WELCOME TO OUR weekly curated column. Feature photo: This weekend, Piedmont Park welcomes the Atlanta Jazz Festival, a culmination of a full month of performances and programs. Photo from the Atlanta Jazz Festival Facebook page.
On the stage
Native Gardens. Through June 2. Aurora Theatre. Based in a historic Washington D.C. neighborhood, two couples who are next-door neighbors battle for their backyards. Each wants a completely different landscape than the other. Native Gardens is on American Theatre’s Top 10 Most Produced Plays of the 2018-19 season list. In addition, playwright Karen Zacaría is fifth on American Theatre’s Top 20 Most-Produced Playwrights of 2018-19. Full of thoroughly-researched horticulture references, on-stage partially-real gardens, and realistic neighborly conflict, Native Gardens is sure to challenge, delight, and humor audiences! Tickets and info on the Aurora Theatre website.
Ragtime. Through June 9. Serenbe Playhouse. Join Serenbe Playhouse for this Tony Award-winning musical based on E.L. Doctorow’s acclaimed novel of the same name. The show portrays the nation’s hopes and pains at the turn of the 20th century, telling diverse stories of African Americans, immigrants, and the elite upper-class. The cast features real-life historical figures including Harry Houdini, Evelyn Nesbit, Booker T. Washington, and J. P. Morgan. See the county on the cusp of a new era on stage like you’ve never seen before — in the style of Vaudeville under a giant Atlantic City tent! Tickets and info on the Serenbe Playhouse website.
The Cake. Runs May 17 – June 23. Horizon Theatre. Della, a North Carolina baker and devout Christian, is excited to bake a wedding cake for her best friend’s daughter… until she learns that the intended is another bride. After learning this, Della struggles to reconcile her deeply-held beliefs and the love she has for a woman she helped raise. The playwright Bekah Brunstetter (who also writes for TV’s “This is Us”) was inspired by the story about a baker in a similar position that is still in the headlines. This hilarious and touching new play shows that common ground can be found on the basis of love. Tickets and info on the Horizon Theatre website.
Fabulous France with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. May 23 & 25. Atlanta Symphony Orchestra @ Atlanta Symphony Hall. French conductor Lionel Bringuier leads the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra in two concert-hall favorites first heard in Paris.
Georgia Renaissance Festival. Through June 2. Fairburn, Georgia. Don’t miss pirates & pets weekend at the festival! Enter the gates of the Georgia Renaissance Festival – recently voted “Favorite Renaissance Festival in the Southeast” – and find yourself transported back to 16th-century England complete with costumed characters, carnival games, human-powered rides, giant roasted turkey legs, hearty ales, and more throughout the 32-acre village. Over 150 artisan craft shops offer demonstrations of weaving, coin minting, spinning, sculpting, glass blowing, leather crafting, and many other art forms. The ten entertainment stages feature everything from jousting to comedy and music to mud-flopping. Tickets available on the Georgia Renaissance Festival website. Get discounted tickets on Poshdealz.com.
Memorial Day Weekend at Callaway Gardens. May 25 & 26. Callaway Gardens. Escape the city for special Memorial Day events including movies on the beach, fireworks, live music, and more! Read the full schedule of events on the Callaway Gardens website.
Decatur Arts Festival. May 25 & 26. Downtown Decatur. Featuring more than 150 artists selected through a competitive jury process, the festival attracts artists from all over the Southeast and beyond. Both new artists and festival favorites will represent more than a dozen media categories. Times for the artists market are Saturday, May 25, 10am-6pm and Sunday, May 26, 11am-5 pm. Read more about the festival on the Decatur Arts Festival website.
Atlanta Jazz Festival. May 25 & 26. Piedmont Park. One of the country’s largest free jazz festivals featuring local and national jazz greats, a neighborhood jazz series, youth jazz band competition, and more. The festival, started in 1977, is free and open to the public. Explore Piedmont Park and visit festival vendors displaying some of the city’s finest arts and crafts, food and drinks, and merchandise. Read more about the festival on the Atlanta Jazz Festival website.