Planet weekly 458

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>>> N E W S | T H E C H AM B E R OF COMM E R C E


SEE YOU AT THE MAY CHAMBER MIXER Save the Date for Next Chamber in Session: State of the Schools Our annual State of the Schools event is set for Tues., June 17 at Hotel Capstone from 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Expect presentations from Dr. Tommy Bice, Dr. Elizabeth Swinford and Dr. Paul McKendrick. Also, a special program is being prepared for this same morning. Stay tuned for more info.

The address is 3610 Watermelon Rd., Ste. 106 in Northport (just past Winn Dixie). Learn about her services and products at

May Mixer at Jim 'N Nick's BBQ Our May Chamber Connects mixer will be held on Tues., May 13 from 5 – 7 p.m. at Jim 'N Nick's BBQ, located at 305A 21st Ave. in Downtown Tuscaloosa. This annual event is always fun and well-attended. This year, our Young Entrepreneur Academy (YEA!) students will present their business ideas with displays on the patio. Join us for networking and some of the best BBQ in the state! Bring a friend. Prospective members are welcome.

H20 Relocates We held a ribbon cutting for our friends at H20 Salon & Retail Center, located at 1928 7th St. in Downtown Tuscaloosa (behind Innisfree) on Apr. 18. Congrats, Joe and Candace Cameron! They gave away a $500 gift certificate that our ambassador Jasmine James of Wingate won! Our own Jim Page also won some great hair products. Generous folks! They've done a beautiful job converting the historic home and do wonders for hair. Let them provide you with a truly uplifting experience! Call them at 343-1818.

Karen Hawkins Skin Therapy Now in Northport We celebrated the lovely new location of Karen Hawkins Skin Therapy this week!

Beyond Southern Furnishings Opens We were honored to welcome Beyond Southern Furnishings (651 20th Ave. in Tuscaloosa) to the Downtown area on


MAY 1 + MAY 15

Apr. 18. The owners are Crystal and Travis Buck and Kandie and Ricky Brewer. Come see their beautiful new shop filled with mahogany and teak furniture and southern accessories! Call 412-4562 or visit for details. Elwood Staffing Celebrates New Branch The Grand Opening of the Tuscaloosa area branch of Elwood Staffing (3380 McFarland Blvd., Ste. 8 in Northport) was held on Apr. 17. The staff looks forward to serving the workforce and employers in our community! Visit or call 330-1669 for more info. Registration Open for Bama Brew & Que Got the best BBQ around? Here's your chance to prove it! Register for the 2nd Annual Bama Brew & Que in Tuscaloosa, a KCBS Sanctioned Event being held Sept. 12-13. There will be a Professional Division and a Backyard Division. Event is sponsored by Young Professionals of Tuscaloosa or YP(t). For more info, email or call 633.0236.

Ribbon Cutting for Southern Ale House Check out this great new addition to Tuscaloosa's dining scene as we celebrate it on May 6 at 10 a.m. It's in the former Desperado's location, 1530 McFarland Blvd., N. Congrats, Justin Holt! Check out the menu and more at The Market House Opens on Riverwalk The Chamber marked the opening of The Market House in The Shops of Riverwalk (near Another Broken Egg) last Thurs.The owners have successful locations in Florence and recently decided to also invest in Tuscaloosa. We're so glad they did. A great addition to our town's retail marketplace. Stop in to check out the fun clothes, Tyler candles other unique gifts.

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Carly's Law sets the stage







Planet Weekly P. O . B o x 2 3 1 5 T u s c a l o o s a , AL 3 5 4 0 3 Phone: 205.792.7239 | 205.765.8007 Email: publisher@theplanetweek Please direct correspondence to: The Planet Weekly is a proud member of The West Alabama Chamber of Commerce. © 2013 All rights reserved. THE PLANET WEEKLY is a registered trademark. Planet Weekly is published every other Thursday. No part of this publication including editorials may be reproduced, in whole or part, by any means, including electronic retrieval systems, without the Publisher’s prior expressed written consent. One copy of each issue of THE PLANET WEEKLY is free to each of our readers. Any reader who takes more than four copies without expressed permission of the publisher shall be deemed to have committed theft. The views and opinions of the authors of articles appearing in this publication may not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the Publisher.


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Payne Lake - day-trip or camping out


Pee Wee's play suit. I had one before he did.




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MAY 1 + MAY 15


>>> O P I N I O N | K E N DA L L M AYS


Let’s get the pun out of the way. The buzz of marijuana legalization in the United States is at an all-time high. That’s better. In November 2012, both Colorado and Washington legalized cannabis in a public election. The people had spoken. Both states ended an 80 year prohibition on marijuana, allowing anyone 21 or older to consume, buy, and possess any derivation of marijuana without fear of punishment from the state. The legalization of recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington created a direct conflict between states and the federal government. Marijuana is still federally illegal under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. But under the Obama Administration, the Department of Justice has insisted that it will not prosecute marijuana users who comply with their state laws. All signs indicate that pot is on its way to a corner store near you. According to a 2014 study conducted by CNN and ORC International more than 55 percent of Americans support the legalization of recreational marijuana. Since the passing of their respective laws, citizens of both Colorado and Washington support the measures. Fifty-two percent of Coloradans feel that “marijuana has been good for Colorado,” according to a Quinnipiac University study. But even if a growing number of Americans favor marijuana legalization, it doesn’t mean that every state is likely to adopt. However, some states are better positioned to consider the move than others. Alabama may not be as far-fetched of a candidate for legalization as you think. On March 20, Governor Robert Bentley signed Senate Bill 174 into effect. The bill, also known as Carly’s Law legalized cannabidiol for prescription in Alabama. S.B. 174 was dedicated to Carly Chandler, who suffered from a genetic mutation which caused her to have violent seizures. Cannabidiol, or CBD, is an oil-based derivative of marijuana which is known to limit seizures. The passing of Carly’s Law makes Alabama the first southern state with any legal form of marijuana. Though the law


