If variety is the spice of life, then Atlanta’s professional theater companies are spicing things up in a big way with their respective 2018-19 seasons — offering a wide-ranging smorgasbord of regional and world premieres, popular revivals, topical dramas, mainstream comedies and spectacular musicals. Some titles and dates may be subject to change, but otherwise, there promises to be no shortage of shows to look forward to between this fall and next summer.
ACTOR’S EXPRESS. King Plow Arts Center, 887 W. Marietta St. NW, Atlanta. 404-607-7469, actors-express.com.
Artistic director Freddie Ashley casts veterans Tess Malis Kincaid and Rob Cleveland in the clever Ibsen-inspired sequel “A Doll’s House, Part 2” (continuing through Sept. 30), a co-production with Aurora. The company’s latest collaboration with former Atlanta playwright Steve Yockey is his mystical “Reykjavik” (Oct. 27-Nov. 18). Also on view: the racially charged comedy “An Octoroon” (Jan. 26-Feb. 24), the romantic musical “Falsettos” (March 23-April 28) and the intimate drama “Jump” (June 1-23).
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ALLIANCE THEATRE. Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-733-5000, alliancetheatre.org.
The Tony-winning company begins its 50th anniversary season with an outdoor presentation of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (Sept. 5-Oct. 21 at the Atlanta Botanical Garden), followed by its annual “A Christmas Carol” (Dec. 12-24, this year at the Cobb Energy Centre). The theater officially opens its newly renovated main stage with the fairy-tale musical “Ever After” (Jan. 19-Feb. 17) — followed by Atlanta playwright Pearl Cleage’s latest comedy, “Angry, Raucous and Shamelessly Gorgeous” (March 20-April 14), and the theme-park musical “Ride the Cyclone” (May 1-26).
On tap in the Alliance’s studio space: local playwright and composer Phillip DePoy’s post-World War II jazz musical “Nick’s Flamingo Grill” (Sept. 29-Oct. 28); Atlanta actress Mary Lynn Owen’s one-woman show “Knead” (Nov. 13-Dec. 9); “Goodnight, Tyler” (Feb. 16-March 10), winner of this year’s Kendeda national graduate playwriting competition, about the lingering spirit of a young black man killed by a white police officer; and “Approval Junkie” (April 5-28), a solo piece by TV and radio journalist Faith Salie.
ARIS THEATRE. Performing at the 7 Stages Back Stage Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. NE (in Little Five Points), Atlanta. 404-692-0053, aristheatre.org.
Director Frank Miller stages the Celtic-oriented company’s “Not About Heroes” (Nov. 2-18), the true story of the developing friendship between fellow poets (and shell-shocked World War I soldiers) Wilfred Owen and Siegfried Sassoon.
ART STATION. 5384 Manor Drive, Stone Mountain. 770-469-1105, artstation.org.
The Stone Mountain company celebrates the holidays with the return of “A Broadway Christmas Carol” (Dec. 6-21), a musical parody. Former Atlantan Clarinda Ross wrote and stars in “Spit Like a Big Girl” (Feb. 15-24). “Love & Money” (May 2-19) is a comedy of manners by A.R. Gurney. And “Tenderly” (July 11-28) is a revue of Rosemary Clooney’s greatest hits.
ATLANTA LYRIC THEATRE. The Jennie T. Anderson Theatre (at the Cobb Civic Center), 548 S. Marietta Parkway, Marietta. 404-377-9948, atlantalyrictheatre.com.
The Marietta musical company’s season-opening “Aida” just closed. Up next is the remount of “Newsies” (Oct. 19-Nov. 4), its co-production with Aurora, where the show performed like gangbusters over the summer. Also in store: “The Wedding Singer” (Feb. 8-24); “Singin’ in the Rain” (April 12-28); and “Oliver!” (June 7-23).
ATLANTA SHAKESPEARE COMPANY. Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse, 499 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-874-5299, shakespearetavern.com.
