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In theater, typically the way things work is a playwright writes a play and then a theater company puts it onstage. There is one group helping Atlanta artists with all of the stuff that happens in between. They’re called Working Title Playwrights.

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Jeremiah Parker Hobbs and India S. Tyree star as the titualar characters in the Alliance Theatre’s fairy tale ''Cinderella and Fella.''
Greg Mooney / Courtesy of the Alliance Theatre

The phrase "Cinderella story" is used to describe a meteoric rise from humble beginnings to fame and fortune. The Alliance Theatre is putting a new kind of Cinderella story onstage –  one that subverts its fairy tale origins for today's children.

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"Cinderella and Fella" is billed as being "more high-tops than glass slipper" and is fueled by a different kind of magic.

Joan Marcus

“The New York Times” estimated that somewhere between 700 and 900 productions of the musical “Annie” are performed each year in the United States.

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Most of those productions, however, do not feature a sizeable chunk of the original crew, including director and lyricist Martin Charnin, or real dogs from rescue shelters.

Horizon Theatre, Nobody Loves You, reality TV musical
Courtesy of Horizon Theatre

Characters must find love in “Nobody Loves You,” a reality TV musical by Gaby Alter and Itamar Moses. The musical will be at Atlanta's Horizon Theatre with performances starting tomorrow and running through April 30.

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Courtesy of Alliance Theatre

The Alliance Theatre will bring down the house — quite literally — as it soon begins a major, year-long renovation. The work should result in a theater space that's more accessible as well as acoustically refined.

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But, as "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes noted, "the show must go on," and she spoke with the Alliance Theatre's artistic director Susan V. Booth about the company's upcoming nomadic season.

Stacy Bode Photography

Two longtime collaborators who happen to have the same first name, Raymond Carr and Raymond Wade Tilton, have created a show about contrast. Divided into vignettes, the show looks at contrast in a variety ways from relationships to religion to their own artistic partnership.

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City Lights: Irish Music; 'Exit Strategy'; And More

Mar 13, 2017
M. Spencer Green / Associated Press

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

City Lights: Madeleine Peyroux; Tara Ochs; And More

Mar 9, 2017
Shervin Lainez

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

MJCCA

Jerry’s Habima Theatre is Georgia’s only theatrical company directed and produced by professionals, featuring actors with special needs ages 18 and up. For 24 years and counting, the company stages a Broadway-style musical, and this year’s production is “The Wizard of Oz.”

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Greg Mooney

“Exit Strategy” is the story of a Chicago public school on the brink of closure. A small group of teachers launch a last-minute battle to save their school, following an administrator who may not actually know what he’s doing. The show premiered in Chicago in 2014, and this week it is opening at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company.

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City Lights: 'A Kid Like Jake'; 'Homages'; And More

Feb 21, 2017
Courtesy of Out Front Theatre

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Atlanta Musician Chronicles Sam Cooke's Life In Play

Feb 15, 2017
Sam Cooke performs in concert at New York City's Copacabana Night Club in this undated photo.
AP Photo

In his short life and career, Sam Cooke charted 29 Top 40 hits. As the “King of Soul,” Cooke struck mainstream success for his soul-infused pop songs. His life is a long list of superlatives, punctuated with a sudden and violent death in 1964 at the age of 33. It’s the kind of story ripe for adaptation, and Atlanta musician Nat George did just that.

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Cinderella Goes To Harlem In 'Cindy The Musical'

Feb 13, 2017
Courtesy of Stepp Stewart

Never mind the Brothers Grimm, Disney or Brandy. A new Cinderella story plops the title character into 1943 Harlem.

“Cindy the Musical” is the brainchild of Stepp Stewart, who has made his mark both in music and in theater. He based the show off of a 1978 television special of the same name.

Courtesy of Out Front Theatre

Inclusivity is front and center at the Out Front Theatre Company. Its mission is to share stories about the LGBTQIA community through theater. That’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intergender and allied.

“Other cities in the country had companies that have been around for decades telling these stories,” said Out Front Founder and Producing Artistic Director Paul Conroy. “But our audiences weren’t being reached on a consistent basis. Shows might have popped up once in a while, but we wanted to do it full time.”

