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Aug./Sept. 2006

Atlanta All-Access
A Backstage Pass to Atlanta's Arts & Entertainment Scene
by Amanda K. Brown

Miami String Quartet will be performing at Kennesaw State University.
Feet stomping across the city on stages sawn of polished wood. Voices rising to meet the Southern sky. Flutes and trumpets and oboes creating melodious echoes that linger hours after the show has ended.

As the center of culture in the Southeast, Atlanta offers a thriving visual and performing arts scene that ensures a season's worth of entertainment. From a night at the opera to a day at High, here's your all-access backstage pass to the hottest venues, most engaging galleries and the best gasp-inducing, heart-pounding, curtain-calling, applause-worthy shows around the city.


7 Stages Theatre
With an emphasis on international works and new plays, playwrights and methods of collaboration, 7 Stages promotes productions concentrating on the social, political and spiritual values of today's society. The theatre also shelters burgeoning theatres-in-residence such as Synchronicity Performance Group and Essential Theatre. (404-523-7647,

Actor's Express Theatre
From its home in the King Plow Arts Center, Actor's Express takes pride in nurturing new plays and introducing regional and world premieres. The theatre's upcoming season includes offerings that are anything but usual, including the morally complex Tony winner, I Am My Own Wife and sure-to-be-hilarious The Great American Trailer Park Musical. (404-607-SHOW,

Alliance Theatre
The Alliance sets the standard in Atlanta for classic dramas, comedies and musicals, but isn't afraid to think outside the black box with world premieres and electrifying productions on its small er, 200-seat Hertz Stage. Season highlights include the Tony Award-winning musical comedy The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee and movie-turned-musical Sister Act. (404-733-5000,

The Atlanta Lyric Theatre
This premiere local musical theatre company usually provides a breadth of singing sensations, including the intriguingly passionate Jekyll & Hyde, which kicks off their 27th season this November at the Ferst Center. (404-894-9600,

Monty Python's Spamalot.
Broadway Across America-Atlanta
Broadway Across America-Atlanta brings award-winning Broadway shows to The Fox Theatre and will wow audiences this season with productions such as Tony-favorites The Light in the Piazza and Monty Python's Spamalot. 404-817-8700,

Georgia Ensemble Theatre
The resident company of the Roswell Cultural Arts Center burns up its suburban stage this season with an eclectic mix that ranges from the Southern sassiness of Steel Magnolias to the Neil Simon favorite, The Odd Couple. (770-641-1260,

Georgia Shakespeare
The professional theatre-in-residence at Oglethorpe University, Georgia Shakespeare annually delivers fresh, relatable takes on the Bard and other classic playwrights. This fall, the passionate dramatics of Othello take center stage. (404-264-0020,

Horizon Theatre Company
Specializing in new works by contemporary playwrights, Horizon Theatre's productions embrace and challenge the diversity of life in the urban Southeast. This season's blues and pop musical Three Sistahs, for example, explores the bonds of family. (404-584-7450, individuals or families!

Jewish Theatre of the South
This company has successfully created a venue for lesser known, quality productions and regional premieres of works featuring Jewish content, such as this season's world premiere of Hank Kimmel's Shorts, a Woody Allen-esque comedy by Atlanta playwright Hank Kimmel. (770-395-2654,

Bombay Dreams
Onstage Atlanta
This Decatur company has become known for its ambitious productions, including this season's The Oz Chronicles: Oz in Concert, which takes on musical selections from The Wizard of Oz, The Wiz and Wicked. (404-897-1802,

PushPush Theater
Unafraid: an adjective to describe this entity that has evolved from a small workshop theater into a thriving venue in Decatur celebrating its 10th anniversary this season, where the boundaries of artists--and audiences--are pushpushed with edgy version of classic works and new, experimental productions. (404-377-6332,

Theater of the Stars
The resident company of The Fox Theatre, Theater of the Stars produces lavish renditions of classic American musicals, new works from Broadway producers and innovative revivals. Audiences will be dazzled this August by the colorful, all-out spectacle of Bollywood-based Bombay Dreams. (404-252-8960,

True Colors Theatre Company
While this up-and-coming, ambitious theatre company's mission centers on introducing African-American classics to a new generation of theatergoers, True Colors also cultivates new talent and embraces plays and playwrights from diverse time periods, cultures and perspectives. (404-588-0308,


