“Knead,” an Alliance Theatre world premiere, runs on, as does Aurora Theatre’s festive “Christmas Canteen;” Steve Yockey’s bloody-fun-smart “Reykjavik” (Actor’s Express) and “Dry Land” (Atlanta Theatre Club) close; and the ASO does Tchaikovsky and Theofanidis. Details on these and more in this week’s curated column. Pictured: Mary Lynn Owen in “Knead.” Photo by Greg Mooney.

Top picks

Mary Lynn Owen

Knead. THROUGH DEC. 9. An Alliance Theatre world premiere. In the wee hours, a woman attempts to bake bread from her mother’s incomprehensible recipe. But the ingredients of time and memory keep interfering, and the bread-baking process — the kneading, rising, shaping and baking, all in real time — becomes a journey into unpredictability. Bread will be baked and, perhaps, shared. Two-time Suzi Bass Award-winning actor Mary Lynn Owen wrote the one-person script, her first, and plays the woman. Knead was developed in the Alliance’s Reiser Atlanta Artists Lab and was a semifinalist for the important O’Neill National Playwrights Conference in Waterford, Conn. David de Vries directs. Recommended for age 14 and up. $45; $10 teens. 7:30 p.m. Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. No show Thanksgiving Day. Hertz Stage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

[MORE: HOW A PLAYWRIGHT RISES]

 

Not About Heroes. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. 7 Stages BackStage space, 1105 Euclid Ave. NE. Tickets HERE.

Ben Thorpe (top), Michael Vine. Photo: Casey Gardner

Reykjavik. CLOSES SUNDAY. 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 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, a pretty big deal. $35 and subject to change based on demand. 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

This weekend only

Christopher Theofanidis

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. THURSDAY + SATURDAY. Music director Robert Spano returns to the podium to lead Symphony No. 1 by Christopher Theofanidis and Tchaikovsky’s famously difficult Piano Concerto No. 1 (with guest artist Louis Lortie). Theofanidis, who has a long history with the ASO, is a professor at Yale and composer-in-residence and co-director of the composition program at the Aspen Music Festival in Colorado. Lortie, a French-Canadian pianist, is the master in residence at the Queen Elisabeth Music Chapel of Brussels. $19-$79. 8 nightly. Symphony Hall, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.

Last chance

Melissa McGrath (left), Samantha Binkerd. Photo: Casey Gardner

Dry Land. CLOSES SUNDAY. A regional premiere worth a look. Atlanta Theatre Club, a newish, female-driven theater company, does contemporary work that hasn’t been seen in the metro area before. Dry Land — a visceral play about abortion, female friendship, resiliency and what happens when Ester (Samantha Binkerd) and Amy (Melissa McGrath) are left alone in a locker room — was written in 2014, when playwright Ruby Rae Spiegel was a student at Yale. Ester is a swimmer trying to stay afloat. Amy is curled up on the floor. Contains adult content. Rebeca Robles, an actor-director-producer who founded the company, directs. $35 plus fees ($17.50 for artists). 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; 7 p.m. Sunday. Windmill Arts Center, 2823 Church St., East Point. Details HERE. Tickets (via Brown Paper Tickets) HERE

Jeff Watkins

A Man for All Seasons. CLOSES SUNDAY. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse concludes its 11-performance run of the 1960 Robert Bolt drama about the fatal struggle between King Henry VIII of England and his lord chancellor, Sir Thomas More. They clash over issues of religion, power and conscience. Artistic director Jeff Watkins as More and Troy Willis as Henry VIII lead a cast of 13. $22-$45. Shows at 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday; and 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 PoshDealz.com.