MAY 1 + MAY 15

specifically allows for the prescription of CBD to people diagnosed with various forms of epilepsy, the state has made a tremendous foray into the discussion of drug reform. Despite reluctance from many in the state, marijuana could be a lucrative endeavor for Alabama. Two of Alabama’s leading industries are lumber production and soil refinery. The Yellowhammer State is notorious for its mineral rich soil and high yield of lumber and wood. Wood products account for more than $13 billion in the Alabama economy, according to the Alabama Forestry Association. The recreational marijuana laws of Colorado and Washington have been financially successful for both states. According to the Colorado Department of Revenue, the state is expected to total more than $100 million in tax revenue in 2014 with 30 percent of that revenue going Colorado public schools. Washington’s law automatically allocates 25 percent to state education. At the same time, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, Alabama students rank below Kazahkstan, Iran, and Armenia in science education. As of 2012, Alabama ranks 40th in dropout rate among U.S. states with only 72 percent of public school students completing high school. As one of two southern states without a legal lottery system, Alabama educational funds are not capable of garnishing mass amounts of tax revenue from a single source. The state instead allocates funding for all public initiatives from a combination of state property, sales and income tax. A recreational marijuana law would be a welcome boon to both Alabama industry and education if it featured the right provisions. If conditions are right and public support for marijuana legalization continues to increase, Alabama could be in the right political and economic position to foster a new industry with very little downside. Such a bill is likely years away from having a serious chance at becoming law, but stranger things have happened. And they’ll happen again.

>>>F E AT U R E S T O RY | R A C H E L A H R N S E N


In recent years, Alabama politics eration. “The Republicans controlled the have been notoriously combative, slowlegislature, so I needed to find a Republimoving, and occasionally corrupt. Howcan that wanted the bill. Turns out there ever, there is one person able to unite was another child in north Alabama who Alabama lawmakers. Her would benefit, and Mike name is Carly, and she’s Ball supported the three years old. bill. I knew it would “This was extraordinary for Alabama. Gov. Robert have a better It passed the first time, which virtuBentley signed chance of ally none of our bills do. There weren’t Carly’s Law on passing if he April 1, 2014, any, 'no,' votes. Everyone was excited sponsored it, which legalso we worked about it, and it was a bipartisan effort. It ized the use together.” was truly historic.” of a marijuanaAfter over~ Rep. Patricia Todd ~ derived oil, called coming some cannabidiol or CBD initial hurdles, the bill oil, for medicinal use in passed unanimously and Alabama. Its namesake, Carly Chanwas signed. In order to implement the dler of Birmingham, suffers from severe law, the University of Alabama at Birmingseizures which can be alleviated by the ham will create a cannabidiol program oil. In other cases similar to Carly’s, CBD for research and treatment of debilitating oil has been able to reduce seizures from seizures. The Cannabidiol Program will hundreds of times a week to a few times be established by the UAB Department of a month. Neurology, under chair Dr. David Stan“This was extraordinary for Alabama. daert, Ph.D. It passed the first time, which virtually “We are honored that the state’s none of our bills do. There weren’t any, elected officials have entrusted this 'no,' votes. Everyone was excited about it, responsibility to UAB...This research will and it was a bipartisan effort. It was truly be invaluable in the search for ways to historic,” said Rep. Patricia Todd, D-Birprevent seizures, or minimize their effects, mingham, co-sponsor of the bill. and UAB will continue to work with neuTodd became interested in this legislarologists across the state to identify and tion after she was approached by Carly’s treat patients in need of this therapy,” said father, Dustin. Todd had introduced bills Dr. Standaert in a statement. involving medical marijuana before, However, relief for children like Carly though none were successful. will not come immediately. The program “I’ve been an advocate of medical must meet regulatory requirements of the marijuana for years, so I was the obviFood and Drug Administration, the Drug ous choice for him to contact. We met for Enforcement Administration and the Unilunch, and he told me about Carly. It’s a versity’s Institutional Review Board. The compelling story involving children, and as approvals that must be obtained before I got into it, I knew it would have a broad the program can be launched could take appeal,” Todd said. six months or longer. Todd then sought bipartisan coopTodd believes that as knowledge about


