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FEBRUARY 2017

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YEARS! 5 2 G N I T ELEBRA

INSITEATLANTA.COM

VOL. 25, NO. 7 FREE

Jay Leno Phantom of the Opera Oscar Preview

d a r b o f l f e A

DINING TOP ATLANTA RESTAURANTS That won't break the bank!


World Premiere

FEBRUARY 22–MARCH 12 The event that shook Atlanta from Peachtree Street to Auburn Avenue and changed the city forever. by

Jimmy Maize Inspired by the book The Temple Bombing by

Melissa Fay Greene directed by

Jimmy Maize Developed in association with

Tectonic Theater Project & The Temple

AN EVENING WITH

JUNE 8-9-10 FOX THEATRE

TICKETS ON SALE NOW!

TICKETS AS LOW AS $20 Box Office 404.733.5000 alliancetheatre.org/temple

1280 Peachtree Street NE // Atlanta, GA 30309

Generous support for this production of The Temple Bombing provided by The Temple, in honor of their 150th Anniversary.

PG 2 • February 2017 • insiteatlanta.com

F O X T H E AT R E . O R G 855-285-8499 T H E AV E T T B R O T H E R S . C O M


CONTENTS • FEBRUARY 2017 • VOLUME 25, NO. 7

CELEB

R AT I N G

25 YEARS!

Atlanta’s

Entertainment Monthly

INTERVIEWS 12 Phantom 13 Bang Bert Berns 14 Ringling Brothers 16 Yes Band 16 Dropkick Murphys 16 Peter Holsapple 17 Gad Elmaleh 17 Jay Leno

14

FEATURES 08 Affordable Dining 11 Oscars Preview 12 Polar Plunge 13 ATL Jewish Film 14 Valentine’s Events 15 Amelia Island 18 Valentine’s Gifts

COLUMNS 04 05 06 07 10 11 18 18

12

Around Town On Tap Atlanta on a Dime Under The Lights Movie Reviews New Releases Station Control Album Reviews

MARCH 10 & 11 | BUCKHEAD THEATRE

3 PERFORMANCES: MARCH 10 AT 8PM, MARCH 11 AT 7PM+10PM TICKETS ON SALE NOW! TICKETMASTER.COM | 800-745-3000

17

Costume Contest • Live German Band • Full Cash Bar

MUSIC, DANCING & FUN

Saturday, February 18, 2017

17

Oktoberfest At the Festhalle: 7pm-11pm Festhalle Admission only $8.00! Friends

1074 Edelweiss Strasse • Helen, GA 30545 For more info, call 706-878-1908 • HelenChamber.com

insiteatlanta.com STAFF LISTING Publisher Stephen Miller steve@insiteatlanta.com Art Director / Web Design Nick Tipton nick@insiteatlanta.com Managing Editor Lee Valentine Smith lee@insiteatlanta.com Local Events Editor Marci Miller marci@insiteatlanta.com Sports Editor DeMarco Williams demarco@insiteatlanta.com

Music Editor John Moore john@insiteatlanta.com Contributing Writers / Interns: Alex. S. Morrison, Steve Warren, Dave Cohen, Benjamin Carr MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 76483 Atlanta, GA 30358 WEBSITE • insiteatlanta.com ADVERTISING INFORMATION (404) 308-5119 • ads@insiteatlanta.com Editorial content of INsite is the opinion of each writer and is not necessarily the opinion of INsite, its staff, or its advertisers. INsite does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor do the publisher or editors of INsite assume responsibility should Jay Leno such advertising or editorial appear. No content, Phantom of the Opera Oscar Preview i.e., articles, graphics, designs and information (any and all) in this publication may be reproduced in any Affordable manner without written permission from publisher. FEBRUARY 2017

INSITEATLANTA.COM

VOL. 25, NO. 7 FREE

S! TING 25 YEAR CELEBRA

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© Copyright 2017, Be Bop Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Check out our Affordable Dining Guide on page 8!

DINING TOP ATLAN TA RESTA URANT S That won't break the bank!

insiteatlanta.com • February 2017 • PG 3


Around Town FEBRUARY 10 - 12

Events and Performances taking place this Month

North Atlanta Home Show Infinite Energy Center

Remodel, Repair, Refresh at the 20th Annual North Atlanta Home Show in Gwinnett. More than 150 companies will be displaying the latest in home improvement products and services. Take advantage of one-stop comparison shopping for everything for your home, inside and out and talk face to face with hundreds of experts on the latest home remodeling. More info at AtlantaHomeShow.com. Visit atlantahomeshow.com.

FEBRUARY 10 - 26

out to Helen, GA’s Festhalle on Saturday, February 18 for a night of music, dancing and fun. The theme is “Anything Goes” where costumes are welcomed but not required. There will be a full cash bar, live German band and costume contests with awards for best male and female costumes and best overall presentation. Visit helenchamber.com.

FEBRUARY 25

Million Dollar Quartet

Mardi Gras Streetcar Adventure

Atlanta Lyric Theatre

Downtown Atlanta

Million Dollar Quartet is the smash-hit Tony Award-winning musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. On December 4, 1956, history was made when these four young musicians gathered at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest impromptu jam sessions ever. Million Dollar Quartet brings that legendary night to life, featuring a score of rock hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” and “That’s All Right.” Visit atlantalyrictheatre.com.

A Mardi Gras themed event (costume encouraged) parading ticket goers around for an afternoon of adventure and exploration using the Atlanta Streetcar. This Mardi Gras themed based adventure is attended by over 1,500 partyers each year. Get your ticket to tour the Atlanta historical district of Edgewood Ave, Fairly Poplar District and Centennial Olympic Park using the Streetcar, while stopping off at any of the 11 participating bars, restaurants & attractions. Lots of food & drink specials. Visit atlantabartours.com.

FEBRUARY 18

Adventures of Mighty Bug

Fasching - German Mardi Gras

Festhalle, 1074 Edelweiss Strasse, Hellen, GA

Grab your family and friends and come on

THROUGH MARCH 17 Center for Puppetry Arts

Take a trip to Bugville, a hoppin’ insect city that dances to the Bugville Boogie and the sweet sounds of WBUG Radio star Morpha

Butterfly. Watching over the ants, fleas, crickets, water spiders, beetles and bees is the one and only Mighty Bug, a superhero with super strength, smelling, hearing and flying abilities. Not far away, there’s trouble buzzing as the evil arachnid, Scorpiana, assembles a group to attack and take control of the crawling city. Complete with plenty of insect trivia and facts, this action-packed story will take families on an adventure as good battles evil and the future of Bugville hangs on by a thread. Visit puppet.org

name of the hugely acclaimed cabaret show Alan premiered in 2015 at New York's legendary Cafe Carlyle. Alan Cumming is an actor and activist beyond eclectic and according to the New York Times 'a bawdy countercultural sprite'; Time Magazine named him one of the most fun people in show business. Atlantasymphony.org

MARCH 2 - 4

Grammy nominated artist Charlie Wilson brings In It To Win It Tour with special guests Fantasia, Johnny Gil and Solero to Philips Arena. The tour is named after Wilson’s new album, slated for release this month featuring music guests Snoop Dogg, Pitbull, Robin Thicke, Wiz Khalifa, and TI. The first single from the album, “I’m Blessed” is coming soon. “2017 is going to be an epic year for Charlie Wilson. The new album represents some of the best music Charlie has recorded in his career” P Music Group. Visit philipsarena.com

EarFilms: To Sleep To Dream Ferst Center for the Arts

An advanced 3D sound system creates a cutting-edge journey for the imagination in this immersive live event. Audience members are blindfolded to focus their senses and create an experience that truly unlocks the listener’s imagination. Set in a society where dreaming is outlawed, one man gets a glimpse of a dream. And so begins an incredible adventure in a bid to discover and reclaim a magical realm. EarFilms breathes new life into the tradition of storytelling, turning it into a new theatrical sensation. Arts.gatech.edu.

MARCH 3

Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs Atlanta Symphony Hall

Alan Cumming Sings Sappy Songs is the

MARCH 4

Charlie Wilson Philips Arena

MARCH 4 & 5 Monster Jam Georgia Dome

Featuring all your favorites including: Max D, Cleatus, Bounty Hunter, Grave Digger, Hot Wheels, Monster Energy, Scarlet Bandit, El Toro Loco and more. The March 5 performance was rescheduled from January 14. Visit monsterjam.com.

Valentine’s Day Special

$99.95 Freshwater Cultured Pearl Set Necklace, Bracelet and Earrings QSET - 10391

Exclusively at

A L E X A N D E R S O FAT L A N TA . C O M

2891 NORTH DRUID HILLS ROAD, TOCO HILL SHOPPING CENTER PG 4 • February 2017 • insiteatlanta.com

4 0 4 - 63 4 -319 7


On Tap this Month MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA February 11: Park Tavern

OYSTER FESTIVAL

e Oyster Festival is a daylong event that features live music from local bands, DJs, cold beer and other tasty beverages and tons of fresh raw, steamed, and fried oysters with plenty of cocktail sauce and crackers. Not an oyster lover? Indulge in their delicious fried shrimp and yummy french fries. Tickets include admission into the event and entertainment (bands and DJs) excluding food and beverage. SpiralEntertainment.com

Through February 15: Various Locations

ATLANTA JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL e Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) is a cinematic exploration of Jewish life, culture and history. Seeking to use the power of film to both entertain and educate, AJFF challenges conventional perspectives on complex and challenging issues facing both the Jewish and global communities. Now in its 17th year, the festival features 75 films from more than 25 countries that explore the Jewish experience. Visit ajff.org

February 15 - 20: Philips Arena February 23 - March 5: Infinite Arena

RINGLING BROS. CIRCUS

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey comes to town with their exciting show Circus Xtreme! Experience amazing performers from around the globe perform awe-inspiring feats of daring spectacles of strength and thrills of wonder. Kristen Michelle Wilson becomes the first-ever female ringmaster in the brand’s 146-year history. Visit ringling.com

February 18: Cobb Energy Arts Centre

JAY LENO - LIVE IN CONCERT

Back by popular demand, acclaimed TV late night show host Jay Leno returns to Cobb Energy Centre this month. Jay Leno‘s name is synonymous with late night comedy. He is an admired stand-up comedian, pioneering car builder and mechanic, host of Jay Leno’s Garage and philanthropist. it’s no wonder that Jay Leno is widely characterized as “the hardest working man in show business. CobbEnergyCentre.com

February 25: Acworth Beach

POLAR PLUNGE 2017

Be “Freezin’ For A Reason!” e Polar Plunge is the Special Olympics largest fundraiser. Participants collect pledges in exchange for the opportunity to jump into icy waters of Acworth Beach. All proceeds collected by Plungers will benefit the athletes of Special Olympics Georgia. Prizes will be awarded for the best costume, highest fundraiser, highest fundraising team, and more. Sign up at SpecialOlympicsGA.org.

PHILIPS ARENA

INFINITE ENERGY ARENA

FEB 15 – 20

FEB 23 – MAR 5 All trademarks shown are property of their respective owners.

RINGLING.COM

Join the Club • Become a Member

February 25: Georgia Dome

MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS Monster Energy Supercross comes back to the Georgia Dome on Saturday, February 25. Be amazed by their high-flying action and feel the excitement as the stars of Supercross show off their best moves, most breathtaking stunts, and battle it out for the top spot. e events feature the very best in motorcross entertainment and racing. Visit GAdome.com or Supercrossonline.com.

