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Weekend best bets: Jan. 20-22

The percussionists of "Blast" will drum up some excitement at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre this weekend.

The percussionists of "Blast" will drum up some excitement at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre this weekend.

Stage: In the Atlanta Opera’s “The 24-Hour Opera Project,” composers and lyricists who have been selected to participate will be randomly paired together, and will have 12 hours to write an opera scene. At the end of 12 hours, the pieces will be assigned to a stage director, who will draft singers from a pool of applicants, and have eight hours to rehearse before presenting the pieces in a showcase concert 24 hours after the project begins. Kick-off event is at 5 p.m. Jan. 20; composition begins at 6 p.m. Jan. 20 (both take place at First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta). The final concert is at 7 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Atlanta Opera Center.

Stage: 35 brass, percussion and visual performers come together in “Blast,” a blend of music and theater that received a 2001 Tony Award for Best Special Theatrical Event. Catch it at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre through Jan. 22.

Stage: Bill Oberst, Jr. portrays the late columnist, author and humorist in “Lewis Grizzard: In His Own Words.” It’s at Stone Mountain’s ART Station Jan. 20-22.

Stage, music: The Stage Door Players pay tribute to one of America’s best loved entertainers with “My Way, A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra.” It runs Jan. 20 through Feb. 12 at North DeKalb Cultural Arts Center in Dunwoody.

Dance: Dance Canvas presents “2012 Introducing the Next Generation,” a choreographers series that introduces audiences to world premiere work from nine professional Atlanta choreographers. 8 p.m. Jan. 20 and 21 at 14th Street Playhouse

Stage: “Bolsheviki: A Dead Serious Comedy” examines the relationship between an Irish-Canadian soldier and a French-Canadian soldier during World War I, and how that experience lead to the politicization of the working classes and the rise of the labor movement in Canada. This is the U.S. premiere of a play by Montreal playwright David Fennario. 7 p.m. Jan. 20- 21 at Emory University’s Mary Gray Munroe Theater.

Stage: In the Actor’s Express production “Next Fall,” 20-something Luke, who believes in God, is deeply in love with the slightly older Adam, who believes in everything but. When a tragic accident interrupts their perfect life, Adam must turn to Luke’s friends and deeply religious family for support — and answers. The show continues through Feb. 11 at the company’s stage in the King Plow Arts Center.

Stage: After two young boys clash, their parents meet to discuss the matter, but the civil discussion soon devolves into irrational arguments in “God of Carnage.” Yasmina Reza’s play won the Tony Award for best play in 2009.  It’s the latest production from the Alliance Theatre and continues through Jan. 29. The film version, “Carnage,” directed by Roman Polanski and starrring John C. Reilly, Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet and Christoph Waltz is also playing in the metro Atlanta area this weekend. See our preview of the play.

Stage: Angie is content to support her husband Mark as he pursues his dreams of being a novelist. But when Angie discovers that she is unexpectedly pregnant, lives are turned upside down in “40 Weeks.” Decatur’s OnStage Atlanta presents the local premiere of this play by Michael Henry Harris, directed by Topher Payne and running through Jan. 28.

Stage: Horizon Theatre Company brings back its successful 2011 production,  “Avenue Q, “ an upbeat, puppet-filled musical that is most definitely for grown-ups. It  runs through Feb. 26.

Stage: World War II has just ended as secrets are revealed in the South Georgia town of “Second Samuel.” New London Theatre’s production of the Pamela Parker play runs through Jan. 29 at the company’s Snellville home.

Stage: “Becky’s New Car” introduces audiences to Becky Foster, a modern day American everywoman stuck in middle age and middle management with no prospects for change. It’s the latest production from Georgia Ensemble Theatre and runs through Jan. 22 at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center.

Stage: “The New Adventures of the Gingerbread Man,” from Atlanta’s All Hands Productions,  weaves together several well-known folk tales. Catch it at the Center for Puppetry Arts through Jan. 22.

Performing arts: “Odysseo” is an equestrian ballet that is a lavish blend of multimedia and performing arts. From one of the co-founders of Cirque du Soleil, the show just extended its run under the big tent near Spring and 8th streets through Jan. 22. Check out our review of the show.

Exhibition, religion: “Passages” is a traveling exhibition of the world’s largest private collection of rare biblical texts and artifacts.  It continues at the Perimeter Expo in Dunwoody through May 13.

History: “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment” is a multimedia exhibition that spotlights the New York City landmark’s powerful impact on the entertainment business. It  continues through March 4 at the Atlanta History Center.

Visual art: The High Museum of Art explores some of the highlights of the art of the 20th century with “Picasso to Warhol: Fourteen Modern Masters.” The show runs through April 29. See our review.

Stage: Atlanta Shakespeare Company continues its chronological run through the Bard’s comedies with  “The Merchant of Venice” . The show continues through Jan. 29  in repertory with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the New American Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta.

Stage: Sally Struthers plays Miss Hannigan in this new touring version of the beloved Broadway musical “Annie.” It runs through Jan. 22 at the Fox Theatre.

Stage: A husband’s efforts to deny his visit to the Moulin Rouge lead to mistakes and plausible presumptions in “The Ladies Man,” a Theatre in the Square
production of a play based on a French farce by Georges Feydeau.  The show continues through Feb. 26.

Stage: Tuneful political parody is the specialty of the Capitol Steps, a Washington-based musical comedy troupe. It might be the perfect bi-partisan outing for a contentious primary season. The show starts at 8 p.m. Jan. 21 at Rialto Center for the Arts in downtown Atlanta.

Music: In 2001, Shelby Lynne won a best new artist Grammy — after 13 years and six albums. She’s added several great albums to her résumé since then, and she’ll perform as part of the new Eddie Owen Presents series at Duluth’s Red Clay Theatre at 8 p.m. Jan. 21. Check out our interview with the singer-songwriter.

Kids, family: Kids can walk the plank, or live out their fairy tale dreams at Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s Pirate & Princess Weekend. The fun begins at 10 a.m. Jan. 21 and noon Jan. 22.

Festival: Sample a wide variety of brews at the Buckhead Beer Fest, happening 1-6 p.m. Jan. 21 in the parking lot at the Gold Room. 

Music: The Atlanta Sacred Chorale hosts the Emory Community Choral Festival with the Festival Singers of Atlanta, Just Voices and the Georgia Festival Chorus. 8 p.m. Jan. 21 at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts.

Music: The Branford Marsalis & Joey Calderazzo Duo brings music from the pair’s 2011 album, “Songs of Mirth and Melancholy,” to Spivey Hall in Morrow at 8:15 p.m. Jan. 21.

Music: Organist Nicole Marane, percussionist John Lawless and narrator John Lemley present Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” at 10 a.m. Jan. 21 at Peachtree Road United Methodist Church.

Music: The Music on the Hill series continues with Cello-Piano sonatas by Shostakovich, Schnittke, Fauré and Pärt. The concert begins at 3 p.m. Jan. 22 at  Northside Drive Baptist Church.

Comedy: Actress, comedian and former NFL cheerleader Anjelah Johnson has appeared on “Mad TV,” “Ugly Betty,” “Curb Your Enthusiasm” and, most recently, in “Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.” She’ll bring her stand-up comedy show to the Buckhead Theatre at  7 p.m. Jan. 21.

For more music happenings, check out our Live Music Picks on the Atlanta Music Scene blog. This is just a selective list of events happening around town, so if there’s something going on this weekend that you’re excited about and you don’t see it here, please feel free to share the info in the comments. Follow me on Twitter at@ajchottix and @ajcatlevents for info on tickets going on sale and more upcoming events.

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