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MARCH 2018

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Michigan State's Miles Bridges

Hot Teams to Watch for this March Madness!


THE INTERNATIONAL SENSATION

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PG 2 • March 2018 • insiteatlanta.com


CONTENTS • MARCH 2018 • VOLUME 26, NO. 8

MAR 23 – APR 15 SOUTHWEST ARTS CENTER

EARS! ING 26 Y T A R B E CEL

Atlanta’s

ALLIANCE SERIES

Two stories. One lifetime.

915 NEW HOPE RD SW, ATL ANTA, GA 30331

Entertainment Monthly

INTERVIEWS

11

12 Rory Scovel 14 Pearl Cleage 15 Al Jardine 16 Dixie Dregs 17 The Zombies

featuring the world premiere of

POINTING AT THE MOON directed by TIMOTHY DOUGLAS

FEATURES 10 March Madness Dining 11 NCAA Preview 11 ATL’s Best Wings 12 Irish Recipes 13 St. Patty’s Guide

12

COLUMNS 04 05 06 07 07 08 09 18

14 Around Town On Tap Atlanta on a Dime New Releases Under The Lights Movie Reviews Station Control Album Reviews 17

insiteatlanta.com STAFF LISTING Publisher Stephen Miller steve@insiteatlanta.com Art Director / Web Design Nick Tipton nick@insiteatlanta.com Managing Editor Lee Valentine Smith lee@insiteatlanta.com Local Events Editor Marci Miller marci@insiteatlanta.com Movie Editor Steve Warren s.warren@insiteatlanta.com

Music Editor John Moore john@insiteatlanta.com

with

Contributing Writers / Interns: Alex. S. Morrison, Dave Cohen, Benjamin Carr, Demarco Williams

Terry Burrell

MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 76483 Atlanta, GA 30358 WEBSITE • insiteatlanta.com ADVERTISING INFORMATION (404) 308-5119 • ads@insiteatlanta.com Editorial content of INsite is the opinion of each writer and is not necessarily the opinion of INsite, its staff, or its advertisers. INsite does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor do the publisher or editors of INsite assume responsibility should such advertising or editorial appear. No PEARL CLEAGE THE ZOMBIES content, i.e., articles, graphics, designs and information (any and all) in this publication may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from publisher. MARCH 2018

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Tinashe Kajese-Bolden box office 404.733.5000 alliancetheatre.org/pearl

Michigan State's Miles Bridges

Hot Teams to Watch for this March Madness!

insiteatlanta.com • March 2018 • PG 3


Around Town NOW THROUGH MARCH 11 THE ADDAMS FAMILY

MJCCA’S Jerry’s Habima Theatre

They're creepy and they're kooky...but when Wednesday falls in love with a respectable young man, things get altogether spooky for the Addams Family. Based on the characters from the original cartoons and wildly popular ‘60s television series, The Addams Family puts the ghoulish group to the ultimate test on one fateful night that changes them forever. Tickets can be purchased online at atlantajcc.org/habima or calling 678.812.4002.

Events and Performances taking place this Month

ipating in the event and they will all bring their tastiest brunch items for sampling. There will be Bloody Mary's, 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. AtlantaBrunchFestival.com

SATURDAY, MARCH 10 Ferst Center for the Arts

MAMMA MIA! Aurora Theatre

SATURDAY, MARCH 10

Hailed by Rolling Stone as “a genre unto herself,” composer and guitarist Kaki King is a true iconoclast. Her latest work, “The Neck Is A Bridge To The Body” is Kaki King at her visionary best: deconstructing and redefining the role of solo instrumental artist though virtuoso technique, imagination, and boundless humanity. This groundbreaking performance uses projection mapping to present the guitar in a creation myth unlike any other, where visions of genesis and death are cast onto an Ovation acoustic guitar customized specifically for this production. Tickets at arts.gatech.edu and 404.894.9600.

DR. SEUSS’ THE CAT IN THE HAT Audiences of all ages will enjoy the Center for Puppetry Arts’ production of Dr. Seuss’s The Cat in the Hat. Sally, Nick and their pet fish will take audiences on an unexpected adventure with the famous cat in the tall red and white striped hat and his mischievous companions – Thing 1 and Thing 2. This puppet-filled adventure explores curiosity, literacy and creativity and includes a gentle reminder about the challenge of responsibility. With plenty of rhymes, tricks and wit, the faithful adaptation of Dr. Seuss’s classic tale will transport audiences from the page to the stage, as the performance brings the iconic illustrations from the book to life. Tickets at Puppet.org.

MARCH 23 - 25

MARY POPPINS WITH BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Roswell & Atlanta Dance Theatre

ATLANTA BRUNCH FESTIVAL

MARCH 16 - 18

The 3rd annual Atlanta Brunch Fest will be held on Saturday, March 10th from 124pm. Close to 40 restaurants will be partic-

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Atlantic Station

MARCH 20 - MAY 13 Center for Puppetry Arts

KAKI KING

MARCH 8 - APRIL 22 Mamma Mia! is one of the most successful musicals of all time and the eighth longest running show in Broadway history. Inspired by the storytelling magic of ABBA’s hit songs from “Dancing Queen” and “S.O.S” to “Money, Money, Money” and “Take a Chance on Me,” Mamma Mia! combines timeless tunes with a sunny, funny tale that unfolds on a small Greek island. Auroratheatre.com

sions of Swan Lake in existence. In this world premiere from emerging choreographer Craig Davidson, audiences can experience an all-encompassing display of dance for one weekend. AtlantaBallet.com.

BLACK SWAN

The Atlanta Ballet takes on the iconic third act of one of the most celebrated ver-

The Helen Chamber of Commerce Presents the

29 th Annual

HELEN TROUT TOURNAMENT

For the first time ever, these two Regional North Atlanta Honor Companies will join together on stage to present a unique collaboration and dual performance of these two, timely family favorites. Follow Mary

as her presence adds sunshine, adventure and magic to the previously solemn and serious Banks home. In Beauty and the Beast, a young prince is transformed into a beast because of his selfishness and arrogance. Enjoy both shows with price of one ticket. Available online at SpringBalletConcert.com.

SATURDAY. MARCH 31 TROUT TOURNAMENT Alpine Helen, Georgia

Come on out to Alpine Helen, GA on Saturday March 31st from 7:00 am – 2:00 pm for the annual Trout Tournament. There will be over $4,000 in prizes for tagged fish. For additional information & Registration Forms visit HelenChamber.com or call 706.878.1908. For Lodging, dining and tourist information call 1.800.858.8027

SATURDAY, MAY 5 OVER THE EDGE

Fundraiser for Special Olympics of GA

Over the Edge is an exclusive opportunity for individuals to take their support of Special Olympics Georgia athletes to new heights. In exchange for raising money, participants will earn the rare experience of stepping Over the Edge and rappelling down Overlook III Building in Vinings. Become a sponsor by contacting Ally Jordan at (770) 414-9390 x 1118.

EVERYDAY IS HALLOWEEN

$20 Entry

Alpine Helen, Georgia Saturday, March 31, 2018 7:00am to 2:00pm There will be over

$4,000

in possible prizes for Tagged Fish! For additional information & Registration Forms visit HelenChamber.com or call 706.878.1908 1074 Edelweiss Strasse • Helen, GA 30545 Oktoberfest Festhalle Friends

PG 4 • March 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

/PSYCHOSISTERSATLANTA 428 Moreland Ave NE Atlanta (Next to Vortex) 404-523-0100 • Open 10am – 10pm(ish)


On Tap this Month MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA March 3: Infinite Energy Arena March 10: Philips Arena

THE HARLEM GLOBETROTTERS e iconic Harlem Globetrotters are coming to town with their entertaining shows for the whole family. With incredible ball handling wizardry, amazing rimrattling dunks and trick shots, side-splitting comedy and unequaled on-court fan interaction, this must-see event is guaranteed to create memories that will last a lifetime. Visit HarlemGlobetrotters.com.

March 13 - 18: The Fox Theatre

A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDETO LOVE & MURDER Gentleman’s Guide tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, a distant heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession, by any means necessary. All the while, he’s got to juggle his mistress, his fiancée and the constant threat of landing behind bars. Of course, it will all be worth it if he can slay his way to his inheritance… and be done in time for tea. Winner of the 2014 Tony Award for Best Musical. Foxeatre.org

March 18; Centennial Olympic Park

PUBLIX GEORGIA MARATHON

e Publix Georgia Marathon and Half Marathon is one of the Southeast's premier distance events. e 12th running of this Atlanta tradition starts and finishes at Pemberton Place in Centennial Park. A 5K option returns in 2018. e 2017 Marathon sold so make sure to register early. is event is presented by the Atlanta Track Club and is held rain or shine. To register online visit Georgiamarathon.com.

March 22 - 24: Philips Arena

MARCH MADNESS ELITE 8 March Madness coming to Atlanta with Sweet Sixteen and Elite Eight. Be on the Road to the Final Four® with your family and friends at the 2018 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship South Regional, March 22 & 24, 2018, at Philips Arena, hosted by Georgia Tech University. General public sales are sold out, but tickets may still be purchased through e NCAA Experience and NCAA Ticket Exchange.

March 24 - 25: Blackburn Park

BROOKHAVEN CHERRY BLOSSOM e 4th Annual Brookhaven Cherry Blossom Festival will take place in beautiful Blackburn Park on Saturday, 10am to 7pm March 24 and Sunday, 10am to 6pm March 25. ere will be an Arts & Crafts Market, Food Trucks, Classic Car Show, Children’s Village, 5K Run & 1K Walk, Pet Parade & Costume Contest plus musical performances throughout the weekend. Admission is free. Visit BrookCherryfest.org.

March 31: Dad’s Garage Theatre

BACON FEST

Enjoy unlimited cold beer, unlimited bacon and hilarious carnival games manned by the best improvisers in the city. Plus unforgettable entertainment like a hobo wine tasting, naughty face painting, drunken spelling bee, a scavenger hunt, and more. e event takes place at the iconic theatre company's home at 569 Ezzard Street, just off of Edgewood Avenue in the Old Fourth Ward. Visit Baconfestatl.com.

Saturday 10am - 6pm & Sunday 10am - 6pm Blackburn Park - 3493 Ashford Dunwoody Rd. in the New Artist Market Fundraiser for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

Classic Car Show Large Kidz Zone Festival Cuisine Pet World Free Parking & Shuttles

Go to www.SplashFestivals.com to volunteer.

Discover DeKalb Stone Mountain Park Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Emory Healthcare Regency Centers LeafFilter Perimeter Summit MARTA Oglethorpe University www.facebook.com/brookhavenblossomfest2018

insiteatlanta.com • March 2018 • PG 5


EVENTS HAPPENING FOR SMALL CHANGE IN ATLANTA

Know of a low cost event happening? Event@AtlantaOnADime.com By Marci Miller

March 9 - 24

March 16 - 18

Multiple locations; Prices vary atlantasciencefestival.org

Cobb Galleria Centre; $13 Day Pass craftcouncil.org/atlanta

ATLANTA SCIENCE FESTIVAL e Atlanta Science Festival, presented by Delta Air Lines, is a two-week celebration of science and technology with more than engaging 100 events held across Metro Atlanta. ese include hands-on activities, facility tours, presentations, and performances at a variety of locations. e action begins March 9 at the Ferst Center for the Arts. e grand finale of the Festival is an all-day interactive Exploration Expo at Piedmont Park on March 24.

March 9 - April 15

THE ATLANTA FAIR

Turner Field Gray Lot;Admission 50 cents $1.25 per ride atlantafair.com Enjoy electrifying adventure, heartpounding exhilaration and endless amounts of mouth-watering funnel cakes. Admire the city lights atop the Towering Ferris Wheel, spin gleefully in the spring air on the Tea Cups and take a magical tour on the nostalgic carousel. Indulge in favorite fair foods including elephant ears, cotton candy and candy apples.

