Intown Winter Arts Preview

By Ally Wright

The holidays are over, and it’s the beginning of a new year, the time to start afresh and do all of those things that have been put off for too long.  Here are a few events to get you over the post-holiday slump and start the new year off right.

The High Museum
The High’s (high.org) “Fast Forward: Modern Moments 1913-2013,” part of the MoMA series, closes on Jan. 20, but not before a night of music and storytelling popping up in unexpected places.  he event is Assemblage: A Culture Shock Event, and it spans “Fast Forward” and “Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial,” which closes March 3. Beginning at 8 p.m., this night of music curated by Matt Arnett and featuring several acts invites you to explore these exhibitions, grab a drink and make art a part of your night life. Two new exhibits are opening: “Gogo: Nature Transformed,” which celebrates the work of Georgia designer Gogo Ferguson and his inspiration from nature, on Jan. 19, and “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting” on Feb. 14.  This exhibition will feature key works by Frida Kahlo and her husband Diego Rivera, and the High will be its only venue in the U.S., so don’t miss out.

Alliance Theatre
A diverse array of shows is coming to the Alliance (alliancetheatre.org) this winter. Good People plays from Jan. 16 – Feb. 10, and tells the story of an Irish-American neighborhood called “Southie.”  This drama was written by Lindsay-Abaire and directed by Susan V. Booth and was nominated for the Tony for Best Play in 2011. Written by Mike Lew, Bike America follows the young Penny on a cross-country bike trip where she meets an eclectic group of others on similar ventures.  It will be on the Hertz stage from Feb. 1 – 24.  A spider and a pig unite to save the pig from slaughter in E.B. White’s classic Charlotte’s Web, dramatized by Joseph Robinette and directed by Rosemary Newcott, on stage from Feb. 23 – March 10.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
The Atlanta Symphony’s (AtlantaSymphony.org) principal clarinetist, Laura Ardan, is world-premiering a piece by Michael Gandolfi that was written for her on Jan. 10 – 12, and renowned pianist Juho Pohjonen will also be taking the stage to perform Prokofiev’s final Piano Concerto.  Feel the love through Valentine’s Day themed performances, from Milos/Tchaikovsky “Love” on Feb. 7 – 10, which features guitarist Milos Karadaglic, and “Viva Italia” on Feb. 15 – 16.  This event will feature the vocal trio Poperazzi, made of Janien Valentine, George DeMott, and Cody Shawn Gay, singing the great romantic Italian songs.  Now that’s amore.

Atlanta Ballet
The Atlanta Ballet (atlantaballet.com) has two very different options coming up:  Cinderella is a one-hour family event meant to suit even the shortest attention spans and inspire everyone with this dancer’s take on the classic tale.  It will be performed at the Gwinnett Performing Arts Center from Jan. 4 – 6 and at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre Feb.16 – 17. Valentine’s Day will be a particularly bloody affair with Dracula Feb. 8-16, also at Cobb.

Actor’s Express
Actor’s Express (actors-express.com) is presenting a hilarious twist on the seventh president of the U.S. with Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, on stage from Jan.10 – Feb.17.  Based on a book by Alex Timbers, with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, this story combines rock and roll, hilarity and downright sexiness to create an imaginative lesson in U.S. history that is sure to keep even the most rebellious students engaged.

Theatrical Outfit
Theatrical Outfit (theatricaloutfit.org) offers two educational, thoughtful plays for the winter months. For the weekend of Jan.10 – 13, Harabel will take the stage, written by and starring Gypsee-Yo (aka Jonida Beqo), a renowned performance poet. The piece is performed in poetic snapshots and focus on issues with emigration and coming of age in a new country, telling Beqo’s own story of moving to America from the war-torn Balkans when she was young.  Fly will open Jan.30 tells the story of the African-American Army Air Corp fighters who fought for America during World War II and helped bring about the desegregation of the American military.

The Fox Theater
A winter under the stars at The Fox Theater (foxtheatre.org) is going to include a variety of events, from performances by the Blue Man Group, Jan.15 – 20, to the classic “The Producers,” Jan.25 – 31. February means dancing, bringing both “Flashdance,” from Feb.5 – 10, and The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Feb.14 – 17. This company combines African-American culture and modern dance to create a whole new dance performance experience.

Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center
Become better acquainted with contemporary arts this year by visiting The Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center (thecontemporary.org), which will open Jan.11 to two new exhibitions, “Alix Pealstein: The Dark Pavement” and “Tony Labat & Tad Savinar: Nice to Meet You.” Both shows will be open until Mar. 16. Alix Pearlstein is a video and performance artist who will use the Contemporary Arts Center’s space as a key element to her show, exploring the galleries, lobby, and outside environment. Her work will feature local performers and will result in a new video focusing on themes of creativity, community, and place. Tony Labat and Tad Savinar are West Coast artists whose joint exhibition at the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center will explore conceptual art in new and surprising ways, using both artists method of combining humor and straightforward presentations to meditate on deeper themes of history, social order and politics.

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