VOL. 25, NO. 9 FREE
YEARS! 5 2 G N I T ELEBRA
Featuring the Best...
SPRING ls a v i t fes
Matilda is wondrous. A real miracle. The best musical since The Lion King.” “
’s # e n i z a g ME Ma
e Ye h t f o w Sho
APRIL 30, 2017
INTERNATIONAL JAZZ DAY CONCERT FEATURING: TAMUZ NISSIM SENRI OE | SOFIA REI
THE JAZZ EPISTLES WITH ABDULLAH IBRAHIM, EKAYA, & HUGH MASEKELA CHASTAIN PARK AMPHITHEATRE TICKETS $40 AT TICKETMASTER.COM
ATLANTA JAZZ FESTIVAL MAY 26-28, 2017 MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND PIEDMONT PARK ATLANTAFESTIVALS.COM
ON SALE NOW! APRIL 18–23
PG 2 • April 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
CONTENTS • APRIL 2017 • VOLUME 25, NO. 9
EARS! ING 25 Y T A R B E CEL
11 Taylor Hicks 14 Matilda the Musical 16 Riverdance 16 Ben Folds 18 Ron White 18 Rob Haze
FEATURES 08 Spring Patios 12 Spring Festivals
COLUMNS 18 04 Around Town 05 On Tap 06 Atlanta on a Dime 07 Under The Lights 10 New Releases 10 Station Control 18 17 Movie Reviews
insiteatlanta.com STAFF LISTING Publisher Stephen Miller firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director / Web Design Nick Tipton email@example.com Managing Editor Lee Valentine Smith firstname.lastname@example.org Local Events Editor Marci Miller email@example.com Sports Editor DeMarco Williams firstname.lastname@example.org
Music Editor John Moore email@example.com
ON SALE NOW!
Contributing Writers / Interns: Alex. S. Morrison, Steve Warren, Dave Cohen, Benjamin Carr
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Check out our Spring Festival Guide on page 12.
insiteatlanta.com • April 2017 • PG 3
Around Town THROUGH JUNE 16 Dream Big
Dream Big: Engineering Our World, the new IMAX film playing now through June 16 allows moviegoers to soar above the world’s tallest bridge and travel at speeds approaching 700 mph. From the Great Wall of China and the world’s tallest buildings to underwater robots, solar cars and sustainable cities, Dream Big showcases engineering marvels big and small. Dream Big is the first giant screen project of its kind to promote the educational STEAM movement (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics). FernbankMuseum.org
NE Cobb Community Egg Drop
Sprayberry High School Football Field
Northeast Cobb Community Egg Drop offers fun, food, games, DJ, activities, and of course egg hunts for everyone. Kids will marvel as a helicopter drops thousands of eggs onto the Sprayberry High School football field to kick-off the hunt. There will be more than 90,000 eggs and candy for the various hunts. The funds raised from the Egg Drop go to support the Sprayberry and Kell High Schools. CommunityEggDrop.com
Early Learners Day Woodruff Arts Center
Events and Performances taking place this Month
The Alliance Theatre and High Museum of Art are getting together for an arts festival for the very young. This one-of-a-kind experience for children from infant through 5 years old will feature performances of two productions of the Kathy & Ken Bernhardt Theatre for the Very Young, workshops and musical performances, art-making and story times at the High Museum of Art. Tickets available at AllianceTheatre.org.
Record Store Day
CD Warehouse store locations
quality of life. Visit Diningoutforoh.org
Uncorked Atlanta Wine Festival City Winery
The fourth annual Uncorked Atlanta Wine Festival at City Winery, takes place from 12:00pm – 4:00pm. Saturday, April 29. Enjoy unlimited wine and craft beer tastings, music performances, and fun winethemed activities. CityWinery.com/atlanta
Dining Out for Life
Various Restaurants across Atlanta
Celebrating its 25th anniversary, Dining Out For Life will be one of the largest citywide fundraisers in Atlanta this year. On Wednesday, April 26th, thousands of people will dine at more than 100 participating restaurants, knowing that a significant portion of their bill will help support the Open Hand foundation improve our health and
Taco Festival Over the Edge - Special Olympics GA Atlanta Candler Park Overlook III Bldg. 2859 Paces Ferry Road
Visit CD Warehouse on April 16 and celebrate Record Store Day. This national event recognizes the vinyl record and those great album covers. To honor this event CD Warehouse will be buying and selling vinyl records throughout the month. Find out more at CDwarehouse.com.
15th annual Crawfish Boil. Atkins Park Partner & Zac Brown’s Executive Chef Rusty Hamlin will be on hand to boil your crawfish. Crawfish & Cajuns shipped directly from New Orleans. Tickets at smyrnacrawfishboil.com
Ever wondered if you had what it takes to be fearless and face new challenges headon? Well, here’s your chance! Saturday, April 29th join more than 80 “edgers” who are brave enough to raise $1,000 to rappel over the edge of a 22 story building for Special Olympics Georgia. Experience the challenge, the bravery and the exhilaration of participating in an event that takes you out of your comfort zone and ultimately changes your life forever. Sign up at OvertheEdgeAtlanta.org.
APRIL 29 & 30
Smyrna Crawfish Boil Atkins Park in Smyrna
Come and join Atkins Park in Smyrna Saturday and Sunday April 29 & 30 for their
Atlanta’s favorite taco establishments will gather in Candler Park on Sunday, April 29 to participate in the 2nd annual Atlanta Taco Festival from 1 to 7 p.m. The Atlanta Taco Festival is the city’s only event dedicated to the ever-customizable taco and will allow Atlantans to taste unique menu items from Latin and non-Latin restaurants alike. The festival will also feature an exciting VIP tequila experience and live entertainment. Visit atlantatacofestival.com.
MAY 5 - 7
Shaky Beats Music Festival Centennial Olympic Park
Now in its 2nd year, the Shaky Beats Music Festival features over 50 topnotch electronic, indie and hip-hop acts across three stages. Headlining each night are: Griz (Friday); Kaskade (Saturday) and The Chainsmokers (Sunday). Tickets at ShakyBeatsFestival.com.
Mother’s Day Special
$99.95 Freshwater Cultured Pearl Set Necklace, Bracelet and Earrings QSET - 10391
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2891 NORTH DRUID HILLS ROAD, TOCO HILL SHOPPING CENTER PG 4 • April 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
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On Tap this Month MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA
April 22: Kingston Downs in Rome, Ga.
Atlanta Steeplechase is held on the beautiful 435-acre Kingston Downs complex. e event appeals to all ages and oﬀers an array of entertainment. Activities include an Air Show, Hat Contest, pony rides, a petting zoo, live music and steeplechasing. Atlanta Steeplechase patrons enjoy the circuit’s best horses and jockeys showcased in ﬁve premier races throughout the afternoon. Visit atlantasteeplechase.org
At All Three Locations!
Monday April 24: Atlanta Symphony Hall
BEN FOLDS WITH THE ASO
Multi-platinum selling singer/songwriter/producer Ben Folds is will perform his critically acclaimed piano concerto and pop hits with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on Monday, April 24 at 7:30 pm. Widely regarded as one of the major music inﬂuencers of our generation, Folds has spent over a decade sharing the stage with some of the world’s greatest symphony orchestras. Visit AtlantaSymphony.org
Thursday, April 27: Chattahoochee Center
Sunset Sips is a laid back, family friendly event at the Chattahoochee Nature Center. e program takes place on the 4th ursday of each month, 6:30-9:30pm, April – September (except July). April’s opening act is Wes Yoakam, who will be sure to have you on your feet and singing, or at least bobbing your head along to some of the best acoustic covers of everything from current pop to classic rock. Chattnaturecenter.org
Friday, April 28: City Winery
DULUTH 2175 Pleasant Hill RD Corner of Satellite Blvd next to Starbucks 770-623-1552
Saturday, April 22!
BARRETT PARKWAY 50 Barrett Parkway at Bells Ferry Road next to Barnes & Noble 770-425-3472
ROSWELL 10800 Alpharetta Hwy At Mansell Road Sprouts Center 770-518-3300
CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK! CD WAREHOUSE ATLANTA
Hailed by the New York Times as a “modern soul man,” Grammy Award-nominated singer/songwriter Kenny Lattimore has landed another Top 10 hit with “Love Me Back.” e simple feel-good track was the lead single from Lattimore’s seventh R&B solo album, Anatomy of a Love Song. He comes to Atlanta this month for what is sure to be an unforgettable performance at City Winery. Tickets at CityWinery.com
Friday, April 28: Park Tavern
YACHT ROCK REVUE
Yacht Rock Revue is bringing Prince's Purple Rain back to Piedmont Park to beneﬁt the Piedmont Park Conservancy. e concert will take place at the beautiful Legacy Fountain Friday, April 28th starting at 7pm. e concert area will be protected by a Garden Tent. Best known for their spot-on renditions of Hall & Oats, Michael McDonald, Steely Dan, Yacht Rock Revue will kick into high gear for this show. Visit ParkTavern.com
Raise $1,000 to rappel for Special Olympics Georgia and take part in the rare experience in stepping Over the Edge and rappelling down the Overlook III building in Vinings.
Vinings Saturday, April 29 2017
Sunday, April 30: Chastain Park Amphitheatre
ATLANTA JAZZ FESTIVAL CONCERT
e Atlanta Jazz Festival will celebrate this year’s International Jazz Day with a concert at Chastain Park Amphitheatre on Sunday, April 30, 2017 at 7 p.m. As part of the 40 Days of Jazz, the concert will feature performances from artists representing Israel, Japan, Argentina and South Africa. Jazz vocalist, Tamuz Nissim, jazz pianist, Senri Oe, jazz vocalist, Soﬁa Rei, and e Jazz Epistles will perform. Visit ATLJazzFest.com
Register as an individual or a team with $25 fee. Visit OvertheEdgeAtlanta.org to register and learn more about the event contact Jennifer Harper at Jennifer.email@example.com insiteatlanta.com • April 2017 • PG 5
come dressed as a superhero will receive free admission with each paying adult from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
EVENTS HAPPENING FOR SMALL CHANGE IN ATLANTA
Know of a low cost event happening? Event@AtlantaOnADime.com By Marci Miller
tainment, demonstrations, artists, comThrough May 31 mercial vendors, food trucks, a kid’s zone WINE DOWN WEEKENDS (with games, crafts, and inﬂatables), bands Ponce City Market, 650 North Ave NE and more. e event kicks oﬀ on Saturday Free Event; citywinery.com/atlanta at 9:00am with a Fun Run followed by the Wine Down Weekends, City Winery's free Artists Market. patio concert series, returns this month. Every Friday and Saturday from now Saturday, April 22 through the end of May pairs Atlanta's MAKER’S MARKET only fully-functioning winery with some Druid Hills Neighborhood of the city's ﬁnest musicians. Live music Free Event; druidhillstour.org for Wine Down Weekends lasts from is free event is part of the Druid Hills 5:00pm to 7:30pm. Tour of Homes & Garden. e Makers Market will feature artwork, jewelry, April 15 & 16 and 22 & 23 clothing, furniture, handmade items, FREE PARK DAYS baked goods and sculpture of Atlanta FreeAdmn;nps.gov/national-park-week artists. Parking is not available on site; e National Park Service is celebrating however the Tour Trolley will stop in 100 years as America's largest celebration Emory Village at the entrance to Slice & of national heritage. Enjoy two free week- Pint. Takes place 10:00am – 9:00pm. ends this month at Atlanta Public Parks.