AMERICAN CRAFT SHOW

e Atlanta International Auto Show is the largest annual consumer event held annually at the GWCC and one of the nation’s great auto shows, attracting many of the world’s major automotive manufacturers during its five day run. Check out over 500 new and preproduction vehicles on the 400,000 sq. ft. show floor. Event takes place in the C Building of the GWCC.

Saturday, March 24

WATER DROP DASH

Chattahoochee Nature Center; $35/$45 waterdropdash.com e American Craft Show is the South-

east’s largest juried indoor craft show bringing together over 250 of the country’s most talented contemporary craft makers. Fine craft lovers and collectors shop oneof-a-kind handmade objects in jewelry, clothing, furniture and home décor, with special family-friendly activities.

e Water Drop Dash 5K is a fundraiser for the Chattahoochee Nature Center. e Dash is a flat and fast course along the Chattahoochee River. Day of registration and packet pick-up begins at 7am and race starts at 8am. Kids Fun Run with mascots starts at 8:45am.

Saturday & Sunday, March 17 & 18

Saturday, March 31, 10AM - 5PM

MODEL TRAIN SHOW

Cobb Galleria Centre Adults $10; Kids under 12 Free themodeltrainshow.com is is the Southeast’s largest train show featuring six operating model railroads, including one for kids to run. ere will be over 250 tables of model train dealers plus door prizes, raffle layout, and an exchange for guests to sell their trains.

NORTHEAST COBB EGG DROP

Sprayberry High School; Free Event communityeggdrop.org Bring the whole family out for the 9th Annual Northeast Cobb Community Egg Drop. Get ready as more than 90,000 eggs and pieces of candy are spread out and dropped from a helicopter. ere will be candy and an interactive Kid Zone with inflatable slides and bounce houses. Unlimited rides for purchase at $7 per child.

Saturday & Sunday, April 7 & 8

SPRING FESTIVAL ON PONCE Historic Olmstead Linear Park; Free festivalonponce.com

e two-day fine arts event features over 125 displays of local and regional fine art and crafts, utilizing the gorgeous landscape designed by one of America's most celebrated landscape architects, Fredrick Olmsted, Sr. In addition to the abundance of unique art, visit the children's area and enjoy gourmet food trucks, beverages and acoustic musical performances.

ATLANTA SCIENCE FESTIVAL

Multiple Location Prices Vary AtlantaScienceFestival.org

March 21 - 25

ATLANTA AUTO SHOW

GWCC; Adults $12; Children 6 - 12 $6 GoAutoshow.com

REceive Updated Events Weekly. Sign Up by Emailing Subscriptions@atlantaonadime.com Enter on the subject line: Sign me up Insite!

Pure Exhilaration!

Raise $1,000 to rappel for Special Olympics Georgia and take part in the rare experience in stepping Over the Edge and rappelling down the Overlook III building in Vinings.

Vinings Saturday, May 5, 2018 Register as an individual or a team with $25 fee. Visit OvertheEdgeAtlanta.org to register and learn more about the event contact Ally Jordan at allyson.jordan@specialolympicsga.org PG 6 • March 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

FOLLOW US ON

APRIL 14 THRU JUNE 3 Saturdays and Sundays plus Memorial Day 10:30am - 6pm • Open Rain or Shine Located just minutes from Atlanta I-85 at Exit 61 - Fairburn SPONSORED BY

BUY TICKETS ONLINE AND

SAVE 25% USE PROMO CODE

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GArenfest.com


Under The Lights ON STAGE THIS MONTH

THE HARVEY MILK SHOW 2 ONE ACT PLAYS

March 9 & 10 St. Mark United Methodist Church 404.607.7469 Actors-Express.com

Actor’s Express commemorates its 30th Anniversary with a special concert version of The Harvey Milk Show March 9-10 at Saint Mark U n i t e d Methodist Church in Midtown. AE founder Chris Coleman returns to reprise his powerful performance in the title role. When AE first produced the iconic show back in 1992, it confirmed AE’s position as one of the boldest and most ambitious theatres in Atlanta. Get tickets early as with only two performances the nightly shows will sell out.

FREAKY FRIDAY

March 9 - April 22 Horizon Theatre (404) 584-7450 HorizonTheatre.com A musical adaptation of the classic Freaky Friday is set to dazzle audiences at Horizon Theatre, March 9 – April 22. When an over-worked mother and her teenage daughter wake up to discover they have magically switched bodies, each is forced to adapt to the other’s life, literally walking in each other’s shoes, for one freaky Friday. With a wedding fast approaching, the pair must find a way to switch back before their situation goes entirely haywire. “Freaky Friday is full to the brim with heart,” said director Heidi Cline McKerley. “At the show's core are the beautiful complexities of the mother-daughter relationship, what it means to be a family and how the power of empathy can improve every circumstance. The humor in the book translates well into this adaptation and plays an important role in the score, which audiences will find simultaneously catchy, soul-stirring and clever.” Freaky Friday employs rousing pop-rock harmonies and sharp choreography to breathe new life into this American classic

HOME THEATER

NEW RELEASES

THE LATEST DVD, BLU RAY & VOD RELEASES

March 23 - April 15 Alliance Theatre (404) 733-5000 AllianceTheatre.org Alliance Theatre Mellon Playwright in Residence Pearl Cleage offers two one-act plays separated by 30 years but connected by the presence of J e n n y Anderson. Jenny's longing to understand her mother in Hospice has become the center of her life in Pointing at the Moon. As the world changes around her, Jenny must decide what she knows for sure and find a way to pass it on. Hospice was first performed in 1983 and was honored with five AUDELCO awards for achievement Off Broadway. Taken together, these two plays offer a rare glimpse of the playwright in passionate dialogue with her younger self.

By John Moore

STOMP

CULTURE CLUB – LIVE AT WEMBLEY

April 6 - 7 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499 FoxTheatre.org/stomp

Stomp, the percussion sensation, makes its Atlanta premiere at the Fox Theatre Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7. From its beginnings as a street performance in the U.K., Stomp has grown into an international sensation over the past 20 years, having performed in more than 50 countries and in front of more than 24 million people. The show has continued to change by creating new material. This year it will incorporate two new pieces. It is safe to say you will never again look at supermarket carts or plumbing fixtures the same way. They also make music from paint cans, kitchen sinks, trash can covers and more. The performers make a rhythm out of anything they can get their hands on that makes a sound. A unique combination of percussion, movement and visual comedy, Stomp has created its own inimitable, contemporary form of rhythmic expression.

A BAD MOMS CHRISTMAS (Universal)

While there is certainly a rushed feel to this follow up to the successful original movie, through a remarkably likeable cast (Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn), the movie manages to succeed once again. The three moms are joined with no notice by their own mothers for Christmas. Despite a sitcom-esque set up, plenty of jokes still manage to land. The writers (who also directed) at times try too hard to recreate many of the same scene from initial movie, but the stellar cast manages to save it in the end. (Cleopatra Records) Boy George-led Culture Club are right up there with Madonna, Prince and Springsteen in having defined the 1980s. That in mind, it’s still impressive to hear how well songs like “Church of the Poison Mind,” “Do You Really Want to Hurt me” and “I’ll Tumble for Ya,” have held up more than three decades later. Live At Wembley was recorded at the end of 2016, with a

arts@tech

fully reunited band who can play with as much energy as when they were packing stadiums in the mid- ‘80s. The group brings along a horn section and a stellar collective of back-up singers to fill out these anthems.

THE DEUCE: THE COMPLETE FIRST SEASON (HBO)

There was a lot of hype around this James Franco/Maggie Gyllenhaal series when it was first announced, but in a rare instance, the show managed to eclipse even the high expectations. Drawing on extremely compelling characters, the series is set in early 1970’s New York, when police were making a push to get prostitutes out of Times Square. At the same time, the porn industry was just starting to take off. Franco plays twins, Vincent Martino, an entrepreneurial bartender and Frankie, his deadbeat brother. Gyllenhaal is a pimp-less prostitute who realizes directing porn is a much safer and lucrative path. With just eight episodes, the creators have already pulled together one of the best dramas on TV.

professional artists series

KAKI KING THE NECK IS A BRIDGE TO THE BODY Provocative and moving, surprising and beautiful, this is the guitarist and composer at her visionary best: deconstructing and redefining the role of solo instrumental artist, using projection mapping to present the guitar in a creation myth.

arts.gatech.edu

MAR

10 SAT

8:00 PM

404-894-9600

insiteatlanta.com • March 2018 • PG 7


MOVIES

Movie Reviews BY STEVE WARREN

RED SPARROW (R)

1/2 In the Russian spy game, we’re told, “sparrows” are women trained to “seduce and manipulate” men. Dominika (Jennifer Lawrence) is a Bolshoi Ballet star until this Red Swan takes a swan dive that injures her leg. To earn money to support her ailing mom (Joely Richardson), she agrees to be recruited as a sparrow by her terrible Uncle Ivan (Matthias Schoenaerts) and trained at Charlotte Rampling’s school for (creating) wayward girls. The film opens with too much back-and-forth cutting to establish the characters and situations of Dominika and CIA operative Nate Nash (Joel Edgerton), whose rendezvous with a Russian mole is thwarted. It will eventually be Dominika’s job to get the mole’s identity from him. Since each is all business and loyal to their opposing sides, naturally they fall in love. (Did I mention it’s a movie?) If most movies are too simplistic for you, you’ll appreciate that you can’t follow the plot of Red Sparrow with a GPS. It will require at least a second viewing for most of the pieces to fall into place, and I suspect some never will. (Why is she told, “You’re better at this than any of us,” when she’s yet to produce any results?) J.Law is a less atomic blonde than Charlize Theron but Dominika stands up for herself. She kicks ass – and gets her own kicked. There’s plenty of torture here, not all for sexual pleasure (although there’s that too), and some of it got to me more than most screen violence. But this 50 Shades of Red is very well made, with a pro cast of westerners ably portraying Russians; and it’s almost always entertaining, even when you don’t know what the hell’s going on. - Steve Warren

BLACK PANTHER (PG-13)

 Despite its social significance, Black Panther delivers as sheer entertainment while standing apart from the other Marvel superhero movies. In light of a certain presidential misstatement about Africa, one can’t ignore that Wakanda looks like a “s--thole country” to the rest of the world but is actually hiding technical advancements that put it centuries ahead. Wakanda was hit ages ago by a meteorite made of vibranium, an element that can do marvelous things, including bestowing superpowers. The ruling class want to keep Wakanda’s profile low instead of using their technology to benefit all of humankind. They have a point, in that the few outsiders who know about vibranium, such as Klaue (Andy Serkis), try to steal it; and external forays always end badly – the assassination of their king in Geneva

GAME NIGHT PG 8 • March 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

(in Captain America: Civil War), and an incident in Oakland in 1992 that left a young member of the royal family orphaned. He’s grown up and returns as Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan), just as Prince T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) is crowned to succeed his father. The Black Panther is not an individual – there can be two at once – but a suit and set of powers that can be given or taken away by a magic potion (like the pills in Alice in Wonderland). It’s a perk of being king but is temporarily revoked for a fair fight when he has to defend his title in hand-to-hand combat. There’s a lot of plot and backstory in Black Panther – and we haven’t even mentioned the strong women (Lupita Nyong’o as Nakia, Danai Gurira as Okoye, Letitia Wright as Shuri and Angela Bassett as Ramonda). Even more impressive is the respect for African culture that blends old and new in costumes, music and production design, all of which should be recognized at next year’s Oscars. Oh, and it’s Marvel, so stay through the credits. - Steve Warren

ANNIHILATION (R)

