Behind the strings
Ever wonder what Pinocchio's life was like before he became a real boy? Check out the STRING FLING SEPT. 26-28, a weekend chock full o' puppetry to benefit the Center for Puppetry Arts' teaching mission. Catch performances of AMERICAN TALL TALES, THE GOLDEN GOURD AND OTHER STORIES and THE RELUCTANT DRAGON sneak a peek behind the scenes, or create your own puppet pal to wish into flesh. And if you need a break from the strings, ride a pony or bounce on the inflatable sea monster. $10-$20. Sat. 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. 404-873-3391. www.puppet.org.
-- Heather Kuldell
Crazy in love
You're invited to a wedding -- an outdoor, dish-throwing, body-slamming, crazy melee of a wedding -- when Out Of Hand Theater launches its 2003-'04 season SEPT. 26 with BIG LOVE. This physically intensive reinvention of Aeschylus' Suppliant Women features 50 anxious brides fleeing their arranged marriages in a knock-down, drag-out battle of the sexes. Helmed by Out of Hand Managing Director Ariel de Man, the show blends the environmental setting of a courtyard, the extreme physicality of many things hitting the floor (including people), passion, humor and of course ... big, big love. $12-$20. Through Oct. 18. Fri.-Sat. 8 p.m.; Sun. 5 p.m. Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, 535 Means St. 404-522-6194. www.outofhandtheater.com.
Long before hot commodity Christian Bale was slicing up chicks in American Psycho or cast to don the cape in the forthcoming Batman film, he was prancing around in eyeliner as a glam rock groupie in VELVET GOLDMINE. IMAGE Film & Video Center screens the 1998 cult favorite SEPT. 28 as a benefit for the annual Out On Film festival. The trippy flashback flick finds Bale on the trail of a missing David-Bowie-esque pop idol. Be careful when you time your bathroom break, or you might miss the famous flash of Ewan McGregor's little light-saber. $6. Starlight Six Drive-In, 2000 Moreland Ave. Ticket sales begin at 7:30 p.m.; movie at dusk. 404-352-4225. www.outonfilm.com.
-- Tray Butler
Sept 25 Thursday
The Atlanta Literary Festival continues with its NIGHT OF 100 AUTHORS, in which bookstores across the metro area host various readings and singings. The list of who's participating is longer than some novels, so check out www.atlantaliteraryfestival.com for a full lineup. Free. 7 p.m. Various venues. 404-259-4841. (TB)
Sept 26 Friday
Alliance Theatre Company launches its 2003-'04 season with the regional premiere of August Wilson's Tony-nominated KING HEDLY II. Set in Pittsburgh circa 1985, the play follows a convicted felon's struggle to make it as a legit businessman. $21-$35. Through Nov. 2. Tues.-Fri 8 p.m.; Sat 2:30 and 8 p.m.; Sun 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Hertz Stage, Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-5000. www.alliancetheatre.org. (SY)
To celebrate CREATIVE LOAFING'S BEST OF ATLANTA issue, we're showcasing a batch of acts our critics think are among the city's best: retro-country band Sonoramic Commando, goofy pop-rockers Y-O-U and Brit-pop next-big-thingers the Hiss. DJ Ballz Deep, aka CL contributor Tony Ware, spins an eclectic mix between sets. $5. 10 p.m. The Earl, 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404-522-3950. www.badearl.com. (Roni Sarig)
Sept 27 Saturday
For its sixth annual go-around, HARVESTFEST -- Atlanta's camp-out convention and monster hootenanny of roots, folk, alt-country, jam-rock and everything in between -- pulls an Eric Rudolph and takes refuge in the mountains, appending its name to the Blue Ridge Harvestfest. And the lineup may just be worth the extra hike: North Mississippi Allstars, moe., Gillian Welch, Jim Lauderdale, John Prine, the Radiators and dozens more. $35-$135. Fri. 1:30 p.m.; Sat. 10:45 a.m.; Sun. 11 a.m. Cherokee Farms, 2035 Old Mineral Springs Road, Lafayette. 404-284-3841. www.harvestfest.com. (RS)
Sept 28 Sunday
Authors Lee Smith, Jill McCorkle, Terry Kay, Jim Grimsley and others will be on hand for the MOVEABLE FEAST OF AUTHORS, the final event of the Atlanta Literary Festival. The $50-per-person fundraiser takes place at the Fox Theatre; or check out the festival's free book bazaar, PAGES AT PHIPPS, at Phipps Plaza. www.atlantaliteraryfestival.com. 404-259-4841. (TB)
Sept 29 Monday
SUPER FURRY ANIMALS bring their perpetual pop metamorphosis to town, co-headlining with California space-rockers GRANDADDY. Both bands have new albums -- Phantom Power and Sumday, respectively -- which some consider regressions from their immediate predecessors. But that's like comparing awesome with spectacular. $16.50. 8 p.m. The Roxy, 3110 Roswell Road. 404-233-7699. www.atlantaconcerts.com. (Nikhil Swaminathan)
Sept 30 Tuesday
Make no mistake, RIVERDANCE's thunderous tapping is actually the sound of shins simultaneously splintering. $15-$61.50. Through Oct. 5. Tues.-Sat. 8 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 2 p.m.; Sun. 7:30 p.m. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. 404-817-8700. www.foxtheatre.org. (HK)
Oct 1 Wednesday
Promoting healthy pussies is PROJECT CATSNIP's mission. The mobile feline clinic rolls into East Atlanta to offer low-cost spay/neuter or identification services. Pay only $30 to neuter a male; $50 for females. Advance registration required. Park Pet Supply parking lot, 491 Flat Shoals Ave. 866-764-7222. www.projectcatsnip.com. (HK)