Sunday, April 16
ART ON THE CHATTAHOOCHEE
Jones Bridge Park, Peachtree Corners Free Event; peachtreecornersba.com
Saturday & Sunday April 22 & 23
ATLANTA ARAB FESTIVAL
lanta streets to cars, and opens them to residents for exploration. ese events include everything from live music to sports to dancing to how-to demonstrations.
Sunday, April 30
ALIF Institute 3288 Marjan Dr Atlanta Free Event; alifinstitute.org
TASTE OF MARIETTA
lanta, Georgia, is a celebration of the traditions and heritage of Arab Americans in the South. e two-day weekend event features authentic Arabic cuisine from area chefs and restaurants, live music performances, a fashion show, folkloric dance pieces, art exhibits, henna tattooing, carnival games, poetry and arts and crafts.
Taste of Marietta is an annual food festival that showcases Cobb County restaurants and caterers. It is the largest and longest running food festival in Cobb County and has become a favorite annual tradition among local residents. Over 75 of Marietta’s favorite restaurants will be offering samples. Tastings range from $1 - $5.
Sunday, April 23
Sunday, April 30
Ralph David Abernathy Blvd Free Event; atlantastreetsalive.com
Turner Field - Green Lot Fundraiser; autismspeaks.org
Historic Marietta Square; Free Admise annual Atlanta Arab Festival in At- sion; tasteofmarietta.com
ATLANTA STREETS ALIVE
AUTISM SPEAKS WALK
For Atlanta Streets Alive, the Atlanta Bi- Walk and help raise funds for improving cycle Coalition (ABC) closes miles of At- the lives of people with autism.
Saturday, April 22
Atlanta Streets Alive Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Free Admission atlantastreetsalive.com
Centennial Park Downtown Atlanta 12 under Free; georgiaaquarium.org
Celebrate Earth Day by being a superhero for the sea. Learn how you can help proArt on the Chattahoochee is a Fine Arts tect marine life and our ocean through infestival oﬀering unique works from local teractive activities. Kids 12 and under who artists and crafters. ere will be enterREceive Updated Events Weekly. Sign Up by Emailing Subscriptions@atlantaonadime.com Enter on the subject line: Sign me up Insite!
Walking distance from festivals at Piedmont Park . . . stop by to relax, replenish and refresh!
European Style Café
Located in the heart of Midtown and beside Landmark Arts Cinema 931 Monroe Drive, 30308 • (404) 872-3333 • ApresDiem.com Mon–Thur 11am–Midnight • Fri & Sat 11am–2am • Sun 10:30am–Midnight (Kitchen closes earlier all nights) PG 6 • April 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
Under The Lights ON STAGE THIS MONTH
NOBODY LOVES YOU
MATILDA THE MUSICAL
The game of love is on! Tune into “Nobody Loves You,” the show in which cluelessly self-obsessed contestants compete for love and adoring fans. When Jeff, a philosophy grad student, snags a spot on this reality dating show in trying to win back his ex, he breaks all the rules and attempts to expose its “authenticity.” That is until he unexpectedly falls into an onset love connection with Jenny, an enticingly prickly producer. Take a behind-the-scenes ride through this hilarious musical comedy about the intimate and gut-wrenching quest for love while millions of viewers watch. NOBODY LOVES YOU runs through April 30th.
Winner of four Tony Awards and a recordbreaking seven Olivier Awards including Best Musical, MATILDA THE MUSICAL is based on the beloved novel by best-selling author Roald Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox). It is the story of an extraordinary girl who dreams of a better life. Matilda is a precocious 5-year-old girl with the gift of telekinesis who loves reading, overcomes obstacles caused by her family and school, and helps her teacher to reclaim her life. Armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, Matilda dares to take a stand and change her destiny.
PETE THE CAT
Now Playing Through April 30 Horizon Theatre (404) 584-7450 HorizonTheatre.com
April 18 - 23 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499 FoxTheatre.org/Matilda
Now Playing Through May 28 Center for Puppetry Arts (404) 873-3391 Puppet.org
May 5 - 7 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499 FoxTheatre.org/Riverdance
The coolest cat in town makes his stage debut at the Center for Puppetry Arts. It’s a raucous, heartfelt adventure of one cool, skateboarding, surfing, rocking blue cat and his menagerie of friends. Based on The New York Times best-selling book series by Georgia authors James and Kimberly Dean. Center Artistic Director Jon Ludwig and Resident Puppet Builder Jason Hines lead the Center’s design team for the Mainstage Theater production. “We want whatever we put on stage to look exactly like it does in Dean’s books, whether it’s Pete scuba diving or skateboarding or playing his guitar,” Hines says. “Pete’s cool and he stays cool even when things don’t turn out as he planned,” says Ludwig. “He goes with the flow showing that ease and resilience for kids to remember when things are tough.”
The 20th Anniversary World Tour is an innovative and exciting blend of dance, music and song. Drawing on Irish traditions, the combined talents of the performers propel Irish dancing and music into the present day, capturing the imagination of audiences across all ages and cultures. Each RIVERDANCE touring company consists of up to 55 cast and crew members, with the remarkable Riverdance Irish Dance Troupe featuring world class dancers from Ireland, U.K, America, Australia and Canada, the cream of Irish musicians in the Riverdance Band. Enjoy a spectacular array of international stars from Spain, America and Russia, all performing to the magic of Bill Whelan’s Grammy award winning music. Visit Riverdance.com or BroadwayInAtlanta.com for more info.
Join the Club • Become a Member
Receive Deals at Retailers and Win Free Tickets to Movies, Concerts, Theatre Shows & Events
More info at www.cinemoms.com insiteatlanta.com • April 2017 • PG 7
Spring Patio Guide
Places to Go when Dining Outdoors! Athens Pizza House
patrons. The new room is perfect for large parties and private events while take-out, delivery and catering are available. Bring your family and friends to Nancy’s Pizza on Ponce this spring!
931 Monroe Dr. 404.872.3333 ApresDiem.com
1341 Clairmont Rd. Decatur 404.636.1100 AthensPizzaAtlanta.com
Atlanta for over 30 years! But the menu isn’t limited to pizza: sandwiches, subs, wings, nachos and salads ensure that anyone who comes here can find something they like. Check for daily lunch and dinner specials. Everything is made using the freshest ingredients including the dough built from scratch every day. In springtime, their front deck is the place to be. Families and friends flock here to catch some rays, enjoy the food and watch the Braves on one of their many screens.
Since 1966, the Papadopoulos family has been serving up great Greek and Italian cuisine to the Emory / Decatur area. Athens Pizza is Zagat rated and winner of several awards including Best Greek Cuisine. So don’t let the name fool you, there is much more here than great pizza. Some of the favorite recipes on their Greek dishes go back over 50 years! Athens Pizza offers daily specials for lunch and dinner. As the weather accommodates in spring, diners head out to their patio. Their patio can also be booked for private parties. Athens Pizza offers an extensive catering menu for events.
baked turkey sandwiches and clubs, wild caught salmon, grouper, snapper, shrimp and more. They offer something for everyone: Trivia on Wednesday nights 79, "Date Night" Friday nights where it's Adults only after 7 with Live music, aviation-themed playground right next to the restaurant where the kids can play before or after your meal. Full bar available too.
Nancy’s Chicago Pizza
265 Ponce De Leon #A 404.881-0111 NancysPizza.com
Located inside the Dekalb Peachtree
Airport off of Clairmont Road in Chamblee, this family owned restaurant is celebrating its 28th year. Come dine on their deck which is perched right above the runways. The menu offers everything from award winning burgers, house
Located in the heart of Midtown and beside Landmark Arts Cinema, Après Diem is a relaxed yet sophisticated take on the European style of dining. Whether you are here to see a movie, listen to the music or taking a break from the festivals, their patio is the place to be in spring. Après Diem has been an Atlanta staple for 17 years. Visit them on Mondays as they serve $7 mussels all day and Tuesdays 5:30–11pm for $5 tapas. Wednesdays offer live Jazz from 8:30– 11:30 pm with DJs other nights of the week.
3109 Briarcliff Rd. 404.320.1258 MosPizza.com
The Downwind Restaurant
Dekalb Peachtree Airport 2000 Airport Rd. #201 770.452.0973 DownwindRestaurant.com
500 10th Street NE 404.249.0001 ParkTavern.com
Nancy's serves up thin, deep dish and new Rustic Crust Italiano Pizza as well as a full menu including great appetizers, sandwiches and signature salads. Nancy’s in Midtown offers a covered patio with plenty of outdoor seating. They recently completed a major renovation doubling in size and now offer seating for over 200
The Patio at Park Tavern has one of the best views in the city overlooking Piedmont Park and the Midtown Skyline. This amazing backdrop provides for a great atmosphere and is dog-friendly. The large climate controlled patio includes table seating, private cabanas, an oyster bar, fire pits, and TV's to catch your favorite teams in action. The patio can be transformed for weddings, private events, and concerts. April means concert season is back at Park Tavern with Summer Sunsets and Sunday's FREE Concert Series Sunset Sessions.
7 Area locations FellinisAtlanta.com
Mo’s has been serving up great pizza in
As popular as they are for their pizza, salads and calzones, Fellini’s is also known around Atlanta for their great
Live Music & Entertainment • Full Bar • Daily Specials • Takeout Available
Downwind Restaurant & Lounge at the Dekalb Peachtree Airport
Mon-Fri 11am-10pm • Saturday Noon-10pm • Sunday Closed
770.452.0973 • 2000 Airport Rd. #201, Atlanta www.downwindrestaurant.com
Soak up the sun! PATIO SEATING Great Subs, Sandwiches, Salads & Wings Since 1980
$7.95 Large Cheese Pizza!
