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Archive for January, 2010

LBGT entertainment options earn Atlanta ‘gayest city’ title!

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A rainbow flag moves down Peachtree Street in Atlanta during the 2007 Pride Parade. The Advocate recently named Atlanta the Gayest City in America, mostly, it seems because of how much fun we have. AJC file photo

Well, well, well, Atlanta, not to boast, but once again, our reputation for fun has put us atop  a random list by an out-of-town publication using arbitrary rankings. We win!

This time, it’s The Advocate — yep, the AJC and others reported this already, but I’ve been busy — and it says we’re the gayest city. Rounding out the top 5: Burlington, Vt., Iowa City, Bloomington, Ind. and Madison, Wis. The Advocate explains that their list covers ” a slew of secondary cities are becoming gay epicenters,” all the places where gay people moved after taking over San Francisco, South Beach and entire sections of New York.

Based on numbers of gay bars, elected officials and Netflix queues, among other stats, Atlanta is, indeed, “much more pink than you might think.”

The specifics …

Continue reading LBGT entertainment options earn Atlanta ‘gayest city’ title! »

FIRST LOOK: ‘Diana: A Celebration’ at Atlanta Civic Center

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Princess Diana's wedding dress — with its entire 25-foot train — is on display in "Diana: A Celebration" at the Atlanta Civic Center. AJC photos by Vino Wong/

“Blockbuster” is the term we always throw around about exhibitions at the Atlanta Civic Center. They’re big, flashy, heavily marketed. They draw huge crowds over a few months, and when they close, that’s it. They’ve had a good streak — King Tut, then “America I AM.”

The exhibition opening this weekend, “Diana: A Celebration,” has an impact, too, but it’s softer around the edges.

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This tiara is among several jeweled artifacts in "Diana: A Celebration."

Organizers say they put Diana’s life in context by showcasing objects and home movies from her childhood, clothes she wore as an adult and images of her charity work. Their word are precise: these are artifacts that put her public image in the context with her life before and after she was called princess. Here are photos from the Diana exhibition.

People who love Diana …

Continue reading FIRST LOOK: ‘Diana: A Celebration’ at Atlanta Civic Center »

Surprised by the politics in shows like Shen Yun?

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At Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Chinese performnace troupe Shen Yun featured drummers, dancers and propaganda that surprised some audiences. Some were OK with the message, but some were offended.

In the days since Shen Yun Performing Arts, the Chinese drum and dance troupe, left Atlanta to move onto the next stop on its perpetual tour, conversation continued to rumble about the shows they’d performed at Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

Some loved the performance, but commenters on Inside Access were upset by the Falun Gong politics of the show, “subtle as a taser shot to the noggin,” the AJC review said. It’s not that commenters necessarily disagree or deny that persecution has taken place in China. They were surprised to see it — especially a few violent scenes,  one involving a taser and another where a mother and child are beaten — in a show promoted as a music-and-acrobatic spectacular

Wrote Marilee Coughlin:

While the dancers are fabulous, and the costumes are …

Continue reading Surprised by the politics in shows like Shen Yun? »

To do list: January 21

Books: Author Beth Hoffman discusses “Saving CeeCee Honeycutt,” 7 p.m., Margaret Mitchell House, Atlanta.

Books: Author Amy Greene discusses “Bloodroot,” 7 p.m., FoxTale Book Shoppe, Woodstock. FREE.

Books: Temple Grandin discusses “Animals Make Us Human,” 7 p.m., Barnes & Noble-Buckhead, Atlanta. FREE.

For kids: Awesome Art Gallery unveiling and storytime, 7 p.m., Little Shop of Stories, Decatur. FREE.

Music: Atlanta Symphony Orchestra performs, 8 p.m., Atlanta Symphony Hall, Atlanta.

Stage:Quills” continues, 8 p.m., PushPush Theater, Decatur.

Sports: Atlanta Thrashers vs. Carolina Hurricanes, 7 p.m., Philips Arena, Atlanta.

Have an event, venue, restaurant or performance in and around Atlanta? Add it to the AccessAtlanta.com calendar.

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

Continue reading To do list: January 21 »

Weekend to do list: January 22-24

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The Jan. 24 Stone Mountain Bike and Hike will give people a chance to ride together, then hike the Mountain. AJC file photo

Happy almost-weekend everybody! This is a busy week of openings and closings for exhibits and stages shows, so this weekend may be your first chance to see some new attractions, and your last chance for others. If you’re looking for live music advice, check out the Atlanta Music Scene blog. And as always, add your suggestions for fun stuff to do around Atlanta in the comments! — Jamie G.

FRIDAY, JANUARY 22

Movies: The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival continues, various theaters, Atlanta and Sandy Springs. Read more.

Movies: Shoot the Messenger” screening, 7:30 p.m., Emory University White Hall Room 205, Atlanta. FREE.

Music: Who’s Bad? Ultimate Michael Jackson Tribute Band performs, 8:30 p.m., Center Stage, Atlanta.