>>> F E AT U R E S T O RY | c o n t i n u ed

CARLY'S LAW IS A BIG FIRST STEP the curative properties of marijuana grows However, according to data from the Denver Police Department, violent crime (inthrough research at institutions like UAB, support for medical marijuana legalisation cluding homicide, sexual assault, robbery, and aggravated assault) fell by 6.9% in the will grow. first quarter of 2014, compared with the “The benefits of this plant are just same period in 2013. Property crime (inamazing. It can improve quality of life, apcluding burglary, larceny, auto theft, theft petite, and can help with all sorts of condifrom motor vehicle and arson) dropped by tions. I think once people see the benefits, there will be incredible support in the future 11.1%. Though these results are not conclusive, they have defied expectations. for more laws like this,” said Todd. The passage of Carly’s Law has demWhen asked if the passage of Carly’s Law could possibly lead to the legalisation onstrated the best of Alabama politicians; swift, bipartisan action to improve the of recreational marijuana in the future, lives of their residents. It proved that the Todd replied, “Absolutely. Marijuana legislature still has the ability to pleasantly advocates have unlocked the door with surprise their constituents. In the future, this law.” this state could surprise the nation. However, it’s doubtful that marijuana Patients seeking an appointment with dispensaries will pop up next to barbecue the UAB cannabidiol program can call joints in Alabama anytime soon. One of 205-975-8883 or e-mail the key factors in the passage of Carly’s for more information. Law was that CBD oil cannot be used to get high. In addition, the oil is used for a specific and clearly outlined medical purpose. Though it’s likely this law has paved the way for more medical marijuana bills, recreational legalization is less likely. However, one thing that could tempt Alabama lawmakers into legalizing recreational marijuana is tax money from the sale of marijuana. Alabama is the sixth poorest state in the nation, and in need of revenue. In Colorado, the tax total reported by the state Department of Revenue states that $14.02 million worth of recreational pot was sold from 59 businesses in three months. The state collected roughly $2.01 million in taxes. The marijuana taxes come from 12.9 percent sales taxes and 15 percent excise taxes. The lure of tax dollars, combined with burgeoning public support, could influence Alabama lawmakers in this direction. Support for legalization is gaining support swiftly across the nation. Currently, there are 21 states who have legalized medical marijuana, with eight states who have pending legislation. A Gallup poll from October 2013 showed that a majority of Americans favored legalizing marijuana. The 58% of respondents who said they were in favor of legalization last year is five times the amount of people in favor in 1969, the first time the survey was taken. Alabama also has the opportunity to see how legislation of both medical and recreational marijuana has Carly's mom posted this on her Facebook page in 2013. Charaffected other states. lotte's Web is a strain of medical marijuana processed into a Many opponents of le- marijuana extract that is high in cannabidiol (CBD) content. It does not induce the psychoactive "high" typically associated galization believe that with recreational marijuana use. it will increase crime.

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

Jacob Thompson MAY 1 + MAY 15


>>> C U R R E N T | A LY X C H A N D L E R



A steady rain poured from thick gray clouds on the morning of April 18 in Tuscaloosa, outside one of only two open abortion centers currently in Alabama. Inside the waiting rooms of the West Alabama Women's Center about a dozen women sat quietly in chairs, some from Tuscaloosa and some from hours away, but all waiting to be called back. Only one woman, Jamey Julian, seven weeks pregnant, a gas station manager and mom of a six-year-old currently living in Pinson, Alabama, sat on a bench outside the clinic; she was waiting for the abortion pill. Julian said she paid $400 for the procedure alone and “didn't have that kind of money,” let alone a stable financial situation for a new baby. A faulty condom led to her pregnancy. “It's an emotional thing, especially when you already have a child... You know how beautiful it will be, it's hard to come up here and do something like this...” Julian trailed off for a moment, pain filling her eyes. “I'm making the best decision for the baby—a lot of a people think it's selfish, but I can't take care of it, don't you see? A baby needs its mother, I can't give it that.” Even with her husband currently in jail, while she struggles financially to give her child what he needs, she said it was still a hard decision. She mentioned how a lady she met in the waiting room was surprised the “protestors” weren't outside, given they were there when she was previously making an appointment. “If they were, I probably wouldn't be sitting out here. It would make me feel more ashamed,” Julian said. “No one easily chooses to get pregnant and go this route, especially when someone tells you you're terrible for it. But


MAY 1 + MAY 15

I want to be able to give my kids what they need. You have to think about the future.” Gloria Gray, the clinic director, said the “protestors,” or what they refer to as the anti-abortion “sidewalk counselors,” were not out because of the heavy rain. Gray said no one employed at the West Alabama Women's Center is allowed to tell them to leave, but the protestors can be sued if they come on to the private property. Gray decided to open the clinic in Tuscaloosa in 1973 to eliminate dangerous “back-alley” abortions, or those performed by either the pregnant woman herself or an underground, unlicensed doctor. “I saw the need for it [an abortion center], I saw the real side and the struggle, and I also love children. I hate to see children born that are unwanted. People who stand there and protest don't see that,” Gray said “We've had all kinds of patients get upset...They ask us to prevent them from being there, but we have no control, we're helpless,” Gray said, frustration in her voice. “We never try to stop them from talking to them, but we don't like harassment.” “[Being outside the center] It's almost like being immersed in a culture war, you heavily feel the magnitude of the issue,” said Anthony Berry, a UA freshman and anti-abortion “sidewalk counselor,” meaning someone who stands in the public property right along the clinic's privately owned parking lot and of-