 While the news is full of reports, many of them justifiable, of fragile flowers supposedly traumatized by often minor sexual incidents of decades ago, movie screens are devoting more space to wonder women who could eat Harvey Weinstein for lunch and vomit out Bill Cosby. The latest is Lena (Natalie Portman), a military veteran teaching biology at Johns Hopkins. She’s being debriefed/interrogated about an incident that began when her husband (Oscar Isaac) returned, deathly ill, from a secret mission after being thought dead for a year. Trying to learn what happened to him, Lena volunteered for a similar mission, but with women trying to do what was too much for men. It was led by psychologist Jennifer Jason Leigh and included Gina Rodriguez, Tuva Novotny and Tessa Thompson. They went into the Shimmer, an area that could be a theme park called WTFland. It looks from the outside like an oil painting in constant motion, repainting itself. Inside the space, which has been spreading for three years, the women found mutated flora and fauna – and danger. Lena’s husband was the only one of several explorers to return from the Shimmer; she appears to be the second. Though strictly Earthbound, Annihilation is the best sci-fi chick flick since Aliens, even if Lena is no Ripley. Directed and adapted from Jeff VanderMeer’s novel by Alex Garland (Ex Machina), it doesn’t insult a viewer’s intelligence and offers some fascinating visuals. The reimaginings of nature

BLACK PANTHER reminded me of Andy Goldsworthy, the subject of a documentary opening this month; but he didn’t have alien assistance – or did he? - Steve Warren

GAME NIGHT (R)

 With Award Season just wrapping up and the “silly season” of summer movies several weeks away, even genre films like Black Panther are forcing us to engage our brains and take moral stances. Which makes Game Night all the more welcome if you just want to have some good dumb fun. Actually a lot of intelligence went into a plot that regularly pulls the rug out from under us, but it’s still just entertainment and better if you don’t think about it. Max (Jason Bateman) and Annie (Rachel McAdams) enjoy game nights with two other couples. It used to be three until Debbie divorced Gary (Jesse Plemons), the creepy cop who still lives next door and whom they try to avoid. Along comes Brooks (Kyle Chandler), the successful brother (“Mark Wahlberg to Max’s Donnie”) who gave Max such an inferiority complex he can’t get Annie pregnant. Brooks hired a company to stage a mystery for game night, but when he gets kidnapped it looks awfully real. The three couples go off in different directions searching for him, encountering dangers real and fake without being able to tell the difference. Meanwhile Billy Magnussen is finding non-date Sharon Horgan strangely more interesting than the one night stands he usually brings to game nights, and Lamorne Morris obsesses over a casual remark his wife (Kylie Bunbury) made early in the evening. It’s a deceptively simple sitcom setup that leads to more mystery and action than you expect; and you don’t have to be a serious buff to get the film references. It’s so much fun I got over being mad about the opening game confusing actor Edward Norton with Honeymooners character Ed Norton. - Steve Warren

LOVE, SIMON (PG-13)

 The woke generation is more likely than their ancestors to appreciate a love story regardless of the race, gender or species (The Shape of Water) of those involved – unless they just don’t care about love. Love, Simon is less a specific love story than a general looking-for-love story, or maybe a looking-for-permission-to-love story. Its most obvious audience should be gay highschoolers who don’t know how to tell their parents and parents who suspect their teenagers are gay but don’t know how to ask. (If they go to the same show both problems will be resolved.) But the enthusiastic response of a diverse preview crowd suggests a lot of crossover ahead. Simon (Nick Robinson) is a high school senior with supportive parents, a tolerable sister and three besties, two of whom he’s been friends with since kindergarten. But none of them

know he’s gay. Despite superficial similarity to Call Me by Your Name, Love, Simon is more relatable for taking place in the here and now (literally – it was filmed locally last year). Simon begins exchanging anonymous emails with “Blue,” a classmate who has come out on the school website, and falls in love with him. Thus begins a whodunit? – or who’s-gonna-doit? – as Simon fantasizes about who Blue might be. Love, Simon doesn’t sugarcoat the difficulty of coming out, but it makes it fun – too much fun in the case of Tony Hale’s ridiculous vice principal – and should make the process a little easier for next year’s class. - Steve Warren

THE CURED (R)

1/2 After The Walking Dead, what next? Not what will we watch on Sunday night? but what will happen to the zombies when a cure is found? The Cured does a great job of asking the moral questions involved but isn’t as good at answering them. Public “debate” brings Ireland, the country hardest hit by the “Maze virus” that turns the infected into cannibals, to the brink of civil war. A drug developed by Dr. Lyons (Paula Malcomson) has cured 75 percent of the infected (a lot more effective than the current flu vaccine). She’s still trying to cure the others, who are held in quarantine while the government considers their fate, leaning toward “humane elimination.” But how will the cured be reintegrated into a society that remembers being terrorized and having loved ones destroyed by them? Allegories abound, including blacks who still resent whites for what might have gone down between their ancestors over 150 years ago; but these wounds are much fresher. Widowed Abbie (Ellen Page) chooses forgiveness and invites Senan (Sam Keeley), her cured brother-in-law, to live with her and her young son. The three of them seem to start forming a family, but Senan has a secret which shouldn’t surprise viewers by the time it’s revealed. Meanwhile he’s being wooed by cured lawyer Conor (Tom Vaughan-Lawlor), who is leading a revolt against the state over their mistreatment of both cured and cureresistant people. Because it’s a movie there has to be action, so a bunch of the still-infected run rampant long enough to satisfy the bloodthirsty among us, on the way to a vague, unsatisfying ending. The best scenes of The Cured are the ones that play in our minds instead of on screen, as we ponder which side we’d be on if the situation were real. - Steve Warren

A FANTASTIC WOMAN (R)

 Odds are your family won’t approve of the person you hook up with. It may be the individual they disapprove of, or it may be a more general prejudice against their race, religion, gender,


always tell what was designed by Goldsworthy and what by God. To my way of thinking there’s enough evidence here for the artist to be certified insane by someone who doesn’t understand art; but since I don’t understand art (at least this kind) or insanity, I won’t judge. - Steve Warren

NOSTALGIA (R)

A FANTASTIC WOMAN profession or lack of one, or whatever. They may keep their feelings under wraps until death or a crisis brings them out. Sebastián Lelio’s Chilean Oscar nominee, A Fantastic Woman begins romantically with Orlando (Francisco Reyes) buying Marina (Daniela Vega) a birthday dinner and announcing he’ll be taking her to Iguazu Falls (the beautiful site of the opening shots). Then he dies. Orlando and Marina had been together over a year and she was finally moving into his apartment. But Marina was born Daniel, which doesn’t sit well with Orlando’s family or his exwife. They set the police on Marina, bar her from the wake and funeral, and order her out of the car, the apartment – and the picture. At her time of grief Marina is subjected to endless humiliation and intimidation, including violence. You can say the transgender star is typecast, but that probably just means Vega has experienced some of the same discrimination as Marina. If that doesn’t enhance her performance it certainly doesn’t diminish it, as she is stunning in her first film to get a U.S. release. It should expand your understanding of and empathy for the transgendered by giving you one to care about. It also does for Santiago what we wish more locally shot films would do for Atlanta: makes you want to go there. - Steve Warren

LEANING INTO THE WIND - ANDY GOLDSWORTHY (PG)

 You don’t have to be important to be the subject of a documentary, just interesting – at least to the filmmaker. I haven’t heard of Andy Goldsworthy in the 16 years since Thomas Riedelsheimer’s last film about him, Rivers and Tides – Andy Goldsworthy Working with Time. He continues using natural elements, such as trees and stones, for art projects. He feels connected to nature – a tree whisperer, perhaps. Some of his projects require several people and heavy machinery, and they’re out in the middle of nowhere where no one sees them; so who pays for this stuff? He’ll fashion strands of twigs and hang them from branches, or carve coffins - without lids – out of rock for people to lie in and feel one with nature. Riedelsheimer obviously shares Goldsworthy’s sensibility, the way he photographs nature before and after the artist has refashioned it; but he needs to provide more context for those of us who don’t. As we travel around the U.S. and Europe I can’t

1/2 Stuff happens, and the longer we live the more stuff we accumulate and the more attached we become to it. It may fill attics or storage lockers (or my garage) until a tragic event or the anticipation of one gets it moved to a dumpster or memorabilia shop, or sets a family fighting over it. Nostalgia tells stories of several families dealing with that stuff and those events. Most are not happy stories, so I wouldn’t recommend taking downers before you see it. Insurance appraiser John Ortiz leads us from elderly Bruce Dern to Ellen Burstyn (an instant frontrunner for Best Supporting Actress), whose house has burned down. She brings a salvaged souvenir to collectibles dealer Jon Hamm, who is going through their parents’ stuff with his sister (Catherine Keener), who soon confronts a tragedy. Along the way we’re reminded that people don’t always die in the same order that they’re born, and millennials’ stuff is mostly digital and can be lost for want of a password. Director Mark Pellington has assembled a firstrate cast and the film has no technical issues; but it’s so relentlessly downbeat, my takeaway was that if I belonged to a cult that was planning a mass suicide, I would show them Nostalgia to get them in the mood. - Steve Warren

THE PARTY (R)

 Those poor rich people can’t get a break – except in their taxes. The bourgeoisie in Sally Potter’s The Party aren’t even discreetly charming. It’s a common formula: Get a bunch of terrific actors together in a house – for a birthday party, a family holiday dinner or whatever – then let the secrets spill and the fur fly. This isn’t the best of the breed – it could use some humor, for one thing; but Potter has a great cast and a good story; and she doesn’t waste your time: the drama between the opening logos and the closing credits runs barely over an hour. The film’s in black-and-white but it’s hardly colorless. Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) is having “a little celebration” at home after being elected a minister of the opposition party (giving the title a double meaning). Her husband Bill (Timothy Spall) is out of it but becomes more lucid after revealing why. Though set in England it’s a multinational crowd. Janet’s best friend April (Patricia Clarkson) is American, and has a German husband, Gottfried (Bruno Ganz). Martha (Cherry Jones) is American but partnered with a Brit, Jinny (Emily Mortimer). Tom (Cillian Murphy) is a shady Irish banker and coke addict whose wife, Marianne, is arriving later. It takes about 15 minutes to introduce all the characters and situations before one bombshell after another shakes things up. Impending birth and death, love affairs, and disagreements about politics and modern medicine keep The Party lively. - Steve Warren

TV

Station Control

FOCUSING ON GAY CHARACTERS BY BENJAMIN CARR

W

hat it means to be gay has been reflected by our television programs since before people were allowed to say the words out loud onscreen. Cultural shifts either echo societal shifts or push once-taboo topics forward. What began as whispers in shows from the 1970s like All In the Family, Three’s Company and Hollywood Squares made way for later programs like Melrose Place and Will and Grace to introduce gay characters into the mainstream. To determine where we are now with homosexual and bisexual people in society, as with any group, it is useful to review how they are represented onscreen. The sorts of discussion happening on modern shows are very encouraging. In addition to the return of Will Truman to NBC and the struggles of many characters in Riverdale, three new and returning shows are worthy of focus.

QUEER EYE (Netflix)

In a reboot of the Bravo series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, this version filmed in Atlanta introduces us to a new Fab Five set of stylists and designers who make over the lifestyles of men who are hopeless and drab. Jonathan is a master of hair and skin care. Bobby redesigns homes. Tan makes over a wardrobe like nobody’s business. Karamo offers mood adjustment and confidence boosts, and the handsome Antoni - who maybe cannot cook - at least makes guys feel more comfortable in their kitchens. And each episode aims to be about more than silly straight people. There is a good deal of great advice and tough conversation in the new show. Among other topics addressed, there are moments about race relations and the police, gay people and the church and - most touching - an episode about coming out. It’s a solid show with a strong cast, good for some laughs and tears, and it leaves you feeling hopeful that maybe we can all improve.

