Your Guide to Atlanta’s Arts and Entertainment Scene
By Kevin Forest Moreau
Broadway in Atlanta’s “Evita” comes to the Fox Theatre next summer
Your new city offers more than just great new places to explore,fabulous restaurants and a wealth of good schools. It’s also the arts capital of the Southeast, with top-notch theaters, music and performing arts venues, museums … the list goes on. Don’t know where to start? Don’t worry. On the following pages, we’ve put together a program of the biggest players on Atlanta’s cultural stage.
Concerts, Shows and Plays
One of Atlanta’s most celebrated theaters, the Tony Award-winning Alliance is known for launching Broadway shows and touring productions including Bring It On, Sister Act and Ghost Brothers of Darkland County. Among the highlights of the 2013-2014 season is the musical Harmony, with music by Barry Manilow. www.alliancetheatre.org.
Founded in 1929, the Atlanta Ballet is the nation’s oldest continually operating ballet company. Its 84th season kicks off in December with its signature production, Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. Other highlights include Romeo et Juliette, Pinocchio and Hamlet. www.atlantaballet.com.
Since its first production in 1980, this acclaimed company has developed a reputation for fostering great local and international talent. For its 2013-2014 season, which opens in October, the Atlanta Opera will stage productions of the classics Tosca, Faust and The Barber of Seville. www.atlantaopera.org.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
The Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony, one of America’s leading orchestras, has an ambitious 2013-2014 season on tap, with five world premieres, guest performances from such names as André Watt and cellist Yo-Yo Ma, and crowd-pleasing programs including a Movie Music Spectacular and A Tribute to Marvin Hamlisch. www.atlantasymphony.org.
Broadway in Atlanta
Sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, Broadway in Atlanta hosts a number of touring Broadway productions each year at the Fox Theatre. Highlights of the 2013-2014 season include Ghost (Nov. 5-10), The Book of Mormon (Jan. 28-Feb. 9, 2014), The Lion King (April 10-27), American Idiot (May 1-4) and Evita (June 3-8). www.broadwayacrossamerica.com.
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
This 2,750-seat theater just northwest of Atlanta is home to the Atlanta Ballet and the Atlanta Opera, as well as concerts and touring productions. Upcoming highlights include comedian Lewis Black (Oct. 19) and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Nov. 7 through 23). www.cobbenergycentre.com.
This Midtown landmark, a former 1920s movie palace known for its Islamic and Egyptian architecture, hosts a number of concerts, performances and plays. Upcoming highlights include screenings of Iron Man 3 (Aug. 16) and Breakfast at Tiffany’s (Aug. 18) as part of the theater’s annual Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival. www.foxtheatre.org.
Rialto Center for the Arts
This 833-seat venue on the campus of Georgia State University is one of the city’s premier venues for leading national and international jazz and world music acts. The Rialto’s 2013-2014 season kicks off with the Orquesta Buena Vista Social Club (Oct. 5). www.rialtocenter.org.
Schwartz Center for the Performing Arts
Currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, Emory University’s Schwartz Center features an 800-seat concert hall that hosts music, dance and theater performances. Upcoming shows include an evening of chamber music by Philip Glass and Tim Fain on Sept. 27 and mandolin player Chris Thile (Nov. 2). www.arts.emory.edu.
Renowned for its exceptional acoustics, this 400-seat space on the campus of Clayton State University in Morrow is a great setting for live jazz and classical music. Among the highlights of its upcoming season are performances by the Tetzlaff Quartet (Oct. 20) and pianist Paul Lewis (Nov. 10). www.spiveyhall.org.
Theater of the Stars
For more than 50 years, this Atlanta-based regional theater has presented hundreds of Broadway productions, specializing in fare that appeals to audiences young and old alike. The company’s scheduled productions for this season are The Little Mermaid (Sept. 7-15) and Stomp (Sept. 25-29), both at the Fox Theatre. www.theaterofthestars.com.
Museums and Exhibits
Atlanta Cyclorama & Civil War Museum
The centerpiece of this attraction is a panoramic painting of the Battle of Atlanta. The painting stands 42 feet tall, is 358 feet in circumference, and includes a diorama, adding a dimension of depth to the portrait. The museum also features Civil War memorabilia and a steam locomotive. www.atlantacyclorama.org.
