Dance, Theater, and Music

Alliance Theatre
“The theatrical jewel that is the Woodruff Arts Center is tucked inside a cluster of architectural landmarks on Peachtree Street.”—Wendell Brock, theater critic, Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Performs about a dozen shows a year on two stages; winner of the 2007 regional Tony Award for sustained excellence; past shows include the theatrical launch of The Color Purple and, more recently, Curvy Widow, starring Cybill Shepherd. 1280 Peachtree Street NE; tel. +1 404 733 4650. www.alliancetheatre.org

Center for Puppetry Arts
“The Muppets are here! The center has long been considered the best puppet joint in America. Now that it has snagged the Jim Henson collection, it will be more essential than ever.”—Wendell Brock. Both children and adults enjoy performances and education about the art of puppetry; shows, workshops, and a museum store. 1404 Spring Street NW; tel. +1 404 873 3391. www.puppet.org

Chastain Park Amphitheater
“Blissful summer nights under the stars. Imagine: a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, and Joni Mitchell.”—Wendell Brock. Locals pack coolers full of Chardonnay and Brie, stuff silver candelabra and crystal wine glasses into satchels, and sit back to watch live music on warm summer evenings. Chastain Park; tel. +1 404 733 5000. www.classicchastain.com

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center
“Despite grumbling from in-town loyalists, the Atlanta Opera’s move to a fabulous new suburban facility is proving a win-win.”—Betsy Riley, executive editor, Atlanta Magazine. This slick, $145-million performance venue opened in fall 2007; new home to the Atlanta Opera (www.atlantaopera.org), with everything from magic shows to dance performances filling out the calendar. 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway; tel. +1 770 916 2800. www.cobbenergycentre.com

Fox Theatre
"The faux minarets, glittering stars, and Arabian décor are the stars of every show.”—Betsy Riley. Built in 1927, with a Moorish-Egyptian theme; ornate gilt and bronze, heavy red velvet, and false beams and balconies; home to the acclaimed Atlanta Ballet (www.atlantaballet.com), along with musical performances. Tours available. 660 Peachtree Street NE; tel. +1 404 881 2100. www.foxtheatre.org

Variety Playhouse
"The coolest place for alternative music, it’s a beacon of our most bohemian neighborhood.”—Wendell Brock. Originally a 1930s movie theater, now a groovy performance venue in alternative Little Five Points; past performers include Phish, Ani DiFranco, and Rodney Crowell. 1099 Euclid Avenue; tel. +1 404 524 7354. www.variety-playhouse.com

Nightlife

Blind Willie’s
“The most venerated blues club in the city; a room chock full of Mississippi Delta atmosphere where the local elite and national stars perform.”—Scott Freeman, author, Midnight Riders: The Story of the Allman Brothers Band. Named for accomplished Georgia bluesman Blind Willie McTell; opened in 1986; live blues bands every night; limited Cajun food menu. Closed Sunday. 828 North Highland Avenue NE; tel. +1 404 873 2583. www.blindwilliesblues.com

Eddie’s Attic
“One of the most prestigious folk clubs in the country; the Indigo Girls, John Mayer, and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland all got their start here.”—Scott Freeman. Founded in 1992 in the upstairs of an old department store; a focus on singer-songwriters, with open-mic nights on Mondays and a no-talking policy during performances. 515 North McDonough Street, tel. +1 404 377 4976. www.eddiesattic.com

Halo Lounge
Groovy lighting, sleek lounge couches, and a stark onyx bar are just backdrops for the beautiful people who come to listen to DJ-spun beats and schmooze; considered a “gay bar” but open to everyone. 817 West Peachtree Street Suite E-100; tel. +1 404 962 7333. www.halolounge.com

MJQ Concourse
“Where the Atlanta hipsters go to dance and make the scene.”—Scott Freeman. Subterranean dance club in a converted parking garage; pulsating acid jazz, house, and hip-hop music, sweaty dance floor and an eclectic crowd; dark and slightly claustrophobic; a small lounge off the main room provides a little respite. 736 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE, #17; tel. +1 404 870 0575. www.mjqforums.com

The Local
A classic dive bar and everyone’s favorite place to swig tall cans of Pabst Blue Ribbon; worn couches and aging wood, but trendy good-looking staff to keep the hipsters coming; surprising good food menu. 758 Ponce De Leon Avenue NE; tel. +1 404 873 5002.

Festivals

Dogwood Festival
Early April. Annual event held over three days in Piedmont Park. Art and crafts booths, music and food; dog competition and activities for kids. Tel. +1 404 817 6642. www.dogwood.org

Inman Park Festival
End of April. Neighborhood festival brings out local artisans; includes live music, eclectic parade, and a tour of homes. Tel. +1 770 242 4895. www.inmanparkfestival.org

Atlanta Jazz Festival
May. City-sponsored month-long event culminating in live concerts in Piedmont Park on Memorial Day weekend; festival includes workshops and classes by jazz professionals; many events are free. Tel. +1 404 817 6818. www.atlantafestivals.com

Atlanta Pride
June. Annual gay pride festival, held over three days in Midtown and Piedmont Park. Includes parade, Dyke March, and lots of scantily clad partiers. Tel. +1 770 491 8633. www.atlantapride.org

National Black Arts Festival
Mid-July. A ten-day festival brings visitors from all over the world; held in various locations; celebrates African-American music, theater, literature, and film. Tel. +1 404 730 7315. www.nbaf.org

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