Jeff Shipman

"Le Petit Prince" is an iconic book. From its illustrations to its cast of characters, the Prince teaches lessons of friendship, growing up, dreams and how to see with the heart.

And there's no better theater company to present "The Little Prince" than the Theater of the Dream, or Théâtre du Rêve, Atlanta's own francophone theater company.

Courtesy of Synchronicity Theater

Ivan the gorilla lived at Zoo Atlanta from 1994 to 2012. And he was quite a gorilla: up until his death, he received fan letters on his birthday. He became an international sensation before he was brought to Zoo Atlanta because he lived in a cement cage and was display in a mall. There in his cramped conditions, he learned how to use finger paints and watch TV.

Ivan's life was the inspiration for a Newberry-winning children’s novel by Katherine Applegate, “The One and Only Ivan,” which was then adapted into a play.

Chef Art Smith participates in the "Top Chef Duels" Premiere Tasting Event, hosted by Chase Sapphire Preferred and Bravo, at the Altman Building, on Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 in New York.
Evan Agostini/Invision for Chase Sapphire Preferred / Associated Press

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Gabbie Watts / WABE

If you want people to see your play, one option is to give it away for free.

Atlanta-born playwright Lauren Gunderson has done just that. She offered up her show “The Taming” to any theater company, group or person who wanted to do a staged reading free of charge … for one day: Jan. 20.

Over 40 companies across the US responded, including a few here in Atlanta. The Weird Sisters Theatre Project has teamed up with 7 Stages and Synchronicity Theatre to put on the show.

City Lights: Noise Ordinances; Joan Kroc; And More

Jan 17, 2017
Pixabay Images

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Marco Borggreve

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

The Little Mermaid
Broadway In Atlanta

This weekend brings multiple opportunities to experience events from a national stage as well as directly from Atlanta. Atlanta PlanIt is sharing their top picks for those wanting to experience it all.

Kristian Bush from Sugarland; playwright Janece Shaffer with WABE's Lois Reitzes
Al Such / WABE

Turning over the family business from father to son can be tough when tradition bumps up against a new way of doing things. A new play at the Alliance Theatre begins there … it just so happens that the family business is country music. The show is "Troubadour," and was written by the creative team of playwright Janece Shaffer and songwriter Kristian Bush.

City Lights: Alice Hoffman; 'Troubadour'; And More

Jan 10, 2017
Deborah Feingold

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes"

Amy Kiley

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Dan Carmody / Studio 7

We should all try to live a little.

This idea is at the center of a world premier play opening at Georgia Ensemble Theatre. It’s called “Greetings Friend Your Kind Assistance Is Required” by Atlanta playwright Topher Payne.

In this case, “living a little” involves spam email, parachuting from an airplane into a foreign country, and somehow, Blockbuster Video.

Actor Brenda Porter plays Rhonda Charles, a retired English teacher who is looking to redefine her life.

chinese lantern festival
Ian Palmer

The holidays and New Year’s Eve are now behind us, but there are still plenty of things to do in Atlanta this weekend. You can see the world premiere of a new comedy, walk alongside a 200-foot-long Chinese dragon, try something new at a Shakespeare play, or listen to a remarkable story from a Holocaust survivor. These are all things to do in Atlanta this weekend, Jan. 6 to 8.

Friday, Jan. 7

"Greetings Friend Your Kind Assistance Is Required"

Atlanta Homeward Choir

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Myke Johns / WABE

Actor's Express is putting on something of an uber Christmas pageant. They're presenting 44 holiday-themed plays ... at one minute apiece. They're calling it "A Very Merry (All-Inclusive) 1 Minute Play Festival Holiday Spectacular."

City Lights: Dad's Garage; ATL Collective; And More

Dec 13, 2016
Stacey Bode

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Photo courtesy 7 Stages

Where Santa Claus brings toys to good little boys and girls, his associate Krampus drags naughty kids off in the middle of the night. So if one is looking to write an anti-Christmas show, full of heavy metal and monsters and alcohol, you could do a lot worse for a main character.

And that is exactly what 7 Stages has been doing since 2010 with their annual "Krampus XMas" show. This year, our nine-foot-tall hairy beast of an anti-hero is facing a new foe: gentrification. 

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