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JULY 

From Atlanta Pride Festival to the National Black Arts Festival

63 PETER MURPHY

Wed., July 2. Bauhaus vampy vocalist gives all the black-clad and pasty-white gothic-rock kids a reason to leave the bat cave when his Retrospective Tour 2008 creeps through Atlanta. $28. 7 p.m. Center Stage, 1374 W. Peachtree St. 404-885-1365. www.cwmidtownmusiccomplex.com.

64 HANCOCK

Opens Wed., July 2. Will Smith renews his summer action-movie credentials as Hancock, a moody hero with Superman-type powers but a tendency to drink too much and cause spectacular accidents. Jason Bateman plays a PR flack who tries to restore Hancock's fortunes. The premise seems so peculiar, downbeat and unlikely as summer escapism that it could be an unexpected delight.

65 PEACHTREE ROAD RACE

Fri., July 4. About 45,000 runners compete in the internationally known 10K race, which starts at Lenox Square and – this year, for the first time – ends at Ponce and Juniper. A highlight of the Fourth of July weekend. 7:30 a.m. www.atlantatrackclub.org.

66 PIED PIPER PARADE

Fri., July 4. Fireworks, parade and concert sponsored by the Decatur Business Association. Free. Downtown Decatur Square, 119 E. Court Square, Decatur. www.decatur-ga.com.

67 ATLANTA PRIDE FESTIVAL

July 4-6. Atlanta's annual celebration of gay culture and heritage undergoes a new date and site, but the entertainment and events remain highlighted by the July 5 Dyke March and July 6 parade. Entertainment lineup To be announced. Fri., 6-11 p.m.; Sat.-Sun., 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, 395 Piedmont Ave. www.atlantapride.org.

68 NEW STREET GALLERY VINYL SHOW

Sat., July 5. Fourth-year production presents local artists' work on 12 pieces of vinyl. Free. Noon-6 p.m. 2800 Washington St., Avondale Estates. 404-298-8696. www.newstreet.org/gallery.

69 MAJOR LEAGUE OF MONSTER TRUCKS

Sun., July 6. Bigfoot, Gunslinger and War Wizard are among the 16 gigantic trucks competing at optimal speeds to become all-star truck of the nation. $15-$50. 6 p.m. Atlanta Motor Speedway, 1500 Highway 41, Hampton. 770-946-4211. www.atlantamotorspeedway.com.

70 DAVE MATTHEWS BAND

Mon., July 7. The popular singer/songwriter and bandleader returns, with Gomez opening. $40.50 and $75. Lakewood Amphitheatre, 2002 Lakewood Way. 404-443-5090. www.ticketmaster.com. Wanna attend this event for free?

71 VANS WARPED TOUR

Wed., July 9. Summer touring festival includes As I Lay Dying, Pennywise and Against Me!. $29.50. Noon. Lakewood Amphitheatre, 2002 Lakewood Way. 404-443-5090. www.ticketmaster.com.

72 COCKTAILS IN THE GARDEN

Thurs., July 10. Spend an evening in the garden sipping a light cocktail while learning about featured flowers or plants. Free-$12. Thursdays, 6-10 p.m. Continues through Sept. 1. Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave. 404-876-5859. www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org. Wanna attend this event for free?

73 HALLELUJAH STREET BLUES

Opens Fri., July 11. Valetta Anderson's world-premiere play depicts the tensions that develop between a feisty matriarch and her grown children when the old neighborhood undergoes major renovations. Presented as part of the National Black Arts Festival. $15-$30. Through Aug. 24. Horizon Theatre, 1083 Austin Ave. Wed.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 8:30 p.m.; Sun., 5 p.m. 404-584-7450. www.horizontheatre.com.

74 FWD:

Opens Fri., July 11. Dad's Garage Theatre's offbeat Top Shelf space presents the world premiere of an intriguing-sounding corporate satire in which an office drone confronts madness and puppets. $13-$17. July 11-Aug. 2. Dad's Garage Top Shelf Theatre, 280 Elizabeth St. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m. 404-523-3141. www.dadsgarage.com.

75 HELLBOY 2: THE GOLDEN ARMY

Opens Fri., July 11. Director Guillermo del Toro follows his superb Oscar-nominated fantasy Pan's Labyrinth with a sequel to his occult action flick Hellboy. Ron Perlman's wisecracking, lobster-red demon crosses from Earth to a supernatural realm to stop a magical tyrant and a menagerie of monsters. Expect The Golden Army to be even more outlandish than the first film, and more imaginative than the rest of the summer comic book movies.

