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Archive for March, 2010

Warren St. John at the Roswell Reads 2010 Literary Fest

Author Warren  St. John

Author Warren St. John

Event preview
Warren St. John at the Roswell Reads 2010 Literary Fest
5 p.m. Sat., March 20. $10-$15 (includes meal). Roswell Recreation Center, 830 Roswell Road, Roswell. 770-641-3950, www.forl.net.

By Adrianne Murchison

Luma Mufleh saw little community interest in her cause before New York Times reporter Warren St. John wrote about her refugee soccer teams, known as the Fugees.

The Clarkston soccer coach just needed to give it a little time. On Dec. 31, Fugees Family Inc. — her organized athletic and academic program, which helps children from war-torn countries — bought 18.6 acres that will be home to the Fugees’ own soccer field and school.

In 2005, the AJC introduced Atlanta to Mufleh and her team. In 2007, St. John’s story brought them national attention.

“I didn’t think it would resonate because I had been doing that work for three years, and it didn’t resonate with anyone,” Mufleh said. “So it was kind of overwhelming to see …

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Harvey Fierstein in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Harvey  Fierstein and the company of "Fiddler on the Roof." Photo: Joan Marcus

Harvey Fierstein and the company of "Fiddler on the Roof." Photo: Joan Marcus

Theater review
“Fiddler on the Roof”
Grade: A
8 p.m. Thurs., Mar. 18 – Sat., Mar. 20,2 p.m. Sat., Mar. 20 -Sun., Mar. 21, 7:30 p.m. Sun., Mar 21. $15-$65. Presented by Atlanta Broadway Series. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 1-800-982-2787, www.ticketmaster.com.

By Wendell Brock

You can call him over-the-top. You can say his vocal mannerisms are embellished to the power of 10. You can dismiss him as a cartoon. So be it.

In the national tour of “Fiddler on the Roof” at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre through Sunday, Harvey Fierstein’s ever-changing tremolos and quicksilver mood swings make his Tevye the milkman a living, breathing, bellowing, whispering curiosity of musical theater lore. In the scenery-chomping tradition of Carol Channing and Ethel Merman, the four-time Tony Award winner gives a deliciously unrestrained and ultimately …

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Frances Mayes author of ‘Every Day in Tuscany’ at Atlanta Botanical Garden

tuscany

Book event
“Every Day in Tuscany”
Lecture, 7 p.m. Tues., March 16.  Free. Atlanta Botanical Garden, 1345 Piedmont Ave., N.E.
The pre-lecture reception is sold out.
www.atlantabotanicalgarden.org

By C. W. Cameron

Frances Mayes captured the imagination of America 13 years ago with the publication of “Under the Tuscan Sun,” her account of buying and restoring a three-story house called Bramasole in Cortona, Italy.

For Mayes, falling in love with Bramasole was the start of a reinvention of herself and a re-framing of her life. The most lasting legacy of the purchase? An appreciation for life’s moments.

Her third memoir on life in Italy, “Every Day in Tuscany” (Broadway Books, $25), has just been released. The book tour brings her to Atlanta on Tuesday for a reception hosted by the Atlanta Botanical Garden.

During a recent phone conversation from her home in North Carolina, Mayes talked about her roots in Georgia and what she calls the “deliciousness” of life in …

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‘Spring Awakening’ at the Fox Theatre

The company of the tour of "Spring Awakening, " at the Fox Theatre through March 14

The company of the tour of "Spring Awakening, " at the Fox Theatre through March 14

Theater review
“Spring Awakening”
Grade: B+
8 p.m. March 11 -12.  2 p.m. and 8 p.m.  Sat., March 13.  1 and 6:30 p.m. Sun., March 14. Through Sun., March 14. $19-$55. Presented by Broadway Across America-Atlanta, Fox Theatre, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 1-800-982-2787. www.ticketmaster.com.

By Wendell Brock

Early into “Spring Awakening,” heartthrob Melchior ponders the origin of shame and comes to the conclusion that it is “nothing but a product of education.”

Rock on, dude. With his revolutionary 1891 drama, German playwright Frank Wedekind questioned society’s failure to deal with the bottled-up energy and sexual confusion of youth, and more than a century later, Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik transformed the original text into a blistering, spiky-haired punk-rock Broadway musical about the chaos of young love.

Winner of a slew of Tony Awards, including the 2007 prize …

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Robert Weingarten exhibits at Lumière and the High

goreview0312+c

Gallery review
“Robert Weingarten: The Road Less Traveled.”
Through March 20. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Lumière. 425 Peachtree Hills Ave, Ste. 29B. 404-261-6100. www.lumieregallery.net
“The Portrait Unbound.” Through May 30. $18; $15, students and seniors; $11, children 6-17; free for children 5 and under and members. 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesdays-Saturdays; until 8 p.m. Thursdays (half-price 4-8 p.m.); noon-5 p.m., Sundays. High Museum of Art, 1280 Peachtree St. 404-733-4444. www.high.org
The bottom line: Hits and misses in a remarkably varied photographic career.

By Catherine Fox

Photographer Robert Weingarten is a methodical artist. He has made careful study of his métier, from effects of humidity to the psychology of perception, and often conducts his practice in the mode of research.

