THIS WEEK’S BEST BETS’ BEST: “Perfect Arrangement” (Theatrical Outfit) & “Sheltered” (Alliance Theatre). Last chance for “King Hedley II” (True Colors). And get your French on with Théâtre du Rêve’s feminist-leaning “Once Upon a Time.” Pictured: John Skelley and Amanda Drinkall in the Alliance Theatre’s “Sheltered.” Photo by Greg Mooney.



Tonia Jackson (left), Tiffany Denise Hobbs. Photo: Horne Bros. Photography

** King Hedley II. CLOSES SUNDAY. At True Colors Theatre CompanyAugust 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, 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 HobbsTonia 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. Thursday-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.

Clifton Guterman (left), Joe Knezevich. Photo: Chris Bartelski

** Perfect Arrangement. THROUGH MARCH 18. At Theatrical Outfit. Bob loves Jim, and Norma loves Millie, but 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. The cast: Ann Marie GideonClifton Guterman,  Joe KnezevichStacy MelichCourtney PattersonKevin Stillwell and Ann Wilson.  Adam Koplan of New York’s Flying Carpet Theatre Company directs. Mature themes and content. $20.50-$49. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at

Gil and Eleanor Kraus, the real-life couple that inspired “Sheltered.” Photo: Kraus Family

Sheltered. THROUGH MARCH 25. 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 from New York, leads a cast comprising Lauren BoydAmanda Drinkall, Park Krausen, Lee Osorio and John Skelley. For age 12 and up. The Alliance’s annual KENDEDA WEEK (schedule here), began March 7 and continues through March 9, featuring staged readings of runner-up plays. It’s a highlight of Atlanta’s theatrical season. The readings (not Sheltered) are free, but reservations are necessary. Don’t miss out! $42; $10 teens. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 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.


Opening this week

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder. OPENS TUESDAY. This 2014 best-musical Tony winner tells the story of an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by eliminating the eight pesky relatives in his way. The Hollywood Reporter said the show “restores our faith in musical comedy.” An NPR critic said he “never laughed so hard at a Broadway musical.” The company famously features one actor as all eight — male and female — doomed family members (here that actor is Lawrenceville native James Taylor Odom). Murder had a three-year Broadway run and also won Tonys for direction and costume design. $30-$105.50. Through March 18. 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

James Taylor Odom and Co. in “Gentleman’s Guide.” Photo: Jeremy Daniel

William Luce’s Barrymore. PREVIEWS THURSDAY | OPENS FRIDAY. At the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse. Catch up with idolized stage and screen actor John Barrymore a few months before his 1942 death, as he rehearses a revival of his 1920 Broadway triumph, Richard III. He mostly reminisces about his life, his loves and his alcoholism. Playhouse artistic director Jeffrey Watkins is Barrymore, with Nicholas Faircloth as Frank the Prompter. For mature audiences (profanity, sexual innuendo). Through March 25. $15 previews. Regularly $22-$45. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Pub menu and full bar available. 499 Peachtree St. NE (parking suggested in the Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across the street). Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0.

This weekend only

Stephen Mulligan

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY + SATURDAY. Assistant conductor Stephen Mulligan (who also conducts the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra) leads a program featuring Uzbek pianist Behzod Abduraimov on Prokofiev’s Third Piano Concerto, the Fantasy Overture from Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet and R. Strauss’ Ein Heldenleben, with concertmaster David Coucheron. $22-$97. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Tuesday only

Ben Mitchell (from left), Maggie Birgel, Nicolas Carleo, Allie Southwood. Photo: Dan Carmody / Studio 7

And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank. ONE PERFORMANCE. At Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Anne’s childhood friends Eva Schloss and Ed Silverberg recount their stories via video as actors portray the two, and others, onstage. Schloss describes memories from the day her family — and the Franks — went into hiding and her 15th birthday, when Nazis arrested her family and sent them to concentration camps. The cast: Ben Mitchell, Maggie Birgel, Nicolas Carleo and Allie Southwood. Erin Bushko directs. $10. 7 p.m. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.

Still running

Courtenay Collins (left), Brian Kurlander. Photo: Dan Carmody / Studio 7

A Comedy of Tenors. THROUGH MARCH 18. At Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Fans of playwright Ken Ludwig have waited 30 years for a companion piece to his uber-popular, Tony Award-winning farce Lend Me a Tenor. This go-round, the setting is 1930s Paris, a city awaiting 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. $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

Il Etait Une Fois (Once Upon a Time). THROUGH MARCH 25. A Théâtre du Rêve world premiere written and directed by Carolyn Cook. The piece is inspired by female writers living during the reign of Louis XIV and the stories they crafted in the salons of Paris. Their stories carried subtle but subversive political ideas about the suppression of women’s legal rights, centuries before the #MeToo movement. The cast: Natalie Karp, Eliana Marianes and Jennifer Schottstaedt. In French, with English supertitles. $25; $21 senior citizens; $18 students. 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. 7 Stages Backstage Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

Miss Nelson Is Missing. SATURDAY + MARCH 17. At Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Joan Cushing’s quirky family musical shows what happens when the good-natured Miss Nelson goes missing and her class — the most ill-behaved kids in school — get stuck with the worst substitute teacher ever. Based on the Henry G. Allard book first published in 1977. The cast: Erik Poger Abrahamsen, Shelli Delgado, Robert Lee HindsmanAsia Howard, JD Myers and Angelica K. Spence. Erin Bushko directs. $10. 11 a.m. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. 

Next week

Miguel Harth-Bedoya

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. MARCH 15 + 17. Peruvian maestro Miguel Harth-Bedoya returns for a spirited show of Latin music that includes an Astor Piazzolla concerto for bandoneón (concertina) titled “Aconcagua.” Also on the program: American composer Jimmy López’s Suite from Bel Canto, the opera based on the Ann Patchett novel and seen on PBS; the ASO’s Alcides Rodriguez, usually a clarinetist, on Lorenz’s “Concerto for Maracas”; and Ravel’s Boléro. Ticket holders to both nights’ concerts are invited to a free pre-concert chamber recital at 6:45 p.m. Thursday. $22-$97. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Jessica Assef. Photo: Charlie McCullers / Atlanta Ballet.

Black Swan. MARCH 16-18. Atlanta Ballet performs two works that highlight the legacy and future of dance — the third act of Swan Lake, and Remembrance/Hereafter from emerging Australian choreographer Craig DavidsonSwan Lake Act III features the pivotal moment when Prince Siegfried mistakes the sorcerer’s daughter, Odile, for his beloved Odette. Artistic director Gennadi Nedvigin stages the famous Marius PetipaLev Ivanov choreography. Remembrance/Hereafter is an Atlanta Ballet-commissioned world premiere danced to the music of a live string quartet performing Franz Schubert’s”Death and the Maiden.” $20-$129. 8 p.m. Friday; 2 +  8 p.m. Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.892.3303.

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.

View all posts by Kathy Janich