The always graceful Atlanta Ballet.
Atlanta Ballet
Despite being relatively old (this is its 77th year!), the Atlanta Ballet's offerings are as fresh as ever. The dance company grand jetes from classic to classic, including John McFall's take on the literary classic, The Great Gatsby, and Tchaikovsky favorites Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. (404-892-3303,

Atlanta Opera
One word can describe the Atlanta Opera's 2006-07 offerings: passionate. From Rossini's famed The Barber of Seville to Guonod's romantic Romeo et Juliette, this season is sure to have audiences singing arias all the way home. (404-881-8885,

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
The award-winning ASO will put on hundreds of performances this year, including a classical season, light classical concerts, family concerts, annual summer festivals, outdoor summer pops concerts and free concerts in city parks. (404-733-5000,

Ballethnic Dance Company
This classically trained, culturally diverse dance company creates fusion footwork by combining traditional ballet with ethnic dance forms, especially African-American. Audiences particularly love Ballethnic's annual Urban Nutcracker, a twist on the holiday favorite. (404-762-1416,

Callanwolde Fine Arts Center
The fine arts get hands-on at Callanwolde, with its breadth of classes and workshops available for all ages. A leading venue for talented local performers, Callanwolde hosts acts such as their own string-quartet-in-residence, LYRA. (404-872-5338,

Ferst Center for the Arts
Georgia Tech's fine arts venue will host multiple Atlanta premieres and audience favorites in the upcoming season's popular music, dance/movement and theatre/variety series. This year's selections run the gamut, from sibling piano quintet The 5 Browns to the irreverently comedic stylings of everyone's favorite celeb on the "D-List," Kathy Griffin. (404-894-9600,

Kennesaw State University's College of the Arts
KSU cultivates culture outside the perimeter with Broadway stars, jazz sensations, emerging acts and world-renowned showstoppers. Be sure to catch the Premiere Series presentation of the much-sought-after Miami String Quartet this October. (770-423-6650,

Freddy Cole will preform at Spivey Hall.
Rialto Center for the Performing Arts
According to the tagline for the Rialto's upcoming season, "every show's a celebration," and with reason: this year marks the 10th anniversary of the re-opening of Georgia State University's Rialto Center. Indeed, the 2006-07 Rialto Series headliners are the best in national and international jazz, world music and dance, from tap master Savion Glover to the Spanish Harlem Orchestra. (404-651-4727,

Several Dancers Core
Known for its creative, contemporary choreography and experimentation, Several Dancers and its professional dance ensemble, CORE Performance Company, will present a multimedia performance at the Atlanta premiere of Corazon Abriendo, this November. (404-373-4154,

Spivey Hall
Clayton State University's performance hall provides an intimate, visually captivating environ for its acclaimed jazz, choral, chamber and instrumental music series, including this season's offerings of choral ensemble Chanticleer and award-winning tenor Rolan do Villazon. (770-960-4200,


Artists' Atelier of Atlanta
The gallery at Artists' Atelier showcases the new paintings, photographs, sculptures and more of the more than 20 resident artists cultivating their art within its studios. (404-231-5999,

High Museum of Art
The leading art museum in the Southeast, with more than 11,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High's newly expanded facilities are just as breathtaking as the pieces inside of it. Louvre Atlanta, the three-year partnership between the Musee du Louvre in Paris and the High opens this October. (404-733-4400,

Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia
Concentrating on art produced from the early 1960s to the present, MOCA GA's permanent collection and exhibitions represent works by Georgia artists in multiple media, including photography and installations. (404-881-1109,

Museum of Design Atlanta
MODA, the only museum in the Southeast dedicated to design, features an eclectic mix of form and functionality. This fall, patrons can enjoy Design Made in Africa, an exhibition featuring design from across the continent of Africa. (404-688-2467,

Savannah Gallery
The latest gallery from the Savannah College of Art and Design, which just opened its Atlanta branch last year, showcases the work of the institute's students, alumni, faculty and distinguished artists. (404-816-0247,

Kathy Griffin
The must-see, can't-miss shows of the season.

Miami String Quartet
Kennesaw State University's College of the Arts
Oct. 7
One of the most respected quartets in the country, this group highlights KSU's Premiere Series with their diverse programming and energy.

Kathy Griffin
Ferst Center for the Arts
Oct. 13
Known for her hilariously biting commentary about her life on Hollywood's "D-List," Griffin's candid take on La-La Land is sure to keep the audience in stitches.

The Great Gatsby
Atlanta Ballet
Feb. 8-17, 2007
The Jazz Age comes alive in John McFall's interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's famous novel--a full-length ballet filled with love, tragedy and the American dream.

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