The opening of “Ripe Frenzy,” a world premiere at Synchronicity Theatre, tops this week’s curated BEST BETS. Joining it are “Hospice + Pointing at the Moon” (Alliance Theatre) and “Out of Darkness: Two Remain” (Atlanta Opera), both in their final days. This weekend only:  Atlanta Ballet’s “Tu Tu & More.” Pictured: Parker Fox Ciliax (left) and Taylor M. Dooley in “Ripe Frenzy.” Photo by Maddie Mahood.

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

Recommended

** Hospice + Pointing at the Moon. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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. 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’]

 

Maria Kanyova as the Polish dissident. Photo: Jeff Roffman

Out of Darkness: Two Remain. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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 spirits of Auschwitz who were inspired by her lyrics. In Act 2, Gad Beck (Tom Key) is visited by his first true love, the poet Manfred Lewin (Ben Endquist), 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 Polish dissident Krystyna Zywulska (1914-1993) and Beck (1923-2012), a gay German Jew. General & artistic director Tomer Zvulun directs. $50. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Sunday. Performed in English with English supertitles and 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.

Danyé Evonne (from left), Taylor M. Dooley, Megan Cramer. Photo: Jerry Siegel

** Ripe Frenzy. OPENS FRIDAY. 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. “It’s about what got us here,” says director Rachel May. “And what we do afterward.” 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. $27-$31 ($10 preview at 8 p.m. Thursday; 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.

This weekend only

Christian Arming

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. Some proceeds benefit Atlanta Pride. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

[MORE BERNSTEIN, BEETHOVEN + BISS FOR ASO IN 18/19]

 

Ohad Naharin

Tu Tu & More. FRIDAY-SUNDAY. 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]

Still running

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.

El Gran Día de la Madre (The Great Mother’s Day). THROUGH APRIL 29. Aurora Theatre. A mother, daughter and granddaughter — all keepers of dark secrets — have a Mother’s Day reckoning in a family mausoleum. Expect multigenerational 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. 8 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. In Aurora’s Harvel Lab. Free, covered, attached parking in city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222. 

Freaky Friday: A New Musical. THROUGH APRIL 22. Horizon Theatre. When an overworked mother and her teenage daughter magically swap bodies, they have one day to put things right again before Mom’s big wedding. The musical is based on the Mary Rodgers novel and the 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.

Randi Garza (center) and the “Freaky Friday” ensemble. Photo: Greg Mooney
India S. Tyree as Sebastian. S/he’s a crab. Photo: BreeAnne Clowdus

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. Note: Beachfront seats have been added to previously sold-out performances. Details, tickets, directions HERE or at 770.463.1110.

Corey Phelps (from left), Seun Soyemi, Chris Hecke, J.L. Reed.

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, as Don Armado, Anthony P. Rodriguez, Aurora Theatre’s artistic director. 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

Nicola Benedetti

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. APRIL 19 + 21. Scottish violinist Nicola Benedetti joins the ASO for Beethoven’s “monumental” Violin Concerto, a piece she says is a favorite, calling it “tender, and sensitive, and intimate.” The program, conducted by Matthias Pintscher, includes his Ex nihilo and Brahms Symphony No. 2. Pintscher is in his fifth season as music director of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, a world-renowned, Paris-based ensemble dedicated to contemporary chamber music. He also is principal conductor of the Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra in Switzerland. $32-$108. 8 nightly (all ticket holders are invited to attend a 6:45 p.m. chamber recital in Symphony Hall on April 19). Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Stacy Melich, and friends. Photo: Chris Bartelski

** The Flower Room. PREVIEWS APRIL 18-20 | OPENS APRIL 21. Actor’s Express. World premiere. Atlanta playwright Daryl Lisa Fazio’s comedy follows an uptight academic named Ingrid (Stacy Melich), who researches sexual behavior in primitive cultures while remaining closed off from her own sexual side. 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.

 Coming up

Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. APRIL 26-MAY 13. 7 Stages. British playwright Alice Birch’s 2014 script has a way of making you question everything you say when it comes to discussing women and their relationships with men, one another and the world. 7 Stages says it decided to produce Revolt  “to address the urgent mood in our community and nation surrounding issues of women’s rights and systemic prejudice.” Atlanta-based theater artist Rachel Parish directs. Her cast: Dorothy Victoria Bell-Polk, Christopher Hampton, Renita JamesBrooke OwensMary Lynn Owen and Patrick Wade. On the mainstage. $22.50-$28. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.

[WHY ‘REVOLT’ AND WHY NOW AT 7 STAGES]

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