Receive Deals at Retailers and Win Free Tickets to Movies, Concerts, Theatre Shows & Events

More info at www.cinemoms.com insiteatlanta.com • February 2017 • PG 5


Monday, February 20

FREE PARK DAYS

Free; nps.gov/national-park-week

EVENTS HAPPENING FOR SMALL CHANGE IN ATLANTA By Marci Miller

February 8 - March 12

Sundays in February 1 - 4 PM

UNIVERSOUL CIRCUS

CREAT ATL FAMILY FESTIVAL

Tickets from $20; Discounts Available Free; Woodruff Arts Center Gold Lot Turner Field universoulcircus.com woodruffcreateATL.org Now in its 24th year, UniverSoul Circus celebrates the unique and familiar aspects of urban pop cultures and ethnicities from around the world into a stellar production that blends circus arts, theater and music. It’s fresh, cool and hip approach to live family entertainment has earned it a coveted spot as one of Ticketmaster’s top ten most requested family attractions.

Friday, February 10

PANCAKES & BOOZEART SHOW $5.00 GenAdmn; Georgia Freight Depot 65 Martin Luther King Jr.Dr. gba.georgia.gov/freight-room

CREATE ATL Family Fun is an educational program from the Alliance eatre, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and High Museum of Art. Toddler Tour is at the High Museum of Art. Children ages five and above will enjoy the introductory Ukulele Workshop and contemporary dance performances by Staibdanc, and the Alliance eatre’s Parents and Tots Drama Workshop. Families can also take home a print and digital photo from the CREATE ATL photo booth.

e National Park Service just turned 100 years old! Celebrate the start of our second century by visiting a park in 2017. During ten days of the year, all National Park Service sites that charge an entrance fee will offer free admission to everyone. Come out and enjoy this Presidents Day.

Saturday, February 25

BLACK HISTORY PARADE

12 - 5 pm; Free; Sweet Auburn District blackhistorymonthparade.com e Black History Month Parade celebrates the culture, heritage, history and accomplishments of Black/ African American people in the United States and

from across the world. e parade features marching bands, entertainers, dignitaries, civic groups, non-profits, celebrities, corporate groups, artistic expressionist, entertainment and fun for the whole family. Parade begins at the King Center National Park and ends at Woodruff Park.

Thursday, March 2

DOWNTOWN ART WALK

Free; 80 Forsyth Street DowntownAtlanta atlantadowntown.com Experience Atlanta's art scene by taking a take a self-guided tour of the downtown galleries featuring fabulous contemporary Southern art. View the arts, tour the historic districts of Downtown and enjoy various discounts at Downtown restaurants.

Know of a low cost event happening? Email us at Event@AtlantaOnADime.com

Saturday, February 11

EMORY JAZZ FEST 2017

Black History Parade

Free Admission February 25 • 12–5pm Sweet Auburn District blackhistorymonthparade.com

Atlanta's underground art show returns Emory Big Band and the Gary MotleyTrio; with over 100 emerging artists showcasing Emerson Concert Hall arts.emory.edu their hottest work in a Warhol-style, any- e Saturday night program of Emory Jazz thing-goes, massive warehouse environ- Fest 2017 features the Gary Motley Trio ment. ere will be live music, body along with the Emory Big Band and the painting, multimedia displays and free Emory University Symphony Orchestra pancakes. e show originated in 2009 in Strings in a free concert. e Friday night Los Angeles and since has popped up in 30 concert is a ticketed event and features cities around the world. Each show draws saxophonist Teodross Avery and the Gary as many as 1000 guests. Motley Trio in concert. REceive Updated Events Weekly. Sign Up by Emailing Subscriptions@atlantaonadime.com Enter on the subject line: Sign me up Insite!

FREEZIN’ FOR A REASON!!

Register today for Polar Plunge 2017 to fundraise for and support over 27,000 Special Olympics Georgia athletes!

What: The Polar Plunge is the largest fundraising effort benefiting Special Olympics Georgia. When: Saturday, February 25, 2017 • 11am Registration; 1pm Plunge Where: Acworth Beach at Cauble Park, 4425 Beach St NW About: Help raise funds to enhance Special Olympics’ mission. Participants collect pledges from friends and family for a chance to jump into icy waters in the middle of winter. All proceeds collected by “Plungers” benefit the 27,110 athletes of Special Olympics Georgia. Got the guts and a warm heart? Prizes for highest fundraising teams and a costume contest as well! Call (770) 414-9390 ext. 118; or Email rebecca.walsh@specialolympicsga.org

Special Olympics Georgia

4000 Dekalb Technology Parkway, Suite 400, Building 400, Atlanta, GA 30340 specialolympicsga.org “Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile.” -Albert Einstein PG 6 • February 2017 • insiteatlanta.com


Under The Lights ON STAGE THIS MONTH

CONSTELLATIONS

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

Playing through February 26 Horizon Theatre (404) 584-7450 HorizonTheatre.com

February 22 - March 5 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499 FoxTheatre.org/phantom

Kicking off Horizon’s 2017 season is the smash hit from Broadway and London’s West End Constellations. This spellbinding, romantic journey takes a touching and thoughtful look at one couple as it exists in parallel universes. Roland knows a lot about how bees make honey. Marianne would be comfortable in a room with Einstein. With little in common, the probability of them meeting is slim to none. Yet in the multi-verse, the possibilities of a single moment are infinite, inexplicable, and even miraculous. Constellations has been hailed as “A singular astonishment” by the New Yorker and “Sexy, sophisticated, and gorgeous” by the New York Times.

Cameron Mackintosh’s spectacular new production of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom Of The Opera just finished a hugely successful two and a half year revival on Broadway and will be coming to Atlanta February 22 – March 5 on their North American tour. The Phantom Of The Opera tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command.

LOST IN COSMOS

February 9 - 26 Theatrical Outfit (678) 528-1500 theatricaloutfit.org Take an existential trip into the human psyche, the Milky Way galaxy and beyond with Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Seminar. Theatrical Outfit partners with Dad’s Garage Theatre for Tom Key’s own adaptation of the popular work by Walker Percy. If Earthlings zoomed to a planet with intelligent life, would they let us land or label us a threat to a moreevolved universe? Walker Percy pondered such existential “what ifs” in Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self Help Book. The Outfit’s Artistic Director, Tom Key, deftly re-imagines Percy’s opus as a soul-searching seminar where cheeky group leaders hilariously suggest alternatives to our everyday behavior. A wry and hopeful meditation on our obsessions with reality TV and politics, horoscopes and how-to guides, Lost in the Cosmos engages the mind, soul and funny bone.

c a m eron m ack i n tosh ’ s spectacul a r new production of

a ndr e w lloy d w ebber ’ s

THE TEMPLE BOMBING

February 22 - March 12 Alliance Theatre (404) 733-5000 AllianceTheatre.org A new play about the event that rocked Atlanta from Peachtree Street to Auburn Avenue, The Temple Bombing recounts the 1958 attack on The Temple, Atlanta’s oldest synagogue, which bolstered local and national support for dramatic social change. Inspired by the award-winning book by Melissa Fay Greene, this theatricalization celebrates a city that came together in the face of hatred. The Temple Bombing is developed in association with New York’s Tectonic Theater Project and The Temple on the occasion of its 150th anniversary. Playwright and Director Jimmy Maize is an Artistic Associate of Tectonic Theater Project, a company dedicated to fostering innovative artistic dialogue with audiences on social, political, and human issues. “I get excited when I find a historical story that isn’t widely known and realize that it still speaks powerfully to what’s happening today,” said Maize.

MAKING ITS TRIUMPHANT RETURN TO ATLANTA!

ON SALE NOW

FEBRUARY 22-MARCH 5 FoxTheatre.org/Phantom 855-285-8499

insiteatlanta.com • February 2017 • PG 7


Affordable Dining Guide Great places in town to get a good meal without breaking the bank

other popular Italian dishes including calzones, strombolis, and lasagna. Johnny’s restaurants offer dine-in, take-out and delivery and now online ordering. Go to JohnnysPizza.com for the nearest location to you.

Eats

600 Ponce de Leon 404.888.9149 eatsonponce.net

Baldinos Giant Jersey Subs

Eats keeps their menu simple and their prices low. First choose from a variety of pastas. You pay by the sauce which range from $6.00 and $7.00 and includes: marinara, olive and garlic, pesto, Alfredo, creamy marinara, turkey meat sauce and chicken chili. All pasta plates come with garlic bread and you can add on extras from meatballs to chicken breast for just $2 more. They offer meat and vegetable plate dinners too. Choose from their prized jerk chicken, lemon pepper chicken and turkey meatloaf. Some of the vegetables include: broccoli, green beans, and collards. Vegetable plates are priced at $5.75 for three or $7.00 for four. A meat and two sides run $8.25 and $9.00 for three sides. Eats is open seven days a week from 11am until 10pm.

The Flying Biscuit Café

1655 McLendon Ave 404.687.8888 1001 Piedmont Ave. 404.874.8887 flyingbiscuit.com The Flying Biscuit Café serves great breakfast, lunch and dinner 7 days a week. One of Atlanta's home grown gems, they are best known for their mouth-watering biscuits

and original affordable menu items. The Candler Park and Midtown locations offer a wide assortment of bakery items as well as new beer and wine selections. The Flying Biscuit’s menu is organic-friendly. Enjoy weekend Sweet Specials on a variety of pancakes including chocolate chip, blueberry and more. And don't forget, Kids Eat Free Monday through Thursday from 4 – 8 PM.

Johnny’s NY Style Pizza

Over 50 Atlanta area locations: Order online @ JohnnysPizza.com Johnny’s Pizza is synonymous with great pizza and subs in Atlanta. The secret to their success is in the preparation. They always use the finest ingredients. Johnny’s specializes in NY style pizza, They have several house specialties including the Johnny’s Deluxe, Italian Special, Veggie, Steak & Cheese, Pesto and Buffalo Chicken. Johnny’s also offers plenty of individual toppings to create your own masterpiece. In addition Johnny’s offers subs, salads, sandwiches and

80 Powers Ferry Rd. 770.321.1177 5697 Buford Hwy. 770.455.8570 12890 Highway 9 678.580.0434 baldinos.us

This eclectic neighb orho o d restaurant is a favorite hangout among residents of Little 5 and Av o n d a l e 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 Downwind Restaurant

Baldinos has been recognized for serving the best sub sandwich in the South since 1975. Their true New Jersey style subs are as fresh as any sandwich anywhere. The rolls are baked in-store everyday - all day; each sub is sliced fresh as ordered; hot subs are grilled, not nuked or pressed, and only the freshest produce garnishes every sub as ordered. Salads, soups and delicious baked goodies compliment a true value menu. Check out Baldinos $3.99 Daily Special - a different sub every day that will keep you coming back. Stop by Baldinos newest store located at 12890 Hwy 9 in Milton.

Savage Pizza

484 Moreland Ave. 404.523.0500 115 Laredo Dr. 404.299.5799 savagepizza.com

Dekalb Peachtree Airport #201 770.452.0973 downwindrestaurant.com The Downwind Restaurant & Lounge located off Clairmont Rd. at the Dekalb Peachtree Airport offers amazing views of the runway. While watching the planes take off and land enjoy the great food here. Their menu has many outstanding offerings for lunch and dinner including their award winning burgers and sandwiches including the blackened chicken, roasted turkey or homemade tuna. Downwind Restaurant is known as having some of the freshest seafood in Atlanta. Pilots fly in from Florida bringing Flounder,

Live Music & Entertainment • Full Bar • Daily Specials • Takeout Available

Downwind Restaurant & Lounge at the Dekalb Peachtree Airport

Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!

