Get Your Art On
In a city filled with original shows, world-renowned exhibitions and spectacular performing arts facilities, audiences are looking forward to another season of innovative arts and entertainment. Here is a look at where you can find some of the best and brightest shows and exhibits—those that make the city’s arts and entertainment scene a showstopping success.
Gone With the Wind Museum
The first major performing arts facility to be built in Metro Atlanta in four decades, the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre (770-916-2800, www.cobbenergycentre.com) is a $145-million project that includes a 2,750-seat theater and a 10,000-square-foot ballroom, making it an ideal venue for ballet performances and corporate meetings alike. The centre, which features performances by the Atlanta Opera, the Atlanta Ballet, the Atlanta Broadway Series, and popular concerts, celebrates its second anniversary on Sept. 15.
Ferst Center for the Arts
At the Ferst Center for the Arts (404-894-9600, www.ferstcenter.org), located in the heart of Georgia Tech’s downtown campus, audiences have been dazzled by national and international performers for more than 15 years. This season promises to be one of the best, with a lineup that includes the Atlanta premiere performance of The Pirates of Penzance, performed by New York Gilbert and Sullivan Players, and the Monterey Jazz Festival Tour.
The Fox Theatre
Making its place in history as the theatre where Gone With the Wind debuted, the Fabulous Fox Theatre (404-881-2100, www.foxtheatre. org) continues to run a series of movies, plays, musicals, dance performances and concerts. Both Theater of the Stars and Broadway Across America bring world-class shows to the Fox, as well as a number of concerts and performances, including comedian Robin Williams in October and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular starring The Rockettes starting in November.
Rialto Center for the Arts
The world is at your fingertips at Georgia State University’s Rialto Center for the Arts (404-413- 9849, www.rialtocenter.org), where international performers introduce Atlantans to art in all of its cultural manifestations. The Center worked with Atlanta’s Loridans Foundation to help put Atlanta on the dance “map,” and this season will bring more dance companies, exposing many of Atlanta’s audiences to some of the most innovative and critically acclaimed choreographers in the field.
Located at Clayton State University, Spivey Hall (678-466-4200, www.spiveyhall.org) presents jazz and classical music in one of the best acoustical settings in Atlanta. Here is where acts like organist Daniel Pyle, soprano Christine Brewer, Georgian Chamber Players and guitarist William Hearn find their audiences in an intimate 400-seat hall.
Atlanta is home to the oldest professional dance company in America, the Atlanta Ballet (404- 873-5811, www.atlantaballet.com). Applauded for classics such as Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet since it gained professional status in 1967, the Atlanta Ballet is now noted for its versatile and inventive repertoire, and the 2009-2010 season will be no exception, bringing favorites like Mozart’s Magic Flute, Cinderella and the Christmas spectacular, The Nutcracker, an Atlanta tradition for more than 40 years.
With more than 250 performances and 75 productions since 1979, the Atlanta Opera (404-881- 8801, www.atlantaopera.org) has entertained more than 800,000 people while providing the highest in musical and theatrical standards. The opera kicks off its 2009-10 season with Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love in October and will bring Verdi’s Aida and Mozart’s The Magic Flute to opera fans during its third season home at the Cobb Energy Centre.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
With Robert Spano directing and Donald Runnicles conducting, the award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (404-733-5000, www.atlantasymphony.org) is tuned for its exciting 64th season, with more than 200 concerts planned. The 2009-2010 season will combine the best of classical work with newly commissioned pieces, including the world premiere weekend in October when Yo-Yo Ma will perform with the ASO in a new cello concerto.
Broadway Across America
The national production company known as Broadway Across America (404-817-8700, www.broadwayacrossamerica.com) offers the hottest tickets in town. For more than 25 years, Broadway Across America has brought blockbuster shows direct from the Great White Way to Atlanta, such as the Radio City Rockette’s Christmas Spectacular in November, next spring’s run of Mamma Mia! and Dora the Explorer Live! in August.
Oglethorpe University’s permanent 509-seat theater is home to Georgia Shakespeare (404-264- 0020, www.gashakespeare.org), the professional theater company of Atlanta’s finest artists who have been showcasing the works of the master dramatist since its founding in 1985. Bring a picnic—before the show begins, you’ll enjoy live entertainment and dinner on the terrace of the theater—then watch the tragedy unfold in the historical Julius Caesar, showing Oct. 8-Nov. 1.
Founded more than 50 years ago to produce and present the Broadway musicals to regional theaters, the best of Broadway calls the Fox Theatre home with Theater of the Stars (404-252-8960, www.theaterofthestars. com). From world-famous musicals such as Chicago, 42nd Street and The Jersey Boys to newer productions such as RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles, there is something that will please everyone’s palate during the 2009-10 season. Be sure to check out the three show package, offered at a special rate.