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Archive for June, 2011

Culture notes: Fox Theatre announces July films; Dorsey Levens returns to stage

MOVIES
More Fox summer films

The Fox Theatre has announced the July titles in its 2011 Coca-Cola Summer Film Festival: “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (7:30 p.m. July 12), “Kung Fu Panda 2″ (2 p.m. July 16), “Bridesmaids” (7:30 p.m. July 16), “The Hangover Part II” (7:30 p.m. July 28) and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” (2 p.m. July 31). The Fox also will show “The Mark of Zorro,” the 1920 silent film starring Douglas Fairbanks, accompanied by Clark Wilson on the “Mighty Mo” organ (7:30 p.m. Aug. 25), with the full August slate to be announced later. General admission tickets (includes organ sing-a-long and classic cartoon), $8, are available at the Fox box office and at Ticketmaster outlets, 1- 800-745-3000, www.ticketmaster.com. Evening pre-screening wine-tastings, $12. HOWARD POUSNER

THEATER
Levens back to stage

Former Georgia Tech and Green Bay Packers running back Dorsey Levens, who brought the Christian drama “Torn” to the 14th Street Playhouse last year, will …

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Culture notes: ASO’s second release on own label out; Ferst updates lineup

CLASSICAL MUSIC
ASO label’s second release

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s second release on its own label, ASO Media, is out this week. Distributed by Naxos of America, it features music director Robert Spano leading the ASO in Atlanta School of Composers member Christopher Theofanidis’ Symphony No. 1 and the late Peter Leiberson’s “Neruda Songs” with mezzo-soprano Kelley O’Connor. A third ASO recording, of two works by Rachmaninov, is scheduled for a fall release. HOWARD POUSNER

ARTS
Ferst Center updates lineup

Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center for the Arts has made some changes to its 2011-12 lineup:

  • A show by comedian Michael Ian Black has been added on Sept. 8.
  • Jazz guitarist Peter White will perform on Sept. 16, replacing Herb Alpert and Lani Hall.
  • Banjo player Michael J. Miles will perform a free outdoor concert at 5 p.m. April 14, opening day of the two-day Roots Music Festival featuring Claire Lynch, the Grascals and Dailey and Vincent.

Details: …

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7 Stages, Synchronicity announce 2011-12 seasons

  • Moving into its 32nd season, 7 Stages has announced four world premieres as part of its 2011-12 lineup in Little 5 Points …

Sept. 22-Oct. 9: “All Blues,” a world premiere of Robert Earl Price’s drama based on the true story of Ray Sprigle (Del Hamilton), a white journalist  who sets out to report on the black experience in the Jim Crow South by disguising himself as a black man.

Nov. 10-20: “Fat Boy,” Miami playwright Teo Castellanos’ take on hunger, need and obsession.

Dec 8-10: “A Krampus Christmas,” a world premiere of another tale about Germany’s twisted counterpart to Saint Nick.

Feb. 16-19: “Lay of the Land,”  a play by Tim Miller, whose works explore gay and human rights.

March 8-25: “Hidden Man,” a world premiere from Pamela Turner exploring lives of artists Robert Sherer and Rev. Howard Finster.

April 19-May 13: “Dracula,” world premiere of a rock opera based on Bram Stoker’s novel.

Tickets: 404-523-7647, www.7stages.org.

  • Synchronicity Theatre also recently …

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Cultural notes: Emory student wins Campus MovieFest top honors; sculpture blooms at Chattahoochee Nature Center

FILM
Emory student wins Campus MovieFest top honors

Emory University student Ien Chi, whose short film “Tick Tock” has become a YouTube sensation, won the best picture prize at this week’s Campus MovieFest 2011 International Grand Finale in Hollywood.

The four minute and 50 second film, which follows a young man in what he believes are the last minutes of his life, has received more than 960,816 YouTube hits in only four months.

“I actually felt a great sense of calm, which is surprising because I thought I’d be really nervous,” said Chi, who was born in Los Angeles but grew up in Atlanta and Seoul, about attending the CMF awards ceremony. “At that point, I really didn’t mind if our movie lost or won. Just experiencing all of CMF and the fantastic awards ceremony was enough for me.

“And with ‘Tick Tock’ having gone so far online and beyond already, I would have been satisfied if we didn’t win anything at all,” he continued. “Actually that’s not true. I would have been a teensy …

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Karin Slaughter’s ‘Fallen’

Book Review
Fiction
“Fallen”
By Karin Slaughter
Delacorte Press, 400 pages, $26.

By Gina Webb

fallenTroubled Southern playwright Tennessee Williams had something to say about human weakness: “If I got rid of my demons, I’d lose my angels.”

Not much chance of that happening to anyone in “Fallen, ” Karin Slaughter’s 11th novel. Everyone has his or her demons here, whether it’s emotional and physical scars from years of abuse and neglect, or toxic codependency or old scores that may never be settled. And not all of them are bad.

Some are good ones, “the kind that make you stronger for having them.” Demons that give the characters in “Fallen” the motivation, the guts and the heart to do their jobs.

