accessAtlanta

City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP
City & State or ZIP Tonight, this weekend, May 5th...
City & State or ZIP

Archive for March, 2010

‘What I Did Last Summer’ at Georgia Ensemble Theatre

Chris Moses and Megan McFarland in "What I Did Last Summer" at Georgia Ensemble Theatre in Roswell. Credit: Bryan Rosengrant

Chris Moses and Megan McFarland in "What I Did Last Summer" at Georgia Ensemble Theatre in Roswell. Credit: Bryan Rosengrant

Theater review
Grade: B-
7:30 p.m. Wednesdays. 8 p.m. Thursdays-Saturdays. 2:30 p.m. Sundays. Also 4 p.m. March 6. Through March 14. $23-$33. Georgia Ensemble Theatre, Roswell Cultural Arts Center, 950 Forrest St., Roswell. 770-641-1260. www.get.org.

By Wendell Brock

A.R. Gurney’s “What I Did Last Summer” feels like a lost moment from the prep-school-educated, quintessential WASP playwright’s youth. In this coming-of-age tale, 14-year-old Charlie lives with his mother and sister while his father is overseas during World War II. Not mature enough to be the man of the house, Charlie falls under the spell of an older, Pocahontas-like bohemian who teaches him about art, wine and all the stuff that a teenager would find grand and worldly.

There’s something murky and slightly mysterious rippling across the surface of this Mark Twain-meets-John …

Continue reading ‘What I Did Last Summer’ at Georgia Ensemble Theatre »

Japanese Film Festival at Woodruff Arts Center

"What the Snow Brings” 2005

"What the Snow Brings” 2005

Japanese Film Festival
“The Harimaya Bridge,” Sat., March 6; “Tokyo Sonata,” March 13; “What the Snow Brings,” March 20.
All films are $7 ($6 students, senior citizens and High Museum members) and begin at 8 p.m. Rich Theatre in the Woodruff Arts Center, 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-733-4115, www.woodruffcenter.org.

By Bob Townsend

When “The Harimaya Bridge” opens the High Museum of Art’s Japanese Film Festival on Saturday, it will be a rare opportunity for Atlanta moviegoers to catch a glimpse of the current state of the art of Japanese cinema.

“With the sad state of foreign film distribution these days, it’s hard to see a lot of films from Japan, other than the anime titles that seem to have a solid fan base here,” said Linda Dubler, curator of media arts at the High.

The festival runs three consecutive Saturday evenings this month, with a trio of films Dubler said “explore the complexities of family …

Continue reading Japanese Film Festival at Woodruff Arts Center »

‘Mulan’ at the Alliance Theatre

Mulan’s ancestors guide the mischievous dragon Mushu (Bernard Jones). Photo by Greg Mooney

Mulan’s ancestors guide the mischievous dragon Mushu (Bernard Jones). Photo by Greg Mooney

Theater review
“Mulan”
Grade: B
1 and 3:30 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays. Through March 19. $20-$30. Alliance Theatre, Woodruff Arts Center. 1280 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta. 404-733-5000. www.alliancetheatre.org.

By Wendell Brock

American theater isn’t exactly saturated with ethnic storytelling, so it’s nice to see the Alliance Theatre stage a family musical that celebrates ancient China and the bravery and heroism of a determined young woman.
Based on Disney’s 1998 animated adaptation of a story by Robert D. San Souci, “Mulan” is the most opulent treatment of Eastern culture to grace an Atlanta playhouse since the Alliance’s production of “Pacific Overtures,” from 2003. Working from designs by Kat Conley (sets and puppets), Sydney Roberts (costumes) and Pete Shinn (lighting), the theater’s scenery and wardrobe departments have created a sumptuous visual landscape of …

Continue reading ‘Mulan’ at the Alliance Theatre »

‘Aida’ at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Antonello Palombi

Antonello Palombi

Opera review
“Aida”
Atlanta Opera. 8 p.m. Friday; 3 p.m. Sunday. $25-$125. Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway. 404-881-8885. www.atlantaopera.org

By James L. Paulk

A last-minute cancellation at Atlanta Opera’s “Aida” turned Saturday evening into a brilliant homecoming for Atlanta native Indra Thomas, who triumphed in the title role. It was a night of great singing — some of the best Atlanta has heard in recent years.

Mary Elizabeth Williams, an attractive young soprano who has garnered considerable notice lately, was scheduled to sing “Aida” in a much-anticipated role debut. Illness struck, and Thomas flew in from New York, arriving at the theater at 6 p.m. with almost no time to rehearse. As the replacement was announced, a collective moan came from the audience. Few were prepared for what emerged.

