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NOVEMBER 2016

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5 YEARS! 2 G N I T ELEBRA

INSITEATLANTA.COM

VOL. 25, NO. 4 FREE

Dining, Nightlife, Retail & Lifestyle

Get Ready for the Holidays with Brian Setzer, Mannheim Steamroller, A Christmas Story & Cirque Dreams


BEST OUTDOOR MUSIC VENUE for the 8th consecutive year

Thank You Atlanta For Voting For Us Once Again! We Look Forward To Rocking With You In The Future!

BEST MUSIC VENUE - INDOOR for the 5th straight year

7:30PM

Fox Theatre

ON SALE NOW AT

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MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER

ON SALE NOW! NOVEMBER 26 ● 2PM & 8PM

FOX THEATRE

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CONTENTS • NOVEMBER 2016 • VOLUME 25, NO. 4

CELEB

R AT I N G

EXPERIENCE dECaTuR

S aT 30+ SHOP R IN NOVEmbE R + dECEmbE

25 YEARS!

Atlanta’s

INCludINg

Entertainment Monthly

INTERVIEWS 10 Cirque Dreams 10 Brian Setzer 15 Iliza Shlesinger 18 Mannheim Steamroller 18 A Christmas Story 19 David Crosby 21 Frozen Teens 21 Joe McMahon 21 Superweaks 22 GSU Basketball

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s Furry Tail hop Pet S

Shade

Greene’s F

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Tattoos

ine Foods

RISES aRTSy SuRP Iday dEalS l O H l Ia C E P S CaTuRga #HOlIdaydE aTuR #OCTOPIdEC

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FEATURES 08 Best of Atlanta 22 NCAA Preview

COLUMNS 04 05 06 07 15 17 20

VISITORS CENTER • 113 ClaIREmONT aVE. Decatur-INsite-magazine-nov-2016.indd 1

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Around Town On Tap Atlanta on a Dime Under The Lights New Releases Station Control 18 Movie Reviews

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

Music Editor John Moore john@insiteatlanta.com Contributing Writers / Interns: Alex. S. Morrison, Steve Warren, Dave Cohen, Benjamin Carr MAILING ADDRESS P.O. Box 76483 Atlanta, GA 30358 WEBSITE • insiteatlanta.com ADVERTISING INFORMATION (404) 308-5119 • ads@insiteatlanta.com Editorial content of INsite is the opinion of each writer and is not necessarily the opinion of INsite, its staff, or its advertisers. INsite does not knowingly accept false or misleading advertising or editorial content, nor do the publisher or editors of INsite assume responsibility should Dining, such advertising or editorial appear. No content, Nightlife, Retail & Lifestyle i.e., articles, graphics, designs and information (any and all) in this publication may be reproduced in any manner without written permission from publisher. NOVEMBER 2016

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Get Ready for the Holiday s with Brian Setzer, Mannheim Steamroller, A Christmas Story & Cirque Dreams

insiteatlanta.com • November 2016 • PG 3


Around Town

Events and Performances taking place this Month

NOVEMBER 3, 10, 17

other merry misfits join Santa for an unforgettable holiday adventure. Puppet.org

Downtown Decatur

NOVEMBER 11 - 13

Decatur Terrific Thursdays Each Thursday this month except on Thanksgiving, shops all around Decatur will be offering special holiday deals. Get in the holiday spirit with their tree lighting, Santa sightings and bonfire on the square. Learn more at visitdecaturgeorgia.com

NOVEMBER 5

Decatur Wine Festival Decatur Square

Sip wines from around the globe while sampling delicious food from Decatur-area restaurants. The festival features nearly 500 wines at 70 tables for you to taste. Proceeds benefit the Decatur Arts Alliance, which produces the Decatur Arts Festival and many other arts events, free to the community each year. Visit decaturwinefestival.org

Love Jones The Musical The Fox Theatre

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of the popular romantic comedy, the stage play takes the essence of the film and tells its story through music. Fusing chart-topping hits and fan favorite songs from the music artists, along with a few original songs, Love Jones The Musical is sure to be a hit. Tickets at FoxTheatre.org

NOVEMBER 12 - JANUARY 7

Garden Lights, Holiday Nights Atlanta Botanical Garden

NOVEMBER 12 - JANUARY 4 Stone Mountain Christmas Stone Mountain Park

NOVEMBER 8 - DECEMBER 21

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer Center for Puppetry Arts

Rudolph soars back into town for this faithful adaptation of the wonderful holiday film that speaks to the misfit in all of us. Based on the beloved 1964 stop-motion animated special, Rudolph and his friends Hermey the Elf, Yukon Cornelius, the Abominable Snow Monster and all the

Celebrating brunch with some of Atlanta's best restaurants in the brunch game, and bloody marys, mimosas beer, and wine to wash it all down. Live Music and DJ. Visit BrookhavenBrunchFestival.com

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas at Stone Mountain Park, where the true magic of the season is in the air. Enjoy the glow of more than two million lights, festive music and visits from some your favorite holiday characters. Start a new tradition and create memories that will last a lifetime. Visit stonemountainpark.com

NOVEMBER 12

Brookhaven Brunch Festival Brookhaven Park

This contemporary holiday light show features more than 1.5 million energy-efficient LED lights. Explore new features like the massive Tunnel of Light along with favorites such as the Orchestral Orbs, Glittering Galaxy, Radiant Rainforest, and Model Trains that continue to make the exhibition a must-see holiday tradition. On the Great Lawn colored lights dance to a new selection of holiday music and choreography. Visit atlantabotanicalgarden.org

NOVEMBER 24 - DECEMBER 31 Lights of Life

Life University, Marietta

Lights of LIFE is an annual holiday tradition that was started by Life University and dates back to 1989. The 65 foot tall rendition of Santa and his sleigh is the tallest display in the Southeast. It is a visual treat that the whole family will enjoy. Concessions are available seven days a week. Additional

activities will be available during the weekends for a small fee including petting zoo, train rides, pony rides and photos with Santa. Tickets available at Life.edu

NOVEMBER 25, 26 & 27 Dirty Dancing

Cobb Energy Centre

It’s the summer of 1963, and 17-year-old Frances ‘Baby’ Houseman is on vacation in New York’s Catskill Mountains with her older sister and parents. Mesmerized by the racy dance moves and pounding rhythms she discovers in the resort’s staff quarters, Baby can’t wait to be part of the scene, especially when she catches sight of Johnny Castle, the resort’s sexy dance instructor. Passions ignite and Baby’s life changes forever when she is thrown in to the deep end as Johnny’s leading lady, both on-stage and off. Tickets at CobbEnergyCentre.com

DECEMBER 1

Cirque Musica Philips Arena

Cirque Musica Holiday Spectacular is a fun-filled family holiday event combining the cast of Cirque Musica with all-time favorite holiday songs performed by a live orchestra. Cirque Musica is a concert and visual experience where audiences journey into a world of high-flying adventure with amazing acrobats, aerialists, hilarious hijinks and holiday cheer. PhilipsArena.com

Thank You Atlanta.

We are humbled to have been voted Atlanta's Best for the 4th consecutive year!

A L E X A N D E R S O F AT L A N TA . C O M 2891 NORTH DRUID HILLS ROAD PG 4 • November 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

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On Tap this Month MAJOR EVENTS COMING TO ATLANTA November 6: Philips Arena

STEVIE NICKS

Singer Stevie Nicks, the multi-platinum, Grammy® Award winning music icon brings her 24 Karat Gold Tour to Philips Arena Sunday, November 6. Nicks, dubbed “the reigning queen of rock and roll” by Rolling Stone Magazine has had six Top Ten albums and eight Grammy nominations. e show features e Pretenders and its leader Chrissie Hynde, one of contemporary music’s greatest songwriters. PhilipsArena.com

November 20: Lenox Square Mall

MACY’S TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY Ring in the Holiday Season with soul star Aloe Blacc, country artist Craig Campbell, the multi-talented Michelle Williams, with hosts Jovita Moore and Zach Klein and the Macy's All-Star Choir as they light the Great Tree in style. e lighting of Atlanta’s most beloved and recognized Christmas tree will take place at Macy’s at Lenox Square Mall on Sunday 6:30 pm, November 20. Visit Simon.com

November 23 & 25: The Fox Theatre

CIRQUE DREAMS HOLIDAZE

Cirque Dreams Holidaze re-imagines the holiday season with over 300 costumes, 20 acts and 30 performers from 12 countries showcasing an endless variety of heart-pounding and gravity- defying feats you have to see to believe. Experience gingerbread men flipping mid air, toy soldiers marching on thin wires along with snowmen, icemen and penguins, balancing, jumping and spinning in disbelief. Tickets at Foxtheatre.org

November 26: The Fox Theatre

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER e spirit of the season comes alive with the signature sound of Mannheim Steamroller. Bridging elements of rock, pop, traditional and neo-classical, Mannheim Steamroller has sold millions of albums worldwide. e show features classic Christmas hits and dazzling multimedia effects in an intimate setting. ere will be two performances on Saturday, Nov. 26 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Tickets available at Foxeatre.org

November 27: The Fox Theatre

THE HIP HOP NUTCRACKER e Hip Hop Nutcracker is performed by a dozen allstar dancers, DJ and violinist. rough the spells cast by the mysterious Drosselmeyer, Maria-Clara and her prince, Myron, travel back in time to the moment when her parents first meet in a nightclub. Digital scenery transforms E.T.A. Hoffmann’s story of a palace of sugarplums into a romance set in 1980s Brooklyn on New Year’s Eve. Visit Foxtheatre.org for tickets.

December 3: The Georgia Dome

SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME

e SEC’s Eastern and Western Division winners will meet in the Georgia Dome for the 23rd consecutive year to battle for the league championship. e game matches the teams with the best overall SEC winning percentage in each division. e title game has provided SEC fans plenty of memories and has catapulted teams to national championships in eight of the past nine years. Visit GAdome.com insiteatlanta.com • November 2016 • PG 5


Saturday, November 12

VETERANS DAY PARADE

EVENTS HAPPENING FOR SMALL CHANGE IN ATLANTA

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

November 5 - 20

MJCCA BOOK FESTIVAL

Starting at $10 Center at Zaban Park atlantajcc.org

Saturday & Sunday Nov. 5 & 6

CHASTAIN PARK ARTS FESTIVAL

Free to Attend Chastain Park e 25th annual Book Festival of the chastainparkartsfestival.com

MJCCA takes place this month and will feature works from this year’s most sought-after and talked-about authors, celebrities, and influencers. More than 10,000 visitors will enjoy engaging speaker programs, author meet-and-greets, book signings, panel discussions, and more. Most events held at the Marcus Jewish Community Center of Atlanta.

Saturday, November 5

CHOMP AND STOMP

Free to Attend Cabbagetown chompandstomp.com is festival honors Cabbagetown’s past where music and food have always defined the neighborhood’s spirit. Chomp and Stomp will feature a chili cook-off including individual and restaurant chilis, 5K run, artist market, live bluegrass music, beer and more. e 5K race begins at 7:30 a.m. while the festival starts at 11:00 a.m. and runs through 6:00 p.m. e event is free to attend with $5 tasting spoon.

is two day event will feature up to 200 fine painters, photographers, sculptors, leather and metal craft persons, glass blowers, jewelers and more. e festival will also offer visitors the opportunity to view artist demonstrations, enjoy live entertainment and participate in hands-on arts activities. Featuring a children’s area, local food and beverage concessions including the “gourmet” food trucks.

