By Collin Kelley & Amanda Rowell

The 2009-10 arts season in Atlanta is shaping up to be one of the biggest yet, with world premieres, special engagements, revolutionary costumes (inside joke for Grey Gardens’ fans) and many of Atlanta’s venerable institutions celebrating milestone anniversaries.

Actor’s Express Theatre Company
887 W. Marietta St. Suite J-107
(404) 607-7469 or
www.Actors-Express.com
The 2009-10 season opens with one of the most anticipated shows in recent memory, Grey Gardens: The Musical, which opened Aug. 27 and runs through Oct. 10. Based on the cult documentary about the eccentric relatives of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, who live in a crumbling mansion in East Hampton called Grey Gardens, the Tony Award-winning musical is both hilarious and tragic as Big Edie and Little Edie Beal cling to each other as their sanity slips. Coming later in the season: Fair Use, Nov. 5-Dec. 5.

Alliance Theatre
1280 Peachtree St.
(404) 733-5000 or
www.AllianceTheatre.org
Another hot theatre ticket is the southeaster premiere of the new musical, Come Fly With Me, choreographed by legendary Twyla Tharp featuring the music of Frank Sinatra. The show, which runs Sept. 16 to Oct. 11, follows four couples falling in and out of love at a nightclub. Coming later in the season: A Life in the Theatre, Oct. 28 to Nov. 15; The Second City: Peach Drop, Stop, and Roll, Nov. 6 to Dec. 13; A Christmas Carol, Nov. 27 to Dec. 24.

Atlanta Ballet
Cobb Energy Centre and Fox Theatre
(404)873-5811 or
www.AtlantaBallet.com
The Atlanta Ballet is celebrating its 80th anniversary with a season with some classics, leading with Mozart’s Magic Flute, Oct. 15-24 at the Cobb Energy Centre. Seven voices and seven principal dancers unite to tell this moving story of love, vengeance and the triumph of good over evil. Coming later in the season: Pinocchio, Oct. 24-25;  Atlanta Ballet’s Nutcracker, Dec. 11-27; Nutty Nutcracker, Dec. 20.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
1280 Peachtree St.
(404) 733-4900 or
www.AtlantaSymphony.org
The 65th season kicks off with Opening Night performances on Sept. 24, 26 and 27 featuring Conductor Robert Spano leading the Pathétique & the Rach III with pianist Garrick Ohlsson. The Pathétique was Tchaikovsky’s last and greatest symphony, and the Rach Three – Rachmaninov’s best-loved concerto, composed for an American tour – was featured in the Oscar-winning film Shine. Coming later in the season:  Broadway Rocks, Oct. 9-10; Brahm’s A German Requiem, Oct. 29-30; Phantom of the Opera, Oct. 31; From Russia With Love, Nov. 12-14; and holiday shows running through December.

The Center for Puppetry Arts
1404 Spring St.
(404) 873-3391 or
www.Puppet.org
Both kids and adults get a kick out of the show at The Center For Puppetry Arts, and the upcoming Fall schedule is full of delights including The Adventures of the Gingerbread Man, Sept. 17-27; Dinosaurs, Sept. 29 to Nov. 29; The Ghastly Dreadfuls II: Handbook of Practical Hauntings and Other Phantasmagoria, Oct. 14 to Nov. 1; The Shoemaker and the Elves, Nov. 17 to Jan. 3; and The Last Dragon on Earth, Dec. 1-13.

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway
(770) 916-2800 or
www.CobbEnergyCentre.com
Get your disco shoes on and boogie your way to the Cobb Energy Centre for ABBA: The Music, a one-nightly spectacular on Sept. 12 featuring a band so realistic you might think you’re seeing the real Swedish pop icons. Coming later in the season: Highland Heartbeat, Sept. 24; 101 Dalmations, Oct. 28 to Nov. 1;  The 39 Steps, Dec. 1-6;  700 Sundays, Dec. 16-20.

The High Museum of Art
1280 Peachtree St.
(404) 733-4444 or
www.High.org
The three-year Louvre Atlanta partnership comes to a close on Sept. 13 with your last chance to see The Louvre and the Masterpiece, featuring some of the Paris museums finest treasures. The next big exhibit is Leonardo da Vinci: Hand of the Genius, Oct. 6 to Feb. 21, featuring the master’s sketches and sculptures. Also on view: Alec Soth: Black Line of Woods, now through Jan. 3; John Portman: Art and Architecture, Oct. 17-Jan. 3.

Horizon Theatre
1083 Austin Ave.
(404) 584-7450 or www.HorizonTheatre.com
The Little Five Points mainstay presents celebrated playwright Wendy Wasserstein’s final play, Third, from Sept. 11 to Oct. 11. A liberal college professor and an articulate and conservative student jock nick-named Third face off over politics, ethics, and values. A bold accusation and mid-life changes unexpectedly throw the professor’s well-ordered world into disarray. Coming later in the season: Madeline’s Christmas and David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries. Dates TBA.

Atlanta Opera
Cobb Energey Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway
(404) 881-8801 or
www.AtlantaOpera.org
The Atlanta Opera will celebrate it’s 30th season with The Elixir of Love, Oct. 3, 6, 9 and 11, about a shy Italian trying to woo a beautiful woman away from a handsome soldier bolstered by a “special potion.” That’s followed by Orfeo and Euridice, Nov.14, 17, 20 and 22, with classics Aida and The Magic Flute set for early 2010.

Ferst Center
349 Ferst Drive
(404) 894-2787 or
www.FerstCenter.gatech.edu
The Ferst Center opens its new season on the Georgia Tech campus with a performance by Keiko Matsui on Sept.  25. An icon of contemporary jazz, keyboardist Matsui’s music is powerful and introspective, blending both Western and Eastern musical influences. Coming later in the season: Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood, Oct. 10; Parsons Dance with the East Village Opera Company, Oct. 23; Kim Waters, Oct. 24; Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, Nov. 6; ‘Tis the Season: An Evening with Earl Klugh, Dec. 5.

The Fabulous Fox Theatre
660 Peachtree St.
(404) 881-2100 or
www.FoxTheatre.org
Talk show host Jerry Springer takes a break from baby mama drama and chair-tossing for a star-turn in the hit musical Chicago, Sept. 8-13. Springer plays oily lawyer Billy Flynn, who’s working to get Roxie Heart cleared of murder and boosting his own profile.  The Color Purple starring American Idol winner Fantasia runs Sept. 15-27. Coming later in the season: RAIN –A Tribute to the Beatles, Oct. 6-11; Celtic Thunder, Oct. 24; In the Heights, Nov. 3-8; Radio City Christmas Spectacular, Nov. 19-Dec. 6.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.

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