6
May

HOMOS or Everyone in America

HOMOS or Everyone in America
OutFront Theatre
through May 21, 2022

OK, let’s start by acknowledging that this one is not for the PG13s, nor the Prims who might be offended by the constant use of the universal modifier starting with F. The show does have issues with homosexuality, and how it may most often just mirror hetero relationships.

It is set in Brooklyn maybe 15 years ago, and is staged like a small cabaret show with some patrons actually sitting onstage. Directed by Mandy Mitchell, this regional premiere brings four players to stage. Tyler Sarkis is a writer, whose actual name is never an issue; and he is in and out of relationships with an Academic played by Niko Carleo. They are the leads in the show and the time line moves back and forth as they examine the meanings and effects of love. They do run into some problems with the third contact who is Dan, played by Angel Fabián Rivera. Si Chen comes on as Laila as the show moves from time past to today to days gone by and days to come.

The play by Jordan Seavey has played in several cities and been well received by the audiences for whom it is promoted.  The show runs about 2 hours with intermission and the theatre is easy to get to downtown, with easy parking, comfy seats and nice goodies. More info and tickets at OutFrontTheatre.com

3
May

The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs

The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs
Atlanta Opera
through May 8, 2022

The Opera is taking a break from the usual classic opera to bring to our stage this new one composed by Mason Bates with a libretto by Mark Campbell. The opera won some Grammys when it premiered just 5 years ago, and this company has played in a few cities in the USA and soon will travel to Canada as well.

Tomer Zvulun has spent three years working with the creative team to bring this newly staged version to Atlanta. To say it ain’t your usual production is kind of obvious when you see the swarm of projections that take over the stage through 18 scenes. And the scenes deal with the life and work of Steve Jobs; but not necessarily in chronological order. S, Katy Tucker handled the projections design, and a full orchestra is in the pit under the baton of Michael Christie.

Much of the story takes place around Cupertino and Job’s times in school and college; as he tries to define himself and life in general. John Moore takes the stage as Jobs, and Billie Bruley plays his original partner, Steve Wozniak. While Jobs may have been a genius in transforming present day communications and computer usage; he wasn’t always the most considerate of corporate barons. He had a brief affair with Chrisann Brennan (Elisabeth Sutphen) and did her wrong in a terrible manner. Later he actually wed Laurene Powell (Sarah Larsen) who did her best to put up with his behavior. He was a real putz.

The opera is a one-act running about 100 minutes, as it swings back and forth through dates and aggravations. It isn’t one that has the legs of a Carmen or La Boheme by any means. But it is especially meaningful in the glare of the spotlight on what’s going on in our world these days.

More info and tickets at AtlantaOpera.org

21
Apr

Jesus Christ Superstar

Jesus Christ Superstar
Fox Theatre
through April 24, 2022

It’s been many years since this opus has played at The Fox Theatre, and while this production, originally performed in an open air venue in the UK, is based on the original production with the music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. It is being done as a rock opera concert version in one bombastic act that could blow the walls off the house.

Yes, the story is the same, and you will recall the two most famous numbers, the Superstar number and I Don’t Know How to Love Him. This one is staged with the band upstage and running at full throttle, while the cast of more than 24 players belt out the songs as they move around on a static set, that is pretty obviously designed with a religious inspiration.

Aaron LaVigne comes on as Jesus, while Judas is played by Omar Lopez-Cepero and Mary is Jenna Rubaii. This is a touring company that closes here on Sunday and will open in Greenville, SC next week. One thing to know before you come downtown is that the Fox’s adjacent parking lot is closed down and nearby parking runs from $30 to $50 for the show. No wonder it is like Broadway in America, when the fees are like NYC.

Know that it probably isn’t for the little ones, even though it runs only 90 minutes from a 7:30 curtain. It’s an experience for we older folks and it’s one which could be described as different strokes for different folks.

More info and tickets at FoxTheatre.org

19
Apr

Love is a Many Splintered Thing

Love is a Many Splintered Thing
Marietta Theatre
through April 30, 2022

Maybe you recall the music hits of the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s; but you’ve not seen nor heard of them being delivered up in the style and format of this cabaret performance by three couple who sing and dance their way through scores of numbers as they search for love, find love, endure love and maybe lose love to try again.

