The best of our curated Best Bets picks this week includes “Hospice + Pointing at the Moon” (Alliance Theatre); the Holocaust-themed “Out of Darkness: Two Remain” (Atlanta Opera); and Out Front Theatre Company’s “Red Ribbon Readings.” Plus. Much. More. Pictured above: Tom Key as Gad Beck (left) and Ben Edquist as Manfred, Beck’s one true love, in “Out of Darkness.” Photo: Scott Hazelton / The Atlanta Opera.

**  INDICATES AN ENCORE ATLANTA WINTER/SPRING SEASON TOP PICK.

Recommended

Terry Burrell (left), Tinashe Kajese-Bolden. Photo: James Barker

** Hospice + Pointing at the Moon. THROUGH APRIL 15. Alliance Theatre. Two one-acts become a single piece of theater in the hands of playwright Pearl Cleage and A-list Atlanta actors Terry Burrell and Tinashe Kajese-Bolden. Hospice dates to 1983; Pointing at the Moon is a world premiere. Both feature the same house in Atlanta’s West End and a character named Jenny Anderson, seen at two stages in her life. The piece wrestles with the complexities of womanhood and how a parent’s love — or a longing for that love — shapes us. $60-$75; $10 teens with high school/middle school ID. 7:30 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Southwest Arts Center915 New Hope Road SW. Details, tickets HERE or 404.733.5000.

[PLAYWRIGHT PEARL CLEAGE: ‘I WONDERED WHAT CHOICES SHE HAD MADE’]

 

Out of Darkness: Two Remain. OPENS THURSDAY. Atlanta Opera. Composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer’s two-act piece centers on Holocaust survivors visited by ghosts of their past. In Act 1, Krystyna shares her survival story with a journalist and is helped by the ghosts of Auschwitz who were inspired by her lyrics. In Act 2, Gad Beck is visited by his first true love, the poet Manfred Lewin, who died in Auschwitz. As Manfred implores Gad to remember and celebrate their love, the truth of their stories and fates emerges. Based in part on the true stories of the Polish dissident Krystyna Zywulska (1914-1993) and Beck (1923-2012), a gay German Jew. General & artistic director Tomer Zvulun directs. $50. 7:30 nightly. Performed in English with English supertitles. Presented in collaboration with Theatrical Outfit at the Outfit’s Balzer Theater at Herren’s downtown, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885

Red Ribbon Readings. FRIDAY-SATURDAY ONLY. Out Front Theatre CompanyStaged readings of three plays from the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. See Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart at 8 p.m. Friday; Harvey Fierstein’s Safe Sex at 2 p.m. Saturday; and Paul Rudnick’s Jeffrey at 8 p.m. Saturday. The readings are a collaboration with Living Room, a housing assistance program for those living with HIV/AIDS. Three-show packages are $50 and $75 (VIP); each reading is $20. 999 Brady Ave. in West Midtown. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.448.2755.

[READ MORE: OUT FRONT BUMPS 18/19 SEASON TO 5 SHOWS]

New this week

Joselin Reyes (from left), Irma Cristancho, Limara Meneses Jimenez. Photo: Up the Hill Productions

El Gran Día de la Madre (The Great Mother’s Day). OPENS FRIDAY. Aurora Theatre. A mother, daughter and granddaughter — all keepers of dark secrets — have a Mother’s Day reckoning in a family mausoleum. Expect multi-generational love, tears and laughs in this comedy from Chile, which next travels to Spain. Part of Teatro Aurora and performed in Spanish with English supertitles. The script is by Chascas y Quintanilla. Daniel Jáquez directs. $20-$30. Through April 29. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. In the Harvel Lab. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. 

This weekend only

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY-FRIDAY. Artistic director Robert Spano conducts. With guest violinist Robert McDuffie. The program: the effervescent May Cause Dizziness by the ASO’s Michael Kurth; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3, “Eroica;” and Leonard Bernstein’s Serenade (after Plato’s Symposium). $12-$87. 8 nightly. Ticket holders for both concerts are invited to attend a chamber concert by the ASO’s 2018 Talent Development Program Aspire Award winners at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Still running

Abby Holland (left), Jennifer Acker. Photo: Greg Mooney

Freaky Friday: A New Musical. THROUGH APRIL 22. Horizon Theatre. When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have just one day to put things right again before mom’s big wedding. The new musical is based on the Mary Rodgers novel and Disney movies. The score comes from Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to NormalIf/Then). Director Heidi Cline McKerley’s cast includes Jennifer Alice AckerRandi Garza, Jill Hames, Christian Magby and Juan Carlos Unzueta. $25-$45. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Friday; 3 + 8:30 p.m. Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1083 Austin Ave. NE at Euclid Avenue (Inman Park + Little Five Points). Free parking. Details tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

