Amy Zipperer is an award-winning playwright whose short plays have been produced across the United States and Canada. She currently teaches creative writing at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville, Georgia.
The summer months usher in all the things we love about summer in Atlanta: visits to the Atlanta Zoo, Braves baseball, evening strolls through the Atlanta Botanical Garden. This year, the summer months are also playing host to some of the best theatre offerings of the year, and there are so many that you might need help narrowing the playing field.BWW Interview: Brad Zimmerman of MY SON THE WAITER: A JEWISH TRAGEDY at 7 Stages Theatre May 25, 2017
When Pulitzer Prize winner Suzan-Lori Parks's Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3) premiered at The Public Theater in New York in 2014, The New York Times called it 'extraordinary' and Huffington Post declared it to be a 'triumphant' work with 'soaring language and provocative debate.' Now Actor's Express is bringing Parks'sstory to Atlanta audiences under the direction of Martin Damien Wilkins, and this new production, in addition to garnering the 'extraordinary' and 'triumphant' superlatives of its New York predecessor, is both simply rendered and breathtakingly powerful.BWW Previews: AURORA CHILDREN'S PLAYHOUSE SUMMER EDITION at Aurora Theatre May 15, 2017
It's a Saturday morning, and I'm at the Aurora Children's Playhouse at Aurora Theatre. We're waiting for Wendy Bennett's interactive performance of Cinderella to begin. That exciting electricity of patrons eagerly anticipating a show dances in the air. Most of this morning's patrons are between the ages of 4 and 10. And many are dressed like princesses. I've counted two Jasmines, three Cinderellas, and a Belle. Wendy Bennett, bouncy and bright, walks onto the stage and comments excitedly on the number of princesses in the audience. One little girl in a white summer dress pops up from her chair and says, 'Look at me.' Another little girl in the back who's wearing a blue tulle ballerina skirt won't be outdone. She stands on her chair and shouts, 'Look at me!' And those exchanges are perfectly indicative of the spirit of this fun presentation where, at any moment, children might become pumpkins or white mice or even Prince Rupert (who's giving a ball) all while Wendy Bennett sings songs and waltzes with puppets. It's a morning of sheer delight.BWW Interview: Christine Dwyer of FINDING NEVERLAND at Fox Theatre Atlanta May 12, 2017
The North American tour of Finding Neverland, the Broadway musical that tells the inspirational story of the creation of Peter Pan, is making its home at Atlanta's Fox atre from May 16 - 21, and it's bringing with it an extraordinary cast, including Christine Dwyer in the role of Sylvia Llewelyn Davies. Dwyers was gracious enough to share a little bit about her experience with the tour.BWW Interview: A Conversation with Bronson Pinchot at Dad's Garage Theatre May 1, 2017
I'm at Dad's Garage Theatre for the latest installment of Scandal, the weekly improvised soap opera that tells the story of the proprietors, employees, and guests of a 5-star hotel called The Four Sleazins and Danglerzzzz, a seedy strip club that shares the building space. A man in front of me raises his beer high above his head during the show, offering accolades to the weekend's special guest, Bronson Pinchot, best known for his work as Balki Bartokomous on the long-running sitcom Perfect Strangers. Pinchot plays a character named Klemm, an uber-famous director who's come to The Four Sleazins to deliver important news: his lover, Ashley Andover, is also his (gasp) daughter. Pinchot, as one might expect, looks at home on the stage as he reclines in a not-for-reclining chair and suggestively strokes a bottle he's shoved into his pocket, begging a fellow cast member to "touch it." Oh, and he does all of this while pretending to be blind, a character trait of his cross-eyed Klemm.
After the show, I'm hurried into a backstage area. I enter from the left. Pinchot enters from the right. He moves fast, shoving a sandwich into his mouth with one hand and holding a drink in the other. It is impossible for us to shake hands, so he suggests that we bump elbows instead, and I comply. He drops into a chair and beckons me to pull up another. There is an openness about his body language and a warmth in his familiar eyes that sets me at ease. I feel like I'm sitting down with an old friend. And, in a way, I am. Because even though he doesn't know me, I know him. He's our cousin from Mypos. The one who's always involved in some misunderstanding. The one with the crazy accent. The one whose pictures I pulled out of Rolling Stone magazine to decorate the back of my bedroom door.
