The Andrews Brothers

The Andrews Brothers
Marietta Theatre Company
through November 13, 2021

Are you tired of watching politicians, doctors, and little vials on a conveyor belt? Then get your buns over to the Marietta Theatre Company which is just off the Square and is set up like a cabaret venue. And that does include beverages and treats if you have been good, . . . or whatever.

A cast of 4 players bring down the house with the songs, dance, comedy and certainly the costumes. You go back in time to an island in the South Pacific where a touring group for the USO is going to stage a send off for a navy unit. It’s March 1945 and the war is still going on. The Andrews Sisters are the act to hit the stage; except they get quarantined and can’t make the gig.

That’s when a wanna-be-star named Peggy Jones (Leah Keelan or Brandy Bell on different dates) shows up to be the opening act for Patty, LaVerne and Maxene. She’s a real poster girl who wants her photo on the inside of ever guy’s locker; ala Rosie the Riveter. The brothers (Sully Brown), Max (Jeff Cooper) and Lawrence (John Jenkins) decide to grab a chance to get in the spotlight so they will take the stage as The Andrews Sisters.

The show is a non-stop musical and you will recall some of the numbers such as I Wanna Be Loved, Shoo-Shoo Baby, and of course the Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy. Each of the performers is doing a totally engaging and entertaining job; and they all work the house in a small venue like this one. They sing and dance their way through more than 20 numbers under the direction of Claudio Pestana. Harris Wheeler is on the board for the music and Leah Boresow Groover choreographed the great steps.

So, accentuate the positive and check them out online where you will get info and tickets easily. Website is at MariettaTheatre.com


The Addams Family

The Addams Family
Atlantic Lyric Theatre
through November 7, 2021

The appropriately named Lyric Theatre has brought another first class musical to the stage in Marietta. The Addams family is not your usual Norman Rockwell clan. But in some ways they could be more like your own family.

Directed by Ricardo Aponte, the cast of 16 players weave their way through the turmoil in the Addams family when the daughter, Wednesday (Golbanoo Satayesh), falls for a more “normal” young man, Lucas (Russell Alexander), who is not of the same ethnic background; and neither of the families are familiar with one another. So Wednesday figures that a reception party would be a good mixer for everybody.

Lucas’ parents (Tony Sandrew and Jillian Melko) get freaked out by some of the freaks, and Wednesday’s parents, Gomez (Luis Hernandez) and Morticia (Deborah Bowman) also have similar problems vis-a-vis the “normals”. Some other weird stuff comes from Uncle Fester (Shane Murphy), who has fallen deeply in love as well, and Lurch (Skylar Brown) who has a little communication difficulty. The other living members of the Addams clan include young Puglsey (Jacob Sherman) and Grandma Addams (Kayce Grogan-Wallace).

With really good sets and costumes, and music managed by Paul Tate, the cast works their way through 25 numbers, including some with really good dances choreographed by Kari Twyman. The play moves along effortlessly as you peer into the lives that you hope don’t mirror your own. But, that’s life; is it not?

A really fine production at the Lyric, with free parking, good view from all seats, and easy to get to. Covid protocols are in place so bring your cards and masks. More info and tickets at AtlanticLyric.com


The Ghastly Dreadfuls

The Ghastly Dreadfuls
Center for Puppetry Arts
through October 30, 2021


BACK AGAIN! The Ghastly Dreadfuls, which was created by Jon Ludwig and Jason Hines, returned to the Center for Puppetry Arts in time for All Hallow’s Eve and a jolly good time for all. This one is for the more-or-less adults among us, and they say you should be old enough to buy booze if you wish to attend.

The Dreadfuls are made up by Scott DePoy, Kristin Haverty, Jason Hines, Jon Ludwig, Spencer G. Stephens and Reay Kaplan. With a live music under direction of Robert Strickland. The actors/puppeteers go live on stage, and each of them handling roles in 16 skits featuring great puppetry, classic costumes, high stepping dancing, and wanna-sing-along musical numbers.

You may think that puppets are just for kids; and while the youngsters do enjoy visiting this Atlanta theatre and museum; this is one that is playing to full houses of adults and every one of them in the audience leaves having had a really enjoyable break from the political BS and Covid daily news.

So, don’t be afraid to try something different and maybe just a bit eerie. When selecting seats, the better views are from rows C or higher, as some action takes place over the puppet set. Normal Covid protocols are followed so bring your CDC card and a mask. After all you might look less scary with it in. You can read more and see times and tickets at puppet.org and buy online or by phone.