Dom L’Amour, Brian Slayton and Joseph Evans come into relationships with Kate Metroka Evette Renee and Chiara Ridpath. Like life in general these days, nothing is ever easy. The live trio on stage consists of Brian Osborne on the keys, Ian Scheffer on Bass and John Chapman on the drums; and they pull off the two sets with great aplomb.

Heather Schultz directs this one and also choreographed it as they work through the show by Dorothy Marcic with the musical arrangements by Hinton Battle. It’s an engaging and pleasant couple of hours. The Marietta Theatre plays at the Lyric Studio on the Square, and is a very easy venue to get to with plenty of goodies and cabaret tables. More info and tickets at MariettaTheatre.com.

14
Apr

The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz
Lyric Theatre
through April 24, 2022

Get up from the couch and be off to see the Wizard at the Lyric Theatre. For you know the story is about a young girl who takes her dog and follows a yellow brick road. But you haven’t quite seen it done with this much energy by such a talented cast on a local stage.

Directed by Greg London, the cast of 24 humans and one highly talented canine, take the stage and with unlimited energy work through the more than 15 highly entertaining numbers. The live band, under the baton of Don Jones, keeps the action going for almost 2.5 hours. Meg Young is Dorothy and you are going to want to take her home along with Toto. Jeff McKerley is both Professor Marvel and then the Wizard; while the good witch, Glinda (Jaymyria Etienne) gets into it with that Wicked Witch (Jillian Melko)

The choreography by Lauren Brooke Tatum is spell-binding. Wait until you see the moves that the young ensemble players pull off. It’s akin to the Highschool Olympics.
This is an absolute NYC quality production that you do not want to miss; and is truly enjoyed by everybody from 5 to 95 in the audience. More info and tickets at AtlantaLyricTheatre.com

11
Apr

Balzer Jazz Series

Balzer Jazz Series
Theatrical Outfit

The Balzer Jazz Series brings Joe Gransden and his band to the stage of the Theatrical Outfit to play a wide array of oldies when they staged the Jazz Sirens of the 60’s, featuring singer Karla Harris.

The group worked through many of the tunes one might recall for years ago, including Joe’s tribute to Tony Bennett. The concert is presented in two sets with an intermission and every seat is perfect for eyes and ears.

If you didn’t get to see this exciting evening, mark your calendar for the remaining two gigs which will come there on June 12 and July 10. And still on stage through April 24th is The Wolf at the End of the Block, a very enticing thriller. More info and tickets at TheatricalOutfit.org

10
Apr

The Last Lifeboat

The Last Lifeboat
OnStage Atlanta
through April 24, 2022

This is one incredible production of a deeply researched show by Luke Yankee. Yes; we all know that the Titanic went down after running into an iceberg, and the telegraph officer did his best to get out the SOS messages. Maybe we didn’t realize that about 1,500 people went down with the ship; albeit the CEO of the company survived.

And there is the heart of the story. The common saying is that the Captain goes down with the ship; and even that isn’t always true. Directed by Cathe Hall Payne with a very energized cast, we meet up with Thomas Ismay (Barry N. West) who is the head honcho of the White Star ship line in Liverpool. He is pushing his son, Bruce (Joshua Williams), to take over operations and to build the greatest cruise ship ever. That’s where you start to dive into the saga from the first minutes.

The cost of the venture becomes a problem and the financier, J.P.Morgan wants to force some cost control. Ergo the ship leaves port with only 16 life boats, not the more than 30 that might have saved all. When the ship goes down and Bruce winds up in New York, he is detained by the American investigators, even though the Royal Merchant Ship Titanic was under the Brit flag and the problem occurred in international waters.

William Randolph Hearst also played into the tragedy to help sell more copies of his newspapers, and like any sorry event, there were some folks who tried to profit from it. Sad to say that when Mr. Ismay got back to the UK, he tried to do all the right things to make amends and for 25 years lived in agony.

