1
Jun

110 in the Shade

110 In The Shade
Theatrical Outfit
through June 24, 2018

You probably recall the story of The Rainmaker; a scam artist who visits a small town and tries to con folks out of $100 for making their drought season come to an end. The story is the same, but this is a musical, and just as enticing.

Tom Key directs a cast of 13 who sing, dance and work their way through the story doing 19 really good numbers. LaParee Young is the father of two sons and a daughter. Ayana Reed is Lizzie, and she gets involved with Starbuck, who is the con man. Her brothers are Noah (Lowrey Brown) and Jimmy (Edward McCreary) each with different thoughts about what’s going on and how Lizzie should behave.

You’ll also meet Eugene H. Russell IV as Sheriff File, who also may have eyes for Lizzie. The other busy girl in town is the red hat lady, Snookie (Galen Crawley). So the story is that things don’t always happen as one might expect, and even a bad deed can work out well. And all comes out well in the end.

One of the headline numbers is Lizzie’s number, Raunchy. But, they are all good and well done and entertaining with a live 6-piece band conducted by S. Renee Clark.. The set is very stark and basically back curtains with projected images; but it works quite well and the show is about the folks on stage.

The theatre is on Luckie Street downtown, and you can park at the garage just north of them and they have discounted garage passes you can buy for $6. Take a little extra time to get there when something is going on at Centennial Park or the Stadium. This is a really pleasant evening in a theatre where every seat has a fine view.

More info at TheatricalOutfit.org

31
May

Breath & Imagination

Breath & Imagination
Art Station Theatre
through June 10, 2018

Roland Hayes was a black singer who was born in 1887 where he grew up in a small town in north Georgia. His father had been a tenant farmer on the land owned by the family which had owned him during the days of slavery. His mother was a church lady and she wanted him to make something of himself. Just that her dreams and his were often on different paths.

Roland had been into singing from an early age, but not entirely into being in church choirs, albeit he sang many religious numbers. But, the days of persecution did not fade so fast. For the Jim Crow rules were still in existence in 1942 when his wife and daughter were arrested in Rome, GA for sitting in the white seat area in a show store. And Roland got beaten by the cops.

Not withstanding this sort of trauma which followed him the rest of his life, he moved away up Chattanooga and later to Brookline, MA. While you may only recall Paul Robeson from the same era, Roland Hayes was one who traveled aborad, sang before royalty in Europe and even had an affair with a member of a royal family. He wanted good schooling and opportunity for black students and his memory is preserved by a school of music in Roxbury, MA and such things a bronze plaque in Brookline, where he passed away in 1977, and streets named for him in Georgia.

Marcellis Cutler plays Rowland, while his mother is played by Theresa Hightower; both of whom have great voices.  The white police officer is Tony Hayes and Patrick Hutchison is onstage on the keys, as they work through many numbers. Lest we forget, in the 1950’s we had segregation in bus stations, water fountains, and schools. And not all of the degradation has left us yet. So we thank Marguerite Hannah who directed this work and the Art Station for keeping memory alive at a time when we should all stand and yell out, NO MORE . . .

More info at ArtStation.org

27
May

Citizens Market

Citizens Market
Horizon Theatre
through June 24, 2018

Playwright Cori Thomas is a first generation American, the daughter of parents who came here from Brazil and Liberia. She knows of what she writes first-hand. This is a story of folks who Potus probably would not know. A small supermarket is being run by Jesus, (Cristian Gonzalez) who hails from El Salvador. A somewhat shy applicant gets hired to work the floor. She is Akosua (Jasmine Thomas) who is from Ghana, and she works alongside Ciata (Cynthia D. Barker) who got here from Sierra Leone.

Life is not a bowl of cherries for any of them, especially when the Immigration Service decides to expel Jesus, who has been around for quite a few years, and who has no record. There are a couple of customers who get deeply involved with the staff and they are Bogan (Allan Edwards) who is from eastern Europe, and his wife Morfina (Carolyn Cook) who may be from the same region.

What is so intriguing about this play, directed by Jeff and Lisa Adler with Jennifer Alice Acker, is that they manage to find laughter out of tragedy. Alas, that is not always the case, as the Bard may attest. But as the action progresses you will delve into a solution that is based on some real practices, but not in the usual way.

The incredible set by Moriah & Isabel Curley-Clay is sooooo real. It is set in the upper west side of Manhattan in current times, and days to come. This is the first in a three play series the Horizon shall do to deal with the American Dream. For, lest we forget, this is a nation founded by immigrants.

