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Weekend best bets: July 16-18

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly performing at a sold-out Fox Theatre show earlier this year. The group returns this weekend for a gig at Chastain Park Amphitheatre. Photo: Robb D. Cohen / www.robbsphotos.com

Maze featuring Frankie Beverly performing at a sold-out Fox Theatre show earlier this year. The group returns this weekend for a gig at Chastain Park Amphitheatre. Photo: Robb D. Cohen / www.robbsphotos.com

This weekend, the National Black Arts Festival is happening in many venues around town. There are a few of the events in the list below, but you can check the NBAF’s own site for the full list. As always, this is just the tip of the entertainment-option iceberg. For a more complete take, have a look at the long list of events taking place all over the metro Atlanta area this weekend.

FRIDAY

Stage: The pistol-packing mama is back in “Tyler Perry ’s ‘Madea’s Big Happy Family’.” 8 p.m. July 16 and 3 and 8 p.m. July 17 at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Atlanta.

Music: Maze featuring Frankie Beverly is a perennial favorite with Atlanta audiences. This time, the band is joined by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds and Kevon Edmonds. 6:30 p.m. at  Chastain Park Amphitheatre, Atlanta.

Comedy: Former “Talk Soup” host and “Queer as Folk” actor Hal Sparks headlines July 16-18 at Laughing Skull Lounge, Atlanta.

Stage: Process Theatre Company presents “Designing Women Live,” a live staging of episodes of the beloved television series about Atlanta designers. The biggest change? Men play the women. July 16-17 at OnStage Atlanta,  Decatur.

Music and dance: The National Black Arts Festival honors the music and legacy of Curtis Mayfield with “To Curtis With Love.” The Impressions, Eddie Levert, Van Hunt, Frank McComb, Dionne Farris and Joi Gilliam perform. The show is directed by Jasmine Guy with music direction by Russell Gunn. 8 p.m. at Atlanta Symphony Hall.

Multimedia performance: Planet Earth Live! brings together the music of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the BBC’s acclaimed documentary series “Planet Earth.” 8:30 p.m. at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, Alpharetta.

Artists’ market: National Black Arts Festival’s International Marketplace brings artists and artisans from around the world to Centennial  Olympic Park in Atlanta July 16-18.

Reading and booksigning: Bryan Batt, probably best known for playing Sal on “Mad Men,”  will be at Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse in Midtown at 7:30 p.m to talk about his new memoir “She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Mother.”

SATURDAY

Kids and families: Interactive games and other kid-entertaining activities will make the learning fun at the Safe Summer Event at Discover Mills in Lawrenceville. Families will get water safety tips, basic fire prevention, hands on training on life saving skills and cyberspace protection. 1-5 p.m. in the mall’s food court.

Music: If heavy makes you happy, Atlanta trio Zoroaster will make you jump for joy. The metallic threesome plays a CD release celebration gig for “Dog Magic” at 9 p.m. at the EARL in East Atlanta.

Free treats: The Cooking Channel Ice Cream Truck stops in Atlanta to hand out free frozen goodies. Roger Mooking of the the Cooking Channel’s “Everyday Exotic” will be there, too, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at the East Lake Farmers Market, Atlanta.

Dance: Acclaimed modern dance troupe Philadanco performs at 2 p.m. at the Rialto Center for the Arts as part of the National Black Arts Festival.

Music/families: Girls Rock Camp (ATL) Showcase is the culmination of the  five-day, non-profit summer camp for girls ages 10-16 years. 7:30 p.m. at Variety Playhouse in Little Five Points.

Outdoors/families: Things will be bright and beautiful at the annual Flying Colors Butterfly Festival. 9 a.m. July 17; noon July 18 at the Chattahoochee Nature Center, Roswell.

John Isner will be among those competing in the main draw at the Atlanta Tennis Championships. Photo: Michael Appleton / The New York Times

John Isner will be among those competing in the main draw at the Atlanta Tennis Championships. Photo: Michael Appleton / The New York Times

Sports: Qualifying rounds at the Atlanta Tennis Championships begin 9 a.m. July 17; main draw play begins July 19 and continues through the final on July 25. Among the players expected to compete are  Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt, James Blake, Atlanta’s Robby Ginepri and Wimbledon marathon man and former UGA player John Isner. At the Atlanta Athletic Club, Johns Creek.

Music: Jefferson native and UGA grad Corey Smith melds country, rock and blues and plays to packed houses across the Southeast. He’ll headline at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, with Colt Ford and Will Hoge opening the show, which stars at 6:30 p.m.

Music: One of Chastain Park Amphitheatre’s favorite performers returns as Mary Chapin Carpenter serenades the crowds beneath the stars. Atlanta’s Rebbeca Loebe opens the show at 8 p.m.

SUNDAY

Music: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra teams with the National Black Arts Festival for its yearly appearance at Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta. The orchestra will perform at 7 p.m.

Sports/families: It’s one of the Atlanta Braves All Star Sundays. Before the game get autographs from Braves alumni, entertainment and interactive games. After the game kids ages 4-14 get to run the bases on the field. 1:30 p.m. at  Turner Field, Atlanta.

Music: Counting Crows Traveling Circus & Medicine Show featuring Augustana isn’t an opener/headliner type deal. The bands will be on stage together for most of the show, playing material from both bands’ catalogs. The show starts at 7:30 p.m. at Chastain Park Amphitheatre.

4 comments Add your comment

King's Child

July 16th, 2010
10:19 am

Saturday, July 17th 12:00pm – 5:00pm at Saint Phillip AME Church in Decatur, the YOLANDA ADAMS HEALTH AND WELLNESS TOUR. Music, workout classes, fitness information, health plans and performances by Ernest Pugh and more Gospel artists!!! FREE!!! Join us in worshipping and praising GOD with our minds, hearts and bodies!

Shane Harrison

July 16th, 2010
11:30 am

Thanks for adding the Yolanda Adams event. The more events, the better. If there is an event happening in the metro area that you’re excited about, we encourage you to add it in the comments.

King's Child

July 16th, 2010
12:43 pm

For sure!!! Glad to spread the word :)

Nicole Martin

July 20th, 2010
12:47 pm

I was walking through the Olympic park about 2:30 on Saturday – had a wonderful trumpet player – and DJ going – wondered if anybody can tell me who they were???