fers anti-abortion information to women. On April 25 the anti-abortion people stood along the road in their usual spot with what Gray refers to as “R-rated” signs depicting fetuses. Many of these people are part of the Bama Students for Life, a UA “Pro-life” group created in 2006. Almost every Saturday, and even some Fridays, they wait for women walking into the West Alabama Women's Center, usually there to make abortion appointments, and actively encourage them to consider other options. They also pray for the women. Meanwhile another group of about eight volunteer students also spend their Saturdays at the West Alabama Women's Center. They stand waiting in bright yellow vests to “escort” women to the building entrance, sometimes chanting or talking over the “sidewalk counselors” so as to distract them from the anti-abortion people. Claire Chretien, president of Bama Students for Life, said that “it would be unfair to not offer love and compassion to these people facing crisis,” but Gray insists their tactics are a form of “emotional bullying. We are here to provide a legal service. We don't encourage or promote abortion.” Gray said their clinic has seen an increase in people needing care in recent months. The Planned Parenthood Center located in Birmingham recently closed, leaving only Tuscaloosa's West Alabama Women Center and Huntsville's Alabama Women's Center open. Without Birmingham as an option, the residents of Jefferson County have been driving to Tuscaloosa's center, along


with people from as far away as Mississippi and Virginia. The anti-abortion vs. pro-choice controversy has been heated since 1973 when Roe vs. Wade made abortion a legal option for women in the U.S. The West Alabama Women's Center is one of two, out of a former five, abortion clinics still operating since Governor Robert Bentley recently signed the Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers, or TRAP. The law requires all doctors to have state licenses, but due lack of support by physicians in Alabama, along with many other states, the clinics which have previously depended on out-ofstate licensed doctors have been forced to close. The Tuscaloosa center has one Board Certified Ob-Gyn Physician, who also has local privileges, so the law won't be a problem for Tuscaloosa. But the Birmingham, Montgomery and Mobile clinics weren't so fortunate. Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union quickly filed a lawsuit against the new Alabama law. According to the Huffington Post's nationwide survey of state health departments, abortion clinics and local abortion-focused advocacy groups, at least 54 abortion clinics in 27 states have shut down in the past three years. This has not been the case for crisis pregnancy centers throughout the U.S., which are anti-abortion clinics offering pregnancy tests, ultra-sounds and helpful alternatives to abortions for mothers. Some pro-choice activists call these centers “fake abortion clinics,” which is sometimes what people mistake them for., a recourse website for mothers to “save babies lives through God's grace,” lists 38 different Crisis Pregnancy Centers in Alabama. One of those, Sav-A-Life, is located on University Boulevard, but is soon to take its new location in the building a mere twenty feet from the West Alabama Women's Center. The location of the building is strategically placed so that women getting an abortion might change their mind and go there instead, said Amy Hase, a UA student and the upcoming president for Bama Students for Life. “This [standing outside the clinic] is a big part of the pro-life movement, but not everyone believes in it,” she said as she stood in the parking lot beside a man in Tuscaloosa who held a poster of a fetus that had statements like “I have fingers and toes” and “My heart is beating.” Despite the fact that anti-abortion people protest the West Alabama Women's Center every week, Sav-A-Life has never been protested by pro-choice believers. The group of pro-choice escorts agreed that if the anti-abortion “protestors” were to stop bothering the B. HAIVE clinicKITTY and “let women choose for them-

>>> C U R R E N T | CONTINUED FROM PREVIOUS PAGE selves,” they wouldn't need to be out there anymore. The ethical question lingers for countless individuals all over the world: Is defending the right of an unborn baby saving a life or taking away a woman's right to have control of her own body? Although they often get yelled at to go away by parents, boyfriends and the clinic escorts, Chretien said they were able to save six people from getting an abortion during 40 Days for Life,” a national anti-abortion campaign, one where in Tuscaloosa the “sidewalk counselors” stand by the clinic for some period of time for 40 days straight. “Every, I mean every, woman is here for a different reason,” Gray said heavyheartedly, not specifying the thousands of backstories of women over the last 21 years. Each case is individual and unique. On the other hand, Chretien said “this is the greatest human rights injustice of the time,” and commented that she knew this battle was a long-term fight. She argues that taking the life of a developing fetus equals taking the life of a 2-year-old. Samaria Johnson, who volunteers as an escort at the West Alabama Women’s Center, contends that a developing fetus is not yet an individual. “I can agree to disagree with people on abortion, but I absolutely cannot agree with someone who stands outside of abortion clinics,” Johnson said. “When people are engaging in emotional manipulation, then we have real problem. Abortion is a neutral—it can be used for good or bad.” Bama Students for Life use many different tactics for educating people on their beliefs. Chretien said no matter what the situation—rape, carelessness, accidents—that the fetus is still a human and in her opinion, abortion morally unjustified and wrong. Although she said that her heart absolutely breaks

The pamphlet for the West Alabama's Women's Center states...

"The pro-choice viewpoint is simple. It is not pro-abortion. Abortion is not the correct answer for everyone. We do insist, however, that the decision to become a mother is each woman's, for only she can make the best and most responsible decision for herself." for those people in those situations or in tough circumstances, there are other options for every woman. Gray said the people out there on Saturday mornings have “nothing to do with what we do in here medically” and that the West Alabama Women's Center is a legal, certified practice. It is supposed to a “safe place” for financially, emotionally or physically unprepared pregnant women. But mere steps outside of the private property has transformed into a morally-armed battlefield, protesting for the right to life of the fetus. The natural consequence of sex, of course, it that it produces babies. Abortion cost anywhere from $300-$700 dollars. Child support is almost $100,000 during a child's minority, according to the 2010 Census Bureau Reports. Johnson and many pro-choice advocates believe that sex education is something seriously undermined in this country, which only adds to the problem, while Chretien said it has led to higher abortion rates in places like Washington, and she would prefer to see biology and fetus development studied in schools instead. “I think simply that an unwanted pregnancy results in an unwanted child,” Gray said. Abortion is not a moralfree question for anyone, but the legality of it is a state-protected matter. On the other hand, freedom of assembly is also covered by the First Amendment. Anti-abortion advocates can “peaceably protest,” although throughout the U.S., clinics have been experiencing episodes of violence from both “sidewalk counselors,” and those who they address. “Buffer-zone laws” continue to pop up around the country, forcing the anti-abortion activists to stay a certain number of

