1) Hallelujah Street Blues opens at Horizon Theatre.
2) John Hiatt and the Ageless Beauties perform at the Atlanta Botanical Garden.
3) Disappearing Black Neighborhoods opens at Georgia State's Student Center Lounge.
4) Noot 'd Noot performs at the Earl.
5) Fernbank Museum of Natural History hosts Martinis and IMAX.
(Photo Lisa Adler)
Not long after its witty Youtube trailer for Song of the Living Dead, Dad's Garage Theatre presents a teaser trailer for the world premiere of its Top Shelf show, FWD. Mike Katinsky directs the madness-laced office satire written by Christian Danley and Randy Havens, which features two of my favorite performers in the Dad's circle, Matthew Myers and Alison Hastings. (Incidentally, I interviewed Havens for a story that will run next week.) If FWD lives up to the standard of other Top Shelf premieres such as Drove, it should be a must see. Plus, the new Top Shelf comedies tend to be short!
The teaser emulates old-fashioned corporate training films and is quite clever. The Dad's people seem to have a flair with the viral video form:
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/mQL6d2Q2POs" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
The Dragon King by Tanglewood Marionnettes kicks off this year's SummerFest at The Center for Puppetry Arts. SummerFest usually presents shows from visiting puppetry troupes from around the nation, and The Dragon King may be the best all-around family show by an out-of-town-troupe that I've seen at the Center.
Based in Ware, Mass., Tanglewood Marionnettes adapted The Dragon King based on a Chinese folktale, in which a drought has turned the land brown and lifeless. (It could be torn from today's headlines.) For reasons unknown, the supernatural Dragon King has neglected his duties of bringing rain to countryside, so a grandmother goes on a quest to find the Dragon King in his undersea kingdom.
Not surprisingly, the show features many influences from Chinese culture, including a lovely, scrolling backdrop that imitates Chinese illustration style, as well as a lively parade dragon that snakes around the audience near the end. The script draws cleverly from other storytelling traditions as well, from Aesop's fable of "The Tortoise and the Hare" to the movie Finding Nemo (in thankfully subtle ways). The marionettes, manipulated by Peter Schaefer and Jenn Tebo, are absolutely gorgeous, particularly such animals as the hare, a sea turtle and a giant squid at least six feet tall. In one of the show's most charming surprises, a pair of huge goldfish (like koi pond escapees) turn out to be "flip-over puppets," and when their oversized tails turn inside out, they turn into completely different characters.
Tanglewood's dialogue and music are prerecorded, which can sometimes rob a puppetry performance of a certain spontaneity, but Tanglewood makes up for that by having puppeteer Peter Schaefer chat up the audience before and after the performance. Plus, Schaefer and Tebo perform in full view of the audience for most of the show, which adds to the personal touch.
The Dragon King plays through July 13 at the Center for Puppetry Arts. The remaining shows on the SummerFest bill are The Bremen Town Musicians by Crabgrass Puppet Theatre of Halifax, Vt. (July 15-27), and Sleeping Beauty, a one-puppeteer performance by Paul Messner Puppets of Kansas City, Mo. (July 29-Aug. 10).
1) The Jet Age performs at Lenny's Bar.
2) Kenji Jasper discusses and signs Got and Cake at Wordsmiths Books.
3) Smith's Olde Bar hosts Luchagors, Dollyrots and Jesse Nobody.
4) Salman Rushdie reads and discusses The Enchantress of Florence at the Carter Center.
5) Watch footage of Running of the Bulls while enjoying tapas and flamenco dancers at Cuerno.
(Photo by D. Wade)
1) Atlanta Pride wraps up its celebration.
2) Lyle Lovett performs at Chastain Park.
3) The Atlanta Braves take on the Houston Astros at Turner Field.
4) The musical Urinetown is at Onstage Atlanta.
5) Doomsayer, Royal Thunder and Let the Night Roar perform at Smith's Olde Bar.
(Photo courtesy Atlanta Pride Committee)
On Thursday, July 3, The Process Theatre, Whole World Theatre and Outwrite Books present an evening dedicated to the work of popular playwright Del Shores (pictured). The program features theatrical scenes from Southern Baptist Sissies and Sordid Lives as well as a talk-back session with Shores himself.
The timing couldnt be better. Sordid Lives, Shores TV series adaptation of his sleeper hit movie and stage play, debuts on July 23 on Logo. I interviewed Shores last year and he talked about the first time he realized that Sordid Lives had a runaway cult following:
The phenomenon started in Palm Springs, where it showed at a movie theater for two years, and people were saying favorite lines or showing up in costume. It was shocking to me! It has been such a wild ride, and I feel blessed for it. I don't think we really realized how popular it was until we took the play on a national tour with some of the film cast last year. The play usually lasts for two hours and 20 minutes, with the intermission, but opening night in Florida went on for three hours, with people laughing and shouting out lines. I told the actors "You better get your lines right, because they know them, and they'll correct you!"
The event takes place at Whole World Theatres main stage, 1226 Spring Street, and tickets are $35. Here's a little video fun from the 2000 film, featuring Atlanta's own Leslie Jordan as "Brother Boy."
[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZmdeEAMiWKQ" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
(Photo courtesy Del Shores)
1) Power Plays Festival continues at Essential Theater.
2) Peter Murphy performs at Center Stage.
3) Sweetwater Brewery hosts a brewery tour that offers up tastes of Hummer, 420 and others.
4) Boz Scaggs, David Jacobs-Strain and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra perform at Chastain Park Amphitheater.
5) War and Peace by Benji Williams, Sid Watters, Leslie Ditto and Cynthia Tollesfrud continues at Alcove Gallery and Studio.
(Photo by Sonny Knox)
Essential Theatre celebrates its 10th anniversary with POWER PLAYS FESTIVAL, another triple header of local and world-premiere plays. This year's lineup, selected by artistic director Peter Hardy, includes Paul Rudnick's comedy Valhalla, featuring Topher Payne as Mad King Ludwig; Gina Gionfriddo's heavyweight drama After Ashley, opening Wed., JULY 2, about the media circus surrounding a mother's murder; and Atlanta playwright Letitia Sweitzer's award-winning West of Eden, a comedy about Adam and Eve in middle age. Through July 27. $15-$25. In repertory Mon.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.; no 2 p.m. show Sat., July 5; no show Mon., July 7. 7 Stages Backstage Theatre, 1105 Euclid Ave. 404-523-7647. www.essentialtheatre.com.
(Photo by Sonny Knox)
Todays Air Loaf features CLs Chanté LaGon and Curt Holman discussin OnStage Atlanta's production of Urinetown: The Musical. (Through July 12.)
Air Loaf is broadcast weekdays on 1690 WMLB-AM at approximately 8:10 a.m., 12:20 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.
1) New Exhibits continues at ART Station Contemporary Arts Center.
2) Barbara Ann's features Blues Jam Session with Frankie Lee Robinson.
3) Lyfe Jennings plays at Center Stage.
4) DJ Romeo Cologne hosts Funk Disco at Star Bar.
5) Summer Slaughter Tour 2008 comes to the Masquerade.
(Image by Bob McGill)
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