Holiday shows

The 2017 cast of Aurora Theatre’s “Christmas Canteen.” Photo: Chris Bartelski

Christmas Canteen. THROUGH DEC. 23. Christmas arrives before Thanksgiving at Aurora Theatre, which stages its 23rd original holiday revue. This show sells quickly, so if you’re interested, 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, who also performs. 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 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. Limited Thanksgiving week performances. Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

Jonathan Horne and Amelia Fischer return as Arthur and Mary. Photo: David Woolf

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley. BEGINS NOV. 21. Theatrical Outfit reprises its 2017 holiday hit with a script by Decatur-born, San Francisco-based playwright Lauren Gunderson and colleague Margot Melcon. This romantic and witty sequel to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice focuses on socially awkward sister Mary and a potential romantic entanglement. Well-known Atlanta theater artist Carolyn Cook directs. Amelia Fischer and Jonathan Horne return as Mary Bennet and Arthur De Bourgh, as do Devon Hales and Juan Carlos Unzueta. New to the cast are Stephanie Friedman, Jeanette Illidge, Jasmine Thomas and Justin Walker. $18-$51 plus fees. Through Dec. 23. Previews at 2:30 p.m. Nov. 21 + 24 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 23. Opens at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 24. Regularly at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 11 a.m. Nov. 29, Dec. 13 + Dec. 20. No show Thanksgiving Day. The Outfit performs at the Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.528.1500. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.

Jeremy Aggers. Photo: Chris Bartelski

This Wonderful Life. OPENS NOV. 24. This one-man version of the Jimmy Stewart film classic is new to Aurora Theatre’s holiday lineup. It features Jeremy Aggers (Singles in Architecture, Hands on a Hardbody) as, well, everybody — George Bailey, Clarence, Mr. Potter, Uncle Billy, Mary, Mr. Gower and even Zuzu. The script is by playwright Steve Murray (a name you might know from his days as an Atlanta Journal-Constitution critic). In repertory with the company’s one-man Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (featuring producing artistic director Anthony P. Rodriguez). Associate artistic director Justin Anderson directs. $20. Performances at 8 p.m. Nov. 24 and Dec. 1, 5, 13, 15, 18, 20 + 22; 2:30 p.m. Nov. 25 and Dec. 1, 8, 16 + 23. Aurora offers free, covered, attached parking in a city deck at 153 E. Crogan St. Details, tickets HERE or at 678.226.6222.

Waffle Palace Christmas. BEGINS NOV. 15. Horizon Theatre has retired Crumpet and The Santaland Diaries in favor of this world premiere, a sequel of sorts to Waffle Palace, the Larry LarsonEddie Levi Lee comedy it developed and staged thrice. The vintage, once-endangered Waffle Palace is now thriving as part of a modern multi-use complex. As the holiday season arrives, the staff is adjusting to new roles, an inexperienced employee and quirky regulars. Four cast members return: Lala CochranAllan EdwardsMarguerite Hannah and Maria Rodriguez-Sager. The newcomers are Jennifer Alice AckerRob ClevelandBarry Stolze and Markell Williams. Co-artistic director Lisa Adler directs. Tickets begin at $30 on weeknights, $35 on weekends plus fees and are subject to change based on demand. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday. Additional shows at 8 p.m. Nov. 20 and Dec. 4, 11 + 18. Matinees at 11 a.m. Dec. 6, 13 + 19. Free parking. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.584.7450.

ALSO FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, running through Dec. 30 at the Center for Puppetry Arts; Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, opening Nov. 23 at Aurora Theatre; Invasion Christmas Carol, opening Nov. 23 at Dad’s GarageIrving Berlin’s White Christmas, running Nov. 27-Dec. 8 at the Fox Theatre; The Snow Queen, beginning Nov. 28 at Serenbe PlayhouseA Nice Family Christmas, opening Nov. 29 at Stage Door Players; Curious Holiday Encounters, running Dec. 6-9 at 7 StagesThe Ethel Merman Disco Christmas Spectacular, running Dec. 6-22 at Out Front Theatre CompanyElf the Musical, opening Dec. 7 at City Springs Theatre Company; A Year With Frog and Toad, opening Dec. 7 at Synchronicity TheatreAtlanta Ballet’s new production of The Nutcracker, opening Dec. 8 at the Fox Theatre; the Alliance Theatre’s A Christmas Carol, opening Dec. 12 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre; and Ho, Ho, Home for the Holidays and a Connie Sue Day Christmas, opening Dec. 14 at Actor’s Express.

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