Saturday, November 12

CRAFTS AND DRAFTS

Free Centennial Olympic Park Center gavetsdayparade.org

Help the Georgia Veterans Day Association honor our veterans and celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the USO. e Parade will start at 11:11 a.m., in Downtown Atlanta on Peachtree Street south of Ralph McGill/Ivan Allen Blvd and proceed south towards Centennial Olympic Park. e Grand Marshal for the 2016 Parade is General George Casey, US Army (Ret).

Saturday, November 19

ATLANTIC STATION TREE LIGHTING Free Atlantic Station atlanticstation.com

Kick off the holiday season at Atlantic Station’s annual tree lighting celebration.

is family-friendly event will feature live musical entertainment, a kids’ activity area, live reindeer, the Seed N’ Feed Parade and more. e night will culminate with Santa’s arrival, a Holiday Jubilee performance, the tree lighting with more than 250,000 lights, a “snow show” and fireworks. e lighting of the Christmas Tree in Central Park takes place at approximately 8:30 p.m. followed by fireworks.

Saturday, November 19

HOLIDAY LIGHTS

Free Centennial Olympic Park centennialpark.com Walk through the 21 acre park and see the winter wonderland made up of thousands of sparkling lights. While there, strap up the skates and take a few laps around the outdoor ice skating rink. Admission to Holiday in Lights is free; ice skating is $7 for 90 minutes of skating. Holiday Lights Free, Centennial Olympic Park entennialpark.com

Free to Attend Atlantic Station clatl.com/atlanta/CraftsDrafts2016 Crafts & Drafts has moved this year to Atlantic Station. It is a curated exhibition and sale of local handmade arts and crafts. e event also showcases a vetted selection of 50 craft beers from local and regional crafters. is family friendly event takes place on Saturday, November 12th from noon - 6 p.m. so bring the kids.

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

PG 6 • November 2016 • insiteatlanta.com


Under The Lights ON STAGE THIS MONTH

SANTALAND DIARIES

November 18 - December 31 Horizon Theatre (404) 584-7450 HorizonTheatre.com Horizon Theatre Company is in holiday cheer as it reprises its popular production of The Santaland Diaries by awardwinning satirist David Sedaris. Adapted from David Sedaris’ best-selling book Holidays on Ice, the play borrows from tales during his stint as a Macy’s Department Store elf named Crumpet. This rebel without a Clause recounts in hilarious fashion the out-ofwork writer, Sedaris, being besieged by bratty kids with overzealous parents. While donning a humiliating costume, he finds that his cynical self and his elfin alter ego, "Crumpet," are not exactly compatible. His remedy for the saccharine overdose he endures in his never-endingly exuberant job is to tell all – giving us a backstage pass to the secret lives of Santas and elves.

A CHRISTMAS CAROL

November 25 - December 24 Alliance Theatre (404) 733-5000 AllianceTheatre.org/christmas

A CHRISTMAS STORY

November 29 - December 4 The Fox Theatre (855) 285-8499 FoxTheatre.org/christmas

This holiday season, for the first time in Atlanta, one of America’s favorite Christmas movies comes to life on stage in a hilarious, large scale Broadway musical. A Christmas Story, The Musical chronicles young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder® Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle. An infamous leg lamp, outrageous pink bunny pajamas, a maniacal department store Santa, and a triple-dog-dare to lick a freezing flagpole are just a few of the distractions that stand between Ralphie and his Christmas wish. Chock-full of delightful songs and splashy production numbers, A Christmas Story, The Musical, has proudly taken its place as a perennial holiday classic for the whole family.

BIG FISH

Join the Alliance Theatre for one of Atlanta’s most treasured holiday traditions. A Christmas Carol, the most heartwarming story of the season comes to life with holiday carols, stunning stage magic and your favorite Atlanta actors. This tale of redemption takes place on Christmas Eve as wealthy miser Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by ghosts offering him a chance at a better future—his old partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present, and Future—who teach him it is never too late to change. Celebrate the holidays with the beloved Dickens classic in this Broadway-scale production with beautiful live music and an all-star Atlanta cast.

December 1 - 18 Theatrical Outfit (678) 528-1503 TheatriclaOutfit.org Atlanta audiences are invited to explore something beyond the usual fare this holiday season: Big Fish, a magical, new 12-actor musical adaptation of the best-selling book by Daniel Wallace and hit Tim Burton film. Big Fish spotlights Edward Bloom, a traveling salesman whose biggest hope is to live life to its fullest. Edward’s tall-tales thrill everyone in earshot except his questioning son Will, about to be a father himself, who demands to know the truth behind Dad’s epic stories of giants, fortune-telling witches and mermaids. Watch as Bloom fights mortality and tries to convince a doubtful son that there’s more to life than meets the eye.

ATLANTA’S RED-HOT HOLIDAY SENSATION! The

Santalan Diaries

BEST HOLIDAY SHOW! -ATLANTA THEATRE FANS

BY DAVID SEDARIS

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FoxTheatre.org/Christmas • 855-285-8499 insiteatlanta.com • November 2016 • PG 7


BEST BURGER Cheeseburger Bobby’s

Buckhead 678.732.9531; Sandy Springs 404.600.2484; Marietta 770.919.9110 cheeseburgerbobbys.com Cheeseburger Bobby's offers gourmet hamburgers with a wide variety of freshly prepared toppings with which to prepare your own Best Burger. Bobby’s uses only fresh, never frozen 100% U.S. beef, seared on a grill after you order it and served on a lightly buttered, toasted bun. The rest is up to you. Visit their 13 metro area locations.

DINING

See the Full List of Best Of Categories online at INsiteAtlanta.com

BEST BAGELS Emerald City Bagels Ordering 404.245.7446 emeraldcitybagels.com

Emerald City Bagels has taken Atlanta by storm. The mother and daughter team from Long Island, NY spent two years perfecting their recipe and now offers the best bagels in the city. They don’t have a stand-alone store location but can be found at your favorite coffee shops, breakfast places, Farmer’s Markets and Pop-up locations around town. Online ordering for pick-up and local delivery is available.

BEST BARBECUE Pig-N-Chik pignchik.net

Sandy Springs 404.255.6368 Brookhaven 770.451.1112 Emory Area 404.474.9444

BEST BREAKFAST The Flying Biscuit

Candler Park 404.687.8888 Midtown 404.874.8887 flyingbiscuit.com The Flying Biscuit serves great breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner seven days a week starting at 7 am. They are known for their mouthwatering biscuits and affordable menu items. Their signature dish is The Flying Biscuit Breakfast. It is served with two large farm-fresh eggs, free-range chicken and sage breakfast sausage. The Flying Biscuit offers an organic-friendly menu and bakery. You can’t go wrong with a famous Flying Bicuit Breakfast.

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PigNChik.net Sandy Springs / Buckhead 4920 Roswell Rd • 404-255-6368 Chamblee / Brookhaven 5071 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. • 770-451-1112 Emory Area 1815 Briarcliff Rd. • 404-474-9444 WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER • WE DELIVER

PG 8 • November 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

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Pig-N-Chik ribs are St. Louis cut and cooked until they

show a pink smoke ring. This makes them nice and tender with just the right smoky flavor. They come without the sauce as owner Jim Graddy feels ribs should stand on their own. But should you want, there are homemade Pig-N-Chik sauces on the tables. You will also find great barbecue pork, turkey, beef brisket, chicken wings, smoked salmon along with a variety of sides, and salads.

BEST BURRITO Willy’s Mexicana Grill 30 Area Locations Catering 404.422.7107 willys.com

Atlanta’s original burrito chain is still the best. Willy’s award winning California-style burritos keep the concept of freshness true. Their rice and beans are cooked daily using no lard or animal products. Willy’s restaurants are vegetarian friendly offering grilled tofu and veggie burritos. Try their new Baja Burrito. Order a Willy’s truck to come to your event by calling their Catering Hotline.

BEST CHINESE Chin Chin 3887 Peachtree Rd. 404.816.2229

and other area locations

chinchinga.com

Since 1994, Chin Chin has served up some the finest authentic Chinese cuisine. Chin Chin has several locations around Metro Atlanta, each with the same great flavor, healthy portions and elegant décor. Chin Chin offers reliable fine dining that won’t break the bank.


BEST CUBAN Havana Restaurant

2905 Buford Hwy. at N. Druid Hills 3979 Buford Hwy at Clairmont havanaatlanta.com After losing the original location at Buford Hwy. and N. Druid Hills Rd. to fire a few years ago, they opened a new location up the road. Now the original location has reopened and Havana’s great Cuban cuisine can be found at both locations along Buford Hwy. and their authentic Cuban dishes are as good as ever!

BEST DELI BEST SANDWICHES Goldberg’s

6 Restaurants + Hartsfield Jackson goldbergbagels.com Goldberg’s is Atlanta’s favorite deli and also serves the Best Sandwiches. Here you will find the finest kosher meats and salads. All Goldberg’s Atlanta locations offer full table seating. Follow them on Facebook for weekday takeout specials.

BEST DESSERTS Macaron Queen

North Point Mall; Perimeter Mall 908.867.8336 macaronqueen.com Macaron Queen desserts offers French pastries that are delicious, delectable and with less calories, a guilt-free slice of heav-

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en! Madame Macaron’s menu varies from individual desserts, cakes, Macarons, parfaits, and cookies all with the finest ingredients and exquisite taste.

BEST DINER BEST LATE NIGHT DINING Landmark Diner 3652 Roswell Rd. 404.816.9090 landmarkdiner.com

A landmark of great meals 24 hours a day. Whether you crave a 2 a.m. breakfast or an 8 a.m. steak, you can get it here. Find great sandwiches, salads, seafood along with Italian and Greek dishes. Visit their Buckhead restaurant (pictured) or any of their five locations around town.

BEST GREEK Athens Pizza

WINNER OF BEST DESSERTS!

1341 Clairmont Rd. 404.636.1100 athenspizzaatlanta.com Since 1966, Papadopoulos family at Athens Pizza has been serving the same delicious Greek cuisine to the Emory / Decatur area that their customers have come to expect. There is much more than pizza here. Authentic dishes including Veal, Roasted Lamb or the Oven Baked Chicken. Athens Pizza offers lunch and dinner and is popular for catering. Call to book your holiday party in one of their private rooms. 4:13 PM

Best Of Continues on Page 11

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North Point Mall Macaron Champagne Bar - Perimeter New location NOW OPEN!

We are proud to serve over 50 varieties, custom logo macarons, and gluten free pastries!

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insiteatlanta.com • November 2016 • PG 9


THEATER

ORNAMENTAL SPECTACULAR

Cirque Dreams Returns to the Fox to Dazzle the Holidaze of performers appear as ornaments dangling from a 30-foot Christmas tree. Throughout the show they keep changing into different costumes as they represent all the ornaments of the holiday season. We really run the gamut from Thanksgiving all the way through New Year’s Eve and try to touch on everything in between including Christmas and Hanukkah.

