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Archive for March, 2011

Culture notes: Atlanta Lyric announces season; Japan benefit, screening

THEATER
32nd season of musicals

Atlanta Lyric Theatre, winner of the 2010 Suzicq Bass Award for best musical (for “Hairspray”), has announced its 2011-12 season at Marietta’s historic Strand Theatre: “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” Sept. 16-Oct. 2; “The Sound of Music,” Dec. 2-18; “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” Feb. 17-March 4, 2012; “The Light in the Piazza,” April 20-May 6, 2012; and “Gypsy,” June 15-July 1, 2012. Subscriptions and individual tickets will go on sale May 1. 404-377-9948, www.atlantalyrictheatre.com. HOWARD POUSNER

CULTURE
Japan benefit, screening

A benefit concert and film screening are among the cultural responses in metro Atlanta to the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami:

  • Two-time Grammy-winning violinist Hillary Hahn and highly regarded Ukrainian-born pianist Valentina Lisitsacq will perform a concert at Spivey Hall at Clayton State University in Morrow at 3 p.m. Sunday3/27 benefiting relief efforts of Direct Relief International.

The musicians, who sold out …

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Spano to play avant-garde Cage composition at Emory

CLASSICAL MUSIC
Spano to play avant-garde composition at Emory

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra music director Robert Spano, a pianist, will give a free performance of John Cage’s “Lecture on Nothing” at 8 p.m. Friday[3/25] at Emory University’s Schwartz Center for Performing Arts. “Lecture” “challenges how we define music, and invites us to hear the musicality of speech,” Spano, an Emory distinguished artist in residence, said in an Emory release. “It questions our notions of form and content.” In Emerson Concert Hall, 1700 N. Decatur Road, Atlanta. 404-727-5050, www.arts.emory.edu. HOWARD POUSNER

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Culture notes: Soupbowl Benefit at Hudgens; astronaut lands at Tellus

BENEFIT
Yes, soup for you!

You can feed your appetite while nourishing the education efforts of the Hudgens Center for the Arts at the Duluth art center’s Soupbowl Benefit on Friday and Saturday.[March 25-26] More than 300 handmade bowls will be for sale, created by Hudgens ceramics studio instructors and students from clay donated by event sponsor Atlanta Clay. Each pottery purchase includes a free serving of soup or chili and bread prepared by local businesses. Bowls are $30 at the 6-8 p.m. Friday preview party; $25 on Saturday, 12:30-4 p.m. 770-623-6002, www.thehudgens.org. HOWARD POUSNER

SCIENCE
Astronaut in Cartersville

International Space Station veteran Stephanie Wilson lands at Cartersville’s Tellus Science Museum for a talk at 7 p.m. Friday.[March 25] The Boston-born astronaut launched on her path to working for NASA at age 13 when she interviewed an astronomy professor for a school report, then pursued an engineering-related degrees at Harvard University and the …

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Culture notes: Aurora’s 2011-12 lineup; cabaret benefits for Actor’s Epress

THEATER
Aurora announces lineup
Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville has announced its 2011-12 season: “A Chorus Line” (Aug. 4-Sept. 4), John Ahlin’s uncivl comedy pitting a radio comentator and good ‘ol boy reenactors “Gray Area” (Oct. 6-30), “Christmas Canteen 2011″ (Nov. 25-Dec. 23), Lee Blessing’s amnesia drama “A Body of Water” (Jan. 19-Feb. 12, 2012), Hunter Foster’s and Rick Crom’s musical “Bonnie & Clyde: A Folktale” (March 15-April 12, 2012) and Ken Ludwig’s tribute to classic English farces “A Fox on the Fairway” (May 3-27, 2012). Though Aurora included “Bonnie & Clyde” as part of its lineup, it’s put an asterisk by the title since rights are still pending. Season ticket buyers purchasing before April 10 get 2010-11 prices. 678-226-6222, www.auroratheatre.com. HOWARD POUSNER

THEATER
Express benefits
Offers of support have come in many forms for Actor’s Express, which in late February launched a $200,000 drive to address its growing deficit. Performers including Libby …

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Culture notes: 5-Steinway concert at KSU; chorus goes from Marietta to England; ‘Memphis’ at the movies

MUSIC
Five Steinways, 440 keys

Several years ago Kennesaw State University patron Bobbie Bailey donated four Steinway concert grand pianos to KSU’s Dr. Bobbie Bailey & Family Performance Center and one to the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Though each of the instruments is named for a member of Bailey’s family, the five have never been played in a single concert. That changes at 8 p.m. Saturday[3/19] at “440 Keys: A Reunion,” a concert featuring the KSU Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble, faculty pianists and guest pianist Dmitri Levkovich. Limited tickets, $15, at www.kennesaw.edu, 770-423-6650. HOWARD POUSNER

MUSIC
From Marietta to England

Before undertaking a concert tour of England, the 110 singers of the Georgia Festival Chorus will give a departing concert at Marietta’s First Baptist Church at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.[3/20] The chorus, under founding director Frank Boggs, will perform works by Mozart, John Finley Williamson, Egil Hovland and other composers. The English …