Atlanta History Center
Situated on a 33-acre complex in Buckhead, the Atlanta History Center features two museums, two historic homes, six historic gardens and the Kenan Research Center. The Center also hosts various special events throughout the year. www.atlantahistorycenter.com.
This unique showcase, located in Atlantic Station in Midtown Atlanta, offers an unmatched view of the human body and how it works. More than 200 actual bodies and specimens, preserved through a unique process, offer visitors a unique look at our skeletal structure, musculature, nervous and reproductive systems and more. www.bodiestheexhibition.com/atlanta.
Booth Western Art Museum
Located less than an hour north of Atlanta in Cartersville, the Booth Museum explores many different aspects of Western culture and history. Current exhibits include a popular look at paintings that graced the cover of the Saturday Evening Post magazine. www.boothmuseum.org.
Gone with the Wind Museum
Dedicated to Margaret Mitchell’s world-famous novel and its classic movie adaptation, this charming museum on the historic Marietta Square showcases some of Mitchell’s personal volumes of the novel, as well as movie memorabilia including the original honeymoon gown worn by Vivien Leigh in the film. www.gwtwmarietta.com.
High Museum of Art
With more than 13,000 works of art in its permanent collection, the High is considered the Southeast’s leading art museum. It often hosts prestigious exhibits such as the current Girl With a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis (see sidebar). www.high.org.
Margaret Mitchell House
Explore the life of Mitchell, the former journalist best known as the author of Gone With the Wind, by touring the apartment where she wrote much of the novel. There are also exhibits on the writer and her world-famous book. www.margaretmitchellhouse.com.
Michael C. Carlos Museum
Known as one of the Southeast’s foremost museums of ancient art, this museum on the Emory University campus showcases objects from ancient Egypt, Rome, Greece, Africa, Asia and elsewhere. It also hosts educational lectures, workshops and other events. www.carlos.emory.edu.
This popular public art exhibit in Suwanee, a half-hour north of Atlanta, features more than a dozen original sculptures, which can be enjoyed during a 1-mile walking tour in and around the city’s Town Center. The current SculpTour is on display through March 2015. www.suwanee.com.
Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
This absorbing exhibit at Atlantic Station transports visitors back in time to April 1912 and places them aboard the historic RMS Titanic. Assume the role of a passenger as you learn about the ship’s construction and examine more than 200 artifacts from the Titanic’s fateful voyage. www.titanicatlanta.com.
For the Whole Family
Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education
The Atlanta Ballet’s education program teaches ballet technique for children as young as age 3. The Centre follows Fulton County’s education calendar, with classes beginning in August and ending in June. Summer programs are also available. www.atlantaballet.com.
Center for Puppetry Arts
This enchanting Midtown institution houses a museum dedicated to the art of puppetry, with more than 350 puppets from TV shows, movies and around the world. The Center also hosts workshops and performances like the recent Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat. Upcoming highlights include The Wizard of Oz (Oct. 9-20) and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (Nov. 7-Dec. 29). www.puppet.org.
The Children’s Museum of Atlanta
This downtown museum features interactive attractions that stimulate learning and creativity. Year-round exhibits allow children to tromp through a fun crawl space, work on a farm and explore their artistic sides. The current Weebles Coast to Coast® exhibit allows children to visit all 50 states without leaving the museum (through Sept. 8). www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org.
Fernbank Museum of Natural History
Take an entertaining and educational look at natural history at this museum, with such permanent exhibits as A Walk Through Time in Georgia and Giants of the Mesozoic, which showcases some of the world’s largest dinosaurs. There’s also an IMAX theatre with an ever-changing lineup of fascinating films. www.fernbankmuseum.org.
Fernbank Science Center
The Science Center, which is not connected to the Fernbank Museum, features a two-story exhibit hall filled with educational displays. There’s also a planetarium and observatory, a large solar panel, a library, an areo space lab, a laboratory devoted to meteorology and seismology, and the 65-acre Fernbank Forest. www.fernbank.edu.
Interactive Neighborhood for Kids
This children’s museum in Gainesville offers children a glimpse into what it’s like to be a doctor, banker or even a police officer, through role play and hands-on exhibits. There’s also a library, an interactive stage, an arts and crafts room and an actual fire truck from 1927. www.inkfun.org.
Tellus Science Museum
This Cartersville museum allows aspiring archeologists to stare into the jaws of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Other attractions include a mineral gallery and a look at transportation technology. The museum also hosts lectures and other educational programs. www.tellusmuseum.org.