Arts & CultureTheater Notes

Bleeding, Conniving, Scheming and Singing Take the Stage

A Behanding in Spokane

Two teenage pot dealers think a middle-aged nut case looking for his long-missing left hand is an easy mark. They are so wrong. The one-handed man, Carmichael (Ray Paolino), puts the incompetent, would-be con artists (Anthony Nash and Melanie Sheahan) through the wringer—and their only hope of escape is with a pantsless, quirky front desk clerk (Brad Burnham), who fortunately has a hero complex.


Photo Credit: C. Adron Farris III

Brad Burnham as Mervyn in University Theatre’s “A Behanding in Spokane.”

This is a fast-paced 90-minute ride with no intermission and profanity so excessive that it could be compared to Snakes on a Plane. Director Kristin Kundert reassures us, “It’s funny without diminishing the damage that words can do. And no one gets left out.”

With Paolino’s substantial professional acting chops and three of the best undergrad theater majors UGA has to offer in its sizeable pool of top-notch talent, this promises to be a great start to the University Theatre season and should have several sellout performances in the 99-seat Cellar Theatre.

A Behanding in Spokane (by Martin McDonagh) is presented by University Theatre at the Cellar Theatre in Fine Arts Building, Sept. 24–25 and Sept. 29–Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. with 2:30 p.m. matinees Sept. 27 and Oct. 4. Tickets are $16, $12 for students, and available at 706-542-4400 or


If you nurse ambitious dreams of limitless power, your wife really wants you to be king, and three creepy witches promise you the crown, would you be willing to kill for it? That’s the question facing a popular hero, Macbeth (Adam Shirley), and his social-climbing wife, Lady Macbeth (Beth Kozinsky), and the answer is “Well… OK.”

It soon becomes apparent that one murder isn’t enough, and the great man must stoop to new lows, as his beloved wife descends into guilt and madness. The blood and spells flow freely in Shakespeare’s tragic tale.

It takes a true horror aficionado to bring the terror and gore this infamous tragedy calls for, and director Steven Carroll is not afraid to spill a little blood in bringing a script to fruition. Expect him to spill a lot, in fact.

Macbeth (by William Shakespeare) is presented by Town & Gown Players at the Athens Community Theatre Oct. 2–3 and 8–10 at 8 p.m. with 2 p.m. matinees Oct. 4 and 11. Tickets are $15, $12 for students/seniors/members ($8 for students and members on Thursdays) and available at 706-208-8696 or

The Hallelujah Girls

Seize the day with a comedy so Southern it takes place in Georgia with a cast of feisty women and is set in a church—except the church, once abandoned, is now a day spa called “Spa-Dee-Dah!”

Having set themselves on a course of life-changing self-improvement, the ladies include a three-time widow, a mother of an aspiring juvenile delinquent, an inventive singer, a determined queen bee and a woman in a marriage “so stagnant she’s wondering how to fake her own death to get out of it.”

Enter a surprise ex and a scheming rival belle, add an unexpected proposal, and watch the happy comedy unfold.

The Hallelujah Girls (by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten) is presented by Winder Barrow Community Theatre at the Colleen O. Williams Theater Sept. 25–26 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 27 at 3 p.m. Advance tickets are $12.50 ($15 at the door) and $10 for seniors/ teachers/ students ($13 at the door), and available at 770-867-1679. For more information, visit

Bye Bye Birdie

An Elvis-inspired pop singer, Conrad Birdie, has one last publicity stunt planned for him (by his agent and the agent’s secretary) before his upcoming induction into the Army: A stereotypical all-American girl is chosen to receive his farewell kiss in a small Ohio town. The girl—and the entire teenage population of the town—collectively swoon into happy madness. The town is in upheaval as the local youth and the visiting pop star yearn to break free from the restraints of parental (or, for Birdie, from his agent’s) control.

Bye Bye Birdie (Young Performers’ Edition) is presented by Cornerstone Productions at Seney-Stovall Chapel Sept. 24–25 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 27 at 3:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $12 ($14 at the door) and available at 706-705-2599 or

Willy Wonka

Oconee Youth Playhouse presents Roald Dahl’s Willy Wonka at the Oconee County Civic Center Oct. 1–2 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 3–4 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12–$16 and available in the lobby before the show. For more information, call 706-769-2677 or visit  

TeensPlay Writing Workshop

The TeensPlay two-day workshop, culminating in a performance of their works, aims to “help teens express themselves while developing empathy, social skills and self-confidence as they create and perform their own plays.” Led by playwright and professor John Patrick Bray under the auspices of Circle Ensemble Theatre Company, the workshop is Oct. 3–4 at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia with a final performance in the garden’s new Theatre in the Woods. Cost is $5 per participant and applications/reservations are available via or