Orchestra Noir, the acclaimed Atlanta ensemble, performs Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Tabernacle. The all African-American orchestra, led by Ikeem Rodgers, will perform hip-hop and R&B hits from the ’90s and 2000s. Rodgers formed the group in 2016. “I am exposing people who would only normally listen to classical to hip-hop and R&B and people who would normally only listen to hip-hop and R&B to classical,” he told ArtsATL in 2021. “I want to build a bridge between both cultures.” Tickets start at $81.50.
The Callanwolde Fine Arts Center’s Jazz on the Lawn series kicks off Friday with jazz vocalist Lori Williams. The Atlanta-based singer has released six albums, toured internationally and is the jazz artist-in-residence at North Carolina A&T. She also boasts a heady review from President Joe Biden: “the voice of an angel . . . absolutely amazing.” The show begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets start at $25.
Atlanta cabaret mainstay Nancy Gaddy brings her “Sexy at Sixty” show to Napoleon’s Grill in Decatur Friday at 9 p.m. The show is a blend of comedy and music, which Gaddy describes as “a little schmaltz and a smidgen of schtick.” Joining her is music director Andrew Fazackerley on piano, Tim Aucoin on bass, George Price on guitar and Paul Fallat on drums. Tickets start at $18.
Ballethnic Dance Company has had an enormously successful year so far, including participation in the Reframing the Narrative gathering at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. That’s where the ensemble performed Waverly T. Lucas II’s 1999 ballet Sanctity, re-imagined for the occasion. This weekend it’s one of two ballets on Ballethnic’s Images of Life program at the Alliance Theatre, along with the first live performance of Jazzing: Memoirs in Jazz, a collaboration with the Breman Museum, inspired by photojournalist Herb Snitzer’s photographs of jazz pioneers. The ballet premiered as a dance film during the pandemic. Coca-Cola Stage. Friday, 8 p.m.; Saturday 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.; Sunday 3 p.m. Tickets start at $41.
The Eleo Pomare-Glenn Conner choreographic residency program at Kennesaw State University’s Department of Dance brings in two choreographers each summer to work with the students. Dance makers from around the world compete for these spots, and this year Lior Lazarof from Israel and Nicola Wills, based in Belgium, were chosen. Their two new works will be presented in the Double Exposure program on Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. at the KSU Dance Theatre on the Marietta campus. Tickets $20.
Dance Canvas supports up-and-coming Atlanta choreographers in multiple ways, including with opportunities to workshop new dances. Participants in this year’s summer choreographic residency, a partnership with Atlanta Contemporary, will present their works on Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Contemporary. This year’s residents are: Billy J. Hawkains III; N’Seeka McPherson; Christiana McLeod Horn; and Joy Paillet. Tickets $30.
Artist Joe Dreher portrayed his family, including his wife and two sons, in two large scale murals he created on the Midtown Union Construction project. Now he is honoring one of his sons, artist Alexander Dreher, aka DEADO, in a very different way. Alex took his own life in October 2022 and the Dreher family is presenting a posthumous exhibit of his work at Echo Contemporary. Free.
The current exhibit at the Sandler Hudson Gallery is Linear Configurations: Ink, Paint, and Clay, a group show featuring drawings by Atlanta-based artist Linda Armstrong, Betsy Cain’s paintings celebrating the Indigo plant and Michael Dickey’s earthenware vessels that glow with multiple layers of glaze. The gallery describes the exhibit in terms of lines: “Its composition and character play an integral role in each of these artists’ works. It defines structure, suggests the figure and motion in challenging and unexpected ways.” Through September 2.
The first South Downtown Art Crawl will take place Friday and include the Future Gallery (5 p.m. to 6 p.m.), The Bakery (6 p.m. to 11 p.m.), Fulton County Galleries (5 p.m. to 7 p.m.) and Cat Eye Creative (4 p.m. to 9 p.m.). All the galleries are within a couple of blocks of one another, and there will be cocktails and music on tap as well as art. Free.
Sanaz Toossi’s Pulitzer-winning play English continues this weekend on the Hertz stage at the Alliance Theatre. English tells the story of four Iranian students as they prepare to take the Test of English as a foreign language, which they hope will unlock a world of new possibilities. ArtsATL writer Benjamin Carr’s interview with director Shadi Ghaheri reveals how the play echoes her own experiences. Tickets start at $60.
Out Front Theatre presents drag artist Darienne Lake Saturday at 8 p.m. Lake appeared in the eighth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars. Lake will perform her humor-driven, one-person show, Altered Boy, all about growing up in a Catholic family and finding a chosen family. Tickets are $25 for general admission or $40 for VIP seats and the opportunity to meet Lake after the show.
The Essential Theatre Festival is at 7 Stages Theatre until September 3. See Matthew Hoffman’s The Manuscript, winner of the 2023 playwriting award, Friday at 7 p.m. or Sunday at 8 p.m. Beverly Austin’s 2020 winning play, The Wishing Place, is onstage Saturday at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Tickets start at $25.