8 YEARS! 2 G N I T ELEBRA
VOL. 28, NO. 6 FREE
THE FAB FOUR TINSLEY ELLIS VALENTINE'S DAY
r e t n WGiuide AFFORDABLE DINING â€¢ BEST OF THE YEAR
MERCEDES-BENZ STADIUM FEB 22 – 23 MonsterJam.com
Competitors shown are subject to change. © 2019 Feld Motor Sports, Inc.
PG 2 • February 2020 • insiteatlanta.com
CONTENTS • FEBRUARY 2020 • VOLUME 28, NO. 6
28 R AT I N G CELEB
INTERVIEWS 12 ATL Jewish Film 13 Bob Mintzer 14 The Fab Four 15 Tinsley Ellis 18 John C. Stewart
Make Reservations for Valentine’s Day
“10 BEST RESTAURANTS FOR ROMANTIC DINING” – USA Today Award Winning Margaritas & Full Bar
FEATURES 08 Winter Guide 09 Top TV Shows 09 Top Indie Albums 10 Affordable Dining 16 Oscars Preview 17 Tops of 2019 18 Sensual Valentine
04 05 06 07 07 08 16
Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!
Around Town On Tap Atlanta on a Dime New Releases Under The Lights Station Streaming 15 Movie Reviews
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VOL. 28, NO. 6 FREE
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© Copyright 2020, Be Bop Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved
Please see our Winter Guide on page 8!
r e Wint Guide
AFFORDABLE DINING • BEST
OF THE YEAR
Atlanta’s Favorite Pizza! Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.com insiteatlanta.com • February 2020 • PG 3
Around Town JANUARY 31 - FEBRUARY 23 The Hobbit
Events and Performances taking place this Month
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 8
Synchronicity Theatre’s production reimagines J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic masterpiece with five actors, acrobatics, and exciting fight scenes – all with a decidedly steam punk twist. Perfect for young and old adventurers alike, The Hobbit spins a tale of how with a little courage, even the smallest creatures can become heroes. Visit synchrotheatre.com.
e Oyster Festival is a day long 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. Tickets include admission into the event and entertainment (bands and DJs). Food and beverage not included with ticket price. Tickets at parktavern.com.
THURSDAY - SAT FEBRUARY 6 - 8
The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival returns for its 20th Anniversary season Monday, February 10. e Opening Night World Premiere of Shared Legacies: e African-American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance, explores the historic relationship among civil rights pioneers, including many notable Atlanta leaders. A preshow reception, for sponsors and members only, will feature a food tasting with some of Atlanta's ﬁnest chefs. Visit ajﬀ.org.
Emory’s Jazz Fest 2020
Schwartz Center for Performing Arts
Saxophonist Bob Mintzer, longtime member of the Grammy Award-winning Yellowjackets, is what's known as a triple threat musician. He is equally active in the areas of performance, composing/arranging, and music education. The New York native takes the stage with the Gary Motley Trio to kick off Emory University’s Jazz Fest 2020 on Friday, February 7 at 8:00 p.m. Mintzer is joined by pianist and band leader Gary Motley, bassist Kenny Davis, and percussionist Emrah Kotan. The general public is also invited to observe free jazz master classes on Thursday, February 6 and Saturday, February 8. Saturday features a free ticketed big band event. Tickets at schwartz.emory.edu.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 10
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16 Swann Princess
Cobb Energy Centre
Dad’s Garage Valentine's Day Improv & Variety begin on the 13th with improv games based on audience stories of love gone right or wrong. Then on February 14th Vavianna Vardot's Valentine's Sex Party takes over the stage with burlesque and improve at 8pm followed by the lovable Sweater Puppies at 10:30pm. Visit Dadsgarage.com.
Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Fox Theatre
Atlanta Ballet’s production of The Swan Princess features all of the mystery and magic of the beloved classic Swan Lake, but fits the treasured story into a one-hour format for children that serves as a perfect introduction to ballet. Will Prince Siegfried be able to save Odette, the beautiful swan princess, from the reaches of the wicked Von Rothbart? The one-hour family ballet may be designed for audiences ages 12 and under, but will be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Visit atlantaballet.com.
The Peabody Award-winning hit TV comedy comes to the Fox Theatre with an allnew Mystery Science Theater 3000 Live: The Great Cheesy Movie Circus Tour. Join show creator and original host, Joel Hodgson, and the world’s greatest movie-riffing robots, Tom Servo, Crow, and Gypsy, as they take you on an exhilarating roller coaster ride through some of the cheesiest films ever made. Tickets at foxtheatre.org.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 14
Valentines in the Garden Atlanta Botanical Garden
THURS, FRIDAY FEBRUARY 13,14 Valentine’s Shows
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 26
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 top caterers, sip specialty cocktails from cash bars, dance to live music. Visit their website atlantabg.org for tickets.
SATURDAY, MARCH 7
The 5th annual Atlanta Brunch Fest will be held on Saturday, March 9th from 12-4pm, with VIP entry at 11am. Close to 50 restaurants will be participating in the event and they will all bring their tastiest brunch items for the crowd to sample. There will be Bloody Marys, mimosas, Brunch Punch, as well as a selection of beer and wine to choose from. Live music as well as everyone's favorite, DJ Q-Tip, will get the crowd moving. Visit their website atlantabrunchfestival.com for list of restaurants and menu items.
FEBRUARY 7 ATLANTA SYMPHONY HALL PG 4 • February 2020 • insiteatlanta.com
BUY NOW AT TICKETMASTER.COM WOODRUFF ARTS CENTER BOX OFFICE
On Tap this Month MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA February 7: Atlanta Symphony Hall
THE FAB FOUR: ULTIMATE BEATLES TRIBUTE e Emmy Award winning Fab Four is elevated far above every other Beatles Tribute due to their precise attention to detail. eir incredible stage performances include three costume changes representing every era of the Beatles ever-changing career. is loving tribute to the Beatles has amazed audiences in countries around the world. Visit Atlantasymphony.org.
February 11-16: The Fox Theatre
Winner of four Tony Awards including Best Musical Revival, Hello Dolly! is the universally acclaimed smash that “distills the mood-elevating properties of the American musical at its giddybest.” Led by award winning director Jerry Zaksand choreographed by Tony Award winner Warren Carlyle, the entire creative team of the Broadway production reprises their roles for the national tour. Tickets at Foxeatre.org/HelloDolly.
February 14: Atlanta Symphony Hall
At the age of 93, Tony Bennett is not slowing down and 2020 marks the 70th Anniversary of his professional recording career when he made his ﬁrst record, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" in 1950 as a newly signed artist to Columbia Records. e 19-time Grammy Award-winning musician’s music spans over six decades. His daughter Antonia opens the performance with jazz/pop standards. AtlantaSymphony.org.
February 18: Cobb Energy Centre
After more than 50 active years of hit song making and international album sales well into the multi-millions, it's safe to say that esteemed singer-songwriter and musician Gordon Lightfoot resides with some very exclusive company atop the list of all-time greats. His song catalog is incredibly vast and includes such immortals as “Early Morning Rain” and “If You Could Read My Mind”. Tickets at CobbEnergyCentre.com.
German Mardi Gras Festival
LIVE and B n a m Ger
MUSIC • DANCING • FUN SATURDAY, FEB. 15 • 7-11PM “Anything Goes” • $8 Admission Prizes for Best Costumes & Presentations For info, call the Helen Chamber at 706-878-1908
1074 Edelweiss Strasse • The Festhalle Oktoberfest helenchamber.com Festhalle Friends
Atlanta's Dog Festival & Party in Piedmont Park
All Dogs & Their Humans Welcome! Celebrate St. PAW-trick's Day with your dog!
Sunday, March 15, 2020 / 1-6 pm Piedmont Park & Park Tavern www.RescueDOGGames.com Interactive Dog/Human Game Stations
February 22 & 23: Mercedes-Benz Stadium
Disc Dog Competition: Watch the pro dogs! & enter the amateur division
Monster Jam is an exhilarating form of family motorsports entertainment. e stars of the show are the biggest performers on four wheels: the Monster Jam trucks! e twelve-feet-tall, ten-thousand-pound machines will bring you to your feet, racing and ripping up a custom-designed track full of obstacles to soar over or smash through. Taking place over two days, February 23 & 24. Visit MercedesBenzStadium.com.
Beer Garden-Music St. PAW-trick's Day Dog Costume Contest
February 22 & 23: Steamhouse Lounge
e 33rd Annual Steamhouse Lounge Oysterfest is back and now at the corner of Peachtree Street & 12th Street in Midtown 2 blocks from the Steamhouse Lounge. e event entrance is at Peachtree & 12th St. Enjoy Roasted and Fried Oysters, Lobster Bisque, Po’Boys, plenty of beer and live music from Drivin N Cryin, Francisco Vidal, Blair Crimmins & the Hookers and more. More info at SteamhouseLounge.com.
Everyone can PLAY...you just need to register
Chalk-Dog Art Walk: Watch the featured artist create & enter the chalk contest
for FREE Registration or VIP-E Tickets (Very Important Puppy Experience): www.RescueDOGGames.com
Dog Activities: Lure Chase - Dog Art Projects Agility Course - Photo Booth...
BRING UN-OPENED PET FOOD TO DONATE THE ATL HUMANE SOCIETY- PET FOOD PANTRY
ADOPT your next best friend!
insiteatlanta.com • February 2020 • PG 5
Saturday, February 22, 11AM - 3PM
EVENTS HAPPENING FOR SMALL CHANGE IN ATLANTA
Know of a low cost event happening? Event@AtlantaOnADime.com By Marci Miller
Fundraiser; Special Olympics of GA SpecialOlympicsGA.org 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.
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. Watch the Parade along Peachtree Center Ave, Marietta and Peachtree Street near Five Points Station or at Centennial Olympic. Parade begins at the Hurt Park and ends at Centennial Olympic Park.
Sunday, January 26; 10AM - 3PM
Saturday, February 8; 8:00pm
Tickets $10 - $12; Georgia Aquarium AtlantaJewishLifeFestival.com
Schwartz Center for Performing Arts Free Tickets; Schwartz.Emory.edu
AJLF is a celebration of Jewish culture and Atlanta’s thriving Jewish community. Festival goers can expect an interactive day of live performances, traditional foods, wine tastings, judaica art and a community bazaar spotlighting dozens of Atlanta’s Jewish organizations. Entrance to the festival is through the Ocean's Ballroom located on the ﬁrst level of the Aquarium parking deck at 246 Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. Presented by the Atlanta Jewish Times.
Jazz Fest 2020 comes to a close on SaturGeorgia World Congress Center day, February 8 at 8 p.m. with Emory’s Big $12 Adult; $6 Kids; GoAutoShow.com Band, led by Gary Motley and joined by Saturday, February 22 Hosted at the Georgia World Congress bassist Kenny Davis and percussionist BLACK HISTORY PARADE Center, the Atlanta International Auto Emrah Kotan. From Ellington and Basie to 1 - 4 pm; Free; Sweet Auburn District Show is the largest consumer event held the works of today’s stellar arrangers, the BlackHistoryMonthParade.com annually, encompassing 500,000 square Emory Big Band showcases the best in jazz e Black History Month Parade celefeet at the venue. It has also earned the bands. Jazz Fest classes and events run brates the culture, heritage, history and acreputation of being one of the nation’s key February 6 to February 8 in the Schwartz complishments of Black/ African automotive exhibitions. Center for Performing Arts.
