Atlanta Life and Culture

The AJC Features Team spotlights arts previews, reviews, profiles, news features and breaking news on Atlanta's cultural and life scene.

Theater notes: New shows at Serenbe, Lyric, Express, Shakespeare Tavern; Atlantans headed to N.Y. Musical fest

The heat is on — not only in terms of the temperature outside, but also in terms of activity on Atlanta’s stages. As in recent years, metro troupes have been almost as busy in the summer as they are during the traditional season launch of fall.

Here’s a quick glance at two recently opened shows worthy of your attention and two more opening this week:

  • Atlanta's summer swelter is not enough for Serenbe Playhouse, which  is turning up the heat a few notches with "A Streetcar Named Desire."

"I have been dying to produce a Tennessee Williams play since day one of Serenbe Playhouse," executive/artistic director Brian Clowdus said. "It’s the absolute perfect setting and the material is still so hot and groundbreaking,"

His partners in turning the tiny south Fulton County community of Chattahoochee Hills into sultry New Orleans are Matthew Davis as Stanley Kowalski, Deborah Bowman as Blanche Du Bois, Ann Marie Gideon as Stella Kowalski and Daniel Parvis as Mitch Mitchell.

Performances through June 28 are on the Art Farm stage, constructed of recycled shipping containers. (See Bert Osborne’s review in Thursday Living.)

Shows are 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays. Tickets: $30; $25 students. 770-463-1110,

  • Some will attend Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s production of “Barnum” to hear time-tested classic songs such as “Come Follow the Band,” “The Colors of My Life” and “There’s a Sucker Born Ev’ry Minute.”

What may surprise them in director Alan Kilpatrick’s colorful spin on born promoter P.T. Barnum’s life is the show’s authentic circus grit. That’s not a coincidence: Several of the cast members have trained at the Alpharetta studio CirqueFreaks (soon to be renamed Akrosphere Aerial & Circus Arts). (See the review on or in Friday’s Go Guide.)

Through June 28. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 2 p.m. Sundays; 2 p.m. June 27. $35-$55. Cobb Civic Center’s Jennie T. Anderson Theatre, 548 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. 404-377-9948,

Shows opening this week:

  • Libby Whittemore returns to Actor’s Express for her final Libby’s at the Express cabaret concert of the season, June 18 through 21, with a salute to the varied music of the 1970s.

The show will include selections from rock to disco including songs by Karen Carpenter, Elton John, the BeeGees, Linda Ronstadt, Roberta Flack, Chicago, Three Dog Night, Cher, the Eagles, the Doobie Brothers, Jim Croce, the Spinners and the Beatles.

Performances are  at 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $40. 887 W. Marietta St., Suite J-107, Atlanta. 404-607-7469,

  • “All the world’s a stage …,” the Bard famously wrote in “As You Like It,” next on the Atlanta Shakespeare Company stage at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse.

Lovers Rosalind and Orlando are played by Dani Herd and Jonathan Horne in performances are June 19 through July 12.

Performances are at 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 6:30 p.m. Sundays. $15-$36. 499 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-874.5299,


Atlanta duo taking ‘Last Time’ to N.Y.

Jeremiah Parker Hobbs and Jessica De Maria’s “The Last Time We Were Here” will be presented as a New York Musical Theatre Festival selection in late July.

The folk-rock musical, the Atlantans’ first production as a writing and performance team, will be staged at 3 p.m. July 25 and noon July 27 at the Laurie Beechman Theatre at the West Bank Cafe, 407 W. 42nd St. It tells the story of Jacob, a singer-songwriter whose relationship with Grace falls by the wayside on his road to stardom.

Hobbs recently completed a national tour of “Della’s Diner” and will play Roger Davis in Actor’s Express production of “Rent” opening July 10.

De Maria appeared as the Narrator in “Murder Ballad” late last year at Actor’s Express and will portray Helena Landless in “The Mystery of Edwin Drood” opening July 10 at Stage Door Players in Dunwoody

Now in its 12th year, the New York Musical Theatre Festival nurtures new musicals and rising talent. Details, tickets: 212-352-3101,

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The AJC Features Team spotlights arts previews, reviews, profiles, news features and breaking news on Atlanta's cultural and life scene.