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

T

he holiday season is a great time for family entertainment and this year one of the brightest lights of the current crop of family-friendly offerings is the new show from Cirque Dreams. The Florida-based entertainment conglomerate is currently on the road with three separate teams of performers to present its newest production. Holidaze is Telling a unique Christmas story isn’t easy. a delightful sensory overload with 300 original Right, there are a lot of Christmas stories costumes, 20 variety acts and a cast of 30 and they’re all great but with them you know international entertainers. what’s going to happen next. A twist on the tried and The great thing about Cirque true holiday story, the show Dreams Holidaze is there’s just includes dancing snowmen, no way to predict what’s going BY CIRQUE DREAMS angels, reindeers, gingerbread to happen. A lot of times when men, and of course a visit November 23 & 25 people are creating a show from Santa Claus. The Fox Theatre they tend toward ideas that are loose-limbed Cirque-style cirqueproductions.com surreal are supernatural. But I acrobatics combined with was thinking we have a holiday brassy Broadway production in front of us that’s all about numbers highlight the fast-paced twocelebration and being colorful and something to hour extravaganza. share with the family and that’s the real story. Due to popular demand the show returns to Atlanta this month and Insite caught up with It’s partially a jukebox musical in the way it Cirque Dreams founder/director/philanthropist incorporates so many songs. Neil Goldberg at his office in Fort Lauderdale. Yes but there is a story arc within the two hours and every one of the over 20 scenes of the Has the show changed since your previous run show tells a story unto itself. at the Fox? Yes, we have five new production numbers Can you give us some examples of some of and new costumes. But it’s still a big Broadway the vignettes? spectacle holiday show and we always include When we’re telling the story of Thanksgiving, the best of a cirque-type show as well. The cast the people around the dinner table have all of

HOLIDAZE

their glasses ready for toasting and then one performer bounces them on his nose and forms a giant chandelier, as he walks up a 10-foot pole ladder balancing it. Then we have a snowball fight that turns into a world-class juggling act. And when we bring Santa and his sleigh on stage, the reindeer turn into break dancers. And it’s all family-friendly. You can take the kids, you can take mom and dad and even the grandparents. Kids and long, two-hour shows such as this often don’t mix. You know, people’s attention spans have really changed over the last eight or so years. Today we don’t let anything last longer than four minutes. Not necessary by my choice, but people are used to the fast-paced everything. I love when we get letters from parents who say, “Thank you for putting on a show that moves so quickly and kept my kids in the seat for two hours.” It’s definitely not easy to do that! This show is created completely at your Cirque Productions complex, right? Yes, our Dream Studios is a 20,000 square-foot facility rehearsal and manufacturing complex here in Fort Lauderdale and we employ over 125 very creative talented people. We have a creative team that goes out with the shows and we make sure every rhinestone is in place and every finger and foot is on the stage where they’re supposed to be! Every costume is manufactured here, as are all the sets, all the props, and every hat and mask. We have a 10,000 square-foot black-box

theater that’s fully rigged and the rehearsing and planning goes on year ‘round because we have anywhere between five and seven productions going out all the time. There’s always performers in training, new costumes being made, new music, new everything is always happening here. It sounds like a real Winter Wonderland. I always wanted to have my own Disney World, but without the turnstiles. We don’t have visitors; we just continue to create here. Everything Cirque Dreams is centered here so it’s a very exciting, fast-paced place to work. It’s so great to see everyone working and happy. This place is so colorful and vibrant, you just can’t help but smile when you walk through the door. We try really hard to make sure that same feeling is what we deliver on the stage for our audiences.

MUSIC

ROCKIN’ CHRISTMAS CAT Brian Setzer Orchestrates the Holidays

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

O

N THE 35TH ANNIVERSARY OF the night the Stray Cats opened for the Rolling Stones at Atlanta’s Fox Theater, leader/guitarist and vocalist Brian Setzer is calling from his studio in Minneapolis. Since that night, the trio became major headliners and released a string of popular singles and albums. Two decades ago, Setzer formed a swingin’ 18-piece big band and he’s taking the full orchestra on the road this month for his 13th annual Christmas Rocks tour. He hasn’t stopped rockin’ the small combos, either. His new blu-ray DVD “Rockabilly Riot: Osaka Rocka!” is available this month and the live set finds the affable guitarist ripping through a full show for a wildly enthusiastic audience. What do you remember about opening for the Stones on that intimate theater tour? We were just flyin’ by the seat of our pants at that time. The Stones had seen us in over in

PG 10 • November 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

Europe and we had a hit single going on over there, but we didn’t even have a record deal over here at the time. Crazy times. But I loved that we were getting some attention and out playing live. That’s always been my favorite thing to do.

they really listen to your solos. It’s almost like being in a jazz club, because they applaud after your solos.

This Christmas Rocks! tour will be your 13th time around for a holiday show. Your live shows, as evidenced by the Yeah, lucky 13! You know what, BRIAN new DVD, prove that you are still Christmas songs are just great a rockabilly purist. And that’s rare songs, classics written by some of SETZER these days. greatest songwriters. I see it ORCHESTRA the I guess I’m one of the few rockabilly every year, you can be a Grinch all DECEMBER 3 guys who are sort of above the radar. year but when the holidays come Cobb Energy Center If you want to see this kind of music, around, people want to celebrate, I’m one of the few guys that you can they want to be with family and still go see do it live - because that’s where it they want to have a good time. I’m really the only all happens. guy that rocks it - there’s no one else that really takes those songs and reinvents them. That audience was absolutely rabid. You have It’s most definitely a rock show. a very devout following in Japan. Oh yeah! And I mix in my songs, Stray Cats The Japanese audiences have really kept the style going. They love that American sound. We songs and things from throughout my career. have good audiences in the States, of course. But And I change it up every time. At this point it’s kind a hard to leave songs out. How do you in Japan, it’s just crazy. leave out “Rock This Town” and “Jingle Bells,” Like any country, Japan has different pockets of you know? culture. Why did you pick Osaka? Yeah, like in America, the cities are different. What’s new for this year? I’ve got three or four new songs plugged in and Like Tokyo would be New York; very I’m going to do a rockabilly set in the middle cosmopolitan. And Osaka, to me, is like the Chicago of Japan. The audience has always been where we break it down a little bit. I want to do a there for us - very energetic and very loyal. little tribute because Scotty Moore, my favorite guitar player, died a few months ago. You know, Japanese audiences are typically very polite he was Elvis’s guitar player. So I’m gonna do and they truly appreciate the material. a little tribute to him because I think people I know! They know every little thing and should know about that guy. And we’ve got new

outfits and new bandstands, it’s just a lot of fun. People know you best from the three-piece band. How did you get the idea to do the full orchestra show? I got the idea really from the old Tonight Show. When I was growing up, I pictured myself playing guitar in front of that band. You know, Doc Severinsen and all those guys. And when the Stray Cats were on, they almost had us play with the band, and that’s how I got the idea initially. So that idea was with me all that time after that. Being that I could write music, one day I said, “I’m just gonna try this idea.” So I did it with my trombone player Mark Jones, who is still with us. The orchestra brings a definite retro sound for the rock songs. Yeah and it’s all really the same style as I’ve always done, just with the big band behind it. I’m not playing Sinatra-style songs or Glenn Millerstyle songs. it’s really Brian Setzer-style songs just for the big band. That makes it more of a rock ‘n’ roll big band than a swing band. It’s great you always include Atlanta on the tour itinerary. I love it there. Of course, we played there with the Stray Cats for years, but with the Orchestra we went from nowhere to sell-out shows overnight. It’s funny, Atlanta just really ‘got’ the big band really fast. There are certain cities like that. San Francisco is like that, too. Wham! They just get it.


Best Of Continued from Page 9

BEST INDIAN Bhojanic

Buckhead 404.841.8472; Emory 404.633.9233 bhojanic.com Bhojanic understands the need for authentic Indian fare. The finest vegetables and meats are used to create the flavorful experience of the Indian culture. The food you find at Bhojanic is exactly like the food cooked in the homes of India. Check out their new location at Emory Cox Hall or call their Catering Hotline 404.702.8301.

BEST INEXPENSIVE BEST MEAL DEAL Eats 600 Ponce de Leon Ave.

404.888.9149 eatsonponce.net

For over 23 years now, people have been heading down to Ponce to experience their great jerk chicken and pasta dishes. Over all this time Eats has maintained the high quality of their food and kept their prices low. They are routinely awarded Best Inexpensive Restaurant and this year Best Meal Deal for their $7.00 Jerk Chicken Special.

BEST MEDITERRANEAN Mediterranean Grill

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

Mediterranean Grill is a perennial Best Of Winner. For over a decade their loyal customers have continued to flock to this family / chef-owned and operated restaurant. They serve authentic regional dishes like gyros, falafel and kabob sandwiches made to perfection. Try their fall off the bone lamb shank!

BEST MEXICAN Tacos and Tequilas

Ponce de Leon 678.705.5955; Buckhead 404.705.8225; Cumming 678.456.8237 Buford 770.614.9916 TTATL.com Tacos & Tequilas is a family-owned traditional Mexican restaurant offering recipes passed down through generations. Here you’ll find all your Mexican favorites – tacos, enchiladas, fajitas, burritos, quesadillas and more. The quality in their food is on par with the finest Mexican restaurants in the city but at very reasonable prices. At Tacos & Tequila everything is authentic including their drinks as they offer 100 different brands of tequila.

Raging Burrito & Taco has always had the most bustling patio in Decatur and our readers feel that includes Atlanta as well. Plenty of outdoor seating allows for large gatherings of friends and families. Their

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Continued on Page 12

4279 Roswell Rd NE #103, Atlanta, GA 30342

VOTED BEST INDIAN 2011– 2016 | WE LOVE OUR CUSTOMERS!

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2155 Market Pl Blvd, Cumming, GA 30041

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BUFORD

3480 Financial Center Way, Buford, GA 30519

(770) 614-9916

Thanks Atlanta for Voting us Best 15 Straight Years

eatsonponce.net

best sports bar! best patio scene!

insiteatlanta.com • November 2016 • PG 11


menu features hearty burritos, tasty tacos, large salads, quesadillas and more. While relaxing on their patio enjoy one of the 16 Craft Beers available on tap or try one of their 15 tasty Margaritas. Raging Burrito & Taco

BEST PIZZA Johnny’s Pizza

Multiple Area Locations johnnyspizza.com Johnny's Pizza has been synonymous with great pizza in Atlanta since 1977. They specialize in NY style pizza, which is thin in the middle and thick around the edges. The secret to their success is in the preparation. They always use the finest ingredients accompanied with friendly staff that keeps customers coming back. Try their house specialty the Johnny’s Deluxe. Visit their website to find the nearest location to you.

BEST RIBS Fat Matt’s

1811 Piedmont Ave. 404.607.1622 fatmattsribshack.com Since 1990, award winning Fat Matt’s Rib Shack has been one of Atlanta’s favorite hot spots. These ribs are smoked to perfection and literally falling off the bone. Order by the slab, half-slab, as a combo or chopped pork sandwich. Great barbecue chicken and sides as well. They offer nine beers on tap plus more in the bottle. Seating available inside and out. Live blues is played nightly starting at 8pm featuring many of the local favorites.

BEST SOUTHWESTERN BEST MARGARITAS Agave 242 Boulevard SE 404.588.0006

agaverestaurant.com

Agave’s unique blend of eclectic southwestern cuisine, extensive tequila bar and wine list coupled with exceptional ser vice makes this one of Atlanta’s top restaurants. They’ve won numerous awards from various publications for their inspired dining experience. Agave offers over 100 tequilas and 12 specialty margaritas on the menu. All Agave margaritas are made with blue agave tequilas and fresh squeezed lime juice.

