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 May, 2010

‘Dialog,’ ‘Bodies’ exhibits extended through August 2011

By Howard Pousner

“Dialog in the Dark” and “Bodies . . . The Exhibition,” long-running exhibits at Atlantic Station, are being extended through August 2011.

“Bodies,” offering a rare look inside real human bodies, and “Dialog,” which gives visitors a sense of a world without sight, had been scheduled to end on Memorial Day.

Both are open daily at Atlantic Station’s Premier Exhibition Center, 265 18th St., Atlanta. 404-496-4274,,

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Botanical Garden’s parking deck, visitors center get LEED certification

By Howard Pousner

The Atlanta Botanical Garden parking deck whose proposed construction was protested by some Atlantans who didn’t want such a facility in Piedmont Park has been awarded LEED certification for its green design, construction and operations.

The deck, which the garden shares with the adjoining park, and its Hardin Visitor Center were recently given a gold ranking, the second highest-level of certification awarded by the U.S. Green Building Council, for the facilities’ use of energy, lighting, water and materials, among other considerations.

Both were designed by the Atlanta architectural firm Jova/Dainels/Busby. HOWARD POUSNER

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Samuel L. Jackson to portray MLK on Broadway?

By Howard Pousner

Kenny Leon, the Atlanta director who cast P. Diddy in “A Raisin in the Sun” and has Denzel Washington starring in a 10-time Tony-nominated revival of “Fences,” is considering Samuel L. Jackson for the role of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on Broadway.

Leon confirmed Friday that Jackson performed the lines of the Atlanta-born civil rights leader at a script reading of “The Mountaintop” in New York this week. The drama, which imagines events in King’s life on the night before his assassination, appears headed for a Broadway mounting in the fall or spring.

Jackson’s casting is “not a done deal, but we did have a reading,” Leon acknowledged by e-mail.

“We are working out the details with Sam,” Leon said, declining to discuss his thoughts behind the casting. “I think March looks better than October. Not set, but it’s looking like it may happen.”

Leon, who attended Clark College, and Jackson, who attended Morehouse …

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2 Atlanta college dance companies at Kennedy Center on Friday

By Howard Pousner

Two metro college dance companies will appear at the American College Dance Festival Association’s National College Dance Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington over Memorial Day weekend.

The Kennesaw State University Dance Company will perform “Chakra,” choreographed by KSU dance program director Ivan Pulinkala, and the Spelman Dance Theatre will perform artistic director T. Lang’s “Agone,” both in a sold out Terrace Theater program on Friday.

The Kennesaw and Spelman dance companies were selected to perform at the national festival based on their appearances at the 2010 Southeast regional festival at Middle Tennessee State University. From some 450 works performed at regional festivals across the nation, 29 school companies were invited to perform at the National College Dance Festival.

“We are proud of our students for this accomplishment,” KSU’s Pulinkala said in a release. “The prestige of the Kennedy Center brings …

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New look for ‘heart’ of Stone Mountain Park

By Howard Pousner

Many a Stone Mountain Park visitor refers to the expansive green space that rolls out under the famed mountainside carving of the Confederate heroes as the Laser Lawn because it is indeed the setting for the largest draw at Georgia’s biggest attraction, the Lasershow Spectacular.

But the area’s real name is the Memorial Lawn, and after a $4.1 million restoration project, the commemorative aspect will be much easier to appreciate when the laser show starts its nightly summerlong run beginning Saturday. For that matter, the laser show will be easier to enjoy as well.

In essence, the lawn has been returned to as pristine a state as possible, close to the design called for in the master plan when the park was created 52 years ago.

Laser show sound and light towers have been razed, with updated production equipment tucked into the bordering woods on each side. Ditto concession stands, replaced by a restaurant with a take-away food porch in the …

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High Museum extending ‘Allure of the Automobile’ a week

By Howard Pousner

The High Museum of Art is extending its popular “The Allure of the Automobile” exhibit a week, until June 27, and extending museum hours on nine days between June 12 and the new closing weekend.

The show of 18 “rolling works of art” has drawn more than 86,000 in nine weeks.

Special programming and extended hours:

Saturday, June 12
Museum hours: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.
Music, barbecue on Sifly Piazza: 2–5 p.m.

