Musicals dominate Atlanta’s summer theater season

With three major shows in full swing — Horizon’s “The City of Conversation,” Serenbe’s “Of Mice and Men” and Atlanta Lyric’s “West Side Story” (all continuing through June 26) — clearly, Atlanta’s summer theater season is already off and running.

But that’s only the beginning. Between now and the end of August, audiences can look forward to a vast variety of other (mostly escapist) possibilities.

Here are the highlights:


“’Da Kink in My Hair.” Set at a Caribbean beauty salon in Toronto, this Horizon Theatre musical focuses on a jovial Jamaican hairstylist and her interactions with various customers. With frequent Horizon collaborator Thomas W. Jones II at the helm, Terry Burrell, Minka Wiltz and Jeanette Illidge headline the cast. July 15-Aug. 28. $25-$35. Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave., Atlanta. 404-584-7450,

“In the Heights.” Before the current Broadway phenomenon that is his “Hamilton,” there was this Lin-Manuel Miranda hip-hop musical, set in the Latin community of New York’s Washington Heights. Among the ensemble of the Aurora Theatre/Theatrical Outfit co-production: Diany Rodriguez and Julissa Sabino. July 21-Aug. 28. $20-$65. Aurora Theatre, 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222,

“Miss Saigon.” Serenbe Playhouse artistic director Brian Clowdus mounts an outdoor rendering of the sprawling musical (by the creators of “Les Miserables”) about the romance between an American GI (Chase Peacock) and a Vietnamese barmaid (Niki Badua) during the Vietnam War. July 21-Aug. 7. $30-$35. Wild Flower Meadow at Serenbe, 10950 Hutcheson Ferry Road, Chattahoochee Hills. 770-463-1110,

“Company.” The early Stephen Sondheim musical about a 30-something bachelor, increasingly frustrated that all of his friends are already married. The score includes such songs as “Being Alive,” “The Little Things You Do Together” and “The Ladies Who Lunch.” Artistic director Freddie Ashley’s Actor’s Express cast includes Libby Whittemore. July 30-Sept. 4. $28-$50. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St., Atlanta. 404-607-7469,

“The Prom.” In the tradition of the current New York hits “Tuck Everlasting” and “The Color Purple” (both of which got their starts right here), the Alliance Theatre’s latest “Broadway-bound musical” centers around a young lesbian who’s banned from attending the high-school prom with her girlfriend. Aug. 18-Sept. 25. $20-$95 (on sale July 5, prices subject to change). Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-733-5000,

Broadway in Atlanta brings to the Fox Theatre a couple of big national-touring-company productions. “The Wizard of Oz” is a revamped version of the classic movie musical (featuring a few new songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice), but the basic story remains the same: Dorothy, et al., takes a magical trek down the Yellow Brick Road. The contemporary romantic musical “If/Then” (from the creators of “Next to Normal”) follows a New York woman on two alternate paths in search of true love. “Oz,” June 21-26; “If/Then,” Aug. 9-14. $33.50-$88.50. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 1-855-285-8499,

Atlanta Lyric Theatre is staging a pair of family-friendly musicals: the early Webber/Rice show “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (July 15-17. $25-$65. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 770-916-2800,; and “Shrek, the Musical,” based on the popular animated film (Aug. 19-Sept. 4. $33-$58. Jennie T. Anderson Theatre at the Cobb Civic Center, 548 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. 404-377-9948,

Artistic director Robert Egizio helms Stage Door Players’ “Kiss Me, Kate,” Cole Porter’s revered musical treatment of Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.” July 15-Aug. 7. $22-$30. North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. 770-396-1726,

Onstage Atlanta’s “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels,” the musical version of a Steve Martin movie, pits two con men against each other among the rich and famous of the French Riviera. July 8-Aug. 13. $14-$25. Onstage Atlanta, 2969 E. Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur. 404-897-1802,

ART Station artistic director David Thomas serves up “Grits: The Musical,” a Southern slice-of-life involving four generations of women. July 14-31. $15-$27. ART Station, 5384 Manor Drive, Stone Mountain. 770-469-1105,


“Smart People.” Lydia Diamond’s provocative comedy takes place on the eve of Barack Obama’s first election, concerning a group of Harvard intellectuals grappling with the social and sexual politics of the day. The True Colors Theatre show features Neal A. Ghant, Danielle Deadwyler and Joe Knezevich, under the direction of David de Vries. July 12-Aug. 7. $15-$50. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road, Atlanta. 1-877-725-8849,

On frothy tap at the ever-busy Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse: Matt Nitchie and Dani Herd play the feuding lovers Petruchio and Katherine in “The Taming of the Shrew”; Jeremiah Parker Hobbs is cast as Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (directed by Matt Felten); and Hobbs, Adam King and Vinnie Mascola frantically encapsulate the Bard’s entire repertoire in the zany “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged). “Shrew,” June 24-July 10; “Midsummer,” July 16-Aug. 7; “Works,” Aug. 11-Sept. 4. $15-$40. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse, 499 Peachtree St., Atlanta. 404-874-5299,

Essential Theatre’s annual summer festival, dedicated to premiering new works by Georgia playwrights, presents Karen Wuhl’s “Dispossessed” and Derek Dixon’s “When Things Are Lost.” The former is a romantic fantasy and period piece about a young Yiddish actress for whom life begins to imitate art, when her latest character mysteriously materializes to her. The latter tells an emotional contemporary story, in which a young man embarks on a “dream quest” to help explain the sudden disappearance of his best friend. July 29-Aug. 28 (in rotating repertory). $15-$25. West End Performing Arts Center, 945 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd., Atlanta.


See “When Things Are Lost” or “Of Mice and Men” above. Otherwise, hey, it is summertime, after all …

RELATED: See upcoming events, concerts and movies in Atlanta

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.