Mon-Fri 11am-10pm • Saturday Noon-10pm • Sunday Closed

770.452.0973 • 2000 Airport Rd. #201, Atlanta www.downwindrestaurant.com Best Inexpensive Restaurant

Thanks Atlanta for Voting us Best 15 Straight Years

eatsonponce.net PG 8 • February 2017 • insiteatlanta.com

Atlanta’s Favorite Pizza! Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.com


Sea Bass and fresh Fish of the Day. Also find Greek specialties like the Spanakopita and Greek Spaghetti. They offer a full bar and live music every Friday night from 7pm close. Downwind Restaurant is family friendly with an aviation themed playground for kids. Downwind Restaurant is open Monday through Saturday 11:00am 10:00pm and closed on Sunday.

Athens Pizza House

1341 Clairmont Rd. Decatur 404.636.1100 athenspizzaatlanta.com

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. They have an extensive catering menu while the restaurant can also accommodate parties large and small with their private room.

Mediterranean Grill

will find regional dishes like gyros, falafel and kabob sandwiches. They have a great Business Lunch Special offering Shish kabob, Kufta kabab & Gyro slices w/rice pilaf, salad, pita and drink for $8.00. Mediterranean Grill has tasty sandwiches including: Gyro, Kufta Kabob, Chicken Kabob, Falafel and a Grilled Vegetable sandwich. Sandwiches are just $6.75 and entrees start at $10.00.

Nancy’s Chicago Pizza

265 Ponce De Leon 404.254.5103 nancyspizza.com Chicago has arguably the best pizza in America and that great pizza can be found in midtown Atlanta at Nancy’s Chicago Pizza. 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 displays multiple TV screens in their two dining rooms. They recently completed a major renovation doubling in size; now able to accommodate 200 seats. The new room is perfect for private functions and events while take-out, delivery and catering are available. Nancy's is the perfect place to call when looking for a great meal at a great price. Join Nancy’s in rooting for the Falcons.

Landmark Diner

N. Decatur Plaza 404.320.0101; Midtown 404.917.1100; East Cobb 678.996.0045; Athens 706.543.5000 mediterraneangrill.com

3652 Roswell Rd. 404.816.9090 landmarkdiner.com

Mediterranean Grill is the place to go for authentic Mediterranean food. Their loyal customers keep this family/chefowned and operated restaurant busy. Here you

Atlanta’s favorite diner offers great meals at affordable prices 24 hours a day. Start the day with an omelet, french toast or golden pancakes. For lunch try one of their many sandwiches like sliced turkey, egg salad or the BLT. You can also find several great burgers and chicken fingers for the kids. For dinner they have all the finest dishes like blackened grouper, jumbo shrimp scampi

BEST IN GREEK & ITALIAN CUISINE Since 1966

• Zagat Rated • Dine In or Take Out • Lunch & Dinner Specials

through their website for great dining deals & event info. Agave has two beautiful dining rooms as well as an enclosed heated patio.

Tomatillos

1242 Glenwood Ave. East Atlanta 404.622.9448 tomatillos-atlanta.com

and rack of lamb at very affordable prices. The Buckhead location is now offering three-course dinners for just $16.99 including entree, soup & dessert. Buckhead location is also the new home for The Punchline.

Chin Chin

3887 Peachtree Rd. 404.816.2229 Multiple locations at chinchinga.com Chin Chin is consistently voted Atlanta’s Best Chinese restaurant. Their menu offers standard favorites and many exotic dishes in Chinese cuisine at affordable prices. The Brookhaven location featured offers over 30 lunch specials from $7.25 - $8.25. Choose an entree along with Vegetable Roll, Soup and Fried Rice. For dinner choose from over 20 chicken dishes and a dozen beef and pork dishes starting at just $11.50. Vegetarian dishes offered at $10.50.

Agave

242 Boulevard 404.588.0006 agaverestaurant.com Agave blends eclectic southwestern cuisine, extensive tequila bar and wine list coupled with exceptional service, to make this one of Atlanta’s top restaurants. Get free chips and salsa upon arrival and two for one appetizers at the bar nightly from 5 pm – 7 pm. Sign up for email alerts

Tomatillos is relatively new to East Atlanta but has already earned a large following. The owners are from the area and their roots go back to the former and one of Atlanta’s favorite establishments, Tortillas. Their credo “In Beans We Trust” harkens back to the Tortillas days. Here you will find great Tacos, Burritos, Quesadillas, Nachos and Salads. They use inspiring ingredients including potato green chili, slow-cooked brisket and tofu. Their customers also rave about their catfish and fried chicken tacos. Come to Tomatillos this month as they roll out their new fresh menu.

Harry’s Pizza and Subs

2150 Powers Ferry Rd. 770 .955.4413 harryspizzaandsubs.com

Since 1989, Harry’s has been serving exceptional pizza to north Atlanta. This family owned and run restaurant specializes in New York style pizza but they are also known for their chicken wings, oversized salads, and mouthwatering sandwiches. Harry’s offers daily specials on menu items and always has a special on draft beers.

SEE OUR DAILY SPECIALS

MONDAY – Baldinos Extra Special (#7) TUESDAY – Like it Hot? Grilled & Toasted The HOT Italian WEDNESDAY – Ham it Up - (#5) Boiled Ham & Cheese w/ soup or side THURSDAY – “Check Out Our New Chicken Breast” – Try our #21 FRIDAY – Meatless Combo - Tuna (#10) or Veg Stir Fry (#27) w/ side SATURDAY – Steak Out- A-Steak Sub Your Choice (#11,13, or 19) SUNDAY – American Special - (#14) w/ choice of soup or side Marietta 80 Powers Ferry Rd 770-321-1177 (closed Sundays)

baldinos.us

$3.99 All Day!

Doraville 5697 Buford Hwy. MILTON 12890 Hwy. 9 770-455-8570 678-580-0434

BEST SUBS IN ATLANTA 11 STRAIGHT YEARS!

Come enjoy our Newly Renovated Full Bar!

VOTED BEST TACOS IN ATLANTA! FEATURING HOUSE MARGARITAS! BRUNCH EVERY SUNDAY 11AM – 3PM NEW MENU AND DRINK SELECTION

1242 Glenwood Ave 30316 • (404) 622-9488 • TOMATILLOS-ATLANTA.COM

Harry Says: My Pizza is the BEST! Don’t settle for less!

6 WINGS, SLICE OF PIZZA, AND A DRINK

• Pizza • Harry’s Speciality Pizza • Oven Baked Subs • Pizza By the Slice • Spaghetti • Calzones • Appetizers • Fresh Salads • Wings

$8.99!

2150 Powers Ferry Road • Atlanta • 30339 770-955-4413 • harryspizzaandsubs.com insiteatlanta.com • February 2017 • PG 9


MOVIES

Movie Reviews BY STEVE WARREN

THE COMEDIAN (R)

1/2 Four writers are credited with the screenplay of The Comedian. It’s unlikely that any of them knew what the others were doing, from the looks of this crazy quilt of a movie that in some ways isn’t crazy enough. Sometimes it’s apparent that as director Taylor Hackford cast another actor from the “I Thought They Were Dead” list, he had someone write a scene or two for them and worked it into the plot. Still it’s great to see Cloris Leachman, Charles Grodin, Brett Butler, Billy Crystal and others, including Jimmie Walker, who plays a comedy clubowner and may have inspired Robert De Niro’s character, Jackie Burke. Jackie’s a comic whose manager (Edie Falco) can only get him minor gigs. His fans, who know him from a sitcom that ended its run 30 years ago, just want to hear his old catchphrase, not his thoughts on life or current events. Even older than the cast is the device of giving the protagonist a potential love interest (Leslie Mann) young enough to be his daughter. They “meet cute” by doing court-ordered community service in the same soup kitchen. The comic bits are attributed to Jeff Ross, who didn’t waste his A material (if he has any) on this movie. The best aspects are the cinematography, which finds new angles in New York City, and especially Terence Blanchard’s jazz score, featured in toosmall doses in breaks between scenes.

A DOG’S PURPOSE (PG)

  I’m not a dog person but if I were I think A Dog’s Purpose would be one of my favorite movies ever. It’s not quite as sappy as the trailer, which made my teeth itch the dozens of times I saw it. Josh Gad gives voice to the thoughts of the dog who ponders the meaning of life while going through almost as many lives as a cat. For about half the movie he’s a red retriever named Bailey, the pet/companion of young (Bryce Gheisar), then teenage Ethan (K.J. Apa). It’s a great life but it can’t last forever, and Bailey is reincarnated as a German shepherd and a corgi before – as the trailer reveals – being miraculously reunited with the adult Ethan (Dennis Quaid). Doggie deaths and adult human problems may get a little intense for very young viewers, but the film’s negative publicity has been generated by PETA’s call for a boycott after the release of a video purportedly showing a dog being mistreated on the set. While you could try to ban all movies from

I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO

using live animals and shut them down like the circus because bad stuff happens (people are mistreated and endangered on movie sets too), I can only imagine an upsurge in the adoption of rescue dogs by people who have seen A Dog’s Purpose and been inspired to own one. That amount of good in exchange for a little harm is as good an exchange as we can hope for in this less than perfect world.

THE FOUNDER (PG-13)

 There’s hardly an empty calorie in “The Founder,” a nutritious and fascinating origin story about the McDonald’s chain. It’s 1954 and two brothers, Dick (Nick Offerman) and Mac McDonald (John Carroll Lynch) have essentially invented the concept of fast food with an assembly line and walk-up windows at their little restaurant in San Bernardino, California. Ray Kroc (Michael Keaton in a role he was born to play) is a struggling traveling salesman with a neglected wife (Laura Dern) back home. When he discovers McDonald’s he’s immediately aware of the expansion possibilities and goes into business with the brothers. They lock him into a bad deal at first, but when he breaks out of it he gets far more than even. Kroc is portrayed as an antihero, sometimes likable but not a very nice guy. The movie goes a bit too far in showing him drinking in nearly every scene without accusing him of alcoholism or indicating any negative effects on his health or behavior. It’s the ‘50s so everyone is happy with quick, cheap, tasty food; there’s no hint of how these undersized burgers will lead to oversized Americans decades later. Partially filmed in Georgia, the excellent production design benefits from the work of local craftspeople, including the period hairstyles of Atlanta’s Monty Schuth.

I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO (PG-13)

1/2 One of the most important voices in the American conversation about race belongs to a writer who died almost 30 years ago: James Baldwin. This documentary by Haitian-born Raoul Peck is partly taken from notes Baldwin wrote before his death for a book about three 1960s civil rights martyrs he knew personally: Medgar Evers (died 1963), Malcolm X (1965) and Martin Luther King Jr. (1968). They had me at “Samuel L. Jackson reads James Baldwin,” but the film’s first surprise is that Jackson’s voice is so low-key as to be almost unrecognizable. Like the great actor he is, he totally becomes Baldwin, even though we never see him.

THE COMEDIAN Jackson, that is. We see plenty of Baldwin, especially in a 1968 Dick Cavett interview. I thought I was pretty well informed about the Civil Rights movement for a white dude, having marched on Washington in 1963 and read the news of MLK’s death over WGKA Radio; but reliving it through Baldwin’s filter gave me some totally new perspectives. There are clips from the movies of the ‘30s that shaped his views as he was growing up in New York, and comments about how Sidney Poitier’s films were viewed differently by blacks and whites; how Malcolm and Martin grew closer together after Malcolm had called Martin a modern Uncle Tom; and how Hoover’s FBI branded Baldwin “a dangerous individual.” There are fly-on-the-wall descriptions of Lorraine Hansberry’s meeting with Bobby Kennedy, the first time Baldwin saw Malcolm and the last time he saw Medgar. Sometimes Baldwin’s words are heard over images of events that occurred after his death, reinforcing his words, “History is not the past. It is the present.” This film should be required viewing in schools, but post-schoolers can learn a lot from it too.