feet away from the clinic and women. Another recent law passed in Alabama states that abortion patients must wait 48 hours after their appointment before their abortion can be performed, when it was previously only 24 hours. While Chretien calls this a “common-sense law,” this also forces the influx of out-of-town women or couples to spend more money that they potentially don't have on transportation, a place to stay and food for the two days. The law is meant to make women truly consider their decision to have an abortion, but for the people who are choosing to not have the baby due to financial reasons, this doubles the amount of money they must spend, and thus acts as another block towards women's right to terminate a pregnancy. According to “About Abortion Clinics Online,” each year more than 1.5 million women have pregnancies terminated. At the same time, according to the U.S. State Department, U.S. families adopted the highest number of children from China, followed by Ethiopia, Russia, South Korea, and Ukraine. According to, it's easier and faster to adopt children internationally than in the U.S. “For me that's definitely something I struggle with, one of the things that is ironic is a lot of our lawmakers don't necessarily advocate for things that would help people in those situations,” Berry said. Having a good adoption system and social welfare is important. “I've had an epiphany of some sort as I've gone through the year, [sidewalk counseling] it's not something I personally feel comfortable with,” Berry shared. I prefer one-on-one conversation—I'm not a controversial person.” The state of Alabama has no current buffer laws, although it's in the process of considering one, the buffer zone in Tuscaloosa is due to the fact that it's private property. The police have ticketed the “sidewalk counselors” several times, and the clinic escorts line at least one car in the parking lot attempting to block them off. The anti-abortion people also stand along the side of the road so that cars driving by can see their signs.

The “escorts” and the pro-life demonstrators sometimes get into verbal clashes. Cody Fredrick, a UA junior and a clinic escort almost every Saturday, along with Johnson and the others, said one particular local Bible-carrying “protestor” asks the women, before and after their procedure, “how they feel about murdering their baby. I think the buffer zone is the most important thing that happened out here. If we're going to accept that protest is going to be a thing that happens, then it needs limits.” “It's my body, it should be my choice. I feel like people shouldn't be out here telling you you're going to hell, it's already hard to do it,” Jamey Julian said. “They say they do it out of love, but there's no truth in this statement. It's intimidation and hatred; I'm not sure what motivates them,” Gray said. Dr. Payne, the physician, along with Grey, get frequent death threats, although they don't know who they're from. The Sav-A-Life will change its location to beside the West Alabama's Women Center in the upcoming months. The concern from the escorts is whether this will further escalate the current problem. The West Alabama Women's Clinic will keep offering services Monday through Saturday. A federal judge has set the trial date for the lawsuit against U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson for May 19. The outcome will determine if the law was passed to set up definite obstacles aiding the limitation for a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy. Meanwhile, Tuscaloosa will continue to be flooded with out-of-town women seeking reproductive care.


MAY 1 + MAY 15



>>> E N T E R TA I N M E N T | J U DA H M A R TI N



The actors in the Pink Box burlesque troupe are a close-knit family of men and women who don't even know each other's names. As funny as that sounds, it's true. "There are other people who don't necessarily agree with what we do," explained Highball Hannah, who recently began dancing with the troupe. "[Remaining anonymous] is an issue of keeping our privacy paramount and making sure that no one tries to take it against the members because they have a moral objection to it." Sure, some may not agree with the Pink Box's risqué performances. Nevertheless, it was the burlesque troupe's popularity that convinced Co-Founder Mama Dixie to continue performances after their first show. She was never a theatrical person, really, and she certainly didn't spend her childhood yearning to start a burlesque troupe. She didn’t consider the idea until six years ago when a friend called her with the idea of hosting a burlesque show for a local charity. Neither friends expected a crowd, so they chose a small venue for the performance. To their surprise, tickets sold out almost immediately. On the day of the show, the venue was packed with patrons. Afterwards, they received numerous calls asking for an encore show. Six years later, Mama Dixie is now the leader of the troupe. The other original founders have since moved on, but Mama Dixie seems to have found her calling. Each week, she and the performers collaborate to determine the direction of their show. Typically, each performer gets to play a lead character periodically and writes most of his or her own material. Later, the other performers meet to contribute their ideas. Recently, on April 11, it was once again Mona Squeels’ chance to dance [mostly naked] in the spotlight. With only six hours left until show time, she joined Mama Dixie and fellow performers Kitty B. Haive and Highball