This is like looking at a picture and seeing through it, to what it really is. The set works easily, and there are dozens of scene changes that effortlessly take place. It is a true Broadway quality production in a local playhouse. Don’t miss this one. More info and tickets at OnstageAtlanta.com

3
Apr

The Light

The Light
Horizon Theatre
through April 17, 2022

Here is a one-act play that is soooo moving, you wonder how the two actors can handle it several times a week. Joy Webb’s story is about Rashad (Enoch King) and his love, Genesis (Cynthia D. Barker) working through some difficult relationship times; as they refer to stories we may deem to be common place for many folks; especially in the black community.

Directed by Marguerite Hannah on another splendid set by Isabel and Moriah Curley-Clay; they draw you deeply into the story taking place in Chicago area just a few years ago.

This is not one for the kiddies; but for those of us willing to open both our eyes and ears with our brains. The show runs about 80 minutes without an intermission, so take care of your needs before getting comfy. The theatre is in Little Five Points, free parking, good seating and easy to deal with. It is a very intriguing production.

More info and tickets at HorizonTheatre.com

1
Apr

The Pretty Pants Bandit

The Pretty Pants Bandit
Georgia Ensemble Theatre
through April 17, 2022

This is a grand world premiere of a show crafted by Chase Peacock and Jessica DeMaria, with a cast of about 20 players and a live band on stage, as the story moves along by performance of 20 numbers. It is almost an operatic performance.

The story is based on the activities of a woman gang leader in the 1930’s in Miami. In those days Miami was an “open city” which meant that no one mafia gang claimed exclusive rights. Ergo, corruption was rampant; as it was in other big cities like Chicago, New York and Boston.

The woman who took the name Marie Baker (Anna Dvorak) was the wife of a money launderer for a gang; and he had records of where and how the funds had been hidden. She took the info from his notes when she took her leave of him, and went out to recruit her own gang. It was then that they started taking down some of the funds and the capo of the group her husband worked for was not a happy camper.

Dan Ford plays Angelo, the money manager; and Chris Damiano plays the Chief of Police who is under the thumb of Angelo. A lot of the action relates to a reporter for a local newspaper (Gloria Rowe) who always seems to be on-scene quickly and pushing Marie to front page celebrity status. Fenner Eaddy, Jordan Patrick, Skyler Brown and Sebastian Trevińo along with Lattice Pace are all on stage with all the ensemble players as well.

Directed by James Donadio and music conducted by Alli Reinhardt, the show bounces off the walls. While masks are not required, there are special seating areas for all masked patrons; and CDC card or negative test should be with you. Easy to get to, with plenty of free parking and good views from all seats; so go online and get your tickets at GET.org

1
Apr

Intimate Apparel

Intimate Apparel
Actor’s Express
through April 17, 2022

Intimate Apparel is a play by Pulitzer Prize winner Lynn Nottage, who really knows how to dive into people’s inner selves and deal with social interactions. In this work you meet up with a seamstress who specializes in crafting undergarments for the upper crust in Manhattan in the early 20th century.

The seamstress Esther (Vallea E. Woodbury) is working from the room in a boarding house run by Mrs. Dickson (Terry Henry). Mrs. Dickson is going off to a party and would like Esther to join in, and maybe meet up with a gentleman there. But, that doesn’t work out as hoped for. Meanwhile Esther starts to receive letters from a guy who is working on the Panama Canal project; but she has to have others read to her as she is illiterate. The worker, George (Marcus Hopkins-Turner), does appear on stage to tell us what he said in his notes; and he finally does appear in person. He isn’t quite the best bet in town. And he may be trying to take advantage of Esther.

There are other situations as well, like when Esther is getting into things with Mayme (Valeka Jessica) who is a sex worker. And she buys fabrics from an orthodox Jewish dealer, Mr. Marks (Ross Benjamin). They obviously have interests in each other, but his faith intervenes, so it can not work out. You also meet the classy Mrs. VanBuren (Candi Vandizandi) who is Esther’s upscale client.

Directed by Ibi Owolabi, the cast moves the show along so very smoothly, and draws you in from the opening scene. Things don’t exactly work out as the characters may have wished for, but you will follow them along the road to the finale.

Actor’s Express is easy to get to, with adjacent parking lot. You still need to show your CDC card, or a negative test result, and masks are worn. Running time is a little over 2 hours with one intermission. More info and tickets at Actors-Express.com