THE RED TURTLE (PG)

1/2 With all the violence in the world today, the term “target audience” sounds too ominous; but sometimes I have to wonder who a film is intended for. Except for the occasional Sausage Party, animated films are usually considered kid stuff, although the best of them will have some content to appeal to all ages. Then there’s The Red Turtle. At a brief 81 minutes it’s too slow for children to sit through. Its “Circle of Life” plot spans several decades, sometimes in what feels like real time. The mostly muted color palette and absence of dialogue (other than a few screams, grunts and giggles) further limit its appeal, though it’s technically well made in a retro animation style. A swimmer battered by huge waves is washed up on an island, where he doesn’t even have a volleyball to talk to. His attempts to escape on a raft are foiled by a large red turtle, but the turtle’s shell finally cracks to reveal a beautiful woman inside. Soon there’s a third inhabitant on the island, a young boy who grows to the age where he needs a “turtle” of his own. Aside from an occasional tsunami, life goes on as slowly and uneventfully as it would on a real, predator-free island. The movie’s not bad but I don’t know who would enjoy it.

THE SALESMAN (PG-13)

1/2 This is a minority opinion of the latest widely-acclaimed, Oscar-nominated film by Iranian Oscar winner Asghar Farhadi (A Separation). If you go in hopes of increasing your understanding of the Iranian people, you’re find they’re just as screwed up as we are; but too many of their specific actions and PG 10 • February 2017 • insiteatlanta.com

reactions are left to your imagination. After a credit sequence that shows a stage set being lit, we’re introduced to the main characters in a hectic scene as they and their neighbors escape from an apartment building that may be crumbling. Emad (Shahab Hosseini) and Rana (Taraneh Alidoosti), a married couple, will also be performing on the stage set as the leads in Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. But in the midst of rehearsals they have to find a new place to live. Another actor helps them relocate, but doesn’t mention that the previous tenant was a prostitute. One of her clients comes calling and leaves Rana injured. We don’t see the event and Rana is sparing with the few details she remembers, but she is left traumatized. She doesn’t want Emad to go to the police, she’s paranoid about being left alone in the apartment, and she makes life hell for her supportive husband, who has to go off to teach literature every day. Suspense builds slowly – I mean very s-l-o-w-l-y – as Emad plays amateur detective and stumbles on a prime suspect. What he does and doesn’t do after that makes for an intriguing final halfhour, after a long 90-minute slog to get there. I have no complaints about the acting and other technical aspects, only Farhadi’s pacing and his script that answers too few questions too slowly.

SPLIT (PG-13)

1/2 Split may be M. Night Shyamalan’s best movie in over a decade, but its screenplay is nearly as disjointed as the brain of its main character(s). James McAvoy has fun portraying nine of the 23 or more personalities in the body of Kevin. [If you’re keeping score, that puts him ahead of Norman Bates (2), Eve (3 faces) and even Sybil (16).] It begins as three high school girls are kidnapped after a birthday party and imprisoned somewhere near downtown Philadelphia. We don’t get to know much about Claire (Haley Lu Richardson) or Marcia (Jessica Sula). The third, Casey (Anya Taylor-Joy of The Witch), is a loner who becomes more mysterious the more we learn about her. Flashbacks show her younger self getting hunting lessons from her father and uncle, if only to make her a credible threat in the climax. “The Horde,” as Kevin’s personae are known collectively, make frequent visits to their therapist, Dr. Fletcher (Betty Buckley), who provides us with a textbook’s worth of information about her specialty, Dissociative Identity Disorder. She senses a lot about The Horde but misses the big stuff, leaving the girls in jeopardy. As our understanding increases, the script makes less and less sense; but by then we’re too caught up in it to care. Even though I’m of (at least) two minds about the movie as a whole, McAvoy’s performance(s) and a gratuitous final surprise make “Split” worth seeing.


FILM

HOME THEATER

OSCAR PREDICTIONS OOH, “LA LA”! BY STEVE WARREN

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N THE SURFACE, THIS YEAR’S Academy Awards are the easiest to predict, perhaps ever. But don’t bet the house. La La Land was the right movie at the right time. With all the stress and consternation from last year’s election people we’re looking for an old-fashioned musical to cheer them up. While most of the studios were releasing typical “award bait” that’s totally depressing. So if you bet that La La Land will win in every category it’s nominated in, you’ll be right more often than not. But be careful how the bet is worded. It has two nominees in the Best Song category so all 14 of its nominations can’t result in a win. (A tie for Best Song? Get serious!) That means that after tying Titanic and All About Eve for the most nominations, La La Land can’t win more than 13, one more than it needs to beat the record of 11 held by Ben-Hur (not the dreadful 2016 version), Titanic and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. With the Academy often sharing the wealth between the Best Picture and Best Director awards (last year, Spotlight and The Revenant, e.g.), could La La Land lose one of them to its closest competitors this award season, Moonlight or Manchester by the Sea? In any case, the losing director has a shot at a Best Screenplay award, Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) for Adapted, Damien Chazelle (La La Land) and Kenneth Lonergan (Manchester) for Original. Three of the four acting categories appeared to be locks, with only Best Actress somewhat up in the air. Best Actor became less certain last week after the Screen Actors Guild honored Denzel Washington and actress Constance Wu blasted frontrunner Casey Affleck over sexual harassment accusations from 2010. (He was never charged, let alone convicted.) This will probably cost Wu more votes in TV awards than it does Affleck at the Oscars, but politics are on everyone’s mind this year.

BEST PICTURE: La La Land It’s only two years since Birdman scored the double play, and we’re going out on a limb to predict it again:

BEST DIRECTOR: Damien Chazelle, La La Land

Zootopia, letting Kubo and the Two Strings score an upset; but I’ll go with the one that’s won the bulk of the early awards:

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Zootopia I’ve been disappointed with three of the four foreign language nominees I’ve seen, but this is about my prediction, not my choice. Iran may be too controversial this year, even though their entry isn’t political, so I’ll go with Germany:

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM: Toni Erdmann BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Linus Sandgren, La La Land The writing awards are often consolation prizes to Best Picture also-rans. Original Screenplay is an easy call but Adapted has at least three strong contenders:

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Manchester by the Sea BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Moonlight BEST FILM EDITING: La La Land Two songs will split the La La Land vote (and besides, composer Justin Hurwitz will win for his score), leaving the field open to this year’s King of All Media, Lin-Manuel Miranda:

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Hail, Caesar! BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Florence Foster Jenkins BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: Suicide Squad BEST SOUND EDITING: Arrival

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: The Jungle Book

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: Fire at Sea Moana could take some Disney votes away from

SAD VACATION: THE LAST DAYS OF SID AND NANCY (MVD Visual) The death of Nancy Spungen, the punk rock hanger on that few seemed to enjoy being around, has been a point of debate in Sex Pistols lore for decades. She was either killed by her boyfriend Sid Vicious, the Pistols’ bassist, during a drug binge or she was murdered by someone else. The latest doc about the duo,

THE IT CROWD: THE INTERNET IS COMING (MPI) Man, the British really know how to pull together a sitcom. Great characters, deadpan reactions and end it before the story gets old. The IT Crowd, about two socially awkward computer nerds paired with a tech-adverse boss that work in the basement of a big corporation, ran from 2006 – 2008, ending on a high note. In this one-off 50-minute special, which originally aired in the UK in 2013, Jen and Roy are turned into local pariahs after each is caught on camera accidentally spilling coffee on a homeless woman (Jen) and seemingly berating a little person. Misunderstandings and awkwardness have always been the hallmark of the series and this special doesn’t disappoint, serving as a reminder that the IT Crowd was still wildly funny when it went off the air, unlike many of comedies in the U.S. which wear out their welcome years before they’re cancelled.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Justin Hurwitz, La La Land

BEST ACTRESS: Emma Stone, La La Land

With three of the five documentary nominees dealing with race in America, thus splitting the vote, and refugees being front page news, I’ll pick the latter issue to prevail:

ZERO DAYS (Magnolia Home Entertainment) Remember when we thought the Russians hacking our elections was the worst that could happen? In this riveting documentary, Director Alex Gibney looks into the world of governmentsponsored cyberwarfare, focusing on an (alleged) partnership between the U.S. and Israel to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program. The film, told through interviews, some frustratingly vague for obvious reasons, focuses on the Stuxnet worm that was successful in temporarily shutting down parts of Iran’s program and highlights the problems with cyberwarfare once the bug gets away from its creators. Gibney does a great job in taking a complex issue and making it play out like a Jason Bourne plot.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “How Far I’ll Go,” Moana

BEST SOUND MIXING: La La Land

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Viola Davis, Fences

THE LATEST DVD, BLU RAY & VOD RELEASES By John Moore

BEST ACTOR: Casey Affleck, Manchester by the Sea

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Mahershala Ali, Moonlight

NEW RELEASES

Sad Vacation, does little to solve the debate, rather it muddies the theories up with more questions. Was it the hotel bellboy that Sid had a confrontation with earlier in the day? Was it a drug dealer, pissed that the duo owed him money? Or was it the official verdict from the cops, that a drugged-out Sid stabbed her (most likely). Director Danny Garcia interviewed many who knew the pair, like Sylvain Sylvain from the New York Dolls, Bob Gruen from the Heartbreakers and Howie Pyro from D Generation, but the viewer is left with even more questions at the end making for a pretty unsatisfying experience.

I didn’t get to see the short film nominees until after deadline, but with some research here are my wild guesses.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: 4.1 Miles

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BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM: Piper BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: Sing Hmmm, that’s only seven for La La Land. Hardly a sweep but not too shabby. insiteatlanta.com • February 2017 • PG 11


STAGE

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA COMES TO THE FOX Atlanta Actor Returns to Appear on Stage

BY MARCI MILLER

B

ASED ON THE CLASSIC NOVEL LE FANTÔME de L’Opéra by Gaston Leroux, The Phantom Of The Opera tells the story of a masked figure who lurks beneath the catacombs of the Paris Opera House, exercising a reign of terror over all who inhabit it. He falls madly in love with an innocent young soprano, Christine, and devotes himself to creating a new star by nurturing her extraordinary talents and by employing all of the devious methods at his command. This Phantom features a brilliant new scenic design by Paul Brown, Tony Award-winning original costume design by Maria Björnson, lighting design by Tony Award winner Paule Constable, new choreography by Scott Ambler, and a new staging by director Laurence Connor. The production, overseen by Matthew Bourne and Cameron Mackintosh, boasts many exciting special effects including the show’s legendary chandelier. The beloved story and thrilling score – with songs like “Music of the Night,” “All I Ask Of You,” and “Masquerade” – will be performed by a cast and orchestra of 52, making this PHANTOM one of the largest productions now on tour. At the center of the story is a love triangle between opera singer Christine Daae, the mad genius Phantom that lives in the opera house and Raoul, the Vicomte de Chagny. Raoul and Christine were childhood sweethearts before her father died. When Raoul attends a gala, he hears Christine’s voice and falls in love with her again. He fights the Phantom for Christine’s affections. We recently spoke to Jordan Craig who portrays Raoul in this new production which will be at The Fox Theatre this February 22 through March 5. Jordan spent several years in the Atlanta theatre scene and his first role out of college was the lead in “Spring Awakening” at Actor’s Express.