BEST SUB SANDWICH Baldinos Giant Jersey Subs

Marietta 770.321.1177; Doraville 770.455.8570 Milton 678.580.0434 baldinos.us Baldinos is celebrating their 11th straight year being voted as the Best Sub Sandwich in the Atlanta. Baldinos Giant Jersey Subs has been recognized as the only true New Jersey Style submarine in the South. They bake their bread fresh daily and every sub is made custom to order. When you eat a Baldinos sub you know the difference. Try their $3.79 Sub Special available all day.

BEST TAPAS Eclipse di Luna

Dunwoody 678.205.5862 Buckhead 404.846.0449 eclipsediluna.com Eclipse di Luna has set the trend for tapas restaurants in Atlanta. With over two dozen tapas to choose from, there is something to please any taste. Their tapas are priced affordably to encourage multiple sampling. The menu offers a variety of glutton-free and vegetarian tapas.

NIGHTLIFE

BEST COMEDY CLUB Laughing Skull Lounge 878 Peachtree St. 877.523.3288 laughingskulllounge.com Located in the back of the Vortex in Midtown, this intimate comedy club has made a big imprint on Atlanta’s comedy scene. While others have come and gone, Laughing Skull Lounge continues to attract huge talent who perform to lively audiences.

BEST LATIN DANCING BEST LATIN MUSIC Loca Luna 550 Amsterdam Ave. 404.875.4494 loca-luna.com Samba. Salsa. Merengue! They have it all at Loca Luna, where you'll find live Latin music nightly and savor y dishes from Spain, South America and Latin America. Their location on Amsterdam Ave offers a tropical outdoor patio with Midtown skyline view. The happening bar is open till 2:30am on weekends. Loca Luna features live Latin music every night on their large dance floor and the hottest DJ's spin late night on Fridays and Saturdays. Plenty of free parking and free valet available.

BEST LOOKING WAITSTAFF Twin Peaks 3365 Piedmont Road 404.961.8946 2475 G. Busby Pkwy. 678.348.1605 twinpeaksrestaurant.com

Twin Peaks, the mountain lodge-style sports restaurant and its Twin Peaks girls offer great views! Let their outgoing waitstaff bring delicious food to your table. Best Of Continues on Page 13

raging

Voted #1 since 1996

Burrito Voted #1 Since 1996!

BEST Southwestern! BEST Margaritas!

& taco

ON DECATUR FREE ValidatEdSQUARE! PaRking! Enjoy onE of our 16 craft BEErs on tap or Margaritas on our HugE gardEn patio Decatur, GA •

ragingburrito.com • 404-377-3311

SEE OUR DAILY SPECIALS

www.baldinos.us

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

$3.79 All Day!

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

BEST SUBS IN ATLANTA 11 STRAIGHT YEARS! PG 12 • November 2016 • insiteatlanta.com


cert. Highlights from this past summer include: Van Morrison, Styx, Gwen Stefani and the Dixie Chicks.

Choose from an extensive selection of 29-degree draft beers on 32 taps while the girls pour and serve into huge ice-cold, frosted mugs.

BEST PATIO SCENE Joe’s on Juniper

BEST MUSIC VENUE INDOOR The Tabernacle

152 Luckie Street 404.659.9022 livenation.com This turn of the century church turned concert venue attracts some of the biggest national acts to Atlanta. Check out The Fray (Nov 13); Drive By Truckers (Nov 19) and Jim James of My Morning Jacket (Nov 27).

BEST MUSIC VENUE OUTDOOR Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre

2200 Encore Pkwy. 404.733.5050 vzwamp.com Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre is Atlanta’s favorite place to see outdoor concerts. Set on 45 acres of beautifullylandscaped wooded land in Alpharetta, the 12,000-seat Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park provides an incredible setting for a con-

1049 Juniper St. Midtown 404.875.6634 joesonjuniper.com Joe’s on Juniper is Midtown’s most exciting place to see and be scene. People flock to Joe’s from all over Atlanta for their cocktails and atmosphere. Joe’s offers a great tavern menu and with their friendly, outgoing staff bringing food to your table you might as well stay awhile.

BEST ROCK CLUB The Earl 488 Flat Shoals Ave. 404.522.3950 badearl.com

An Atlanta institution for great music, drinks and grub. National acts and the best of the emerging Atlanta music scene grace the stage nightly to packed crowds. Check out this month: Ruby & The Soulphonics (Nov 11); Corndogorama #20 (Nov 12) and Maserati (Nov 9).

BEST SMALL MUSIC VENUE BEST WINE BAR City Winery 650 North Ave. Ponce City Market 404.946.3791 citywinery.com/atlanta

Since opening earlier this year, City Winery has taken Atlanta by storm. The concept of combining great wines and culinary Continued on Page 14

THE BEST KITCHEN IN SPORTS

Your Neighborhood Pizzeria!

SERVING UP BURGERS THAT ARE SMASHED AND SEARED TO ORDER FOR MAXIMUM FLAVOR.

WATCH YOUR FAVORITE SPORT EVENTS ON STATE OF THE ART HDTVs MADE-FROM-SCRATCH MENU

BEST LOOKING WAITSTAFF!

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400

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AC HT R

PIE DM

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29° BEER FROM 32 HANDLES

EE

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TWIN PEAKS Twin PeaksBUCKHEAD Buckhead

3365 PIEDMONT RD.Rd. ATLANTA, GA 30305 3365 Piedmont • Atlanta • 30305 (404)961-8946 961-8946 (404) HANGOVER BURGER | BILLIONAIRE’S BACON BURGER | AVOCADO SMASH BURGER

Atlanta’s Favorite Pizza! Multiple Atlanta Locations: JohnnysPizza.com insiteatlanta.com • November 2016 • PG 13


innovations in an intimate setting of live music is unlike anything this city has seen. City Winery is the brainchild of Michael Dorf, founder of the iconic Knitting Factory, one of New York’s longest running music venues. He wanted to create a place where he could combine his shared passions for wine and music.

BEST SPORTS BAR Hudson Grille 7 Atlanta locations hudsongrille.com 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. Hudson Grille offers much more than your typical bar food. Sure, they have the usual favorites but also offer plenty of healthy, local and gluten-free options not found at any other sports bar. Hudson Grille offers 50+ draft beers, party rooms and 360-degree views of way too many HD TV's. Pair that with an upscale atmosphere and friendly staff, and you’ll see why Hudson Grille is the best sports bar in Atlanta.

LIFESTYLE BEST BOOT CAMP Higher Purpose Fitness 1595 Peachtree Parkway Cumming 678.525.6347 higherpurposefitness.com Not all Boot Camps are alike. Higher Purpose Fitness burns fat fast. They offer 45 minute high energy sessions to get you in and out. Their trainers are highly certi-

fied with degrees from top nationally recognized organizations. Check out their all new location offering the same great results.

BEST CAR WASH Mister Car Wash Midtown 404.876.3232 Buckhead 404.846.4040 mistercarwash.com

At Mister Car Wash they know how good it feels to drive a clean car. Everything their staff does is focused on providing the best car wash and customer service in the industry. Their formula is simple; make people feel good by delivering a clean, dry and shiny car every time.

BEST CARDIO CLASS BEST CROSSFIT Unit 2 Fitness

240 Ponce De Leon Ave. 404.745.3019 unit2fitness.com Whether it be Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, Kickboxing, Boxing or Mixed Martial Arts you know you are being instructed by the best. The staff is comprised of World Champion martial artists who have competed at the highest levels.Their gym offers free weights, machines, and cardio equipment.

BEST DERMATOLOGY SERVICES BEST AESTHETICIAN Perimeter Dermatology 5505 Peachtree Dunwoody Rd. Suite 412 404.459.9177 perimeterdermatology.com

Perimeter Dermatology, PC is committed to offering quality professional dermatological services and skincare. Their highly skilled and educated providers take the time

to understand patient concerns and goals before customizing a comprehensive treatment plan. Perimeter Dermatology is a full-service practice that encompasses the full array of medical, surgical and cosmetic dermatology services, including advanced laser technology, the latest skin peels, cosmetic injectables Hillary Grady, LME and fillers. Come visit with their knowledgeable staff including Hillary Grady voted Best Aesthetician in 2016.

BEST HEALTH CLUB Urban Body Fitness

500 Amsterdam Ave. 404.885.1499 urbanbodyfitness.com Voted Best in Atlanta by INsite readers five years running, Urban Body is a favorite destination for those looking to get fit intown. Their attention to detail from the clean towels, most up to date machines and fresh brewed gourmet coffee and tea makes their members fans.

BEST MASSAGE LaVida Massage

5944 Roswell Rd. 404.236.7291 LaVidaMassage.com LaVida Massage of Sandy Springs is a unique concept in health and wellness that provides affordable therapeutic massage and esthetic services. Their products and services are specifically designed to meet the needs of both men and women through: relaxation, deep tissue, couples massage, hot stone, and Swedish massage. Best Of Continues on Page 16

Ch�rs, Atlanta! Thanks for voting us "Best of Atlanta"!

Best Of Continues on Page 16

DORAVILLE

5877 Buford Hwy Doraville, GA 30340

770-458-3272

BUCKHEAD

2161 Piedmont Road Atlanta, GA 30324

404-881-0902

Can't make it to the store to cast your vote? Shop online! PG 14 • November 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

TowerWineSpirits.com


HOME THEATER

COMEDY

ILIZA KILLS

NEW RELEASES

Busy Comedian Iliza Shlesinger is Really Making a Name for Herself

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

I

N THE EIGHT YEARS SINCE SHE won the sixth season finale of NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Iliza Shlesinger has become one of the world’s busiest comedians. So busy in fact, she’s currently streamlining her name a bit to become simply Iliza. Last month Variety reported that she has two new pilot projects in pre-production - in addition to a proposed late-night talk show and Forever 31, a series on ABCdigital. Also she has a successful podcast, a book due for publication next spring and three topical comedy specials: War Paint (2013), Freezing Hot (2015) and Confirmed Kills which premiered on Netflix in September. If that’s not enough to occupy her time, she begins a US tour this month with a stop at Atlanta’s Variety Playhouse on December 2. On a recent early morning, INsite caught up with Iliza by phone, still in bed at her home in L.A.

DOING STANDUP REQUIRES A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF MENTAL PRESENCE AND IT’S A LOT OF THINKING ON YOUR FEET.