76 FLYING COLORS BUTTERFLY FESTIVAL

Sat., July 12. Get caught up in interactive games, exhibits and animal encounters including the release of hundreds of butterflies at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. Fresh-cooked food and snacks available for purchase from Harry's Farmers Market. Free-$7. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. 9135 Willeo Road, Roswell. 770-992-2055. www.chattnaturecenter.com.

77 PAPA GROWS FUNK

Sat., July 12. Meters-influenced funk crew from New Orleans led by John Gros on the Hammond B-3 organ returns to Atlanta. Gurufish opens. $12. 8 p.m. Smith's Olde Bar, 1578 Piedmont Ave. 404-875-1522. www.smithsoldebar.com.

78 BONNAROO MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL

*June 12-15. Get out of town! Annual music fest within three hours' drive of Atlanta is headlined by Pearl Jam, Kanye West, Les Claypool and Jack Johnson. $229.50-$244.50. Manchester, Tenn. www.bonnaroo.com. Wanna attend this event for free?

(* Corrected date listed above.) 

79 BEN-HUR

Sun., July 13. The Fox Theatre salutes the memory of the late Charlton Heston with one of the biggest period epics ever made, which holds up surprisingly well even outside the famed chariot race sequence. The preshow includes a vintage cartoon and a sing-along with the "Mighty Mo" organ. $7. 7:30 p.m. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. 404-881-2100. www.foxtheatre.org.

80 THE COLOR PURPLE

Opens Tues., July 15. Alliance Theatre staged The Color Purple musical's world-premiere production in 2004, and the show returns "home" for the National Black Arts Festival following its Tony- and Grammy-nominated Broadway run. Presented with Theatre of the Stars as part of the National Black Arts Festival. Through Aug. 3. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. 404-733-5000. www.nbaf.org.

81 ANDRES DUBUS III

Wed., July 16. In The Garden of Last Days, set in the days leading up to 9/11, the author of The House of Sand and Fog crafts a story surrounding a stripper whose daughter goes missing and a Muslim client at the club with money to spend. Tickets To be announced. Call for reservations. Reception, 6 p.m.; author program, 7 p.m.; book signing, 8 p.m. Margaret Mitchell House. 990 Peachtree St. 770-578-3502. www.georgiacenterforthebook.org.

82 THE AMEN CORNER

Opens Wed., July 16. Andrea Frye directs James Baldwin's rousing family drama about Sister Margaret Alexander's attempts to hold her Harlem storefront church together. Produced by True Colors Theatre as part of the National Black Arts Festival. $20. Balzer Theatre, 84 Luckie St. Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2:30 and 8 p.m.; Sun., 2:30 p.m. Through Aug. 3. 678-528-1500. www.truecolorstheatrecompany.

83 BATMAN: THE DARK KNIGHT

Opens Fri., July 18. The untimely death of Heath Ledger casts a pall over Christopher Nolan's sequel to Batman Begins, especially because the trailers make Ledger's performance as the maniacal Joker look so unnerving and original. Christian Bale returns to the cowl as the caped crusader, and rumor has it that Aaron Eckhart has a juicy role as Gotham City district attorney Harvey Dent, better known as the alter-ego of split-personality villain Two-Face.

84 GLADYS KNIGHT

Fri., July 18. Atlanta's legendary soul survivor performs hits such as "Midnight Train to Georgia" and "If I Were Your Woman," as part of the National Black Arts Festival's Legends Celebration. $20-$76. 8 p.m. Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center, 395 Piedmont Ave. 404-523-6275.

85 DOWNTOWN ATLANTA RESTAURANT WEEK

July 21-27. For seven days this summer, Atlantans can satisfy their appetites without upsetting their bank accounts during this annual event. Dozens of downtown restaurants offer three-course dinners for $25 per person. Times and locations vary. www.atlantadowntown.com.

86 THE X-FILES: I WANT TO BELIEVE

Opens Fri., July 25. David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson and director Chris Carter want to believe that audiences still remember the supernatural TV series, which had some great early seasons and a fairly decent 1998 film version before everyone seemed to lose interest. (Whether Agents Mulder and Scully are shacking up seems like a bigger question mark than the romance of Carrie Bradshaw and Mr. Big.) At the very least, it looks better than its competition for the weekend, the Will Ferrell/John C. Reilly comedy Step Brothers.

87 MARK KNOPFLER

Tues., July 29. The Grammy-winning singer/songwriter and former Dire Straits frontman tours in support of his fifth solo album, Kill to Get Crimson. $41.50-$81.50. 8 p.m. Delta Classic Chastain Park Amphitheater. 404-733-5000. www.classicchastain.com Wanna attend this event for free?.

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