HERE AND NOW (HBO)

This new Alan Ball family drama is a great deal messier in its approach to modern society’s race relations and gay politics. In its first two outings, the series - starring Oscar winners Holly Hunter and Tim Robbins - plays like This Is Us without nuance. It is a strange mix of forced conflict, weird mysticism, obnoxious and entitled characters and a multiracial adoption premise - attacked more clumsily than on shows like The Fosters or, as mentioned, This Is Us. Hunter and Robbins, still good though they play characters who at this point are little more than a collection of hippie quirks, are a pair of Portland, Ore., academics who work in empathy-based

Queer Eye

charities and philosophy. They have three adopted, fully grown children and a 17-year-old daughter born naturally. Their youngest son Ramon - portrayed by Daniel Zovatto - is gay, and he spends the pilot episode picking up a hot dude at a cafe, having weird dreams, attending one of the strangest birthday parties ever and then having a psychic vision of the number ‘11:11’ in flames. Because Here and Now can barely relax into just being about one thing, the mystery of the psychic visions and the possibility of Ramon being a prophet seem to be its propelling narrative. But I think it would be better if this show were just about a family. Ramon’s gay romance and how his family handles meeting the new guy he’s dating is easily the best part of the show. That is when it slows down, trusts us to watch the characters fumble and grow and seems more interested in humanity than science fiction.

ONE DAY AT A TIME (Netflix)

The second season of this great sitcom, based upon the Norman Lear series, gives us more time with single mom Penelope Alvarez and her Cuban American family, and every moment we spend in this living room is a blessing. This show - headed by Justina Machado and the scene-stealing Oscar winner Rita Moreno - is a modern masterpiece. Episodes tackle racism, the immigrant experience, mental illness, gun control and all sorts of current conflicts. But the show is loving and always very, very funny. How it handles a central gay storyline continues to be heart wrenching. After struggling to come out last season, awkward lesbian activist daughter Elena Alvarez, played by the great Isabella Gomez, is still coping with her father’s rejection of her lifestyle. Also, she is struggling with popularity, attractions and how to define herself. As she takes tentative steps toward reconciliation with her family and romance, the strength of this storytelling shines through. Viewers would be hard-pressed to find this kind of bold, challenging and emotional narrative anywhere else on TV. One Day at a Time remains television at its finest.

THE PARTY insiteatlanta.com • March 2018 • PG 9


MARCH MADNESS Dining Guide

Where to get a bite with friends during the Basketball Tournament Hudson Grille 7 Atlanta Locations HudsonGrille.com

Your NCAA Tournament headquarters! Hudson Grille is the perfect place to catch the game, to meet friends for a great meal or enjoy drinks from one of their expansive bars. Favorites from the menu include their 1/2 pound hand-pattied burgers, steaks, and fresh seafood. Hudson Grille offers 50+ draft beers with plenty of craft and local options, party rooms and 360-degree views of way too many HD TV's. See you there!

Baldinos Giant Jersey Subs

Marietta 80 Powers Ferry Rd. 770.321.1177 Doraville 5697 Buford Hwy. 770.455.8570 Milton 12890 Highway 9 678.580.0434 baldinos.us Baldinos has been serving the best sub sandwich in the South since 1975. Their true New Jersey style subs are as fresh as any sandwich anywhere. The rolls are baked in-store everyday - all day; each sub is sliced fresh as ordered; hot subs are grilled, not nuked or pressed, and only the freshest produce garnishes every sub as ordered. Salads, soups and delicious baked goodies compliment a true value menu. Check out Baldinos $3.99

Daily Special - a different sub every day that will keep you coming back. Stop by Baldinos newest store located at 12890 Hwy 9 in Milton.

Chicago’s Nancy’s Midtown

265 Ponce De Leon #A 404.254.5103 NancysPizza.com

Nancy's serves up thin, deep dish and new Rustic Crust Italiano Pizza as well as a full menu including great appetizers, sandwiches and signature salads. Nancy’s in Midtown displays multiple TV screens in their two dining rooms. They recently completed a major renovation doubling in size; now able to accommodate 200 seats. The new room is perfect for large parties and private events while take-out, delivery and catering are available. Come on out to Nancy’s Pizza on Ponce for all the tournament action!

Limerick Junction

822 N. Highland Ave. 404.874.7147 LimerickJunction.com Limerick Junction offers traditional Irish meals Corned Beef, Atlantic Cod Fish & Chips, Bangers and Mash and Cottage Pie. Also find an assortment of burgers, salads, appetizers and sandwiches. Make sure to come out to Limerick Junction and

COME IN FOR

MARCH MADNESS! Great Subs, Sandwiches, Salads & Wings Since 1980

celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on Saturday, March 17. Partying starts inside at noon and the outdoor festival gates open at 2pm. This family friendly event offers face painting and balloon artists from 3 - 6 pm. Music by Barry Nelson, Wes Yoakam, Kevin Lewis, Luna Searles, Leslie Conner plus Van Morrison tribute band Street Choir.

Johnny’s NY Style Pizza

Over 50 Atlanta area locations Order online at JohnnysPizza.com Johnny’s Pizza is synonymous with great pizza and subs in Atlanta. The secret to their success is in the preparation, using only the finest ingredients. Johnny’s specializes in NY style pizza, which is thin in the middle and thick around the edges. Johnny’s also offers subs, salads, sandwiches and other popular Italian dishes including calzones, strombolis, and lasagna. All their restaurants offer dine-in, take-out, delivery and online ordering. Go to JohnnysPizza.com to find the nearest location to you.

George’s

1041 N. Highland Ave 404.892.3648 georgesbarandrestaurant.com George’s has been a favorite VirginiaHighland establishment for 57 years! Known for their award winning burgers, George’s also offers a wide range of salads and sandwiches. You will find everything from Grilled Chicken Wraps, Patty Melts,

Reuben sandwiches plus a kids menu with many great offerings. George’s boasts a wide selection of draft and bottle beer and wine is served by the glass or bottle. They have multiple flat screens so you and your friends can catch all the tournament action. George’s is open for lunch and dinner. Sunday (11:00am - 9:30pm); Monday (11:00am - 10:30pm); Tue -Thu (11:00am 11pm); Fri -Sat (11:00am - 12am).

Mo’s Pizza

3109 Briarcliff Rd. 404.320.1258 MosPizza.com

Mo’s has been serving up great pizza in Atlanta for over 30 years! But the menu isn’t limited to pizza: sandwiches, subs, wings, nachos and salads ensure that anybody who comes here can find something they like. Check for daily lunch and dinner specials. Everything is made using the freshest ingredients including the dough built from scratch every day. Come to Mo’s this month and catch all the tournament action. They have a huge deck to hang out on and plenty of screens offering great views from any table. Mo’s is one of the longest running pizza joints in Atlanta, come in and see why they are one of the best.

Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!

(Mondays Only)

$8.50 Large Cheese Pizza!

Just off I-85 @ Clairmont (Corner of Briarcliff & Clairmont)

3109 Briarcliff Rd. • (404) 320-1258 • MosPizza.com

$3.99 baldinos.us

Specials

March Madness! Marietta 80 Powers Ferry Rd 770-321-1177 (closed Sundays)

Doraville 5697 Buford Hwy. 770-455-8570

of

BEST of

MILTON 12890 Hwy. 9 678-580-0434

ATL

Winner I Ns i t e ★ 201 7

Best Subs in Atlanta 12 Straight Years! PG 10 • March 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

Atlanta’s BEST Favorite ATL Pizza! Winner I Ns i t e ★ 201 7

Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.com


SPORTS

Managing The Madness: Your 2018 NCAA Tournament Preview BY DEMARCO WILLIAMS

C

DUKE’S MARVIN BAGLEY III

OLLEGE BASKETBALL IS A beautiful sport in the midst of unprecedented turmoil. While the NCAA is still trying to wipe off the stench of Louisville’s scandals, it’s now dealing with a mess in Michigan State, wiretapped wrongdoings in Arizona and whispers of egregious behavior in campuses all across the map. Thankfully, the calendar has turned to March, meaning whatever ugliness away from the court is at least temporarily remedied with the actions on it. The 2018 NCAA Tournament — we guarantee that one of the following 16 teams will cut down the nets on April 2 in San Antonio — won’t fully take our attention away from courtrooms and FBI probes but it will be a welcomed distraction.

ARIZONA

Sadly, the drama behind Coach Miller is beginning to overshadow Deandre Ayton’s brilliant freshman campaign (nearly 20 points/11 rebounds per game) and an overall Wildcats performance that’s reminiscent of Lute Olson’s talented bunches from the 90s.

CINCINNATI

Coach Mick Cronin is one of the finest pregame strategists in the nation. Best believe he’ll have Jacob Evans, Gary Clark and the rest of the Bearcats roaring to go, whether they’re a No. 2 or 3 seed in the Big Dance.

DUKE

If Marvin Bagley III, arguably the nation’s best all-around freshman, goes into March with strong knees, his high-scoring Blue Devils — their 85.5 points a game is 6th in the nation — have as good a chance as anyone to sprint to the national championship.

GONZAGA

The Bulldogs don’t have a marquee name in the middle of the roster like past seasons, but in Josh Perkins and Johnathan Williams, they have quite the headline-making ensemble.

KANSAS

A 14th-straight Big 12 title. Super-steady head coach Bill Self. Super-consistent senior Devonte’ Graham. It’s just more of the same in Jayhawk Country. And that should scare the hell out of every other school in the bracket.

MICHIGAN

We love Zavier Simpson’s spunk and Moritz Wagner’s hustle. We’re just not so sure how we feel about the overachieving squad’s chances beyond the Elite Eight.

MICHIGAN STATE

Tom Izzo will have done one of his finest coaching jobs ever if he’s able to keep his locker room focused on hoops and not the hoopla surrounding the Larry Nassar fallout and lingering recruiting accusations to his best player, Miles Bridges.

MIDDLE TENNESSEE

One of the mightiest mid-majors, these Blue Raiders have played some bigger-name schools really well (just ask Miami and Vanderbilt), and they won’t think twice about doing it two or three more times in the tourney.

NORTH CAROLINA

Luke Maye (18 ppg) and Joel Berry III (17.7 ppg) form one of the most explosive combos ever in Chapel Hill. That’s saying a lot. That the

well-rounded Tar Heels have a legitimate shot at repeating as national champions says even more.

OHIO STATE

The Buckeyes have season-shaping wins over Michigan State and Purdue since New Year’s Day. They could be celebrating a lot more than that by Easter Sunday, if Keita Bates-Diop keeps scoring like he has.

PURDUE

The Boilermakers don’t have the most encouraging postseason history (zero Elite Eight appearances since 2000), but they haven’t had a menacing presence quite like 7-2 Isaac Haas in that span, either.

VILLANOVA

Over the past three full seasons, the Wildcats have averaged 33.3 wins per year. If a 12-3 mark since January 1 tells us anything, it’s that the Jalen Brunson-led squad has another long run in them this year.

Taste of the Month...WINGS! Hudson Grille

7 Atlanta Locations HudsonGrille.com

VIRGINIA

In February, the Cavaliers became No. 1 for the first time since 1982. If this defensive-minded bunch — the Cavs give up an NCAA-best 52.1 points a night — keeps playing such disciplined ball, it could make its first Final Four since ’84.

WEST VIRGINIA

Coach Bob Huggins has do-everything Jevon Carter — the first player from a major conference to tally 1,500 points, 500 rebounds, 500 assists and 300 steals in a career — so his Mountaineers will always be in the Sweet 16 conversation.

WICHITA STATE

It’s criminal how overlooked this consistent squad (nine straight years of 20+ wins) is in the national media. But what’s even more felonious is sophomore guard Landry Shamet’s lightningquick hands in the passing lanes.

XAVIER

Trevon Bluiett can score with the best of’em. Coach Chris Mack’s Musketeers can defend with anyone. We’d be shocked if the squad’s all-for-one attitude didn’t carry it through the tournament’s second weekend.

Taco Mac

Multiple Area Locations TacoMac.com

Nothing pairs better with March Madness better than Hudson Grille’s signature wings and boneless wings. The boneless wings are tender, juicy, premium pieces of 100% chicken breast, lightly seasoned and fried. Also try their other flavors: Maker’s BBQ, Sweet and Spicy, Thai Ginger, Lemon-AKI, Jerk, Lemon-Pepper and—if you’ve got the guts— ghost pepper insanity. Did you know all their sauces are made in-house?! Try getting that at other sports bars. Wash down their wings with one of their 50+ draft beers with all your favorite local and craft options.