It’s a mild March afternoon when Special Agent Faith Mitchell of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation reaches her mother’s house to pick up her infant daughter, Emma. She finds a bloody handprint on the door, Emma locked in a shed off the carport, a dead guy on the floor of the laundry room, …

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Alicia Keys puts muscle behind Kenny Leon’s Broadway-bound ‘Stick Fly’

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

In May, Kenny Leon tipped the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that it looked promising that he would direct a second play, “Stick Fly,” on Broadway later this year (after he launches “The Mountaintop” starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett).

Lydia R. Diamond’s play exploring race, class and familial relationships among the African-American elite was officially announced this week and with an eye-catching producer attached: R&B singer Alicia Keys.

Leon first staged “Stick Fly” in a Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company production in Atlanta in 2007. He’s also directed productions at the Arena Stage in Washington and the Huntington Theater Company in Boston.

Keys said in a statement that the play is one “everybody can relate to.

“I’m passionate about this play because it is so beautifully written and portrays Black America in a way that we don’t often get to see in entertainment,” the Grammy-winner continued. “I know it will touch all …

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Art in the key of life: Radcliffe Bailey show opens at High Museum

Viewers could go fishing all afternoon and not find all the oars recurring in Radcliffe Bailey’s nearly 20-foot-long painting “Uprooted.” Or lose themselves in the gorgeous indigo and emerald waves of “Western Current,” a 75-inch-long mixed media piece on paper, without pausing to think about the symbolism of all the collaged photographs of African sculptures crowded onto the boat plying those waters.

“Radcliffe Bailey: Memory as Medicine,” an expansive and important exhibit of the Atlanta artist’s work that opens June 26 at the High Museum of Art, submerges visitors in aesthetic pleasure to such an extent that the thought undergirding the paintings, sculptures, installations and glass and found object pieces easily could go unconsidered. But as sumptuous as Bailey’s art is, the exhibit’s 37 pieces are all dense with meaning.

The most comprehensive exhibit yet by the 42-year-old artist whose works are fixtures in collections of museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art …

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Culture notes: When Angela Bassett played Kenny Leon’s mama; MODA’s bubbly about bathrooms

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Atlanta director Kenny Leon has worked with Angela Bassett once before but it was far different circumstances than their fall pairing in Broadway’s “The Mountaintop” that was announced this week.

Leon recalled acting opposite Bassett in a play that was part of an Outward Bound program in which they both participated in St. Petersburg, Fla. in the 1970s. “She played my mother even though I was two years older,” he recounted over the phone from New York with a chuckle.

Now she’ll play the role of the mysterious hotel maid opposite Samuel L. Jackson in Memphis playwright Katori Hall’s Olivier-winning play about the imagined last night of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life.

“I’m excited that she’s doing the role because of her chemistry with Sam Jackson and myself is amazing,” the director said. “She brings a beauty and a grace and a depth of understanding to the role of Camae.”

“Mountaintop” begins previews Sept. 22 and opens Oct. 13 at the Bernard …

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Leon and new ‘Mountaintop’ star Bassett go way back

By Howard Pousner
hpousner@ajc.com

Atlanta director Kenny Leon goes way back with Angela Bassett, who, it was announced late Tuesday, will play the female lead opposite Samuel L. Jackson in “The Mountaintop,” the Leon-helmed Broadway play about the imagined last night of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life.

The two became ninth grade friends in an Outward Bound program for disadvantaged kids with college potential in St. Petersburg, Fla. Leon went on to study political science at Clark Atlanta University, while Bassett attended Yale — initially in biology, her director recounted.

Bassett replaces Halle Berry, who dropped out of the role of Camae, a hotel maid/angel, because of family issues. Memphis playwright Katori Hall’s Olivier-winning “Mountaintop” begins previews Sept. 22 and opens Oct. 13 at the Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre (www.telecharge.com or 212-239-6200).

“These two remarkable actors have excited audiences around the world for many years,” producers Jean Doumanian and …

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Culture notes: Screening of southern experimental films; new Gwinnett arts leader

FILM
Screening of experimental, southern

Film Love, a series of experimental and avant-garde screenings, presents the program “Robbie Land: Floridaland and Other New 16mm Works” at 8 p.m. June 24 at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia.

The films of Atlantan Land, a Florida native, reflect a personal vision of the Southeastern environment and reimagine familiar surroundings, both natural and man-made. Four new titles on the six-film program include the 20-minute “Floridaland.” The filmmaker will introduce the films and answer questions about them.

MOCA GA is at 75 Bennett St., Suite A2. Tickets, $5. www.filmlove.org. HOWARD POUSNER

ARTS
New Gwinnett leader to organize, promote

ArtWorks! Gwinnett, a group founded in 2008 to cultivate arts opportunities in Gwinnett County, has named Sally A. Corbett as its first executive director.

Caryn McGarity, the group’s executive committee co-chair, said Corbett will lead ArtWorks in a series of new projects “that will serve the arts …

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