“Henry IV, Parts I and II” (in repertory Sept. 15-Oct. 21); “Macbeth” (Oct. 26-Nov. 4); “A Man for All Seasons” (Nov. 10-25); “Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol” (Nov. 30-Dec. 23); “Love’s Labour’s Lost” (Jan. 5-27); “Romeo and Juliet” (Feb. 1-24); “Henry V” (March 2-24); “William Luce’s Barrymore” (March 29-April 7); “Hamlet” (April 13-May 5); “Anne of the Thousand Days” (May 11-26); “Henry VIII,” “A Man for All Seasons” and “Anne of the Thousand Days” (in repertory May 30-June 16).
AURORA THEATRE. 128 E. Pike St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222, auroratheatre.com.
The season-opening musical “Newsies” was a smash. Still to come for the thriving Lawrenceville troupe: the free-spirited comedy “Be Here Now” (Sept. 20-Oct. 21); the annual holiday show, “Christmas Canteen” (Nov. 15-Dec. 23); a remounting of “A Doll’s House, Part 2” (Jan. 10-Feb. 10), its co-production with Actor’s Express; “Men With Money” (March 7-April 7), billed as “an old-fashioned, brand-new musical”; and “Native Gardens” (May 2-June 2), a suburban comedy about clashing neighbors.
CITY SPRINGS THEATRE. The Byers Theatre (at the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center), 1 Galambos Way, Sandy Springs. 404-477-4365, cityspringstheatre.com.
The ambitious inaugural season of Atlanta’s newest theater company opens with “42nd Street” (Sept. 14-23), starring Tony-winning Marietta native Shuler Hensley. The troupe’s all-singing, all-dancing lineup continues with “Elf” (Dec. 7-16), the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic “South Pacific” (March 8-17), “Billy Elliot” (May 3-12) and “Hairspray” (July 12-21).
DAD’S GARAGE. 569 Ezzard St. (in the Old Fourth Ward), Atlanta. 404-523-3141, dadsgarage.com.
“Star Wars” meets “The Dukes of Hazzard” in writer Travis Sharp’s sendup “Lawrenceburg” (Sept. 7-Oct. 13). And Charles Dickens meets there’s-no-telling-who in the group’s annual improvisational holiday show “Invasion: A Christmas Carol” (Nov. 30-Dec. 30).
GEORGIA ENSEMBLE THEATRE. Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. 770-641-1260, get.org.
The Roswell company’s first full season since the passing of co-founding artistic director Robert Farley opens and closes with the rousing musicals “9 to 5” (Sept. 13-30) and “Bullets Over Broadway” (April 11-28). In between: the one-woman show “I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti” (Oct. 25-Nov. 11); “Moonlight & Magnolias” (Jan. 10-27), a Hollywood comedy set during the making of “Gone With the Wind”; and co-stars Jill Jane Clements and Rob Cleveland reunite for a revival of “Driving Miss Daisy” (Feb. 28-March 17).
HORIZON THEATRE. 1083 Austin Ave. (in Little Five Points). 404-584-7450, horizontheatre.com.
The troupe’s 35th anniversary calendar season concludes with the family drama “Nomad Motel” (Sept. 21-Oct. 21), directed by Melissa Foulger, and “A Waffle Palace Christmas” (Nov. 15-Dec. 30) by Atlanta playwrights Larry Larson and Eddie Levi Lee, a new holiday sequel to their 2012 Horizon hit “The Waffle Palace.”
OUT FRONT THEATRE. 999 Brady Ave., Atlanta. 404-448-2755, outfronttheatre.com.
On tap for the gutsy LGBT-oriented company: regional premieres of the dramas “The View Upstairs (Oct. 25-Nov. 10) and “Porcelain” (Feb. 7-23); the self-explanatory revue “The Ethel Merman Disco Christmas Spectacular” (Dec. 6-22); the Pulitzer Prize-winning “I Am My Own Wife” (March 14-30); and the campy dark comedy “The Secretaries” (May 2-18).
SERENBE PLAYHOUSE. Site-specific performances take place in various outdoor locations around the Serenbe community in Chattahoochee Hills. 770-463-1110, serenbeplayhouse.com.
Local luminary Park Krausen stars in a new rendition of Anton Chekhov’s classic “The Seagull” (Sept. 5-30), adapted and directed by Elizabeth Dinkova. Rounding out the group’s 2018 calendar season are return engagements of “The Sleepy Hollow Experience” (Sept. 26-Nov. 4) and “The Snow Queen” (Nov. 28-Dec. 30).