Friday - Sunday, February 7 - 9
FASCHING (GERMAN MARDI GRAS)
ATLANTA JEWISH LIFE FESTIVAL JAZZ FEST BIG BAND NIGHT
NORTH ATLANTA HOME SHOW
$6 tickets online; Infinite Energy Center NorthAtlantaHomeShow.com
February 26 - March 1
INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW
Saturday, February 15
$8 Admission; Helen, Georgia HelenChamber.com
Grab your family and friends and come on Remodel, Repair, Refresh at the 23rd an- out to Helen, GA’s Festhalle on Saturday, nual North Atlanta Home Show in Gwin- February 15 for a night of music, dancing nett. More than 150 companies will be and fun. e event is held in e Festhalle displaying the latest in home improvement from 7 - 11pm. is year’s theme is “Anyproducts and services. Take advantage of thing Goes” where costumes are welone-stop comparison shopping for every- comed but not required. ere will be a thing for your home, inside and out and cash bar, live German band and costume talk face to face with hundreds of experts contests with awards for costumes and presentation. Admission is just $8.00. on the latest home remodeling.
TICKETS ON SALE JANUARY 27 #AJFF2020 MORE INFO AT
AJFF.ORG PG 6 • February 2020 • insiteatlanta.com
BLACK HISTORY PARADE
1-4pm, FREE Sweet Auburn District BlackHistoryMonthParade.com
Under The Lights
NEW ON ATLANTA STAGE
MAYBE HAPPY ENDING
January 21 - February 16 Alliance Theatre, Coca-Cola Stage 404.733.5000 AllianceTheatre.org Set in the not-too-distant future in Seoul, Korea, two obsolete helperbots are living an isolated existence in a robots-only housing complex on the edge of the city. Oliver is waiting expectantly for his former-owner to come looking for him, and Claire is just… waiting. When the two discover each other in the hall, they have a surprising connection that challenges what they believe is possible for themselves, relationships, and love. Looking past our era of technologydriven detachment, this award-winning musical celebrates a magical and bittersweet reawakening to the things that make us human. Written in two versions, English-language and Korean-language, the Korean version had its world premiere in Seoul, Korea, in 2016, where it won six Musical Awards. Alliance is hosting the American premiere.
ONCE A MUSICAL
Horizon Theatre Jan 31 - March 8 404.584.7450 HorizonTheatre.com On the streets of Dublin, an Irish musician and a Czech immigrant are drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week, their unexpected friendship and collaboration evolves
into a powerful but complicated romance, heightened by the raw emotion of the songs they create together. Featuring an ensemble cast of gifted actor/musicians, Once is a joyously uplifting show that strikes an unforgettable chord in audiences and speaks to the power of music to connect us all. Based on the 2007 film of the same name by John Carney, Once is the recipient of eleven 2012 Tony Award nominations, and winner of eight including Best Musical, Best Actor and Best Book.
SEIZE THE KING
February 14 – March 8 Alliance Theatre, Hertz Stage 404.733.5000 AllianceTheatre.org With his country’s throne empty, Richard knocks down threats to his ascension, fueling his insatiable ambition and paranoia. Even if he can be stopped, who can ensure a tyrant won’t rise in his place? Award-winning playwright Will Power delivers a propulsive and timely modern reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s Richard III. “A sharp, lyrical script that blurs the line between the past and the present, while positing that ambition and depravity are not the province of merely one king, one country, or one moment in time.” SDCB
NEW RELEASES THE LATEST DVD, BLU RAY & VOD RELEASES By John Moore
ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD
(Sony Pictures) You know what you’re getting with a Quentin Tarantino movie, nearly three decades into his career. And Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood is pure Tarantino, crammed with beautifully odd characters, revisionist history, bursts of violence and quirky dialogue. Though this Oscar-nominated film is already dividing audiences, it also happens to be one of his best films in years. Leonardo DiCaprio is a fading Hollywood actor getting left behind in the late ‘60s and Brad Pitt is his loyal stunt double. DiCaprio happens to live next door to Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski as the Manson Family is planning to make their mark on history. Once Upon A Time… is a movie that only Tarantino could have made.
COME ON FEEL THE NOIZE: THE STORY OF HOW ROCK BECAME METAL
(Cleopatra Entertainment) While not exactly the definitive documentary on heavy metal (that would be the 11-episode Metal Evolution that dug into the 26 subgenres of heavy metal) Come On Feel The Noize is a
solid primer that tracks the leather and studded genre from the 1960s through its heyday in the ‘80s leading up to its current incarnation in 2017. The film is filled out with some insightful interviews from folks like Jimmy Page, Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper and James Hetfield. While it’s not compelling enough to change any minds about the music, it comes off as a solid love letter to fans of Heavy Metal.
PICK IT UP!: SKA IN THE ‘90S
(Pop Motion) There are few music genres as polarizing as ska and even fewer that are as enduring. By the late 1980s, ska in the U.S. was little more than a micro niche being kept alive be bands like Fishbone and The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. Few would have guessed that the genres third wave of popularity was just a few years away. Pick It Up! Beautifully synthesizes the phenomenon of the ‘90s ska craze in a tight 99 minute documentary. Narrated by Rancid’s/Operation Ivy’s Tim Armstrong, the film mixes humor and nostalgia to accurately document the movement thanks to interviews with members from bands like The Bosstones, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, The Specials and many many more.
Make it a night — or an afternoon, or a morning! — at the new Alliance Theatre. NO W SHO W ING on the COCA-COL A STAGE
JA N 2 1 – F EB 16
C OMING SOON on the HER T Z STAGE
C OMING SOON on the COCA-COL A STAGE
Looking past our era of technologydriven isolation, this award-winning musical imagines a magical and bittersweet reawakening to the things that make us human.
MAR 7 – 29 F EB 14 – MAR 8
With tail-shaking tunes, empowering
Award-winning playwright Will Power
messages of individuality, and classic
delivers a propulsive and timely modern
Mo Willems humor, this musical is
reinterpretation of Shakespeare’s Richard III.
sure to rock audiences of all ages.
GET TICKETS low as $25 for as
box office 404.733.5000 alliancetheatre.org/season
12 8 0 P E ACH T REE S T NE AT L A N TA , G A 3 0 3 0 9
insiteatlanta.com • February 2020 • PG 7
WinterGuide Winter Beer Fest
Atlantic Station February 1, 1pm - 5pm AtlantaWinterBeerfest.com
e 10th annual Atlanta Winter Beer Fest will be held on Saturday, February 1st from 1-5pm in the event space behind Atlantic Station. ey will have over 150 beers as well as a selection of wine and cider to choose from. Additionally, Winter X, a special 10 year anniversary beer will be brewed for the occasion by New Realm Brewing. ere will be live music by a local cover band as well as DJ Qtip, a heated tent (if necessary!) and food will be available for purchase. e beer list will be added to the website leading up to the event. e cost is $45 in advance and $55 day of. Tickets at AtlantaWinterBeerFest.com.
Fasching - Mardis Gras Festhalle in Helen, GA; February 15 7pm - 11pm; helenchamber.com
Grab your family and friends and come on out to Helen, GA’s Festhalle on Saturday, February 15 for a night of music, dancing and fun. e theme is “Anything Goes” where costumes are welcomed but not required. ere will be a cash bar, live German band and costume contests with awards for best male and female costumes and best overall presentation. Visit helenchamber.com.
Atlanta Jewish Film Festival
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre
Opening Night: Monday, February 10 Festival: February 10 - February 27 AJFF.org
e 20th Anniversary of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival (AJFF) takes place Monday, February 10 through ursday, February 27 featuring a diverse collection of exceptional international and independent cinema that continues a proud tradition of entertaining audiences and fostering community dialogue. e festival attracts nearly 40,000 moviegoers each year. e 2020 AJFF opens at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre before expanding to multiple metro area venues across 18 days. In addition to popular venues UA Tara Cinemas, Regal Perimeter Point and the Sandy Springs Performing Arts Center, AJFF will add two new in-town locations in 2020 at the Landmark eatres Midtown Art Cinema and the Plaza eatre. e Woodruﬀ Arts Center once again hosts Young Professionals Night of the festival. e full ﬁlm line-up, oﬃcial schedule and tickets can be found on their website AJFF.org beginning Monday, January 27. PG 8 • February 2020 • insiteatlanta.com
NEW DECADE; NEW SHOWS
The Picard Boys Star Trek:
Snow Mountain Stone Mountain, Through February 23 StoneMountainPark.com
Spend a funfilled day playing in the snow! With a 400-foot tubing hill and 2 moving sidewalks to take you back to the top, your Snow session will be packed with fun. Snow Mountain offers single tubes, double tubes, and family-sized tubes that can accommodate up to 8 guests at a time. Due to the popularity of Snow Mountain, tubing is offered in 2-hour sessions. The Snow Zone play area is included with your Snow Mountain tubing session.
BY BENJAMIN CARR
ITH THE START OF A NEW decade and the onslaught of new options about to arrive on our screens, a lot of new programs are trying to grab our attention. Some new shows have tried to combine old elements from tried-and-true entertainments, giving us old gimmicks and familiar setups with a new bit of flavor. Dracula
Alvin Ailey Dance Theater The Fox Theatre; February 20 - 23 AlvinAiley.org
Share the magic of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater with loved ones. The Company returns to The Fox Theatre for four days only for inspired performances featuring new productions of Ailey classics and premieres by some of America’s most celebrated dance-makers. All shows close with Mr. Ailey’s inspiring Revelations – the world’s most popular work of modern dance.
Monster Jam Mercedes-Benz Stadium Saturday,
February 22 & Sunday, February 23 MonsterJam.com
Monster Jam is coming to MercedesBenz Stadium February 22-23. Witness as 12,000-pound trucks tear up the dirt with gravity-defying feats. Engineered to perfection, the legendary Grave Digger, Max-D, El Toro Loco and many more push all limits in Freestyle, the Skills Challenge and Racing competitions. The Series Champion receives an automatic bid to the prestigious Monster Jam World Finals to compete for the title of World Champion. This is full throttle family fun.
MonsterEnergySupercross Mercedes-Benz Stadium; Feb 29 SuperCrossOnline.com
Don't miss your chance to experience the most competitive and highest-profile off-road motorcycle racing championship in the world. Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship. Featuring tight corners, fast straightaways, challenging rhythm sections, triple jumps, and whoops sections, these tracks pack excitement into every inch of dirt.
She’s got charisma, though. She managed to shine in excellent horror movies, the terrifying Don’t Breathe and the remake of Evil Dead. Her latest show Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist has a wild premise and a good heart, and Levy’s luck at being in a project with legs may just have changed. It’s got a fantastic cast - including Glee’s Alex Newell, Skylar Astin, Lauren Graham, Mary Steenburgen and Peter Gallagher - and a bright, upbeat look. Levy plays Zoey, a woman who is suddenly granted the power to know people’s inner desires after she is zapped with every song on the Internet when an earthquake hits San Francisco while she’s getting an MRI. Seriously, that’s the premise. She’s walking down the street, and everyone bursts into a song-and-dance number. It’s Glee meets Eli Stone, and it’s delightful. At first, Zoey finds the change terrifying, but eventually she learns how to connect and use the power to her advantage, while helping others. The best moments involve Gallagher, playing Zoey’s father who is suffering from a form of dementia and is unable to speak - but can sing for his daughter. It’s cheesy, but it’s effective.
