2016 Arts & Entertainment
A Variety of Choices to Appeal To All Ages and Stages of Life
By Larry Anderson
The arts and entertainment scene in and around Atlanta has somethingfor everyone. There’s a reason it’s the arts capital of the Southeast, with top-notch theaters, music and performing arts venues, museums, and more. Some events and venues are friendly for the whole family, and can entertain children and adults together. Even teenagers and young adults will be engaged by the large number of eclectic choices. Married couples planning a date night will find plenty to do, and Baby Boomers will find much to appeal to them, including nostalgia and history.
Our 2016 Arts and Entertainment Guide includes something for every age group. We have highlighted some (among the many!) arts and entertainment choices with special appeal to various ages and stages of life—Families and Kids, Teens and Young Adults, Date Nights and Baby Boomers. But don’t take our word for it—be sure to explore all the possibilities for yourself, for any age group!
One of Atlanta’s most celebrated theaters, the Tony Award-winning Alliance is known for launching Broadway shows and touring productions. Among the highlights of the 2016-2017 season are the American classic Moby Dick; Troubadour, a musical comedy with music by Sugarland’s Kristian Bush; and The Temple Bombing, a dramatic retelling of a pivotal event in Atlanta’s history. Plans are in place for a major building “reinvention” for the Alliance Theatre in the summer of 2017.
Founded in 1929, the Atlanta Ballet is the oldest continually operating company in the country. The eclectic repertoire spans ballet history, highlighting beloved classics and inventive originals. The 87th season kicks off in December with its signature production, Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, an Atlanta holiday tradition. Other highlights include Carmina Burana, a modern reimagining of the classic parable; and Snow White, a one-hour family ballet version of the familiar tale, designed for younger audiences, ages 12 and under.
Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education
Anyone in the community, of any age or experience, can discover the joy of dance in the world-class Centre accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance. Education and community programs help enrich children’s lives with the art of dance, and build on the rich legacy of dance. The Atlanta Ballet Centre for Dance Education enables students to receive the special benefit of rehearsing with and observing a professional company, learning the ins and outs of being a professional dancer.
Atlanta History Center
Situated on a 33-acre complex in Buckhead, the Atlanta History Center features two historic houses, the Centennial Olympic Games Museum, the Goizueta Gardens, 22 acres of historic gardens and trails, and the Kenan Research Center.
Since its first production in 1980, this acclaimed company has developed a reputation for fostering great local and international talent. For its 2016-2017 season, which will open in October, the Atlanta Opera will stage Mozart’s farcical romance The Abduction from the Seraglio, Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and four other productions.
The Grammy Award-winning Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, one of America’s leading orchestras, has an ambitious 2016-2017 season on tap, including excellent live performances, renowned guest artists and engaging education initiatives. The orchestra performs more than 200 concerts a year, including educational and community concerts, for a combined audience of more than half a million people.
Bodies … The Exhibition
For an up-close view of the human body, you can’t beat this unique exhibit. More than 200 specially preserved bodies and specimens offer a look at our skeletal structure, musculature, nervous and reproductive systems, and more.
Broadway in Atlanta
Sponsored by Fifth Third Bank, Broadway in Atlanta hosts a number of touring Broadway productions each year at the Fox Theatre, including The Illusionists – Live from Broadway this fall. Highlights of the 2016-2017 season will include the Roundabout Theater Company’s Tony Award-winning production of Cabaret; and The Bodyguard, a musical based on the hit film. Matilda The Musical will bring to life Roald Dahl’s story of an extraordinary girl who dares to change her destiny. Finding Neverland tells the story behind one of the world’s most beloved characters, Peter Pan. An American in Paris is a musical based on the works of George and Ira Gershwin.
Center For Puppetry Arts
This enchanting Midtown institution houses a museum dedicated to the art of puppetry, including iconic Jim Henson characters Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Oscar the Grouch, Bert and Ernie. The Center also hosts workshops and performances. Upcoming highlights include Tales of Peter Rabbit (Sept. 14-25) and Jungle Book (Oct. 12-23).
