Spring in the ATL isn’t just a beautiful time of the year but a busy one as well. The arts world has much to offer in all sorts of mediums this season, from the triumphant return of Cirque Du Soleil to a gathering of Rupaul’s drag performers to a rare exhibit of notebooks from revolutionary artist Basquiat. Here are our top 9 picks for shows not to miss.
Billy Porter’s big Tony winner finally makes it to the ATL. Based on a film that became the toast of Broadway in 2012, it also has lyrics by Cyndi Lauper and a book by Harvey Fierstein. When Charlie Price inherits a shoe factory from his father, he is forced to go into partnership with Lola, a drag queen, and create a line of high-heeled boots. Playing Lola is actor J. Harrison Ghee – look for our online interview with the performer soon.
He made a name for himself as a street artist in the early ’80s and became a celebrity in the art world before passing away in 1988. Jean-Michel Basquiat was believed to be gay. The High Museum of Art is currently exhibiting eight of his notebooks, providing a glimpse into the mind of the genius.
When out director Brian Clowdus and his Serenbe Playhouse tackle a new project they don’t half-ass it. In presenting Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical “Carousel,” Clowdus will be staging his own outdoor carnival, complete with cotton candy and plenty of visuals. It will be a great warm up to Serenbe’s “Miss Saigon” later this summer.
“Kurios” is the latest traveling show by Cirque Du Soleil. A number of gay performers are part of the acrobatic acts that make up this 2014 production, just opening locally. One of the hottest is the Aerial Straps number, in which a pair of simulated Siamese twins fly high above the stage, sometimes as a pair and other times individually.
The “True Colors” artist, one who has always been passionate for LGBT equality, returns to perform with the ASO. It will be in support of her new album “Detour,” Lauper’s 11th studio album, which finds her putting her own spin on a dozen classic country songs from the ’40s, ’50s and ’60s.
Rupaul’s Drag Race Battle of the Seasons 2016 Extravaganza Tour
This latest “Drag Race” reunion brings together a slew of contestants from the beloved reality competition, including Michelle Visage, Adore Delano, Alaska Thunderfuck, Courtney Act, Ginger Minj, Miss Fame, and Phi Phi O’Hara. Last year’s champion, Atlanta’s Violet Chachki, will also be a part of the event.
She was the lead vocalist for The Go-Go’s, one of the great female bands of all time, but she also had a successful solo career as well with songs such as “Mad About You” and “Leave a Light on for You.” Carlisle visits Center Stage for a walk down memory lane.
The Atlanta Ballet has an unusually robust spring, with three performances, including “20/20 Visionary” this weekend and “MAYhem: Kissed in May,” but the big event is the return of their 2012 hit “The Princess and the Goblin,” choreographed by the legendary Twyla Tharp. It’s adapted from the 19th century fairy tale by George McDonald with an original score by Richard Burke.