After ending the last year on a traditional note, with a lot of the usual holiday shows, Atlanta’s theater companies are off and running again, ringing in the new year with an eclectic bang. From hard-hitting dramas to mainstream musicals, a dozen or so shows opening over the next several weeks offer something for every taste.
Among the highlights:
“The Lion King.” The national touring company production of the opulent Disney musical comes to the fabulous Fox. Jan. 10-28. $50-$169. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 1-855-285-8499, www.foxtheatre.org.
“Angels in America.” Actor’s Express presents Tony Kushner’s epic Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, in which sex, religion and politics collide with history at the onset of the AIDS epidemic. Co-directed by artistic director Freddie Ashley and Martin Damien Wilkins, the ensemble includes familiar Express faces Robert Bryan Davis, Carolyn Cook, Joe Sykes, Louis Greggory and Cara Mantella. Part one (“Millennium Approaches”) opens on Jan. 12, part two (“Perestroika”) on Jan. 20, and both shows continue in rotating repertory through Feb. 17. $21.60-$43.20. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. NW, Atlanta. 404-607-7469, www.actors-express.com.
“Native Guard.” The Alliance Theatre remounts artistic director Susan Booth’s 2014 production, inspired by the Pulitzer Prize-winning collection of poetry by Natasha Trethewey — partly about her own upbringing in 1960s Mississippi, and partly involving a Union regiment of freed slaves during the Civil War. January LaVoy and Neal Ghant reprise their roles. Jan. 13-Feb. 4. $20-$47. Atlanta History Center, 130 W. Paces Ferry Road NW, Atlanta. 404-733-5000, www.alliancetheatre.org.
“Maytag Virgin.” Courtney Patterson and Brad Brinkley co-star in Aurora Theatre’s two-character comedy-drama, playing a recently widowed Alabama high-school teacher and her mysterious new neighbor. Melissa Foulger directs. Jan. 11-Feb. 11. $29-$54. Aurora Theatre, 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222, www.auroratheatre.com.
“Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill.” Terry Burrell plays — and sings — Billie Holiday in a one-woman musical revue at Theatrical Outfit. Directed by Eric J. Little, with music direction by S. Renee Clark. Jan. 11-Feb. 4. $20.50-$51. Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW, Atlanta. 678-528-1500, www.theatricaloutfit.org.
“Tenderly.” Rachel Sorsa plays — and sings — Rosemary Clooney in Georgia Ensemble Theatre’s musical revue, under the direction of James Donadio. Jan. 11-28. $28-$46. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. 770-641-1260, www.get.org.
“The Ballad of Klook and Vinette.” Written and directed by the London-based Che Walker (with a score by fellow Brits Anoushka Lucas and Omar Lye-Fook), Horizon Theatre’s soulful musical co-stars Los Angeles-based actor Amari Cheatom and Atlanta actress Brittany Inge as drifters who embark on a tentative romance. Jan. 19-Feb. 18. $28-$38. Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave. (in Little Five Points), Atlanta. 404-584-7450, www.horizontheatre.com.
“Picnic.” Tess Malis Kincaid directs Stage Door Players’ rendition of the 1950s William Inge drama, about a loner who heats up a quiet small town. Jan. 26-Feb. 18. $22-$33. North DeKalb Cultural Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. 770-396-1726, www.stagedoorplayers.net.
“Clark Gable Slept Here.” ART Station’s frantic comedy (set in Hollywood around the Golden Globe awards) involves a high-powered agent embroiled in a potential scandal, when the corpse of a male prostitute turns up in his client’s hotel room. Bryan Brendle and Wendy Melkonian head the cast, directed by Out Front Theatre’s Paul Conroy. Jan. 31-Feb. 11. $24-$28. ART Station, 5384 Manor Drive, Stone Mountain. 770-469-1105, www.artstation.org.
“Rainforest Adventures.” Inhabitants of an Amazonian jungle come to life at the Center for the Puppetry Arts. Jan. 23-March 4. $11.25-$19.50. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. NW, Atlanta. 404-873-3391, www.puppet.org.
“The Followers.” Adapted by local playwright Margaret Baldwin and helmed by co-artistic director Michael Haverty, 7 Stages’ retelling of the classic Greek tragedy “The Bacchae” combines elements of opera, dance, puppetry and physical theater. Among the cast: Diany Rodriguez and Lowrey Brown. Feb. 1-24. $15-$25. 7 Stages, 1105 Euclid Ave. (in Little Five Points), Atlanta. 404-523-7647, www.7stages.org.
“Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.” Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s musical version of a popular 1988 movie comedy features Bryant Smith and Chase Peacock (in the roles originated by Michael Caine and Steve Martin) as a pair of con men wooing unsuspecting women on the French Riviera. Feb. 9-25. $36-$58. Jennie T. Anderson Theatre (at the Cobb Civic Center), 548 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. 404-377-9948, www.atlantalyrictheatre.com.
“King Hedley II.” E. Roger Mitchell, Neal Ghant and Eugene Russell IV head the cast of this August Wilson drama (the ninth in his celebrated 10-play Pittsburgh Cycle), directed for True Colors Theatre by its newly appointed associate artistic director Jamil Jude. Feb. 13-March 11. $23-$38.75. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road, Atlanta. 1-877-725-8849, www.truecolorstheatre.org.