Thursday, June 19, 2008

OnStage Atlanta whips out Urinetown and new season

Posted By on Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 7:40 PM

This weekend I'll be taking another trip down to Urinetown at OnStage Atlanta. The small theater company staged Mark Hollman and Greg Kotis' wicked musical parody in March of 2006 (here's my review of that production). New artistic company manager Barbara Cole Uterhardt directs the re-mount, which features her husband Geoffrey "Googie" Uterhardt as Officer Lockstock and brings back some players, such as Jenna Edmonds as little Sally and Robert Wayne as the plutocratic Mr. Cladwell.

A satire of capitalism, revolutionary movements and musicals like Les Miserables, Urinetown takes place in a city afflicted with a water shortage that requires its citizens to pay every time they go to the bathroom. (I hope the show doesn't give the City of Atlanta any ideas.) Eventually the literally unwashed masses rise up against the system, including the oppressive police force, who come across like jackbooted boogeymen in the "Cop Song" (from a Penn State production):

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I can't wait to see what Googie Uterhardt does with this number.

OnStage Atlanta has also announced the titles (but not dates) of its 2008-2009 season: the Irish dramas The Weir and St. Nicholas by Conor McPherson; the comedy The Underpants, translated by Steve Martin; the man-and-his-dog comedy Sylvia by A.R. Gurney; the literate medical drama Wit by Atlanta's Pulitzer-winning Margaret Edson; and the Roaring Twenties musical The Wild Party by Andrew Lippa.

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5 things to do: Thursday

Posted By on Thu, Jun 19, 2008 at 3:45 AM

1) Meghan Coffee performs at Smith’s Olde Bar.

Meghan Coffee

2) Healthcare NOW rallies against for-profit health insurance companies outside the Buckhead office of Blue Cross Blue Shield.

3) Dr. Lemoine D. Pierce discusses and signs copies of her book, George Washington Carver: Scientist, Artist and Musician, at Auburn Avenue Research Library on African American Culture and History.

4) Documentary photographer Erin Ashford showcases her new mixed-media work in Manipulations at P’Cheen.

5) Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta’s Jewtopia opens at 14th Street Playhouse.

(Photo by Zack Arias)

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Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thinking outside the Fox

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 9:55 PM

The Fox Theatre is planning a new initiative intended to assist other Georgia theaters in the preservation of their spaces. This initiative, the Fox Theatre Institute, will be presented on July 18 at their conference, "Thinking Outside the Fox," with the League of Historic American Theaters.

According to the Fox Theatre Institute, there are an estimated 260 historic theaters operating in Georgia today (114 have been demolished in the past 58 years). For the past year, the Fox Theatre Institute has been working with 25 of these theaters, in various cities — from Dahlonega to Brunswick — all across the state.

"The Fox Theatre’s story of survival and success is the catalyst for this movement," Adina Alford, Fox Theatre's general manager, said in a press release. "We want to share the knowledge that successful restorations of cultural attractions have the potential to inspire communities and positively effect their cultural landscape. It’s our goal to create thriving communities in cities throughout Georgia and the Southeast."

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5 things to do: Wednesday

Posted By on Wed, Jun 18, 2008 at 3:45 AM

The Band of Heathens

1) The Band of Heathens plays Eddie’s Attic.

2) Author Michael Rose discusses and signs Historic Photos of Atlanta at Manuel’s Tavern.

3) Diary of a Madman opens at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church.

4) International Rescue Committee and nine Atlanta restaurants partner for World Refugee Day: Make Dining Out Count, a fundraiser for the IRC.

5) For the Waters of Lethe by Richard Sudden continues at Whitespace Gallery.

(Photo courtesy the Band of Heathens)

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Center Theatre announces inaugural season with Jewtopia and more

Posted By on Mon, Jun 16, 2008 at 8:55 PM

On May 25, Jewish Theatre of the South staged the final performance of The Last Schwartz, the final show of the theater's 13 seasons. When the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta announced that JTS's current season would be its last, the MJCCA also revealed that it would establish a new theatrical company to replace it. Center Theatre at the MJCCA has just announced its inaugral season.

When the discontinuation of JTS was first announced, the decision sounded like a rebuke to Jewish Theatre of the South's occasionally obscure or edgy fare. Center Theatre's inaugural line-up seems unlikely to court controversy:

Jewtopia (June 19-Aug. 10). Staged at the 14th Street Playhouse, this comedy depicts a gentile who wants to marry a Jewish girl, along with his Jewish friend, who can’t get a date. Center Theatre’s producing artistic director, Blake Hall (former managing director of Jewish Theatre of the South), directs the show.