The Wing Factory

Multiple Area Locations wingfactory.com Their name says it all, or most of it anyway. At the Wing Factory, wings are indeed serious business with 25 flavors to choose from. There are plenty of tongue-burning options to please pepper pros but there are also enough subtle and complex “alternative” flavors to suit the less adventurous palette.

Bracket Bums:

George’s

Bracket Busters:

George's has been a favorite hangout in the Virginia Highland neighborhood for over 57 years. George’s is best known for their award winning burgers but you can also find great wings at here. There is no fuss, just done

CLEMSON, TENNESSEE AND TEXAS TECH GEORGIA STATE, NEVADA AND RHODE ISLAND

right. Their buffalo wings are seasoned in traditional mild, medium and hot sauces and served with celery and blue cheese dressing. Starting March 6 come in for Trivia on Tuesday nights.

1041 N. Highland Ave (404) 892.3648 georgesbarandrestaurant.com

It all started back in 1979 when a couple of guys from Buffalo, NY stopped in Atlanta on their way to Florida. All they had was a little cash and a great idea to bring Buffalo wings to the sunny South. It didn’t take long to find the perfect spot, a quaint little taco stand on the corner of Virginia and North Highland Avenues. 39 years later, Taco Mac is still the best local place for beer, Buffalo wings and sports.

Mo’s Pizza

3109 Briarcliff Rd. 404.320.1258 MosPizza.com Don’t let their name full you, Mo’s on Briarcliff off Clairmont Rd. offers a lot more than pizza. Great sandwiches, salads, subs, burgers and of course great wings. Mo’s has been serving them up for over 30 years!

Hooters

Multiple Atlanta Locations Hooters.com Original Hooters wings are fresh, never frozen and have been their signature menu item since the first Hooters opened in 1983. Hooters offers 15 wing sauce varieties on boneless, traditional, naked or Daytona style wings. These delicious chunks of fresh chicken can’t be beat. Hooters is a great place to take in the tournament action. insiteatlanta.com • March 2018 • PG 11


COMEDY

FOOD

PIE RECIPE WELCOME TO THE NOCTUARY SHEPHERD’S For St. Patrick’s Day Rory Scovel Returns to the Relapse to Document a Week of Improvised Comedy

was able to do the job which was probably a surprise to them - and to me!

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

A

FTER HE PUTS HIS DAUGHTER down for a nap, Rory Scovel calls It must ease a bit of on-set stress to be INsite from his home in Los working with a friend and peer. Angeles to discuss his latest project. “I’m Yeah and I think it wasn’t so much like terrified and excited at the same time,” he any sort of nervousness of being able to do laughs. His upcoming show, loosely called it because I’ve been circling around trying The Noctuary, is a weekto have an opportunity like long engagement at the this for a while. When the Relapse Theater. call came, I was like, ‘Well Nothing so terrifying MARCH 19-24 I don’t know what’s going about that - except for his to happen, but I think I’m Relapse Theater return visit to the venue, his ready to at least get in the relapsecomedy.com performances will consist batter’s box and see.’ of completely unprepared material. When he steps on It seems to be the same way with Amy, stage on the Monday night of the run, the also a great stand-up with a likeable challenge for the Greenville native will be screen presence, but she’s had a few roles to create a whole new hour of material - as that didn’t quite fit her style. the audience watches and cameras record I think this one finally falls perfectly every minute. into her style of comedy. With a message But the veteran comic actor is no that’s so very clear and she’s always stranger to challenge. His latest movie talking about, onstage and off, about finds him in unfamiliar romantic comedy body perception. So it’s kinda perfect in territory as he co-stars with Amy Schumer a way. For me it feels like it’s the perfect in “I Feel Pretty,” slated for release next storm. Now after seeing it I think it’s very month. His edgy special Rory Scovel Tries timely, very relatable and I think it’s gonna Stand-Up For The First Time debuted on be pretty big. Everybody bringing their Netflix last fall and prominently features A-game for sure. It’s always good when the Relapse. everybody kinda knows each other. We’re all coming from a comedy background The release date for “I Feel Pretty” has as folks who exist in that sort of middlejust been moved up from June until April, ground between drama and comedy. how do you feel about it? I just saw it last night and I feel very Let’s talk about the upcoming Relapse gig. good about it. It’s me in a role I haven’t What were you thinking when you signed really played before. A much more, not on for it? necessarily serious, but definitely more of I constantly wonder that when I put a straight-man and closer to myself. myself in these positions. But this is actually a position I’ve wanted to put You’re in good hands with this one, with myself in for a while. When I finally talked a strong cast of character actors. When about it out loud, suddenly this crazy idea you got the job, what was your initial is very real. I knew if I said it out loud reaction? to the right person at the right time it You know, I think I’ve been sorta waiting would happen. I’d have to either put up or for this opportunity. This one, kinda like shut up. all of ‘em, just sort of fell out of the sky from knowing Amy. Somebody dropped Now it’s on the calendar and you can’t out from this role and they quickly needed back out. to fill it. She threw my name out there and they went with it. Then I showed up and Please see SCOVEL on page 18

RORY SCOVEL

COMEDY SPECIALS ARE A SNAPSHOT OF A MOMENT IN TIME AND I THINK IT WILL COME THROUGH ON THE SCREEN THAT RELAPSE IS NOT YOUR AVERAGE COMEDY VENUE.

PG 12 • March 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

BY BRET LOVE

I

RISH PUB RECIPES MIGHT NOT BE the sort of thing you’d want to make at home every day, especially if you’re trying to follow a healthy diet. But on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone seems to like a wee taste of Ireland, and we’re no exception. Nearly 40% of Georgians claim Irish heritage, with Atlanta ranking as the 7th largest “Irish city” in North America. From the annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival in downtown Atlanta to the even more massive celebration in Savannah, it seems like our home state goes crazy for shamrocks and shenanigans this time every March. Here is a great recipe for Shepherd’s Pie as courtesy of Rí Rá Irish Pub. This dish is guaranteed to inspire an appreciation for Irish culture. Serve them up with some traditional Irish music on St. Patrick’s Day and you’ll have an enchanting taste of the Emerald Isle!

SHEPHERD’S PIE INGREDIENTS: 3 LB fresh ground lamb • 1 LB yellow onion diced • 4 Tbs AP Flour • 2 Tbs

vegetable oil • 1 tsp chopped fresh rosemary • 1 tsp chopped fresh parsley • 2 cups lamb stock (chicken stock can be substituted) • 2 cups frozen peas & carrots • 8 Idaho Potatoes; 1 cup milk • 4 Tbs butter PIE DIRECTIONS: Heat large pot with oil. • Add ground lamb and brown. • Drain off grease and add yellow onion. • Cook for 3-4 minutes. • Add the flour and cook out for 5-6 minutes. • Add the stock and mix well. • Bring to heat and let simmer for 10 minutes. • Add the chopped fresh herbs, peas and carrots. • Season to taste with salt and pepper. TOPPING DIRECTIONS: Peel and dice washed potatoes. • Bring to boil in salted water. • When tender enough for a fork to pierce through, remove from heat and drain. • Let the potatoes steam off until almost dry. • Mix in bowl with milk and butter. • Season to taste with salt and pepper. • Pour the Pie mixture into a 9×9 baking dish. • Spread mashed potatoes over top and broil in oven for 3-4 minutes or until mashed potato on top is golden brown. • Serve family style with fresh bread, butter and cans of COLD Guinness for a great taste of Ireland! SHEPHERD’S PIE, PHOTO BY HEIDI GELDHAUSER COURTESY RÍ RÁ IRISH PUB

SHAMROCK ‘N ROLL ROAD RACE

March 17th Atlantic Station

5K, 10K, & 1K Kids’ Fun Run* *First race starts at 8:30a.m.

Fundraiser For The Junior League oF aTLanTa Sign-up Today at ShamrockNRoll.org

aTLanTa’s LargesT FamiLy Focused chariTy race on sT. PaTrick’s day!


t SainPatty's

e d i u G Day

Greenmile Pub Crawl

Kegs N Eggs

Eat, Drink & Party in Midtown’s Entertainment District for the 8th Annual Green Mile Block Party. Join 1,000 plus party goers to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day early. Don’t miss the crowning of Irish Girl Costume Contest at Midnight. Participating bars offering Irish themed beverages and shots, Irish themed food specials, party beads and more.

This is the event to start out the day. Kegs N Eggs takes place from 11am - 6pm and includes Irish brew and grub from popular neighborhood pubs including: Hand in Hand, Atkin’s Park, Neighbors Pub, Dark Horse Tavern and American Roadhouse.

Friday, March 16 Midtown atlantabartours.com

St. Patrick’s Day Parade Saturday, March 17 Midtown atlantastpats.com

The Atlanta St. Patrick’s Parade will take place this year on St. Patrick’s Day in the streets of Midtown on Saturday, March 11. The parade steps off at noon at Peachtree and 15th street and continues down Peachtree to 5th Street. More than 2,000 dancers, musicians, llamas and Irish and local dignitaries are expected to march this year. The parade will feature one of the world’s largest Irish “walking flags,” a large flag carried — or, more accurately, worn — by dozens of participants.

Saturday, March 17 Virginia Highland atlantabartours.com

Shamrock ‘N Roll Race

Saturday, March 17 Atlantic Station shamrocknroll.org

The JLA’s Shamrock ‘N Roll Road Race begins at 8:30 am on Saturday, March 17th at Atlantic Station and will feature a family friendly 5K, 10K, and 1K Kids’ Fun Run. With 1,800 runners, walkers, strollers and dogs, the Shamrock ‘N Roll Road Race is one of Atlanta’s largest family focused charity race on St. Patrick's Day.

Lepre*Con 2018

Saturday, March 10 Park Tavern parktavern.com

Get a jump on St. Patrick’s Day a week early with Lepre*Con from A Social Mess. Party on the park at Park Tavern on Piedmont Park’s south lawn. The event is held from 2:00 pm to 2:00 am and offers live music on two stages, DJ’s, people costumes, booze and more surprises.

Shamrock the Station

Saturday, March 17 Starts at 11am Atlantic Station atlanticstation.com

The Shamrock the Station celebration at Atlantic Station starts at 11 am with a Family Zone featuring kid-friendly activities and Irish dancing. Live music begins at 5pm on the main stage. Shamrock the Station is open to festival-goers of all ages. There will be multiple bars pouring Guinness and more. Authentic Irish grub will also be available for purchase. General admission is $15.

Rescue Dog Olympics

Saturday, March 17 Brook Run Park rescuedogolympics.com

St. Patrick’s Day this year has gone to the dogs! Compete in fun, easy dog Olympic competitions and enjoy a dog day of festivities. Event is held in Dunwoody’s Brook Run Park from 11am - 4pm. ALL DOGS & THEIR HUMANS ARE WELCOME to celebrate St. PAW-trick's day at our annual festival. Interactive games, dog art project, pet rescue fashion show, lure chase, disc dogs, St. PAW-trick's day dog costume contest, beer garden!

Fado’ Irish Pub Buckhead Saturday, March 17 fadoirishpub.com

St. Patrick’s Day 2018 is on Saturday this year, which means the block party will be going all out, all day in Buckhead. The Buckhead Shops streets will be shut down and Fado’ will bring in a full slate of live bands and plenty of outdoor bars. And of course they will have tons of Guinness and Irish whiskey.