Just off I-85 @ Clairmont (Corner of Briarcliff & Clairmont)
3109 Briarcliff Rd. • (404) 320-1258 • MosPizza.com PG 8 • April 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
Cinco de Mayo
All Weekend Long! Friday May 5, Saturday May 6th, & Sunday May 7th Celebrate with Authentic Mexican Specials + Atlanta’s #1 Rated Margaritas & Tequila Bar
The Fiesta begins nightly at 5pm! Make reservations now!
patios. Most include a huge fountain in the middle that is lit up at night. The patios here are always bustling with people. Visit them and see why.
pizza and subs in Atlanta. They specialize in NY Style pizza, which is thin in the middle and thick around the edges. Johnny’s is also known for their delicious calzones, subs, sandwiches and salads. All Johnny’s locations offer patio seating including dine-in, take-out and delivery as well as online ordering. Visit JohnnysPizza.com for the nearest location.
The Flying Biscuit Cafe’
242 Boulevard SE 404.588.0006AgaveRestaurant.com
1655 McLendon Ave. 404.687.8888 1001 Piedmont Ave. 404.874.8887 Catering 404.849.2283 FlyingBiscuit.com
Consistently voted the Best Southwestern restaurant in Atlanta, Agave’s menu is a unique blend of eclectic southwestern cuisine and chef inspired dishes with an authentic southwestern flare. Before being seated, head to their expansive tequila bar where one can get two for one appetizers 5pm - 7pm seven days a week. Then head to your table on their heated southwestern designed patio. Celebrate Cinco de Mayo at Agave all weekend long with events May 5 through May 7. With creative daily specials, award winning margaritas and great ambiance one can see why this is a Cabbagetown favorite.
Johnny’s NY Style Pizza Multiple Metro Area Locations JohnnysPizza.com
Johnny’s Pizza is synonymous with great
The atmosphere is fun and electric, making Escorpion one of the hottest restaurants in the bustling Midtown scene.
115 Laredo Dr. 404.299.5799 SavagePizza.com
City Winery Atlanta
650 North Avenue. Midtown 404.946.3791 CityWinery.com
This eclectic neighborhood restaurant is a favorite hangout among residents of Little 5 and Avondale Estates. They offer a wide variety of salads, subs, calzones and of course pizzas to choose from at affordable prices. Savage Pizza uses only the freshest vegetables, top quality meats, cheeses, breads and pastas. On their menu you'll find innovative homemade sauces and thoughtfully prepared dishes made from scratch every day. Savage offers lunch and dinner with delivery to the area. Both locations offer ample seating.
The Flying Biscuit serves great breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner seven days a week. Their Candler Park location (shown) is the original Flying Biscuit cafe and boasts a newly renovated patio. While the Midtown location off Piedmont Park allows for dining inside or on their corner patio which is surrounded by windows that come off when the weather cools, offering great views of the bustling Midtown scene. The Midtown and Candler Park locations are offering a new beer & wine menu this spring in addition to nightly dinner specials.
484 Moreland Ave. 404.523.0500
Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!
Since opening last year, C i t y Winery has t a k e n Atlanta by storm. The concept of combining great wines and culinary innovations in an intimate setting of live music is unlike anything this city has seen. City Winery’s patio is a favorite destination for those heading to Ponce City Market. It’s a great setting to meet for a cocktail after work, dinner or for brunch on the weekends.
309 N. Highland Ave. 404.880.9559 FrittiRestaurant.com
800 Peachtree St. Midtown 678.666.5198 urestaurants.com
Escorpion is a regionally inspired Mexican tequila bar and cantina from chef-owner Riccardo Ullio. Escorpion’s food and drink menus are rooted in Mexican flavors and culture. The restaurant captures the authentic tastes and ingredients indigenous of the country.
Fritti’s patio is among the hottest places to be in Inman Park as their entire dining room opens up to the lively street scene. Nationally recognized for its pizza, Fritti pies are authentic Neapolitan and prepared according to traditional artisan methods in a 1,000 degree wood-burning oven. Make sure to arrive early for a table during the Inman Park festival.
Coming Next Month... Best in Atlanta TAPAS!
1992 ★ 25
YEARS ★ 2016
Best in Atlanta BRUNCH!
For Advertising Call (404) 308-5199 or email firstname.lastname@example.org insiteatlanta.com
Atlanta’s Favorite Pizza! Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.com insiteatlanta.com • April 2017 • PG 9
NEW RELEASES THE LATEST DVD, BLU RAY & VOD RELEASES By John Moore
TUPAC ASSASSINATION: BATTLE FOR COMPTON (MVD Visual)
Twenty years after Biggie and Tupac were gunned down 6 months apart from each other, the shootings still hold plenty of allure. Tupac Assassination: Battle For Compton is just the latest documentary about one or both of the notorious killings that tries to suss out the competing conspiracies. In this, the third in a series of Assassination docs, the filmmaker interviews a slew of local and federal law enforcement officers laying out the theory that the musicians were killed by a shadowy group named “The Machine.” Despite some pretty impressive sleuthing, you likely won’t leave this doc with a clear understanding of exactly what happened.
LONDON TOWN (IFC Films)
Clash singer Joe Strummer, played here admirably enough by Jonathan Rhys Meyers, has a peripheral role in this fictional take of a 15-year discovering punk music and learning to cope with an estranged mom and a single dad who ends up in the hospital, but the
TV spirit of Strummer is all over this movie. Teenager Shay (played brilliantly by Daniel Huttlestone) hears the music of Clash at a crucial point in his life and embraces the fearlessness and rebelliousness of punk rock in the face of some pretty grown up challenges. A few clichés try and drag the movie down, but overall an enjoyable story with a fantastic soundtrack.
IT AIN’T PRETTY (Candy Factory Films)
The idea for this doc is pretty compelling: the challenges and sexism faced by female big wave surfers in Northern California and their ultimate triumphs. But it takes director Dayla Soul way too long to set up the premise that she almost loses the viewer in the process. If you’re able to stick with it though, the payoff is worth it. Soul spent three years living in the Bay Area gaining the trust of the women profiled here. The film ultimately does a great job of shattering stereotypes and painting a portrait of a group of close knit surfers who overcome big obstacles (mental and physical) to pursue a sport they love.
WOMEN OF A CERTAIN AGE BY BENJAMIN CARR
HE PHRASE “WOMEN OF A certain age” is rarely intended as a compliment, particularly in show business. The stories you most often see aren’t about women - and are rarely if ever about more than one woman at a time. The Golden Age of Television that we are currently enjoying, more often than not, has been a boys’ club of antiheroes and scoundrels. Signs suggest though, that the tide may be turning. The newest shows even dare to examine female friendships and relationships past age 40. The new stories available to these women put them a step ahead of other desperate housewives or golden girls. Recent shows, including Netflix’s Grace and Frankie and the excellent One Day at a Time reboot, have acknowledged that experience and age benefit women storytelling by giving them more memories to draw from and more hardships to face.
THE GOOD FIGHT (CBS)
The new CBS All Access drama, available through the CBS app, is a spinoff of their hit series The Good Wife. One year after that series ended with a startling slap, Tony and Emmy winner Christine Baranski returns to her role as liberal powerhouse attorney Diane Lockhart. Disgusted with the possibility of living under President Trump, Diane spends the opening moments of the new series planning her retirement and moving to a villa in Provence. She’s done with the firm she founded, walking away from her philandering husband and intending to enjoy her massive wealth. Naturally, just when she thought she was out, Diane gets pulled back in. Her retirement money disappears in a Ponzi scheme run by some of her closest friends. Her goddaughter Maya, a new attorney played by Game of Thrones star Rose Leslie, is implicated within that scandal. And both women come together as their lives are falling apart to find new jobs and a new purpose - just like The Good Wife herself once had to. The Good Fight though does not rest comfortably upon the old show’s shoulders. The only firm that will hire Diane is a predominantly African American firm, considering her a diversity hire. While the original show would occasionally focus on issues of race, here those issues take center stage. Actors like Cush Jumbo, Delroy Lindo and Erica Tazel play the old guard, and their characters expose Diane to just how privileged her existence has been.
FEUD: BETTE AND JOAN (FX)
Producer Ryan Murphy’s behindthe-scenes look at the making of What
The Good Fight
Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is a wellconstructed, interesting slice of Hollywood gossip that explores through a perverse bit of history what happens after actresses reach their sell-by date. Oscar winners Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon play Hollywood legends Joan Crawford and Bette Davis who notoriously clashed on the set of their only collaboration in this FX drama. Lange and Sarandon though are not performing campy imitations of the great stars. They find their vulnerability and humanity; the two women doing all they can to survive an industry that wants to discard them. Surprisingly, Feud is not the delicious, campy bitchfest suggested in its ads. It’s fun is more subdued and takes the stars out of the heavens and puts them next to you so that you can see their pain. Along the way, you start to see how the two women are being manipulated into clashing. Lange is superb in this, playing Joan as more wounded than monstrous and Sarandon is a good fit for Bette, a person whom it cannot be easy to play.
BIG LITTLE LIES (HBO)
This HBO adaptation of Liane Moriarty’s excellent book stars Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman and Shailene Woodley as moms navigating envy and entanglement in an upscale California neighborhood. The show is a bit of a whodunit, telling you only that a school fundraiser has ended in a murder, and then it flashes back a couple months to show you how it all happened. Witherspoon takes center stage early in the show as Madeline, a take-charge gossip who finds the other mothers in their group uptight and pretentious. Sensing a kindred spirit, she quickly takes the new single mom Jane (Woodley) under her wing. This relationship is quickly cemented when Jane’s young son is accused of bullying. Elsewhere, Kidman’s character Celeste is coping with a difficult, painful secret. Her husband beats her, and she wants out of her seemingly perfect marriage even though she blames herself for the abuse. This show is quality binge-watching, with new secrets emerging during every episode, and the actresses are at the top of their game with this material.
Feud: Bette and Joan PG 10 • April 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
American Idol’s Taylor Hicks has Full Plate with Television, Recording and Touring
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
homegrown charm. Calling from Manhattan during a break from shooting the New York episode of the show, the laidback and unfailingly polite performer discussed the show, the familiarity of episodic television and his other current projects.
