2015 Arts & Entertainment
Your Guide to Atlanta’s Top Theaters, Museums and More
By Kevin Forest Moreau
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 list 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 2015-2016 season are Born for This: The Bebe Winans Story, a new musical by Bebe Winans and Charles Randolph-Wright. www.alliancetheatre.org.
Founded in 1929, the Atlanta Ballet is the oldest continually operating company in the country. Its 86th season kicks off in December with its signature production, Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker. Other highlights include Moulin Rouge and The Sleeping Beauty. 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 2015-2016 season, which will open in October, the Atlanta Opera will stage productions of the classics La Bohème, Romeo and Juliet, and Winterreise. www.atlantaopera.org.
The Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony, one of America’s leading orchestras, has an ambitious 2015-2016 season on tap that will honor the 100th birthday of Robert Shaw with four world premieres, guest performances from such names as André Watt and Itzhak Perlman, and crowd-pleasing programs including a Brahms Requiem and a Mini-Beethoven Festival. For information about the ASO’s 70th season and special events visit 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 2015-2016 season will include Jersey Boys (October 6-11), The Book of Mormon (January 12-24), The Sound of Music (March 1-6) and Kinky Boots (March 29-April 3). For more information on upcoming shows and ticket pricing visit 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 a variety of concerts and national touring productions. Upcoming highlights this year include comedians John Cleese and Eric Idle (Oct. 21-22) and Wanda Sykes (Nov. 6). www.cobbenergycentre.com.
Ferst Center For The Arts At Georgia Tech
Located on the Georgia Tech campus, this 1,159-seat venue has been hosting theater, dance and comedy performances for more than 20 years. Upcoming shows include Mavis Staples & Joan Osborne: Solid Soul (Nov. 18) and PostSecret: The Show (Feb. 6). For more information on upcoming shows and events, visit www.ferstcenter.gatech.edu.
This Midtown landmark, a former 1920s movie palace known for its Moorish and Egyptian architecture, hosts a number of concerts, performances and plays. Upcoming highlights include The B-52s (Oct. 30) and Mythbusters: Jamie and Adam Unleashed (Nov. 15). www.foxtheatre.org.
Rialto Center For The Art
This restored, 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 2015-2016 season highlights include the Orchestra Buena Vista Social Club on Oct. 24 and the always hilarious Capitol Steps comedy troupe on Feb. 13, 2016. www.rialtocenter.org.
Schwartz Center For The Performing Arts
Emory University’s Schwartz Center features an 800-seat concert hall that hosts music, dance and theater performances. Upcoming attractions include An Evening with Bassists Edgar Meyer and Christian McBride (Oct. 30) and Julian Bliss Septet: A Tribute to Benny Goodman (Feb. 6). 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 Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain (Oct. 11) and the Glenn Miller Orchestra (Jan. 9, 2016). www.spiveyhall.org.
Museums And Exhibits
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 special events throughout the year, ranging from author lectures to film screenings. www.atlantahistorycenter.com.
Booth Western Art Museum
Located just an hour north of Atlanta in Cartersville, the Booth Museum explores different aspects of Western culture and history, including the Carolyn & James Millar Presidential Gallery and Western art exhibitions. Upcoming exhibits include Three Point Perspective: Dean, Elliott & Hagege, featuring three young stars from the Western art world. www.boothmuseum.org.
Jimmy Carter Library And Museum
This official monument to the former state senator, Georgia governor and U.S. president houseshis official papers, as well as exhibits and artifacts, including his Nobel Peace Prize and a replica of the Oval Office. The library often hosts guest lectures and other events as well. www.jimmycarterlibrary.gov.
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
The High is considered the Southeast’s leading art museum for such prestigious exhibits as the upcoming Habsburg Splendor: Masterpieces from Vienna’s Imperial Collections, featuring masterpieces and rare objects from the collection of the Habsburg Dynasty (Oct. 18 - Jan. 17). 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.
National Center For Civil And Human Rights
This new attraction, open since June 2014, traces the history of the American civil rights movement and explores its relationship to today’s human rights efforts across the globe. Exhibits include items from Morehouse College’s collection of Dr. Martin Luther King’s personal papers and belongings. www.civilandhumanrights.org.
This popular public art exhibit in Suwanee, a half-hour north of Atlanta, features 17 original sculptures that can be enjoyed during a 1-mile walking tour in and around the city’s Town Center Park. The current exhibit will remain on display through March 2017. www.suwanee.com.
For The Whole Family
Center For Puppetry Arts
This enchanting Midtown institution houses a museum dedicated to the art of puppetry. The Center also hosts workshops and performances, such as the recent Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type. Upcoming highlights include Peter Pan (Sept. 24 - Oct. 25) and Pinocchio (Dec. 29 - Jan. 10). www.puppet.org.
The Children’s Museum Of Atlanta
This downtown museum is currently closed for extensive renovations, but is set to open in late 2015 with a number of new and refurbished interactive attractions designed to stimulate learning and creativity. Exhibits allow children to tromp through a crawl space, work on a farm, learn about nutrition and explore their artistic sides. www.childrensmuseumatlanta.org.
Fernbank Museum Of Natural History
Take an entertaining and educational look at natural history at this Decatur museum, with such permanent exhibits as A Walk Through Time in Georgia and Giants of the Mesozoic, which showcase some of the world’s largest dinosaurs. There’s also an IMAX theatre with an ever-changing lineup of fascinating and thrilling 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 and the 65-acre Fernbank Forest. www.fernbank.edu.
Interactive Neighborhood For Kids
Since first opening its doors in August of 2002, Interactive Neighborhood for Kids (INK) has established itself as a one-of-a-kind children’s museum that engages children of all ages through interactive, hands-on learning. Offering children a miniature version of a “grownup” community, INK allows them to role-play as doctors, nurses, teachers, postal workers and more. www.inkfun.org.
Tellus Science Museum
This Cartersville museum allows aspiring archeologists to stare into the jaws of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. It also gives amateur astronomers a tour of the current evening’s sky at the planetarium. Other attractions include a mineral gallery and a look at transportation technology. The museum also hosts lectures and other educational programs. www.tellusmuseum.org.