You have a very full multi-media plate these days. I do. But I’m just cautiously optimistic because nothing is ever set in stone. At the end of the day, stand-up comedy is still the most concrete thing in my life.

concerts with people just yelling out things. Not necessarily bits, but just feelings or some references from the specials. But as far as obligation to the audience, I think I’ve heard you are working on a late night my obligation is just to make them laugh. talk show project. How I do it is up to me and nobody gets to Well, there’s the promise - or as I like dictate that. Sometimes people are seeing to call it the threat - of a late night show. a joke for the first time on the special but Right now we’re in the very early stages of it was written maybe six development with it. If I had months before and you’re my way, we’d be starting it just not feeling it anymore. tomorrow but hopefully were Fortunately, since it’s not a working toward a show. I song, I don’t have to do that like the idea of interviewing bit if I don’t want to. On this DECEMBER 2 people and I really like to tour I’ll be doing a good mix Variety Playhouse see what makes them tick. I of material from the special have a podcast [“Truth and and some new stuff for myself. Iliza” available on iTunes] and it does pretty well. I started it so I can Will the new material from the tour end up in work on being a good interviewer. Most your next special? comics aren’t great listeners and I wanted to When I finished Freezing Hot I had become a better one. like a quarter of Confirmed Kills already decided in my head. Then when I finished Comics are sort of pre-programmed to talk Confirmed Kills, I felt like it was such a rather than listen. departure, such an exclamation mark on Yeah, doing stand-up requires a certain the comedic evolution. I don’t know where amount of mental presence and it’s a lot of I’m going to go after that one because it was thinking on your feet. There’s nothing really so definitive - in my point of view. I think relaxing about it. That being said, there there may have to be something different are plenty of times when I’ve been deathly about my life before I can do another hour. ill and I just go on auto-pilot and do the That being said, I can’t help but write so I’ve act. But that comes from practice so the written another 35 minutes. But it’s all on crowd can’t tell that you’re phoning it in. the topic of Las Vegas! So I’m just a little bit Maybe deep down you’re like, “I’m so sick, more than halfway toward a new hour but I’m gonna die if I have to make eye contact I don’t think ranting about Las Vegas is the with anyone.” But when you’ve done it long appropriate follow up to Confirmed Kills. enough, you get enough batting practice in to know where the beats are and when That’s a very open-ended place to be. to stop for the laugh. And that can be very It’s a weird kind of crossroads. I guess useful when you have the flu and you’re because I gave a lot with Confirmed Kills, somewhere in the middle of Michigan! for the next step in my career I’ll have to be doing something different. I don’t know. It’s Now that people have seen a lot of your nice to be at a place where people want you material - on the specials or even recently to do shows and want you to do a movie and on the Tonight Show - do you feel any need I’ll have a book [Girl Logic] coming out next to do all-new stuff when you tour? Or do year. But you know, we’ve all seen men and you feel like there are some things that women in Hollywood, where they were so become ‘greatest hits’? poised for success. But then they crapped I’ve been noticing in the last year that the bed, you know? So hopefully there’s no my shows are kind of turning into rock bed crapping going on anytime soon.

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

BEING CANADIAN (Candy Factory Films) Being a documentary about a Canada, this film is equal parts laughout-loud funny and at times awkwardly polite. One of the first things Calgarian Rob Cohen, best known for his gig as a producer and writer for The Simpsons, realized when he moved to L.A. was just how little his new country knew – or cared about – Canadians. So with Being Canadian he set about to discuss stereotypes of his native Great White North. Through a series of hilarious interviews with folks like Mike Myers, Seth Rogen, Dan Aykroyd, Alanis Morissette and many others, Cohen does a brilliant job of selling the beauty of his country and its people through plenty of self-deprecation. It’s easy to see why this doc was nominated for Best Documentary Film by the Writer’s Guild for America. MOTOWN 25: YESTERDAY TODAY FOREVER (Time Life) The 1983 TV special Motown 25 was a defining moment in TV for many. Michael Jackson was at one of the highest peaks in his career and he slayed the crowd with hit after hit. It was also the moment when the world first discovered what Moonwalking was, as Jackson demonstrated it for the first time publicly on “Billie Jean.” Despite that pop cultural moment,

the show was crammed with a slew of stellar performances: a temporarily reunited Jackson 5 singing “I Want You Back,” Marvin Gaye delivering a poignant “What’s Going On” (he would be killed just a year later) and Smokey Robinson and Diana Ross offering one of the best duets in modern memory with “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough.” Time Life has just released a massive 6-DVD collection of the concert, featuring the show in its entirety, along with 20 additional minutes that never made the air, and 14 hours of added features (the original televised concert was just over two hours). EXTREME – PORNOGRAFFITTI LIVE 25: METAL MELTDOWN (Loud & Proud Records) In 2015, to mark the 25th anniversary of Pornograffitti, Glam Metal band Extreme’s biggest-selling album, they recorded a show in Vegas at the Hard Rock Casino, performing the multi-Platinum selling album in its entirety in front of a near-rapturous, if aging crowd. This set is a keen reminder of just how great a guitarist Nuno Bettencourt is with some jaw-dropping solos peppered throughout the set. And, yes, “More Than Words,” despite propelling the album to #10 on Billboard’s chart in 1990, does not hold up well two-anda-half decades later even when the audience is singing along here (to be fair few, if any, metal ballads do), but songs like “Get the Funk Out,” with its horn section, and the genre-straddling “Decadence Dance” certainly do. The three-disc set comes with DVD and Blu-Ray copies of the concert, a documentary on the band plus a CD of the set.

ILIZA SHLESINGER

insiteatlanta.com • November 2016 • PG 15


Best Of Continued from Page 14

INsite Magazine's

BEST of ATLANTA Performances Atlanta Ballet Roméo et Juliette

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TV

I WANT A HERO

Station Control

BY BENJAMIN CARR

I

N THE TROUBLING TIMES OF today, the world is yearning for a hero. As always, the television landscape adapts to fill the need of the American psyche. Three new shows are offering new storytelling approaches and, more importantly, new kinds of heroes.

LUKE CAGE (Netflix)

Luke Cage, the latest Marvel series to hit Netflix, confronts this idea head-on. The title character played by Mike Colter, who appeared as a supporting character in last year’s Jessica Jones, is an invincible strongman who reluctantly steps up to take down corruption and crime in Harlem after his family and security are threatened. Luke Cage, created by Marvel in 1972, is the first AfricanAmerican superhero at the center of a television series. He’s big, strong, often quiet and extremely powerful. During San Diego ComicCon, executive producer and showrunner Cheo Hodari Coker announced the show’s significance by saying, “When I think about what’s going on in the world right now, the world is ready for a bulletproof black man.” Maybe so, however Cage himself is upstaged by villains and side characters, played by Mahershala Ali, Frankie Faison and former Oscar nominee Alfre Woodard. The main female protagonist is a cop named Misty Knight, played by Simone Missick, and she is a stunning, charismatic presence in the show. As the show builds momentum, Colter eventually emerges as the dynamic hero he was cast to be.

ATLANTA (FX)

Donald Glover’s new FX show Atlanta also deals with an African-American man facing down danger, though he’s neither as bulletproof nor as stoic as Luke Cage. Writer-star Glover plays the character Earn, a smart, young man with untapped potential who is stuck in a rut. He has no money. He has no real place to stay, though he surfs the couch at his parents’ house or stays the night with his girlfriend. He has a toddler daughter that he cannot provide for, and no one can rely on him for much. At one point, Earn was a student at Princeton, but he dropped out of school for reasons that he’s not sharing with anyone. Earn discovers that his temperamental cousin Alfred is gaining headway as a rapper named Paper Boi, and Earn wants to manage him as a way of saving himself and his daughter from a hopeless future. He is a hero seeking redemption. Glover’s show gets the city exactly right, more so than any other program ever set here. Additionally, it has dream sequences, creative deviations from narrative and is solidly, wickedly funny. Atlanta is one of the year’s best shows.

PITCH (Fox)

The new Fox drama Pitch, meanwhile, has a delightfully dreamy premise. It begins on the day that a new pitcher is called up from the minors to play for the San Diego Padres. The catch is that our hero is a heroine. She is Ginny Baker, the first female to play major-league baseball. The team owners are excited about the ticket sales that come with breaking the glass ceiling. Little girls everywhere aspire to be like her. Meanwhile, her teammates have real difficulty coping with their star rookie and what she means for the game. Created by This Is Us writer Dan Fogelman and Rick Singer, Pitch presents its wonderful premise in a bit of a cardboard way. Played by Kylie Bunbury, Ginny isn’t given much depth or personality in early episodes, which seem to focus more on what she represents over who she is. Other characters, played by Dan Lauria, Michael Beach and Saved By the Bell’s Mark-Paul Gosselaar, come across with more nuance, but the actors in those roles are more seasoned than Bunbury, who is still charming. The true scene-stealer of the show is Ali Larter, who plays Ginny’s take-no-prisoners power agent. Though Pitch may take a few episodes to find its footing, audiences everywhere should be grateful for heroes like Ginny Baker.

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HOLIDAY

JINGLE BELLS!

Mannheim Steamroller Paves the Merry Road to Christmas hand and try to give it that Mannheim approach. I think one of the most radical examples I could give you would be “Jingle Bells,” which was on our third or fourth Christmas album. I turned it into a big, slow orchestral ballad with a great oboe solo and then followed it up with a nice violin solo. The end result is very slow and nostalgic. It’s almost the opposite of what you normally think of “Jingle Bells” to be. That’s kind of how I sort of “Mannheim” some of the songs: add the unexpected touches.

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

O

ften used as filler by artists and labels marking time between new releases, holiday music can occasionally get lost in the seasonal shuffle. But one performer has emerged as a modern pioneer of the genre. Chip Davis - working alone or with a few key collaborators under the “Mannheim Steamroller” banner - has taken the basics of the traditional fare and turned it into a signature sound and cottage industry. Bridging elements of rock, pop, traditional and And you play nearly all the neo-classical, the popular act instruments heard on the has sold millions of albums recordings. and has expanded its offerings I do. But for the big to include a branded line of orchestral stuff, I’ve used seasonings, hot chocolate mix November 26 the Chicago Orchestra and and coffee. There are many Fox Theatre sometimes the London releases in the impressive mannheimsteamroller.com Symphony. Recently and Steamroller catalog, but a during the past few years, I’ve good point of reference is the worked with an orchestra in definitive “30/40,” a triple-disc set packed with Prague. But all the Mannheim stuff, I do pretty familiar Christmas tracks, a deluxe booklet and a much play all of it myself - except the occasional look back at the evocative “Fresh Aire” material oboe solo or things like that. that initially brought the band to prominence among audiophiles. That’s a lot of work. Typically how long does it Steamroller is powered by two separate take to complete one full song? touring bands to crisscross the country for live Well I’m pretty fast. Not that I’m bragging, it’s performances. INsite spoke with musician/ just the jingle writer in me. I had to turn around producer/jingle writer extraordinaire Davis at stuff pretty quickly so I still do it that way. Once his home in Omaha before he embarked on his I have in my mind what I’m gonna do, I just sit busiest season of the year. down and do it. A piece like “Jingle Bells,” for example, that’s a really big orchestral piece and How do you get in the holiday mood to record it’s long. Like six minutes or so. I probably spent Christmas songs in spring and summer for maybe two four-hour days on it. Sometimes I’ll release in the winter months? just knock them out in one day. If I can’t crank up the fireplace and have a cup of hot chocolate, I’ll just focus on the song at

MANNHEIM STEAMROLLER

You’ve always proudly embraced new technology on the recordings. Are you a big tech head? It’s changed over the years. I used to use a program called Digital Performer but now we’re in ProTools 11 and I have no clue how it works. I know what I want to do musically, but I have to have an engineer there. There’s always stuff to learn and relearn, but I don’t even try the engineering part anymore. One thing that you’ve certainly changed in the last few decades is respect for Christmas and holiday records in general. I remember when I first said I was going to do a Christmas album. My distributor said, “You’re nuts! People only do a Christmas album when they’ve run out of ideas or to get out of an album contract with some label.” Christmas music had really started getting the wrath of just being in the $1.99 bin at Walmart. Then I came along with that first Christmas album in ‘84. It was only 30 minutes long because we were cutting the vinyl deep and really hot. But we were selling it for

$18.99. And it sold nine million copies! The whole industry kind of went on its ear by the time 1988 rolled around and we were doing our second one by then. The other guys started to catch on and in one year I think maybe there were around 60 different releases. But we still held our shelf position because by that time we had the brand recognition. How did you initially develop that familiar Mannheim sound? Well a key instrument in the sound is the harpsichord. My dad built some harpsichords for me. He was a schoolteacher and when he retired, he and my mom moved here to Omaha and we built three harpsichords including one to use on the road and one for recording. It’s an 18th century instrument, as you know. I’ve got the biggest version that was built and it’s down in the music room here at my house. It’s just a spectacular instrument and there’s nothing that sounds quite like it. So when I add electric keyboards to it, it starts to have that Mannheim sound.

