson. Adam Koplan of New York’s Flying Carpet Theatre Company directs. Mature themes and content. $20.50-$49 (previews a bit cheaper). Through March 18. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday (no 2:30 p.m. show Feb. 24). Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Opening this week
The Daughter of the Regiment. OPENS SATURDAY. At The Atlanta Opera. Singers call Donizetti’s screwball comedy a “high C’s adventure” because of the demands it makes on its tenors. What was the composer thinking when he concocted a story about a girl raised by Napoleon’s rowdy grenadiers? He was thinking romantic fun, and that’s what this is, with a soupçon of conflict tossed in. Marie, that little girl (soprano Andriana Chuchman), has come of age and fallen in love with the handsome Tonio (tenor Santiago Ballerini). Key characters oppose their union, of course, but it all ends happily ever after. Sung in French with English supertitles. $35-$131. Through March 4. 8 p.m. Saturday, Tuesday and March 2; 3 p.m. March 4. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center, 800 Cobb Galleria Parkway. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
This week only
Jonathan Biss Plays Beethoven. FEB. 28 ONLY. New York-based pianist Jonathan Biss begins a two-season-long series of concerts that, at its end, will have featured all 32 of Beethoven’s piano sonatas. This program: Piano Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Opus 2, No. 1; Piano Sonata No. 9 in E Major, Opus 14, No. 1; Piano Sonata No. 13 in E-flat Major, Opus 27, No. 1, “Quasi una fantasia”; Piano Sonata No. 12 in A-flat Major, Opus 26, “Funeral March”; and Piano Sonata No. 21 in C Major, Opus 53, “Waldstein.” Biss returns for recitals on April 4 and May 30. Onstage seating is sold out. General admission main-floor seating is available. $50. 8 p.m. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Rent. THROUGH SUNDAY. 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. 7:30 p.m. 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.
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 is one beast who thinks Mowgli should be on his way. 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.
** King Hedley II. 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) is an ex-con peddling stolen refrigerators in the inner city 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 best friend, his mother, his mother’s ex-lover 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 2003/04 staging at the Alliance Theatre. 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.
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 that follows two social workers (Brittany L. Smith, Seun Soyemi) on the front lines of the 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.
Rainforest Adventures. THROUGH MARCH 4. Return to the Amazonian jungle with the Center for Puppetry Arts, where Brazilian music accompanies a 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.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. March 1 + 3. Grammy-winning violinist Augustin Hadelich and his 1723 Stradivarius join the ASO and conductor Edo de Waart for a program of Russian masterpieces — Rachmaninov’s Symphony No. 2 and Shostakovich’s Violin Concerto No. 1. Hadelich was born in Italy, grew up in Germany and was educated at the Juilliard School. De Waart, a Dutch conductor, is conductor laureate of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, chief conductor of the Royal Flemish Philharmonic and an artistic partner with Minnesota’s St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. $22-$97. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
A Comedy of Tenors. OPENS MARCH 1. At Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Fans of playwright Ken Ludwig have waited 30 years for a companion piece to his uber-popular, Tony Award-winning Lend Me a Tenor, one of the most popular American farces in the 20th century. This go-round, the setting is 1930s Paris, which awaits the concert of the century from an Italian superstar. The complications include one hotel suite, four tenors, two wives, three girlfriends and a soccer stadium full of screaming fans. Shelly McCook directs. Good cast: Lane Carlock, Courtney Collins (Calendar Girls ), Robert Egizio (Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks ), Brian Kurlander, John Markowski, Lindsay Ricketson (Pump Boys and Dinettes) and Haden Ryder. $12 (Feb. 28 preview); otherwise $29 and up, based on demand. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 4 p.m. March 10 + 17. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Sheltered. BEGINS MARCH 1. World premiere at the Alliance Theatre. This drama, by New York-based playwright Alix Sobler, is the 2018 winner of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition. Her suspense story is based on true events and takes place in 1939, as World War II threatens Europe. Two ordinary Philadelphians make an extraordinary decision: to bring 50 Jewish children from Nazi-occupied territory to safety in America. Kimberly Senior, a freelance director in New York, leads a cast comprising Lauren Boyd, Amanda Drinkall, Park Krausen, Lee Osorio and John Skelley. For age 12 and up. The Alliance’s annual KENDEDA WEEK (schedule here), featuring staged readings of four runners-up, is a highlight of Atlanta’s theatrical season. The readings (not Sheltered) are free. Don’t miss out! $42; $10 teens. Through March 25. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday and March 3; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday (except March 3); 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Performed at Actor’s Express in the King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW in West Midtown. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.