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Archive for February, 2011

Kathryn Stockett, author of “The Help,” sued by former family employee

buzzstockett0112.jpgAtlanta resident Kathryn Stockett, author of the phenomenally popular book “The Help,” has been sued by a woman who says the book humiliated her, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Ablene Cooper, a former baby sitter for Stockett’s family, filed suit in Jackson, Miss., seeking damages of $75,000, the Journal reported. The suit claims Cooper was the basis for a character  in the book, a maid named Abileeen.

Stockett did not respond to the Journal’s request for comment. The AJC has contacted her as well seeking comment.

In past interviews with the AJC, Stockett has said she wrote “The Help” as part of a writing club. She used names of people she knew simply because they were handy, she said.

“When I was writing this book, I never thought anyone else would read it, so I didn’t get real creative with the names,” Stockett told us in 2009. “I just used people I knew. Some of them aren’t talking to me right now, but I feel like they’ll come around.”

She has repeatedly called the …

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Casting call for VH1 show “Single Ladies” this Saturday

Charity Shea, Stacey Dash and LisaRaye McCoy will star in "Single Ladies." Photo credit: VH1

Charity Shea, Stacey Dash and LisaRaye McCoy will star in "Single Ladies." Photo credit: VH1

All the single ladies! All the single ladies!

The VH1 show “Single Ladies” needs lots of people to fill in the background of numerous scenes. There’s an open casting call from 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday at Gwinnett Place Mall in the center court.

All positions are paid.

If you’re interested, show up with two forms of I.D. You need to be 18 or older.

Here are some guidelines from casting director Bill Marinella, a 17-year industry veteran, who is working on this project:

- Very chic and trendy “30-somethings” with an upscale, polished look. (Feel to bring those  Chanel bags, Dolce & Gabbana shoes, Prada sunglasses…you get the idea).

- Cool/ funky hairstyles

- Please come relaxed and dress your best to impress our wardrobe department.

- Don’t wear red, white or busy prints or patterns. Choose navy grey, black, olive, tan, maroon, beige or  charcoal instead.

- Dresses, spaghetti straps, and …

Continue reading Casting call for VH1 show “Single Ladies” this Saturday »

Justin Bieber: Pro-life, pro-Canada

Grab the latest Rolling Stone to learn Justin Bieber's views on politics

Grab the latest Rolling Stone to learn Justin Bieber's views on politics

Teen idol Justin Bieber opposes abortion and joked that America is “evil” in a cover story in Rolling Stone.

He graces the cover with a new hairdo, trading his famous forward swoosh for an artfully spiky new look. Clad in a leather jacket and white tank top, he reminds us of a more wholesome Sid Vicious.

“You guys are evil,” he quipped to Rolling Stone, saying he does not plan to become a U.S. citizen. “Canada’s the best country in the world.”

He explained that in his native land, “We go to the doctor and we don’t need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you’re broke because of medical bills.”

Bieber, raised by a single mom, said he opposes abortion, saying, “It’s like killing a baby.”

But he doesn’t have a strong political affiliation.

“I’m not sure about the parties,” Bieber told Rolling Stone. “But whatever they have in Korea, that’s bad.”

You need to subscribe to Rolling Stone to …

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Martin Lawrence film to feature Atlanta

Big-Mommas-Hous-3-hiphopucitThe latest Martin Lawrence-in-a-dress comedy, “Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son,” hits theaters this Friday.

Lawrence stars once again as FBI agent Malcolm Turner, joined this time by Brandon T. Jackson, who plays Turner’s stepson Trent.

When Trent witnesses a murder, there’s just one thing to do. They both must clap on wigs and hide out in a girls’ school posing as the housemother and a student.

Is that 2012 Oscar buzz we’re hearing?

Anyway, this silly romp is set here and will feature lots of Atlanta landmarks, said Herb Kossover, whose Cobb County-based production company worked on the opening sequence and other shots after the Regency Entertainment-20th Century Fox project wrapped up last year.

Herb Kossover

“This really shows Atlanta,” he said, ticking off a few of the spots he captured for the opening. “Philips Arena, Turner Field, the Georgia Dome, Georgia Tech,” he said. The crypt of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King also made it into the …

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Margaret Cho performs Saturday at Ferst Center

Margaret_ChoMargaret Cho, the comedian, “Drop Dead Diva” actress and past “Dancing With the Stars” contestant performs at 8 p.m. Saturday at Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center.

Tickets are $39 and $49; see www.ferstcenter.gatech.edu for details.

We have drawn a name at random and contacted the winner of 2 tickets by e-mail. Congrats and thanks to all for entering. We’ll do another giveaway soon!

We talked with the part-time Atlantan, who lives here when “Diva” is filming in Peachtree City, by phone the other day.

Q: Does Atlanta feel like home?

A: The cast of “Drop Dead Diva” and I are close. We’re big foodies. We’re at Holeman & Finch at 10 o’clock, waiting for those hamburgers. I’ve made a lot of friends at the Vortex, Laughing Skull. The show that I work on there is this wonderful opportunity to settle in a new town. Being in the South, people are willing to put their differences aside to be sweet to each other. No matter how you feel about politics, people are unfailingly …

Continue reading Margaret Cho performs Saturday at Ferst Center »

Animal Planet, Atlanta Humane Society team up for animal rescue

This dog is one of several available for adoption as a result of a rescue mission by the Atlanta Humane Society and Animal Planet

This dog is one of several available for adoption as a result of a rescue mission by the Atlanta Humane Society and Animal Planet

Just when we thought there was no more disturbing reality show than A&E’s “Hoarders,” here comes “Confessions: Animal Hoarding,” an Animal Planet show where rescuers intervene in cases where people have more pets than they can possibly care for.