Children’s Museum Of Atlanta
Sparking imagination and inspiring discovery in all children through the power of play, this downtown attraction is the only venue of its kind in Atlanta, presenting programs and exhibits for young children up to age 8. The newly renovated museum features bright, creative, hands-on exhibits designed to promote inventive problem solving, creative thinking and artistic expression. Core competencies for literacy, math and science are promoted throughout all exhibits and programming. Permanent exhibits like “Fundamentally Food” and “Step Up to Science” foster a sense of creativity and discovery. Daily programs include hands-on and creative programs, all part of the price of admission.
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 showcases some of the world’s largest dinosaurs. There’s also an IMAX theatre with an ever-changing lineup of fascinating and thrilling films.
Ferst Center for The Arts At Georgia Tech
Located on the Georgia Tech campus, this 1,159-seat venue hosts theater, dance and comedy performances. Upcoming shows include Chicago’s Famous Second City sketch and improv group and Pilobolus: Shadowland, a mix of shadow theater, dance, circus and concert. With a mash-up of dazzling wizardry, spectacular dance moves, and original music, iLuminate tells a story of adventure and romance using the power of light and wearable technology. Georgia-born choreographer Alonzo King returns to his home state with his visionary choreography, brought to life by the extraordinary Alonzo King LINES Ballet. The Arts@Tech series also includes Hiromi: The Trio Project, featuring one of jazz piano’s most virtuosic composers.
This Midtown landmark, a former 1920s movie palace known for its Moorish and Egyptian architecture, hosts a number of concerts, performances and plays. Daily 60-minute tours showcase the venue’s history and must-see details – from the orchestra pit and Mighty Mo’, the largest working Moller theatre organ in the world, to the Men’s Lounge featuring the original furniture chosen by the wife of movie-mogul William Fox.
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 Bengaline honeymoon gown worn by Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara in the movie. There is also an educational display dedicated to the African American cast members of the movie Gone With The Wind. Other pieces include foreign film posters, premier programs, conceptual artworks, advertisements and other collectibles. A three-day Marietta Classic Film Festival, Sept. 23-25, will include screenings of To Kill a Mockingbird, American Graffiti, and Gone With the Wind, at the Marietta Performing Arts Center, with appearances by cast members of the films and other activities.
High Museum of Art
The Southeast’s leading art museum, the High is renowned for its notable architecture, its collection of classic and contemporary art, and exhibits like the current “Tiovivo: Whimsical Sculptures” by Jaime Hayon and Wood Sculpture from the Gordon W. Bailey Collection.
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. INK is located an hour north of Atlanta in Gainesville, Ga. Through donations, grants, corporate business and community support, INK is planning to move into a new 50,000-square-foot building that will offer more learning opportunities for a wider variety of age groups.
National Center for Civil and Human Rights
This attraction 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. The Civil Rights Movement gallery presents the brave fight for equality in The American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s.
Schwartz Center for The Performing Arts
Emory University’s Schwartz Center features an 800-seat concert hall that hosts music, dance and theater performances, including students, faculty, and guest artists. Upcoming attractions include violinist Sarah Chang and the Branford Marsalis Quartet with Special Guest Kurt Elling.
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 the upcoming season are performances by violinist Hilary Hahn; and pianists pianists Joyce Yang, Louis Lortie, and Yefim Bronfman.
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 through March 2017. A program of the Public Arts Commission, Suwanee SculpTour is supported through private donations. The current exhibit has more art pieces, more local artists, and the largest sculpture yet to be included in Suwanee’s public art encounter.
The Atlanta Zoo is one of four zoos in the United States housing giant pandas. It’s just one of Zoo Atlanta’s informative, educational and engaging experiences. Wildlife shows include free-flying birds, and a petting zoo features friendly goats and sheep. The Zoo’s Wild Encounters program allows visitors to go behind the scenes to meet and feed an African elephant, giant panda or Aldabra tortoise. In early 2017, Atlanta Zoo will break ground on its “Grand New View” project; the Cyclorama building and adjacent property will be transformed to overlook a new habitat for African elephants and giraffes.