STAR TREK: PICARD (CBS All Access)
This co-production between the streaming giant and BBC does its best to resurrect the dead and manages to be pretty spectacular at it. Taking all of the elements of the original Bram Stoker novel and updating them for the masses, the show, in three 90-minute episodes, feels more like a series of well-written movies than an ongoing series. Each one has its own setting, serving as a new chapter in the story involving the vampire and the scientist oddly obsessed with him. It’s reminiscent of Sherlock, but it’s much scarier, while remaining as clever. The Harkers, usually the beating heart of the story, are side characters in this adaptation as the titular Count Dracula (played by an excellent Claes Bang) takes on a new adversary in the agnostic, snide nun Sister Agatha (played by scene stealer Dolly Wells). The first episode takes up residence in Transylvania and gives us much of what we expect, then suddenly turns everything familiar on its head with a series of shocking twists. The second episode continues to buck trend, providing us with a locked-room mystery onboard the ship voyage from the original novel. And the third episode just drives everything involving the book’s plot about Lucy and her suitors off a cliff. It’s a daring show, definitely worth catching.
Twenty years since the final voyages of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s cast, the great Patrick Stewart has returned to the small screen to his most enduring role. (Yes, Jean-Luc Picard is better than Professor X.) Not much is known about the series at this point, though it does center on Picard returning to space exploration after a lengthy retirement from Starfleet. In interviews, Stewart says that his character, now 92, is darker than when we last saw him, complicated and plagued with regrets, including the death of the android Data (Brent Spiner) during Star Trek: Nemesis. In addition to Spiner, other Star Trek favorites are expected to return to the series, including Jeri Ryan, Marina Sirtis and Jonathan Frakes. The showrunner for the new series, most interestingly, is Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Chabon, who wrote the novels Wonder Boys and The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay. Chabon also wrote a draft of the screenplay for Spider-Man 2, suggesting that Picard’s future is in very good hands.
ZOEY’S EXTRAORDINARY PLAYLIST (NBC)
Jane Levy is a savvy, charming television star, but most audiences don’t know her name, in spite of the fact that she’s been featured in lots of pilots, movies and short-lived series. She was at the center of Suburgatory, where her sarcasm and bitter voice made for grand comedy. And she also appeared in the first season of Castle Rock, even though they barely used her as Jackie Torrance.
Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist
TOP 10 TV SHOWS OF 2019 BY BENJAMIN CARR
Bell remain excellent, even though Manny Jacinto and D’Arcy Carden steal every scene they are in.
N REGARD TO THE ENVIRONMENT, politics or peace, 2019 was not a banner year. But, luckily, there was really good TV to catch while the rest of the world burned, sometimes literally. With the addition of Apple TV+ and Disney Plus to our streaming options, there was more good stuff to watch. The best programming came from expected and unexpected places, including galaxies far, far away.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker had nothing on the grit and tension available in this space-based Western about a rogue bounty hunter who finds something to fight for. Star Pedro Pascal does damn good work, though he barely got the chance to show his face, and Baby Yoda is kinda everything.
10. STRANGER THINGS 3 (Netflix)
7. THE MORNING SHOW (Apple TV+)
The new season of the Netflix hit many heights, rebounding from the missteps of the last season. As the show entered 1985, complete with references to Back to the Future, the Cold War, The Neverending Story and scenes filmed at a rejuvenated Gwinnett Place, it was a blast. And Maya Hawke was the breakout new star of the season.
9. THE GOOD PLACE (NBC)
There are only a handful of episodes left for this series, which nonetheless continues its tightrope walk of excellence, exploring deeply philosophical conceits about the meaning of life, goodness and eternity. And it remains completely hilarious. When it takes its final bows, it will hopefully be acknowledged as one of the best sitcoms ever made. And Ted Danson and Kristen
8. THE MANDALORIAN (Disney+)
The more this series continued, the better it became. In ten episodes, the Jennifer Aniston-Reese Witherspoon behind-thescenes show was a wild, daring thing, tackling #metoo and the fakery of television itself. Alongside the stars, Billy Crudup is doing great work here. And Gugu MbathaRaw and Steve Carell played some of the most complicated, sad and difficult scenes of the year. The Morning Show was fantastic.
6. THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAISEL
(Amazon Prime) The third season of this comedy continued its winning streak as Midge finally found a bit of success in stand-up, opening for R&B star Shy Baldwin. The cast - particularly Rachel Brosnahan, Tony Shalhoub and Marin Hinkle - continues doing great work.
Chernobyl 5. FLEABAG (Amazon Prime)
The second and final season of this British comedy from Phoebe Waller-Bridge went into deeper, darker and even metaphysical places. The main character developed a powerful attraction to a priest, played by Andrew Scott, who saw her in a way no one else could. What resulted from their relationship was a masterpiece, particularly the heartbreaking, totally right ending.
4. UNBELIEVABLE (Netflix)
Kaitlyn Dever, Merrit Weaver and Toni Collette anchored this amazing, hard-totake true crime miniseries from Netflix. The scenes where Dever, whose character was reporting a rape, confronted doubts and suspicion from the very people who were supposed to help her felt raw and cruel. As the series continued, it held up a mirror to the world.
racism and cruel injustice. It is a stunning and important work.
1. CHERNOBYL (HBO)
This HBO miniseries about the Russian nuclear disaster- and the Soviet attempt to hide it - is among the best television ever made. It is gripping and terrifying, and viewers cannot turn away. Jared Harris and Stellan Skarsgaard do career-best work.
3. WATCHMEN (HBO)
This continuation of the DC Comics classic from the 1980s explored American race relations in the most inventive and crazy entertaining ways. It took on a complicated premise with complete confidence, and it nailed it. As jaded heroes, Regina King and Jean Smart kick all kinds of ass. And the final shot of the whole thing was perfect.
2. WHEN THEY SEE US (Netflix)
Ava Duvernay’s Netflix miniseries about the legal battles of five Harlem boys accused of a rape in Central Park is full of heartache,
on his fifth LP and sits behind a piano for an even more relaxed vibe, and his wit still shines through just as strong with this outing. Songs like “Nobody Smokes Anymore” (“the last years of your life are so shitty anyway”) and “Passive Aggressive” are among some of the best he’s written in an already impressive career.
members of the Dallasbased Vandoliers have soaked up every bit of those influences over the years. Their latest release, and first for Bloodshot Records, Forever, is essentially a love letter to every pocket of Texas music out there. Cramming in Americana, Punk Rock, Country and Tejano throughout the 10 tracks here for an exhausting, though remarkably satisfying tour of everything that makes Lone Star music enduring.
BY JOHN B. MOORE
Texas Piano Man (New West Records)
Less than a minute into Robert Ellis’ brilliant effort you can’t shake the feeling that he’s channeling the ghost of Harry Nilsson. Who else besides Ellis, but possibly Nilsson, could manage to take the chorus “I’m fucking crazy” and turn it into a weddingcaliber love song (“Fucking Crazy”)? And that’s just one song in. Ellis puts down the guitar
Forever (Blood Shot Records)
Texas has a remarkably diverse musical heritage that spans from Outlaw Country and Rock to Tejano – making it arguable one of the most brilliantly disparate musical landscapes this country has to offer. And it seems all six
Primetime Illusion (Xtra Mile Recordings)
Over the course of just three albums, Wisconsin’s Trapper Schoepp has quietly, steadily been winning over a slew of followers. That’s not surprising given his knack for writing,
catchy, memorable songs that stay with you long after the music has stopped. His latest and fourth LP, Primetime Illusion, is his best so far. Across 11 tracks, Schoepp has hit his stride lyrically, turning in compelling character-driven sketches backed by strong hooks and melodies. From the opening shot, the steady slow build “Shakedown” to more straight-ahead rock on songs like “Freight Train” or the brilliant antisexual assault track, “What You Do to Her” (with a great cameo by Nicole Atkins) Schoepp and his band take a massive step forward in their music. The record closes with “On Wisconsin,” an old unfinished Bob Dylan tune that Schoepp was able to complete and share co-writing credit with fellow Midwesterner Mr. Zimmerman. insiteatlanta.com • February 2020 • PG 9
Winter Dining Guide Affordable Dining at Top Atlanta Restaurants Eats 600 Ponce de Leon 404.888.9149 eatsonponce.net
Eats keeps their menu simple and their prices low. First choose from a variety of pastas. You pay by the sauce which range from $6.25 and $7.75 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 casserole, green beans, and collards. Vegetable plates are priced at $6.75 for three or $8.75 for four. A meat and two sides run $9.50 and $10.50 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 mouthwatering 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 organicfriendly. 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. Or choose from plenty of individual toppings to create your own masterpiece. Also find subs, salads, sandwiches and other popular
Italian dishes including calzones, strombolis, and lasagna. Johnny’s restaurants offer dine-in, take-out and delivery along with online ordering.
Agave 242 Boulevard 404.588.0006
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 through their website for great dining deals & event info. Agave has two beautiful dining rooms as well as an enclosed heated patio.
Baldinos Giant Jersey Subs 80 Powers Ferry Rd. 770.321.1177 5697 Buford Hwy. 770.455.8570 12890 Highway 9 678.580.0434 baldinos.us
Baldinos serves up the best sub sandwich in the South. 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 offering a different sub for each day of the week. Having a Super Bowl Party? Call Baldinos and ask for their Party Subs. “It’s always a party when you invite Baldinos!”
484 Moreland Ave. 404.523.0500 115 Laredo Dr. 404.299.5799 savagepizza.com
This eclectic neighborhood restaurant is a favorite hangout among residents of Little 5 and Avondale Estates. They offer a wide variety of salads, subs, calzones and of course pizzas to choose from at affordable prices. 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 indoors and on the patio.
N. Decatur Plaza 404.320.0101; Midtown 404.917.1100; East Cobb 678.996.0045; Athens 706.543.5000 mediterraneangrill.com
Mediterranean Grill is the place to go for authentic Mediterranean food. Their loyal customers keep this family/chef-owned and operated restaurant busy. • Pizza • Harry’s Speciality Pizza • Oven Baked Subs
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8 FEET 16-32 People $70 Any Small Pizza, Drink: $9.99 (Greek, caesar, chef, spinach, or toss) (Any specialty or up to 4 toppings) atpizza baldinos.us FRIDAY Meatless Combo - Tuna (#10) or Veg Stir Fry (#27) w/ side Order online 10 FEET 20-40 People $88 1 Slice of Pizza, Small Salad, TEAM TRIVIA! SATURDAY Steak Out-A-Steak Sub Your Choice (#11, #13 or #19) Drink: $7.99 12 FEET 24-48 People $105 Thursdays @ 7:30pm (Includes one topping) (Greek, caesar, chef, spinach, or toss) SUNDAY Italian Special - (#15) w/ choice of soup or side Marietta 80 Powers Ferry Road Doraville 5697 Buford Hwy Milton 12890 Hwy 9 12890 Hwy 9 (678) 580-0434 2150 Powers
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Atlanta’s BEST SUBS 14 Years Running! Atlanta’s 14 PG 10 • February 2020 • insiteatlanta.com
Ferry Road • Atlanta • 30339 770-955-4413 • harryspizzaandsubs.com
Here you 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 $8.40. Mediterranean Grill has tasty sandwiches including: Gyro, Kufta Kabob, Chicken Kabob, Falafel and a Grilled Vegetable sandwich. Sandwiches are just $6.50 and entrees start at $9.50.
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.
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 $7.50 - $9.95. 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 $12.50. They also offer a variety of vegetarian dishes, ramen and sushi.
