WELCOME TO OUR weekly curated column. Last chance for Moonlight and Magnolias, Catalyst Arts opens K2 this weekend, and Waitress is coming in February! Feature photo shows Candy McLellan, Parris Sarter, Isake Akanke from the cast of An Octoroon, opening at Actor’s Express this weekend. Photo by Kevin Harry.
An Octoroon. Runs January 26 – February 24. Actor’s Express. An imaginative new work from Branden Jacobs-Jenkins (2016’s Appropriate) turns 19th-century melodrama on its ear. The script, which won off-Broadway’s 2014 Obie Award for best new play, puts the antebellum South on a collision course with 21st-century cultural politics. Trouble has been brewing at the Terrebonne Plantation ever since Judge Peyton died. Money is low, an evil overseer is up to no good, and the heir to the estate is in love with the wrong person. Jacobs-Jenkins, 33, is a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grantee and has twice been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Donya K. Washington, an Alliance Theatre producer, directs. Her cast of 11 includes Isake Akanke (Cardboard Piano), Neal A. Ghant (The Motherf**ker With the Hat) and Parris Sarter (Angels in America). $20-$50 and subject to change based on demand. 8 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.607.7469. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com.
Ever After. Through February 17. Alliance Theatre. This musical update on the Cinderella story christens the Alliance Theatre’s new mainstage, the Coca-Cola Stage. The show is based on the 1998 Drew Barrymore movie (and the original 1729 fairy tale). Follow a young woman named Danielle de Barbarac, who risks everything to save a friend. With the help of Leonardo da Vinci (yes, da Vinci), she must decide who she is, what she’ll fight for and how far she’ll go for love. The show comes from the award-winning New York songwriting team of Zina Goldrich (music) and Marcy Heisler (book and lyrics). Alliance artistic director Susan V. Booth directs. Her 30-person cast is led by Broadway regulars Sierra Boggess (The Little Mermaid, School of Rock); Tony Award nominee David Garrison (A Day in Hollywood/A Night in the Ukraine); Jeff McCarthy (Urinetown, Side Show); and Rachel York (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Head Over Heels). Also in the cast: Atlanta-based artists Terry Burrell (Ethel, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill), Chris Kayser (Alliance, Georgia Shakespeare) and Rhyn McLemore Saver. We smell Broadway aspirations. $25 and up. Through Feb. 17. 7:30 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday; 8 p.m. Friday; 2:30 + 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2:30 + 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Also at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 15 + 29. No shows Feb. 3. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE. Details, tickets HERE or at 404.733.5000.
Opening this weekend
K2. Runs January 25 – February 9. Catalyst Arts Atlanta at The Bakery Atlanta. Two climbers are stranded at 27,000 feet on their descent from an expedition to the peak of the world’s second-highest mountain. One has a broken leg; the other is trying to recover a lost rope. Playwright Patrick Meyers’ drama uses mountain climbing as a metaphor to explore a deeper theme: the recognition that human beings are free to choose whether they will live or die and do so calmly and objectively, even under the most severe conditions. The cast: Joel Coady and Dan Ford. Barrett Doyle directs. Catalyst, a six-person collective of Atlanta-based artists, storytellers, performers, designers, musicians, craftspeople and filmmakers, stages the piece in an immersive format that includes wandering through a snow-covered base camp in which sherpa tea will be served, a camp speakeasy for drinks and a cliffside environment. $15-$25 plus fees. 8 p.m. Monday and Thursday-Saturday; 2:30 p.m. Sunday. In the Hangar space at The Bakery Atlanta, 825 Warner St. SW. Details, tickets HERE.
Dead Man Walking. Runs February 2 – 10. The Atlanta Opera. Originally performed at the San Francisco Opera in 2000, this gut-wrenching show is based on the book “Dead Man Walking” by Sister Helen Prejean. Though Sister Helen has worked extensively to both campaign against the death penalty and to provide spiritual guidance to death row inmates, the show you will see at the Atlanta Opera’s John A. Williams Theatre portrays simply the story of “Dead Man Walking” – Sister Helen’s experience as spiritual advisor to Joseph de Rocher, a murderer on death row, until the time of his death. Composer Jake Heggie and librettist Terrence McNally bring the audience from the introduction of Sister Helen and Joseph through the development of their relationship to their final goodbye. Starring superstar mezzo-soprano and Georgia native Jamie Barton as Sister Helen and Michael Mayes as de Rocher, this show is sure to stir souls.
Waitress. Runs February 5 – 10. Broadway in Atlanta at the Fox Theatre. While audiences may already be familiar with the story from Adrienne Shelly‘s film that inspired Waitress, they have yet to experience the delight of how Sara Bareilles’ original music brings the beloved characters to life on stage. In fact, the whole world of Waitress, developed by the groundbreaking all-female creative team, is a joy to experience. The story’s heroine, Jenna, is a bona fide pie expert, putting her recipes to use to both celebrate life’s pleasures and to possibly sweeten life’s sadness. With the help of her friends, Jenna will make big decisions, bravely face challenges, and conjure the courage to seek a fresh start. Tickets are already available for this heartwarming show, find more information HERE.
Moonlight & Magnolias. Through January 27. Georgia Ensemble Theatre. Frankly, my dear, it almost didn’t happen. Playwright Ron Hutchinson’s 2004 inside-Hollywood farce peeks behind the camera as producer-screenwriter David O. Selznick, director Victor Fleming and screenwriter Ben Hecht lock themselves in an office with a five-day supply of peanuts and bananas trying to rescue a disastrous 1939 movie. The title: Gone With the Wind. Great cast: William S. Murphey is Selznick, Bart Hansard is Fleming, and Googie Uterhardt is Hecht. All are Atlanta actors. Note: Contains mature language and content. Find ticket details, tickets HERE or at 770.641.1260. Discount tickets at PoshDealz.com