Rev your engine
Make fun of monster truck rallies. You know you want to. Go ahead, joke about the mullets and the Pabst and the cousin-marrying. Laugh out loud about the sheer excess of all that noise and mud and destruction. But, god-danged if there isn't something distinctly American about sending the kind of 10,000-pound, 1,500-horsepower, finely tuned, artfully painted motor vehicle that Henry Ford never dreamed possible soaring over a line of junkyard rejects. THE SUPERBOWL OF MOTORSPORTS is SAT., JAN. 8 at the Georgia Dome. It promises to leave your ears ringing for weeks. $10-$25. 7:30 p.m. 1 Georgia Dome Drive. 404-249-6400. www.ticketmaster.com.
-- Coley Ward
If you're among the many who hold onto the holiday spirit well past New Year's, we're guessing your still-decorated evergreen is starting to look more like an ever-brown. Suck it up, kiss Christmas goodbye and take that fire hazard to be recycled JAN. 8, when Home Depots across the city take part in the state's annual Christmas tree recycling campaign, BRING ONE FOR THE CHIPPER. Though you will have to watch your beloved tree get hacked into a trillion pieces, you will also be able to sleep soundly, knowing that it helped create mulch for public beautification projects, which is kinda like tree heaven. Visit www.keepgeorgiabeautiful.org or call 800-CLEAN-UP for recycling locations. -- Layla Bellows
If you've got a bunch of young 'uns still revved up from their Christmas candy, three new kid-friendly plays might keep them settled down for a couple of hours:
Giving new meaning to the name "Superfly," Jon Ludwig's THE ADVENTURES OF MIGHTY BUG uses the exploits of a superheroic insect to expose the hidden world of entomology. $12. Jan. 6-Feb. 6: Tues.-Fri., 10 and 11:30 a.m.; Sat., 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m.; Sun., 1 and 3 p.m. Feb. 8-Mar. 13: Tues.-Fri, 10 and 11:30 a.m.; Sat., 12 and 2 p.m.; Sun., 2 p.m. Center for Puppetry Arts, 1404 Spring St. 404-873-3391. www.puppet.org.
Be sure to light a candle in memory of the late Jerry Orbach if you catch the Disney stage musical of BEAUTY AND THE BEAST at the Fox's Theatre of the Stars. Orbach originally voiced and sang "Be Our Guest" as the irrepressible candlestick Lumiere. $20-$52. Jan. 8-16. Tues.-Fri., 7:30 p.m.; Sat., 1 and 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 1 p.m. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. 404-817-8700. www.theaterofthestars.com.
Did ya know that former U.S. President Jimmy Carter moonlights as a children's storyteller? The Alliance Children's Theatre presents the world premiere of THE LITTLE BABY SNOOGLE-FLEEJER, Ron Anderson's puppet-based adaptation of Carter's kid's book about a boy and a friendly sea monster. $12.50-$15. Jan. 8-30. Sat.-Sun., 1:30 and 3 p.m. 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-5000. www.alliancetheatre.org -- Curt Holman
If you're near the Georgia Capitol JAN. 10, be sure to watch for the elephant stampede. The opening day of the GENERAL ASSEMBLY marks the first time in some 130 years that Republicans have controlled both houses of the Legislature. Apart from the annual State of the State address, which Gov. Sonny Perdue will deliver sometime during the week, don't expect much speechifying or politicking in the early days of the session. Many members will still be settling into their new offices under the Gold Dome -- or, in the case of low-ranking Democrats, trying to locate their assigned cubbyholes across the street.
The chambers convene in the Capitol and typically run from mid-morning to noon. Committee meetings are in the Capitol or the nearby Legislative Office Building. Visit website for schedule. www.legis.state.ga.us. -- Scott Henry
January 6 Thursday
The Atlanta Shakespeare Company offers a double-bill for both your spiritual
and silly sides. THE CATHEDRAL, a short musical, explores the
story of a young man able to see music, while Machiavelli's seldom-produced
comedy THE MANDRAKE reveals a man's ambition to woo a rich man's
$19.50-$24.50. Thurs.-Sat., 7:30 p.m.; Sun., 6:30 p.m.Through Jan. 30. 499 Peachtree St. 404-879-5299. www.shakespearetavern.com.(LB)
January 7 Friday
For a helping of kitsch and a side of pop, visit the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center's double exhibition HEW LOCKE'S HOUSE OF CARDS and GOODBYE SAYS IT ALL. The former features cheeky, folk art-esque representations of British royalty, while the latter is Raleigh, N.C., art cooperative Team Lump's tribute to pop culture, complete with action-figure robots. $3-$5. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Through Jan. 8. 535 Means St. 404-688-1970. www.thecontemporary.org. (LB)
January 8 Saturday
He would have been 70, if only he hadn't had one too many peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwiches. To celebrate ELVIS PRESLEY'S BIRTHDAY, join Kingsized at the Echo Lounge for its twice-yearly tribute to the King. Expect standards, plus a few gems from Presley's eclectic catalog. $10-$12. 8 p.m. 551 Flat Shoals Ave. www.echostatic.com/echolounge. (Steve Fennessy)
January 9 Sunday
The Summit Series, which brings together artists to explore specific themes in sound, hosts an experiment in listening at SILENT NIGHT. Local musicians will improvise a quiet, mostly acoustic set in an attempt to inspire the audience to practice close and careful listening, thereby exploring the relationship between silence and sound. $5. 8:30 p.m. Eyedrum, 290 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. 404-522-0655. www.eyedrum.org. (Mara Shalhoup)
January 10 Monday
Fernbank Museum of Natural History wants to thank the community by waiving its $12 entry fee as part of its CUSTOMER APPRECIATION DAY. Replicas of the world's largest dinosaur fossils are on display, as well as the hands-on children's exhibit Sensing Nature and A Walk Through Time in Georgia, which explores both prehistoric and modern times in the state. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 767 Clifton Road. 404-929-6300. www.fernbank.edu. (MS)
January 11 Tuesday
Textile art meets 21st-century digital design at RECURSIONS: MATERIAL EXPRESSIONS OF ZEROS AND ONES. Opening today, the exhibit showcases work ranging from human-size, digitally printed silk hangings to tapestries so intricately woven that they, at first glance, appear to be photographs. Free. Tues.-Sat., 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Museum of Design Atlanta, 285 Peachtree Center Ave. 404-688-2467. www.museumofdesign.org. (LB)
January 12 Wednesday
It's a new year -- time for a brand new season of Creative Loafing's live POLITICAL PARTY talk show. This month features a diverse cast of pundits, including state Sen. Sam Zamarripa, Republican operative Rusty Paul, Atlanta Daily World Publisher M. Alexis Scott, and actor/producer Stacii Jae Johnson. Free. 8 p.m. Dad's Garage Theatre, 280 Elizabeth St. 404-523-3141. www.dadsgarage.com. (Carlton Hargro)