Eclipse di Luna
764 Miami Circle 404.846.0449 4505 Ashford-Dunwoody 678.205.5862 eclipsediluna.com
Upon entering Eclipse di Luna you feel like you’ve been transported into an exotic locale. Take in the festive, high-energy dining experience with an artsy setting as a backdrop. With over two dozen tapas to choose from there is something to please any taste. Their cheese based tapas are great choice to start with. Try the Quesos Espanoles, a tasting of Spanish cheeses with assorted accompaniments. Eclipse di Luna features a variety of meat dishes like the Pollo a la Parilla, a chicken breast grilled and marinated with red pepper salad and avocado. On the beef side, The Brocheta de Bistee is a red wine marinated skirt steak skewered with chimichurri. There are also several seafood dishes to choose from including the Gambas al Ajillo which is sautéed shrimp & garlic with calabes pepper. Eclipse di Luna has been voted Best Tapas by INsite readers several years running. Both locations offer patio dining.
3365 Piedmont Rd. 404.961.8946 twinpeaksrestaurant.com
JINYA Ramen Bar
550 Amsterdam Ave. 404.875.4494 loca-luna.com
Sandy Springs 404.600.6974 Buckhead 404.549.2583 Alpharetta 770.609.8238 jinya-ramenbar.com
Twin Peaks is more than great views. The mountain lodge-style sports restaurant is known for their award winning burgers and wings along with great sandwiches and comfort foods. Start off with their Venison Chili or great selection of soups and salads. Choose from their Bites menu for popular chicken tenders, quesadillas and nachos. They offer signature dishes like Mom’s Pot Roast and Chicken & Waffles that will help warm you up this winter. Wash it down with their extensive selection of draft beers served from 32 taps. Twin Peaks is a great place to meet up for a business lunch or to get together with friends with rooms available for private party bookings. The place will be rocking on Feb. 2 for Super Bowl LIV!
There is no more affordable, delicious food than ramen noodles in slow cooked broth. JINYA Ramen Bar with locations in Buckhead, Sandy Springs and now Alpharetta, has built a cult like following. Their mantra is delicious food at reasonable prices that’s accessible to all. Order from the Ramen Bowl menu and discover a wide array of authentic toppings, from tender pork chasu to a perfectly cooked and seasoned poached egg to fresh garlic that will take your bowl to the next level. Also choose from a variety of small plates, mini tacos, rice bowls and salads. Then elevate your experience further by pairing it with wine or a craft beer.
The Earl East Atlanta 488 Flat
800 Peachtree St. 678.666.5198 Escorpionatl.com
Located in the heart of the East Atlanta Village, The Earl is the kind of place you can hang out at all day. It is a great combination of restaurant, bar and concert hall. Featuring an amazing bar menu, moderately priced drinks and a music venue in the back, this is a place that can satisfy just about anyone in your group. Their burgers and sandwiches are very popular and have received numerous awards. Bar regulars love to wash them down with their PBR tall boys. At night anything and everything can be heard on the back stage as national acts and the best of the emerging Atlanta music scene grace the Earl nightly to packed crowds. With a casual atmosphere and eclectic mix of patrons, you can’t go wrong with a visit to The Earl.
Escorpion is a real Mexican tequila bar and cantina from chef-owner Riccardo Ullio. Their food and drink menus are rooted in Mexican flavors and culture. Tequila and Mezcal tastings and cocktails are paired with updated truck-stop Mexican food. Escorpion is a short stroll from The Fox Theater and offers quick serve menus prior to shows. Even when there isn’t a show, the patio is a great place to relax.
Shoals Rd. 404.522.3950 badearl.com
Loca Luna on Amsterdam Ave, directly on the East side of Piedmont Park, is a favorite date night, girls night out or place to meet up with friends. The restaurant offers a spacious main dining room, ample bar/lounge area, tropical outdoor patio with Midtown skyline view. Enjoy a wide range of tapas including Snapchat worthy dishes. Loca Crazy Mondays offer half-off all tapas and $3 Sangria 4-10pm. Free Salsa lessons on Wednesdays from 8-9pm and $5 Skinny drinks. Thursdays get $4 individual Margaritas and $15 pitchers. Bottomless Mimosas and Sangria served for Sunday Brunch. Live Latin music every night on their large dance floor and the hottest DJ's spin late night on Fridays and Saturdays. Plenty of free parking.
309 N. Highland Ave. 404.880.9559 FrittiRestaurant.com
Located in the heart of historic Inman Park just walking distance from the A t l a n t a BeltLine, Fritti is nationally recognized for its award winning pizza. Here you can get Pizza Artigianale prepared according to traditional artisan methods in a state of the art wood-burning oven. The heated patio is among the hottest places to be in Inman Park as the entire dining room opens up to the lively street scene. Choose from their great selection of wines and full bar.
AtlAntA’s Best tApAs RestAuRAnt
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. Harry’s is a great place to watch your favorite sport. Bring the family and meet up with friends. Come on a Thursday to find the restaurant filled for weekly trivia. Trivia begins at 7:30pm.
ATLANTA’S BEST LIVE LATIN MUSIC 7 NIGHTS A WEEK! 4505 AshfoRd dunwoody Rd. 678.205.5862 764 MiAMi CiRCle 404.846.0449 Full Service Catering Available • eclipsediluna.com
Best Noodle Bowl
3652 Roswell Rd. 404.816.9090 landmarkdiner.com
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. For dinner they have all the finest dishes like blackened grouper, jumbo shrimp scampi and rack of lamb at very affordable prices. Also great desserts and kids options.
NEW! Alpharetta: 401 S. Broad Street (770) 609-8238 Sandy Spring: 5975 Roswell Rd, Suite B217 (404) 600-6974 Buckhead: 3714B Roswell Rd NE, Suite 35 (404) 549-2583 insiteatlanta.com • February 2020 • PG 11
THE AJFF, TO LIFE!
The 20th Atlanta Jewish Film Festival Celebrates Life-Affirming Messages
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
N CELEBRATION OF THE 20TH anniversary of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival, the organizers have planned special opening and closing presentations. On February 10, the esteemed event kicks off with the world premiere of “Shared Legacies: The African-American Jewish Civil Rights Alliance,” a riveting oral history of the supportive alliance between AfricanAmericans and Jewish Americans by Dr. Shari Rogers. The festival closes on a emotional note with two screenings of Tod Lending’s latitudinal documentary “Saul & Ruby, To Life!” followed by a special Q and A and musical performance by the stars of the movie. INsite was fortunate to speak with the directors of both films for some valuable plot and background information.
Dr. Shari Rogers examines the chronological lessons of Black-Jewish cooperation in this world premiere presentation. Presenting the historic facts and an urgent call to action, the film includes commentary from Holocaust survivors as well as interviews with many leaders of the movement. A number of prominent activists including Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr. and members of Martin Luther King’s family are scheduled to attend. It’s great to open the festival with a film that embraces unity, empathy and partnership. Shari Rogers: We are honored and excited to be a part of it. The timing can’t be more appropriate, too. I’ve gotten emails from people who said they were actually moved, just by viewing by the trailer. From the cast listing alone, you’ll have the all-star film of the event. We were so fortunate to speak with many of the most prominent leaders of both the African-American movement, but also from the Jewish American movement. We’ve invited many of them to attend the gala. With Atlanta being a center of the civil rights movement, you’ll obviously have a full dais of speakers as well. We will and we just got confirmation that [legendary folk musician] Peter Yarrow, who sang at Dr. King’s speech in Washington in 1963, will be singing “Blowin’ In The Wind” before the film.
He’s quite the activist. He really is. He just doesn’t stop. You know what I’ve found from interviewing these folks for the film, is they don’t stop. They have such energy and they’re not as young as they used to be. But you’d think they were in their fifties. People like Yarrow and really all of the many people we’re featuring, they thrive on giving back, rolling up their sleeves and getting involved in the movement.
Is he on the panel for post-film discussion? No, he’s coming in just to sing the song, to open the whole event. But we’ll have martin Luther King III, Rabbi Sugarman, Louis Gossett, Jr. and a number of other prominent people who are also seen in the film. So many people who were on the front lines of the events we discuss in the film will be there. It’s shaping up to be a night of incredible history, on screen and off. I couldn’t be more excited to bring these messages to festival. It’s sure to be a night we’ll never forget. I mean, to be able to watch a movie with the people who are actually in the movie, some of whom are in their 80s or 90s, it’s going to a surreal event. It’ll be like reality TV on steroids!
SAUL & RUBY, TO LIFE!
Storytelling is key in any culture, but the Jewish tradition is particularly rich. Hollywood was founded by Jewish immigrants, so there’s a strong connection to film as a storytelling platform. And indeed, storytelling binds us all. From the Old Testament to today. It’s the way most cultures survive.
As an emotional finale, the festival closes with a screening of the new documentary Saul and Ruby is a very touching story. Can by Academy Award-nominated and Emmyyou give us a little thumbnail description of winning documentarian Tod Lending that the main storyline? follows the real-life Basically it’s about these exploits of friendstwo Holocaust survivors activists-musicians who formed a band a bit Saul Dreier and Ruby late in life. Saul just turned Sosnowicz. Saul had 90, actually. He decided a crazy dream to be a February 10-27 to leave something for his musician at the fragile age Various Locations own legacy and came up of 89. The film documents ajff.org with this rather unusual the story of the Holocaust idea, to form a band. His Survivor Band with equal wife said he was nuts, his does of humor and pathos. Rabbi said he was crazy. He said because they said I’m crazy, I’m gonna do it. So I followed The film premiered in early January at this klezmer duo around their community the Miami Jewish Film Festival, how was and retirement centers in Florida and along the reaction? Tod Lending: Just incredible. I’m so excited the way, they began to get pretty popular and went around the country. about the Jewish film festivals in general. It’s interesting to me when you think of other How did you discover these guys? ethnic groups, what other groups have this I saw a little piece in the New York Times. kind of incredible film festival circuit that is so specific to their own culture? I’m honored I was just finishing up “All The Difference,” which is what we call a longitudinal to be a part of it. I’m Jewish but I’d never documentary. I’d followed two African done a Jewish-themed film before now. But American guys over a five-year period. I I think it’s about preserving our history, our culture and our stories. Storytelling with film was looking for a new project and I just fell in love with these guys. I never imagined is perfect for our culture. ever doing a film that had anything to do with the Holocaust. I just couldn’t imagine finding a story that would have a new angle or something new to say at this point. I thought it would be good to follow these guys in the present and then to look back on their history. I met with them and they agreed to engage in a long-term project.
ATLANTA JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
Saul & Ruby, To Life! PG 12 • February 2020 • insiteatlanta.com
Agreeing to be filmed on a daily basis is a big commitment for anyone. Yes! It requires a tremendous amount of trust. That’s the bottom line. I always try to explain the process, but no one really knows how intrusive it can be until they’re in the project, with cameras around all day and sometimes into the night. You’re filming in bathrooms, in bedrooms, asking the most intimate of questions. The result shows some very vulnerable moments of loss, but there’s also great humor and music. But
when you do a film like this, along the way the filmmaker becomes a friend, a confidant, a therapist, a social worker. All the lines are blurred. Is it a challenge to stay out of the story as you document it? I really want my audience to walk in the shoes of the characters, so I am careful to stay out of the film when it comes to constructing the story. I try to be an invisible presence as I allow then to tell the story. From your description, it sounds like the Holocaust isn’t a major theme, but it’s a constant presence. Right, its presence emerges. I speckle it in very gradually as you’re getting to know the characters. I slowly reveal pieces of their past. When they visit Poland is when it really comes out. But this film is as much about the healing power of music and living life to the fullest as it is about the Holocaust. The primary story is the journey of these two characters. Due their advanced age, time was obviously of the essence. I’d never filmed anyone of this age before and yes, there was a time pressure on this film without a doubt. I had no time to raise funds, no time to waste planning. It was all happening, it was unfolding as I shot. So I had to get it done. Even in the editing process, I was determined not to waste any time. I wanted them to see it and to be able to go to the festivals. I wanted them to see people enjoying their legacy. Have they seen the finished product? They saw it in Miami and they loved it. It’s brought forth a lot of emotions for them and it’s not always easy viewing in places. But it also reinforces their incredible resilience to overcome their losses and celebrate life. I’m happy to say that they like the movie so much that they’ll be in Atlanta for the screening and afterwards, they’re planning a special musical performance. I think it’s going to be a life-affirming experience for everyone. The Atlanta Jewish Film Festival opens Monday, February 10 with a gala screening of “Shared Legacies” with a stellar bill of special guests and closes Thursday, February 27 with afternoon and evening screenings of “Saul & Ruby, To Life!” For tickets and complete schedule, visit ajff.org.
