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Archive for March, 2010

To do list: March 8

Books: “Wrapped in Rainbows” author Valarie Boyd finishes The Big Read events with a discussion of Zora Neale Hurston, 7 p.m., Margaret Mitchell House, Atlanta. FREE.

Books: Author Lee Smith discusses and signs “Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger,” 7:15 p.m., Decatur Library, Decatur. FREE.

Comedy: Anton Dahlen performs “From Russia With Love,” 8 p.m., The Punchline, Atlanta.

Music: Over the Rhine performs, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., Eddie’s Attic, Decatur.

For families:African Children’s Choir” performs “Journey of Hope,” 7 p.m., Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre, Atlanta.

Sports: Gwinnett Gladiators vs. Cincinnati Cyclones, 7 p.m., Gwinnett Arena, Duluth.

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

For instant updates, follow @insideaccess on Twitter.

Continue reading To do list: March 8 »

PHOTOS: Atlanta ‘Twilight’ convention March 6-7

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Actor Christopher Heyerdahl, who plays Marcus in the "Twilight" series movies, spoke at a conference dedicated to them in Atlanta on March 6. It continues through the weekend. AJC photos by Jamie Gumbrecht

It’s thousands of people and a parade short of Dragon*Con, but the mood at a “Twilight” convention going on this weekend at the Westin in Buckhead felt very much the same: curious and companionable.

Visiting actors including Peter Facinelli (Dr. Carlisle Cullen), Daniel Cudmore (Felix), Gil Birmingham (Billy Black) and Christopher Heyerdahl (Marcus) faced questions like Who was most interesting to hang out with? Why doesn’t your character wear shoes?, What’s your nationality? and What’s your pet peeve?

Yes, the audience was mostly teen girls, but there were sections, too, like the TwilightMOMS panel, where women who’ve escaped high school were able to get together and say, “Hey! I’m not the only one in her 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, who thinks this is great!”

Rebecca Dewalk, Tiffany Murphy, Lynn Milton and Erin Fisk talk about other vampire and romance series during the Twilight Moms panel.

North Georgia Twilight …

Continue reading PHOTOS: Atlanta ‘Twilight’ convention March 6-7 »

Cartersville museums added to free BoA program

Tellus Northwest Georgia Science Museum and The Booth Western Art Museum both are free to Bank of America customers who visit this weekend.

The Cartersville museums were both added to the bank’s Museums on Us program, which offers free admission to customers one weekend a month. Upcoming weekends include March 6-7, April 3-4 and May 1-2.

The program already allows free admission to the Atlanta History Center, High Museum of Art and Millennium Gate Museum, three fewer than had been offered in 2009.

Tellus and the Booth are great additions to this program, though, especially for folks who want to explore something further to the north. Here are posts I did from the Booth art museum, and from Tellus.

There are more free and and discounted days or events at museums, too, like Fulton Free Saturdays at the High Museum of Art, Target Free Second Tuesdays at Imagine It! The Children’s Museum of Atlanta and Phoenix Flies events at The Wren’s Nest, The Center for Puppetry Arts and …

Continue reading Cartersville museums added to free BoA program »

Last weekend to see Zoo Atlanta lion cubs; more baby news


Remember these kids, Small, Medium and Large? (OK, they were later dubbed Christos, Mikalos and Athanaisi.) Zoo Atlanta's lion cubs will soon move to Africam Safari, a zoo in Mexico. They're not the only zoo babies making news lately, though. AJC file photos

One more sign of spring: there’s a lot of baby news coming out of Zoo Atlanta these days. Most pressing is that this is the last weekend to see Zoo Atlanta’s lion cubs before they move to their new home at Africam Safari in Puebla, Mexico.

They’re not as tiny as they were in the above photo from 2008, but they’re Atlanta babies none the less.

In other baby news:


There could be another baby orangutan, like little Dumadi, shown here in 2007. Zoo Atlanta has a pregnant mama.

  • Xi Lan, the panda cub, is a big boy, all weaned from his mom and living alone. (Mei Lan, Zoo Atlanta’s first panda cub, is already back in China. Here’s a great Q&A with the keeper who traveled there with her.) The AJC reported this week Zoo Atlanta …

Continue reading Last weekend to see Zoo Atlanta lion cubs; more baby news »

Phoenix Flies showcases hidden historic sites in Atlanta


Hidden inside Grady Memorial Hospital is a historic chapel designed by local architect Philip Shutze. It was recently refurbished and will be on display during the Atlanta Preservation Center's Phoenix Flies event. AJC file photo

Starting this weekend, there are dozens of events that teach something new about Atlanta. Usually, you’d have to pay for them, but for these few weeks, they’re free. In some cases, there wouldn’t be a usually because you’d never get this kind of access to them.

It’s the Atlanta Preservation Center’s seventh Phoenix Flies; it coordinates the city’s historic sites and schedules free tours and events there from March 6-22. It’s two weeks to refute the idea that there’s no history left in Atlanta, to point out that it’s not too late — those sites and stories don’t have to be forgotten.

