July 2011 - Posts
What if walls could talk? Stalwart for 130 years and packed with Old South soul, scandals and success, just imagine the tales they could tell! While the walls of The Wren’s Nest walls aren’t quite so clever as their owner, Joel Chandler Harris - famed Atlanta journalist and storybook author - brought all of that and more to the leafy lot on the Westend.
Now a house museum, The Wren’s Nest was once the creative headquarters of the Brer Rabbit and Uncle Remus stories. Perched on his magnolia-shaded front porch, Harris penned the majority of the 190 narratives which, enchanting the world, became the first serialized storyline of walking, talking animals. Preserved sine 1913 with the original 1880s furniture, tile, structure and fixtures, the house offers a unique glimpse of life in the Old South. Three must-see focal points are the Disney dummies, Joel Chandler Harris’ bedroom which has remained untouched since the day he died and, a personal favorite of the curator’s, an 1880s Bavarian wood carving where Harris stored his tobacco and cigars.
Standing not only as an homage to one of Atlanta’s most lauded writers, tours of the home delve into the sordid and shady facets of Harris’ success. Born illegitimately and suffering from a stutter, Joel Chandler Harris seemingly was destined for a life of strife. Finding himself a slave at age 15, he immersed himself in the African custom of storytelling. Throughout his life, he collected tales and, through his fictitious counterpart Uncle Remus, produced his most famous works - the Brer Rabbit stories.
Perhaps best described as the bawdy, blasé cousin of Aesop’s Fables, Uncle Remus and the Brer Rabbit stories have long been burdened with knee-jerk assumptions. Deemed racist and rude for ages, Uncle Remus, and indeed Harris himself, were covertly educating the white, upper class South; subversively filling their bedtime stories with lessons of empathy, equality and racial reconciliation.
... but I can’t spoil the ending, so you’ll just have to take the tour! Storytime begins at 1p.m. sharp each Saturday. Tours of The Wren's Nest are available Tuesday - Saturday from 10 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. In true Southern fashion, just walk up and ring the bell!
At once both poignant and hilarious, Fiddler on the Roof explores the consequences of love and lust in a volatile world. Filled with sage (though humorously misquoted) advice, this spirited revival of one of Broadway’s longest running shows helps viewers balance the desires of heart and head. For anyone who’s ever questioned the phenomenon of love, this is a can’t-miss show.
Fiddler on the Roof
The Fox Theatre
Through Sunday July 24
Although a cautionary tale, Fiddler on the Roof gives audiences permission to love who and how they please. Noted as “both timeless and timely”, the story chronicles the lives of Tevye – a poor Russian milkman – his wife and their five daughters as they begin to break with tradition, following their hearts rather than the misguided advice of the town matchmaker. Lauded as one of Broadway’s greatest scores, this lyrical romp through war-torn Russia features favorite feel-good tunes such as ”If I Were a Rich Man” and “Matchmaker, Matchmaker”.
Fiddler on the Roof runs at the fabulous Fox Theatre through Sunday, July 24. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Thursday - Saturday and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Two matinees are available – 2 p.m. on Saturday and 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets start at $30 and the show is rated PG for some suggested violence.
Looking for a fresh take on a Friday
night date? For one evening only, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra has
collaborated with Turner Classic Movies for a night of dinner, danger
and dashing gentlemen - all accompanied by live music. Performing the
cult-classic score, the ASO
plays Casablanca as it's
projected onto the big screen.
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Plays Casablanca
In a mind-boggling mix of technology and
has been remastered with only the soundtrack removed. Conducted by Jere Flint,
the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra swells
and sways behind those famous lines which have become the benchmark of romance.
Mankiewicz, TCM's film fanatic and the evening's host, "It's quite amazing
to see and hear and feel. When new technology can thoughtfully enhance the
experience of something we revere from another generation, I think there's a
real opportunity to attract an audience that might otherwise have been
missed." Now in its 66th season, the ASO has found an enticing
balance between technology and talent, creating cutting-edge shows which speak
to the generations of classic concert enthusiasts, as well as teens and
twenty-somethings looking for a memorable date night.
Perfect for family night or a
double-date, the Family
Ticket Package includes four lawn or pavilion seats, four food baskets,
lawn chair rentals and a parking pass for just $60.
Falling in love never sounded so good. Featuring dual storylines, Rock of Ages brings the gritty glam of the Sunset Strip (Los Angeles circa 1986ish) to the stage as a high voltage arena-rock opera. A hit with all ages, this “ultimate guilty pleasure” is the weekend’s must-see show!
Rock of Ages
Through Sunday, June 10
Tickets starting at $30
Sumptuously stereotypical, Rock of Ages is the amped up love story of Sherrie - a small-town wannabe actress – and Drew, the would-be rockstar hailing from Detroit, Michigan. Follow the emotional roller coaster of youthful infatuation told through the greatest heartbreak ballads of the 80s (including Foreigner’s “Waiting For a Girl Like You”, “I Hate Myself for Loving You” by Joan Jett and Steve Perry’s “Oh, Sherrie”.)
The intertwining second story features a feel-good rebellion to protect property and posterity from urban redevelopers. Hoisting protest signs such as “Strippers Not Strip Malls”, a stalwart band of feminists and nightlife purveyors fight The Man for rights to their city - the ongoing battle is heralded by a montage of hits such as “We Built This City” by Starship and Bon Jovi’s “Wanted Dead of Alive”.
Rock of Ages is moderately interactive, courtesy of projection screens and a feisty narrator who continuously demolishes the fourth wall. As if two-plus hours of fist-pumping retro rock wasn’t cool enough, the entire score is performed by live band onstage throughout. Best summed up by it’s opening and closing numbers, Rock of Ages engages audiences of all ages for “Nothin’ But a Good Time”, imploring them to “Don’t Stop Believin’” in their dreams of rock and romance.
Showtimes for the weekend vary, but the sequins hit the stage tonight at 8 p.m. A matinee is scheduled Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1:30 p.m. While leaving three generations on their feet and singing along, Rock of Ages is a PG-13 show due to some coarse content inherent to the hard rock life.