Sunday, June 13
Museum hours: Noon–5 p.m.
Music, barbecue on Sifly Piazza: 2–5 p.m.
Special Hoods-Up Day: Several cars in the exhibition will have their hoods up

Thursday, June 17
Museum hours: 10 a.m.–8 p.m.

Friday, June 18
Museum hours: 10 a.m.–midnight
Friday Jazz: 5 p.m.–midnight

Saturday, June 19
Museum hours: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Members-only viewing: 9–10 a.m.
Music, barbecue on Sifly Piazza: 2–5 p.m.

Sunday, June 20
Museum hours: 10 a.m.– 6 p.m.
Music, barbecue on Sifly Piazza: 2–5 p.m.

Thursday, June …

Continue reading High Museum extending ‘Allure of the Automobile’ a week »

Review of ‘Perfect Peace’ By Daniel Black

Book Review
“Perfect Peace”
By Daniel Black
St. Martin’s Press; $25.99, 341 pages

peace.0523_coverBy Gina Webb / For the AJC

By the spring of 1940, when Emma Jean Peace goes into labor with her seventh child, she’s already had six boys too many. All she wants is a daughter to cuddle and pamper. She’s always “dreamed of stroking a little girl’s hair and binding it with golden ribbons, ” of giving her pretty clothes and telling her how beautiful she is.

So when the midwife holds up a boy — “Yep! He’s a beauty!” — Emma Jean makes a fateful decision. She blackmails the midwife to keep his gender a secret, and announces to her waiting family that they have a new baby sister.

Her name? “Perfect Peace, ” the eponymous heroine of Daniel Black’s third novel, an ingenious coming-of-age — and coming-out — story that takes place in Swamp Creek, Ark., over 10 years and challenges stereotypes about gender and identity, rural life and traditional roles in the African-American family.

Black imbues …

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Review of ‘The End Game’ by Gerrie Ferris Finger

Book Review
“The End Game”
Gerrie Ferris Finger
Minotaur; $24.99; 304 pages

theendgameBy Gina Webb / For the AJC

Human trafficking — modern-day slavery — is the fastest-growing criminal industry in the world, generating an estimated $9.5 billion every year. According to the U.S. Department of State, 600,000 to 800,000 people are bought and sold across international borders each year; half are children, most are female.

Atlanta’s airports and transit systems create an ideal environment for traffickers to move victims and stay one step ahead of the police. Low-income neighborhoods are easy targets — with few resources for extensive search efforts — and so are high-risk children who won’t be missed, such as runaways and foster children.

Or, as cop-turned-missing-children’s advocate Moriah Dru calls them: “Troubled kids. My kind of kids.” The kind of kids that have been disappearing from Atlanta’s historic Cabbagetown neighborhood in Gerrie Ferris Finger’s debut mystery, “The End …

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4 Atlanta museums salute military with free admission

By Howard Pousner

More than 600 American museums, including four in Atlanta, will be offering free admission to active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day as part of a Blue Star Museums program launched by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Metro participants include the Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University, High Museum of Art, Center for Puppetry Arts Museum and the CDC’s Global Health Odyssey Museum.

“Offering free admission to our military personnel and their families is a small but heartfelt token of our appreciation, and we hope they will find their experiences here enriching and inspiring,” Carlos Museum director Bonnie Speed said.

To receive free admission this summer, guests must show either a Geneva Conventions CAC ID or a DD Form 1173 ID card at the museum admissions desk.

Details and links to the participating museums:

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Leon considers Drama League award beginning of his act 2

By Howard Pousner

Kenny Leon begs to differ with F. Scott Fitzgerald about that business of there being no second acts in American lives.
Leon, who was honored with the Julia Hansen Award for Excellence in Directing from the Drama League on Friday in New York, said the second stage of his stage career is just beginning.
“The Julia Hansen Award is a launching pad to do my greatest work yet to come,” said Leon, whose Great White Way revival of August Wilson’s “Fences” is nominated for 10 Tony Awards and whose Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company is presenting Wilson’s “Jitney” in Atlanta. “My next work is an attempt to reach more people, to have something more important to say.”
Sentiments such as that might cause concern that the longtime Atlanta theater leader, who was artistic director at the Alliance Theatre for 11 years before launching his own troupe in 2003, could be lured away. The Hansen award recognizes an accomplished body of …

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