Thursday, July 9, 2009

Atlanta theater's traffic jam of cool play openings

Posted By on Thu, Jul 9, 2009 at 1:41 AM

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This weekend, Atlanta theater could use a traffic cop. Normally summer proves the lightest of theatrical seasons, yet through some kind of bad mojo, numerous intriguing shows are opening in competition with each other. Figuring out which ones to see requires a Sophie's Choice level of sacrifice.

Nosferatu (July 11-12), The Center for Puppetry Arts. Bob Théâtre of Rennes, France, presents a "found object" puppetry version of the classic vampire tale (pictured), with props ranging from light bulbs to coffee grinders. (Note: According to the Center's web site, "Due to unforeseen visa delays, the Friday evening performance of Nosferatu has been canceled.")

A Cool Drink of Water (July 10-Aug. 23), Horizon Theatre. Playwright Thomas W. Jones III, a frequent summertime collaborator with Horizon, offers the world premiere of a family drama billed as a contemporary twist on A Raisin in the Sun. Andrea Frye directs.

Fingertips (July 10-Aug. 1), Dad's Garage Theatre. Subtitled "21 Short Works By Our Favorite Band," this world premiere features short plays from many current and former Atlantans. Improv ensemble member Amber Nash originated the concept. So who's the band? Hmmm...

Ice Glen (July 10-31), Essential Theatre. Essential Theatre's 2009 Power Plays Festival continues with the regional premiere of Joan Ackerman's drama about a brilliant, obscure poet and the editor who wants to publish her work.

Titus Andronicus (July 10-Aug. 2), Georgia Shakespeare. Artistic director Richard Garner takes on Shakespeare's most notorious bloodbath, featuring Chris Kayser as Roman general Titus Andronicus, Tess Malis Kincaid as Goth Queen Tamora and Neal Ghant as Aaron the Moor.

The Blood Knot (July 11-Aug. 2), Theatrical Outfit. I saved this for last because only Kenny Leon and Tom Key previously starred in the Outfit's terrific production in 1998. The Alliance Theatre's Susan V. Booth directs Athol Fugard's superb apartheid-era two-actor play, which makes The Blood Knot a must-see, despite all the competition.

Think you can play catch-up next week? Hah! For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf at True Colors Theatre Co. and Jim Crow and the Rhythm Darlings at Essential Theatre both have opening nights on Wed., July 15.

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