While the Alliance Theatre's stage play Cuttin' Up celebrates the African-American barbershop, the 14th Street Playhouse focuses on the flamboyant yet spiritual hat culture of black women in CROWNS, opening Thurs., MAY 10. Both shows are based on books by Craig Marberry, a nonfiction writer who uses haircuts and headwear as means to explore African-American life's little details and deeper traditions. Crowns, directed by talented former Atlantan Andrea Frye, turns the material into a roof-raising musical. Creative Loafing's review of the Alliance's 2003 production said, "Crowns doesn't fit any specific genre, but is a curious hybrid of oral history, gospel musical, church service and fashion show." Through June 10. $28-$60. Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 1 and 8 p.m.; Sun., 7 p.m. 173 14th St. 404-733-4738. www.ikamproductions.com.