Tell us a little about the format of the show. State Plate seems to be a melting pot of styles. It is, it takes the best of the food and travel shows that are on television now. We go to the farms like Mike Rowe, we go to the establishments like Diners Drive-Ins and Dives but we always discuss it from a state perspective. And I think that’s really neat from an educational standpoint because there are a lot of iconic state foods.
LABAMA-BRED POP, ROCK AND blues musician Taylor Hicks first burst into the collective consciousness of pop culture with his show-stopping performances on season five of American Idol. His fans, dubbed the Soul Patrol, were rabid for his weekly appearances during his reign and his career has continued to flourish - with steady recording, touring and even a recent Las Vegas residency. Now the affable performer and restauranteur is back on television, riding the wave of the food craze with a show called State Plate. The series, currently in production for season two on the family-friendly INSP network, boasts a healthy TV salad of culinary delights, seasoned with interstate tourism and garnished with Hicks’
part of season one. That’s right and I co-hosted that episode with [actress and former Brady Bunch star] Maureen McCormick. We kind of did split duty on that one. We did peaches and grits and onions and we went to Savannah for some shrimpin.’ Georgia is such a great state for food. Hopefully that particular episode will be rerun as we gear up for the season two premiere in the fall.
you had any time to concentrate on recording? Oh yeah. You never want to leave where you started and music has been and will always be with me forever. I’m coming out with a new record in the fall and I’ve been in the studio in Nashville trying to get it finished.
You seem to truly enjoy the process. I really do and when you’re hosting something, you’ve really got to be into it. The idea for the show was brand-new and our goal was to build it, work out the kinks and keep it entertaining for the whole family to enjoy. INSP is just a great network for it.
Since your fans know you primarily from TV and they actively supported and voted for you - does that change the way they interact with Of all the episodes you’ve completed, which you at all? Do they treat you like a part of the one has turned out to be your personal family? favorite? Can you pinpoint any one specific Yeah, it is like that, being that Idol was such a juggernaut at the time, and I just moment or state? love it. It’s a very comfortable Well, we just shot the Alabama feeling when I’m around the episode, so I’m gonna have to say fans. I wouldn’t trade it for the my home state was really a blast. Saturday, April 8 world. When you are in their We went to Birmingham and City Winery Atlanta for a long time - for over we went to the Gulf Coast area citywinery.com/atlanta homes a season of television, luckily and just enjoyed every minute of for me - you do get that sort of it. One thing I love doing about household name recognition. this show is going to all these It’s something I will always be indebted to and places that you’ve only heard about, but never had a chance to really see firsthand. Last season thankful for; it was just a blessing. we went lobsterin’ in Maine and for an Alabama Before season two airs, you’re still working in boy, that was just a lot of fun. time to get on the road and tour. Oh yeah, because I love it. Touring is my What has been the strangest food you’ve lifeblood and I’ve done it for a long time now. encountered so far? I’m always looking forward to traveling and I would have to say Rocky Mountain oysters. playing music and I’m really looking forward to But you know what, I’ll just let you Google that coming to Georgia on a Saturday night for the one! [For the uninitiated, it’s a dish made from City Winery show. bull, sheep or pig testicles.]
The Georgia episode of State Plate was
While you’ve been busy with the show, have
Right, every state has some specialty item they’re extremely proud of and by the end of this run you’ll have sampled something from all across the country. That’s our goal, to educate and entertain the viewers on iconic foods from every one of the 50 states.
ATLANTA’S FIRST URBAN WINERY, INTIMATE MUSIC VENUE, RESTAURANT & PRIVATE EVENT SPACE
Explore 75 Acres of Outdoor Adventures Nature Trails Spring Blooms
Outdoor Exhibits Treetop Experiences
Comedian Tom Papa
Included with Museum admission | FREE for members
State Plate airs Fridays at 9 on INSP.
Dave Davies (The Kinks)
JUSTIN TOWNES EARLE W/ ELISE DAVIS
LEE ANN WOMACK
ONE WOMAN SEX & THE CITY
TABLAS CREEK ESPRIT DE BEAUCASTEL TASTING
JOJO HERMANN’S SLIM WEDNESDAY (WIDESPREAD PANIC) W/ SAM HOLT
WINE SCHOOL ITALY: NORTH
ANGIE STONE EXPERIENCE EARLY & LATE SHOWS BENEFITING UNCF
ANGIE STONE MEET & GREET PARTY BENEFITING UNCF W/ SPECIAL GUESTS DAVE HOLLISTER, RED STORM, & MORE
DALE WATSON & RAY BENSON (ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL)
WINE & CHEESE PAIRING CLASS: FRANCE
EVERLY BROTHERS EXPERIENCE
CAPTURING PABLO: FOOTAGE & DISCUSSION W/ THE MEN WHO CAUGHT PABLO ESCOBAR
JON MCLAUGHLIN W/ KATRINA WOOLVERTON
RYAN MONTBLEAU W/ CRIS JACOBS
CHLOË AGNEW (CELTIC WOMAN)
BAR SCHOOL: GIN COCKTAILS
MANDOLIN ORANGE W/ DEAD TONGUES
Become a City Winery VinoFile Member! Buy tickets before the public, avoid service fees, attend members-only events & much more!
FernbankMuseum.org | @FernbankMuseum
650 NORTH AVENUE NE, SUITE 201, PONCE CITY MARKET | CITYWINERY.COM | 404.WINERY1 insiteatlanta.com • April 2017 • PG 11
Atlanta Dogwood Festival Piedmont Park
APRIL 7 - 9
The Dogwoods are in full bloom, and hundreds of artists from around the country will set up their tents for the 81st annual event. The festival takes place over the three-day weekend with live music, international performances, gourmet and festival fare, the popular disc dog competition and more under blooming dogwood trees. There is a Kids Village featuring huge inflatables, arts & crafts and face painting for all ages. Festival attendees will also have a chance to run in their 5K. For more information visit Dogwood.org.
Atlanta Wine Festival
Historic 4th Ward Park APRIL 15
The first annual Atlanta Spring Wine Fest will be held on Saturday, April 15th from 1-5pm at Historic 4th Ward Park.
There will be over 100 wines on hand as well as a selection of beer and cider to choose from. Enjoy along with live music and DJ, plenty of fun and games, and food available for purchase. For more information visit AtlantaWineFestivals.com.
Lake Forrest Drive, Sandy Springs APRIL 15 & 16
Georgia Renaissance Festival
I-85; Exit 61 - Fairburn / Peachtree City APRIL 15 - JUNE 4
The 2017 Georgia Renaissance Festival opens for its 32nd Season on the weekend of April 15 & 16, and runs for 8 consecutive weekends through June 4th, including Memorial Day Monday. Festival guests will be greeted by Queen Anne Boleyn and her Court, merry minstrels, fair maidens, gallant Knights in shining armor and a fullday of entertainment on 10 stages, food fit for kings, and a marketplace of over 150 master artisans displaying their time-honored artistry as they craft their one-of-akind treasures. Towering over the Village this year is the all new Drunk Monk Pub. An impressive structure featuring live music, table seating and serving up a variety of adult beverages Visit GArenfest.com.
Sandy Springs Artsapalooza is a two-day outdoor event with an emphasis on visual arts and handcraft. This festival will feature up to 150 local and regional artists representing disciplines in painting, ceramics, glass, woodwork, handcraft, mixed media and more. In addition to the beautiful selection of artwork, the festival will also include an amazing lineup of gourmet food trucks, live acoustic music, children’s activities, as well as free parking and free admission. In all, this festival is the perfect spring destination with activities for the entire family. Visit SandyspringsArtsapalooza.com
Spring Bierfest Helen, GA Festhalle APRIL 22
Head to the mountains of Helen, GA for the 2nd annual Craft Beer Tasting and Spring Bierfest. This year offers
over 100 beers to sample. The event takes place on Saturday, April 22. Beer tastings from noon - 4pm with Bierfest after party 6pm - 11pm. Free admission to After Party with arm band from Tasting. Tickets available at HelenChamber.com or (706) 878-1908.
Kennesaw Big Shanty Festival Downtown Kennesaw APRIL 22 - 23
The Superior Plumbing Kennesaw/Big Shanty Festival has activities for all ages. Take time to wander through more than 250 booths featuring a vast array of oneof-a-kind and homemade crafts. The Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History sits at the center of the festival reminding visitors of Kennesaw’s important role in the Civil War. There will be two entertainment stages, festival foods, Kids Zone and more. A parade kicks off the weekend on Saturday at 9:30am. For more info visit KennesawBusiness.org.
Sweetwater 420 Fest
Helen Chamber of Commerce 2nd Annual
Craft Beer Tasting & Spring Bierfest!
Saturday; April 22, 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. Sunday; April 23, 12:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
APRIL 22, 2017 TIMES:
Bier Tasting 12pm - 4pm Party at Festhalle 6pm -11pm
Hofbrau Creature Comfort Miller Southern Brewing Terrapin Highlands Erdinger Paulaner Grumpy Old Men Oskar Blues Fat Tire And More... Over 100 Beers to Try!
$25 Advance $30 at Door $35, VIP Tickets, $40 door $8 After Party without arm band FREE admission into 6pm After Party with arm band from tasting!
www.kennesawbusiness.org or 770-423-1330 FOLLOW US ON
APRIL 15 THRU JUNE 4 Saturdays and Sundays plus Memorial Day 10:30am - 6pm • Open Rain or Shine
Oktoberfest Festhalle Friends
For additional information & Tickets visit HelenChamber.com or call 706.878.1908 1074 Edelweiss Strasse • Helen, GA 30545 PG 12 • April 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
Located just minutes from Atlanta I-85 at Exit 61 - Fairburn SPONSORED BY
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Centennial Olympic Park APRIL 21 - 23 The annual music and arts festival celebrating Earth Day offers be plenty of live music, food, and SweetWater beer. Over the three day event more than 50 bands will perform on 5 stages. Headliners this year include: Widespread Panic, Trey Anastasio Band, Ween, Moe. and much more! Visit sweetwater420fest.com for ticket information and band listings.
Summer Concert Series Frederick Brown Amphitheatre APRIL 22 - AUGUST
Frederick Brown Amphitheatre in Peachtree City has another great line-up for their 2017 Summer Concert Series. “The Voice of Ireland’s” Lisa Kelly starts the season off on April 22 followed by Smash Mouth (May 13) and Yacht Rock Revue (May 27). Visit Amphitheatre.org for full lineup or call 770.631.0630 for tickets.