“Many people don’t think of Atlanta as having historic sites,” explains Rebecca Roberts, the Preservation Center’s director of programs. “They may know about the History …

Continue reading Phoenix Flies showcases hidden historic sites in Atlanta »

‘Free To Be…You And Me’ in books, music, TV and on stage

This is the last weekend of Synchronicity Theatre’s production of “Free To Be…You And Me,” and all the memories of the 1970s kiddie phenom came flooding back. (I was a child of the 1980s, but the material lasted.) Here’s a look back at “Free To Be…” in multimedia, including the stage show.

The book: “Free To Be…You And Me” by Marlo Thomas and friends appeared in 1972. A 35th anniversary edition was published in 2008. Here’s a sweet story by Cory Doctorow on Boing Boing about an extremely pleasant transaction over


Free To Be, the album

The album: Here’s how I remember “Free To Be…You And Me”: Working on art projects in my third-grade classroom in Warren, Mich. — that was the year of the swirly, metallic Crayolas — with a record on in the background, when the teacher asked us to set everything down and really pay attention to the song “It’s All Right To Cry.” I didn’t know who (Georgia-born!) Rosey Grier was, and it would be years before I knew his name …

Continue reading ‘Free To Be…You And Me’ in books, music, TV and on stage »

‘Alice in Wonderland’ in the movies, on Atlanta stages


Helena Bonham Carter is the Red Queen in the new "Alice in Wonderland" film.

I expect to see Disney’s new “Alice in Wonderland” film among the top moneymakers this weekend. The theater was packed when I saw a preview this week, the audience all too gleeful to put on 3D glasses, to sign and laugh at the right moments, to applaud at the end.

The film, which opens today, is a little of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” a little “Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There,” a bit too much Disney and a lot Tim Burton. I have an extreme fondness for rabbits and loyal dogs, but the Red Queen is an unusually great villain. She’s evil in every way, but still worth our sympathy; she’s clearly hurt and insecure.  Unfortunately for everyone else, her only coping skill is beheading dissenters.


"Lookingglass Alice" opens at Alliance on March 31.

But that’s far from the only Alice you’ll see around Atlanta this month. Gwinnett Ballet Theatre will present the …

Continue reading ‘Alice in Wonderland’ in the movies, on Atlanta stages »

Access Points 27: Staircase carving at SCAD’s Ivy Hall


Maybe the ivy carving in this week's Access Point will look familiar when you see it on this staircase at Ivy Hall. AJC/Jamie Gumbrecht

If you’ve ever set foot inside Ivy Hall, reached out to grab the rail and stepped up the staircase, you’ve touched this week’s Access Point. The 1883 home of one of Atlanta’s founding families remains one of Atlanta’s best examples of Queen Anne Victorian architecture, and yet another place to find fun things to do in the city.

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SCAD's Ivy Hall. Photo by Chia Chong.

Several commenters recognized this week’s image — the first was Chris P. who said it was part of The Mansion on Peachtree. Indeed, this space was a restaurant for decades before it was restored. Commenter Sandy was the first to point out that it is now part of the staircase in Ivy Hall, an academic and cultural center for SCAD Atlanta.

The ivy on the main staircase of the Peters family home was one of many original details painstakingly restored, and documented in the Georgia Public …

Continue reading Access Points 27: Staircase carving at SCAD’s Ivy Hall »

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 2010-2011 classical and some not-so-classical shows: Ringo Starr, Alan Jackson, Sugarland, Boyz II Men, Ben Harper, more to come


Here's the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park in 2008 — the orchestra announced its 2010-2011 season yesterday, including its summer concerts. AJC file photo

The annoucements are coming fast these past few days: Alliance, Chastain Park and yesterday, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. (Broadway Across America at the Fox Theatre tickets go on sale today, too.)

As Pierre Ruhe pointed out in a round-up for the AJC, here’s some of the news in the 2010-2011 season:

  • There are two world premieres next season, including a 20-minute work by Alvin Singleton, a one-time ASO composer-in-residence, and James Oliverio’s Double Timpani Concerto for the Brothers Yancich.
  • The classical series is gone from Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, the ASO’s summer home. They will play rock concerts, community events and there will be pops and family concerts.
  • Symphony highlights include Puccini’s complete opera, “Madama Butterfly,” in a staged …

Continue reading Atlanta Symphony Orchestra 2010-2011 classical and some not-so-classical shows: Ringo Starr, Alan Jackson, Sugarland, Boyz II Men, Ben Harper, more to come »

Weekend to do list: March 5-7


Participants in last year's Broken Hearts and Bicycle Parts costume-partner-alley-cat-scavenger-hunt-style bike race get their faces painted at a checkpoint. This year's race is March 6. (Full disclosure: I'll be at one of the checkpoints this year, more for fun than for work. Wave hi!) File photo by Jamie Gumbrecht.

Happy almost weekend! I can tell we’re getting out of the winter doldrums. The word “festival” is re-entering the lexicon, Snow Mountain is closing, Six Flags is opening and every day this weekend, there are tours, races and activities going on outside.

As always, there’s a pinch of music here, but if you’re really looking for info on live music, check out the Atlanta Music Scene blog.

And if you’ve got more suggestions for the weekend, please add ‘em to the free calendar, and share them in the comments! Have fun! — Jamie G.


Comedy: Laughing Skull Lounge Comedy Festival continues, 8 p.m., Laughing Skull Lounge, Atlanta.

For …

Continue reading Weekend to do list: March 5-7 »