A REALLY BIG SHOW
Emory’s Jazz Fest Offers Hands-on Learning & Brand-New Collaborations
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
OME JAZZ FESTIVALS SPRAWL across a big outdoor stage, offering a cool but decidedly distant look into the actual process of creation. Emory’s Jazz Fest 2020 is a hands-on crash course in the myriad fundamentals of music and the intuitive magic of collaboration. Featuring saxophonist Bob Mintzer, a three-decade veteran of the Grammy Award-winning Yellowjackets, the event includes intimate and full-scale performances as well as two free masterclass jazz workshops. Mintzer has been actively involved in every aspect of live concert performance, big band composition and the fundamentals of specific music education for many years. Since the ‘70s, he has teamed with an incredible roster of artists including Tito Puente, Buddy Rich, The New York Philharmonic, Art Blakey, Donald Fagan, Bobby McFerrin, Jaco Pastorius, Eumir Deodato and Randy Brecker. In addition to playing with The Yellowjackets, he leads his own quartet, a number of domestic big band projects and regularly Tell us a bit about the two master classes conducts the WDR Big Band Orchestra in you’re offering. The “master class” course title Germany. Currently, he teaches courses in jazz sounds imposing but the description sounds composition and saxophone in addition to inclusive and immersive. directing the Thornton Jazz Orchestra at USC Well it really is a little bit of everything. It in Los Angeles. will cover a lot of ground because jazz covers As Artist In Residence at Emory, he’ll so much. We’ll touch on general musicianship. perform ticketed shows with the Gary Motley By that, I mean we’ll include elements and Trio and the Emory Big Band as well as styles of playing, writing, bandleading and leading two enlightening jazz master classes, even the skills of dealing with the music which are both free and open to the public. business. It’s really all about anything related With able support from bassist and Chicago to playing, which obviously covers a lot of music scene stalwart Kenny Davis and India topics pertaining to the music. Arie’s drummer/percussionist, Emrah Kotan, the entire run of enlightening events is a On Friday night, you’ll be joining Gary and must for informed music fans and seriously his trio. Have you collaborated before? dedicated musicians of all ages. No, this will be the first time we’ve ever Music aficionados know played together. Then I’m Motley as a popular pianist, playing with the big band composer, arranger, and on Saturday night [February educator. The oft-lauded 8]. I really love the big band musician has received format. I conduct a big band Feburary 6-8 awards from the National in Germany and I’ve been Schwartz Center for Endowment for the Arts and making my own big band Performing Arts the American Composers records for years. That’s a big schwartz.emory.edu Forum. He’s been featured part of what I do, including on National Public Radio and the writing and arrangement has worked extensively with for the big band presentation. a remarkable slate of artists including Dave So I’ve sent a bunch of my arrangements down Brubeck and Clark Terry. He also serves as there for us to play. Professor of Performance at Emory. Recently INsite spoke with Mintzer from his As someone who enjoys passing the torch, it home studio in California. must be satisfying and energizing to see the college-age kids picking up on the classic big Musicians are often a bit protective about band style. their technique but you seem open to sharing It’s always so inspiring to me to see what the your knowledge. next generation is doing, no matter the style. I really love sharing information and First, because it’s always bound to be a little in jazz music, this is how we learn. With different than what we expect or anticipate collaboration, hanging out and talking with it will sound like but that’s what makes it so people who are a bit older than ourselves good for everyone. Just by its very nature, and just passing on the information. That’s it’s always different than what my generation how I learned, I observed and then I asked did before. And second, we’re always on the questions. Then I’d go into the shed and try to lookout for the new cats, you know? So I enjoy work it all out. It’s the best way to understand it all for a whole number of reasons. Just to see it all. When it comes right down to it, there them carry it on and then to find some new are no real secrets to it. Your musicianship blood to play with and maybe we’ll find some is contingent on your work ethic and your new compositions to play and develop. When personality. You can show everything you you start to play, literally anything can happen. know to someone but it comes down to the New ideas, new music, new collaborations. individual what they will do with it. The key That’s why I’m so excited to see what will is to take what you learn, improve on it and happen from this weekend festival in Atlanta. really call it your own.
BE OUR VALENTINE ?
EMORY JAZZ FEST 2020
VINTAGE, COSTUMES, AND FUNKY CLOTHING /PSYCHOSISTERSATLANTA 428 Moreland Ave NE Atlanta (Next to Vortex) 404-523-0100 • Open 10am – 10pm(ish) insiteatlanta.com • February 2020 • PG 13
THE FEB FOUR
California-Based Band Celebrates the Lasting Legacy of the Beatles it as we always have, to just give the audience a great two-hour Beatles show. The goal is to make it like it’s something they’ll never forget. Going back to the addition of Adam, it’s just about keeping the Fab Four fresh - for us and the audience.
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
EBRUARY IS A BIG MONTH IN Beatle history. This month, the iconic musicians’ ultimate tribute band returns to Atlanta on the exact anniversary of John, Paul, George and Ringo’s initial arrival in America. The California-based Fab Four will Right, as much as we all love the music, bring another two-hour recreation of the when you replicate it over and over from city group’s influential catalog to Symphony Hall. to city, the show can obviously become a bit Formed in 1997 by Ron McNeil as John of a grind. Lennon and Ardy Sarraf as Paul McCartney, The only thing that’s truly tiring is being the band has grown from fan on the road - that’s always convention performances tough. It certainly helps that to big-budget Vegas we love what we’re doing residencies to annual but it’s like being an athlete Friday, February 7 international tours. or being in the military, Symphony Hall INsite caught up with repetition just becomes Sarraf by phone from his atlantasymphony.org part of the process. It’s the home in Los Angeles. old saying, we just get paid to travel. We get paid for Since the last time we talked, there’s a new travelling, and we do the show for free. The John in town. playing is the gravy. Yeah his name is Adam Hastings and he comes from Newcastle, England. So now we It’s a plus that you truly love the music. have two Brits in the band and half of the Fab Yeah, that’s why we never get sick of doing Four are American. Adam is great and he’s the shows. We are playing the best music ever actually making us all up the ante a little bit in made. We all grew up idolizing the Beatles terms of his presence. so we approach it that way. It’s all about the music, no matter what. That’s what really He has quite the pedigree with a long stint in keeps it fresh. The music feels new even the Bootleg Beatles and other projects. though it’s now over half a century old. Yeah he’s been doing it for close to ten years now and we’re so glad to have him in the Even though we obviously know the release band. He’s so good and he can really belt out dates, the music itself doesn’t sound dated. “Twist and Shout” like nobody else. Well that’s the beauty of the Beatles and why we’re still talking about them and playing When you bring in a new member, it their music today. That’s why there are all obviously changes the band dynamic the Beatle bands out there now - people love a bit, even though you’re playing hearing it, people love singing it. familiar material. It really does. But Adam has really given us You’re tasked with the unenviable task a shot in the arm and he’s keeping us focused of replicating the music, personas and on what we’re doing. His attitude, his energy performances of real people for equally real on stage, his uncanny likeness - just his look hardcore, obsessive fans. and those incredible vocals - I don’t know Well, that’s the goal. We’ve spent so many anyone else who could do what he does. years with the music and watching the videos So he made the jump. He moved his family and films. But every show is still a learning and everything to the United States to be a experience even after this many years of member of the Fab Four. doing it. We know we’ll never be them. Our goal is to keep pushing the envelope to That’s a big commitment to the project. capture that essence. It sure is, but it’s working out so well. We couldn’t be happier to have him a part of the You were here last year. How does that push show. you to raise the bar of performance? It’s a celebration of the Beatles and we So Ron has transitioned to a behind-thewant all the fans to come out to celebrate the scenes member at this point? music along with us. So hopefully the show He’ll do a show or two a month and he’s still keeps everyone coming back to see us. We do a partner in the band. Of course I’m one as change it up a little, too. We’re playing brandwell. He’s finally taking some time off to be home with his family a little more. We started way back in ’96 or ’97, so we’ve been working together for a long time.
THE FAB FOUR
At this point, you’ve saluted the Beatles for longer than they were actually together. It’s funny, we’ve pretty much doubled the Beatles’ career and it’s been a wild ride. Along the way, we’ve been able to meet and work with a lot of our heroes. We’ve done shows for John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen and the guys from Kiss and we even worked with Robert Zemeckis on the Yellow Submarine remake that never quite got finished. The Fab Four have accomplished what most original bands only dream of doing. In our case, we’re very lucky to have the Beatle catalog to fall back on. We approach PG 14 • February 2020 • insiteatlanta.com
new, fifty-plus-year-old songs this time. There a lot of songs you can play, over 200. But you need to stick with the hits but we do throw in some cool gems. There’ll be several different songs this time around and we’ll see what the reaction is for folks. Or for “y’all,” right? Let’s talk about touring. The Fab Four seems to be on tour most of the year; how do you ship all those instruments? We actually have four sets of gear. Every set of gear has four huge cases and so there are four sets of our gear crisscrossing the country at any given time. So when we arrive at a city, our gear is ready. Do you ever bring your own favorite guitars? When we first started we all brought our own personal guitars. But over the years as we’ve continued to tour, a lot of our favorite guitars are being retired and kept at home. We’ve replaced them with exact reissues of the Hofners, the Rickenbackers or the Gretsch stuff. Everything we use is still authentic and it’s a big investment. It’s all as authentic to the original equipment as possible. Because you can’t beat the sound. Visually and sonically, it really makes it a complete package to be playing the same
instruments the band used to create those sounds in the first place. A key element of the Fab Four is there are no tracks, no pre-recorded stuff. It’s all live. Yeah it’s all live. We’re playing live and singing live. No tracks, no trickery and we’re bringing it all to Atlanta. We hope the all fans who saw us last time around will come back and bring their friends. It’s just a commemoration of the music. Many musicians were inspired by The Beatles’ performance on the Sullivan show. What was your introduction to the catalog? I wasn’t around when they played on the Sullivan show but my connection came in the ‘80s from basically when John was murdered. I was a kid and wondering why everyone was so upset. Then I started getting into the music and realized why the world was so sad. There’s a universal appeal to those songs, never matched by anyone since. They pretty much covered every style and every emotion on those records and it literally strikes a chord with everybody. Every person has a Beatles song that works for any given mood, or any given day of their life. Since Valentines Day is coming up, it’s a good time to talk about the Beatles’ love songs. Paul is still a master at expressing that particular emotion. So what are your top five - from the McCartney point of view? There are so many good ones, it’s tough. “If I Fell” is definitely one of the greatest duo love songs. It has that Everly Brothers feel and it’s so simple but so beautiful. Lately we’ve doing that one in the show and people love it. “Yesterday” is good because it’s about missing someone who used to be there for you. Also for missing people you love, “In My Life” is a good one. And I love “Hey Jude,” too. But I think my favorite one is - and to me it’s actually the greatest love song: “All You Need Is Love.” The message is romantic, but it’s also universal. It pretty much says it all and it’s what we still need today.