Inman Park Festival and Tour of Homes
APRIL 28 - 30
The Inman Park Festival is a neighborhood event featuring food, music, fun, the city's largest street market and it's most outrageous parade. The parade takes place on Saturday, April 29 and will be led by the Inman Park Butterfly and followed by floats, clowns, jugglers, and the legendary Kelly's Seed and Feed Marching Abominables. The parade begins at Edgewood and Euclid at 2:00 p.m. and runs to Austin Ave. at the foot of Little Five Points. Children's activities include a giant slide, obstacle course, relay races and more. Admission to all festival events is free, except for the Tour of Homes, which requires a paid ticket. For more information visit inmanparkfestival.org.
Smyrna Spring Jonquil Festival
The Village Green - Smyrna APRIL 29 & 30
The Smyrna Spring Jonquil Festival presented by Superior Plumbing features over 175 Arts & Crafts booths, 15 food booths, an entertainment stage and a variety of children's activities. Artisans are from all over the southeast feature their own hand-made crafts, paintings, clothing, furniture, jewelry and much more. The huge interactive children's area includes big and small inflatable activities, sand art, and more. New for 2017 is Lady Houdini Kristen Johnson who has successfully performed thousands of public feats and broken Harry Houdini’s record for the most water escapes ever. Admission is free. For more information visit smyrnacity.com.
Chastain Arts Festival Chastain Park, Buckhead MAY 6 & 7
This award-winning, two-day festival is held on Saturday and Sunday May 6 & 7 at Chastain Park. An estimated 40,000 visitors attend each year with over 185 displays of art and crafts, including many local and
regional artists and artisans. In addition to the abundance of unique art, there will be a children's area in the adjacent green space, local gourmet food, beverages and a small stage for acoustic musical performances. This free event showcases painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metal craft persons, glass blowers, jewelers and more. Visit ChastainParkartsFestival.com.
Saturday, April 29 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday, April 30 Noon to 5:00 p.m.
Sweet Auburn Festival
Sweet Auburn District MAY 13 - 14
The original Sweet Auburn Springfest takes place Mother’s Day Weekend May 13 - 14. Enjoy fun, food and entertainment for the whole family. Visit SweetAuburn.com
Located at the beautiful Village Green 200 Village Green Circle, Smyrna, GA 30080 For more information call 770-423-1330 or www.smyrnacity.com
Kirkwood Spring Fling and Tour of Homes Bessie Branham Park
Don't miss being part of the 15th A n n u a l Kirkwood Spring Fling & Tour of Homes on Saturday, May 20. Celebrating the historic and eclectic in-town neighborhood of Kirkwood, this family-friendly festival offers a fun-filled opportunity to enjoy the warmth of spring with a 5K run, artist market, diverse lineup of live music, creative kids' activities, Blue Ribbon BBQ Cook-off and Tour of Homes. The event will take place at Bessie Branham Park, rain or shine. Festival is free, with ticketing for the 5K and Tour of Homes. Visit KirkwoodFling.com.
Yarab Shrine Circus & Fair Jim R Miller Park, Marietta
MAY 20 - 29
The largest Shrine Circus and Fair in North America is back for its 75th year! Packed with more excitement than ever, this year’s Tarzan Zerbini Circus features several new acts under the Big Top presented by the worldfamous ringmaster Richard Curtis. In addition to the (80minute) circus under The Big Top, there are 35 exciting carnival rides and attractions, as well as lots of food such as hot wings, funnel cakes, cotton candy, fried Oreos, snow cones, elephant ears, and more. Circus goers can enjoy circus acts from around the world including high-flying trapeze acts, aerials and acrobats, elephants, and of course, world-famous Shrine clowns. The Sneak-a-Peek Ride-A-Thon begins Friday May 19. Midway opens Monday through Friday at 5 p.m.; Saturday at 10 a.m.; Sunday at Noon, and Memorial Day at 10 a.m. Visit 2017ShrineCircus.com
Atlanta Jazz Festival Piedmont Park
MAY 27 - 29
Celebrating 40 years of musical mastery, the festival returns to Piedmont Park with three days of music over Memorial Day Weekend. The Atlanta Jazz Festival is the perfect way to spend the holiday with family and friends. To celebrate their anniversary, AJF is offering 40 days of jazz at venues across the city culminating with the event at Piedmont Park. The final weekend offers KidZone areas with games and inflatables. National and international musicians will perform on two stages. Admission to the festival is free. Visit atlantafestivals.com. insiteatlanta.com • April 2017 • PG 13
MATILDA THE MUSICAL Makes Its Atlanta Debut!
what she is. The language to me is so key in any kind of play and her language is so British and so wonderful to speak. So I love to get on stage and just spew out her venom every night.
BY MARCI MILLER
ATILDA THE MUSICAL IS coming to The Fox Theatre on April 18 – 23. Winner of 70 international awards including 4 Tony Awards ®, Matilda is based on How long does it take to get ready for your role the beloved novel by best-selling author Roald each night? Dahl (Charlie and the Chocolate I’ve been doing it for about Factory, Fantastic Mr. Fox). It 11 months now so it’s become is the story of an extraordinary pretty routine. It’s around a good girl who dreams of a better life. 20 minutes for everything; you Armed with a vivid imagination get the make up on, you get your and a sharp mind, Matilda dares APRIL 18–23 wig on, you get your costume, to take a stand and change her Fox Theatre but I stay in character for the destiny. whole show, I find it easier that foxtheatre.org One of the most memorable way. So once the stuff starts to characters in the show is get applied, Miss Trunchbull Matilda’s evil head mistress, Miss Trunchbull. sticks around until I wash it off at the end of the And to say Miss Trunchbull is “no lady” is not day. a stretch as the role has historically been played by a man. For the current tour actor Dan How much fun does the cast have each night? Chameroy has taken on that challenge. This We’re having a great time onstage and off, native of Canada loves this gender bender role seeing America and going to different cities, and happily transforms nightly from jovial actor enjoying the sites. It’s a really great way to see to “mean” Miss Trunchbull. We spoke to Dan to the country. find out more about his part and the show.
MATILDA THE MUSICAL
Tell us about the actress who plays Matilda. We have three young ladies that rotate throughout the eight show week. They do about two to three shows each. And all three of them are fantastic and bring a little bit their own spin on it. They are very different individually but they all bring great charm, charisma, skill to the show. It’s an impressive thing to watch children that age carry a show and they never leave
DAN CHAMEROY AS MISS TRUNCHBULL
And there are actually a lot of kids in the show. What is the atmosphere like having so many children in the cast? It keeps everything fresh. They are really well-behaved and professional and they are being taken care of very well. Their parents are on the road with them, backstage they have tutors and people who are watching them so they are not running wild on sugar. And they are great, professional young talents, so it keeps things energized back stage, and organized. It’s not some crazy free for all back there, it’s very professional. We’re having a good time. What a re some of the big stand out musical numbers that audiences can look forward to? There is a beautiful number for me, I love a song called “When I Grow Up.” It has a beautiful melody and has a childhood innocence that I just adore. In term of the music in the show, Tim Minchin who wrote the lyrics and the music is a comic genius. He’s also a great wordsmith so he’s written some intelligent, witty lyrics for us to sing. And that is always a pleasure when you are an actor. When the word is so full, for you to play it is a great joy. And why else will audiences love Matilda? Matilda is the hero of the play. She’s a young lady who is surrounded by mayhem because of
the adults in her life. Her parents are not good people. She has a head mistress that is a holy terror who has no redeeming qualities. But this young lady finds a way to manage her life around these people and instructs and teaches all of those around her that this is not correct. So I think it’s an amazing thing to watch because adults will say, “I wish I was as smart as that little girl.” And kids will say “Just because I’m a kid doesn’t mean I am not mature enough to work my way through this.” I just love it because it’s something that everyone can relate to and it’s done really well on every level. The choreography, the direction, the lighting, the costumes, the characters, the way it honors the book itself, the music. It’s a solid piece of theatre. Matilda has everything going for it, which I love.
S or at
When you auditioned for the role of Miss Trunchbull, what were you thinking knowing you would have to play a woman every night? It’s funny, Agatha Trunchbull is definitely a woman, although I don’t think of her as a woman. You just have to approach the character as being a person and how she is represented in the show will give the audience the impression of
the stage. I think they are off stage for a total of eight minutes. It’s a big role and it’s a huge responsibility which all three of them do with great ease. It’s remarkable.
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PG 14 • April 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
RETURN OF THE ZOMBIES
Revered Cult Faves for Decades, British Invasion Band Finally Enjoying Their Time
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
it’s us, with the addition of Darian Sahanaja from Brian Wilson’s band, who probably knows it better than we do.
