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Culture notes: Atlanta Lyric planning new home; changes for Norcross arts groups; Duluth selects public artist

Atlanta Lyrics’s 2013-14 plans do not include Strand

The Atlanta Lyric Theatre will stage a production of “Ragtime,” April 12-28 at the Earl Smith Strand Theatre. The restored 1935 movie theater has served at the Lyric’s home for five seasons, but it won’t be its venue much longer.

After the 2012-13 season-ending “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” (June 7-23), the troupe has announced its 34th season will be staged elsewhere because it and the Strand could not reach a new rent agreement.

The Lyric, in fact, has announced shows for its 2013-14 season without specifying dates, a matter no doubt contingent on availability at its next venue.

The five-show lineup: Mel Brooks’ “The Producers,” Frank Loesser’s “Guys and Dolls,” Duke Ellington’s “Sophisticated Ladies,” “Annie the Musical” and Monty Python’s “Spamalot.”

Additionally, the company will bring back the Irving Berlin holiday favorite “White Christmas.”

In a letter on its web site, Lyric artistic director and general manager Brandt Blocker sounds as if the troupe is not planning to travel far, saying it is committed to “a continued relationship with the restaurateurs and retailers on the Marietta Square.”

The company said it attracted more than 23,000 theater-goers to the Strand and the Marietta Square in 2011-12 and that it expects a greater number this season.

“We have enjoyed our time at the Strand and very much wanted to return,” Blocker said. “We tried diligently, but just couldn’t make it happen.”"

Look for updates on the move at HOWARD POUSNER

Artist studio, theatre facing eviction

Norcross has terminated Kudzu Art Zone’s rental negotiations and posted a public notice in front of its location at 116 Carlyle St. announcing an open bid opportunity for prospective tenants. This same notice has been placed on the building occupied by the Lionheart Theatre. Each existing tenant has an opportunity to bid on the building it currently occupies, but the city is entitled to decline these bids. Occupants could be asked to vacate as soon as May 1. Kudzu Art Zone is asking supporters to write or call Norcross city officials to encourage the preservation of these artistic endeavors and their economic impact on the community. KAREN HUPPERTZ FOR THE AJC

Duluth selects artist for public art project

Duluth has selected Michael Dillon as the local artist for the Gateway Art Project to design the city’s first piece of public art. The design will be a permanent piece at the intersections of West Lawrenceville Street, McClure Bridge Road and Irvindale Road. Dillon has been creating art for 20 years. KAREN HUPPERTZ FOR THE AJC

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