MAY 1 + MAY 15

Hannah for a break from their rehearsals outside of the Bama Theatre. Mama Dixie and Kitty B. Haive arrived outside first and the others soon crossed the street to join them. Dressed in plainclothes, their regular patrons probably would not recognize them, if not for the gray tee shirts advertising the Pink Box they each wore. Mama Dixie and Kitty Behaiv wore faded blue jeans and left their hair hanging loosely. Mona Squeels stood next to High Ball Hannah, her legs concealed underneath a long, gray cotton skirt. Her hair, usually an endless stream of pin curls on stage, was tied above her head. The few bobby pins that peaked from beneath her scarf were the only sign of her impending transformation. “There is something cathartic about being on stage, and being in that creative space, that you don't get in real life," Mona Squeels explained as she alternated bites of mozzarella cheese sticks with sips from a white Styrofoam soda cup. "I don't think I consciously created Mona, she just kind of came out of me,” she added. "Nothing inhibits Mona, I don't have split personality disorder. She's very much me uncensored. She is freedom." That night, it was Mama Dixie who took the stage first. The audience included middle-aged men and women, college students and even a few college professors. As Mama Dixie made her way across the stage, she was met with their boisterous shouts of approval, including a few requests for marriage, or at least a one-night stand. Her transformation was simultaneously striking and strangely anti-climactic. The shoulder length black hair that had just barely missed her shoulders at rehearsal was now elaborately pinned atop her head and adorned with feathers. A bustle added considerable width to her waist. Yet her sleeveless, corseted dress top did little to conceal the numerous tattoos of various colorful shades that poked unabashedly through her costume. She did not even bother to remove her nose ring. "Mama is a mockery," she’d explained earlier, during rehearsal. "Everyone does [burlesque] for different reasons and my reason personally is that I find societal ex-

pectations on what makes a woman rather absurd. So that's what I am. I'm a big ole Southern Mama." Now, she stood safely tucked behind a microphone stand at the corner of the stage closest to the audience. Once the audience quieted, she lifted a sign listing three rules for the show. “Now this is the boring part,” she warned the audience. After a moment’s reflection, she repositioned the sign. “Here, it’ll be less boring because I’m gonna hold [the sign] right here under my cleavage,” she offered. The audience was not shy in voicing their approval. Mama Dixie began reading from the list. "No touching of my ladies," she warned the audience. "Or yourselves." After she finished reading, she revealed the plot of the night’s show. It would be an adaptation of childhood “Choose Your Own Adventure” books, but with a lot of adult twists.


“So Mona is unsatisfied with life,” she explained in a low voice. “She wants a challenge. She wants adventure… She wants a man.” Mona Squeels soon appeared on stage. Mama Dixie held out a book for her and directed her to choose. Silently, she pointed to a spot on the page. The lights in the theater dimmed as Mona then disappeared behind the curtains. Mama Dixie remained on stage as the band began to play the opening chords of Ella Fitzgerald’s “The Lady is a Tramp.”

“I’ve wined and dined on Mulligan Stew and never wished for turkey, as I hitched and hiked and grifted too, from Maine to Albuquerque,” Mama Dixie crooned the lyrics in a low smoky voice as the curtain peeled back to reveal Mona Squeals, bathed in deep blue stage lighting. The tempo soon sped up and Mona gradually pulled away parts of her short red dress before finally tossing it to the floor as Mama Dixie’s voice rose higher. "I get too hungry for dinner at 8, I like the theater but never come late, I never bother with people I hate, that's why the lady is a tramp.” Over the next hour and a half, Mona Squeels traveled the globe in search of a suitable beau. She danced with Medusa, she pouted her lips and stared quizzically at a fortuneteller, and she narrowly missed arrows from a drunken female Cupid who was sincerely trying to help. Between scenes, Mama Dixie offered frequent commentary and often reminded the audience that “ya’ll are as easy as I am” when they laughed at her jokes. And then Mona and the other dancers would saunter across the stage, teasing the audience by lifting up the backs of their dresses and stripping away their tops to reveal breasts concealed only by small pasties. “I think having stage names and set characters that we come into when we do a performance allows our audience to get into it more,” Mona Squeels explained during rehearsal. “Even friends we have that come to the show, they address me differently when I'm here just because they get into it." True, the women and men who have appeared on stage together leave the theater after each performance without knowing much about each others lives outside of the Pink Box. Still, they contend that the intimacy of shedding their inhibitions together on stage makes them close. "That is the number one thing about this troupe, and burlesque in general, is that safety is the number one concern,” Mona said. “And whether that's safety as in feeling like you have a safe place to come and cry if you need to cry, laugh if want to laugh, we're a big family and we will always be a family, so anything that could make someone uncomfortable is thought about.”


>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

>>> T H E AT R E | A D A M M I L L E R

"COMMAND PERFORMANCE" // THEATRE TUSCALOOSA CELEBRATES 15-year ANNIVERSARY OF BEAN-BROWN THEATRE “Command Performance” will be presented one night only, Saturday, May 17, 2014, in the Bean-Brown Theatre on Shelton State Community College’s Martin Campus, 9500 Old Greensboro Road. A reception in the Wilson Carr Rehearsal Hall will begin at 6:30 p.m. The performance will begin in the Bean-Brown Theatre at

7:30 p.m., followed by a special celebration in the Wilson Carr Rehearsal Hall. Tickets are $50 each and include admission to the pre-show reception, a reserved seat for the performance, and admission to the post-show celebration. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit or call 391-2277.