ORMED IN 1962 AND DISBANDED less than six years later, the original incarnation of the Zombies only released two fullPeople like Darian, artists from a whole different length albums. Their first was a mixture of their generation, have been influenced by the record singles, padded out with choice R&B covers. for many years. During The Zombies’ downtime, The other, Odessey and Oracle - released after that record really lived on. the band had already disbanded in 1968 - was Yes that’s quite true, people like Tom Petty, an initial commercial failure which slowly Dave Grohl and many others are saying that it evolved into an influential cult favorite. influenced them when they were starting out, Until ten years ago, The Zombies was an and that’s a great pleasure for me. I’ve described oft-cited, though seldom-seen entity as its it like, we learned from American records and members had splintered into various other then we sold it back to America. It’s like learning projects. Now the current line-up anchored by a language or a currency. So now we’re getting founders Rod Argent and Colin Blunstone with stuff back from America and other countries bassist Jim Rodford, guitarist Tom Toomey and as well. drummer Steve Rodford are on the road for a show that features the band’s excellent 2015 In 1964, the beat group movement was release Still Got That Hunger. going crazy around the world and American For the second half of the show, original coroots rock and R&B were key ingredients of founders Chris White (bass) and Hugh Grundy that sound. (drums) join the ensemble to painstakingly Yes and of course over in England we got it recreate the infamously misspelled Odessey straight from the source. Because in American and Oracle in its entirety. This tour will mark radio, there were race stations the fiftieth-year anniversary of and white stations and one the album’s recording sessions, didn’t really listen to the other. originally tracked in Studio But we got the music straight 3 at Abbey Road during the Saturday, April 8 • 8pm from the source, directly from storied Summer of Love, 1967. Variety Playhouse the records. They came back Chris White recently spoke with sailors and servicemen variety-playhouse.com at length with INsite by and things like that. So we went phone from a tour stop in right back to the source for that Virginia Beach. sound and we played it back to the American musicians. We were very lucky to get back to the When the Zombies’ 40th anniversary tour roots of rock ‘n’ roll - even before some of the happened, everything just exploded for the Americans did! band. Ten years later, you’re still celebrating. It’s weird. Forty and now 50 years later, we’re It’s strange how sometimes culture needs to be suddenly getting rewarded and recognized for re-packaged so people can truly appreciate it. what we thought nobody wanted all those years I remember we did the Dick Clark package ago. It’s been very strange but for me it feels tour in 1965 and there were all sorts of acts like justification for what we did at the time. on it, including the black acts and we would Luckily what we did 50 years ago has turned all travel on the bus and sing. We were a little out to be a little bit timeless, which is very lucky embarrassed that some of the English groups for us because most rock music sooner or later were covering the black acts. We wondered becomes dated. if they were in any way upset by it. But they said oh no, because until the English started Now you’ve been back with these reunion tours covering the songs, the Americans didn’t for longer than the actual band was together discover the originals. So all of a sudden they during the original run. got more work. (Laughs) Yes, that’s true! But the nice thing is now Rod and Collin have the current band Begin Here, The Zombies’ first album, as did who are great and doing new things. Then we’re many from the period - even from the Moody also looking back on what we did in the past. Blues and early Beatles - included a fair It’s a double-edge sword, to be going forward amount of R&B covers. and celebrating the past at the same time. We’re At the time, albums or LPs weren’t really the very ucky. thing, you did singles. We had our first recording session and the song [“She’s Not There”] went The familial thread of community has been a to number one on Cashbox in America. When constant for the band since the very beginning. we had to do the album, the record company Every piece is somehow related. said, “Well, just put some things together, some I think it happened because we grew up covers that you’re doing on stage.” That’s what together. You learn things together and then happened in those days. people get married and have offspring and they become musicians and sometimes even Soon you had more than enough material and the wives work with us. My wife is working you didn’t need the covers anymore - but the with us now on stage with backing vocals and sales were declining. she illustrated the new book. And to have Yes during that time we just kept on trying to [Rod Argent’s cousin, bassist] Jim [Rodford] do new songs and trying new things. We always on stage, along with his son Steve, who is wanted to do things differently; we never wanted the drummer. I mean, what more could you to fall into a pattern. But record companies ask for? always want you to do exactly what you just did before. Eventually we lost our record contract Are you and Jim splitting bass duties? and we decided we wanted to produce ourselves. Well the way we’re doing this tour is the first That ended up eventually as Odyssey and Oracle half of the shows the current band the current - which was a failure at the time but now it’s lineup which is great in the second half is purely recognized. It’s quite an odd story. Odessey and Oracle, presented start to finish, exactly in the same sequence as the album. So But Odessey and Oracle was made from a rare
place in that era, complete artistic freedom. Well it was, simply because no one else really wanted us. CBS offered us 1000 pounds toward an album and we were one of the first non-EMI groups to record in Abbey Road Studios. Since the budget was so limited, we rehearsed the songs very thoroughly before we went in to record. The studios were very unionized then and there were strict, threehour sessions. So we’d try to do three backing tracks in one session. Late 1966 through the middle of ’67 was such a crazy time for music. You were knocking ‘em out. We had to! It was a matter of finances,
really. And we inherited the Beatles concept of bouncing tracks so we were able to experiment as we went along. It was and luckily, the Beatles had just recorded Sgt. Pepper’s and John Lennon had left his Mellotron back in the studio, so we utilized that. It was so regimented there the engineers all wore white coats. It was just an incredible time to be making music, with Sgt. Pepper’s of course and the Beach Boys had Pet Sounds. A number of those now-classic records are celebrating 50-year anniversaries. Proof that good music is timeless. Well, it’s like Ray Charles said, there are only two types of music: good and bad.
THE FREDERICK BROWN JR. AMPHITHEATER
April, May & June Concerts!
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PLUS! CHECK OUT OUR ENTIRE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES & SPOTLIGHT CONCERTS! GO TO: www.amphitheater.org or visit us on twitter and Facebook
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Celebrating 60 years of Hits – His Way
• Yacht Rock Revue •
• Rebel Rebel •
David Bowie Tribute
www.amphitheater.org • 770.631.0630 You may purchase tickets @ the Fred Box Office or online: www.ticketalternative.com or by phone at 1-877-725-8849 201 McIntosh Trail, Peachtree City 30269
insiteatlanta.com • April 2017 • PG 15
REELIN’ IN THE YEARS
Riverdance’s Maggie Darlington has Devoted Her Life to Irish Dance
ROCK THIS BENCH
He May be a “Dork,” but Prolific Ben Folds is One of America’s Modern Pop Geniuses
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
serious sport. And dangerous at times. There’s a big physical demand and technique that goes into it. You definitely risk injury when you land out of a jump and things go wrong. Now with the popularity of shows like Riverdance people are becoming a lot more aware of how to actually stay safe with it. So it’s important to me to remember as I’m getting a little older, I can’t burn the candle at both ends. I need proper rest so I can’t stay up too late or go out all day sightseeing in a new city.
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
HEN RIVERDANCE FIRST became a pop culture phenomenon, California-born Maggie Darlington was barely in kindergarten. But even then, she’d already mastered many of the traditional Irish dances featured in the show. Now, as Riverdance reels around the globe on an extended 20th Anniversary tour, Darlington is a lead dancer of the troupe. The production, which began as a short feature, has grown over the years into a veritable cottage industry with multiple touring When you were first learning the techniques, companies and International performance were you aware of the historic academies. From a tour stop nature of Irish dance? in Dayton, the award-winning My teacher was from Galway, dancer called to chat with Insite so she’d teach us some of the about the enduring popularity of May 5–7 stories behind it. She was really the show. Fox Theatre good at passing the traditions down to the American kids who foxtheatre.org Were you a fan of the show when really knew nothing about it. you were studying Irish dance as Even though I have Irish family, I a child? definitely learned a lot. When it came out, I was around 5 or 6 and I remember that it became such a big deal. It Did you audition for the show in 2011? was on PBS and there was this big buzz about Actually I think it was 2010 when I auditioned it. I can remember being at swim parties and and I then didn’t hear anything from them for running inside to watch it! I’d been doing that about a year. I was just moving on with my life style of dance and when it became really popular when I got the email. I was like, “Ok, I’ll do this all of sudden, it was so exciting for me because I for a while.” Six years later, I’m still here. already knew how to do it. The production has considerably evolved over When did you start dancing? the years. What changes are in store for the Basically as soon as I could walk, I danced. My anniversary tour? sisters had started before I was even born, so I’ve We have a new number called “Anna Livia.” It’s known my dance teacher my entire life. I was acapella so it’s just drums and feet and a little bit following in my big sisters’ footsteps for sure. of singing as well. It’s based on a character from James Joyce and it’s a little different. It’s fun and How did they react when you became a very strong and I kind of feel like I’m a witch part of the part of the Riverdance cast - and or a strong being of some sort, controlling the they didn’t? elements. (Laughs) oh, the things you do in your They were very excited. I’d been doing well in head when you’re performing. competitions already. Then my older sister was invited to audition but she finally decided to stay There is a myriad of possible stories in school instead, so she actually pushed me to in Riverdance. do it. Yes because it isn’t really a linear narrative, so to speak. Every dance has its own theme so each Most people only know competitive dancing as one is unique. Especially in the first half, the something cheesy like Dancing With The Stars, characters are based on Irish myths and legends but it’s much more complicated and respected so they all have their own special story. It all than a glitzy reality show. makes sense together within the show. Yes and it’s for an audience of your peers mostly; they all know what you’re doing. And After six years with the production, does the there are very few spectators, which can make interchangeable cast feel like a family to you? it even more nerve-racking. Now I’m dancing Definitely. Sometimes we’ll be on the same for audiences who often don’t know the history, tour together for a year and then sometimes so there’s less pressure in a way and you don’t people will branch off and they might go to have to be as technically perfect. It’s a lot China for a while. Then we might all be back more enjoyable. together in another year, so it’s kinda fun. You definitely get to know each other inside and out. Dancing isn’t just recreation, it can be a very
PG 16 • April 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
SPIN A LOT OF PLATES AND STAY IN motion,” writes Ben Folds on his website. The self-described “dork” takes his position as a purveyor of the arts very seriously. Balancing a prolific career of music with his love of photography, the Nashville-based artist is currently touring the country alternating solo and symphonic shows. For his Symphony Hall performance, the ASO will accompany the quick-witted pianist-singersongwriter. Leaning on selections from last year’s So There - an ambitious project with YMusic that combines his penchant for sarcastic narratives with challenging chamber pop - the show will also feature at least a couple of movements from his “Concerto For Piano and Orchestra,” an impressive 20-minute suite. Rising to national prominence in the heyday of “commercial alternative rock in the ‘90s, Folds has released a staggeringly diverse collection of music that rivals the best of Randy Newman, Elvis Costello or Todd Rundgren, all presented with plenty of good-natured snark. By the early 2000’s, his catalog had expanded to include solo albums, TV and film scores and work with a slate of widely-varied collaborators including Nick Hornby, Amanda Palmer and even William≈Shatner. INsite caught up with Folds by phone for a wideranging conversation.
Morphine was very different. So we could play a classic song and within the new context, that became our prism. It takes a village to come up with these things. You said once that the BFF had a “naughty rhythm section.” (Laughs) That’s true. No one was doing what they were told. Darren [Jessee] is a classic jazz drummer, but he also understood there was no guitar and we were playing punk rock clubs - so it’s gotta hurt. And I was breaking piano strings so it was a loud, manic, happy thing we were doing. It was essentially sarcastic but positive.