TINSLEY ELLIS: STILL SCREAMIN’ The Veteran Blues-Rocker Dishes Out Some More Hot Licks be taken in ways I didn’t even imagine.
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
INSLEY ELLIS HAS BEEN A Is this your 20th album? fixture of the Atlanta blues landscape We’ve been trying to figure that out and for over four decades. First with nobody can quire figure out how to count it. the Alley Cats, then with The Heatfixers, If you include the Heartfixers albums in the continuing as an internationally touring solo ‘80s, it’s probably my 22nd record. But under act since the mid-‘80s, Ellis has maintained my own name it’s around my 19th one. I a direct connection to the local scene and think. I’ve been with Alligator three different mentored a number of notable musicians times, punctuated with trips along the way. Derek Trucks, to Capricorn, Telarc and Donna Hopkins and Michelle my own label. The record Malone all cite Ellis as an companies kind of passed early inspiration. Friday, Jan. 31 • 8pm me around like a joint for In celebration of his latest City Winery a while. But I try to adapt album, the venerable singerwith the times and we do the citywinery.com/atlanta songwriter-guitarist-mentor streaming and digital and all will play a lengthy CD-release that. And now that vinyl is show on the night his latest back, we can do that if it’s under 45 minutes. release, Ice Cream In Hell, hits the shelves. This new one is on disc and digital, but no INsite caught up with the affable musician vinyl yet. just before he flew to Fort Lauderdale to join a Blues Cruise with kindred spirits Taj You were on Capricorn at the very end of Mahal, Kenny Wayne Shepherd and the its second incarnation, a strange time for Fabulous Thunderbirds. any company. I think I was their very last release, which is As an artist, can you feel any discernable never a good place to be. In 2000, they were differences between a cruise audience and a selling the label and I guess there were some theater crowd? acts who didn’t get their albums released at If it’s a theater-style show, you can do some all. But they put mine out and it was right slower songs. But on a cruise, sometimes place, wrong time. After that, I bounced they’re standing by the pool or on the deck, around for a while and eventually formed my and the goal is to keep ‘em movin’ ‘n’ groovin.’ own label which I still do sometimes. But I’m pretty good at reading the crowd. If it’s a seated show, which most of my shows Are you licensing your own albums to are now, we make it more of a concert set. Alligator now? I play a lot of places like the Winery, so it’s We have a deal where they put my albums good to have their attention and we can go out. They promote so well. Some labels back and do some old favorites. In Atlanta, just have no push at all, but you can’t beat we’ll definitely play a lot of songs from the Alligator. If they like the record, they’ll put it new CD. That’s when the tour starts and then out. Some that I’ve made, they’ve chosen not we’ll do about 60 more concerts, all over to release. North America.
At this point is touring a luxury or a necessity? Well, you kinda have to tour. Especially with a new album out. We’ve sort of become the store and the rolling promotion team, sort of like a politician. So we’re going out there, shakin’ hands and kissin’ babies. What a great album title to tour behind. Until this one, I thought R.L. Burnside’s A Ass Pocket Of Whiskey was the best blues album title. (Laughs) Yeah, that’s a good one. You know, when I told a few people the new title, some of them thought I was saying I Scream In Hell. I didn’t even think of that when I named the record. So now it’s kinda cool that it can
What are their criteria for a project? Well the instrumental album I did a while back [2013’s Get It], they weren’t interested in. So I released it through Landslide here in Atlanta. You go way back with Landslide, to preHeartfixers days at least. Oh yeah, it’s around 40 years now. Michael Rothchild is an old friend and we’ve been working together for a lot of years. We’ve always been involved, no matter what label I’m at, with publishing and stuff. Really a lot of the stuff I do, I’ve been working with the team here in Atlanta for decades and decades. Four pretty solid decades. That’s a long time and a lot of miles. Yeah, last year marked my fortieth year on the road. You know, it has been a long time. It’s been a long hard climb - to the middle! Now for year 41, you’re doing it again. Blues music is such a grass-roots thing. You can’t count on commercial radio to help you out. Sometimes it does, and it has helped me in the past. But generally you’ve got to go out there, like I said, and be a politician to get that one vote at a time. The Blues still isn’t mainstream by any means. No it hasn’t been in the mainstream since Stevie Ray. Prior to that was the Allmans in the ‘70s. I consider them to be a great blues band. Before that was the British Invasion people who were influenced by the blues,
people like the Yardbirds. But every now and then somebody will spike through. It’s usually somebody who is young because pop culture is defined by youth and image, which means I’m screwed! Hopefully somebody will come along and make the blues a part of pop culture again. But you’ve weathered all the fads and fashions. I remember when you played 688 and The Bistro, which were primarily punk and new wave. Yeah I was doing the blues in the late ‘70s when people were wearing skinny ties and that’s definitely not a blues thing. They were pogoing and listening to songs like “She Blinded Me with Science.” Then Stevie Ray Vaughn came along and he was kind of the antidote for all that. A lot of us sort of rode his coattails, including myself.
The Atlanta club scene became a really good market for the blues around that time with places like the Harvestmoon and Fuzzy’s leading the way. Atlanta was one of the first places Stevie Ray played on tour and pretty soon Atlanta really came into play. It wasn’t quite like Austin but people were looking for things like what he was doing. Then it gets based around a spokesperson for the genre. I don’t really see that happing at the moment but everything changes. We didn’t have the internet back then, so you could have truly regional sounds. Now you can be from anywhere and located anywhere.
488 Flat Shoals Ave. in East Atlanta THURSDAY February 6 | Doors 8:30pm
BOOK CLUB Advance $10 | Day of $10 -----------------------------------------FRIDAY February 7 | Doors 8:30pm
BLAIR CRIMMINS AND THE HOOKERS
FRIDAY February 21 | Doors 7:30pm
PYLON REENACTMENT SOCIETY (featuring Vanessa Briscoe Hay) Advance $25 | Day of $30 -----------------------------------------SATURDAY February 22 | Doors 8:00pm
Andrea & Mud Advance $15 | Day of $15 -----------------------------------------SATURDAY February 8 | Doors 8:30pm
Advance $10.50 | Day of $12.50 -----------------------------------------FRIDAY March 6 | Doors 8:30pm
BLAIR CRIMMINS AND THE HOOKERS
DARLING MACHINE Advance $20 | Day of $25 -----------------------------------------SATURDAY March 7 | Doors 8:30pm
Gibson Wilbanks Advance $15 | Day of $15 -----------------------------------------SUNDAY February 9 | Doors 6:45pm
THE FEMALE BUZZKILLS OF COMEDY
Lizz Winstead (Co-Creator, The Daily Show) Ian Harvie (Will & Grace, Transparent) Advance $20 | Day of $25 -----------------------------------------WEDNESDAY February 12 | Doors 8:30pm
LESIBU GRAND Advance $13 | Day of $15
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THE BLACK LIPS
POPPY JEAN CRAWFORD Advance $25 | Day of $25 -----------------------------------------SATURDAY March 14 | Doors 8:30pm THE BLACK LIPS POPPY JEAN CRAWFORD Advance $25 | Day of $25
For more lisitngs, please visit badearl.com insiteatlanta.com • February 2020 • PG 15
Movie Reviews BY STEVE WARREN
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE (R)
Martin Lawrence and Will Smith are back as Miami partners-in-crimefighting Mike Lowrey (Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Lawrence). Like the first two, Bad Boys for Life is thoroughly entertaining while it lasts, and instantly forgettable when it ends. The screenplay quickly sketches in everything you need to know about the characters, Miami police partners for a quarter-century, as they bicker like an old married couple. Marcus, a new grandfather, wants to retire; Mike wants to keep acting as if he were still 25, dodging the romantic signals of Rita (Paola Núñez), his boss on the anti-drug tactical unit. Meanwhile, in Mexico City, cartel-connected Isabel (Kate del Castillo) is sending her son Armando (Jacob Scipio) to Miami on a revenge mission, with Mike on top of their list of targets. While Mexico is portrayed the way Trump describes it, Miami scenes were obviously approved by the Tourist Board to attract more visitors to overcrowded South Beach. Mike is shot and sidelined for six months, though it seems longer when he returns to action and is surprised to see drone surveillance has become a thing. We could do with a bit less of the verbal camaraderie between Mike and Marcus, but the action moves fast enough to gloss over lapses in logic.
Iron Man has rusted. Robert Downey Jr.’s latest opus, Dolittle is aptly-named because it does little to engage its audience. Oh, maybe children who titter at jokes about the backside and its functions will enjoy the CG animals; but Downey is wasted as their human caretaker. His Welsh accent isn’t as unintelligible as reported, but he would have done better by imitating Richard Burton or Anthony Hopkins. Dr. Dolittle’s animal, bird and insect friends have an all-star list of voices behind them, but to us they sound like personality-deficient humans (with the exception of Emma Thompson as Poly, the narrating parrot), even though Dolittle is supposed to be the only one who understands them. An animated opening tells us he’s lived in seclusion in his country estate since his wife died, with only his menagerie for company. This changes the day two teenagers arrive. Tommy Stubbins (Harry Collett) is on the run from his father the hunter and wants to apprentice himself to the veterinarian. Lady
Rose (Carmel Laniado) is there to summon the doctor to aid Queen Victoria, who is on her deathbed (but since she’s played by Jessie Buckley we know she’s got many good years left). With the help of a non-human snitch Dolittle determines the Queen has been poisoned and finding a likely antidote will require “the adventure of a lifetime.” Their lifetime, not ours. On a long excursion (the poison must be really slow-acting), the doc, Stubbins and the animals face mostly human opposition, and live to fight another day – but you can bet, not in another movie. Though stories abound about the troubled production, a second director and a lot of recutting, it’s hard to believe Dolittle could have been worse. The visual effects of the animals are fine, but like the people, they needed better material to work with.