Here is a photo from “Some Enchanted Evening,” 15 years ago. Ironically, all of the folks in this shot are also in "Command Performance," and it will be done very much in this style. L to R: Ava Buchanan, Ray Taylor, Drew Baker, Beth Stomps Feller, and Charles Prosser, pictured here in “Some Enchanted Evening” (1999), are five of the many actors returning for Theatre Tuscaloosa’s “Command Performance”

Theatre Tuscaloosa is celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Bean-Brown Theatre with a special fundraising event called “Command Performance” on Saturday, May 17, 2014, at the Bean-Brown Theatre. Since its first production in the BeanBrown Theatre, My Fair Lady (October 1998), Theatre Tuscaloosa has produced more than 85 plays and special events in its home venue. Paul Looney, Theatre Tuscaloosa Artistic Director Emeritus, helped guide the construction of the Bean-Brown Theatre and has directed many of the productions since its opening. “The Bean-Brown Theatre started out on a drawing board in my office back when Theatre Tuscaloosa was at Stage Center downtown,” Looney said. “The architects took those drawings and translated them into the finished product. Thanks to a partnership between Theatre Tuscaloosa and Shelton State, funds were raised to turn those drawings into reality.” The theatre was named in response to a major gift from Mr. A. H. Bean. Bean chose to dedicate the theatre to the memory of both his wife, Josephine May Bean, and his daughter, Dr. Billie Sue Bean Brown. Their portraits hang in the lobby of the theatre, and serve as a reminder to audiences at every production.

Theatre Tuscaloosa polled audiences last summer to find out which of its performances have become favorites. The results of that poll have informed the formation of “Command Performance.” “So many people have come across the stage of the Bean-Brown Theatre over the last 15 years,” said Theatre Tuscaloosa Executive Producer Tina Turley. “I am incredibly excited to have the opportunity to see many of them returning to share highlights and memories that we have created together.” Turley has lead the organization since 2006 and has directed a majority of the productions over the last eight years. She has assembled an experienced team to create “Command Performance.” “Ray Taylor, a member of our board of directors and a legendary Theatre Tuscaloosa performer, is serving as the leader of this exciting endeavor,” Turley said. “He’s assisted by me, musical director Leslie Poss, Theatre Tuscaloosa board and staff members, and community volunteers.” The cast of “Command Performance” includes Stacy Alley, Sara Mason Avery, Drew Baker, Clifton Baker, Justin Barnett, Ava Buchanan, Cole Cabiness, Anna Kate Campbell, Kathryn David, Matthew Eubanks, Beth Stomps Feller, Brent Jones, Lindsey Jones, Wheeler Kincaid, Emily McGuire, Mary Kathryn Mathews, Doff Procter, Charles Prosser, Dave Rogers, Wesley Rorex, Jenny Ryan, Destiny Schatzline, Ray Taylor, Lisa Waldrop, Jake Whipple, Laura White, Willie Williams, Jeff Wilson, Kathy Wilson, and Gary Wise. Theatre Tuscaloosa’s 201314 Season: Cheers to 15 Years! is presented in cooperation with Shelton State Community College and is sponsored by The City of Tuscaloosa and Jamison Money PAUL LOONEY Farmer and Co.

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

MAY 1 + MAY 15


>>> wine REVIEW | J O N R O G E R S




A s a wine enthusiast, reviewer and blogger I’m often asked how to taste wine. What people really want to know is what are they “supposed” to taste and how to tell a good wine from bad. how to taste wineWhen thinking about how to taste wine, the first thing to know is that taste in wine is truly personal. What one person likes, another may not. And, most importantly, that’s OK. Being a “wine snob” is no longer in fashion. So, your determination of how to taste wine may end up being different from someone else’s. What I can say is that when I do a wine review I’m generally looking at certain characteristics of the wine that I’m tasting. I start with the cork. When I pull it out of the bottle, I like to see that it is in good shape with no cracks or crumbles. I also want to see that the wine hasn’t soaked too far up the cork. If it’s made its way to the top, that means that the wine had an air path to the outside, which could have caused the wine to spoil. In talking about how to taste wine, the next thing that I do is look at the color of the wine. For example, with a red wine, can you see light through it? If not, that means it’s probably deep in color and probably richer in taste. If you can see some light through it, it’s probably a lighter wine with a more delicate taste. Neither is bad nor good, it’s just a characteristic. However, if it looks brown, it’s probably been exposed to air and has spoiled. And if it’s a white wine and it looks significantly discolored, it’s also probably spoiled. Next up for how to taste wine is what does it smell like? You may smell earthiness, or berries, or maybe even chocolate or vanilla. I personally watch for a musty wet dog smell. When I smell that I find I generally don’t like the wine. Something else to look for is the smell of alcohol. That will come through as a slight sting in your nose. The more alcohol, the more sting usually. Often times, that doesn’t come through when you actually taste the wine, though. Other smells you might pick up are cedar, jam, butterscotch, oak, pine and many many more. Try swirling the wine around by holding the base of the glass and make small circles with the glass on the table. That will help to release the aroma of the wine. Don’t be afraid to stick your nose deep into the glass to get the full effect. Take both short and long sniffs. After getting familiar with the aroma, or “nose”, of the wine move to the taste. Take a good long sip and let it linger in your mouth. Don’t treat it like mouthwash though. Just


