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Archive for April, 2011

Culture notes: Freedom Park ladders installation; Civil War revisited in Cartersville on Saturday; Georgia Boy Choir concert Saturday; Mr. Imagination’s Italy commission postponed

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

VISUAL ARTS
Rungs of meaning

The curious jumble of ladders that has been growing in recent days at Freedom Park, close to where Freedom Parkway dead-ends into Moreland Avenue, is in fact an art installation by a Virginia artist.

Charlie Brouwer, who has created similar assemblages linking more than 250 ladders in recent years in St. Louis and Winston-Salem, N.C. Tying into the Inman Park Festival close-by, he will answer viewer questions about his work at the site from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.  April 30 and May 1.

Commissioned by Flux Projects, “Rise Up Atlanta” is comprised of ladders borrowed from across the metro area, each one bearing a tag identifying its lender.

“Each ladder represents the hopes and dreams of its lender, and bound together, they create a work of art that is a metaphor for the aspirations of the community as a whole,” according to Flux.

Information: www.fluxprojects.org. Brouwer’s site has links to videos and photos documenting …

Continue reading Culture notes: Freedom Park ladders installation; Civil War revisited in Cartersville on Saturday; Georgia Boy Choir concert Saturday; Mr. Imagination’s Italy commission postponed »

Culture notes: Center for Puppetry Arts, Theatrical Outfit seasons

THEATER
Center for Puppetry Arts season

The Center for Puppetry Arts has announced its 2011-12 programs. Family highlights include Jon Ludwig’s “Cinderella Della Circus” (June 16-July 17), turning our heroine into a circus artist working for a cruel ringmaster with jealous daughters, and Ludwig’s “Space!” (Jan. 26-March 11), billed as “galactic trip filled with cosmic special effects.” The teen-adult series includes a world premiere adaption of Atlanta author Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s civil rights journey “Ruth and the Green Book” (Feb. 7-26). Full schedule: www.puppet.org. HOWARD POUSNER

THEATER
Jim Crow era focus of upcoming play

A world premiere of “The Green Book, ” a tale of a meeting of disparate minds during the perilous Jim Crow era, is among the works to be staged by Atlanta theater company Theatrical Outfit during its 2011-12 season, the company announced Friday.

The story grows from playwright Calvin Alexander Ramsey’s research into the real “Green Book, ” a travel …

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‘Reading My Father’ By Alexandra Styron

Book Review
Nonfiction
“Reading My Father”
By Alexandra Styron;
Scribner, $25; 304 pages.

StyronBy Gina Webb

At first, his blow-ups simply epitomized the cliche of the “temperamental writer, ” recalls William Styron’s youngest daughter, Alexandra. He was a terror at home.

“(M)y father’s tempestuous spirit ruled our family’s private life as surely as his eminence defined the more public one. At times querulous and taciturn, cutting and remote, melancholy when he was sober and rageful when in his cups, he inspired fear and loathing in us a good deal more often than it feels comfortable to admit.”

But admit it she does, in her memoir, “Reading My Father, ” a harrowing and at times darkly funny tale of towering successes, dazzling potential, and an unbearable failure that would drive Styron to the brink of suicide.

He had reason to be difficult. Fame had come early to the Virginia-born writer, hailed at 26 as one of the brightest stars of his generation of writers. His first novel, “Lie …

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Storm results close ASO Decorator’s Show House on Tuesday

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Overnight storms downed trees and knocked out power in scattered neighborhoods around the metro area and, in the process, knocked out the the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Decorators’ Show House in hard-hit Buckhead on Tuesday.

The show house, at 1945 W. Wesley Road, will be closed Tuesday and will reopen at 10 am Wednesday.

Benefiting ASO education and community outreach, the show house and garden tour will continue through May 8. Tickets at the door: $25. Information: 404-733-4921, www.decoratorsshowhouse.org.

Continue reading Storm results close ASO Decorator’s Show House on Tuesday »

Culture notes: Family Day at Gwinnett arts center Saturday; a philanthropist turns playwright

THEATER
Family Day in Gwinnett
Kids participating in the Hudgens Center for the Arts’s Free Family Day, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. today,4/23 can make art works inspired by the artists and techniques showcased in the eye-catching current exhibit “We Are Folk: Exploring Traditions in Southern Folk Art,” and there will be a scavenger hunt based on the folk pieces as well. Tours of the outdoor sculpture garden are free too. 6400 Sugarloaf Parkway, Building 300, Duluth. 770-623-6002, www.thehudgens.org. HOWARD POUSNER

THEATER
From philanthropist to playwright
Well known for his arts philanthropy, including leading the campaign to purchase and renovate Herren’s Restaurant downtown as a permanent home for Theatrical Outfit, Bill Balzer has reinvented himself as a playwright. His first play, “Two Drink Minimum,” based on his unflinchingly honest relationship with his late mother, Maryanna Genevieve Dlugosz Balzer, will receive a staged reading at noon April 26 at Balzer Theater at Herren’s. The …

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Culture notes: Cobb Energy announces theater season; MODA’s Drink in Design events; ASO reschedules MLK concert

THEATER
Cobb play season

From the the Beatles hit parade that is “Rain” to the horn-blowing, drum-pounding propulsion of “Blast,” Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre’s 2011-2012 Gas South Broadway Series will bring a healthy helping of music along with a season-ending dose of comedy.