Shopping: Boutique Bargains Clearance Sale, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Atlantic Station-above Z Gallerie, Atlanta.

Sports: Atlanta Hawks vs. Charlotte …

Continue reading Weekend to do list: January 22-24 »

To do list: January 20

For kids:Monsters and Aliens” screening, 4 p.m., Atlanta Fulton County Public Library-Northside Branch, Atlanta. FREE.

Music: “Anvil” performs, 8 p.m., Variety Playhouse, Atlanta.

Music: Gordon Vernick and his jazz combo perform for Feed Your Senses lunchtime shows, noon, Rialto Center for the Arts, Atlanta. FREE.

Sports: Atlanta Hawks vs. Sacramento Kings, 7 p.m., Philips Arena, Atlanta.

Stage: “Avenue X” opens, 8 p.m., Alliance Theatre, Atlanta. Read more.

Stage: Caught in the Net,” 8 p.m., Theatre in the Square, Marietta.

Have an event, venue, restaurant or performance in and around Atlanta? Add it to the AccessAtlanta.com calendar.

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

Continue reading To do list: January 20 »

Smithsonian to help preserve Atlanta’s African-American history

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This 1956 image of Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King Jr. and baby Yolanda King will be in a new Atlanta History Center exhibition organized by the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. It's not the only event the Smithsonian has going on in Atlanta in coming weeks.

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture will be in Atlanta next month to help Atlanta learn to preserve its own history and culture.

A one-day program “Save Our African American Treasures: A National Collections Initiative of Discovery and Preservation” includes hands-on tips to help preserve items and oral histories and one-on-one consultations for people who want to learn how to care for small items. (Be clear, though: they’re reviewers, not appraisers. This isn’t “Antiques Roadshow.”)

A Smithsonian Magazine article said more than 150 people turned out to the first “Treasures” event in Chicago in 2008, and some of the objects people brought …

Continue reading Smithsonian to help preserve Atlanta’s African-American history »

New Winter Beer Carnival tickets go on sale this week

Spotted on the Atlanta Music Guide blog: there’s yet another boozefest coming to Atlanta, the Winter Beer Carnival.

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The Atlanta Brewing Company's Red Brick Blonde. Mmm. AJC file photo

This event promises DJs, food and, to keep with the theme, carnival games. Regular admission will get you five game tickets, VIP admission gets you 10, and both get you all the samples you can safely drink. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Jan. 22 through Ticket Alternative.

I didn’t realize just how seriously Atlantans celebrate their adults beverages until last October, when people were scrambling for tickets to the Decatur Beer Festival, and everybody was making weekend trips to Helen. Then there was the Decatur Wine Festival, another tough-to-get ticket, and Taste of Atlanta, with its Wine and Beer Experience tent.

Naturally, the Winter Beer Carnival is for people ages 21 and older. Still, by the end of it, the competition on the midway could be hilarious.

Want to go? Winter Beer Carnival. 3-7 …

Continue reading New Winter Beer Carnival tickets go on sale this week »

Alliance Theatre’s ‘Avenue X’ a cappella contest voting open

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"Avenue X" cast members Jeremy Cohen, J.D. Webster, Nick Spangler, Lawrence Clayton, and Steve French, and J.D. Goldblatt, in front, rehearse at the Woodruff Arts Center this month. They're not the only ones singing a cappella, though. AJC/Bita Honarvar

“Avenue X,” a musical opening at Alliance Theatre this week, deals with racial integration via doo-wop. It’s the story of an Italian-American a cappella group in 1963 Brooklyn that adds a black singer to its lineup.

As composer Ray Leslee said in an AJC piece published this weekend, “Here’s a musical that’s all about harmony, and the issues are all about harmony or the search for harmony.”

To promote the show, the Alliance created its own search for harmony, the “Sing Your Soul” contest for a cappella groups. It asked them to post their tunes on YouTube, complete an application and get some folks to vote for them through the video service. (This is the contest I mentioned in this earlier post about all the a cappella …

Continue reading Alliance Theatre’s ‘Avenue X’ a cappella contest voting open »

To do list: January 19

For families: Our Friend Martin” movie screening, 7 p.m., Clayton County Library, Riverdale. FREE.

For kids:Rainforest Adventures” continues, 10 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., The Center for Puppetry Arts, Atlanta.

Forum:This I Believe” discussion, 6 p.m., Spelman College’s Cosby Auditorium, Atlanta. FREE.

Music: Mariah Carey performs, 8 p.m., Fox Theatre, Atlanta.

Sports: Atlanta Thrashers vs. Toronto Maple Leafs, 7 p.m., Philips Arena, Atlanta.

Sports: Georgia Tech men’s basketball vs. Clemson, 7 p.m., Alexander Memorial Coliseum, Atlanta.

Have an event, venue, restaurant or performance in and around Atlanta? Add it to the AccessAtlanta.com calendar.

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

Continue reading To do list: January 19 »