Dr. Seuss’ The Cat in the Hat. THROUGH MAY 13. Center for Puppetry Arts. It’s fun to have fun, but you have to know how, says the sassy cat in the red-and-white hat. He’s feline full of mischief (and magic) in this stage telling, done with rod puppets and based on the 1957 children’s book by Theodor Geisel, aka Dr. Seuss. This version was first produced by the National Theatre of Great Britain. The center’s Jon Ludwig directs. For ages 4 and up. $11.25-$19.50. 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 Little Mermaid. THROUGH APRIL 22. Go under the sea (or at least lakeside) with Serenbe Playhouse in Chattahoochee Hills. All Serenbe shows are outdoors and site-specific, so Ariel and Prince Eric, Flounder, Flotsam, Jetsam and the rest will spin their musical tale at the Grange Lake. The Tony Award-nominated score includes “Part of Your World,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls” and, of course, “Under the Sea.” Miss Saigon‘s Niki Badua and Chase Peacock return as Ariel and Eric, with Deborah Bowman (Cabaret) as the deliciously evil sea witch Ursula. Look closely at the set: It’s made entirely of recyclables. $30-$43. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets, directions HERE or at 770.463.1110. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com

Anthony P. Rodriguez

Love’s Labours Lost. THROUGH APRIL 22. Shakespeare Tavern PlayhouseCan four young men honor their pledge to avoid the opposite sex, food, drink and sleep for the sake of becoming more intellectual and contemplative? Not in Shakespeare’s comedic universe, especially when four young women arrive on the scene. The 17-person cast includes Chris Hecke, Cory Phelps, J.L. Reed, Seun Soyemi and Anthony P. Rodriguez, Aurora Theatre’s artistic director, as Don Armado, among others. Jaclyn Hofmann directs. $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.

Next week

Conrad Tao

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY + SATURDAY. Guest conductor Christian Arming and 23-year-old American pianist/composer Conrad Tao (YouTube, Tumblr, Twitter) join the ASO for Janáček’s Taras Bulba, Shostakovich’s Piano Concerto No. 1 and Dvořák’s stormy Symphony No. 1. Arming, an Austrian conductor, is music director of Belgium’s Orchestre Philharmonique Royal de Liège. $22-$97. 8 nightly. Saturday’s concert is Atlanta PRIDE Night. Use the promo code ATLPRIDE for concert tickets plus a post-concert reception. Part of the proceeds benefits Atlanta Pride. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

** Ripe Frenzy. OPENS APRIL 13. Synchronicity TheatreThis world premiere by Jennifer Barclay won the National New Play Network’s 2016 Smith Prize for Political Theater. It tells the story of a mass shooting in a small American town from multiple points of view and through the lens of Thornton Wilder’s classic play Our Town. Barclay examines all sides of a tragedy that has ruptured the spirit of this community. Community conversations follow each performance. The cast: Taylor M. Dooley (Aurora Theatre’s Burnpile); Megan Cramer (Georgia Shakespeare back in the day); Danyé Evonne; Parker Fox Ciliax; and Lizzy Liu. Rachel May directs. $27-$31 (previews cheaper; swanky seat upgrades available). Through May 6. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. Synchronicity Theatre in Midtown’s One Peachtree Pointe building, 1545 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.484.8636.

Stanton Welch

Tu Tu & More. APRIL 13-15. Atlanta Ballet. Three works spotlight the range of dance today: Blink, a world premiere by former Atlanta Ballet dancer Tara Lee, a founder of the new Terminus Modern Ballet TheatreMinus 16 by frequent collaborator and Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin; and the Atlanta Ballet premiere of Tu Tu, promising a highly stylized classical work with a twist (choreography by frequent collaborator Stanton Welch, music by Maurice Ravel). $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. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

[A NEW ‘NUT,’ BIG NAMES FOR ATLANTA BALLET IN 18/19]

 Coming up

** The Flower Room. PREVIEWS APRIL 18-20 | OPENS APRIL 21. Actor’s Express. World premiere. Atlanta playwright Daryl Lisa Fazio’s comedy follows Ingrid (Stacy Melich), an uptight academic who researches sexual behavior in primitive cultures while remaining completely closed off from her own sexual self. When she loses her university job, she writes erotica to pay the bills — unleashing her own journey of, well, discovery. Express regular Melissa Foulger directs a cast that includes Matthew Busch (The Thrush and the Woodpecker), Eliana Marianes and Joshua Quinn. $31-$44 (previews cheaper, opening night most expensive). Through May 13. King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

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