THE SONG OF NAMES (PG-13)
Jeffrey Caine’s screenplay, based on a novel, is filled with impossible coincidences and preposterous elements; but director François Girard and his cast make it work. I didn’t even mind the frequent shifting among three periods - the late 1930s, 1951 and 1986 – because three different actors play the main characters so there’s no confusion about when you are. It begins in the middle, with 21-year-old violin prodigy David/Dovidl about to play the concert that will make him a star. Except that he doesn’t show up. More than a decade earlier his Jewish father places him with a gentile family in London before returning to the rest of the family in Poland. The bonding between David and his same-aged “brother” Martin is gradual but eventually strong. In 1986 Martin (Tim Roth), judging a young musicians competition, sees a violinist making a motion that was unique to David; and he resumes the search that had been abandoned 35 years ago. That second-billed Clive Owen plays the older David is a spoiler that tells you Martin will be successful, but that’s not the end of the story. The hunt may not be believable but it’s engrossing, and the film’s Holocaustrelated material is some of the most moving you’ll see. An unnecessary twist in the final scene doesn’t fit at all with the narrative of David’s disappearance that precedes it, but it probably seemed clever to whoever thought of it. Turn up your heart and turn down your brain to appreciate the many positive aspects of The Song of Names. See the rest of our movie reviews at insiteatlanta.com/movies.asp
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE
OSCAR PREDICTIONS T
BY STEVE WARREN
HIS COULD BE A BIG YEAR for Oscars as consolation prizes for some multiple nominees. When Scarlett Johansson doesn’t win Best Actress for Marriage Story, she could get Best Supporting Actress for Jojo Rabbit instead. And while Cynthia Erivo won’t win Best Actress for Harriet, she could share the Best Original Song Oscar for “Stand Up,” the song she co-wrote and sang in the same film. If Parasite, a foreign film, loses for Best Picture, it could still win Best Director, and the retitled Best International Feature Film award, as Roma did last year. That would kick two more cans down the road. If Quentin Tarantino (Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood) or Bong JoonHo (Parasite) loses Best Director, he could still win Best Original Screenplay for the same film. And if Honeyland loses the International Feature award to Parasite, it can still win for Best Documentary Feature. Our best movies of 2019 along with Oscar predictions below. 2019 INSITE TOP TEN 1. Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood 2. Marriage Story 3. Parasite 4. Toy Story 4 5. 1917 6. The Two Popes 7. The Lion King 8. The Lighthouse 9. Waves 10. Honey Boy
SECOND TEN (listed alphabetically) Blinded by the Light, The Farewell, Fighting with My Family, The Good Liar, The Irishman, Jojo Rabbit, The Nightingale, The Peanut Butter Falcon, Woman at War, Yesterday BEST PICTURE: Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood BEST DIRECTOR: Sam Mendes, 1917 BEST ACTOR: Joaquin Phoenix, Joker BEST ACTRESS: Renée Zellweger, Judy BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR: Brad Pitt, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Laura Dern, Marriage Story BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: American Factory BEST ANIMATED FEATURE: Toy Story 4 BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM: Parasite (South Korea) BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY: Roger Deakins, 1917 BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Quentin Tarantino, Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Greta Gerwig, Little Women BEST FILM EDITING: Jinmo Yang, Parasite BEST ORIGINAL SONG: “I’m Gonna Love Me Again,” Rocketman BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Hildur Guðnadóttir, Joker BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN: Once Upon a Time...in Hollywood BEST COSTUME DESIGN: Little Women BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING: Bombshell BEST SOUND EDITING: 1917 BEST SOUND MIXING: Ford v Ferrari BEST VISUAL EFFECTS: Avengers: Endgame BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You’re a Girl) BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM: Sister BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: Brotherhood
PG 16 • February 2020 • insiteatlanta.com
BEST OF 2019
INsite Looks Back at Some of the Best Releases & a Few You Might’ve Missed
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
HE WORLD OF ENTERTAINMENT is becoming more segmented by the minute. New platforms, new fads and new artists are all jockeying for even a moment of attention from an increasingly distracted public. These advances make it even more difficult to select a proper “best of” collection of any media, so all an observer can do is offer their own personal preferences. Popular culture has lifted up its own batch of recent favorites with Lizzo, Billie Eilish and even Lil Nas X garnering awareness from even pedestrian listeners. The sheer onslaught of available material leaves critics bombarded with a spate of unconventional choices for end of year round-ups. With that in mind, INsite dusts off the ol’ shelf to present a few of our own personal favorites from an incredibly tumultuous 2019.
ALBUMS COLLECTIVE SOUL
Blood (Fuzz-Flex Records) Bookending 2015’s See What You Started by Continuing, Blood finds the Georgia favorites in fine form. Some bands wither after their sophomore release, but the years have been kind to frontman E Roland’s well of creativity. The original core of the group, aided by relative newcomers Johnny Rabb and Jesse Triplett continue to fuel the bands conscious but rocking anthems. Standout tracks: “Now’s The Time,” “Observation of Thoughts” and “Big Sky.”
What’s My Name? (Roccabella/Universal Music) The 20th studio album by the former drummer of some obscure band is his best overall release since his self-titled album from 1973. Like the best of his work, it plays as a fast and loose Starr-studded party. This time around members of his recent touring bands contribute to the tracks, recorded in the musicians home studio. Joe Walsh, Ben Tench, Edgar Winter, Steve Lukather, Richard Page and Warren Ham are along for good vibes. Standout track: Colin Hay’s “What’s My Name?”
Fast Faster Disaster (Yep Roc) Formed in Denver (with strong ties to the Athens music scene) in the late ’90s from the world of the hyper-creative Elephant 6 collective, the Tammy Ealom and John Hill-led project continues to issue effusive, snarky pop. Standout track: a heartfelt cover of the Buzzcocks’ “What Do I Get?”
Yesterday’s Gone (Wild Heart Records) Beloved by fans of The Voice as “The Feelin’,” roots and soul explorer David taps into the New
Orleans vibe with his latest, produced by blues star Samantha Fish. Standout track: “I’m Interested.”
THE CARTER FAMILY
Across Generations (Legacy) A patchwork quilt of old and new, the recent Carter Family album takes raw, vintage recordings of the early Carter Family members and turns the album into a bittersweet family reunion. Sara, Maybelle, June and Carlene Carter and even Johnny Cash make appearances through the miracle of modern technology. Standout track: “Will The Circle Be Unbroken,” featuring several generations of country music royalty.
There Will Be No Intermission (Cooking Vinyl) An artist who deftly dances on the fine line between art and entertainment, Palmer’s first solo album in over six years was released on International Women’s Day. Her third proper solo album is her most confessional yet, with ruminations about life, death, and the overall human condition. At once harrowing, defiant and exuberant. Standout tracks: “The Ride,” “Voicemail for Jill” and “A Mother’s Confession.”
No Holiday (Omnivore) The final album from the punk trio stands as a defiant statement on how to construct perfect pop-punk tunes. It plays as demanding, delicate, and haunting due to the determination of leader Kim Shattuck to complete the project before her death last year. Standout track: “Sky.”
Baby Please Come Home (Last Music Company) Texas guitar-slinger Vaughn is so dedicated to the origins of the blues, his earnest devotion to the craft makes this a must-have collection of some of the best blues songs ever written. Standout track: “Baby, What’s Wrong?”
DVDs Due to recent biopics and historic anniversaries, the music documentary has never been a hotter commodity. Last year, an incredible batch of archival films were released as deluxe sets from the history buffs at Shout! Factory. There wildly diverse releases included:
PETER, PAUL AND MARY AT NEWPORT 1963-65
Finds the socially aware trio at the peak of their commercial success with a batch of performances culled from three
separate concerts at the Newport Folk Festival. Seen in edited form last year on PBS, the new full-length DVD (and matching CD) includes eighteen previously unreleased live performances. Embodying the ambitious essence of the influential folk revival movement, the set includes exciting versions of “Blowin’ In The Wind,” “If I Had A Hammer,” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” with insightful period-centric context in the engrossing liner notes by Peter Yarrow.
THE HARDER THEY COME COLLECTOR’S EDITION
Reggae icon Jimmy Cliff is featured in this sprawling three-disc set that includes an incredible six hours of bonus features, commentary, featurettes and a new 4K scan from the original 16mm negative. The cult-fave 1973 film features an extensive soundtrack of reggae tunes and the crimedrama story is pure ‘70s grit. Worth adding to any collection due to the extensive archival material including interviews with cast and crew and Sir Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Alien), PJ Soles (Carrie, Stripes), Carl Bradshaw and director Perry Henzell’s family. Disc three, “The Legacy of Perry Henzell: A Story of Jamacian Cinema” is a priceless and exhaustingly informative overview of Caribbean filmmaking.
SANTANA LIVE AT US FESTIVAL
With the recent collapse of the Woodstock 50 reunion, this look back at Santana’s Labor Day Weekend show at the historic US Festival in San Bernardino is a good bookend for a binge weekend of music documentaries. Compare the Carlos Santana of 1982 to the raw naivete of the ’69 Woodstock performances and the result is a dynamic before-and-after primer on song arrangement and freeform improvisation. The early-‘80s visions of his best work from the previous decade is a jam-lovers delight. “Black Magic Woman,” “Gypsy Queen,” and “Oye Como Va,” are all present and accounted for with fascinating interviews with the man himself discussing his career and explaining his unique sound.
Jordan Peele’s follow up to the surprisingly brilliant Get Out, though not as universally praised as its predecessor, still manages to be a thought-provoking, thoroughly original story. The horror movie focuses on a family going to their vacation rental in Santa Cruz and discovering an entire race of evil doppelgangers in red outfits out to kill their mirror images. The acting, especially by Lupita Nyong’o, is stellar and the mix of horror and dark comedy is flawless. The only downside is the actual origin
story of the Reds, which seems tacked on an underexplained. Regardless, Us is a continuation of Peele’s strong track record as a writer/director. (By John Moore)
ONCE UPON A TIME… IN HOLLYWOOD
(Sony Pictures) You know what you’re getting with a Quentin Tarantino movie, nearly three decades into his career. And Once Upon A Time… In Hollywood is pure Tarantino, crammed with beautifully odd characters, revisionist history, bursts of violence and quirky dialogue. Though this Oscar-nominated film is already dividing audiences, it also happens to be one of his best films in years. Leonardo DiCaprio is a fading Hollywood actor getting left behind in the late ‘60s and Brad Pitt is his loyal stunt double. DiCaprio happens to live next door to Sharon Tate and Roman Polanski as the Manson Family is planning to make their mark on history. Once Upon A Time… is a movie that only Tarantino could have made. (By John Moore)
Rock and roll books are often overlooked, but not only do they look good on the shelf, next to the prized box sets and multi-disc DVD collections, they are great for reference, winning trivial arguments and a great way to zone out of the real world for a while. Last year, the market was flooded with a number of good tomes for any taste imaginable. Carly Simon, Liz Phair, Booker T. Jones, Corky Laing, Debbie Harry, Elton John, Peter Asher, Nick Lowe and Allison Moorer all figured prominently. But the best rock book of the year had roots firmly planted in the red clay of the Georgia music scene. This past September, Steve Gorman released Hard to Handle: The Life and Death of the Black Crowes - A Memoir, co-written with Steven Hyden, the 364-page book was published by Da Capo Press. Comedian Bill Burr called it “…literally the Angela’s Ashes of rock memoirs,” and he’s right. It’s truly one of the best-written rock remembrances in recent memory. Old-timers will enjoy references to the club scene and local landmarks. Gorman is refreshingly candid about his time with the Atlanta-born band and the often frustrating innerworkings of the mercurial members. At times it’s an absolutely exhausting retelling of the Crowes’ rise and fall, punctuated with self-depreciating humor and occasionally moments of sincere remorse. Recommended not only for fans of the Black Crowes, it’s a simply fascinating look at the inner workings of a major-label act. If you’ve ever wondered what goes on in the studio, backstage or on the bus, this is the book for you. Gorman’s new band Trigger Hippy returns to town on March 5 for a show at Aisle 5. insiteatlanta.com • February 2020 • PG 17
Zoey’s Playlist Stays in Tune with a Georgia Connection
BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH
T’S NOT OFTEN A NETWORK TV show can claim to be a truly unique viewing experience. Blending comedy, drama and a soundtrack that jumps from The Beatles and Rolling Stones to Wham! and Van Morrison, NBC’s new mid-season offering Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist is a welcome - and surprisingly original - antidote to the tired one-dimensional fluff that tends to overload commercial airwaves. The new series features Jane Levy as Zoey Clarke, a computer coder who deftly balances work, family and a fledgling love life. She finds she has the power to sense other people’s inner thoughts and feelings, but not by traditional mindreading. She’s suddenly able to match a person’s innermost “heartsong” to any given moment. The high concept dramady is set in San Francisco with an incredibly gifted ensemble of actors. John Clarence Stewart, Skylar Astin, Alex Newell, Peter Gallagher, Mary Steenburgen and Lauren Graham star in the first two episodes released to the press. With Paul Feig (“Bridesmaids,” The Office, Freaks and Geeks) on board as part of the production team, the show stands a good chance for mainstream acceptance and success. It’s a decidedly off-beat creation for commercial TV, playing more like a cool VoD offering than a slick commercial broadcast venture. Though set on the West Coast, Georgia is well-represented by talented actor-writersinger-poet-activist John Clarence Stewart. Originally from the Stone Mountain area, the versatile actor is best known for roles on Luke Cage and most recently as co-star (alongside Levy) of the Netflix drama What/If. Stewart’s journey to commercial television began its organic ride at Shiloh High School, powered on to the Alliance Theater for a featured role in Rosemary Newcott’s popular A Christmas Carol production then rolled up Harlem and New York City. His television career began in full force with Luke Cage and he continues to write, act in independent films and mentor new talent. INsite spoke at length with the intense performer during a break in the shooting the season finale of Zoey. Here are a few highlights of the lively conversation. On viewer reaction: It’s been really encouraging and affirming to see the response we’ve had so far. I think NBC believes in it enough to tease the pilot in January and then build up the anticipation for our regular run in February. On those impressive production numbers: I’m telling you, there’s a lot of work involved. Our music team and our dance team including Mandy Jo Moore (Glee, So You Think You Can Dance), our choreographer extraordinaire, the amount of work they put into this show is insane. To do the amount of production and full-on dance numbers we do in the show, it blows my mind. They come up with the most ingenious ways to tell the story. Ways I’ve never seen before. On the cast, including Peter Gallagher and Lauren Graham’s vocal performances: I feel that the entire cast has been pushed out of our comfort zones. I think that’s the PG 18 • February 2020 • insiteatlanta.com
BEST BARTENDERS! BEST LOOKING WAITSTAFF! Twin Peaks Buckhead 3365 Piedmont Rd. • (404) 961-8946
mark of an incredible project. We are all getting stretched but we’re all rising to it. Speaking for myself, everything I’m doing is out of my comfort zone, everything! From when we shot the pilot [last May] all the way through to the season finale we’re working on now, it’s been all about taking that next step up, while gathering information from everyone. On producing episodic tv that stands alone as individual statements: The team does so much work before we come in to do our jobs. They do that so we can be in the space to be able to learn all the music, learn all the dances and then be ready to shoot it on the day. We only have a certain amount of time to get it all done. Fortunately we’re in capable hands which makes it incredible. But none of us can drop the ball, we bring it. The show is so well cast, there’s no way it can fail if we show up and do what we’re made to do. We’re putting it out there and that’s all we can do. We can’t control anything else. We’ll leave it up to the universe to do with it what it will. There are certain shows that just hit the zeitgeist that way. They land in the culture and into society. Soon enough we’ll see if we might become one of those shows. I do know we’re making a show that we believe in. We’re making a show that speaks to ourselves. It reflects us all. On the universality of the storyline: We have a show with characters that reflect what people see in their own lives, so their personalities aren’t one-dimensional at all. They’re the fully realized individuals people see in their own lives - and some that people might even see in themselves. Those characters are paired with music that penetrates through the masks we all use to hide behind. I think through the dialogue it spurs it’ll resonate with a lot of people. Eventually I hope it not only sparks a conversation, I really hope it’ll lead to healing and joy. And yeah, I know that’s an awful lot to ask from a television show, it really is. But we’re all excited to see the many ways it can be used as a balm to help people. Beginning February 16, Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist will air Sundays at 9 p.m. on NBC.