mysterious things, but who amongst them is it? He then went on to appear at numerous shows at that About the sets, Jordan says they are gigantic. The company along with the Alliance Theatre and Atlanta’s Lyric Theatre. He raves about Atlanta’s theatre community main set is comprised of a large cylinder that rotates and says that “everybody lifts everybody up!” After leaving and transforms into the Opera House, manager’s office, the Phantom’s lair, masquerade ballroom and more. Atlanta, he went on to New York City and felt that New The chandelier comes complete with York lacked the “character, comradery pyrotechnics and is comprised of and integrity” of Atlanta. Despite all the 3,000 gems. work that Jordan did in Atlanta theatre, When asked about his favorite scene of his role in Phantom will be his first time the show, Jordan says there is a moment appearing in a production at The Fox where at the end where Raul and Theatre and he can’t wait to make his February 22 – March 5 Christine witness the Phantom having a debut at the historic theatre. The Fox Theatre private moment. The Phantom does not Jordan says being part of The Phantom FoxTheatre.org/Phantom know that they are there, watching him of the Opera is “like Christmas” every having this tender moment. It is then day. The show is just so iconic and they realize that there is goodness in he is excited for audiences to see the every person. And when asked why the show has endured fresh take on the show and says the production is visually for so long, he believes that like many other great works amazing. It’s the Phantom we all know and love but it of art, it’s not political and doesn’t lecture. It’s a timeless comes at us with an original, realistic approach. There is a sense of heightened paranoia as those in the opera house story that elicits a tidal wave of emotions include joy, love and yearning. know someone who works with them is doing all these

PHANTOM OF THE OPERA

EVENTS

FREEZIN’ FOR A REASON

Polar Plunge Offers Warn-Hearted Support for Georgia’s Special Olympics Athletes

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

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HE EIGHTH-ANNUAL POLAR Plunge tests the icy endurance of teams and individuals as they make a collective splash to raise money for a good cause as they have a chilly good time. This year, the setting will be the chilled waters of Acworth Beach in support of the athletes of Special Olympics Georgia. We tracked down Rebecca Walsh, Law Enforcement Torch Run and Events Manager, of Georgia’s Special Olympics to get all the details.

and we always stress that it’s good to send in those registration forms as soon as possible. Participants can also set up their own online fundraising page with tools on the website (www.2017polarplungega.org). The Polar Plunge basically consists of teams which include law enforcement, businesses, schools and individuals. The goal is to have a chance to run into the freezing cold waters of Acworth Beach.

For the uninitiated, how does it work? How long do people stay in the water? Give us a bit of an It’s very fast-paced, overview of the event. with completely It’s one of our biggest Feb. 25 from 11am-3:30pm consecutive events. We’ll fundraisers to benefits Acworth Beach announce the teams Special Olympics and they’ll run and take 2017polarplungega.org Georgia. All the proceeds that plunge! For some go 100 percent to participants, the plunge providing support to our is just a few seconds. They go in and then athletes and coaches. It’s just a fun event they come right back out really fast. But and it’s pretty exciting to see all the crazy some go in and make a real spectacle and costumes the participants come up with as that takes longer. But it really doesn’t take we celebrate the success of their fundraising too long because no one wants to stay in that efforts. The Plunge is at 1 p.m. on February water for very long! 25th, and you can come on out on the event day and just pay to plunge onsite if you want. If people are a little apprehensive about Onsite registration starts at 11 a.m. The the cold temperature or the shock of the actual plunging itself usually lasts from 1 experience, can they still participate? p.m. until around 3:30 or so. Sure, if you don’t want to run all the way into to the water, you can still dip your toe How do people get involved? in. We had some t-shirts once that said, “I’m It’s really easy with online registration, too chicken to take the plunge.” But some

POLAR PLUNGE

PG 12 • February 2017 • insiteatlanta.com

people actually go in and they’ll swim in that water and just make a big event of it, no matter how cold it may be. Will there be additional entertainment and food? Oh yes, we’ll have Star 94 DJs and their street team at the event and Henry’s Louisiana Grill will be serving food all day. We’ll have a big inflatables and right now we are trying to determine if it’ll be a slide or log-jump inflatables. We’re really going for a festival feel and it’s just a good time for the whole family.

A commemorative t-shirt is a rite of passage for any event; will you have some cool Plunge merch for the participants? Yes, all plungers will receive a commemorative Plunge t-shirt. And we have additional incentives and prizes for plungers who raise $150 or more. Blankets, tote bags, beanies, even a fleece jacket. Who benefits from the event? All of the proceeds go to Special Olympics Georgia and supports year-round sports training and athletic competition in Olympic-type sports. We have our state games, which are held five times a year, then a program called Young Athletes which is for children under seven years old to build motor skills. We also have the Healthy Athletes program which provides health screenings and referrals for all of

WE’RE REALLY GOING FOR A FESTIVAL FEEL AND IT’S JUST A GOOD TIME FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY. our athletes for free, and we do that five times a year as well. Fundraising events like the Plunge go completely to fund these programs so that the athletes and their families don’t have to play anything for some much-needed assistance. Last year we made about $140,000 and this year our goal is $150,000. What’s it like to take the Plunge? Well, it’s something you’ll never forget. I’ve done it once and it’s really a lot of fun. But, I will say, your feet definitely go numb due to the very cold water. But the adrenaline is pumping and as you are running back out, you can’t feel your feet at all. It’s a totally unique experience.


FILM

LOCKED AND LOADED

AJFF Features an All-Star Tribute to One of the Unsung Heroes of the ‘60s

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

I

N “BANG! THE BERT BERNS STORY,” Paul McCartney, Keith Richards and Van Morrison are just a few of the musical giants paying tribute to a tragically unfamiliar pioneer of the industry. Until a couple of years ago, Berns was mostly known to historians and record geeks. The musician and businessman died in 1967 and his name faded from the collective consciousness of music fans, but a book, offBroadway musical and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction began to ignite interest in the larger-than-life character. His son Brett Berns has put together a documentary about the man, the music and the New York record business of the ‘60s. The resulting film, a fast-paced, star-studded, house-rockin’ and often quite hilarious tribute, premiered at SXSW last year and is a featured attraction at AJFF. INsite spoke with first-time filmmaker Brett Berns just after he’d secured North American theatrical and digital distribution deal for the film. Telling the story of your dad is obviously a labor of love, and the film looks very labor intensive. Somebody said to me a while back, the real hard work of making a film happens after you’ve made it, and man, they were right. Right now we’re working on a theatrical release for the spring and we’ve already confirmed a bunch of cities. I can’t believe the reaction to the film, it’s breathtaking!

people in the film. He just knocked it out of the park and he really brings my dad into the film, we had so little audio of him, but Steven is the voice. The last few years have been great for the legacy of Bert Berns. Yeah the New York Times called it “the Bert Berns Boomlet.” It started off with a book in 2014, that took 15 years and then the musical has been seven or eight years in the making, but yeah, we made an impact all of a sudden.

There’s a lot of good information in it that’ll probably surprise even the hardest core record geeks. IT BROKE OUR Yeah, right there before HEARTS WHEN HE my eyes was one of the great stories in American music and DIED, SO YOUNG. on so many different levels. It’s FOR HIM TO BE a good business story but it’s not just my dad’s story, we’re HERE TO WITNESS telling the story of all these THIS WOULD BE SO legends of music. A lot of the New York scene hasn’t really GREAT, THE MOST been explored.

SPECIAL THING.

How does it feel to be a new filmmaker telling the story of your own family? I’m still in a state of awe. My co-director and editor Bob Sorells took the film and my vision and just transformed it. It’s just beautiful and I can honestly say I never get tired of watching it. You landed some very emotional interviews. Bob said that the guests really opened up to me. Probably more than if they were talking to any other filmmaker, because it’s more emotional. We’re talking about my dad. There were tears and they just poured their hearts out. The narration by Steven Van Zandt is perfect. I can’t say enough good things about him. He inducted my dad in the Hall of Fame last year and was very instrumental in making it happen. Bob Sorrels said you need a narrator. I had an edit with no narration, just the music and interviews. I thought I was being so clever. But he sounds like the

How was the premiere at SXSW last year? We submitted it and they called and asked if it could be a world premiere there, so we rushed and finished it. Since then we’ve been all over with it. The film festival circuit has been phenomenal. I had no idea how much fun the festivals were, to see all the true believers and do the Q and A’s has been electrifying.

Bert died in 1967, what are your memories of him? I never really knew him; I only know him through the memories of others and what I hear. But his example has been my guiding spirit in life, like living in the now, and living with heart and soul and collaborative spirit. I’ve been chasing his spirit all my life. When Bang Records was relaunched, it was based in Atlanta and the home of a very sweet guy, [the late singer-songwriter] Paul Davis. You know, he was one of the first people who said to me, “You have this incredible story, this incredible legacy. You really need to do something with it.” I was so young when he said that to me. It broke our hearts when he died, so young. For him to be here to witness this would be so great, the most special thing. He was like an uncle to me. Since then, it’s taken a small army to make this film happen, but I think we’re kind of ready. We’re locked and loaded just like the Bang logo. insiteatlanta.com • February 2017 • PG 13


Performances

Atlanta Ballet’s Carmina Burana

February 3 - 11 Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre (404) 817- 8700 atlantaballet.com

Atlanta Ballet presents a lush, modern reimagining of the classic parable in which the pleasures of the flesh challenge the resolve of three young seminarians. Set to Carl Orff’s masterful score, David Bintley’s Carmina Burana is a hypnotic feast for the senses. This production is perfect for a pre-Valentine’s date night.

Valentine's Celebration for Lovers and Friends Saturday, February 11 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499 foxtheatre.org

The soulful ballads of Kem, Robin Thicke and Jeffrey Osborne come to The Fox Theatre Saturday, February 11. Listen to KEM’s slow jams, Thick belt out his hits including Lost Without U and You’re My Baby and the many hits from Jeffrey Osborne.

Atlanta Ballet’s Snow White

February 11 & 12 Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre (404) 817- 8700 atlantaballet.com

Treat your family to a charming one-hour ballet version of Snow White. Cheer on our young heroine and her prince as they foil the plots of the evil queen! Designed for younger audiences, ages 12 and under, the family ballet is the perfect way to introduce children to the joys of dance and a great afternoon activity.

Valentine's Night Out

Join the Andrea Bocelli and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra on Valentine's Day at the Infinite Energy Center in Duluth, GA for a special performance.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day at the Center for Puppetry Arts! Learn about puppet couples throughout history in our museum exhibits, enjoy beer and wine from our cash bar, and enjoy other fun puppet-themed activities throughout the evening.

Exhibit

Saturday, February 11 Center For Puppetry Arts (404) 873-3391 puppet.org

Alvin Ailey Dance Company

February 15 - 19 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499 alvinailey.org foxtheatre.org

This Valentine’s Day, Atlantans can share the magic of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with loved ones by giving the gift of Ailey. Led by Artistic Director Robert Battle, The Company returns to the Fabulous Fox Theatre for inspired performances featuring new productions of Ailey classics and premieres by some of America’s most celebrated dance-makers. And don't miss our "Ailey Jazz" program (on Thurs Feb 16, Sat Mat Feb 18, or Sun Feb 19) which includes a new production of Billy Wilson’s joyful The Winter in Lisbon and the Company premiere of my comic duet Ella, a tribute to the great Ella Fitzgerald. All programs will end with Mr. Ailey’s Revelations, an enduring masterpiece that transcends color and creed to unite us in hope.