OutFront Theatre Company
through November 14, 2021

This riotous and exciting show is a co-production with Georgia State University, whose cast will take the stage on November 10th. So get your buns in gear and get your seats early. For OutFront is back now after a 19 month hiatus. And while so many theatre groups have started back up with smaller productions during these crazy days; OutFront under the management of Paul Conroy has come back full steam with a totally first class professional production.

For who wouldn’t want to live in a perfect world? Call it a paradise or maybe even Xanadu. If you’re a student of history, please know that this Xanadu is not the one that Marco Polo had originally detailed. It’s a camped up story of a goddess, Clio (Anna Gonzales) who inspires a lackluster artist, Sonny Malone (Russell Scott), and falls in love with him. There are some problems for her, however.

As a goddess she is forbidden to get hooked on a mere mortal. Being a muse is OK, but being his main squeeze is not. So what’s a goddess to do? She decides to pose as an Aussie. She’s doing her best to inspire Sonny to follow his dreams, and help to transform a decrepit theatre into an arts center.

Unlike the works of The Bard, in this case the play’s not the “thing.” The story is inane, and it is the staging, the music, the choreography and the ensemble that make it fly. This fast paced musical was first staged on Broadway in 2008, and has received many accolades. It’s not the usual thing to have actors skating around on stage.

Clio is being sabotaged by some of her jealous sister muses, players by Arianna Hardaway, Brandy Sexton, Max Mattox, Precious Anika West, Emily Dean and Bradley T. Johnson. As are each and every one of the cast, they are a scream. OK. So sometimes they scream, and most of the time they plot and sing and dance.

Clint Clark-Duke comes on as Danny Maguire, the typical land baron whose order of priority is about the same as most of today’s bankers and politicians.

With good music managed by Gamble, cool choreography by Tyler Sarkis and so precisely directed by Paul Conroy, this is one of those shows that is exciting, delivers the unexpected, and leaves you with a real sense of having spent a great evening. Even if you have seen the film, it ain’t the same as sitting a few feet away from the show and being able to interact with them.

Tickets and more info at their site: OutFrontTheatre.com


Love From a Stranger

Love From a Stranger
Onstage Atlanta
through October 31, 2021

What could more appropriate for an upcoming All Hallowed’s Eve than a typical Agatha Christie tale?  So OSA starts off their 50th year with this Christie story where things that might go right, go wrong and you have to try to figure out who will be the victim and who might be the killer. But in true Christie fashion all comes clear in the end.

A young woman named Cecily (Anna Fontaine) who has been in a protracted relationship with Nigel (Andy Szuran) to whom she is soon to be wed. She won some big bucks in a lottery and plans to rent out her flat and move on in life. Then a prospective tenant, Bruce (David Soyka) shows up and does a quick and passionate number on Cecily. Her friends, Mavis (Janie Young), Louise (Celesta Campbell), and Ethel (Casey Cudmore) are torn apart as she takes her leave with Bruce. Once they settle in to a remote rural home that she buys for £1,500 we also meet up with Hodgson the gardener (Mike Billips) who knows a lot more than just foliage. And later when Bruce starts to have an alleged problem we meet Dr. Gribble (Betty Mitchell) who can diagnose quite a few things in the lives of those she meets.

The show is directed by Daniel Carter Brown and runs about 2 hours with an intermission. The best thing about a staged murder is that you see it live and without commercial breaks. And just maybe you guess correctly. This is a very good production that captures the eyes and minds of those attending.

Know that the usual Covid protocols are followed, so bring your CDC card, photo ID and mask, even though you may look scary with it. OSA is easy to get to with free parking, comfy seating and good views from all seats. More info at OnstageAtlanta.com


Atlanta Symphony Orchestra News

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
New Music Director Appointed

What a fantastic treat to have the ASO back live and with an almost full house! This past week they started off a new season with the announcement of the appointment of Nathalie Stutzmann as the new Music Director for the coming years.

And what a delight it has been. Ms. Stutzmann is an incredibly talented musician, singer, conductor and manager; having grown up in the arts in Europe and having worked around the world. And in a field where women have always had a hard time breaking through the glass ceiling; she does so with great aplomb.

The concert last week started with Verdi’s La Forza del destino, followed by a piece you may not have heard before. It s Dark with Excessive Bright by Missy Mazzoli a rising star from Pennsylvania who plays piano, composes, acts and inspires.

Then, after the intermission the ASO jumped into the bombastic Symphony No.5 by Tchaikovsky with ten tons of energy steaming out of the players and the conductor. When the work got to the finale and the house went wild in appreciation, you could see the immense pleasure in the faces of all the players.