The schedule, announced Wednesday: “Rain,” Oct. 28-30; “My Fair Lady,” Dec. 8-11; “Blast,” Jan. 19-22; “Young Frankenstein,” March 29-April 1.

As a perk, series subscribers will be eligible to purchase priority seating for “Billy Elliott” at the Fox Theatre, March 14-25. Subscriptions are available via 770-916-2852, www.cobbenergycentre.com/broadway. Single tickets will go on sale in late summer. HOWARD POUSNER

VISUAL ART
Dose of design

Settling into its new Midtown location across the street from the High Museum of Art, the Museum of Design Atlanta has inaugurated Thursday evening Drink in Design events mixing viewings of the current exhibit “Passione Italiana: Design of the Italian Motorcycle,” …

Continue reading Culture notes: Cobb Energy announces theater season; MODA’s Drink in Design events; ASO reschedules MLK concert »

Culture notes: Twice the Twyla as Theater of the Stars announces season; Ga. Shakespeare reveals schedule too

PERFORMING ARTS
Twice the Twyla

Atlantans will get a double dose of choreographer Twyla Tharp over the next year.

Theater of the Stars announced Tuesday that its summer season at the Fox Theatre will include the tour of Tharp’s “Come Fly Away” (Aug. 2-7), which had its world premiere at the Alliance Theatre in 2009 before a hit Broadway run.

Atlanta Ballet also recently revealed that it had co-commissioned a world premiere from Tharp, to be danced to the music of Franz Schubert, Feb. 10-19 at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre (www.atlantaballet.com).

Here’s Theater of the Stars’s 59th season: “Monty Python’s Spamalot” (June 3-5), “The Color Purple” (June 15-19), “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (June 21-26), “Rock of Ages” with “American Idol” finalist and Tony nominee Constantine Maroulis (July 5-10),  “Fiddler on the Roof” (July 19-24), “Come Fly Away” (Aug. 2-7), “Guys and Dolls” (Aug. 16-21) and “Annie” (Jan. 14-22).

Tickets for the summer season go on sale …

Continue reading Culture notes: Twice the Twyla as Theater of the Stars announces season; Ga. Shakespeare reveals schedule too »

What’s shakin’ for Georgia Shakespeare’s 26th season

THEATER
Georgia Shakespeare’s 26th season
Having announced last week that its Shake at the Lake production in Piedmont Park will be delayed from May until August or September (and only if additional funds can be raised), Georgia Shakespeare has now unveiled its 26th anniversary season at Oglethorpe University’s Conant Performing Arts Center. The schedule: Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” and “Antony and Cleopatra” in repertory in June-July; and Michael Frayn’s “Noises Off”  in July-August. Also in July, the company’s Family Classics Series presents a musical adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book.” Tennessee Williams’s “The Glass Menagerie” closes the season in October. Subscriptions are on sale now, single tickets go on sale Saturday.[April 23] 404-264-0020, www.gashakespeare.org. HOWARD POUSNER

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Culture notes: Indigo Girls in Botanical Garden series, Tim Meadows at Dad’s Garage; Rome film fest praised; new High decorative arts curator

MUSIC
Garden’s concerts

The Atlanta Botanical Garden has announced its Concerts in the Garden lineup: Jonny Lang (June 3), Indigo Girls (July 8-9), Steve Earle and the Dukes with Allison Moorer (July 15), Emmylou Harris (July 22), Los Lobos (Aug. 26). Tickets go on sale May 6 via www.ticketalternative.com, but garden members get first dibs starting Friday.[4/22] HOWARD POUSNER

THEATER
Meadows at Dad’s

Tim Meadows, still probably best known “The Ladies’ Man” from “Saturday Night Live” though he’s been all over TV and the movies since, will be improvising with the zany Dad’s Garage Theatre Company crew for four shows, May 12-14. Online reservations, $15-$28; phone or door, $17-$30. 280 Elizabeth St., Suite C-101, Atlanta. 404-523-3141, www.dadsgarage.com. HOWARD POUSNER

FILM
Recognition for Rome fest

Northwest Georgia’s Rome International Film Festival has been named one of MovieMaker Magazine’s “Top 25 Film Festivals Worth the Entry Fee in 2011.” New York-based MovieMaker said …

Continue reading Culture notes: Indigo Girls in Botanical Garden series, Tim Meadows at Dad’s Garage; Rome film fest praised; new High decorative arts curator »

What the future holds for Georgia Council for the Arts, fractional tax for arts, culture

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Two aspects of an arts bill met different fates late on Thursday, the final day of the 2011 Georgia legislative session.

A proposal to let local communities vote themselves a fractional sales tax for economic development projects, which would have provided funding to arts and cultural groups, was removed from a bill that cleared the House. Thus, the fractional arts tax push died on the legislature’s last day for the second year in a row.

What survived in House Bill 264 was a move, backed by Gov. Nathan Deal, of the Georgia Council for the Arts from its current home in the state budget office to under the umbrella of the state Department of Economic Development.

A Senate amendment had added language from House Bill 73 that would let counties and cities hold a referendum on dedicating up to 1 cent of sales tax for any economic development project. Supporters claimed the measure would boost the arts and local government services, but only if …

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