For the series “6:30 a.m.,” included in the survey of his work at Lumière, the California artist set up a camera at his home and took a shot of the same view almost every …

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Harvey Fierstein in ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Harvey Fierstein and Rena Strober

Harvey Fierstein and Rena Strober

Theater preview
“Fiddler on the Roof”
8 p.m. Tues., March 20; 2 p.m. March 20-21; 7 p.m. March 21. Through March 21. $15-$65. Presented by Atlanta Broadway Series, Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway, Atlanta. 1-800-982-2787, www.ticketmaster.com.

By Wendell Brock

Harvey Fierstein is holding forth about his role as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.”

How it’s an honor and a privilege to do it every night, how he bases his Russian milkman on the old Jewish men who used to sit on the stoop of his family’s home in Brooklyn, N.Y. How his very emo family starts crying at the beginning and boohoos till final curtain — every time they see the show. No doubt about it, Fierstein says, Tevye is “the best male role in the canon of musical theater,” and “Fiddler” is the best show ever. “I know that popular opinion is that it’s ‘Gypsy,’ but I don’t think the two of them compare. I just think …”

And …

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‘A Catered Affair’ at Lawrenceville’s Aurora Theatre

Aggie (Ingrid Cole) and Tom (Anthony Rodriguez) are married in “A Catered Affair,” which focuses on a Bronx family. Photo by James M. Helms

Aggie (Ingrid Cole) and Tom (Anthony Rodriguez) are married in “A Catered Affair,” which focuses on a Bronx family. Photo by James M. Helms

Theater review
“A Catered Affair”
Grade: B-
8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays; 2:30 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays. Through March 28. $16-$30. 128 Pike St., Lawrenceville. 678-226-6222, www.auroratheatre.com.

By Wendell Brock

“A Catered Affair” — which Lawrenceville’s Aurora Theatre is giving its first post-Broadway production — is a study in disappointment. Love, war, the economy: None of this has been kind to the Bronx tenement family trying to decide whether to spend its nest egg on the father’s taxi business or the only daughter’s wedding.

Based on a 1950s teleplay by Paddy Chayefsky and tailored into a chamber musical by Harvey Fierstein (book) and John Bucchino (music and lyrics), the tale of the Hurley family brings to mind the smoldering domestic tensions of plays by Arthur Miller, Clifford Odets and Lorraine Hansberry. As a …

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‘PostSecret’ exhibit at Kennesaw State University’s Art Gallery at Sturgis Library

Ben Poplin reads anonymous post cards and notes at the "PostSecret" exhibit at Kennesaw State University.

Ben Poplin reads anonymous post cards and notes at the "PostSecret" exhibit at Kennesaw State University.

Visual arts exhibit
PostSecret
Through March 27. Free. Art Gallery at Sturgis Library, Kennesaw State University, 1000 Chastain Road, Kennesaw. 770-499-3223. www.kennesaw.edu/arts/galleries.

By Wendell Brock

Everybody has a secret lurking somewhere in the closet of their soul. Frank Warren harbors a half-million of them.

Since 2004, total strangers have scribbled their most intimate thoughts on postcards and dispatched them to his home in Germantown, Md., courtesy of his ongoing community art project, PostSecret, which asks participants to share their thoughts anonymously.

A cultural phenomenon that transcends the avalanche of mail piled up in his home, PostSecret has become a high-traffic Internet destination for the hip and heartbroken (postsecretcommunity.com) and seems to have special resonance with young people. Warren’s collection of postcards from the edge has …

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‘The Fall’ by David Fulmer

The Fall

Fiction
“The Fall” by David Fulmer. Five Stones Press. 282 pages. $14.
David Fulmer will appear at a book launch party for “The Fall” at 7 p.m. March 12 at Eagle Eye Bookshop, 2076 N. Decatur Road, Decatur. Call 404-486-0307 for more information. Fulmer is also scheduled to appear at Bound to Be Read Books, 481-B Flat Shoals Avenue, S.E. in East Atlanta, at 7:30 p.m. on March 19. Call 404-522-0877 for more information.

By Soyia Ellison

“Bad things can happen in small towns,” an old librarian warns in “The Fall.” “Even hometowns.”
And bad things are most definitely happening in the shadows of the seemingly tranquil Wyanossing, Pa., hometown of actor Richard Zale, who has returned after decades away to say goodbye to his childhood best friend, Joey Sesco.

Joey died in a nighttime fall from a rock outcrop in a state park — news Richard didn’t learn until three weeks after the fact, and then only by chance. Compelled by memories of Joey and guilt over the …

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‘Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger’ By Lee Smith

Mrs Darcey

Fiction
“Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger”
By Lee Smith
Algonquin, 304 pages, $23.95
Book event
Lee Smith. 7:15 p.m. Monday, Decatur Library Auditorium, 215 Sycamore St., 404-370-8450 Ext. 2225, www.georgiacenterforthebook.org/

By Gina Webb

In the midst of her father’s nervous breakdown, Karen remembers a game she played as a little girl called Statues.

In the game, “one person grabs you by the hand and swings you around — and then lets you go, and whatever position you land in, you have to freeze like that until everybody else is thrown. The person who lands in the best position wins. But what I remembered was that scary moment of being flung wildly out into the world screaming, to land however I hit, and I felt like that was happening to us all.”

Karen is just one of the characters searching for a way home in “Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger,” a collection of short stories from Lee Smith. With her trademark Southern charm and wicked humor, Smith …

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