You’re bringing that same sort of mindset to your The ‘90s were maligned for years but people are symphonic shows. finally respecting a lot of the music and culture of Yeah, with the symphony that decade. orchestra, it’s best to humanize the Yeah, in retrospect. I mean how ensemble to fully get it. Sometimes many times do I pass high school you’d think they were beamed in April 24 or college-age kids with a Nirvana from the 19th century and that’s Symphony Hall t-shirt on, you know? And I can not always compelling to people. now see how my own band fit into A lot of the audience may go home those years but it definitely took a and listen to Kendrick Lamar or something. On while. Sometimes it seems that the early ‘90s was paper it’s just a symphony orchestra, but you can pretty much a bad version of the ‘80s. make a symphony do some disturbing shit. I mean, when a symphony orchestra first played Stravinsky’s And then Nirvana changed it all. “Rite Of Spring,” there were riots! People got hurt. Certainly. And without even knowing it! They It was just like what happens in a mosh pit or a probably had no idea why and still don’t want the political rally gone wrong. This was a symphony credit. But I love to see footage of them playing on, orchestra getting paid to play this thing and they’re like Top Of The Pops or something, and how ‘80s lookin’ out over their cellos and people were flippin’ and cheesed-out everything was. But everything the fuck out. they went on had the aesthetic of the ‘90s when they left. People were redoing their sets to make That’s as punk as it gets. it grunged-out. They did a thing. They were Yeah and that was 1913! the movement. During your shows you veer off into a freeform section fondly known as “Rock This Bitch.” It’s obThat was a good time for you, crossing viously much easier solo or within the trio setting, over from the indie world to but is it hard for you to lead an entire orchestra Commercial Alternative playlists in through a completely improvisational piece? a really big way. Well it can’t be true improv on their part, because Yeah, and I do believe that was there’s just too many people. I have to freestyle it because of Nirvana and a bunch and then before I get into it too much, of bands, mostly from the Pacific I have to realize what the direction Northwest. They opened the door. is and then dictate the parts to the I knew when that door was open various sections. we might be able to fit a piano through it. A lot of quick thinking on everyone’s part, in the moment. It was a unique line-up and It is and it really shows the it worked. incredible ears of the orchestra. Yeah I think it worked because there If I say to the cello section, “Ok was such a sense of unpredictability here’s your part, it’s two bars,” involved. There was a lot of money they’ve got the ears to play it in the music business then and people back. People always think of them as were looking at what might be the next being on the page but they can do this, thing. Also, they had enough creativity to too. For me, I have to keep the score know it had to be a little different. Bands in my head and make sure that all the like [the Ben Folds Five] were certainly parts stack up in a certain way. It’s different. Soul Coughing was different. a challenge.
Movie Reviews BY STEVE WARREN
THE BOSS BABY (PG)
With his career reaching new peaks thanks to his SNL appearances, Alec Baldwin is the boss, baby – er, The Boss Baby. (That shows the importance of correct comma placement.) Why act your age when animation lets you voice a newborn? The story is told from the perspective of Tim, a seven-year-old with an “overactive imagination,” who ceases to be the center of his parents’ (Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow) attention when a new baby arrives. (“Where babies come from” is shown graphically – a heavenly assembly line, of course, much like in last year’s Storks but without the storks.) It turns out Boss Baby isn’t a real baby at all – in case you couldn’t tell from his business suit, briefcase and Baldwin’s voice. He’s a spy sent by BabyCorp to keep Tim’s parents’ employers, PuppyCo, from introducing a new model that will shift a large segment of the world’s affection from babies to puppies. Most of the wit is in the first half, before things get too literal and action takes over in an extended climax at the PuppyCo convention in Las Vegas. Still there’s enough good stuff – and a message about kids sharing love with siblings (and maybe puppies) to make The Boss Baby recommended for family viewing.
GHOST IN THE SHELL (PG-13)
1/2 If I ever read the original manga or saw animated versions of Ghost in the Shell a generation ago, I’ve long since forgotten them; so I’ll just review the new live-action version as a standalone movie. As such it’s too comic book-ish in its plot, which may once have been original but seems tired after many superior iterations and variations. In a Blade Runner-ish future world, an Asian city where most of the major players are Caucasian, many people have artificial body parts. The next step is to implant a human brain in a totally synthetic body for the best of both worlds – especially when the body is that of Scarlett Johansson, often clad in a nude body suit for no apparent reason but to sell tickets. She plays Major, who is told by Dr. Juliette Binoche she’s the first of her kind of hybrid. She’s told a lot of lies, including that her foggy memory is her own, when in fact her mind has been programmed as carefully as her body. She’s designed to be a weapon and she’s a good one, kicking and shooting plenty of butt, though whose and why are not always clear. And those darn human feelings keep getting in the way, making Major question what she’s
doing and sometimes go rogue. There’s some originality in the impressive visuals, which 3D doesn’t enhance much; but the plot is same-old same-old – or since it’s set in the future, samenew same-new.
THE ASSIGNMENT (R)
1/2 Walter Hill made some good action movies in the ‘80s but has done little of note since. He’s turned some of his attention to writing graphic novels, a trilogy of which were the source for this violent novelty. It takes a different, politically incorrect approach to the hot topic of transgenderism. Michelle Rodriguez plays hitman Frank Kitchen, who is knocked out and wakes to find his – er, her – body has been surgically altered while he/she was unconscious. It’s the work of unlicensed plastic surgeon (former Dr.) Rachel Kay (Sigourney Weaver), who is getting revenge for her brother’s murder but also, in a noble spirit of forgiveness, giving Frank a chance to make a fresh start. Kay is being held in a mental hospital until she’s judged fit for trial. In a textbook example of bad writing, exposition is presented by the doctor (Tony Shalhoub) who’s giving her a psych evaluation by telling her everything she already knows but the audience doesn’t. Later Frank, who never changes her name, presents her side in a lengthy video soliloquy. It’s too bad Hill, who has worked as a script doctor, didn’t hire one to rewrite his screenplay, because the story has its good points and the shootouts are serviceable. Weaver is not at her best. Rodriguez does some good work but a beard and a man’s body can’t overcome her feminine voice in the pre-surgical scenes. The Assignment is diverting trash that could have been much better with a few changes.
1/2 Life moved its opening up from Memorial Day Weekend to avoid direct competition with Alien: Covenant, but that didn’t stop snarky critics from saying it should have been called Alien: Wannabe. Though technically well made, this killer-lifeform-in-space thriller is full of scenes that look vaguely familiar, mostly from the Alien series. It doesn’t help that the screenplay strands us with a crew of six unmemorable characters. Ryan Reynolds cracks wise like Deadpool in Space; veteran Jake Gyllenhaal would rather be in orbit than on wartorn Earth; the Japanese dude’s wife just gave birth back on Earth. Then there’s a black guy and two women. The organism retrieved
THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE
THE BOSS BABY from a Mars lander and dubbed “Calvin” is made up of single cells, each performing all the functions of a complete being. After tolerating a few experiments it starts fighting back, rapidly growing bigger, faster and fiercer. When the small human cast don’t all make it through the first hour, we know no one is safe – including those of us on Earth, because there’s not that much space between us and our Calvin. Even if we cared about the underdeveloped characters we wouldn’t have much hope for them, and where there’s no hope there’s no Life.
PERSONAL SHOPPER (R)
French writer-director Olivier Assayas helped Kristen Stewart get taken seriously as an actress with Clouds of Sils Maria, in which she played the personal assistant to a film star. Now he helps Stewart stretch by casting her in the title role of Personal Shopper. (Yes, this time it’s personal...again.) They’re telling a ghost story. At least there’s a lot of talk about ghosts, some lovely images of ghostly figures, and unexplained bump-in-the-night sounds; but in the end most of our questions go unanswered. Maureen (Stewart) is a Paris-based employee of a famous Frenchwoman (about whom we learn almost nothing, including why she’d hire an American for the job). Maureen’s twin brother, a spiritualist, died recently, after making a pact with her that whichever went first would send the other a sign from the afterlife. Though agnostic herself, Maureen spends a lot of time in dark, spooky houses waiting to hear from him. Then she starts getting texts from a manipulative cyberstalker – or is it her twin? We eventually learn who sent the texts but not why. The dialogue is almost all in English, though the actress who plays the brother’s widow has such a thick accent she should have subtitles. The plot needs translation too, because too little of it makes sense. Stewart is good at looking depressed and frightened, but after an hour of that it’s almost a relief to have the screen turned over to text conversations; but the ones on your own phone may be more interesting.
What happens to Justine (Garance Marillier, in what should be a starmaking role) during her first week at veterinary school shouldn’t happen to a dog – or cat or any of the horses or cattle they practice on. Now that we’ve scared off our vegetarian readers (who would have hated the movie) we can also exclude anyone who’s offended by absolutely anything. Aside from a few pervs, that leaves high school and college students, and it may motivate the former to go to college for the wrong reasons. College grads will be envious that they didn’t have as much fun in school as the students in this movie – apart from the horror elements, that is. I’m rambling to avoid revealing those horror elements, which
don’t come into focus until the film’s midpoint, although you’ve probably seen or heard spoilers elsewhere. Justine has quite a week, coming of age quickly and traumatically, at the school her parents attended and where her sister Alexia (Ella Rumpf) is a sophomore. She arrives as a wide-eyed innocent and her awakening is more than just sexual as she’s shocked by one thing after another: wild parties, being assigned a gay man (Rabah Naït Oufella as Adrien) as a roommate, freshman hazing rituals including being forced to eat a raw rabbit kidney and being drenched in red liquid like Carrie at the prom; and a heavy course load that includes getting to know large animals inside and out. The screenplay by director Julia Ducournau, making her first feature, establishes a few characters and elements for no reason, but overall she does an excellent job. Based on what I said earlier, I’ll have to qualify myself as one of the pervs, because Raw is my favorite Belgian horror film since Daughters of Darkness.
THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE (PG-13)
1/2 The Zookeeper’s Wife doesn’t come close to passing Schindler’s on a List of the best movies based on true stories of Europeans who sheltered Jews during the Holocaust. His wife Antonina (Jessica Chastain) may be more marketable (hence the title) but zookeeper Jan Zabinski (Johan Heldenbergh) is the primary decisionmaker in the family. They’re running a zoo in Warsaw in 1939, where a typical day may include performing CPR on a newborn elephant; but things are about to change. Soon the Nazis have taken over the city, the zoo is closed and partly destroyed. Antonina has already met Lutz Heck (Daniel Brühl), Hitler’s head zoologist. He offers to move their surviving animals to Germany for sanctuary, and accepts her request to turn the zoo into a pig farm to feed the occupying soldiers. Lutz also wants to use it as a breeding ground for a master race of oxen. He’s unaware that the zoo also becomes a stop on the underground railroad smuggling Jews to safety. Jan tells Antonina she may have to serve as a distraction for Lutz but resents it when she does. It’s not clear what they do and when because we’re spared details of sex as well as violence against people and animals. Director Niki Caro, whose breakout film was Whale Rider, makes the animals more interesting than the people; and most of them disappear for most of the movie, except for a rabbit unfortunately named Piotr. The situation keeps things somewhat tense throughout, but the story could use more seriously suspenseful moments. Chastain is fine, speaking in a consistent accent without going full Streep. The period visuals are good but you have to bring your own knowledge of the Holocaust with you, and you won’t learn anything new. See the rest of our movie reviews at insiteatlanta.com/movies.asp insiteatlanta.com • April 2017 • PG 17
“BEAT ‘EM UP AND SEND ‘EM HOME”
Ron White is Commander-In-Chief of the United States of Laughter me think, “Well maybe he could win.