Andrea Bocelli

Tuesday, February 14 Infinite Energy Arena (404) 733-4200 atlantasymphony.org

Atlanta Botanical Garden

Saturday, February 11, 7 - 11:00 pm (404) 876-5859 atlantabotanicalgarden.org

Enjoy an elegant evening of music, dancing, cocktails, desserts and orchids at the most romantic spot in Atlanta. Take a stroll through the tropical conservatories, sample heart-melting treats from the city's top caterers, sip specialty cocktails from cash bars, dance to live music.

Jewelry

Alexander’s of Atlanta

2891 N. Druid Hills Rd. (404) 634-1397 alexandersofatlanta.com

Alexander’s Of Atlanta has been among the most respected jewelers in Atlanta for over 50 years. For Valentine’s Day they have a sweetheart special: Freshwater Cultured Pearl Set (necklace, bracelet and earrings) for only $99.95. Let their friendly, experienced staff assist you in picking out the perfect piece for that special someone and make this Valentine’s Day unforgettable!

STAGE

THE ROCK AND ROLL RINGMASTER

Kristin Michelle Wilson Gives Us a Peek Under the Top Hat at the Big Top

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

F

On Earth, now we know we can do anything.”

LORIDA NATIVE KRISTIN You sing in the show and it’s great that you Michelle Wilson literally personifies an are a real rock and roll ringmaster. That’s a exclamation point. Her sunny personality much-needed shot of adrenalin to the circus and unflappably positive outlook were no experience. doubt part of her appeal to the powers that be I’ve been a television news reporter, a talk show at Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus host, an actress, a waitress, a film producer as when she was hired to be well as the lead singer of the first female ringmaster a rock band, but this is all RINGLING in the 146-year history of my favorite things all of the show. As only the BROTHERS CIRCUS rolled into one job. I’m 39th ringmaster in the Atlanta • Feb 15-20 just so thrilled to do it history of the attraction, Duluth • Feb 25-Mar 3 because it’s the longestWilson has a big hat to fill. running show in show biz. ringling.com/tickets But she seems to be more than able for the challenge The selling point of and as Circus Xtreme the circus has always been that it’s so many crosses the country in a bittersweet farewell tour, different elements rolled into one big show. she hosts the show with unbridled enthusiasm. My major was international affairs, so to She spoke with INsite by phone from the be able to work on a show with 13 different circus train. countries represented, that’s pretty exciting to me. There have been other women in the circus but usually in decorative or supportive roles. Politics aside, it’s a whole United Nations of When I was first hired, there was a lot of performing arts. discussion about what my title should be. Should It is! And I feel that’s something that is really I be the Ringmaster or Ringmistress? I felt very needed in our society right now. Celebrating strongly we should retain the title of Ringmaster. what can happen when we all come together. To The job is gender-neutral, it’s about hosting and put our best foot forward and really revel in all singing and being larger-than-life. You wouldn’t the diversity the world has to offer rather than to change the title of reporter or CEO or president, be against each other because of the differences. you’re just doing your job. It’s inspiring to me when young girls or women will come up to me Another romanticized element of the circus and say, “We’ve seen you lead the Greatest Show is the family atmosphere. What’s it like on PG 14 • February 2017 • insiteatlanta.com

the inside? It’s truly a family. Not only are we performing between 5 and 13 shows a week on average, we live and travel together. A lot of people don’t know that we still travel the country by train, so it’s almost 300 people including the cast and crew, together on a train. I think it builds much more comradery than a normal job would. It’s like having your relatives along. We have 22 children who travel with us and a nursery and a school with multiple teachers.

Is there a hierarchy among the troupe? Everyone is equal. I wear the top hat, but I’m the same as the person who holds the curtain or unloads. If one person is missing, it changes the experience for the audience. And that’s really important for me. I really do feel like the circus is a microcosm for society. How did the cast and crew react to the news that the show was closing? Well when they made the announcement, of course everyone was shocked, surprised and sad. For many of the performers, all they’ve ever known is life on the train. We have people here on visas to work, and some relationships will end. It’s a very different experience from my own, so my heart goes out to them. I’m able to offer a bit of perspective due to my own history. And what is their overall response? The response from everyone is “The show must go on.” They could have closed it the week of the announcement, but this has turned into

“THE SHOW MUST GO ON.”

a farewell tour. Every show, we are determined, will be the very best we’ve ever done. It’s the only way we can do it. We know there’s a finite amount of time left and we want the next generations to be able to see the greatest show on earth and to know what it was all about. It’s been the greatest joy of my life and I know the dream will continue. So these final months are indeed bittersweet. That’s true and it’s not been lost on any of us. But the focus right now is on the day-to-day and the minute-to-minute. When you’re up on the highwire, you can’t be thinking about putting your resume together and what the future may hold, you need to be thinking about right now. The bitterness is you have found your dream and you’ve been told that soon you’ll have to let it go. But the sweet is that we were able to live it.


TRAVEL

MAKE MEMORIES AT RITZ-CARLTON, AMELIA ISLAND Southern Charm, Magnificent Scenery and Casually Elegant Surroundings

BY MARCI MILLER

M

AKE MEMORIES AT THE RITZ-CARLTON, Amelia Island, where southern charm, magnificent scenery and casually elegant surroundings exemplify this barrier island’s luxury beachfront resort. Located only a few miles northeast of Jacksonville, The RitzCarlton, Amelia Island is the perfect place for families to reconnect, for couples to retreat, and for groups to rediscover their collaborative spirit. Stunning coastal views, on-site spa, fine dining, private golf course and historic town center lined with ancient moss covered oaks are waiting to be explored.

SALT

cocktails and grilled foods. All enjoyed from the convenience of your beach chair with the Atlantic Ocean at your feet.

GOLF, SPA & ACTIVITIES Golf

For those who live for golf, there’s no better place to indulge than at The Golf Club of Amelia Island. Here you’ll find 18 holes of championship caliber golf set amidst graceful live oaks along rolling greens providing a unique challenge for golfers of all skill levels. Nestled along the shores of the ocean, the course when first opened, was nominated as the best new course of the year. Meticulously maintained, it winds its way through palm, pine and oak trees, offering spectacular views of Amelia Island’s many natural treasures.

Unlike any other resort in the world, The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island pays homage to the many remarkable attributes Spa to element known as Salt. The resort makes the most of its Escape to one of the most soothingly elegant spas where enviable location on the Atlantic Ocean through creative time heals, replenishes, and refreshes with the ebb and culinary offerings by the award-winning AAA Five-Diamond flow of the tide. Let cares and distractions melt away as restaurant, “Salt”. Here, they you relax under the therapeutic have transformed salt into an benefits of a zero gravity with a art form that delights the senses Heaven in Hammock massage and palette. Salt is also used or simply take time to breathe prominently in the Ritz-Carlton deep in a eucalyptus infused Spa for its healing benefits where steam room. In this tranquil ritzcarlton.com/ameliaisland guests can enjoy a salt scrub, atmosphere connect with what detoxifying bath, or hot salt rock (904) 277-1100 is elemental – in yourself and massage. At the Salt Signature the seaside surroundings. Shop guests are invited to sample Saunas, steam rooms, whirlpool, over 50 unique infused and natural salts from around the private pool, and relaxation lounge create a peaceful world. Their Salt Sommelier can even craft a custom salt to fit environment. With 26 treatment rooms and over27,500 the theme or tastes of your group. square feet of luxurious spa space, guests cannot help but feel pampered.

RITZ-CARLTON AMELIA ISLAND

DINING

Savor the selection of fresh Florida fare at The RitzCarlton, Amelia Island and prepare your senses for a culinary experience like no other. Whether you are looking for a signature farm-to-table experience, dreaming of Southerninspired coastal cuisine or craving the camaraderie of a sports bar, you will find a welcome variety of Amelia Island restaurants at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.

Activities

Salt

HISTORY

The AAA 5-Diamond restaurant, Salt, pays tribute to the rich bounty of foods harvested from the ocean and marshes surrounding the hotel. Simple elements from the earth and sea, properly seasoned, artfully prepared, paired with the perfect wine and served in a classic coastal setting for dinner redefines Amelia Island fine dining by taking contemporary American cuisine and adding a twist. For the ultimate dining experience, reserve a seat in the kitchen at the Chef’s Table.

Coast

Coast exudes relaxed Southern charm with a menu inspired by regional farms and coastal influences for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Inside and terrace seating are perfect for casual and family dining. Experience Florida coastal cuisine straight from the docks to your table with a menu that features locally caught fish and shrimp.

Eight Burger Bar & Sports Lounge

A contemporary sports lounge and burger bar with a laidback atmosphere and the warm welcoming of a neighborhood pub. This casual eatery is an ideal choice to unwind by watching your favorite sport, playing pool and enjoying a craft beer.

With 13-miles of beautiful beaches, abundant native wildlife, and pristine waters, this barrier island offers endless opportunities for camaraderie and exploration. Fun activities include: fishing charters, horseback riding on the beach, kayaking, biking, walking tours, Segway tours and tours of historic Amelia Island. The historic downtown of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island provides a glimpse of small-town, yesteryear Florida that is sure to be enjoyed by all. Once a vibrant Victorian village by the sea, Amelia Island also owns the unique distinction of being the only U.S. city to have been under the domain of eight different nations and is still known as the “Isle of 8 Flags”. It’s interesting past is characterized by a diverse cast of Timucuan Indians, pirates, shrimpers, nobles and confederates. Early on, the community of Fernandina Beach emerged as an important seaport, a legacy that today can be seen throughout its Victorian-era architecture and charming 55-block downtown historic district. In addition to the 400-plus historic structures on the National Register of Historic Places, guests will enjoy strolling down Centre Street, sipping a drink at Florida’s oldest continuously operating bar, the Palace Saloon, antique shops, local boutiques, museums, vibrant cuisine and watching the sun set beautifully over the marsh. 4750 Amelia Island Pkwy. Amelia Island, FL 32034 (904) 277-1100 • Ritzcarlton.com/ameliaisland

Ocean Bar & Grill

Enjoy waterfront dining on Amelia Island among the dunes while enjoying tropical drinks, fresh seafood, specialty salads and sandwiches in a relaxing poolside setting, just steps from the ocean.

The Lobby Lounge

Enjoy cozy chats by the fire on the terrace of The Lobby Lounge, a comfortable, classic lounge with exciting specialty drinks, live music and dancing.

The Beach Tiki Hut

Simple beach fare at its finest including your favorite insiteatlanta.com • February 2017 • PG 15


MUSIC

“WHO IS HOLSAPPLE?”

Influential Singer is Back with new Single something from your soul and if people like it, that’s really great. If it means something to them that’s even better. And if it sells a million copies, well that doesn’t hurt either.