Valentine’s Day Gift Guide SOUTHERN NIGHTS
2205 Cheshire Bridge Rd. (404) 728-0701 • snvonline.com
For Valentine’s Day, ladies treat yourself to the Celesse Personal Massager from Intimina. It features a specially curved massage point for focused internal stimulation. Southern Nights has all the newest toys and gifts for V-Day plus a huge DVD and Blu-ray selection available for rent or purchase. They are open 24/7.
THIS THAT & THE OTHER 3 Locations: Smyrna (770) 984-8801; Woodstock (678) 494-5004; Calhoun (706) 383-8033 Shopthisthatandtheother.webs.com
This That & The Other is your one stop shop for everyone’s special Valentine. From Cigars and smoking accessories to the special something, bedroom fun or just to spice things up, they’ve got you covered. Their superstore boasts over 5,000 square feet of stock shelves. Three convenient metro area locations.
STARSHIP ENTERPRISES OF ATLANTA
22 Convenient Locations • (404) 766-6993 • ShopStarship.com
Hey, Cupid! Get your HEART ON with Atlanta’s VERY BEST In: Adult Movies, Toys, Lingerie, Hookahs, Vapes, Fetish, Lotions, Aromatic Candles & SO MUCH MORE! This Valentine’s Day, Put the BIG “O” back in love with …. STARSHIP!
Your Adult Valentine’s Day Headquarters!
BEST ADULT VIDEO STORE! Since 1996
For the adult in all of us.
Over 10,000 DVD’s for Sale & Rent!
62 Channel Hi-Def Video Arcade is
Southern Nights Videos & Gifts @SNVAtlanta
2205 Cheshire Bridge Rd. 404-728-0701 • Open 24/7 www.SNVOnline.com
OPEN 24 HOURS!
TARA MOVIE THEATRE
SOUTHERN NIGHTS WOODLAND
Atlanta’s Smoke Superstore and More...
FIND IT ALL HERE!
February 13th thru 16th
Scales and Pipe Cleaners
14% OFF All Couple’s Toys* (*Includes: All Hi-Tech items. Not to combine offer.)
Vapes, E-cigs, and Juices
Cigars, Cigar Accessories, Specialty Cigs
Handpipes and Waterpipes
And Much More! Visit shopthisthatandtheother.webs.com SMYRNA STORE
2335 Cobb Pkwy Southeast Smyrna, Georgia 30080 (770) 984-8801
WOODSTOCK STORE 8525 Highway 92, Suite 100 Woodstock, Georgia 30189 (678) 494-5004
10% OFF Any Liberator® Plus: FREE Lover’s Kit w/purchase!
CALHOUN STORE 260 Highway 53 East Calhoun, Georgia 30701 (706) 383-8033
(*While supplies last. Not to be combined.)
Completely Cupid’s One Stop Shop!
We’ll have fresh roses, assorted chocolates, balloons, gift wrapping & our BUNDLE of LOVE package for sale! Visit Our Fine Sister Stores:
22 Locations: 404.766.6993
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ShopStarship.com insiteatlanta.com • February 2020 • PG 19
Chin Chin Chinese & Sushi Restaurant
es with ancak vet P se Frosting l e hee dV Re am C e Cr
11am-3pm Served with •Choice of Rice • Choice of Soup • House Salad • Veggie Roll
at Chin Chin Brookhaven
Best of Atlanta Since 1998
SERVING OUR RED VELVET PANCAKES THROUGH FEBRUARY AT PARTICIPATING LOCATIONS
Dine in Only
3887 Peachtree Road, Buckhead / Brookhaven & Other Locations (404) 816-2229 • ChinChinGA.com simple, and focus on what they do best. Fellini’s pizzas can be ordered by the slice or as medium, large and Sicilian sizes. Try the classic Fellini’s special; which consists of pepperoni, mushrooms, Italian sausage, onions, meatballs, green peppers, green and black olives, and extra cheese. Another popular menu item is the White Pizza with mozzarella cheese, fresh garlic, oregano, and ricotta cheese. They also have a great Spinach and Mushroom pizza, and a Since Vegetarian pizza filled with meatless toppings. 1966 Fellini’s also serves 5 different types of Calzones and great Salads. Fellini’s uses only the freshest ingredients. All their locations have large patios to enjoy the outdoors and the view. So come to one of the Fellini’s locations today and you will see why they are the landmark of Atlanta pizza.
BEST IN GREEK & ITALIAN CUISINE
• Zagat Rated • Dine In or Take Out Johnny’s NY& Style Pizza • Lunch Dinner Specials
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 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 to find the location nearest you.
r ze eti pp A ake le AVAILABLE AT eC Lov n Tab e PARTICIPATING LOCATIONS e r F VALENTINES DAY, FEBRUARY 14TH ine I D r e P
Best Inexpensive Restaurant
484 Moreland Ave. 404.523.0500 115 Laredo Dr. @ Clarendon 404.299.5799 Thanks Atlanta for Voting us Best 18 Straight Years SavagePizza.com
This eclectic neighborhood restaurant is a favorite hangout among residents of Little 5 and Avondale Estates. Savageeatsonponce.net prepares
KIDS EAT FREE MONDAY - FRIDAY 4PM - 8PM
BREAKFAST, LUNCH & DINNER 7 DAYS A WEEK 7AM - 9:30PM
CANDLER PARK 1655 MCLENDON AVE 404.678.8888
1001 PIEDMONT AVE 404.874.8887
all their menu items using only the freshest vegetables and first qualityBEST meats, VOTED cheeses, breads and pastas. You'll find homemade sauces, fresh dough and thoughtATLANTA! fully prepared dishes made from scratch every day. In addition to IN their famous pizzas they also have great calzones, salads, subs and pasta dishes. Both locations offer the same great menu with ample seating inside and out with delivery to the area.
Fritti 309 N. Highland Ave. 404.880.9559 FrittiRestaurant.com
Located in thePlaza heart of historic Inman N. Decatur • 404.320.0101 Corner N. Decatur recognized & Clairmont for its Park, Fritti is ofnationally pizza andMidtown state of•the art wood-burning 404.917.1100 10thclass and Monroe oven. This world oven can maintain a temperature of 1,000 degrees and cooks East Cobb • 678.996.0045 Johnson Ferry Rd.ever experiHOURS FOR STORES: pizza unlike 1255 anything you have enced. Fritti serves authentic Neapolitan Mon–Sat: 11am–9:30pm Sun: 11am–9pm Athens • 706.543.5000 1591 S Lumpkin St www. mediterraneangrill .com Pizza that is prepared according to traditional artisanAuthentic methods. The dough is made with Caputo flourCuisine and natural yeast. Middle Eastern and Greek They use San Cooked Marzano tomatoes and the finest quality buffalo mozzarella. Fresh to Order • Dine In / Carry Out Try their Salsiccia e Pepperoni (Italian sausage and roasted peppers), the Cotto e Funghi (Crimini and Portobello mushrooms with cotto ham) or the vegetarian Estiva (fresh tomato, red onion & arugula). Along with their award winning menu Fritti is known for their great value. Fritti offers a variety of antipasti dishes for $10 or less including offerings of funghi fritti (fried mushrooms), fried calamari, classic Sicilian arancini and bruschetta. All their pizzas are available between $10 - $14.
WE DO CATERING!
MAKE IT A PARTY! Coming Next Group Packages for 15 or more. Call (404) 875-4494 for Details.
Fall Festivals Issue Ad Deadline Aug. 29
YEARS! TING 25 ELEBRA
Street Date Sept. 2
loca-luna.com Call Steve Miller at (404) 308-5199 or 550 Amsterdam Ave NE • Atlanta, GA 30306 email firstname.lastname@example.org to advertise
3652 Roswell Rd.
at the corner of Roswell & Piedmont Rd. 404-816-9090 landmarkdiner.com
WHERE THE STARS MEET AT NIGHT! Tasty Sandwiches • Salads • Dinner Fare • Chicken & Veal Seafood Platters • Greek & Italian Cuisine Breakfast Menu Appetizers • Steak & Chops • Dessert Menu • Kid’s Menu
Open Daily for Lunch & Dinner • Dine In, Pick-up, Delivery ($12 minimum / limited area)
Any Medium or Large Specialty Pizza Not Valid with any other coupons
Little Five Points • 484 Moreland Ave. (Next to L5P Pharmacy) • (404) 523-0500 Avonale Estates • 115 Laredo Dr. (Corner of Clarendon) • (404) 299-5799
Have You Tried Our New Rustic Crust Italiano Pizza? View Our Full Menu Online: www.nancyspizza.com