Limerick Junction

Saturday, March 17 Virginia Highland limerickjunction.com

Atlanta’s oldest Irish Pub celebrates its 30th Anniversary St. Patrick’s Day Celebration on Saturday, March 17 in Virginia Highland. Limerick Junction hosts one of the largest St. Patrick’s Day Parties each year and 2018 will be no different as the celebration starts inside the pub at noon and the outdoor festival gates open at 2pm. This family friendly event offers face painting and balloon artists from 3 - 6 pm. Music by Barry Nelson, Wes Yoakam, Kevin Lewis, Luna Searles, Leslie Conner plus Van Morrison tribute band Street Choir.

Lucky Fest

Saturday, March 17 Park Tavern spiralentertainment.com

Join Spiral Entertainment for a shamrockin’ good time at Lucky Fest at Park Tavern in Piedmont Park. Join thousands of lucky leprechauns and southern belles for tons of green beer, great food, live music, DJ’s and outrageous fun.

30th ANNIVERSARY Friday, March 17

Saturday, March 17! Pub Opens at Noon Festival Gate at 2PM LIVE MUSIC FEATURING:

Visit AtlanticStation.com or our Concierge Desk for more information.

Barry Nelson • Wes Yoakam • Kevin Lewis Luna Searles • Leslie Conner Street Choir (Van Morrison Tribute) FAMILY FRIENDLY. Face Painting and Balloon Artist 3-6pm 822 N. Highland Avenue NE • Atlanta • (404) 874-7147

LimerickJunction.com

insiteatlanta.com • March 2018 • PG 13


THEATER

PEARL CLEAGE: A CONVERSATION

For the Much-Lauded Playwright, the Best Social Media is Theater

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

T

HE PROLIFIC WORKS OF PEARL Cleage, whether fiction and nonfiction, features finely developed characters, intuitive dialogue and a true conversation with the audience or reader. The often-lauded writer’s novel What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day was a 1998 Oprah Book Club selection and her fans include actors, artists and activists around the world. Known for her feminist views, and outspoken warts and all exposes of her life and her ever evolving stable of characters. This month, the Playwright in Residence at the Alliance Theatre is overseeing the production of two one-act plays for the Alliance on the Road series. “Hospice” and “Pointing At The Moon” span 30 years of experience and conversation. INsite spoke with her just before a recent rehearsal of the production.

A great place for a conversation is the theater. Not during the performance, of course, but before and especially after. That’s what I love about theater. It brings together a roomful of strangers to hear a story from the stage. And that’s an amazing opportunity for a playwright. You can influence a whole room full of people to think about the same thing at the same time, together. If you do it right, in the end, they turn to each other and realize that they have been part of a conversation that includes whoever is sitting next to them.

PLAYWRIGHT PEARL CLEAGE

Theater is participatory. Right, if you write fiction people read it by themselves, with a play, you write it by yourself and then you go into rehearsal which is one group and then you invite the audience in which is another group. That makes it a real performance and not just another rehearsal. You’ve invited your neighbors in for a conversation.

What in your opinion, is the one driving And their reaction makes it art. force behind a good play? I agree. When you see a piece of There are many emotions that drive something, a play, a piece of music, any good works of art. I certainly think rage art, you see something that will resonate can do it, love can do it. There are many for you. The best thing people passions that an artist can tap ever say to me as a writer is, into to push a story forward. HOSPICE & that’s exactly what I felt about I’m always looking for the POINTING AT that, that’s exactly what I more positive energy to tap about that. But they into but sometimes rage is THE MOON thought may not be writers, so when justified, too. MARCH 23 – APRIL 15 they can relate to something Fulton Country I’ve written, then I know I did Southwest Arts Center Your best work personifies it right. fultonarts.org the word “real,” and it’s often the direct antithesis to Your work always has a today’s fluffy, social media journalist feel to it, sometimes directly, driven world. sometimes indirectly, but it’s always an People can retreat inward but there’s no account of realistic, relatable happenings. real conversation there. It seems people are Social media has taken the place of the doing everything onscreen. We’re talking to traditional journal for so many people. each other through machines rather than And it’s just so not for me, I try to be seeing each other face to face and having a very active, because my friends say, ‘Oh conversation. I’m really encouraging people you need to be on Facebook, on Twitter or to not be so dependent on technology whatever,’ and I try to not be one of those and look each other eye to eye. Go find people who become an old curmudgeon. somebody to actually talk to and see how But it’s the thing about expressing yourself it goes. so fast is what I don’t like about it. The issue happens and you say something, that Conversation is key. kind of mindset works against what I like to Exactly, people will say things online do, which is to actually sit for a minute and that they’d never say in person. They’re think about it. What do you think about emboldened by the anonymity. Being with this, how do you feel about this? What are people makes you behave in a much more you trying to communicate to other people? civilized manner. It’s important to put the So Facebook just seems like a big time-eater phones down and have a discussion. It to me. It’s too fast. The writing isn’t what doesn’t have to be political, just go out and you can focus on, it’s what did you say that dance, have a drink. Sing something with we can fuss about you about? your neighbors, be out, connect.

And Twitter seems to be the direct opposite of real communication. It seems absurd to me. I can’t say anything in 140 characters or whatever the word limit is. What annoys me most is that if you go over the character limit, it shows in red that you need to stop. I hate that! This is a machine trying to tell me how long a sentence should be? It’s so temporary. You can write something great. And then it’s gone. I don’t want that, I want something people can think about and go back and look at it again and then talk to other people about it. Also, a lot of your best work digs deep into your own experience. That must be alternately cleansing and scary. Well I’ve been doing it for so long. You know, I did first-person columns for a long time. But what I realized was the things that might make reluctant to share them are what make people really relate to them. People are always worried about the same things. There will always be those connections where you think you are the only one who has this worry, this concern, this weakness. If you as a writer can write about it honestly, what it does is relieve other people. ‘I’m so glad I’m not the only one who feels this way.’ If you can do that, it takes away all the fear of anything. When I decided to publish parts of my journals, I had to ask myself, are you really prepared to do this? Sins and all. The thing is, you can’t make up a new sin. Everything you obsess about and worry about has been done for a million years as long as there’ve been people on the earth. That continues the conversation and your current production is a conversation between generations. Two very different but connected one-act plays. The connection between them, in the first play Hospice which is 30 years old, it’s between a mother and a daughter and the daughter is 30 years old. Then in Pointing At The Moon, which is brand new, we catch up with that same daughter, but 30 years later. So now she’s 60.

ACTORS TINASHE KAJESE AND TERRY BURRELL PG 14 • March 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

That’s an incredible span of time. Yeah but I’ve always liked the characters

in Hospice. The mother in Hospice dies but for the daughter, I found myself asking, ‘What would she be like at this point in time?’ So I thought, how would she have come through those 30 years, what would she be like now. So it was really fun to just revisit someone and keep the character true to what I wrote when she was 30 and to look at what that character would have developed into. That’s a great challenge to you as a writer to revisit and relive what you wrote three decades ago. It is. You don’t want to dishonor what you wrote before and change it. When I thought about this, I read the older play a number of times to make sure there was something there I wanted to pursue. I was still fascinated with the character. She didn’t get to talk much, because her mother was very talkative. So in this one she gets to have much more time to be the central focus of the piece. How much of this is from your own experience? Well, I wrote the first one when my own mother had passed away. Then I was trying to think about mothers and daughters and how we want our mothers to tell us the secrets of being a woman. For this one, she’s reacting much more to what’s going on around her in the world today. So it still holds up for me. The women in the cast are wonderful and the director is also great, so it’s like going into rehearsal with friends, so that’s a treat for me. Are you hands on during rehearsals? For a new piece, if I’m in town, I always like to be there to be a part of it to make sure it is what I thought it was. Then I can do any editing that needs to happen. I’m trying to give the most complete script I possibly can, so then if there’s changes, it’ll be minimal. What I’m always excited by is what they do with what I’ve written. It’s my belief that a person’s play or any piece of writing needs to be one person’s writing from page one until the end. The beauty of a great play is that it’s one person’s vision. I love Tennessee Williams and I love Ibsen and with them, it’s like, it’s my play, it’s my vision and if you don’t like it, that’s fine, but it’s not 20 people trying to tell a story.


MUSIC

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: AL JARDINE

The Founding Member of the Beach Boys Embarks on a Rare Solo Tour think it’s better to do this than to be besieged by publishers to write a book. Whenever I start to go into detail to do it, I go into such detail I can’t get past the first chapter!

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

O

FTEN OVERSHADOWED BY fellow Beach Boys Brian Wilson and Mike Love, Al Jardine is an integral part of their legacy. As bassist, guitarist and harmony vocalist, the affable You’re billing this as “from the very first musician has contributed to some of the song,” so that would be “Surfin’.” greatest moments of the band from the Right, we start with the very first song earliest days of the group. It was actually and before the show starts the media Jardine’s mom who loaned the fledgling is showing the recoding of the song at outfit the money to record their first Brian’s house. It’s the nucleus of the whole songs in Brian Wilson’s house. thing. Then I come out and play the big Now in his new show “A Postcard From ol’ double bass which is what I played on California: From the Very First Song, With the record. Then I put that down, pick a Founding Member of the Beach Boys,” up the guitar and we just plow through Jardine starts the evening with “Surfin,’” the catalog. the first song the Beach Boys recorded, and takes his audience on an intriguing You mentioned the trio format, that’s journey of hits, rarities and the stories gotta be a blast for you behind the songs. because I know you were Backed by his son Matt influenced by the Kingston Jardine and musical Trio early on. director Jeff Alan Ross, MARCH 26 That’s how I learned the show is a musical how to sing. I loved their City Winery memoir for one of classic harmonies, style, positivity rock’s often-overlooked citywinery.com/atlanta and just the fun of that geniuses. INsite spoke sound. They were really the with Jardine by phone folk-singing Beach Boys, from his home near Big Sur, California. with their Hawaiian influences.

AL JARDINE

Your career spans decades but you’ve only released one solo album, A Postcard From California. Right and I’ll do a couple songs from it in the show. I like the “Postcard” song because it’s symbolic of so many families who moved to California after the war. After the war years, people were wanting to start all over again.

Has that sort of tropical allure always been an influence? Yeah, there’s nothing like the tropics especially when you’re a cold weather boy like I am. The Wilson guys grew up in L.A., so they don’t even know what cold weather is. Brian’s still in that area and Mike Love is in San Diego, so they really don’t have a clue!

Including your own family from Ohio. That’s right. My dad said, ‘Hey, we’re going out west.’ And we sure did! We went as far as we could and wound up in an exciting place called San Francisco.

Even your first bands were tropical flavored. Your first one was The Tikis, right? I think so; that sounds about right. Yeah, we were The Tikis and then The Islanders. We were a trio knock-off band. Then when I met Brian Wilson, we became a Four Freshmen-type band. That changed everything. We got into very complex harmonies but we were still folk. We were singing about surfing, which is folk music and car songs. It’s all about the folks, you know? We got lucky, but I must say we were talented.

Who knew what that move would eventually lead to at that point? Exactly. Actually it was my mother I have to thank for that because she kept prodding him to move to warmer climates. San Francisco is cold, like I say in the song. Very warm people but very cold weather. She kept pushing the envelope and they both loved Los Angeles so that’s where we ended up. And you’re back up the coast in the Big Sur area. Yeah now I’m cold all over again! My mom would probably encourage me to go back south, but it’s extremely beautiful here. It’s like following the highway on the back of the album, there’s a little map to mark the sights and the destination points you reach musically and physically. You’re in a good musical location now, from the big reunion tours with the Beach Boys a few years ago that morphed into the Brian Wilson shows of the last few years to this stripped-down experience. This is a lot more fun. I’d forgotten how much fun it is to sing as a trio. My son Matthew is an extraordinary singer and percussionist and my musical director is Jeff Alan Ross who also works with Peter Asher. It’s really fun and exploratory. It gives me a chance to actually talk. I

That definitely helps. That does help. But I always say, don’t listen to the naysayers. What I’ve learned is that often people don’t want you to succeed. They want to be the ones, they don’t you to be the ones. So they go, ‘Oh you’ll never make it with that stuff.’ But we didn’t care because we enjoyed doing it so much. You heard enough of that negativity from [Brian’s dad] Murray Wilson in the family living room, you didn’t need to hear it from anyone else. Yeah, he said, ‘You’ll never make it,’ too. You’re right! I think I’ll tell that story. In fact, I just may include it in the monologue. It was tough. We all had to go begging to my mother to make the record because he didn’t believe in us. That’s insane. Well he just couldn’t relate to the music. He was from another generation and it

didn’t appeal to him. I think it was more about musical taste. But he learned to appreciate it, let’s put it that way. The last time we talked you were at Capitol making That’s Why God Made The Radio in 2011.Now in retrospect, what do you think of it? There were such high hopes for a Beach Boys reunion record.