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

H

E MAY NOT BE A HOUSEHOLD name, but Peter Holsapple is one of the most influential musicians of the last few decades. His seminal band The records in the dB’s catalog, including The dB’s paved the road for the power-pop the reunion album from a few years ago, and intelligent new wave movement and didn’t sell millions of copies but they’re the North Carolina native has successful considered influential classics at this point. stints with two very different southern Our resume is pretty good at this point. It’s rock bands, R.E.M. and Hootie and the hard to say this without sounding assholic Blowfish. His work appears on the best or over-confident, but I think the fact that albums of both bands’ discographies. His people still listen to Repercussion or Stands contributions to Out of Time are wellfor Decibels, lo these 36-odd years later says documented and he played that we did something 16 different instruments right. And now I’m just on tour with Darious trying to stay relevant at Rucker and company. 61. That’s my plan, so the Additionally, he’s logged next forty years will be miles as a founder of the consumed with that. Continental Drifters, one of the coolest under-theNow that the single is radar ensembles ever to out and you’re booking tour and record. He’s back shows again, what’s the in business - for himself plan? this time - with the release I definitely want to of “Don’t Mention The follow this up with an War,” a new vinyl single album. I’ve got at least on Hawthorne Curve, his an album’s worth of stuff, February 3 & 4 own label. The antithesis so my hope is that I can 529 Club of his familiar pop jangle, get that out this year. The with Magnapop and Elf Power the moody tune echoes the single is kind of like, “Hey, best of Vic Chesnutt and I’m back,” so it’s kind of a Randy Newman’s somber, character-driven reintroduction. Right now, I’m just looking story-songs, with a chilling tale of the familial for places to play in New York and trying effects of PTSD. INsite caught up with to figure it all out. I don’t have an agent or Holsapple at his home in Durham on a recent management and I don’t particularly want afternoon. any of that stuff. I want to call my own shots about this and I’m a big boy about whatever “Don’t Mention The War” isn’t a typical the reaction will be. Basically it’s just a pair single in many ways. What sort of feedback of songs I wanted to get out and ones that I are you getting from it so far? thought were worthy of further investigation Recently I heard from a clinical psychiatrist by the public, whoever they might be in this in Los Angeles who deals with PTSD case. I’m happy with whatever happens. It patients. He was taken by the message of the took me a long time to figure that out. song and the video, too. He’s going to share it within the therapy community. I wasn’t sure That’s the best legacy anyone can ask for. who’d react to it, of course. The lyrics to the I’ve been through the whole “Who is Peter song are not incredibly uplifting. Holsapple?,” “Get me Peter Holsapple!” “Get me someone who sounds like Once released, a record becomes its own Peter Holsapple!” “Get me a young Peter entity. Holsapple!” and now it’s back to “Who is Yeah, you never know what’s going to Peter Holsapple?” And I’m fine with that. become of it. You’re basically exorcising

PETER HOLSAPPLE

DROPKICK MURPHYS Head to El Paso BY JOHN B. MOORE

F

OR THE PAST 20 YEARS, THE DROPKICK Murphys have recorded every album in their native Boston – close to family and friends. But for 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory, the group’s ninth studio album, they decided to pack up and head down south – way down south. El Paso, TX to be exact; more than 2,300 miles away. The resulting album, 11 Short Stories of Pain & Glory, came out earlier this month on the band’s own label, Born & Bred Records. Barr spoke recently about the new record and the inspiration for some the songs that made it on the album. It’s been about three or four since the last album, but I know you are constantly touring. Did you get time off in the interim? Signed and Sealed is just about over three years old now and it feels like we never really stopped. As the tour for Signed and Sealed was winding down we were hitting up on our 20-year anniversary. So, we started a 20-year-anniversay tour PG 16 • February 2017 • insiteatlanta.com

TO BE CONTINUED

Yes Enters 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

Did the death of co-founder/bassist/ songwriter Chris Squire [in 2015] change ORMED IN 1968, THE the dynamic of the band? influential English rock band Yes is Oh yeah. It’s got to change it. He was one finally headed to the Rock and Roll of a kind. But at the same time [current Hall of Fame. As a part of the Class of 2017, bassist] Billy Sherwood’s done a good job the band will gather in New York replacing him because Chris was this April for the honor. In the his mentor. He’s studied what meantime the current line-up Tuesday, Feb. 14 he did, including his vocals. You is back on the road offering know, Billy and Chris and I had a selections from two of their Symphony Hall band together called Conspiracy very different records. 1973’s and it was kinda cool. But we’ve ponderous and sprawling Tales From Topographic Oceans and 1980’s heady, managed to go on as Yes because I think music is what keeps the whole thing synth-driven Drama. together. When you’ve got really great music Nearly two dozen musicians have served to play - I think there’s been about 21 studio tours of duty in Yes and for the past few albums now - we have a lot of music to pick years the band features guitarist and from over the years. co-founder Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, keyboardist Geoff Downes, singer For this tour you’re revisiting two very Jon Davison and bassist Billy Sherwood. different albums and two crossroad The band and some of their like-minded periods of the band. prog-rock peers will float to Mexico on Yeah for this tour, it’s Topographic and their fourth Cruise To The Edge (www. Drama with some very iconic Yes songs cruisetotheedge.com) before they return around those. Right, they’re totally different to Symphony Hall this month. Insite spoke eras. Tales was ‘73-‘74 and the other, what with veteran drummer Alan White at his was it, maybe ’80? home near Seattle.

F

YES

Since the last time we talked, you’ve had a few health issues. How are you feeling now? Yeah, I’ve had a bit of a back problem. Turns out it was a herniated disc. It started in Europe but I didn’t know it and I finished the tour. They had to shoot me with steroids every night, but I managed. It takes a long time to get over it. But you have to keep drumming. It keeps you kind of fit. Once you stop for a month or so, oh God. So now before I go on stage, I do a lot of stretching so I don’t pull anything!

Right, late summer of ’80. Yeah and that was with [vocalist] Trevor Horn and [keyboardist] Geoff Downes, who is in the band right now. Trevor has been to a few shows over the last couple of years where he’s been on-stage and sang a couple of songs with us. That’s a great evolution, almost full-circle. There’s lots of shapes and forms to this band, but musically I think it’s still carrying on the same quality.

and that wasn’t so much as a world tour. We had a kabuki set up and there was a short film we’d show before we came out encompassing the 20 years. You recorded this one in El Paso. Was this the first time you left Boston to record an album? It sure is. In my mind, it felt as far away as you can get (from Boston). And that was the point… Our idea was, let’s see what we can accomplish without any of that and I think it scarred us a bit in the sense that we’d never done that before. We all thought, what the hell’s gonna happen when we get out into the desert? What ends up happening is we were able to establish this creative embryo that we were all inside of. I think it really lent itself to the creativity of this record and I don’t think the record would have been the record it is if we had not done it the way we did it. It was all very positive. This record does seem to cover a lot of heavy topics. I think this one definitely has a thread going through it and that’s the opioid and heroine epic that’s going on right now throughout New England, especially in Massachusetts and New Hampshire and we’re speaking to that particular subject in one of the songs.

And “4-15-13” talks about the Boston Marathon bombing. Yes, and that’s another one. “You’ll Never Walk Alone” was also a pretty powerful addition to the record. Again, that’s a song we’ve all known for years, but the Jerry and The Pacemakers version is probably the most contemporary version and that’s the one we are all familiar with. It was inspired from hearing it again in a different light at another funeral of another friend who had died of an overdose and in that light and it struck a chord with us and it kind of personified that whole struggle of being in the grip of addiction and fighting through it. That song kind of captures that I think.


COMEDY

IN ANY LANGUAGE

Gad Elmaleh Brings His Own Comedy Revolution to the USA

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

I

N FRANCE HE SELLS OUT MASSIVE concert halls, starred in a number of successful films and romanced a string of beautiful, aristocratic women. Comedian/actor/ musician Gad Elmaleh recently traded that seemingly idyllic life to move to New York City to pursue a career in comedy. His humble goal was to perform stand-up to a nation of strangers who often mispronounce his name. His gamble has seemingly paid off because his stand-up shows have grown from tentative sets in tiny clubs to a full-blown nationwide tour culminating this month with an already sold-out performance at Carnegie Hall. The day before the tour began, Insite caught up with the affable comic in Los Angeles as he prepped for an appearance on Conan. Are you ready for a whole comedy tour in English? I can’t wait, it’s been a great experience with the preparation. I’ve been working so hard on the English, taking lessons every day. My dialect coach, she kills me with trying to find little tricks for the accents. But it’s important, especially in comedy, if you want the jokes to really land hard. Two years ago I thought my English was great and I was so confident. But no. The more you learn about something, the more you realize you don’t know anything!

Yes, because I love the feeling of really earning those laughs. When you get no credit, nothing, they don’t know who you are and you show up on stage and make that connection. To me, when Americans laugh at my jokes, it’s like a woman falling in love with me who has no idea who I am. It’s like going back and tracking those feelings I had when I first started. It’s nice to feel something very new to me. Do you change your shows from city to city? The first minutes of my shows are unscripted. I talk about what I feel when I get there. I think the perspective is refreshing to the audience. Like when I get to Atlanta, as soon as I get t here, I’m gonna see and feel things. It’s a way to connect. There’s always something interesting in the foreign perspective. Many comics improvise some or all of their show. Can you “wing it” in English? When I perform in English, I need to know where I’m going. It’s very hard for me to riff or improvise in English. I do it sometimes, but as soon as I get there the English is not as good as the scripted part. But it has something that’s a little vulnerable and it becomes interesting for the audience – and for myself. I do try things. But when I go out of my set, I’ll tell them, “Ok, you might have a broken English moment right now.” And it’s fun.

Live comedy requires a certain attitude FRIDAY, FEB. 3 - 8PM • SYMPHONY HALL to succeed. You’re often I realize that compared to no matter what Jerry Seinfeld and you’re friends. Has he offered language, if you’ve been doing it for 22 years, any advice to you on this new adventure? before the jokes, before the language, you have He said something very funny. “You’re the to be ready. I remember here in L.A., a producer biggest guy in Europe. Why are you going to said, “Oh, you’ve been doing this for only one New York? They know better than you. What are year? That’s great.” I said, “No, I’ve been doing you gonna do, go to Germany and start building this for 22 years!” All the years I’ve been doing it, cars? Go to Italy and open a pasta factory?” counts. It’s me, it’s what I do. Yes, I learned how He was teasing me a little bit. But I told him I to do stand-up comedy in French but the same want to be excited. That’s the thing. I want to knowledge, the same experience, the same saviorchallenge myself. Now, I’m not saying that I’ve faire, I use it in English. done everything I could in Europe but I wanted to try it here. I told him I wanted to be compared There’s a direct connect between music to him the day he’ll do an hour of stand-up in and comedy. French! Oh a lot! If I wasn’t a comedian, I would have been a jazz pianist. Comedy and music is so You wanted to push yourself out of that similar. I would compare it jazz. You have to comfort zone. know where you are going but you have to Exactly and I think it’s not only for performers, be able to improvise within a solid base. The it’s for all of life. It’s a personal project. In timing and rhythm is really close. I play guitar anything I do, I don’t ever want to get bored. and piano and you know, I do that in France, maybe I should do that here. Should I play piano Right. Creative people are seldom bored. in Carnegie Hall? If not there then where? You They’re afraid, they’re so traumatized of being know they have this joke about Carnegie Hall. It’s bored, they think they’re gonna die, it’s the end of a popular thing, right? How to get there? Do you the world! know it?

GAD ELMALEH

When you started playing clubs last year in New York, you were playing to a handful of strangers after selling out a week of big shows in Paris. Was that a humbling experience?

Practice, of course. Ok this time, maybe I’ll say, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” Then I’ll say “Uber!”

ROAD WORK AHEAD

Veteran Comedian Jay Leno Splits His Time Between Cars and Jokes

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

J

ay Leno hosted the Tonight Show for the better part of two decades but for the past few years his enduring passion for vintage car restoration has been his main gig. As the host of Jay Leno’s Garage on CNBC, the veteran comedic actor indulges in his automotive hobby to impressive ratings and renewal notices. During breaks in production, he continues to travel the country with his stand-up act, a job he’s held since the late ‘70s. He returns to Atlanta this month and INsite tracked him down at his airplane hangar-sized “garage” near beautiful downtown Burbank, California. Do people still approach you with cars for sale at this point? Every second of the day. It’s hilarious. You get everything from real enthusiasts to people who go, “My mom has a Pinto from the ‘70s.” Um, well they’re really not that rare. “Oh no, this is one of a kind!” We’ve gone from the day when you could find a worthless piece of junk that turned out to be worth a million dollars, to now, when people think every worthless piece of junk is worth a million dollars.

the picture where they didn’t know your family. Then when you got the pictures back, they’d be black bars over all the good parts!

