Steve Yockey’s sexy-scary “Reykjavik” continues at Actor’s Express, “The Royale” throws its last punch at Theatrical Outfit, the ASO takes on Mahler’s majestic 10th Symphony and The Atlanta Opera dances and sings its way through “West Side Story.” All this + more in this week’s curated column. (“West Side Story” photo by Lynn Lane.)

Top picks

Joe Sykes (left), Michael Vine. Photo: Casey Gardner

Reykjavik. THROUGH NOV. 18. Reykjavik at Actor’s Express unfolds beneath the otherworldly glow of the Northern Lights, where tourists and locals mingle in the shadows of Iceland’s capital city. As told by Los Angeles-based playwright Steve Yockey, an Atlanta favorite with a strong national reputation, eight interconnected vignettes play out. We eavesdrop on lovers, siblings, hotel employees, sex workers and even some opinionated birds. In true Yockey style (Pluto, Wolves, Octopus), this collision of sex and danger introduces a world in which the supernatural is closer than we think. The six-person cast is directed by frequent Express (and Yockey) collaborator Melissa Foulger and features such familiar faces as Stephanie Friedman, Eliana Marianes, Joe Sykes and Ben Thorpe (Alliance Theatre’s Hand to God). This is a National New Play Network rolling world premiere. $33-$35 and subject to change based on demand. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at

Rob Cleveland (left), Garrett Turner, Brian Kurlander. Photo: Casey Gardner

The Royale. CLOSES SUNDAY. At Theatrical Outfit. Playwright Marco Ramirez takes a stylized, blazingly theatrical look at the segregated world of boxing at the turn of the 20th century. The New York Times called his piece “original and graceful.” The 2013 drama is loosely based on the life of Jack Johnson, the first black world heavyweight champion (fictionalized in the 1968 Pulitzer-winning drama The Great White Hope, which made James Earl Jones a star). We hear theatergoers are going back more than once to see this drama. Patdro Harris (Fly, Nina Simone) directs. His cast: Garrett Turner as Jay “The Sport” Jackson, Cynthia D. Barker, Marlon Burnley, Rob Cleveland and Brian Kurlander. $18-$51 plus fees. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. The Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW (two blocks from the Peachtree Center MARTA station). Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500.

This weekend only

Gustav Mahler

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY + SATURDAY. Principal guest conductor Donald Runnicles returns to the podium for Austro-Bohemian composer Gustav Mahler’s majestic 10th Symphony. When Mahler (1860-1911) died, only his widow knew of this unfinished work, but its tragic melodies, shape and substance were all on paper waiting to be completed. Hear the composer’s swan song as realized by British musicologist Deryck Cooke (1919-1976). $19-$69. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Last chance

Matt Nitchie

Macbeth. CLOSES SUNDAY. This brief Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse staging casts Matt Nitchie in the title role. One fateful evening, three weird sisters greet Macbeth and Banquo with visions of what could be. Do their magical prophecies lead to blood-curdling, murderous and tragic events in Scotland? Or are Macbeth and his power-hungry wife to blame? Dani Herd is Lady Macbeth. $22-$45. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 6:30 p.m. Sunday. Pub menu and spirited beverages available. 499 Peachtree St. NE. Parking recommended in Emory University Hospital Midtown deck across Peachtree Street. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.874.5299, Ext. 0. Discount Tavern gift cards at

Opening this week

Chris Harding (left), Eric Lang. Photo: Marcus Geduld

Not About Heroes. PREVIEWS THURSDAY. OPENS FRIDAY. Arís Theatre commemorates the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I with this story of friendship between a shell-shocked British soldier and a famous poet. Wilfred Owen is 24 when he meets poet, protester and soldier Siegfried Sassoon at Scotland’s Craiglockhart War Hospital. Their mutual love of words and disillusionment with war draws them together. The script is by British playwright Stephen MacDonald (1933-2009). Chris Harding is Owen; Eric Lang is Sassoon. Both are Atlanta-based actors. Frank Miller, a longtime theater lecturer at Georgia State University, directs. $18-$28. Through Nov. 18. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 7 Stages BackStage space, 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Tickets HERE.

Andrew Bidlack (from left), Vanessa Becerra and DJ Petrosino sing Tony, Maria and Bernardo.

West Side Story. OPENS SATURDAY. The Atlanta Opera presents the American musical classic by Leonard Bernstein, Jerome Robbins, Arthur Laurents and Stephen Sondheim about battling gangs in 1950s New York. The score is indelible — “Maria,” “Tonight,” “America,” “Cool,” “I Feel Pretty” and “Somewhere,” among others. American soprano Vanessa Becerra is Maria, with American tenor Andrew Bidlack as Tony, American baritone Brian Vu as Riff and DJ Petrosino as Bernardo, a role he performed in August at The Bernstein Centennial Celebration at Tanglewood Music Center in Massachusetts. Internationally recognized director Francesca Zambello directs. Sung in English with English supertitles. $43-$139. 8 p.m. Nov. 3, 9 + 10; 7:30 p.m. Nov. 6; and 3 p.m. Nov. 11. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.881.8885.