It’s a distant memory to me. It was just a necessary step in the evolution of the final moments of the Beach Boys. Now that’s done and the rest of us are off doing our own things. Other than Mike Love, who still thinks he’s the Beach Boys. He has the illusion that he is the Beach Boys. But he’s having fun and the rest of us are having fun. Brian and I are having a lot of fun!

BEST of

ATL

Winner I Ns i t e ★ 201 7

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Tuesday, March 27| 8:30pm

THE WIND + THE WAVE

THELMA & THE SLEAZE

RACHEL PRICE JESSE RUBEN

Advance: $15 | Day of: $15

-------------------------------------Sunday, March 11 I 8:00 pm

SHANE TORRES Advance: $12 | Day of: $12

-------------------------------------Wednesday, March 14 I 8:30 pm

SOFT KILL CHOIR BOY

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-------------------------------------Friday, March 16 I 9:00 pm

JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD T. HARDY MORRIS

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-------------------------------------Sunday, March 18 I 8:00 pm

YAMANTAKA SONIC TITAN

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-------------------------------------Sunday, March 25 | 8:00pm

DEAD BOYS

GUNPOWDER GRAY RAY DAFRICO (AND BAND) Advance - $15 | Day of - $18

CRAIG BROWN BAND NIKKI & THE PHANTOM CALLERS Advance - $10 | Day of - $10

-------------------------------------Thursday, March 29 | 8:00pm

AGENT ORANGE

THE ATOM AGE | THE COMPARTMENTALIZATIONALISTS Advance - $15 | Day of - $18

-------------------------------------Saturday, March 31 | 9:00pm

MIDNIGHT LARKS REVERENDS TWISTY CATS

Advance - $8 | Day of - $10

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CURTIS HARDING

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GUITAR LEGEND DICK DALE THE BUZZARDS OF FUZZ Advance - $35 | Day of - $35

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badearl.com insiteatlanta.com • March 2018 • PG 15


MUSIC

THE DIXIE DREGS ARE BACK IN TOWN

Classic Band’s Original Free Fall line-up Returns to Revisit their Southern Rock Roots

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

T

HE DIXIE DREGS WERE A LIVE PERFORMANCE and radio staple in the late ‘70s, but the band actually dates back to small shows around Augusta in 1970. Founders Steve Morse and Andy West were the core of the band and now the two musicians have decided to revive the popular group for a look back on their substantial history. The entire line-up of their definitive Free Fall album from 1977 - including guitarist Morse and bassist West will join Rod Morgenstein (drums), Allen Sloan (violin) and Steve Davidowski (keyboards) for a tour that begins in Florida and includes two shows at Atlanta’s Center Stage theater. Like a kudzu-covered Booker T and the MG’s, the band’s instrumentals blended progressive jazz fusion with the southern rock roots of Macon’s iconic Capricorn Records. Taking some time off from his “day-job” in Deep Purple, Morse spoke with INsite as the band plotted their reunion tour route. You are reviving the Dregs as you continue The Long Goodbye tour with Deep Purple. That must be such a different vibe than the reunion. Yeah, it’s a very comfortable group for me to play with and as the new guy, I’ve only been in for 24 years. But it’s been 24 constant years without much of a break. Tell us about the Purple tour. Is this the last thing you’ll do - or is it a sort of ‘lets stop and think about this for a while.’ I think it’s the last one but there’s always the possibility of getting together for a special show or an awards show or some charity thing, but this is definitely our last long tour.

IT WAS SURPRISING TO ME, I GUESS 43 YEARS LATER, HOW SIMILAR EVERYBODY WAS - THEIR PLAYING STYLES, PERSONALITY AND EVERYTHING. AND HOW EASILY IT ALL FELL BACK INTO PLACE. personality and everything. And how easily it all fell back into place. I’ve heard from so many bands who reunite how similar everyone is to the younger version of the band from decades ago. There’s a bit more restraint now and a little bit more experience, but yeah I think it’s the about the same.

The tour has been about a year in the making at this point. Yeah but part of it was just finding the right span of time in order to flog the band to its fullest extent and the dates are just all over the place. MARCH 3 & APRIL 28 We’re doing a lot of shows in a very Center Stage short amount of time.

THE DIXIE DREGS

With that in mind, what’s the internal temperature of Deep Purple at this point? Are you in celebration mode? It’s all going very well because I think people give you an extra centerstage-atlanta.com How does it feel to revisit this measure of respect knowing that material and take it on the road you’re coming close to wrapping it after being away from it for so long? up. But there’s a lot of denial. A lot of denial. Musically it’s exciting; we’ll have lots of friends in the seats and that part is fun. But the travelling and not For a band with that much history, that’s sleeping part is what worries me a little bit. Back in the understandable. day, we were flying to a lot of those shows. For this trip, When we have time off, they take off and do gigs, I don’t have a plane big enough to do that, so Andy and I sometimes with splinter bands and sometimes solo projects. Like Don Airey does solo projects and Ian Paice are gonna be driving and most of the guys will be on the does, well sometimes he plays with bands that do ‘Purple bus. I can’t sleep on the bus so I’m driving. things in other countries. I remember the Free Fall lineup so well but it’s amazing that it’s been over 40 years ago at this point. Everyone That’s gotta be a mind-twister. ‘Am I in the tribute in the band is back together - which is a major feat band of the band that I’m in?’ in itself. (Laughs) Right, and the tribute band sounds like the Yeah, everybody. And [late Capricorn Records rep] recordings and the real band sounds like the live shows. Twiggs Lyndon’s younger brother is going to be working It must be a big creative shift to go from that mindset to with us too. You know Twiggs was the guy on the back of the album, looking at his watch. And our same light man the Dixie Dregs reunion. from back then is with us and we were going to have our It is really different. It’s constant playing and changes. same soundman [Dave Colvin], but believe it or not, just We’re playing things we’ve never played live. I’d just last week he died. kinda put my parts together right before we recorded it and now here we are doing it live. We are doing two You mentioned Twiggs, he and [Allman Brothers and songs live for the first time ever. Everybody’s been Rolling Stones keyboardist] Chuck Leavell really working on those and we’ll be ready for it - but it’s so different from just saying, ‘Oh, that’s how that used to go, brought you guys into the Capricorn world. Chuck is one of those people, like [Dregs drummer] Rod yeah,’ and reminding yourself of a few little complicated Morgenstein, who is just a generous warm, positive person. bits. But everybody’s really good at what they do and All the time - without putting on any act. He’s just a natural I’m really lucky. We did a trial sort of reunion together privately, and it went really well so that’s what gave us the musician, too. You never hear him play a bad solo, ever. They happened to be coming back from a tour and went out confidence to do this tour. to a club and we happened to be playing there that night. They were kind enough to call Capricorn and told Phil When you got back together and first started playing Walden, ‘There’s something unusual here, you might want that material, it must have brought back a flood of to look at it.’ But like with most record companies, they’d intense feelings. received a demo from us and either trashed it or sent it Definitely. It was surprising to me, I guess 43 years back. So we had to send them another one. later, how similar everybody was - their playing styles, PG 16 • March 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

They signed you soon after that show. Yeah it wasn’t too long. That night we’d played a song - nearly every title was based on a joke - and we’d played one the night they saw us called “We Want A Contract.” I think that was the only time we’d ever played it. That was the only time you needed to play it. That’d be a fun song to bring out for the tour. I can’t even remember all of it now, but I do remember basically what it was. The late ‘70s was a great time to be a national recording act and Capricorn especially welcomed creativity and individuality in the roster. Yeah back then bands were expected to be different and Atlanta was a big place to be. Macon, too. We had Lynyrd Skynyrd there all the time, and Kansas, Atlanta Rhythm Section, 38 Special and Mother’s Finest. Everytime we played, we’d see some of them. Every time I think of the Dregs, I think of the Great Speckled Bird newspaper. There’d always be an ad in there with Dixie Dregs listed at a club. Oh yeah, I hadn’t thought of that in a long time. We used to play a little club down there called The Bistro, down near where CNN was. Yeah on West Peachtree. Not far from the Center Stage, actually. Right, over by that tower. There was always all this RF radiation coming from there and you’d get a lot of buzz in the guitar cables. A lot of cool people played that little place. Jimmy Buffet, Michael Nesmith, Chi Coltrane. Yeah, I remember that’s where Twiggs took us to see Great Southern. And that’s where Dickie Betts came in one time when we were playing there. He was friends with Twiggs, of course, and that time, he was playing “Ramblin’ Man” on his acoustic guitar as we were setting up our gear. He was real happy with it. We said, ‘Now that’s a hit.’ And sure enough, it was! You’ve played all over the world since then. What’s the biggest change you’ve seen over the years? Well now that everybody has a recorder in their hands, there’s no way a band can just try something new. Anything you do can be published - and usually is. That puts a big damper on trying things on the spur of the moment. We used to always play tunes live before we recorded them. Now the record companies would be mad if we did that. But then I’ve always thought of music as a destination, not just background noise or a minute on a website.


MUSIC

THE ‘ODESSEY’ OF THE ZOMBIES

British Invasion Band Lives on with New Member, music & Timeless Catalog of Hits

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

T

HE ORIGINAL SHORT HISTORY of The Zombies has, over time, engraved an indelible design of influence and acclaim for the St. Albansbased band. Arriving at the height of the British Invasion in 1964 with the wellreceived album Begin Here and a string of hit singles including “She’s Not There” and “Tell Her No.” The future looked bright for the band but by 1967, they became disillusioned after recording their second full-length album, the famously misspelled Odessey and Oracle. It remained unreleased until a few months after the group had dissolved. But in the ensuing 50 years, the album turned into one of the most acclaimed records of the rock era, influencing several generations of musicians, artists and writers including Tom Petty and Dave Grohl. Buoyed by renewed interest and respect, they officially returned in 1999 with a slightly revamped line-up and a batch of new material that equaled the quality of their initial work. After a January performance at 30A in Florida, bassist Jim Rodford died suddenly and the Zombies faced a big decision. INsite caught up with vocalist Colin Blunstone at his home in the UK to discuss the past and future of The Zombies. The news about Jim Rodford must have been devastating. It’s been a huge shock to us. He was at our very first rehearsal in 1961. Obviously I knew him socially and he’s played on a lot of my solo albums. Then, when we got this incarnation of the Zombies together in 1999, he was the first guy we spoke to. Nineteen years we’ve been playing together and that’s a long time. But you had a long American tour already on the books. We had to make a decision, very quickly if we were going to do this American tour. But Jim was a real ‘show must go on’ type person. Once we decided we were gonna do this tour, we knew we’d have to really throw ourselves into it. We can never place him but we found a wonderful bass player who’s going to come with us, Soren Koch. It’ll be different, but it’s gonna be great. Last year’s tour celebrated the 50th anniversary of Odessey and Oracle, which

stated with the 40th anniversary tour a decade earlier. It grew. The idea was to do one concert to celebrate the 40th anniversary of it in London. Then one sold out immediately, then that grew to three, then there was interest in doing it in other cities. Then the 50th came up. We’ve just been asked to play it again in Berlin this summer. But you always include new songs with the familiar material. We have to do new songs because that’s the lifeblood of what we do. I’ve started a solo album and already we’re writing so I’m sure in the next few months we’ll be starting a new Zombies album. I know Rod’s got a couple of songs on the way. It’s a constant thing with us. We just like to write and record new material. It’s consistently good new material, too. Still Got that Hunger from 2015 is just as good as any of the classic tracks. I wasn’t sure if a band with our heritage would even chart in today’s record industry but it was a wonderful surprise when we did. Hopefully we’ll chart with the next one as well. I think we’ve still got as much energy onstage as there was in the ‘60s. But if that were to change, we’d have to take a view on whether it was worth continuing.

