December 7, 2016

Onstage for the Holidays: New Local Theater to See This Month

Theater Notes

Photo Credit: Matt Hardy

(L-R) Ed Long, Kelly Doyle-Mace, Patrick Najjar, and Emily Myers star in Neverwhere. Photo by Matt Hardy.

Neverwhere Director Steven Carroll and his extensive cast of favorites and new actors takes the audience on a strange trip to a fantastical place in this adaptation of fantasy giant Neil Gaiman’s novel. Set in present-day England, regular guy Richard (Patrick Najar) stops to help an injured street urchin (Kelly Doyle-Mace), who turns out to be the magical Door on a quest for justice. Suddenly, he is in London Below, a surreal and supernatural world peopled by those who fall through the cracks. Richard and Door, joined by a roguish marquis (Ed Long) and a brutal bodyguard (Emily Myers), are chased by a pair of sinister assassins (G. Derek Adams and Joel Altherr) as they meet damsels in distress, cursed warriors, villains of the worst sorts and rats that talk.

It promises to be an enchanted, funny, poignant, scary, fun show that will push the boundaries of what Town & Gown can do. Gaiman is a master of fantasy best known for American Gods, Coraline, Sandman and Stardust, and this is a rare chance to see his imagination play out live. Steven Carroll, who has directed many shows at Town & Gown, including The Rocky Horror Show, Macbeth, Dracula and Evil Dead: The Musical, is the ideal person to bring this magical world to life—and he’s got the right cast and crew to make it so.

Neverwhere, written by Neil Gaiman and adapted by Robert Kauzlarc, is presented by Town & Gown Players at the Athens Community Theatre Dec. 9–10 and Dec. 15–17 at 8 p.m., and Dec. 11 and 18 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $8–$15 and available at or 706-208-8696.

Drunk! Romeo and Juliet The “Boozy Bard Players” continue their evenings of Drunk Shakespeare at the Globe with the usually not hilarious Romeo and Juliet. Once again, this mostly sober cast of college students features a few well-oiled actors of legal drinking age, including Thomas Peck as Romeo and Julia Warren as Juliet. Hayley Barron, who was rip-roaringly funny in Drunk Macbeth, plays the nurse. The shows always sell out, so get there early, since there aren’t many seats! These nights truly qualify as don’t-miss comedy, and this one’s directed by John Phillip Buisman, who played an insanely funny Lady Macbeth in their last production. 

The shows are held on Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10 at 9 p.m. Tickets are $5 standing or $8 if you want a seat, and you have to be 18 to attend and 21 to drink. Visit for more information.

Always a Bridesmaid After a prom-night promise to be in each other’s future weddings at any cost, a group of Southern BFFs are still in the bridesmaid game 30 years later. One has a picture-perfect marriage, another is possibly about to end hers, the third has had several weddings already and the last fears marriage altogether. With themes of lifelong friendship and loyalty surpassing husbands, careers and youthful waistlines, this comedy is made for a girls’ night out.

Always a Bridesmaid, by Jones Hope Wooten, is presented by Encore Productions at the Elbert Theatre Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 11 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $9–$16 and available at or 706-283-1049.

Christmas on Area Stages

Yuletide Celebration Rose of Athens’ fourth holiday fundraising event features groups such as the North Oconee Swing Team, Coloratura Music Group, the Roaming Roses, members of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens, the North Oconee Titan Thrill Dance Team and more. There are two events: Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. at the UUFA and Saturday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m. at Seney-Stovall Chapel. Tickets are $7. Free pre-performance events on the Seney lawn, including arts, crafts, games, treats and winter characters such as Santa and Elsa, start at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 10. For tickets and information, email, go online to, or call 706-340-9181.

Christmas at the Five and Dime A “’40s-style, faith-based” Christmas musical about a large department store caught between the desire for bigger/better and the true meaning of the season. It’s presented by Brightstone Productions (formerly known as Cornerstone Productions) at the Oconee Civic Center in Watkinsville Thursday, Dec. 15–Sunday, Dec. 18 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Dec. 16 at 11 a.m. and Saturday, Dec. 17 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $10–$15. For tickets, call 706-207-4063 or visit

Christmas Canteen An Aurora Theatre original and the longest-running holiday tradition by Brandon O’Dell. A musical winter wonderland featuring nostalgic music, sketch comedy and dance, it is running in Lawrenceville Tuesday, Dec.6–Friday, Dec. 23 at 8 p.m. and Dec. 11 and 18 at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday discount matinees are at 10 a.m. Tickets are $20–$65 and available at or 678-226-6222. Aurora is also running A Christmas Carol and The 12 Dates of Christmas, as well as activities and shows for kids.