The show runs about an hour and forty minutes, and there is plenty of free parking at their facility in Little Five Points. More info at HorizonTheatre.com

26
May

Benjamin Franklin American Gigolo

Benjamin Franklin American Gigolo
Dad’s Garage
through Jun 9, 2018

Matt Horgan’s spoof and truth about Ben Franklin and his achievements, good and not-so-good, is a howl. You won’t be able to stop laughing when the author takes the stage as one of those top level guys with low level ideas, and who can use locker room lingo quite well.

Amber Nash and Karen Cassady come on in a variety of rolls and every one of them is a hoot. Scott Warren directed this one, which comes off without any glitches. Albeit when the neighborhood went dark one night, this amazing cast and crew kept it going and nobody felt preyed upon.

This riot runs about an hour and 45 minutes with an intermission. You need to check performance dates at their website DadsGarage.com. Don’t take GrandMa or the tykes as it ain’t for them.

The theatre is in an former church at 69 Ezzard Street below Little 5 Points off Edgewood. Easy to get to and free parking. But, wait, there’s more . . . If you show up early you can enjoy a libation (or two) and get into the trivia game for some free prizes. It don’t get much better than this.

24
May

HAMILTON

 

Hamilton
Fox Theatre
through June 10, 2018

A young illegitimate man from the Caribbean island of Nevis, somehow managed to emigrate to the young developing nation of Unites States of America. He was a pretty bright gent who became an army Major General, the Treasurerr of the United States, and held many important posts.

When the Federalist Papers were written, to set down the rules and interpretation of the Constitution, he authored 51 of the 85; and his interpretations are a basis of many rulings to this day.

The musical has been playing to totally sold out houses in NYC at ticket prices that would have made Hamilton, Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson laugh their wigs off.

Lin-Manuel Miranda created this with dozens of collaborators. The cast of 20 players and an orchestra of 10 run through 34 numbers in 2 acts. Austin Scott plays Hamilton, and Nicholas Christopher plays Aaron Burr his friend/enemy. There’s a lot of loud speaking, fighting and some dancing; and the prime comedic output is from Peter Matthew Smith as the weirdo King George II, who figures we’d fold and return to his reign. This touring company of maybe 75, or so, work under the direction Thomas Kail.

The music is probably nothing you will leave the theater humming, and most of the lyrics get run over by the action as it progresses. It is not Cats or Les Miz in that regard. It is styled as a musical, but many may see it as a rock opera. One thing that would help is for you to brush up on your knowledge of Hamilton, so you will be more tuned in to where and how things are going. Then you won’t be surprised when he is challenged by Aaron Burr to a duel and he gets offed by him in New Jersey on July 12, 1804. He passed at what we’d deem a young age; but having achieved more than most humans ever could.

It is playing to full houses, so if you snooze you lose . . . .More info at FoxTheatre.org

21
May

Living on Love

 

 

 

 

 

Living on Love
Stage Door Players
through June 10, 2018

Joe DiPietro’s work is a real piece of work in so many ways. Come back to Manhattan in the 1950’s and meet maestro Vita DeAngelis (Michael Strauss) who is married to a diva, Raquel DeAngelis (Denise Whelan). If you think we have some folks in government who are calendar stars for Egotism, then this couple could be right up there also.

Vito has signed on to do a biography for a publisher who has assigned a ghost writer to speed up the action. But the maestro has his own timetable and there is nothing anybody can do about it. Just as the man servants, Bruce (George Deavours) and Eric (Stuart Schleuse). The ghostwriter at the start of this story is Iris (Lauren Boyd Lane) who is trying hard to get things done; but she isn’t doing much better than some others who were assigned to this work before her. Vito and Raquel have been married for many years and while there are issues which divide them, they seem to have survived living with each other’s egotism.

Raquel decides that if Vito can get a book deal, so can she; as she is a word famous opera star. She signs on with the same publisher who then assigns Robert (Roger Payano) to get her story ready for print. Things get interesting as Iris and Robert find lots of “situations” and wind up with the other’s assignment.

Directed by Robert Egizio and a terrific set by Chuck Welcome, the show is a festival of laughs, and one of the best you’ll ever see. Stage Door Players is easy to get to in Dunwoody, and has free parking and plenty of nearby restaurants. More info at StageDoorPlayers.net

19
May

First Date

First Date
Onstage Atlanta
through June 3, 2018

First Date, Broadway’s Musical Comedy, is soooo much more than just a musical or the usual comedic presentation. Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner put this one together based on the book by Austin Winsberg, and this was a real hit in NYC.