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
w, I feel like a hundred …pesos,” And like most politicians you have a wellgrowls Ron White during a leisurely documented, shall-we-say “colorful” past. late-morning breakfast. At his Oh, I’d do interviews and I’d tell ‘em east coast home, just north of Atlanta, the everything. Like, “I know people have always cantankerous comedian picks at his food asked me to run for president, but I haven’t for while he pontificates on his 30-year career. the regular reasons: the drugs, the women, the A veteran of various stand-up specials and alcohol…” (laughs). And people still wanted albums, White’s resume boasts a number me to be president! of Blue Collar Comedy tours with buddies Jeff Foxworthy, Larry the Cableguy and Bill Clean living is no longer a prerequisite for Engvall, overseas visits to entertain the troops the office. Your motto was “Vote Smart.” and a best-selling book. In late 2015, he Well yeah, that’s what I was announced a tongue-in-cheek hopin’ would happen. And now run for the highest office in the here we are. land as he continues to preside as president of his thriving APRIL 8 • 7&10 PM And here we are in Suwanee Number Juan tequila company. Cobb Energy Center but you also live in Los Angeles. Two opposite Margo Rey Opens I’m sorry you didn’t win your locations in so many ways. presidential bid. Things in I just like to mix it up. I love this country would be a hell of where I live here but I spend so much more a lot different right now. time out there. I have access to three comedy Different, yeah. But I’m glad you didn’t clubs within two miles of my house and I can say better! I filled out my paperwork as a bounce around every night doing sets, so candidate because I didn’t realize we were that’s what I do when I’m there. taking Donald seriously. He just had a reality show on TV. Hell, I thought we could make At this point, comics from several it the Donald and Ronald reality show, you generations are you not only your peers, but know? But I was shocked as to how seriously real friends. people even took me as a candidate! I mean, That’s right. I think the thing I’m proudest of tens of thousands of people wrote in and in my career is that I’m respected by my peers. were saying, “Where do we send money?” And the young comics love me. I hang out and “Where’s my yard sign?” I was like, “No, no, drink and smoke with ‘em. It’s just what I like no! This is just ridiculous.” I don’t really want to do. I’ll leave home around 9 o’clock and just to be president of anything. I don’t want to be Uber down to the club, bounce around town president of my tequila company, much less and do my sets. When I’m done, I’ll Uber it the president of the United States! It really back to the house. kind of made me nervous. That’s what made
The Comedy Store scene in particular was so crucial in the ‘70s and it’s having a real renaissance today. There’s definitely a new heyday now, with me and Joe Rogan and Ali Wong and Iliza and Sebastian. Everybody that walks out on that stage has got chops like you just wouldn’t believe. You better bring your A-game or you’ll be the B-comic! And there’s a really good comedy scene in Atlanta, too. When I’m in town, I’ll do the Laughing Skull and the Star Bar and Sweetwater Brewery but there’s no way I can do three sets a night like I can in L.A. I’ve talked with a number of the regulars of the L.A. scene and they all agree it’s a great way to work up new material. Because you can do it so fast that way. For sure, if I’m working on a new bit I’m not gonna like the way I did it the first time. But I can go right down the street and try it again. a great way to develop new stuff and it’s fun. With the steady work you must have a new hour ready to shoot. I do. People want it, but I’m not sure who’s gonna get it. I’m gonna shoot it for sure. The market is full of comedy specials, so much that they aren’t really that “special” anymore. Yeah it is, you’re right. It’s a quandary and it’s something we all talk about up at the ‘Store. You know, everybody still comes in there to do sets including Chapelle and Rock and CK. Everybody. You’ve got to go in there and work out the beats on this new stuff. You’ve got to
do that yourself or you’ll turn into Leno. The comedy special has evolved into the modern equivalent of a comedy record. Were comedy LPs early influences on you? Yeah, it all came from that. For Christmas one year, somebody gave my parents a copy of “What It Was, Was Football,” the record by Andy Griffith. And it was good, too. I used to listen to it over and over and over. I liked to listen to it because it was good to hear people laugh and people didn’t laugh around my house too much. And then came Bob Newhart and Flip Wilson and Pat Paulsen and then Cosby, who we all probably leaned more from than anybody else. “Bill Cosby: Himself” is, in my opinion, still the best comedy special ever made.
A HAZE OF LAUGHTER
Atlanta-Bred Comic Rob Haze Comes to Town for a Series of Homecoming Shows BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
IKE MANY CREATIVES, ROB HAZE began his career in Athens. But unlike most performers in the Classic City he pursued a passion for comedy, not music or visual arts. In 2009, while enrolled at UGA to study Political Science, he began to gig regularly as host and talent at a number of events. He won the Athens edition of the Last Comic Standing competition and soon his career went into overdrive with steady work it the best clubs and PG 18 • April 2017 • insiteatlanta.com
sketch shows of Atlanta. By 2012, he was touring nationally as an in-demand attraction on the college circuit. Three years later he was a featured guest on the national edition of Last Comic Standing and won the 2015 Laughing Skull Comedy Festival the next day. Now he’s known for stints on Comedy Central’s House Party and Flophouse on Viceland in addition to co-hosting the Kanye West-obsessed “Book of Ye” podcast and is a correspondent for The Bleacher Report. The Southwest Atlanta-born comic has been based in Brooklyn for the past couple of years and INsite caught up with him during a recent visit back home. Does it feel like a homecoming whenever you play in Atlanta? It really does. A lot of people come out and sometimes they don’t even tell me they’re coming. After the show, it’s like, “Oh man, I didn’t know you were gonna be here!” So it’s kinda cool.
It must be a sweet return to play the Skull after winning the Festival in 2015. Yeah, it’s a big deal. There are 100 comedians competing from all over the country and part of my prize for winning it was to headline last year. The shows ended up selling so well, I was able to get another weekend. The exposure from that Festival is incredible.
Oh yeah, I was seen by a lot of movers and shakers. It all kinda snowballed from there. I think it kinda got everything going: TV, acting opportunities, writing. It was all jumpstarted by the Laughing Skull Festival.
about that. I’m like, “Ok, these people are 18, 19 years old. They’re not old enough to go to a comedy club so this is their introduction to live comedy.” When I play colleges, I take it seriously. These are people who will be going to see live comedy in the future, so I try it give them a good time and make it fun for them.
When you were growing up, did you ever think you’d be a headlining stand-up comic? Lawrence Killebrew Do you enjoy living in Brooklyn? When I was young, I’d watch April 27–30 Was there any culture shock things that were for adults. Laughing Skull from Southern living? Saturday Night Live, Politically LaughingSkull.com I do! I don’t like the weather, Incorrect, Chris Rock, stuff that but everything else is great. was geared more toward adults. Everything is so condensed I wanted to understand comedy there. Like, when you go to the store, you have to and really get it. Then when I got it, I wanted to just get what you need - what you’re gonna use, do it. when you’re gonna use it. Were you always attracted to storyDo you work out new material in some of the based comedy? Brooklyn rooms and are New York audiences It’s interesting because when you first get up ever intimidating? there, the people have no clue who you are or Yeah and it’s great. I do work around in what you’re about. So part of it is just telling some of the Brooklyn rooms and I’ve found different stories and anecdotes just to get ‘em that in New York, comedy is more focused on to understand who you are. Then you can go the joke. It’s probably the most joke-focused anywhere from there. place anywhere. I had to get used to it at first. You were on the college circuit for several years. They don’t want a lot of filler or a lot of setup. But that’s good because I think what makes Some comics say that’s a tough gig. New York-based comics so strong, is that For me it’s not. People who don’t like it are pressure. Up there everyone’s moving so fast, kinda taken out of their usual mode. If they’re eveyones in a rush and it extends into comedy talking about marriage or kids or more adult themes, 18-year-olds don’t really want to hear in a weird way.
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Midtown • 404.917.1100 Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner • Dine In, Pick-up, Delivery ($12 minimum / limited area)
Any Medium or Large Specialty Pizza Not Valid with any other coupons
Little Five Points • 484 Moreland Ave. (Next to L5P Pharmacy) • (404) 523-0500 Avonale Estates • 115 Laredo Dr. (Corner of Clarendon) • (404) 299-5799
10th and Monroe
East Cobb • 678.996.0045 1255 Johnson Ferry Rd.
Athens • 706.543.5000 1591 S Lumpkin St
WE DO CATERING! HOURS FOR STORES: Mon–Sat: 11am–9:30pm Sun: 11am–9pm www. mediterraneangrill .com
Authentic Middle Eastern and Greek Cuisine Cooked Fresh to Order • Dine In / Carry Out
SMOKE 911 SERVING SANDY SPRINGS FOR OVER 13 YEARS! WATER PIPES • GLASSPIPES • DETOXIFICATION • CIGARS • POSTERS • SELF-DEFENSE GRINDERS • DIGITAL SCALES • VAPORIZERS • HOOKAHS • HOOKAH TOBACCO INCENSE • E-CIGARETTES & MODS • 100+ E-LIQUIDFLAVOR • SAFES
WE’LL MATCH COMPETITORS PRICES! SHOPSMOKE911.COM 6010 Sandy Springs Circle # B2 | (404) 256-1116
ROSWELL: 710 Holcomb Br. Rd. #240 (770) 992-4485
SUN-TH: 10AM-12AM | FRI & SAT: 10AM-2PM
WOODSTOCK: 8265 Hwy 92 #108 (678) 445-5550 MON-SUN: 10AM-12AM
ACWORTH: 3466 Cobb Pkwy (770) 974-5585
SUN-TH: 10AM-12AM | FRI & SAT: 10AM-2PM
Published on Apr 7, 2017
Atlanta's Entertainment Monthly featuring our annual Spring Festival Guide. And as always, the best in sports, movies, music, celebrity inte...