The top headline featured on Animal Planet’s website Monday morning was “Letting Go of 34 Cats,” if that gives you an idea.

On the brighter side, though, these animals have another shot being placed with owners who can properly care for them. An episode scheduled to air at 10 p.m. Feb. 18 and again March 4, time TBD, features a case where the Atlanta Humane Society got involved.

Although the situation is a sad one, AHS president Carl Leveridge said his group was glad to work with the show “to save animals from desperate situations that can affect their health and physical safety.”

He …

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Most and least romantic Valentine’s Day specials

the-lady-and-the-tramp

Love is in the air!

Or, is it?

We’re getting lots of e-mails about Valentine’s specials from area restaurants and bars. (Feel free to add yours if you’d like, below).

A few really stood out. First, the Buckhead Ritz-Carlton is offering a four-course Valentine’s dinner available now through Feb. 14.

It’s $189 per couple and includes a bottle of champagne and for dessert, a strawberry milkshake for two, garnished with chocolate dipped strawberries. It’s served in a big glass with straws for two. Doesn’t that remind you of that scene in “Lady and the Tramp?”

Awww.

Stick around for the night and enjoy the rose-petal turndown service, which is also available at the downtown Ritz-Carlton – we understand they plan to scatter 20,000 petals this weekend!

Then, again…if you’re not in a real smoochy mood, Atkins Park Tavern in Smyrna is hosting an Anti-Valentine’s Day party at 10 p.m. Feb. 12 beginning at 10 p.m., where “the lovelorn can lift their spirits with Sam Adams and Grey Goose …

Continue reading Most and least romantic Valentine’s Day specials »

Miranda Cosgrove-Greyson Chance in concert Tuesday

 Photo credit: Aaron Pinkston/Warner Bros.

Photo credit: Aaron Pinkston/Warner Bros.

Miranda Cosgrove and Greyson Chance are touring together and heading to Atlanta on Feb. 15. The concert is at 7 p.m. at Center Stage Theatre, 1374 W. Peachtree St.

We have drawn a name at random and have contacted the winner of two tickets to Tuesday’s show via email. The winner can come pick the tickets up at the AJC office on Monday.

The teen team seems to be having a great time on the road, and we got a moment on the phone with Greyson, the 13-year-old who was discovered by Ellen DeGeneres after a YouTube video of him playing Lady GaGa’s “Paparazzi” started getting attention.

“I’m very inspired by Gaga,” Greyson said. “She’s incredible. I would love to collaborate with Gaga. Who knows what I would wear? I was going to say meat suit but I think she’s covered that one.”

This cracked him up; during our phone interview Greyson laughed a lot and said even though he’s signed with Geffen as well as DeGeneres’ ElevenEleven labels, he …

Continue reading Miranda Cosgrove-Greyson Chance in concert Tuesday »

“The Bachelor’s” Gwen Gioia, “The Bachelorette’s” Graham Bunn to play Cupid

Graham BunnLooking for love this Valentine’s Day?

Gwen Gioia, a past contestant of  “The Bachelor” and “The Bachelor Pad” and and Graham Bunn of “The Bachelorette” are here to help. They’ll be at a single’s mixer at East Andrews Cafe and Bar from 7 to 10 p.m. on Monday, which is Valentine’s Day, to kick off a contest organized by Heartbeat Matchmaker, a locally based dating service.

Heartbeat also plans single’s mixers from 3 to 8 p.m. Feb. 20 at 3 Sheets and from 3 to 7 p.m. Feb. 27 at the St. Regis.

gwen-gioia-bachelor-padThe contest, with a $5,000 grand prize, is open to any single male or female who is 23 or older. There is a $75 application fee, which covers a criminal background check to ensure everyone’s safety. You’ll also need to submit two photos – a headshot and full-body shot – and a 250-word bio explaining why you’re a great catch.

Judges will declare a winning Bachelor and Bachelorette, but runners-up will receive prizes, too.

For information see the Heartbeat Web site.

- Jennifer Brett/The …

Continue reading “The Bachelor’s” Gwen Gioia, “The Bachelorette’s” Graham Bunn to play Cupid »

Marietta woman celebrates her 102nd birthday

Marietta Mayor Thunder Tumlin, left, and City Councilman Anthony Coleman celebrated with Eloise Wright on her 102nd birthday. Photo from the City of Marietta

Marietta Mayor Thunder Tumlin, left, and City Councilman Rev. Anthony Coleman celebrated with Eloise Wright on her 102nd birthday. Photo from the City of Marietta

In case you missed it, yesterday was Eloise Morris Wright Day in Marietta!

The special proclamation honors Wright’s 102nd birthday and her many years of service to the community.

The City of Marietta posted an article about Wright on its Web site.

The piece says that she served as the first African American manager for public housing in Marietta, at the Lyman Homes and Fort Hill developments. She also organized Marietta’s first black Girl Scout troop and played a key role in organizing the first Cobb County branch of the NAACP.

Wright has been a member of Turner Chapel AME Church since 1917 and served as its music director for 42 years.

“Because of segregation, Wright wasn’t able to attend public school after the seventh grade,” the article continues. “She enrolled in Morris Brown College at the age of 13 and …

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