FROM SCREEN TO STAGE!

A Christmas Story Comes to The Fox this Holiday Season

BY MARCI MILLER

T

HIS HOLIDAY SEASON, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN Atlanta, one of America’s favorite Christmas movies comes to life on stage in a hilarious, large scale Broadway musical, at the Fox Theatre from November 29 – December 4. A Christmas Story, The Musical chronicles young and bespectacled Ralphie Parker as he schemes his way toward the holiday gift of his dreams, an official Red Ryder® Carbine-Action 200-Shot Range Model Air Rifle (“You’ll shoot your eye out kid!”). Chock-full of delightful songs and splashy production numbers, A Christmas Story, The Musical, has proudly taken its place as a perennial holiday classic for the whole family. We recently spoke with veteran stage actress Susannah Jones who brings to life the role of Ralphie’s mother. She gave us a behind-the-scenes look at the show: Tell us about being part of an iconic holiday story like A

CHRISTMAS STORY. Do you relate to your role as Mother? It is such a joy to partake in a story that means so much to so many. This piece is beautiful and heart centered and hilarious, and I feel honored to be able to take part it in it. Mother is a role I connect to very strongly, though I am not myself a mom. I admire her more than anything. Here is a woman who spends her life quietly providing for her family while getting very little recognition for it. But love drives her first and foremost and I think that’s the thing that is most relatable to me.

How true does it stay to the movie? All of your favorite parts are there: The bunny suit, the life buoy soap, the flag pole debacle! And there is even an amazing number called “Major Award” that’s dedicated to the Old Man’s leg lamp. I think you can expect to see the story that you love with the addition of gorgeous music and even a little more heart.

his tongue stuck to the flag pole. But now I really enjoy it because it paints Christmas is a very realistic light while being absolutely hilarious. What is your favorite musical number that “Mother” performs in? I get to sing a gorgeous song in the second act called “Just Like That.” It starts out being about calming Ralphie down after he gets into a fight with Scut Farkus, but turns into a reflection on how precious and fleeting time with you family is. It’s a gift of a number.

Why do people love A CHRISTMAS STORY so much? I think people love this story because it’s Tell us about working with the other cast about a family that is trying, just like all families, members, as well as director Matt Lenz. to have a perfect Christmas and much of it This cast is incredible. Many of us have been goes horribly wrong: from Ralphie getting in performing together since 2014 when we first a terrible fight to everyone losing the precious went out on tour, so we’re like a family at this November 29 – December 4 point. Chris Swan, who plays the Old Man, is a Christmas turkey to the Bumpus hounds. But Fox Theatre joy to act opposite, and Austin, Myles and Arick in the end, what really matters is that they’re foxtheatre.org are the best sons a gal could ask for! Matt Lenz together and they love each other no matter is just wonderful. He’s so smart and really a what. The imperfections are what make their comedic genius. He knows exactly how to make story and their love for each other unique and a moment funny, and he’s also very astute when it comes to the precious. heart of the show. I couldn’t ask for a better director or company of actors to spend Christmas with. Where you a fan of the movie? Definitely! As I get older I like it even more because it resonates so deeply on an adult level. When I was a child, I remember being What was the best Christmas gift that you ever got growing up? Probably Felicity, the colonial American Girl Doll! almost disturbed by it, particularly the scene where Flick gets

A CHRISTMAS STORY

PG 18 • November 2016 • insiteatlanta.com


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A LIGHTHOUSE FOR DARK TIMES

UPCOMING SHOWS

David Crosby Enjoys a Prolific Era

BY LEE VALENTINE SMITH

I

T’S SAID THAT GREAT ART OFTEN springs from dark times. In modern music, one of the most intelligent voices of the folk-rock movement has been David Crosby, a socially aware and outspoken commentator during the psychedelic swirl of late ‘60s counterculture unrest, the corrosive malaise of the ‘70s and the trickle-down excesses of the ‘80s. Now, after two decades of group collaborations, he is thriving within one of his most prolific solo periods - an era heralded by Croz, an excellent return-to-form album in 2014. Last month he solidified his creative renaissance with the release of Lighthouse, arguably his best and most satisfying collection since 1971’s “If I Could Only Remember My Name”. The intimate, harmony-laden disc is the perfect balm for the upheaval of current events - featuring sober reflections on politics, relationships, the Syrian refugee crisis and the ongoing struggle for personal and global happiness. In celebration of the new record, the iconic 75-year-old Rock and Roll Hall of Famer best known for co-founding Crosby, Stills, Nash (and sometimes Young) and The Byrds - kicks off a new tour this month in Atlanta. He recently spoke with INsite during a freewheeling and typically candid interview.

FROM CIVIL RIGHTS ON DOWN, I’VE TRIED TO BE AN ACTIVIST AND I REALLY DON’T LIKE WHAT’S BEEN EXPOSED. IT’S A VERY UGLY UNDERBODY OF THE AMERICAN SOCIAL WORLD AND I DON’T QUITE KNOW WHAT TO DO ABOUT IT.

the town crier and say, “Hey it’s 11:30 and all is well.” And then sometimes we have to write “Ohio,” you know? This new partnership with [album collaborator and current tourmate] Michael League (Snarky Puppy) is a good combination. It’s been such a joy working with him.

You can hear the joy in the tracks. Yeah, I think you can! I really do, actually. Wouldn’t it be great if there was, like, a certain kind of musical pheromone that wafted off the good stuff? I think there probably is. It’s in the overtones of our voices but I don’t think we quite know how to NOVEMBER 18 quantify it yet. It would have to Symphony Hall be in the track that we don’t tell anybody about.

As someone who has been active during some historically turbulent times, do you think today is more volatile than, say, during the election in 1968? I do. I think what’s happened is - and it’s been coming for a while - the scab has been ripped off and with it it’s revealed a very strong current of racism. On the surface we’re all one color but underneath there’s a really powerful racist trend in this country. And it’s really disturbing and offensive to me. From Civil Rights on down, I’ve tried to be an activist and I really don’t like what’s been exposed. It’s a very ugly underbody of the American social world and I don’t quite know what to do about it.

DAVID CROSBY

Well a big step against the darkness is the statement of Lighthouse. Now this is gonna sound cosmic man, but you know the way war drags the human race down, and brings out the very worst in human beings? Well music is the lifting force. Music goes the other direction. Music makes people feel better, music makes things brighter and fends off the ugliness in the darkness. So I think we need all the music we can get right now, and if that’s what this is - and certainly that’s what I intended it to be - then all the better. People like you and Joni Mitchell or Bob Dylan are lighthouses. It’s certainly not your duty but it’s most appreciated. Yeah, you know we do it if we can. But you’ve got to understand it’s really difficult trying to be an activist and a musician. Because our job really is just to make you boogie. Our job is really to take you on little emotional voyages and try to communicate with you and widen your world. But every once in a while we should remember our job as troubadours, just like the people who’d carry the news from town to town in the middle ages. We have to be like

A few months ago, you announced that you were planning to release two albums this year. Obviously Lighthouse is one, but where’s the other one? On my computer! And I’ve got a big grin on my face right now, trust me. Most people your age and stature would be happy to do a reissue or just enjoy the past. Yeah it’s a very odd circumstance. Writers normally, when they get to their 60s or 70s, they kind of just tend to get lazy or think they’ve said everything they’ve got to say. Or they’re pathetically trying to re-create the last hit that they had. I’m free of that one because I’ve never had one! But I understand how they get there, it’s just not what happened to me. What has caused this prolific period? Is it an inner happiness or what? I think it is! I think it’s exactly that. I’m a happy guy. I’m happy with my family and my life and I love what I do. I’m not mad at anybody. I’m not wasting any time being angry or looking over my shoulder and trying to recreate “Woodstock” or anything like that. As prolific as you’ve been lately, there’s no reason to look back at all. Yeah, but you know, people do that; they live in the past and that’s crazy. I’m proud of all that work and I’m proud of those bands. We did good work and I loved it. But I’m not carrying big bags of goo around. I just don’t want to hold still. So I’m trying my best not to do that.

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MOVIES

Movie Reviews BY STEVE WARREN

INFERNO (PG-13)

 Da Vinci Codebreaker Robert Langdon (Tom Hanks) is off to the races again. Recently deceased billionaire (Ben Foster) has set in motion a plan to unleash a killer virus to cut the overpopulated planet’s population by half. (How the other half will survive the plague is not explained.) Langdon is needed because the clues are hidden in Botticelli’s painting of Dante’s “Inferno,” but he’s temporarily suffering from amnesia after an attempt on his life. They’re still out to get him but fortunately his doctor, Sienna (Felicity Jones), has great reflexes and can turn into an action heroine at will. The movie’s basically one long chase, with Langdon learning what’s going on as he runs, helped and hindered by various Angels and Demons – but who is which? Along the way we get a great tour of Florence (sorry, no “David”) and quick glimpses of Venice and Istanbul. For the most part director Howard maintains a brisk pace and a decent ratio of action to intelligence; but toward the end there are too many twists and too long a calm before the final storm. It’s still a good ride, just not a great one; not a towering Inferno. - Steve Warren

CHRISTINE (R)

 How long can you spend with a depressed person without getting depressed yourself? If your answer is less than two hours, you may want to avoid Christine. Based on a true story with a tragic ending, Antonio Campos’ film stars Rebecca Hall as Christine Chubbuck, one of the least sympathetic heroines since Cruella de Vil, even if her cruelty only hurts herself. An almost-30-year-old virgin, she works in a Sarasota, Florida TV newsroom, where she’s always arguing with her boss (Tracy Letts). She wants to work on “issue-oriented” stories, but they don’t get ratings and somebody’s got to cover the Strawberry Festival and interview the “chicken lady.” Christine is called “not always the most approachable person” by anchorman George (Michael C. Hall, no relation to Rebecca), the person she’d most like to be approached by. The film is set in 1974, when the Mary Tyler Moore Show was at its peak, but Christine has nothing in common with Mary except their profession. This coincidence is alluded to for an ironic touch in the rambling anticlimax. - Steve Warren

BEING 17 (NR)

 1/2 If you have bad, possibly suppressed memories of bullying, being bullied or enabling bullying in school, Being 17 may bring them to the fore and

be difficult to watch, even though it’s a potential love story. At school Damien (Kacey Mottet Klein) is the smart one, Thomas (Corentin Fila) more macho but antisocial. Neither has any friends but Thomas chooses Damien to pick on. Damien’s mother (Sandrine Kiberlain), a doctor, is treating Damien’s adoptive mother, who is pregnant and may finally be able to carry her own child to term. Thomas has to move in with Damien’s family temporarily, which should give the boys a chance to bond but at best forces a tense truce. Somehow the fear and loathing Thomas inspires in Damien are joined by a third feeling: desire. Could it be mutual? André Téchiné, one of France’s most prolific and reliable filmmakers, delivers another film that’s technically excellent; but you may find the subject matter unpalatable for one reason or another. - Steve Warren

