Horizon Theatre Company is one of Atlanta’s longest-running small theaters, with a devoted following of season ticketholders. Located in the heart of Little Five Points, it is convenient to several local restaurants like The Vortex, but if you skip dinner before the show you can always indulge in one of the theater’s giant cookie-dough cookies. This company is known for comedic favorites like The Waffle Palace and David Sedaris’ The Santaland Diaries; these productions return year after year and are always popular. The shows also include offerings for the younger set like Madeline’s Christmas, as well as more adult-focused works by local writers, like Third Country and The Book Club Play. Seating is general admission, with certain sections reserved for subscribers. But the Horizon Theatre Company is intimate enough that there really isn’t a bad spot in the house.
The sounds of jazz, hip hop, and other contemporary genres fill the four large studios at Gotta Dance Atlanta's 9,000-square-foot facility. Instructors describe the dance and fitness center as a "home away from home" for dancers of all abilities, and it's not hard to see why. Beginners can learn how to cut a rug or mow a hardwood floor in "Explore" classes that require no prior knowledge of dance terminology. Even dancers who have already worked up to the professional level can find a class to match their style, be it salsa or ballet. Students of all abilities benefit from classes such as Awesome Abs and Cardio Hip-Hop, which use dance as a jumping-off point for fitness workouts that tone and shape the body.
Throughout nearly seven decades, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has bridged musical gaps with an extensive catalog of Grammy-winning recordings that include symphonies, operas, and gospel and classical choral works. Once helmed by the chorale superstar Robert Shaw, the orchestra has produced six Grammy-winning releases in its 12 years under current director Robert Spano. Its allied institution, the Atlanta School of Composers provides training, support, and ear massages for hardworking contemporary artists.
When the Center for Puppetry Arts opened its doors in 1978, Jim Henson and Kermit the Frog were on hand to cut the ribbon. Fittingly, one of its first major exhibitions, The Art of the Muppets in 1981, attracted more than 50,000 attendees. Since then, the center has matured into a multifaceted complex equal parts museum, performance center, and hub for working artists.
Synchronicity annually performs three contemporary plays for adults and two or three family-friendly musicals as part of its commitment to raise the local and national profile of Atlanta theatre. Kicking off its Bold Voices series is The Storytelling Ability of a Boy , which tells the dark story of an English teacher who gets overly involved in the lives of two of her students. Performances run at 7 Stages Theatre through November 21, when the play will be returned to a dramaturgical library to spend the holidays with its leather-bound family. The children's classic, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, will ensnare the hearts of cynical holiday audiences from December 11, 2010, through January 2, 2011, at the Balzer Theater at Herren's. See the calendar for all show dates and times.