Rolling Stone naming Odessey and Oracle as one of the Top 100 albums of all time and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominating us three times - it is a vindication, you’re quite right. Because it was an incredibly sad time in 1967 when the band finished. I thought that was the end of the music business for me, I really did. And now, after all these years, to get the recognition we’ve had, it does make you realize, yeah maybe we did have something.

So this is in no way a “Final Tour?” At this point, retirement’s a long way off. We love playing. Rod and I both really enjoy the excitement of a live performance. We don’t take prisoners when we go on stage; we give MARCH 16 You had a little flash it everything we’ve got. of success in ’69 when City Winery It’ll be the same on “Time of the Season” citywinery.com/atlanta this next tour as well. was an unexpected hit. Once in a while, Rod That’s right but the and I, we have to sort album was never a hit at the time, even with of pinch ourselves and say, ‘Can this really a big single on it. But now just by word of be happening?’ We think we are incredibly mouth, it sells more year by year. It’s quite fortunate to have to have to opportunity to extraordinary, I don’t think there are many travel around the world with our friends, albums like that out there. It’s almost as playing the music we love, at this time in though the album is doing it itself, there’s our lives. It’s so unexpected. I think both of no promotion, no marketing. It just sells. us thought that our touring days were over, a long, long time ago. So many people continue to cite it as one of the greatest records of all time. It must be a nice bit of vindication to I know! Many people cite that album recall that you initially broke up because or The Zombies as an inspiration when there was a perceived lack of interest in they were forming their bands. Tom Petty, the band. Dave Grohl, Susanna Hoffs, so many very Well you know, that is true. Things like different musicians have mentioned it as one of their favorites. There’s a very successful musician over here, he’s not as big over there, but his name is Paul Weller.

THE ZOMBIES

From The Jam? Yes, that’s him. He’s named it as his favorite album and for years he’s said that if he’s with someone and they don’t know Odessey and Oracle, he buys them a copy of it. Dave Grohl said on a Scandinavian TV show that a song that changed his life was [opening track] “Care of Cell 44.” It’s becoming a cottage industry. It is, with reissues and there’s a musical that [original Zombies bassist] Chris White has written about it using songs from it, and there’s a great sort of coffee-table book, the first book published by BMG. They’re got some previously unseen photographs

of the band from the ‘60s and great quotes from people like Santana and Brian Wilson and Clive Davis, saying wonderful things about it. But you were appreciated, even in the ‘60s. Probably more than you realized at the time. You know, when we look back, we realize that we always had a hit somewhere in the world. But communications were so bad, often we didn’t find out. I know this sounds bizarre now, but we didn’t know we’d had a hit until months later. Maybe sometimes you never found out, unless you went and toured in a country, what songs were hits. Like in the Far East or the Philippines, we had many hits there. But they weren’t the songs that had been hits anywhere else! You could’ve continued well into the ‘70s had you known the bigger picture. With the benefit of hindsight, I often don’t understand why we didn’t keep going. But we’d been on the road nonstop for three years and we had an agent who managed to employ us. He had us working nearly every night, yet he’d never earn us any money! We were constantly broke. Except for the writers. Rod Argent and Chris White had a constant income stream from the publishers. They wrote wonderful songs so it was different for them, but for the rest of us, for Hugh [Grundy] Paul [Atkinson] and myself, we just never had any money. I’m not talking about to buy a second car or to buy a big house, I’m talking about to eat! I think we all just got tired and disillusioned. But if we’d really thought it through, we were still in a strong position. In a way, though, that was the end of a really creative cycle. Culture was changing and music was changing right along with it. Exactly. We’d been together for four years as an amateur band and three as a professional band and you know, maybe it was just time to move on. Everyone else feels it was the right thing to do and had no regrets, but I personally have always been curious to know what we might have done next. But now we’re doing it. insiteatlanta.com • March 2018 • PG 17


MUSIC

Americana

SCOVEL from page 12

Album Reviews

REVIEWS BY JOHN B. MOORE

cana debuts last year. From start to finish, “Don’t Talk About It” is Boots’ most satisfying records so far in what will hopefully a long career.

Luther Russell

Selective Memories: An Anthology

J.D. Wilkes

Fire Dream (Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum)

As frontman for The Legendary Shack Shakers, J.D. Wilkes has been one of the loudest and earliest voices in the Bluegrass/ Americana revival going back two decades now. And while it finally seems the rest of the music world is catching up with him, he pivots slightly on his impressive and impressively experimental solo debut. “Fire Dream” builds on the roots and rockabilly foundation set up by The Legendary Shack Shakers and goes further, creating a delightfully odd hillbilly, cabaret gypsy vibe. Across 10 tracks, Wilkes creates a Southern Gothic masterpiece complete with hobos, trash barrel fires and even an eerie carnival (captured beautifully in the album’s closing track “That’s What They Say.”) Playing banjo, harmonica and piano, Wilkes brings in friends like Drive-By Truckers bassist Matt Patton and Dr. Sick and Jimbo Mathus from Squirrel Nut Zippers, among others, to help set up this backwoods world divorced from the influences of modern music. A native of Kentucky, there’s an authenticity to this music here and an obvious homage to those before him that tends to get lost when collectives from Brooklyn or Portland attempt to create similar music. From the stellar self-titled opening track with the gypsy violin and stoic call and response vocals to the very last song, Wilkes crafts a moody album that is hard to resist.

Ruby Boots

Don’t Talk About It

(Bloodshot Records) One of the best new voices in Americana interestingly enough is Australian. Ruby Boots (Bex Chilcott) made her way to Nashville from her native Perth years ago and has managed to record a remarkably powerful follow up to her 2016 full-length debut; the record is part Country, Southern Rock, Folk and Blues with plenty of attitude. It’s hard not to draw comparisons to contemporaries like the equally-talented Nikki Lane (who cowrote “I’ll Make It Through” on this record) and Cory Branan, as all three know how to write everything from powerful, steady rockers (like the album opener “It’s So Cruel”) to more sublime, softer fare (“I Am A Women” or the fantastic Bluesy fuck-off that serves as the closer, “Don’t Give a Damn”). Throughout the record, Boots’ stellar lyrics are backed with a wildly impressive band, the guys from The Texas Gentlemen - who also happened to put out one of the best AmeriPG 18 • March 2018 • insiteatlanta.com

(Hanky Panky Records Records) Throughout his musical career, Luther Russell has been many things, but predictable is not one of them. Since going solo in the late 1990s (after leaving the Freewheelers), he has flirted with funk and soul music, power pop, punk rock and even hints of blues. The proof of this eclectic resume is all over the stunning two-disc anthology “Selective Memories.” The set also includes Russell’s work with the Freewheelers and The Bootheels). This retrospective manages to serve both newcomers and longtime fans, offering the uninitiated a chance to learn about one of rock’s best kept secrets and longtime Russell acolytes a best of and rarities collection all in one set. Among the highlights here - and there are many - are the infectious power pop ditty “Arthur Lee” and “Black Leather Coat,” which sounds like a mix between harry Nilsson and Freedy Johnston.

Ben Miller Band Choke Cherry Tree

(New West Records) Man, five albums into it and Joplin, Missouri’s Ben Miller Band is showing no signs of wear. “Cherry Choke Tree” is easily their best effort yet, an expansive mix of blues, folk, Americana and just enough swamp rock to make Leon Russell proud. The band has changed its line up a bit since the last record, but the group sounds as tight as ever. The addition of Rachel Ammos, who provides some strong co-vocals weaved throughout the album, is a definite plus here. Across 11 remarkably satisfying tracks, Miller and his cohorts slip in and out of genres – often in the same song – with ease. There is not a single track here that doesn’t have you hitting repeat, whether it’s “Trampoline,” with it’s infectious singalong or a more straight-ahead rocker like “Life of Crime” (the best song ZZ Top never wrote). The band has been at it now since 2004 and has managed to build on each stellar release with a slightly better follow up. It’ll be interesting to see if they can top themselves on the next outing – a tough task given how solid “Choke Cherry Tree” is.

Well recently I was thinking, ‘I love going on stage, I love Relapse, and I love the improv nature of the idea.’ It’s made me think about how to remain calm, break through and find the material and keep the show rolling in the moment even when I don’t necessarily know if I even have any gas in the tank. So I’ll have to find the gas in real time. That’s quite a challenge. There’s a part of me that feels like if I can accomplish this, then going onstage with prepared material from this point on will feel very different and much easier. I hope it will feel much easier, but who knows? Do you have any advance concepts in mind, just to fall back on? The thing that excites me and terrifies me about this is that I don’t know what this show is, or what the rules of it should be. It really is an exercise for me to not fall back on anything I’ve done before. The catch of it is I can start to build material over the course of the week, but that Monday night is the cleanest the canvass can possibly be. Then I can slowly start to put stuff together. On the first night, are you winging the entire show or will you throw in some greatest hits to pad out the time? It all has to start happening when I walk out. Minute one is the beginning of anything I’m allowed to use going forward. I can’t bring in anything I’ve done before. That sticks with the ticket price, too. It kinda rises as the week goes on, under the assumption that the show gets a little better each night. But that’s not a guarantee, either. How are you documenting this unique experience? Are you filming it? We are. Scott Moran who directed my special and John Campbell, who was the DP, are gonna shoot the entire thing as a documentary. That’s the other thing, too. We don’t exactly know what we are documenting. You did this once before, also at the Relapse, but only for one show. Yeah I did a show there where I really did make up everything. It was at one of those 1 a.m. Secret Shows. That’s what kinda made me realize that I can do this. And it’s what I want to be doing as a stand-up anyway. I really want to be able to create a show from nothing just like an improv group does, but I want it to morph it into standup.

At this point, with no rules and no set, what are your expectations? I guess right now, what we’ll be documenting is a 14-year-comic artist trying to change how he approaches his craft. I’ve done it for 14 years but there’s definitely room for improvement as to how I currently do it. There’s a part of me that wants to change how I write these songs, basically, and see how it goes. Then literally not just do it for this one week, but I kinda want this to become how I do my shows. I’ll learn how to make material out of nothing. Then if I can have two versions of one show, that would be my ideal goal. You’re calling this The Noctuary. That’s a pretty mysterious name for a comedy show. I didn’t even know the word, I was looking online for words that maybe I don’t necessarily use. Since the shows are at night, over a course of nights, a noctuary is like a journal of nocturnal incidents. Since I’m documenting this week I felt it was important to not just call it Rory Scovel doing standup because that’s not what this show is. Are you bringing any special guests? Gilbert [Lawand] is opening and he’s put together different locals each night to go up and do some time before I go out. There’s nobody flyin’ in for it but if anyone happens to be in town, then by all means, I’d love that kinda show. At this point, it’s myself, Gilbert and Atlanta comedians. That’s plenty because Atlanta has so many good comics. Oh yeah, Atlanta has one of the best comedy scenes going right now and has had one for a while. In my mind, the reason why a place like Relapse is so great is because it has great ownership, facilitated by great talent. It’s also a very welcoming community. That’s why it’s on the map in the comedy community. And you’ve further immortalized Relapse in the special. Comedy specials are a snapshot of a moment in time and there’s no better place to do it and no better owner to work with than Bob Wood. I went in knowing they’d be fully supportive and on board. Bob is like, ‘What do you need and how do you want it?’ I think that comes through in the special. We were given the right space to work with. I think it really comes through on the screen that Relapse is not your average comedy venue.


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