And he's hardly changed at all.BWW Preview: Must-See Shows in Atlanta in May April 28, 2017
If his four shows currently running on Broadway are any indication, 2017 is the year of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Webber is the first composer to have four simultaneously-running Broadway shows since Rodgers and Hammerstein managed the feat in 1953. And Atlanta Lyric Theatre is joining in the Webber conversation this spring with their production of Jesus Christ Superstar, a rock opera with music by Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice. The popular show, which has seen an impressive three Broadway revivals since its Broadway debut in 1971, has always been and is still beset with difficulties. Most problematic is that Rice's lyrics aren't nearly as worthy of note as Webber's music. As the show is sung- through with no spoken dialogue, the lyrics are responsible for the bulk of the storytelling, but the characterizations of nearly all of the principal characters are thin and unsatisfying. Still, Alan Kilpatrick, the director of Atlanta Lyric Theatre's production, does a nice job with his retelling. Though the choreography is somewhat uneven, the cast is, for the most part, musically strong, especially in the case of Haden Rider who, in his role of Jesus, turns out to be this production's superstar.BWW Preview: BAREFOOT IN THE PARK at The Vineyard Cafe And Dinner Theatre April 14, 2017
The Vineyard Cafe and Dinner Theatre will present Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park later this month in their intimate venue in Marietta Square, and they'll be serving up their comedy with a side of Italian dinner favorites. That combo makes this the perfect date-night outing.BWW Review: DRIVING MISS DAISY at The Vineyard Cafe And Dinner Theatre April 10, 2017
The Vineyard Cafe and Dinner Theatre is serving up great Southern classics in Marietta Square. There's the Southern food. Delicious. Then there's the Southern drama. Also delicious. This perfect combination invites us to welcome back the idea of the traditional dinner theater, a mythological place where one can enjoy both good food and good theatre. If The Vineyard Cafe and Dinner Theatre's production of Alfred Uhry's Driving Miss Daisy is any indication of what this quaint, intimate venue has in store for us in the future, it's time to put out the welcome banners.BWW Review: CINDERELLA AND FELLA at Alliance Theatre April 9, 2017
Imagine a prince. Now imagine Cinderella. Now imagine they are 13 year olds. That's basically the fun new spin on the familiar Cinderella story that Alliance Theatre is serving up with their world premiere of Cinderella and Fella, a charming little musical for children with a book by Janece Shaffer and music by S. Renee Clark. Under the direction of Rosemary Newcott, the talented cast aptly showcases the message of the play which is one that bears repeating: it's important to be kind.BWW Review: STRAIT OF GIBRALTAR at Synchronicity Theatre April 7, 2017
President Trump's hard-line stance on immigration during the 2016 presidential election fueled the already-heated partisan debate, a debate that was largely born out of the response to legislation like the Patriot Act which has sparked serious questions regarding how to mitigate significant security risks without infringing on the personal freedoms of American citizens and without fostering a climate of xenophobia towards Muslims. The world premiere of Andrea Lepcio's Strait of Gibraltar at Synchronicity Theatre, with its provocative storytelling and effective staging, adds to the ongoing conversation in a meaningful way.BWW Preview: Must-See Shows in Atlanta in April March 31, 2017
April is here, and we're all gearing up for the things we love about it: Spring Break, opening day at the ballpark, and those Cadbury mini-eggs that change the color of your tongue. This year, April also brings with it some exciting must-see shows in the Atlanta area.BWW Review: GREASE at Serenbe Playhouse March 27, 2017
In 1978, I went with neighbors to the local movie theater to see the film adaptation of Grease. That was the first time I had ever gone to the movies without my parents. It was also the first time I had ever looked around the theater to make sure that the other people understood that we were seeing something extraordinary. It turned out that I was right that day in my 6-year-old assessment of Grease, at least if the fact that it went on to become one of the highest grossing musical films of all time is any indication. So when I see that there's a production of the stage musical coming to a theaternear me, I always feel giddy. Unfortunately, I rarely leave a production having retained that delicious feeling of giddiness because it turns out once I get there that Danny Zuko isn't being played by John Travolta and Sandy isn't Olivia Newton John. But Serenbe Playhouse, under the direction of the oh-so-talented Brian Clowdus, with their gift for inventive, site-specific staging and their knack for finding the perfect cast, made me forget all about the Danny and Sandy of my childhood and left me with an acute awareness of the fact that Grease is still the word.BWW Review: SMOKE ON THE MOUNTAIN at Marietta's New Theatre In The Square March 20, 2017
Smoke on the Mountain, a homespun musical conceived by Alan Bailey with a book by Connie Ray and musical arrangements by Mike Carver and Mark Hardwick, has enjoyed long runs in numerous theatres worldwide since its premiere in 1988. And it's also racked up some fairly significant critical praise. While both of these facts should be surprising given that the dental floss-thin plot and the Southern caricature-characters are nothing more than conduits for the long catalogue of gospel hymns that make up the bulk of the show, there's something infectious about it that leaves us willing to tap our toes and clap our hands. That's certainly true for the audience at Marietta's New Theatre in the Square on Saturday evening where patrons clapped, shouted, and offered up eager, full-bodied 'Amens' in response to Emil Thomas's lively and earnest staging of the musical.BWW Review: THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY at Aurora Theatre March 13, 2017
The Bridges of Madison County, a 2013 romantic tuner featuring music and lyrics by Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown and a book by Marsha Norman, opened on Broadway in 2014, playing only 137 performances before its closing, andthere are reasons for that. The narrative arc is uneven, falling into an irritating habit of concentrating on insignificant peripheral events while leaving the important ones largely unexplored. The musical also suffers from a clumsy, cloying ending that begs to be cut by a good 20 minutes. In the hands of a less capable director, these significant script problems might be deal breakers, but under the direction of Justin Anderson, Aurora Theatre's Associate Artistic Director, the production still manages to be agrand affair.BWW Preview: Must-See Shows in Atlanta in March February 27, 2017
Have you ever worn flip-flops to work? Have you ever lost weight in order to teach an ex a lesson? Do you routinely experience self-loathing as a result of binge-watching The Bachelor? If you answered 'yes' to any of these questions, you might be an excellent candidate for Lost in the Cosmos, the fictional self-help seminar that provides the backdrop for Theatrical Outfit's fairly well-imagined and superbly acted stage adaptation of Walker Percy's satirical self-help book, Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book.???????