CERTAIN WOMEN (R)

 All the lonely people in Certain Women make Eleanor Rigby seem gregarious by comparison. Kelly Reichardt has made enough indie films to be good at it – she was from the start – without having a breakout hit that could corrupt her with success. Her source this time is a collection of short stories by Maile Meloy, of which she has chosen three. At least one character from each story makes a brief appearance in another, though you may miss them as the plots are not directly connected, beyond being set in Montana. Laura Dern plays a lawyer whose lunchtime lover breaks up with her and whose desperate client (Jared Harris) stages the least suspenseful hostage situation in screen history. Things slow down in the second story, in which Michelle Williams and husband James Le Gros plan to build a house to live in once their brooding teen daughter leaves the nest. They try to buy a pile of sandstone from old recluse Rene Auberjonois. Finally, ranch hand Lily Gladstone stumbles into a night class taught by Kristen Stewart and becomes more interested in the teacher than her teaching. At least there’s some emotion in this last piece, even if there will be more in the audience than on screen. - Steve Warren

KING COBRA (NR)

1/2 The takeaway from King Cobra is that pornography can be a dirty business. As true crime stories go it’s no The People v. O.J. Simpson, but if you’re in the mood for a sleazy potboiler (and aren’t we all once in a while?), it fills the bill. Joe (James Franco) and Stephen (Christian Slater) are smalltime producers of gay porn. Stephen gets lucky when he “discovers” Sean (Garrett Clayton), a teenager who becomes an overnight pornsation under

INFERNO

the name Brent Corrigan. Stephen takes advantage of him legally and financially. Joe has been trying for some time to make a star of his lover, Harlow (Keegan Allen), and spends money he doesn’t have to hold on to him. When their worlds collide things get nasty. Sex is suggested more than shown – not beyond a basic cable level – but dialogue clips from the videos have fun with the amateurishness of the industry’s bottom-feeders. It’s interesting that the film’s four adult stars (Alicia Silverstone and Molly Ringwald have minor roles) had their Hollywood breakout roles as teenagers. I’ll bet they could tell equally damning stories about the exploitation of the young in the legitimate side of the business. - Steve Warren

THE HANDMAIDEN (NR)

 There’s never been a picture like The Handmaiden. Many of you won’t care but others have waited a lifetime for it. Korean master Park Chan-wook (Oldboy) borrows a page from Rashomon in telling the story from two different perspectives. First comes Sookee, who was raised in a criminal environment like a female Oliver Twist. Her boss, “Count” Fujiwara sends her to work as a handmaiden for Hideko, a wealthy heiress he intends to marry and cheat out of her money. Things get complicated when the women fall in love with each other and more complicated when Fujiwara carries out his plan – with a surprise twist. Then we get Hideko’s story, which puts a lot of things in a different light, including disclosing how her uncle had her read erotic tales to his pervy friends. Finally an objective narration reveals how things turn out. It’s a rich, intricate plot, with double- and triple-crosses; and if you try to focus on the details of Korean and Japanese cultures you’ll definitely have to see it more than once to absorb everything. The Handmaiden is worth seeing at least once and has enough detail that it would probably reward a second viewing. - Steve Warren

SEASONS (PG)

KING COBRA PG 20 • November 2016 • insiteatlanta.com

 Seasons is a nature documentary about how we’ve enslaved some animals and destroyed the habitat of others. But most of the message is saved for the last few minutes. In the first hour there’s only an occasional glimpse of a person lurking in the background. Even the narrator (in subtitled French) is rarely heard. It begins 12,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age (cleverly illustrated with present-day melting glaciers) and is the stuff viral videos are made of – birds, beasts, butterflies and bugs going about their lives undisturbed, except by occasional predators. From Jacques Perrin and Jacques

Cluzaud, who made Winged Migration, one of the all-time best nature documentaries, Seasons is made up of one “How’d-they-get-that?” shot after another, from intimate looks at bird families dining to exciting chases through the woods, including a wolf pack pursuing horses. When two bears fight each other, who needs Leonardo DiCaprio? In a perfect world there would be no competition for Best Cinematography honors. Finally the “Golden Age of the Forest” ends as “hunter-gatherers” plant fields, build things and generally engage in deforestation. It gives the other species new plants to feed on but less space to roam, doing more and more damage until we get to the message, that there’s still time to strike a compromise with nature before we destroy everything. - Steve Warren

TOWER (NR)

 Spinning off from Walter Cronkite’s editorializing – the closest thing to a political statement in Tower – it’s a sad commentary on our society that mass shootings have become so common that I was more impressed by the style than the substance of Keith Maitland’s documentary. Actually the film’s success is due to how well they work together, but the combination of animation with recent interviews, stock and historical footage is innovative. The August 1, 1966 shootings from the University of Texas Tower in Austin seem almost quaint after three times as many were killed in Orlando this year. Gunman Charles Whitman is rarely mentioned by name, even though he wasn’t one of the killers who did it for publicity. Instead we meet people who were there: students, policemen, radio newsmen, a businessman, a paperboy and various bystanders. Arguably the most dramatic story is of Claire Wilson, a pregnant woman who lost her baby and her boyfriend and couldn’t be rescued for some time because she was in the line of fire. There are tales of horror and heroism, and one of understandable cowardice from a woman who apparently still feels survivor’s guilt to this day. Actors give voices to the animated witnesses, but in the film’s latter half we start to meet some of the real people in their current (or recent) selves. This becomes a bit rambling and scattered once the sniper is taken out, but most of their stories are still moving. Unless Tower has been updated since I saw it, there’s no mention of Texas’ “Campus Carry” law that went into effect on the 50th anniversary of the shootings. Where is Walter Cronkite when we need him? - Steve Warren See the rest of our movie reviews at insiteatlanta.com/movies.asp


MUSIC

SMOKE OR FIRE

Front Man Strikes Out on His Own BY JOHN B. MOORE

S

MOKE OR FIRE FRONT MAN JOE McMahon’s first solo outing has been about five years in the making. Over the course of writing the songs that would eventually become “Another Life,” he ended a seven-year relationship, lost his house, his business, feel in love and moved to Germany to be with his girlfriend. “The title is pretty much what it is,” says McMahon. “Six years ago my life couldn’t be more different. I lost pretty much everything I had…it was the lowest point in my life. Now I live in Germany, I play music full time, and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been. It’s strange how the one thing you think is the worst that has ever happened to you, you look back and can’t imagine your life if it didn’t happen and wouldn’t change it for the world.” On September 2, Another Life was released jointly by Smartpunk Records in the U.S. and Gunner Records in Europe. McMahon was kind enough to speak with us recently about the new album, his move to Germany and the prospects for another Smoke or Fire album. Why did you end up moving to Germany? In 2013 Smoke or Fire flew to Germany to begin a six-week tour of Europe and the UK. Our first show was in Münster, Germany. After the show I met my girlfriend Maggie for the first time. We fell for each other very quickly. When it was time for me to fly back to America Maggie and I were trying to figure out a way to be together. She couldn’t move to America and asked if I would ever move to Germany. We had been coming over to Europe to play for nearly 10 years at this point, and I had fallen in love with Germany back in 2005 when we were on the Deconstruction tour. I told Maggie I would go back to the states and figure out a way to move to Germany within a year. I went back to the U.S. and worked three jobs,

usually 7 days a week. I sold or got rid of almost everything I owned and about 10 months after we met I was on a one way flight back to Münster with a bag of clothes and two guitars.

How different or similar are the way musicians are treated there as compared to the U.S.? It is like night and day. I love talking to bands that come over here for the first time. They can’t believe it. They show up to the show and there’s a nice spread of bread and cheese and meat. Chocolate and sweets. You’re greeted with coffee or beer. Your first reaction is “Guys, food!” And then while everyone is stuffing their faces someone tells you that dinner will be served after sound check. Dinner? I thought this was dinner! You never run out of beer or water and everyone will have a bed to sleep in at night. Any band will tell you this is very different from a show in America where you ask for water I KNEW THE ONLY and someone hands you GOOD THAT COULD a cup and points to the COME FROM THE bathroom. They take a lot BAD THINGS THAT HAPPENED TO of pride in being hospitable ME WERE TO GET over here.

SOME GOOD SONGS OUT OF IT.

The songs here are pretty personal. Because this is a solo record did you feel more open to sharing these or do you think you’ve just grown more confident as a songwriter over the years. Music has been something that I need to do since I started. It keeps me sane. I knew the only good that could come from the bad things that happened to me were to get some good songs out of it. I also figured there were plenty of people that could relate to what I was going through. But the songs were the most personal I had written, and with Smoke or Fire I still always feel the need to represent the four of us. I wasn’t going to bring an entire album of songs about my life breaking down to the guys and expect them to get into it. I needed to do it on my own.

FROZEN TEENS

Disbanded With Final Offering BY JOHN B. MOORE

I

T CAN BE TOUGH TO MAKE IT AS A FULL TIME PUNK rock band. Gone are the days off major labels handing out a recording contracts to every band with a knack for power chords and a deep knowledge of The Clash. Between day jobs and family obligations, sometimes the band is no longer everyone’s primary focus. And few no that realty better than Frozen Teens, a brilliant punk band from Minneapolis that burned bright before finally burning out. The trio, guitarist/vocalist Will Simon, bassist/vocalist Wil Olsen, and drummer Andy “Ski” Nowacki put out a widelypraised self-titled record, spend three years building up a fan base and then surprised many at the end of 2014, by calling it quits. But it turns out the group had some unfinished business. This fall, Dead Broke Rekerds is putting out the band’s final EP, Hey, Good Job, on 12” vinyl. The first 100 copies will be on red vinyl. It includes 6 songs, some dating back five years ago, that the band has never released before. Simon, who is currently playing in two different bands, was nice

PHILLY’S THE SUPERWEAKS Gear Up for New Record, Massive Tour

BY JOHN B. MOORE

P

HILLY-BASED FIVE-PIECE, THE Superweaks, have managed to take a wildly eclectic group of influences – everything from Thin Lizzy to Weezer – and wrap in their own original sound for a fuzzed out collection of pop ditties that manages to sound vaguely familiar and fresh at the same time. Nowhere is that more obvious than on their latest full length, Better Heavens. Released on Lame-O Records, the LP is their strongest to date and one that’s bound to draw even more attention to the group that over the past few years have toured with everyone from Brand New to The Get Up Gets. As the band gears up for the release of Better Heavens, and a winter tour that will take them all over the U.S. and Europe, singer/guitarist Chris Baglivo spoke with us recently about the band’s founding, getting along with your tour mates. Let’s start with how the band first came together. Evan (Bernard, singer/guitarist/synth), Mikey (Tashjian, drums), and I have been playing music together in different bands for the better part of a decade now. This band started as a song writing collective where Evan and I would grab some of our friends and write, record, and release a song every week. It was a fun diversion from the group that Ev, Mikey, and I were in. That band was called Dangerous Ponies, which eventually split into Thin Lips and The Superweaks. Fun fact: Mikey plays drums in both bands. Have you noticed much of a change in the band’s sound or writing from the last album to the new record? We intentionally approached recording Better

enough to talk to us recently about Frozen teens, why they finally called it quits and what to expect from this new record. Let’s start off by talking about the new record. Is this left over songs that hadn’t been released before or a whole new album of new songs? Leftovers. We intended to make a full length LP but we didn’t quite make it that far. When did you start writing these and record them? Some of them were written as early as 2011. I don’t think our first LP was even out yet. We started recording them within a couple of days of our last show in 2014 and then just finished this past spring. Definitely took our time! Why did the band break up this time? We were, and still are, very busy people outside of playing music so writing and practice took a major backseat and as a result of that we got sloppy. It was a great time, magical even, when we had the momentum but once that was gone it didn’t seem worth it to continue. You guys have broken up at least once before, if I’m remembering it right. Do you think this time is for good?