How’s your collection at the moment? Have Now that you aren’t doing the Tonight Show are you playing more live shows? you reached the 300 mark yet? I was on the road around 150 days a year Not yet. I guess there’s about 160 cars now. when we were doing And some aren’t really all the show. Now I’ll do that valuable, some are around 200. I was a just cars I like with great stand-up before the stories. A lot of times, SATURDAY, FEB. 18 - 8PM Tonight Show and I I’ll buy the story as much COBB ENERGY CENTER just continue to do as I’ll buy the car. That’s it. “You always want been one great thing to have a trade,” as with the show, too. We’ll my dad would say. But you know, TV is so have a theme like “dad’s cars,” and find cars tenuous, you never quite know what’s going that mean a lot to people because their dad to happen. And you need 160 people to do it. had one. With the live show it’s great, you’re just out there on your own. I still like it. The proliferation of car-centric shows is definite proof that people are obsessed And it’s a great way to work out with automobiles. new material. I’m getting a little tired of the I THINK MOST Yeah, the Tonight Show was shows with the guys with tattoos COMEDIAN’S great because something would and they’ll throw tools at each LIVES ARE LIKE happen in the world and you’d other. But the only bad thing GROUNDHOG DAY, have a joke about it that night. about so many car shows is that people will sometimes think YOU KEEP TELLING But then the next day, maybe you can restore a car in a week. THE SAME JOKES you’ve got a better joke or People kinda get a false hope that BUT YOU JUST GET funnier punchline or a better setup for the same thing. But you you can restore a vintage car by BETTER AT IT. can’t tell it again because you just Wednesday and of course you told it last night. On the road, can’t. These cars were built when a joke you tried out on Monday is a little technology was expensive and labor was better by Wednesday and by the weekend, cheap, now it’s all flipped around. There’s so you’ve really got it down. You can take a ten much labor involved. You can play with the or fifteen-second joke and turn it into a two radio for five hours and you still might not or three-minute story. get it to work, and that’s a lot of money and effort for nothing. Do you still enjoy working up new stuff? I used to open for people like Tom Jones At the core, a car is just a tool for transportation, but they become part of the and often the same fans would come to see his show over and over and by the end of the family. Almost an appendage. week, they’d just be sitting there, eating bonYeah, they were sort of the iPhone of the bons, waiting for Tom Jones. A comic’s worst day. Kids go places now virtually. A guy sits nightmare. I said, if it ever gets the point in his room and texts his girlfriend: “send where people are coming to see me, I’ll try to me a naked picture.” Ok, done. But in my work hard and keep the material fresh. And day, you had to get in the car, go to the girl’s really it’s just fun to tell jokes. I don’t find it house, make sure her parents were out of town, somehow convince the girl to take her work, I enjoy it. I think most comedian’s lives are like Groundhog Day, you keep telling the clothes off, take the picture and then drive same jokes but you just get better at it. three towns over to a drugstore to develop

JAY LENO

insiteatlanta.com • February 2017 • PG 17


MUSIC

TV

Album Reviews

REVIEWS BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH AND JOHN B. MOORE

Sally and George

Tip My Heart (self-released)

The TennesseeVirginia shared city of Bristol dissects two states and it’s a perfect metaphor and meeting place for two very diverse musicians. After meeting Della Mae bassist Shelby Means, Sol Driven Train guitarist Joel Timmons was so smitten with the attractive singer-songwriter he penned a song to commemorate the moment. A long-distance romance eventually bloomed and a number of country and rock injected songs were written and recorded over an intense two-year period. The now-Nashville-based duo, christened Sally & George in honor of Means’ grandparents, are releasing their full-length debut Tip My Heart as close to Valentines Day as possible. The genuine affection the two share is the real heart-warming ingredient of every track. With ruminations of love and life, the disc veers back and forth between the performers’ flavors of choice. The resulting collection is a strangely cohesive yet stylistically varied introduction to the new group. Highlights include “Pipedream,” the hopeful and plaintive song that Timmons first wrote for Means, and kinetic rocker “Love Electric.” The intensely likeable, self-released disc closes with the traditional-duo Music City vibe of “Hey Wow.” An inspiring listen for fans of modern Americana, late ‘70s California rock, raw acoustic country and - most importantly - the inspirational power of love. Sally and George play February 23 at Smith’s Olde Bar.

Bob Dylan

The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert [2 12” LPs] (Columbia/Legacy)

There’s certainly no dearth of Bob Dylan live records out there. Thanks to the Bootleg series, just about every Dylan concert ever put to tape has found its way to the public (or likely will soon). “The Real Royal Albert Hall 1966 Concert” is the latest and one of the most curious in Dylan lore. It also happens to be a fantastic set. Recorded in May 1966, not long after the release of “Blonde on Blonde,” for decades many thought they owned a copy of this London show. Unfortunately, the set originally going under the Royal Albert Hall name was actually a performance recorded in Manchester that had been mislabeled. The result, aside from being a pretty cool trivia answer, is the Legacy just rolled out a beautiful double album set of this show on vinyl. The sound quality is amazing and Dylan and his band rip through 15 tracks and sounding remarkable throughout. Among the songs played that night include a Bluesy “Leopard-Skin PillBox Hat,” an aching take on “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue,” the organ-drenched “Ballad of a Thin Man” and a haunting “Just Like a Woman.” The set here closes with a raucous “Just Like a Rolling Stone.” It may have taken decades for someone to get out the real recording of this show, but it clearly was worth it.

Aaron Lee Tasjan

Silver Tears (New West)

Aaron Lee Tasjan may be prolific, but he is any-

PG 18 • February 2017 • insiteatlanta.com

thing but easy to categorize. He’s played guitar with the New York Dolls and Drivin N’ Cryin, started his own Glam Indie rock band and can still manage to pay homage to some of the great acoustic singer/songwriters of the ‘70s on his solo efforts. His latest, “Silver Tears,” tips a hat to everyone from Harry Nilsson to John Prine, in a collection that vacillates between tear jerkers (“Ready to Die”) and barnburners (“Dime”). The record, his first for New West, starts off with the very Nilsson-esque “Hard Life,” but the influences are pretty-varied after that and satisfyingly eclectic that. One of the highlights is also one of his quieter songs, the almost whispered “On Your Side.” Playing less like a standard album and more like an iPod on shuffle, scanning through a slew of different genres from folk and Americana to dusty rock and a little New Orleans-infused funk spread across a dozen tracks, “Silver Tears” is a modern-day jukebox of great taste and inspired influences.

The Legal Matters

Conrad (Omnivore Recordings)

Midwest-based group The Legal Matters is the power pop supergroup made up of members from bands you’ve likely never heard of (Hippodrome, anyone? The Phenomenal Cats? An American Underdog?). Regardless their collaboration in The Legal Matters is bound to bring the attention these guys clearly deserve. Drawing from bands like Big Star, The Posies and Jellyfish, their second effort, Conrad, is a reminder of just how few great power pop bands are left today. This record fills that void nicely. Crammed with jangly guitars and sweet harmonies, there is hardly a false step on the record, from the slow burn of the album opener, “Anytime,” to the bittersweet closer, “Better Days.” And in between the album brims over with earnest lyrics and hard-to-forget melodies. A promising start to the power pop revival.

Paul Kelly & Charlie Owen

Death’s Dateless Night (Cooking Vinyl)

Well, you can’t say Paul Kelly isn’t keeping himself busy. In the past few years, one of Australia’s greatest musical exports has put out a fantastic live album with Neil Finn (“Goin’ Your Way”), a record of Shakespeare sonnets put to music (“Seven Sonnets and a Song”) and now “Death’s Dateless Night,” a dozen cover songs tailor-made for funerals and wakes. Alongside guitarist Charlie Owen, Kelly lends a beautiful voice to a somewhat dark project. There are some obvious goodbye songs here, like Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire” and The Beatles’ “Let it Be,” but there are some also some inspired choices here, like Cole Porter’s “Don’t Fence Me In” and Hank William’s “Angel of Death.” While the subject may be a little morbid, it’s a conversation most will have at one time or another when planning that final send off. Kelly and Owen have simply set up a beautiful menu for anyone looking for just that right song to go out on.

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Station Control

CELEBRATING THE ANTI-HERO BY BENJAMIN CARR

T

HE GOLDEN AGE OF TELEVISION that we are currently enjoying began with wonderful anti-heroes like Tony Soprano, Walter White, Don Draper and Stringer Bell. Every week, we watched them evade discovery or capture, wondering if, when and where they might answer for their crimes. Since all their stories have come to an end, the industry keeps giving us new variations on the folks you love to hate. Some of the newest anti-hero protagonists are definitely worth your time.

TABOO (FX)

The 19th century era drama Taboo premiered on FX in January and stars former Oscar nominee Tom Hardy. Hardy, who had a hand in creating the show, plays James Delaney, a man recently returned to London 15 years after disappearing in Africa. Delaney, believed dead after a slave ship sank, returns to society abruptly on the day of his rich, crazy father’s funeral. This resurrection causes all sorts of trouble, for he was the designated heir of all his father’s property. Delaney immediately becomes a villain to his sister, the East India Tea Company and perhaps all of England, who want the land in America he now owns. Meanwhile, Delaney has his own secrets and agenda, including plans to avenge his father’s murder. Taboo is a beautifullooking show, though 19th century London seems like a disgusting, unwashed and immoral place.

THE YOUNG PEOPLE (HBO)

In The Young Pope star Jude Law portrays the recently elected Pope Pius XIII, the first American pontiff and, at age 47 a very young one. Cardinals in the Vatican believe his inexperience will make him easy to manipulate. But viewers are shown that this is not the case. The new pope was once a streetwise orphan named Lenny, and he is cold, calculating and defensive. His dreams suggest he has very forward ideas about sin, divorce, masturbation and suicide. Also, he may not even believe in God. It remains uncertain if he wants to save the Church, use it to his own advantage or destroy it. Law, though not at all a convincing American, is at his most compelling when he is sneaky. Diane Keaton brings a wariness to her role as a matronly nun and adviser. The politics of the Vatican are unfamiliar territory for TV; it is hard to tell where this show might go.

SNEAKY PETE (Amazon)

Amazon recently released the full first season of its new series Sneaky Pete, starring Giovanni Ribisi, Margo Martindale and Bryan Cranston. Though its tale of a small-time con artist released from prison and on the run from a crime boss has smaller stakes than the other shows mentioned, Sneaky Pete is damn fun. Under showrunner Graham Yost (Justified), Ribisi’s character Marius steals his old cellmate’s identity and goes to stay with that man’s grandparents until he can pay all his old debts. Cranston, who co-created this show, plays the Big Bad. But the best part of this show is Martindale, playing Pete’s grandmother - who runs a bail bond agency, suffers no fools and does not trust this stranger in her house. Sneaky Pete is highly bingeworthy, filled with humor and suspense. Its con game should last for years.

SENSUAL

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INsite Atlanta February 2017 Issue  

Atlanta's Entertainment Monthly featuring our annual Affordable Dining Guide. We feature the top Atlanta restaurants that won't break the ba...

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