After her first “Aida,” which took place here in 2003, Thomas has become something of an Aida specialist, singing …

Continue reading ‘Aida’ at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre »

Q&A with Plaza Theatre owners Jonathan and Gayle Rej

Gayle Rej and Jonathan Rej in front of the Plaza Theatre. Photo by Frank Mullen

Gayle Rej and Jonathan Rej in front of the Plaza Theatre. Photo by Frank Mullen

Upcoming events
“Maniac,” presented by Splatter Cinema. 9:30 p.m. March 9.

“Bizarro Sat Morn,” weird and rarely seen 16mm cartoons. 9:30 p.m. March 16, 3 p.m. March 20.

“Shane,” presented by AM 1690. 7:30 p.m. March 18.

1049 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta. 404-873-1939, www.plazaatlanta.com.

By Jeanne Bonner

Four years ago, Jonathan and Gayle Rej of East Atlanta decided to take a chance: They bought the Plaza Theatre on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Atlanta for an undisclosed price and dived into turning around the ailing art deco theater.

To complement a slate of mostly independent first-run films, they introduced new events centered on classic horror flicks to draw moviegoers. The Splatter Cinema series screens gory horror flicks like “Suspiria” and “I Drink Your Blood” every month. Silver Scream Spookshow features a 30-minute stage show featuring the campy/creepy antics of Professor …

Continue reading Q&A with Plaza Theatre owners Jonathan and Gayle Rej »

‘BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech and the Black Mafia Family’ By Mara Shalhoup

BMF

Nonfiction
“BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech and the Black Mafia Family”
By Mara Shalhoup
St. Martin’s Press, 320 pages, $24.99

Author appearances
7 p.m. Tues., March 2. Eyedrum, 290 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Suite 8, Atlanta. 404-522-0655, www.eyedrum.org.

1 p.m. Sat., March 13. Barnes & Noble, 3685 Market Place Blvd., East Point. 404-349-0359, www.barnesandnoble.com.

By Steve Weinberg

Atlanta journalist Mara Shalhoup set herself a difficult task when she vowed to write a book about the cocaine distribution enterprise known as Black Mafia Family, run primarily by brothers Demetrius and Terry Flenory.

The brothers grew up in Detroit but settled in warmer climates during the 1990s. Demetrius, better known as “Big Meech,” used Atlanta as his base. Terry, the younger brother, chose Los Angeles. Already savvy entrepreneurs as 20-somethings, the brothers understood that operating their illegal empires from geographically separate headquarters would make detection …

Continue reading ‘BMF: The Rise and Fall of Big Meech and the Black Mafia Family’ By Mara Shalhoup »

‘Our Town’ at True Colors Theatre, Southwest Arts Center

Bethany Anne Lind and Eugene Russell IV in True Colors Theatre's "Our Town."

Bethany Anne Lind and Eugene Russell IV in True Colors Theatre's "Our Town."

Theater review
“Our Town”
Grade: B
Through March 21. True Colors Theatre, Southwest Arts Center, 915 New Hope Road, Atlanta. $20-$35. 1-877-725-8849, www.truecolorstheatre.org.

By Wendell Brock

The time-swept patina of Thornton Wilder’s “Our Town” has been given an admirable 21st-century makeover by Kenny Leon, the Atlanta director who has never been shy about challenging our cozy, conventional and often one-dimensional ideas about race in America.

For this True Colors Theatre production, Leon re-imagines Wilder’s idyllic Grover’s Corners, N.H., circa 1901-13, as a place where a white family and a black family reside as next-door neighbors, watch their children fall in love and groove to a musical tapestry that includes everything from traditional hymns and patriotic songs to Jim Croce and Al Jarreau.

Everyone who sees this lovely but somewhat uneven production will walk away pondering …

Continue reading ‘Our Town’ at True Colors Theatre, Southwest Arts Center »

‘King Seppy’s Dream of the Tree of Life’ at Clark Atlanta University

King Seppy and Queen Enid by Thaddeus LaCrette at Clark Atlanta University Galleries

King Seppy and Queen Enid by Thaddeus LaCrette at Clark Atlanta University Galleries

Exhibit review
“King Seppy’s Dream of the Tree of Life.”
Through March 31. 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Tuesdays-Fridays. Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries. Trevor Arnett Hall. 223 James P. Brawley Drive S.W. 404-880-6102 or 6644. www.cau.edu.
Bottom line: A trove of African-American art, the CAU gallery features an eye-popping special exhibit of life-size beaded figures by self-taught artist Thaddeus LaCrette.

By Catherine Fox

One day Thaddeus LaCrette leafed through a book on African art called “Africa Adorned.” That encounter transformed the Brooklyn tailor into a man possessed. He spent 12 years, thousands of hours and millions of beads to create the jaw-dropping figures on view at Clark Atlanta University Art Galleries.

Named for his parents Seppy and Enid, they are masterful in many ways. Queen Enid is a vision (literally: she’s a spirit) in red, white and black. She wears an elegant …

Continue reading ‘King Seppy’s Dream of the Tree of Life’ at Clark Atlanta University »