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ART Station to raise green as benefit attendees down green

BENEFIT
Green beer and art

As it digs out from an accumulated deficit, Stone Mountain Village’s ART Station is always in the mood for a little green. And Thursday night,[3/17] that’s doubly true as the performing and visual arts center stages its biggest fund-raiser of the year, Raising of the Green. The St. Patrick’s Day celebration, 6-9:30 p.m., includes “A Taste of Stone Mountain,” green beer, music and silent and live auctions. $20 advance, $25 door. 770-469-1105, www.artstation.org. HOWARD POUSNER

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ASO’s Spano to also lead Aspen Music Festival

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra music director Robert Spano is taking on another major role, as artistic leader of the Aspen Music Festival and School, it was announced Saturday.

Spano will serve as music director-designate during the 2011 summer season, during which he will conduct four concerts, and assume the full music director role in 2012. The 49-year-old musician will also lead the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen as a co-director in 2011 and director starting in 2012.

The ASO’s maestro for a decade called the Aspen appointment “more than an honor” in a prepared statement. “Over the last two decades, I have found my time in Aspen to be inspirational in every way.”

Spano first conducted in Aspen, a training spot for elite young musicians, in 1993 and has led more than a dozen programs there over eight additional seasons. While directing the ASO, he has maintained an active guest conducting career of top orchestras and opera companies …

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Culture notes: Atlanta premiere of immigration documentary Tuesday; opening reception for Hudgens Center folk show Thursday

FILM
Immigration documentary
Former Atlantan Ruth Leitman’s dcoumentary “Tony & Janina’s American Wedding” receives its Atlanta premeire at 6:30 Tuesday night,[3/8] just as the debate heats up inside and outside the Georgia Capitol over legislation targeting illegal immigrants. The documentary chronicles a Polish-American family that is torn apart when wife of 18 years and mother Janina Wasilewski, who entered the U.S. legally seeking political asylum from Communist Poland, is ordered deported. Her husband, Tony Wasilewski, and Leitman will host a post-screening Q&A at the Plaza Theatre, 1049 Ponce de Leon Ave., Atlanta. www.plazaatlanta.com. HOWARD POUSNER
VISUAL ART
Folk at Hudgens
The Hudgens Center for the Arts in Duluth opens the exhibit “We Are Folk: Exploring Traditions in Southern Folk Art” Tuesday,[3/8] co-curated by two leaders on the Southern folk art scene. Steve Slotin, founder of the annual Folk Fest sale and folk auctions, selected the …

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DecaturDocs takes a swing at boxing Saturday night; High’s Japanese film series launches tonight

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

The inaugural DecaturDocs film series concludes at 8 Saturday night[3/5] with a cinematic uppercut, Frederick Wiseman’s documentary “Boxing Gym,” about an Austin, Texas, institution run by former pro boxer Richard Lord. Lord’s Gym attracts a melting pot of power punchers and doctors, lawyers and kids who also want to mix it up. Petite but powerful Decatur Boxing Club trainer Terri[CQ] “The Boss” Moss will be guest speaker. Decatur High School Performing Arts Center, 310 N. McDonough St., Decatur. 678-658-0787, www.decaturdocs.com.

Meanwhile, the High Museum launches its Japanese Film Festival at 8 tonight.[3/4] The theme of the three screenings on successive Fridays, co-sponosred by the Consulate General of Japan in Atlanta, is food. The opening feature is Shuichi Okita’s “Chef of the South Pole,” a comedy about a chef who brings gourmet cuisine to the inhospitable place of the title. Coming March 11: Masaharu Nabeshima’s …

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Culture notes: Jewish Film Fest breaks record; Aquarium dolphins on Web; art at Lenox Macy’s; Booth revisits Civil War; classical music premeire at Emory

FILM
Fest breaks record

The recently concluded 11th annual Atlanta Jewish Film Festival set an attendance record, up 6,000 to 26,000. Audience award winners “The Round Up” (best narrative) and “Crime After Crime” (best documentary) will be given encore screenings March 20 (times to be announced) at Regal Cinemas Atlantic Station Stadium 16. “Round Up” dramatizes French government collusion in the Holocaust; “Crime” chronicles an Orthodox Jewish attorney’s efforts to free an incarcerated survivor of domestic violence in California. 404-806-9913, www.ajff.org. HOWARD POUSNER

ATTRACTION
Dolphins get their close-up

A new “webisode” — a short vignette about various elements of AT&T Dolphin Tales, the Georgia Aquarium’s $110 million attraction set to open April 2 — is being showcased each week until the grand opening on the aquarium’s website. This week’s feature, debuting  today,[3/2] is about the transporting of some of its new dolphins from Hawaii’s Dolphin …

Continue reading Culture notes: Jewish Film Fest breaks record; Aquarium dolphins on Web; art at Lenox Macy’s; Booth revisits Civil War; classical music premeire at Emory »