From the return of a beloved diva (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”) to a classic musical with a twist (“Grease”), it’s an awfully queer time at local playhouses this spring.
As created by John Cameron Mitchell, “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” – about a transgender punk-rock girl following her former lover around the United States – is one of the most iconic stage musicals of the last quarter-century, combining a classic outsider story with poignant, beautiful music (“Midnight Radio,” “Wicked Little Town”) The acclaimed national tour hits the ATL for, alas, just two days – a shame, considering most productions run for almost a week.
Out Front Theatre, dedicated to producing LGBT work, closes its inaugural season with the humorous Paul Rudnick comedy “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told.” It follows Adam and Steve and Jane and Mabel all the way from the Old Testament through modern society.
Another not to be missed production is Broadway Across America’s take on “The Bodyguard,” based on the popular Whitney Houston-Kevin Costner film. In it, recording artist Deborah Cox takes on the role of a movie star who has started to get threatening notes. How this comes to the stage remains to be seen, but the iconic score (“Run to You,” “I Have Nothing” and the immortal “I Will Always Love You”) and Cox should bring the gay community out in droves.
At Actor’s Express, the just-opened “The Legend of Georgia McBride” follows an Elvis impersonator (Nick Aropoglou) who, needing extra funds to take care of a pregnant wife at home, goes on as a drag performer, while at Decatur’s OnStage Atlanta, out director Cathe Hall Payne helms the comedic “Savannah Sipping Society,” in which four Southern women, strangers to each other, meet by fate and begin weekly meetings to re-charge their batteries.
Courtesy of 7 Stages – never afraid to present LGBT work – comes “Curious Queer Encounters,” curated by Michael Haverty and featuring stories of LGBT queer culture and definition, as told by various artists and ensembles, while Theater Emory serves up “Ravished,” a “dirty, nasty” riff on “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”
Finally, never one to bring formula to his productions, openly gay artistic director Brian Clowdus of Serenbe Playhouse presents a spring version of “Grease.” Clowdus stages the show with a drive-in movie setting. With Bubba Carr choreographing the show and a great cast, it should be a lot of fun.
“The Legend of Georgia McBride” March 18 – April 16 Actor’s Express 887 W. Marietta St., Atlanta, GA 30318 www.actorsexpress.com
“Grease” March 23 – April 16 Serenbe Playhouse 9110 Selborne Lane, Ste. 210, Chattahoochee Hills, GA 30268 www.serenbeplayhouse.com
“The Bodyguard” March 28 – April 2 Fox Theatre 660 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308 www.broadwayacrossamerica.com
“Ravished” March 30 – April 9 Mary Gray Munroe Theater Dobbs University Center 605 Asbury Circle N.E., Atlanta, GA 30322 www.theater.emory.edu
“Hedwig and the Angry Inch” April 4-5 Fox Theatre 660 Peachtree St., Atlanta, GA 30308 www.broadwayacrossamerica.com
“Savannah Sipping Society” April 13-30 Onstage Atlanta 2969 E, Ponce de Leon Ave., Decatur, GA 30030 www.onstageatlanta.com
“The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” April 27 – May 14 Out Front Theatre Company 999 Brady Ave. N.W., Atlanta, GA 30318 www.outfronttheatre.com
“Curious Queer Encounters” May 4-14 7 Stages 1105 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta, GA 30307 www.7stages.org
SIDEBAR: Five-pack of additional Atlanta arts treats
As always, the area has an assortment of other arts treats, including opera, ballet, art openings and special events.
“Don Pasquale” March 25 – April 2 Atlanta Opera Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339 www.cobbenergycentre.com
Sutton Foster April 21-22 Atlanta Symphony Hall 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309 www.aso.org
Adam Schwerner’s “The Curious Garden” May 2 and 4 Atlanta Botanical Garden 1345 Piedmont Ave., Atlanta, GA 30309 www.atlantabg.org
“Camino Real” May 12-14 Atlanta Ballet Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta, GA 30339 www.cobbenergycentre.com
“Andy Warhol: Prints from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation” June 2 – Sept. 3 High Museum of Art 1280 Peachtree St N.E., Atlanta, GA 30309 www.high.org