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Theater: ‘Choir Boy’ at the Alliance through Oct. 13

When gay playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney came to Atlanta and the Alliance Theatre with his play “In the Red and Brown Water” back in 2008, he was still a playwright on the rise. That’s certainly not the case anymore.

His new “Choir Boy” is a New York rage and the show – a joint production between the Manhattan Theatre Club, where it bowed in August, and the Alliance Theatre, where it has just opened – has become a critical darling.

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‘Zorro,’ ‘Mary Poppins’ bring beloved tales to local stages

Zorro

Christopher Renshaw first got involved in the development of the stage musical “Zorro” back in 2001. Next week, he finally gets a chance to bring it to the United States when it premieres at the Alliance Theatre.

Renshaw, who is gay, is directing a new version of the production, which he originally envisioned as being the first flamenco musical. He and author Stephen Clark approached the Gipsy Kings, known for their flamenco-rumba music, to get the first staging up and going.

That was back in 2008, when “Zorro” opened in London and played a year. Since then, it’s toured around the world, save for America.

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Pedal power for gay marriage

Bike America

A lesbian couple pops up among the characters of the Alliance Theatre’s new “Bike America,” making its world premiere this week as part of the Alliance/Kendeda National Graduate Playwriting Competition.

In Mike Lew’s play, the character of Penny (Jessica DiGiovanni) is a student traveling across the country, trying to do some self-discovery and find out who she is during a cross-country cancer fundraiser.  During her journey, she meets a number of fellow participants, including two women who want to get married in every state that allows them to do so.

Marilyn Torres plays one half of the lesbian couple, Annabel, who is partners with Rorie (Je Nie Fleming). The actress feels Annabel, like Penny, is finding herself and her own strength as part of the event.  “She is way optimistic and hopeful and is on this wonderful journey of love,” she says. “She is living out loud for the first time. She is a lesbian and proud.”

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‘Exit, Pursued by a Bear’ breaks mold for gay character

Judith Ivey directs 'Carapace' at Alliance Theatre

Playwright and former Atlantan Lauren Gunderson’s comedy “Exit, Pursued by a Bear” is about to have its world premiere locally, courtesy of Synchronicity Performance Group, with gay actor Clifton Guterman part of the cast.

Described as one part “I Love Lucy,” one part revenge tragedy and one part feminist ballad, “Exit, Pursued by a Bear” is the tale of Nan (Veronika Duerr), a woman living in the North Georgia mountains. She loves her husband Kyle but is in an abusive relationship with him.

With the help of her best friend Simon (Guterman), a gay man, and a stripper named Sweetheart, Nan decides to leave and get revenge. Revenge is served by tying Kyle up and re-enacting bad moments from his past, making him realize what a bad husband he has been — and by putting meat and honey beside him to draw attention from bears.