Still running

Robert Lee Hindsman

The Edgar Allan Poe Experience. THROUGH OCT. 31. At the Wren’s Nest, in collaboration with Brian Clowdus Experiences. Venture through one of Atlanta’s most historic homes with this immersive event and become part of some of Poe’s most thrillingly famous tales, including The Raven, The Tell-Tale Heart and The Fall of the House of Usher. The actors: Truman Griffin, Robert Lee Hindsman, Courtney Locke, Shannon McCarren and Skye Passmore. $40-$45. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday + Sunday; 8 + 10 p.m. Friday-Saturday. The Wren’s Nest, now a cultural center and once the home of Uncle Remus and Brer Rabbit creator Joel Chandler Harris (1848-1908), preserves his legacy and the heritage of African-American folklore through storytelling, tours and student publishing. 1050 Ralph D. Abernathy Blvd. SW. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.753.7735.

Jennifer Levison. Photo: Casey Gardner

I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti. THROUGH NOV. 11. Georgia Ensemble Theatre in Roswell presents this one-woman romantic comedy with live, onstage cooking (eight audience members can sit onstage and dine as the show progresses). The piece is based on the 2009 book I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti: A Memoir of Good Food and Bad Boyfriends by Giulia Melucci. The comedy has been described as “a foodie’s dream version of ‘Sex and the City.'” Atlanta actor Jennifer Levison, perhaps better known for her Souper Jenny restaurants, is the lone cast member. Rachel May, Synchronicity Theatre artistic director, directs. $26-$42. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday; 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 4 p.m. Nov. 3 + 10. GET performs in the Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 959 Forrest St. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at

The Sleepy Hollow Experience. THROUGH NOV. 11. The Headless Horseman rides again as Serenbe Playhouse presents a sixth season of its outdoor fright fest. Washington Irving’s 1820 horror story follows schoolmaster Ichabod Crane and his efforts to win the heart of Katrina Van Tassel. This year’s show is a new adaptation by artistic director Brian Clowdus. The cast: Erik Poger Abrahamsen, Erin Burnett, Jeremy Gee, Anna Lanier, Jordan Patrick and Madison Welch. $30-$45 (rain insurance available). 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 + 10:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday. Family-friendly stagings at 2 p.m. Saturday-Sunday include fall festival events before the show and at intermission. Note: Tickets have been added to previously sold-out performances. Done in the Horseman’s Meadow. Most Serenbe shows require a walk along a path that can be muddy. Appropriate footwear suggested. This is a traveling show, without seating. For mobility assistance (parking, accessibility cart, chairs, etc.), contact the box office. 9110 Selborne Lane in Chattahoochee Hills. Details, tickets HERE or at 770.463.1110.

Kyle Larkins (left), Tony Hayes. Photo: Tyler Ogburn Photography

The View Upstairs. THROUGH NOV. 10. At Out Front Theatre Company. The 2017 off-Broadway musical follows a young fashion designer (Kyle Larkins) in modern-day New Orleans. When he buys an abandoned building in the French Quarter, he’s transported to the UpStairs Lounge, a vibrant 1970s gay bar where a forgotten community comes to life. The piece recalls the 1973 arson attack at the Big Easy’s real-life UpStairs Lounge, which killed 32. Paul Conroy, Out Front’s founder and artistic director, directs. His cast includes Justin Dilley, Tony Hayes, Felicia Hernandez, Quinn Xavier Hernandez, Keena Redding Hunt, Trevor Perry, Jamie Smith, John Henry Ward and Byron Wigfall. $25. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday. 999 Brady Ave. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.448.2755. Discount tickets at

Next week

Terminus Modern Ballet Theatre. NOV. 9-11. Translation, a world premiere, is described as an immersive dance work by Atlanta native Troy Schumacher, a soloist and New York City Ballet choreographer. The living art installation is designed to lead audiences on a sensory journey. These performances expand on Schumacher’s 2017 version of the piece. TMBT, as the company is known, was founded a year ago by five former Atlanta Ballet principal dancers with a combined 85 years of professional experience — Christian Clark, Heath Gill, Tara Lee, Rachel Van Buskirk and John Welker. Their mission: mixing ballet and modern styles to create new theatrical dance. $35-$40. 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. Saturday; 2 + 8 p.m. Sunday (Saturday night performance sold out). Westside Cultural Arts Center, 760 10th St. NW. Details, tickets HERE.

Coming up

Christmas Canteen. NOV. 15-DEC. 23. We know you’re still  working through your Halloween candy stash, but this original Aurora Theatre holiday revue — now in its 23rd season — sells very quickly, so don’t delay. A singing, dancing cast of eight channels the golden days of TV Christmas specials (think Bing Crosby and Andy Williams) and mixes in a few contemporary moves to create a show that will have you glowing with the magic of the season. Ricardo Aponte and Anthony P. Rodriguez co-direct. Aponte also choreographs, with musical direction by Ann-Carol Pence. This year’s merrymakers are Galen Crawley, Jimi Kocina, Christian Magby, Kristin Markiton, Chani Masionet, Kenny Tran, Cecil Washington Jr. and Briana Young. $30 and up; $20 and up for Tuesday morning matinees. 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 10 a.m. matinees Nov. 27, Dec. 11 + Dec. 18. Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

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.

View all posts by Kathy Janich