25 Questions for a Jewish Mother (Sep. 10-21). Comedian Judy Gold brings her long-running Off-Broadway show to the MJCCA for Center Theatre’s first mainstage show. As a “6’3’’ conservative, kosher, gay mother of two boys,” Gold (with playwright Kate Moira Ryan) interviewed more than 50 Jewish women to discover the ingredients of a Jewish mother. Gold will sign copies of her book after each performance.

The Sound of Music (Nov. 28-Dec. 28). The Rodgers and Hammerstein musical coincides with the holidays and will feature sing-along performances (with lyrics projected) on Sundays.

Disney’s High School Musical (Feb. 11-March 1). Onstage Atlanta’s Barbara Cole Uterhardt directs the stage version of the seemingly-inescapable Disney Channel original movie High School Musical.

Brighton Beach Memoirs (April 29-May 24). Stage Door Players’ Robert Egizio directs the first play in Neil Simon’s trilogy of autobiographical comedies.

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Air Loaf

Posted By on Mon, Jun 16, 2008 at 2:05 PM

Today's Air Loaf features CL's Chante LaGon and Curt Holman chatting about all of the plays you can expect to see this summer!

Air Loaf is broadcast weekdays on 1690 WMLB-AM at approximately 8:10 a.m., 12:20 p.m. and 6:20 p.m.

Part one: download

Part two: download

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See & Do: Special event: Bloomsday: A James Joyce Celebration

Posted By on Mon, Jun 16, 2008 at 8:00 AM


Composition Gallery presents BLOOMSDAY: A JAMES JOYCE CELEBRATION, featuring readings and performances from members of Theatre Gael, Atlanta's renowned Irish theater company, as well as local poet Rupert Fike. In conjunction with Irish pubs around the world, Bloomsday will include literary discussions of the life and works of Ulysses author James Joyce for the annual commemoration that started in Dublin, Ireland. Music will be provided by local trio Hubcap City (From Belgium), with a special reading by frontman Bill Taft Mon., JUNE 16. Free. 8 p.m. 1388 McLendon Ave. 678-982-9764.

(Photo courtesy Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Yale University)

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

See & Do: Theater: Mamma Mia!

Posted By on Sun, Jun 15, 2008 at 8:00 AM


The film version of MAMMA MIA!, Benny Andersson's and Björn Ulvaeus' surprise smash-hit musical based on the songs of ABBA, opens in theaters nationwide in July. Conveniently, the touring stage production comes to the Fox Theatre, concluding Sun., JUNE 15, to give audiences one last chance to see the source material before the likes of Meryl Streep and Colin Firth take a chance (take a chance-chance) with it. Despite ABBA's roots as a Swedish disco supergroup, Mamma Mia! takes place on a sunny Greek island and depicts a young woman's efforts to learn the identity of her father before she says, "I do! I do! I do!" Through June 15. $25-$64. Tues.-Fri., 8 p.m.; Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; Sun., 1 and 6:30 p.m. Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree Road. 404-817-8700. by Joan Marcus)

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

The zombie meme

Posted By on Sat, Jun 14, 2008 at 4:30 PM


I was out of town for the opening weekend of Song of the Living Dead, Dad’s Garage Theatre’s world premiere musical about love and zombies. Instead I saw it last night at a special Thursday fundraiser for, appropriately enough, historic Oakland Cemetery, which is still recovering from the tornado damage from earlier this year.

I’ll write about Song of the Living Dead at length in next week’s issue, but I will say that, for me, the most memorable thing that happened off-stage at last night’s performance was the woman sitting directly behind me who blurted “Oh shit, what’s THAT?!!” when someone (or some thing) began moving through the seats.

Song of the Living Dead fits in with a surprisingly prevalent contemporary vogue for zombies, which you find not only in movies like 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead and Diary of the Dead, but all over pop culture and the Internet. I see references to zombies all the time on blogs, and recently noticed a popular meme that goes like this:

“You are in a mall when the zombies attack. You have -

[01] one weapon.

[02] one song blasting on the speakers.

[03] one famous person to fight alongside you.”

Apparently weapons and famous persons can be real or fictional. Participants in the meme, wherever it appears, are invited to answer the question in the comments field, or pass it along in their own blogs. It’s fun to play along – my answers are after the jump.

Continue reading »

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5 things to do: Saturday

Posted By on Sat, Jun 14, 2008 at 3:45 AM


1) Hot 107.9 hosts its annual Birthday Bash at Philips Arena, with headliners T.I. and Lil Wayne.

2) Syrens of the South performs Cabaret Noir at the Highland Inn Ballroom & Lounge.

3) CityDance Ensemble presents Earthly Paradise Saturday, featuring the Lady Swings, Graduation Ball and contemporary modern dance.

4) Virginia Willis signs Bon Appetit, Y'all: Recipes and Stories from Three Generations of Southern Cooking at Eagle Eye Book Shop.

5) Mamma Mia! continues at the Fox Theatre.

(Photo by Patrick Hoelck)

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