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ArtsATL

Your Source For The Arts In Atlanta

THEATER

Some holiday sparkle will help inaugurate the new 500-seat Grand Stage Theatre of the Lawrenceville Arts Center, as Aurora Theatre presents Christmas Canteen (above) starting November 26. An Aurora tradition with some unexpected turns promised, this revue features songs, comic sketches and sojourns down memory lane. Through December 23. Masks required.

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After writing six adaptations of A Christmas Carol, including the newest now being staged at the Alliance Theatre, David H. Bell has a better fix on the Dickens classic than most mortals. “The characters are incredibly enduring, and they don’t always to do what you think they would,” Bell told ArtsATL in an interview. “They become unpredictable.” Expect surprises in the script, among other fresh aspects, including a new Scrooge (Andrew Benator), new costumes and a reconceived set by Tony Award winner Todd Rosenthal. Through December 24. Masks required, as is proof of vaccination or a negative Covid test for audience members 12 and older.

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“This looks like a familiar story, 90 minutes of dysfunction giving way to connection, told from the specific perspective of an Asian-American family in the South,” critic Benjamin Carr wrote in his ArtsATL review of Hometown Boy at Actor’s Express though November 28. “Buried in playwright Keiko Green‘s dialogue, though, are hints that this will not follow the expected beats.”

The plot of the world premiere in short: Long-buried secrets inch their way out when title character James reluctantly returns to his rural Georgia hometown to check in on his father, who has been behaving erratically. Carr’s review makes clear that Hometown should not be kept secret.

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DANCE

Core Dance REEL Art is an ongoing video installation series by a terrific lineup of commissioned artists. Each film is shown in the storefront window of the company’s studios on Decatur square. Felipe Barral is the next filmmaker to be featured. Formerly with CNN, the Emmy-winning Barral is well known in the arts community for his work with Atlanta Opera and other cultural organizations. His film will stream weekends November 20 through December 30. Join the filmmaker for the premiere November 20 at 8 p.m. 133 Sycamore Street. Free. Registration encouraged.

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Emory Dance Company presents new work by Schwartz Artists-in-Residence Xan Burley and Alex Springer. The duo once performed with Doug Varone and Dancers but since 2017 have created a myriad of their own work for stage, camera and site-specific locations. Also on the program are works by Emory dance faculty Angela Harris, Julio Medina, George Staib and Lori Teague. Dance Studio, Donna and Marvin Schwartz Center for Performing Arts, 1700 North Decatur Road. November 18-19 at 7:30 p.m. and November 20 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets $8-$15. Proof of vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test required (full protocol details available here).

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Sideways Contemporary Dance Company is kicking off the season with “Once Upon a Holiday” (above) an irreverent take that marries Alice in Wonderland with the Nutcracker story. Expect professionally trained dancers, a bevy of children of all ages, and a mix of dance styles from ballroom to jazz and contemporary dance. In other words, something for everyone. November 20 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and November 21 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets $20-$35. The Hotel at Avalon, 9000 Avalon Boulevard, Alpharetta. Unvaccinated attendees are required to wear masks during the performance. Audience will be distanced in pods for an additional level of safety.

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MUSIC

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Talent Development Program will perform its annual Musicale Concert November 20 at 3 p.m. in Symphony Hall. The program, founded 28 years ago, is focused on providing music training to young African American and Latinx students.

Nearly 100 fellows have graduated from the program and gone on to attend top music schools. The concert will feature Tara Byrdsong, a graduate of the program and solo flutist who has performed throughout the United States. The program includes music by Felix Mendelssohn, Julius Klengel and more. Free. Either proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid test are required for anyone over the age of 12. Masks are required.

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David Ryan Harris plays Saturday and Sunday at Smith’s Olde Bar. (Photo by Shervin-Lainez)

Atlanta songwriter David Ryan Harris performs the evenings of November 20 and 21 at Smith’s Olde Bar. Harris is known for his work with Dionne Farris (the two are the parents of rapper Baby Tate) and Brand New Immortals, a trio he formed with former Black Crowes bassist Johnny Colt. Harris has performed with John Mayer, Dave Matthews, India.Arie and Carlos Santana, and his music shows influences from Motown to metal. Advance tickets are $30. This is a seated show with a limited number of tickets. No Covid restrictions are listed.

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The Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta will present its next Cooke Noontime Concert  at noon November 19 in Ackerman Hall at the Carlos Museum. The concert will feature James Zellers (flute), John Dee (oboe) and William Ransom (piano). The program will feature music by Mozart. The concert is free, but registration is required. Seating is limited and masks are required.

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ART+DESIGN

Get ready for a happy avalanche of art at Swan Coach House Gallery starting November 21. It’s the gallery’s popular Little Things exhibit featuring hundreds of artworks by more than 75 local artists. Paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, mixed media and more will be available at a range of price points, just in time for the holidays. The gallery is hosting two opening receptions: November 18 from 6-9pm and November 21 from 1-5pm. Masks are required. The online shop opens November 23 for socially distanced shopping. As works sell, the gallery and online shop will be refreshed.

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September Gray Gallery is featuring work by textile artist Jamele Wright Sr. (above) in its new shared space on Miami Circle.  . . . For Those That Dream and Continue to Do So features the artist’s brightly colored, sculpture-like pieces that utilize found materials such as Georgia red clay and Dutch wax cloth. Wright’s work is representative of intergenerational messages about transit and migration and influenced by ancestral narratives and Black American vernacular. Opening reception November 19, 6-9 p.m. 764 Miami Circle NE, Suite 150.

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Atlanta artist Shanequa Gay is getting noticed. Her work is collected by notables including Michelle Obama, Elton John and Samuel L. Jackson and has appeared in films including HBO’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. To see her art in person, head to Maison Hideoki where 15 of her new works are on display in If I Were Not Here. Inspired by Southern Black traditions, Gay creates rich narratives focused on the fictional Atlannahland, where young Black girls shape shift and don door knocker earrings and gold chain links. By appointment only through December 9. 2300 Peachtree Road, NW, Suite A-300. Gay’s work is also on display at Jackson Fine Art through December 23. 3115 East Shadowlawn Avenue.

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