Arts & CultureTheater Notes

Murder Mysteries and Romantic Comedies Dominate Upcoming Theater Productions

Aquila Theatre Company’s Pride and Prejudice. Credit: Richard Termine

Stages around Athens provide opportunities to dissect, explore and sometimes reinvent slices of reality through different perspectives. Theater is one art form that strongly takes advantage of such settings, from old classics to modern material. Although the occasional national act passes through, a number of hardworking local troupes entertain year-round. There are several productions to catch in Athens as winter fades into spring, capturing the intrigue of lovers of classic authors, humorous social commentary, coming-of-age stories, murder mysteries and more.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE: The nationally touring nonprofit Aquila Theatre Co. will grace the stage of UGA’s Fine Arts Theatre with its adaptation of one of Jane Austen’s most widely known and reproduced novels, Pride and Prejudice. This production of the sharp social satire features six actors playing 15 different characters, which only adds to the play’s wit and speaks to the company’s prowess. Follow the Bennett sisters on stage as they attempt to navigate love and marriage in Austen’s classic English class system while prioritizing the female’s point of view through it all. Jan. 27, 7:30 p.m. $45–55.

MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING: Town & Gown Players present Shakespeare’s romantic comedy with a local cast. The witty play revolves around two romantic pairings displaying vastly different stories of romantic love. Young Hero and her suitor Claudio are struck with love at first sight, while Claudio’s friend Benedick and Hero’s cousin Beatrice have an antagonistic relationship. Misunderstandings and hijinks ensue as these characters head toward matrimony in typical Shakespearean fashion. Feb. 10–11, 16–18 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 12 & 19 at 2 p.m. $12–20.

THE WOLVES: Processing the enigmas of life and making sense of an often overwhelming world has been stumping humanity forever, and Sarah DeLappe’s Pulitzer Prize-nominated play navigates this through the perspectives of nine high school girls. During their pregame soccer warm-ups, the girls discuss a range of topics from international social conflicts and sex to their coach’s hangovers and the uncertainty of post-high school life. This fast-paced UGA Theatre production will take place in the Cellar Theatre of UGA’s Fine Arts Building. Feb. 16–18, 22–25 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 26 at 2:30 p.m. $12–16.

THE MOUSETRAP: Best-selling novelist of all time Agatha Christie is known for enthralling audiences with mystery, and many of her stories have made the jump from page to stage. The Athens Creative Theatre presents a production of The Mousetrap at Quinn Hall. The scene opens on a group of people snowed in at a country house who quickly discover there is a murderer among them. Will you be the first to figure out the mystery as the suspicious characters reveal their sordid pasts? Mar. 2–4, 7:30 p.m. $10–15.

A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC: Taking place in the Fine Arts Theatre, UGA Theatre presents a production of Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical. Set in 1900 Sweden, an actress becomes tangled in a series of affairs with a former lover, current lover and their respective wives. The characters are forced to confront this whirlwind of love when they are brought together for a weekend at a lavish country estate. A classic comedy of manners ensues. Apr. 14–15, 19–22 at 8 p.m. and Apr. 16 & 23 at 2:30 p.m. $12–16.

RED HERRING: Another Town & Gown Players production, this noir comedy weaves together three love stories, a murder mystery and a nuclear espionage plot. The setting is 1952 America on the verge of the H-bomb and at the feverish height of the red scare. Expect a series of megaton explosions following Senator Joe McCarthy’s daughter getting engaged to a Soviet spy. This spoof is perfect for those who appreciate the film noir spy movies of the ‘30s and ‘40s. Apr. 14–15, 20–22 at 8 p.m. and Apr. 16 & 23 at 2 p.m. $12–20.