Heavens with a different process. Previously we’d include cameos from many of our friends contributing different parts on Bad Year and The World Is A Terrible Place & I Hate Myself & Want To Die, but this time we wanted to capture only our live band in action. We recorded most of this album live in our studio Big Mama’s Recording in North Philly, and only overdubbed what we considered vital additions to the tunes. You’ve played with a slew of great bands on tour. Does it help when you get along with the other bands or does it not really matter much? It’s actually really important to us that we do get along with who we’re with. Whenever we go on tour we like to invite the other bands into our lives and cook meals together. Especially on our level, where we’re not staying in nice hotels or making much money it’s important to foster camaraderie and have a good time. Touring for a living is hard, but it’s definitely easier when everyone you’re traveling with is a friend. When we toured with Petal, Kiley (Lotz) was a shining example of how vital it is to be kind to and involved with who you’re touring with. I consider her to be a true friend. Also when we toured with The Obsessives and Heart Attack Man we all rescued a stray dog and banded together to bathe and feed the pup during a show, and that experience will always stay with me. To this day we all still talk to each other in a group chat that we made on that tour. When we toured with Reggie & The Full Effect and the Get Up Kids we’d take turns putting on a turkey costume and dancing on stage with James (Dewees) and his backing band Pentimento. That’s what touring is about: we’re all after the same noble goal of putting ourselves out there and entertaining, and the music community should be a huge family that supports each other in the pursuit of that.

Yes. And yes. What are you working on now? How about the other guys; Are you all still in touch? Yeah, we’ll see each other out at shows from time to time. I’m in a couple of bands (We/Ours and Lifestyle Shakes) playing guitar and singing. Ski, our drummer, is playing bass in a band called Epic Downtime. He also went to school for sound engineering so I think he’ll be focusing on that side of the music process more and more. And then Will Olsen is singing and playing guitar in a band called Constant Insult. Any chance for some one-off shows when this record comes out? We were going to do a release show but it fell through. I doubt we’ll play again. What’s next for you? Raise kids. Finish school. Get real jobs. Play music when we can. All the normal sell-out adult moves (laughs). insiteatlanta.com • November 2016 • PG 21


SPORTS

SPORTS

GSU PANTHERS

NCAA BASKETBALL

Look to Make Sun Belt Conference Run Preseason Top 20

BY DAVE COHEN

W

ITH TWO OR THREE IMPACT players added to their roster, Georgia State Basketball looks to improve on last season’s 16-14 finish and 9-11 run in the Sun Belt Conference. Last year’s leading scorer, forward Jeremy Hollowell (14.8 ppg, 5 rbs) returns as does guard Isaiah Williams (9 ppg, 2 rbs) but gone are four year players Markus Crider and T.J. Shipes as well as Kevin Ware. Head coach Ron Hunter brought in two transfers in Devin Mitchell (Alabama) and Willie Clayton (Charlotte) and signed a Top 50 recruit D’Marcus Simonds out of Gainesville (GA.) High School. The Panthers open the season November 11 vs. Thomas University before facing Auburn and Purdue on the road the following week. INsite’s Dave Cohen talked with coach Ron Hunter. As you see the transformation with this year’s squad what do you take away from last year’s 16-14 team and the players that return from it? Well, we won 16 games and there were 5 games that we easily could have won but our youth and inexperience really hurt us in that regard. But what happened is those young people learned a lot so they’ve gotten better. I think the difference between the two teams is that we are faster and bigger and our senior leadership is a lot different this year and that’s not to throw our seniors from last year under the bus but I think that they’re hungrier. You know, two out of the last three years we’ve won the league so we don’t like the way that we finished last year, not winning the league, but this is a good basketball team. We’re excited about it. I think we’re shooting the ball better but at the same time we wanted to get faster and stronger and we’ve accomplished both of those. What have been your early impressions of D’Marcus Simonds? He’s a talented young man. He could be the next player that gets drafted out of Georgia State. I’m trying to bring him along slower, to be honest with you. We’re trying to teach him the nuances of the game. Things come extremely easy for him. There’s a reason he was a Top 50 high school player at one time. You don’t often get these type of players at mid-majors very often and we are very fortunate to have him in our program. We’re trying to bring him along slowly but at some

point I’m going to let the reigns go and just let him go play.

BY DAVE COHEN 1. DUKE

The team’s situation regarding depth should be very good, even with the losses of Crider, Shipes and Ware. We’re a lot like my first team when got to Georgia State but a lot better offensively. We had that toughness with Josh Micheaux and James Fields, who were physical players and wanted to press, we’ve got those kinds of players now but we’re better offensively than that group. We’ll press and trap more on defense. We played a little closer to the vest last season because of our inexperience with so many young guys and guys who just had not played much like Jeremy and Isaiah. We did have anybody to kind of lead those guys but now we have some veterans in the system. Guys like Isaiah Dennis, Jordan Session, Jeff Thomas, Malik Benlevi. Those guys got a ton of experience last year and it makes a world of difference.

First-team All-ACCer Grayson Allen paced the Blue Devils in points (21.6), rebounds (4.6) and assists (3.5) a season ago. With so much talent (Amile Jefferson, Harry Giles, Jayson Tatum) alongside him this year, it won’t be necessary for him to carry the load.

Not that it was bad last year but with the addition with Willie Clayton it looks like the Panthers will be a better rebounding team. The exciting part about Willie is that the Georgia State fans are going to enjoy watching him. He is a grown man on the floor. You know, there’s a reason why he is one of the top rebounders in the country. Having been in the system and practicing last season while sitting out will benefit him. He thrives on rebounding and that’s something that we haven’t had here. He’s the type player that brings a toughness to your team. But his job’s easy. It’s see ball, go get ball. (laughs)

The Cintas Center was easily the loudest venue we visited last year. We’re pretty sure that Trevon Bluiett and Co. will need to hand out earplugs to fans when Villanova comes to town on February 11.

Who’s one returning player that you see as having made considerable strides since last season? Well, we’ve got a lot of guys that have really improved but the guy that’s taken the biggest leap is Malik Benlevi. He has been really special. He’s shooting the ball better and he does so many different things well. Fans will be excited about what Malik brings to the team this season. Georgia State was picked to finish third in the annual Sun Belt Conference Preseason Coaches’ Poll announced prior to the season. Senior Jeremy Hollowell earned All-Sun Belt Preseason Second Team. For Georgia State tickets call 404-413-4020.

I think we’re shooting the ball better but at the same time we wanted to get faster and stronger and we’ve accomplished both of those.

2. NORTH CAROLINA

Had the last shot of the college basketball season missed, these Tar Heels would be your defending champs. Because Villanova’s dagger still feels fresh, Justin Jackson, Kennedy Meeks and Joel Berry II have revenge on their minds.

3. KENTUCKY

The basketball rich get richer. With the Wildcats’ lineup absolutely loaded with phenoms (De’Aaron Fox, Malik Monk, Bam Adebayo), another 25-win season almost seems like a forgone conclusion.

to the year before, there’s an awful lot to still like out of Madison, namely NBA prospect Nigel Hayes.

12. ARIZONA

The lineup may be filled with change (four seniors left; one talented recruit, Terrance Ferguson, never came), but the Wildcats have a head coach (Sean Miller) and top scorer (Allonzo Trier) to stabilize things.

13. CONNECTICUT

We’re not sure what all Huskies coach Kevin Ollie told Georgia prep sensation Alterique Gilbert to get him to sign with Connecticut, but we’d guess it had something to do with playing next to budding star Rodney Purvis.

14. ST. MARY’S

According to the school’s website, “The Gaels” are an ethno-linguistic group which spread from Ireland to Scotland. Since 29-win St. Mary’s was overlooked from the NCAAs a year ago, we’re guessing these Irish are going to be fighting mad.

4. XAVIER

15. LOUISVILLE

The Cardinals’ recruitinvolved prostitution scandal (that coach Rick Pitino’s Duke’s Grayson Allen allegedly knew about) is an 5. MICHIGAN STATE embarrassment that will take Lansing is currently in a state some time to get past. It sure will help the healing of shock with its football team’s wretched play. if Quentin Snider can lead the birds back to the After seeing Lourawls Narin pushing the ball up Big Dance. court and first-year stud Miles Bridges pounding it in the paint, those frowns should get fixed.

16. TEXAS

6. VILLANOVA

Kris Jenkins’ shot will live in “One Shining Moment” vignettes for decades. For this team’s back-to-back title hopes not to die, it’ll need Jenkins, preseason All-American Josh Hart and Jalen Brunson to keep sparkling.

7. KANSAS

Casual observers are quick to say how much top Jayhawks freshman Josh Jackson reminds them of former Kansas star Andrew Wiggins. But when head coach Bill Self offers the same observation, you REALLY need to pay attention.

8. OREGON

These Ducks are on the hunt for their seventh straight 20-win campaign. They’ll easily hit their mark if Dillon Brooks (16.7 ppg) and Chris Boucher (7.4 rpg) keep soaring.

9. VIRGINIA

Coach Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time since 1995 last year. Since he and scrappy PG London Perrantes enjoyed the taste so much, we fully expect them to go back for seconds next March.

10. GONZAGA

Though the Dukes and Kansases of the world have the strongest reputations for reloading every year, the Zags seemingly have an annual pass to the NCAA Tournament, too. Nigel WilliamsGoss and Przemek Karnowski will assure they get another invite in 2017.

If there’s anyone who can help fab freshman Jarrett Allen walk in the huge footsteps of Longhorn legends like LaMarcus Aldridge and Tristan Thompson it’s heady coach Shaka Smart.

17. UCLA

Last year, the Bruins had their worst season since 2009-10. Coach Steve Alford was so embarrassed with the 15-17 finish that he went out and recruited Lonzo Ball, arguably the top point guard prospect in the land.

18. SYRACUSE

If a 10-seed Orange squad can make it to the Final Four, we can only imagine how far a more athletic bunch (Tyler London, Tyus Battle) can go in the tourney.

19. VIRGINIA TECH

The Hokies went from 11 wins in 2014-15 to 20 last year. With Zach LeDay (15.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg) shaping up to be a scary all-around talent, who knows where this team will end up now.

20. PURDUE

Though we’re not quite as high on the patchedtogether Boilermakers as some others are, we certainly feel that the sky’s the limit for 6-9 forward Caleb Swanigan. Next Five 21-25: FLORIDA STATE, INDIANA, MARQUETTE, MARYLAND AND WICHITA STATE

Top Sleepers: CHATTANOOGA, GEORGIA SOUTHERN, MONMOUTH, VALPARAISO Even with the 14-win drop last season compared AND WINTHROP

11. WISCONSIN PG 22 • November 2016 • insiteatlanta.com


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INsite Atlanta November 2016 Issue  

Atlanta's Entertainment Monthly featuring our annual Best of Atlanta guide. Picked by our readers, this issue features the best in dining, n...

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