So we salute the directors of the ASO for their gutsy and wise selection of a new music director. If you haven’t been to symphony hall recently we all understand. But, check them out, and know they follow all the protocols to protect the audience. Bring your ID and CDC card and mask; and have a wonderful time. Cheers!


The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye
Synchronicity Theatre
through October 24, 2021

Synchronicity themes their work as smart, gutsy and bold; and they don’t shrink back from any topic. This play was crafted by Lydia R. Diamond from the work of the same name by the internationally recognized, and award winning, Toni Morrison.

Ibi Owolabi directs a really fine cast of players who deal with segregation and racial discrimination in 1941 in a small town in Ohio. Some of the girls in the town could be the black versions of the Heathers; as they deal with Pecola Breedlove (Niara Simone Robinson) who wishes she had blue eyes and that it would change everything in her life. But like real life these days, things don’t always work out as we might wish.

This is a gutsy presentation based on a book that was often banned from schools because there are issues of infidelity, sexual abuse and some other unacceptable behavior; ergo not for the kiddies.

Synchronicity plays midtown and follows all appropriate Covid protocols, so bring your CDC vaccination card and your face mask. Discount parking passes are available at the will call desk. More info and tickets available at SyncroTheatre.com.


Fun in Lawrenceville








It’s Raining Music
Aurora Theatre

With all the “stuff” we’re dealing with on a daily basis, it’s a great sigh of relief we can have when an organization like the Aurora Theatre plays on; and I really mean that they are doing so with big bands.

You need to check them out as many of these gigs are a one-nighter, and if you snooze you lose. In the past two weekends they presented a big Atlanta Latino Band and the following week they hosted the 3d Stream Big Band which blew the house down also.

Some of their upcoming events include a comedy night, Church Mice, on October 8th, and then on the 16th they will host I Feel Good, a tribute to James Brown. So grab a bite, hit the road and enjoy a couple of hours without the news reports.

Plenty of free parking, good seats, good views and good shows. What else do you need??? More info at AuroraTheatre.com


Romeo & Juliet







Romeo & Juliet
Stage Door Players
through October 24, 2021

The Stage Door Players in Dunwoody are bringing the story of these ill-fated lovers to the stage in a manner that you’ve not seen before. Romeo (Josh Brelsford) and Juliet (Libby Williams) get stuck in the middle of the feuding families of Capulets and Montagues, You know how the tale ends.

But this is unique in that it is played upon a very stark stage and with players dressed in garbs of current times. The cast of ten players are under the direction of Willie E. Jones, III, and they exert a powerful performance.

It makes one think how the peasants of olden days could enjoy the shows by standing throughout the performance while only the peers had actual seats. And in olden days only men would trod the boards, and it was quite a while before a woman could come on as a woman. But, you’ll get a kick out of this one where gender and race have no roles to play; for the play’s the thing and they all carry on.

Normal Covid protocols are being followed and the venue has free parking and easy view from every seat in the house. And yes, the concession stand is open. All Hail!
More info and tickets at StageDoorTheatreGA.org


Heathers, the Musical

Heathers, the Musical
Actor’s Express
through October 17, 2021

This rock musical is being staged as a co-production with Oglethorpe University and being presented at the Conant Performing Arts Center. Be forewarned that this is NOT your grandmother’s musical, nor one for the kiddies who have yet to figure out what WTF means.

Directed by Freddie Ashley with a cast of 27 players, the show belts out 26 high energy numbers, some of which are in chorus while some are one or two characters digging into their inner selves, as they go through life in an Ohio high school. It’s 1980s, and the girls are learning how they can use their talents to get everything they want. Three of them are each named Heather and they are like an elite clan. A lot of the story relates to a loser named Victoria who wants to move up the social scale but does some inappropriate acts, some of which result in disasters.

For this is a black comedy that deal with drinking, dating, suicides, murders, bullying, homophobia, and sexuality. As such, it certainly isn’t for Ms. Prim or the Bible Thumpers. The set is Broadway quality and a live band is offstage under the baton of Alli Lingenfelter. But, the score isn’t the kind you leave the theatre humming, nor recalling the precise words; as it is like an Opera Noir where the story is moved mainly by the numbers.

Regardless of some concerns, it remains a favorite of many folks, and the Conant is a very easy venue to get to with free parking and good seats each with a good view. Know that you will have to show your CDC cards and wear your mask when in the facility; but that’s just the world we’re living in these days.

More info and tickets at Actors-Express.com