7 STAGES THEATRE. 1105 Euclid Ave. NE (in Little Five Points), Atlanta. 404-523-7647, 7stages.org.
The theater celebrates its 40th anniversary season with two notable revivals. Co-founder Del Hamilton (who retired as artistic director in 2012) and Don Finney return in a remounted version of “Waiting for Godot” (Sept. 27-Oct. 14), reprising their roles from its 1992 production of the Samuel Beckett play. And Atlanta writer Topher Payne is reportedly reworking aspects of his seriocomic 2013 effort for the company, “Angry Fags” (March 28-April 14).
STAGE DOOR PLAYERS. North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center, 5339 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road, Dunwoody. 770-396-1726, stagedoorplayers.net.
The aging buddy comedy “A Red Plaid Shirt (Sept. 21-Oct. 14). “A Nice Family Christmas” (Nov. 30-Dec. 16). Alfred Uhry’s drama “The Last Night of Ballyhoo” (Jan. 25-Feb 17), set in Atlanta circa 1939. The contemporary comedy “Secrets of a Soccer Mom” (March 22-April 14). The jazz-era musical revue “Ain’t Misbehavin’” (May 24-June 16). Neil Simon’s comedy “Laughter on the 23rd Floor” (July 11-Aug. 4), about a team of 1950s TV writers.
SYNCHRONICITY THEATRE. 1545 Peachtree St. (in the Peachtree Pointe complex), Atlanta. 404-484-8636. synchrotheatre.com.
“Nell Gwynn” (Sept. 27-Oct. 21), directed by Richard Garner, follows the true story of the celebrated 17th-century English actress (and royal mistress). The family musical “A Year With Frog and Toad” (Dec. 15-30) has become a holiday tradition for the troupe. Also: the enigmatic “The Hero’s Wife” (April 11-May 5) and the racial “Hands of Color” (June 6-30).
THEATER EMORY. Mary Gray Munroe Theater, 605 Asbury Circle (in the Dobbs University Center on the Emory campus), Atlanta. 404-727-5050, theater.emory.edu.
In addition to a fall repertory of new plays — featuring “We Are Proud to Present,” “The Moors” and “The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity” (Oct. 23-Nov. 11) — the company will premiere veteran Atlanta actor/director John Ammerman’s “The Tatischeff Café” (April 4-14), a pantomimed homage to French filmmaker Jacques Tati.
THEATRICAL OUTFIT. Balzer Theater at Herren’s, 84 Luckie St. NW, Atlanta. 678-528-1500, theatricaloutfit.org.
The whimsical “The Book of Will” runs through Sept. 9. “The Royale” (Oct. 10-Nov. 4) takes place in the segregated world of boxing during the early 1900s. “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” (Nov. 21-Dec. 23) returns for the holidays. A group of British coal miners become unlikely art aficionados in “The Pitmen Painters” (Feb. 27-March 24). William S. Murphey plays culinary expert James Beard in the one-man comedy “I Love to Eat” (April 10-May 5). The musical revue “Five Guys Named Moe” (May 29-June 30) completes the lineup.
TRUE COLORS THEATRE. Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road, Atlanta. 1-877-725-8849, truecolorstheatre.org.
Under the artistic guidance of Atlanta’s own Tony-winning Broadway director Kenny Leon, the company opens its season with the musical revue “Nina Simone: Four Women” (Sept. 28-Oct. 21). The drama “Skeleton Crew” (Feb. 12-March 10) intersects the lives, hopes and dreams of several co-workers at a failing Detroit auto plant. And the segregation-era period piece “East Texas Hot Links” (July 16-Aug. 11) involves a group of regular customers at a rural café.
>> RELATED: Read an excerpt from Kenny Leon’s new memoir
WEIRD SISTERS THEATRE PROJECT. Performing at the 7 Stages Back Stage Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. NE (in Little Five Points), Atlanta. theweirdsisters.org.
A tragic car accident connects several fractured souls around a mysterious dying infant who “glows like the moon” in the magical and folkloric “The Electric Baby” (Sept. 14-30).
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