Aaron (Eric Lang) is meeting up with a gal on a blind date. The girl, Casey (Suzanne Stroup) isn’t too sure what she wants out of this meeting, nor are either of them quite into being 100% open with the other. They meet in a café where there are two other couples, we get to watch and enjoy; but they never have names. Lauren Rosenzweig and Keenan Rogers are couple #1. Jamie Perniciaro and Michael Pugh are couple #2. They may not have names, but their reason for being present starts to emerge as the issues being dealt with by the daters goes to highs and lows, and some folks from their pasts seem to emerge.

Jeffrey Brown is on the scene as the restauranteur, as well as some other personae. The play moves along with about 15 numbers. Just know that when they get to the final numbers you do not want them to stop and just wished there were more. This production is staged in one act running about 1 hour 40 minutes. Directed by Liane LeMaster with Kathy Buraczynski on the keyboard, it exudes energy in every minute.

Onstage is performing around town this year, and this one is on the back stage at 7Stages in Little 5 Points. It’s easy to get to, but be careful as the parking meter cockroaches prowl the area. But there’s plenty of parking behind the theatre. The show goes on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings and a matinee on Sunday. More info and tickets at OnstageAtlanta.com

14
May

Triassic Parq

Triassic Parq
Out of Box Theatre
through May 26, 2018

This is not your grandma’s musical. Marshall Pailet with Bryce Norbitz and Steve Wargo, put this one together about 6 years ago. It opened in SOHO, and it is kind of obvious that it belonged in that part of town.

Take Jurassic Park and redraft it and camp it up as it was interpreted by the dinosaurs themselves. They al need to address issues of life expectancy, procreation, acceptance and so much more. Trevor Rayshay Perry, Dylan Parker Singletary and Hannah Marie Craton are the three velociraptors. T-Rex is played by Sarah Watkins the pianosaurus is Andrae Peterson and the mime-a-saurus is Savannah Jones. And there is even one or more of these critters in dino-drag, such as Christopher Carpenter who takes the stage as Deborah.

Kiernan Matts directed this one, with a sound track crafted by Annie Cook. The show runs through 16 numbers with lots of screaming and confrontations. It is a special kind of show, which you dig nor don’t. But, who knows? More info at OutOfBoxTheatre.com

13
May

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
Centerstage North
through May 19, 2018

This is really a cabaret review type of show. The subject is one we continually deplore and explore . . . the relationships between men and women. A cast of 9 players play and sing their way through all of the many roles. There are 19 individual skits which start from the tentative first attempts to hook up, through the games men and women play, the designs and plans of parents gone awry, through the baby comes first years, married sex and finally into the twilight of personal relationships.

Joe DiPietro wrote this one, with Music by Jimmy Roberts. It’s just a good time, mostly for the over 40 crowd. The play is directed by Nancy Jensen who also is musical director. The piano by Annie Cook adds a very cozy and intimate touch to the entire production.

This is the kind of show that would do well on a cruise ship or touring to some adult centers. They play only 17, 18 and 19, so get more info, tickets and directions at their website, CenterStageNorth.org

12
May

Bach to Broadway

Bach to Broadway
Atlanta Ballet

The Atlanta Ballet has gotten very much into modern contemporary styles under the direction of Gennadi Nedvigin, and this is a spectacular display of dancers set to three very different themes.

On the stage at Cobb Energy Center, a troupe of 6 ballerinas and 7 male dancers opened the evening with Bach’s 7 for Eight, With the Ballet Orchestra in the pit under the baton of Tara Simoncic, and with Shirley Irek on the keyboards. The troupe presented different scenarios to each of the 7 movements. These dancers are so incredibly lithe as well as strong, as there are many lifts in each number. Helgi Tomasson choreographed this one which was all about the dance and not about a static back drop.

Then the Gershwin number, Who Cares?, which he composed for Of Thee I Sing, was brought to life by five of the dancers, as it was choreographed by George Balanchine of the New York City Ballet. After an intermission, the audience was treated to an entirely new production set to Russian composer, Alexander Tcherepnin’s Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra, which he wrote in 1953. This production choreographed by Maxim Petrov was a world premiere of this opus and the house went wild for it.

To keep up with our ballet company check in to their website at AtlantaBallet.com