Topping this week’s curated BEST BETS column are the world premieres of “The Flower Room” at Actor’s Express and “Ripe Frenzy” at Synchronicity, plus 7 Stages’ timely “Revolt” and The Atlanta Opera’s “Carmen.” Plus. Much. More. Pictured: A scene from Bizet’s “Carmen,” onstage this weekend and next at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center. Photo: The Atlanta Opera.



Eliana Marianes

** The Flower Room. THROUGH MAY 13. 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 turns to writing 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. King Plow Arts Center, 887 West Marietta St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at

Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again. OPENS THURSDAY. 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 (a two-time Suzi Bass Award winner) and Patrick Wade. On the mainstage. $22.50-$28. Through May 13. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 5 p.m. Sunday. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.523.7647.


Parker Fox Ciliax, Taylor M. Dooley. Photo: Jerry Siegel

** Ripe Frenzy. THROUGH MAY 6. Synchronicity TheatreThis world premiere by Jennifer Barclay won the National New Play Network’s 2016 Smith Prize for Political Theater. It tells the before and after 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); Danyé Brown; Megan Cramer (Georgia Shakespeare, back in the day); Parker Fox Ciliax; and Lizzy Liu. $27-$31 (swanky seat upgrades available). 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.

Opening this week

Carmen. OPENS SATURDAY. The Atlanta OperaGeorges Bizet’s opéra comique might be the most beloved opera of all time. It tracks the downfall of Don José, a naïve soldier seduced by a Gypsy. Its story was groundbreaking — and controversial — in the 19th century. Franco-Armenian mezzo-soprano Varduhi Abrahamyan sings Carmen. Italian tenor Gianluca Terranova, seen as Rodolfo in Atlanta Opera’s La bohème, sings Don José. Carmen was last seen in Atlanta in 2012 and played to sold-out houses. It’s sung in French with English supertitles. $50-$156. 8 p.m. Saturday + May 4; 7:30 p.m. May 1; and 3 p.m. May 6. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, 


Lazybed. PREVIEWS THURSDAY | OPENS FRIDAY. Arís!, Atlanta’s stage for Celtic culture, takes on Scottish playwright Iain Crichton Smith’s dark philosophical comedy about a man in the midst of a metaphysical crisis, essentially a meditation on life, death, love and the meaning of all we hold dear. Murdo, the man in question, is a Scottish crofter (farmer) who has taken to his bed. While he malingers, he’s visited by his brother, his gossipy neighbor, his girlfriend, an insurance salesman, a minister, a medical specialist, Immanuel Kant and Death — who keeps stopping by to chat. Kyle Crew directs. $23-$28 (Thursday preview is $18). Through May 13. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 7 Stages Back Stage Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Details, tickets HERE.

Lee Osorio

The Life and Death of Richard the Second. IN PREVIEWS | OPENS SATURDAY. In this Shakespeare history play, King Richard (Lee Osorio) lies and steals his way to riches in order to finance his invasion of Irish lands but is taken down by Henry Bolingbroke (Maurice Ralston) and the Earl of Northumberland (Al Stilo) and imprisoned, leading to the crowning of King Henry IV. Also in the cast: J. Tony Brown, Chris Hecke, Heidi Cline McKerley and Tamil Periasamy. $21-$42 ($15 preview Thursday; $20 preview Friday). Through May 13. 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

Carlo Rizzi

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY-SUNDAY. Italian conductor Carlo Rizzi leads the ASO in a program featuring Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 1, “Classical”; Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2; and Mozart’s Oboe Concerto. The latter is performed by the symphony’s principal oboist, Elizabeth Koch Tiscione, who joined the ASO in the 2007/08 season. $22-$102. 8 p.m. Thursday + Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.


Last chance

Ethan Ray Parker (from left), Jeremy Aggers, Ricardo Aponte. Photo: Dan Carmody / Studio 7

Buddy — The Buddy Holly Story. CLOSES SUNDAY. Making another return to Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Tells the story of Holly’s meteoric rise to fame, from the moment in 1957 when “That’ll Be The Day” hit the radio until his death less than two years later. The show features more than 20 of his greatest hits, including “That’ll Be The Day,” “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” “Oh Boy,” etc., plus Ritchie Valens’ “La Bamba” and the Big Bopper’s “Chantilly Lace.” Jeremy Aggers (Edward Foote at the Alliance) makes his GET debut as Holly, with Ricardo Aponte (who directs) as Valens and Ethan Ray Parker as the Big Bopper. $33-$43. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 950 Forrest St., Roswell. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260.

Joselin Reyes. Photo: Casey Gardner

El Gran Día de la Madre (The Great Mother’s Day). CLOSES SUNDAY. 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. 

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 here. For age 4 and up. $11.25-$19.50. Showtimes: 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.

About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich 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.

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