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Archive for September, 2009

Leonardo, Donatello & Verrocchio at the High

da Vinci's detail of Youth from "Beheading of St. John the Baptist."

“Leonardo da Vinci: Hand of the Genius”
Oct 6-Feb. 21, 2010. $18; $15, seniors and students with IDs; $11,
children 6-17; free for members and children 5 and under. 10 a.m.-5
p.m., Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays; until 8 p.m.
Thursdays; 12-5 p.m. Sundays. High Museum of Art. 1280 Peachtree St.

By Catherine Fox
Leonardo da Vinci is one of the great renaissance men of all time. Not only a peerless artist, he was also a skilled engineer, avant-garde scientist and inventor. There’s no hyperbole in the title of the High Museum of Art’s new exhibition: “Leonardo da Vinci: Hand of the Genius.”
Yet, as you’ll see when the show opens on Tuesday, genius doesn’t germinate in a vacuum.
Leonardo came of age in one of the most glorious periods in western culture, when knowledge expanded, humanism took hold and culture bloomed. His artistic brilliance was rooted in his times and grounded in the artists who preceded him.
As guest curator …

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Blind Willie author to speak in Atlanta

Author Michael Gray

Author Michael Gray

By Bob Townsend
Michael Gray, author of “Hand Me My Travelin’ Shoes: In Search of Blind Willie McTell,” will be in town to talk about the longtime denizen of Atlanta who’s considered one of the greatest blues artists of all time.

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Author Michael Gray goes in search of Blind Willie McTell

Blind Willie McTell

Blind Willie McTell

Meet the author
Michael Gray will be at Decatur CD at 6:30 p.m., Oct. 9. Free. 356 W. Ponce De Leon Avenue, Decatur, 404-371-9090. Also the Atlanta-Fulton Public Library, 7 p.m. on Oct. 14. Free. 1 Margaret Mitchell Square N.W., Atlanta, 404-730-1700,

By Bob Townsend
Undoubtedly, one the greatest blues artists of all time, Georgia native and longtime Atlanta denizen Blind Willie McTell died more than 50 years ago, on Aug. 19, 1959, in the state hospital in Milledgeville. 
McTell’s music became a part of American popular culture in the early ’70s, mostly because it was covered by rock and blues bands, like the Allman Brothers — who had a hit with McTell’s 1928 classic, “Statesboro Blues.” Guitarists such as Duane Allman marveled at McTell’s singular 12-string guitar wizardry. And singer-songwriters, including Bob Dylan, paid homage to McTell’s gifts as a performer.
Now, in the new book, “Hand Me My Travelin’ …

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Aurora Theatre gets edgy with “Boom”

Eve Krueger and Topher Payne in "Boom."

Eve Krueger and Topher Payne in "Boom."

Theater review

Grade: B-
Through Oct. 4. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays;
2:30 p.m. Sundays. $12-$15. Aurora Theatre, 128 Pike St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222,
Bottom line: The modest beginning of an ambitious idea.

By Bert Osborne

The worst to be said for Aurora Theatre’s “Boom” is probably that it isn’t the most brilliant play ever written.
In Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s apocalyptic absurdist comedy, what begins as a disastrous blind date for two quirky outcasts threatens to become an eternity for them — sequestered in an underground bunker, possibly sole survivors of the end of the world.
If the “future of humanity” depends on their coupling, you might count your blessings that you won’t be around for it. Jules is a geeky gay marine biologist, whose abnormally sheltered life literally includes four years spent on a desert island. Jo’s strident, overbearing demeanor masks her own social and …

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Spelman’s ‘Undercover’ bends gender, subverts stereotypes

"Europa" by Nandipha Mtambo

"Europa" by Nandipha Mtambo

Gallery review
“Undercover: Performing and Transforming Black Female Identities.”

Through Dec. 5. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays; noon-4 p.m. Saturdays. Spelman College Museum of Art. 350 Spelman Lane. 404-270-5607.
Bottom line: Once again, an exemplary exhibition at Spelman.

By Catherine Fox

Childhood is littered with bromides about valuing a person’s good heart or soul, but most of us figure out early on that inner beauty only goes so far.
We know that the way we present ourselves — our clothes, our hair, our manners — signal who we are, or who we want to be. We know that appearance matters in gaining love, respect and acceptance. And we know that we are also judged by aspects that are beyond our control: the color of our skin, say, or our gender.
These facts of life are the starting point for “Undercover: Performing and Transforming Black Female Identities,” a terrific show at Spelman College Museum of …

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Civil War general seeks redemption in ‘A Separate Country’


Book Review

“A Separate Country”
By Robert Hicks
423 pages. Grand Central Publishing. $25.99.
Meet the author 7:15 p.m., Oct. 26, Georgia Center for the Book, DeKalb County Public Library, 215 Sycamore St., Decatur. 404-370-8450 Ext.  2225.

By Sarah Sacha Dollacker
The excess of death at the Battle of Franklin, in particular, would weigh heavily on Gen. John Bell Hood for the rest of his days.
When it became clear that the South would lose the Battle of Atlanta, Hood ordered the Confederate stockpiles in the city to be burned. As Sherman torched the rest of the city, Hood marched north, attempting to draw the Union army out of Georgia.
When Hood met the Northern forces again, it was in central Tennessee in two battles that would prove devastating for the Confederacy and would eliminate Hood’s army.
Based on actual events from Hood’s life, Robert Hicks’ “A Separate Country” meets the battle-hardened general after the Civil War, …

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What recession? ASO prepares ambitious 65th season

ASO Director Robert Spano

ASO Director Robert Spano

ASO Season Preview
Sept. 24-June 12. Symphony Hall, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E. 404-733-5000,

By Pierre Ruhe

Time was, major American orchestras opened their season with a gala concert — a one-off night to party. The economy, and changing audience habits and expectations, quashed that tradition. But the Atlanta Symphony launches its 65th year on Sept. 24 in Symphony Hall with two sonically overpowering works that would happily anchor any gala.
The ASO’s main classical season for 2009-10 was mostly planned before we sunk to the depths of recession, and the programming seems to reflect a certain pre-pessimistic attitude. From now till mid-June — 24 weekends of classical concerts — there’s an event of uncommon interest almost every week, with no fewer than five premieres, a semi-staged opera, intriguing music by contemporary composers and, not least, the ASO Chorus in beefy choral masterpieces.

In three performances next …

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Confirmed, Mariettan is Frankenstein monster at Fox

As expected, but not confirmed until today, former Mariettan Shuler Hensley will reprise his Broadway role as the Frankenstein monster in “Young Frankenstein” at the Fox Theatre, Jan. 26-31. Hensley, a graduate of the Westminster Schools, is a Broadway A-lister who won a Tony for his performance as Jud in “Oklahoma!” He’s seen in the photo with Roger Bart, who plays Frederick Frankenstein.

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