MAY 1 + MAY 15

W here to E at in T uscaloosa

The Blue Plate Restaurant (Was Northport Diner) 450 McFarland Blvd, Northport // 462-3626 Brown Bag 9425 Jones Road | Northport // 333.0970 Its speciality, fried green tomatoes, joins barbecue plates and fish filets on an extended list of meats and vegetables. Tues 10:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. | Wed-Sat 10:30 a.m. - 7:30 p.m. City Cafe 408 Main Ave | Downtown Northport // 758.9171 Established in 1936. Big on food, low on price. Open for breakfast and lunch. Historic downtown Northport. Closed weekends. CountryPride Restaurant 3501 Buttermilk Rd // 554.0215 Breakfast 24 hours. Lunch and Dinner buffet. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 4800 Doris Pate Dr | Exit 76 // 562.8282 International House of Pancakes 724 Skyland Blvd // 366.1130 Jack's 1200 Hackberry Lane | Tuscaloosa // 345.1199 Maggie's Diner 1307 Ty Rogers Jr. Ave | Tuscaloosa // 366.0302 Mr. Bill's Family Restaurant 2715 McFarland Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 333.9312

let the wine roll around on your tongue and the inside of your cheeks. Swallow slowly and exhale. What do you taste? Often times, what you taste will be a reflection of what you smelled. But sometimes you get a surprise and it’s completely different. Are there lots of tastes (complex) or just one? When you exhale, was there a little burn from the alcohol? Think about how that compared with the amount of alcohol in the aroma. Some common tastes people notice are berries, oak, citrus, grape, fruit, coffee, chocolate, tobacco, burned wood, licorice, tea, and cloves. There are many others. Notice how the wine felt in your mouth. How would you describe the texture, or “mouthfeel”? Is it smooth like satin or even more so like silk? Maybe it’s soft like cotton. Or a little rough like a cat’s tongue or like wool. After you swallow, there’s still what’s called the “finish”. Does the taste linger in your mouth for awhile? If so, that’s called a long finish. Nothing? That’s a short finish. What do you notice? Around this point, some people talk about the wine’s tannins. Those are caused by the skins and bits of stems and sediment from the grapes when they were in the crushing phase of the wine making process. I find that if you notice a pleasant puckering in your mouth or a slightly bitter flavor, than the tannins are good or “well behaved”. Lots of bitterness… bad tannins. So there you have it. How to taste wine. You're welcome to visit my blog at

Panera Bread 1800 McFarland Blvd *402 | Tuscaloosa // 366.8780 Quick Grill 1208 University Blvd | The Strip | Tuscaloosa // 342.0022 Rama Jama’s 1000 Bryant Dr // 750.0901 Closest restaurant to Bryant-Denny Stadium. The Southern Dining Room Grill (Behind Ryan's) 4251 Courtney Dr, Tuscaloosa 331-4043 Tuscaloosa Burger & Poboys 1014 7th Ave. | Tusaloosa // 764.1976 Sports bar, breakfast, seafood, Cajun, and of course burgers Over 120 craft beers at the lowest prices in Tuscaloosa Closed Mondays, Tue. - Thu 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. fri - sat 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. sun 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kitchen is open all hours including full menu late night The Waysider 1512 Greensboro Ave // 345.8239 Open for breakfast and lunch. Smoke free.

MEXICAN Chipotle Mexican Grill 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 391.0140 Don Rafa's 2313 4th Street | Temerson Square // 345.9191

2003 Restaurant of Distinction. Beautiful riverfront location. Steaks, seafood and more with Southern flavor. Wine list, full bar. Specialities of the house include Shrimp Cypress Inn and Smoked Chicken with white barbecue sauce. Kid friendly. Closed Saturday lunch. Mike Spiller is featured the first Thursday of every month. Happy Hour- Mon-Fri from 4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. featuring 1/2 price appetizers. $2 Domestic Draft Beers and $3 Well cocktails. Epiphany Cafe 19 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 344.5583 “New American cuisine” with a strong emphasis on local produce, organic meats, and sustainable seafood. The menu is always changing and features include an extensive wine list, a large vibrant bar and martini lounge area, as well as patio seating. Reservations are available online at or through open table. Hours: Mon–Sat 5 p.m. - until Evangeline’s 1653 McFarland Blvd. North // 752.0830 Located in the Tuscaloosa Galleria. 2004 West Alabama Tourism Award Winning Restaurant. American Eclectic Cuisine. Lunch: Mon–Fri 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: Tues–Sat 5 p.m. - until... Fall: Saturday Brunch. FIVE Bar 2324 6th Street. // 205.345.6089 A restaurant/bar based on simplicity. We offer 5 entrees, 5 red wines, 5 white wines, 5 import beers, 5 domestic, and 5 signature cocktails, to go along with our full liquor bar. Dinner: Sunday - Thursday 5-10; Friday and Saturday 5-12 Lunch: Friday and Saturday 11-3; Sunday Jazz Brunch: 10-3; 205.345.6089 Kozy’s 3510 Loop Road E | near VA Medical Center // 556.4112 Eclectic menu, extensive wine list. Dinner at Kozy’s is a romantic experience complete with candlelight and a roaring fireplace. | Twin 3700 6th St, Tuscaloosa in Tuscaloosa Country Club | 758-7528 | Certified USDA Prime Steaks; specialty Sushi and cocktails. Hours: 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.; 5 – 10 p.m.

JAPANESE Benkei Japanese Steak House 1223 McFarland Blvd // 759-5300 Hours: Mon–Thurs 5 p.m. - 9 p.m. | Fri–Sat 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Bento Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar 1306 University Blvd // 758.7426 Hokkaido Japanese Restaurant 607 15th Street Open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Ichiban Japanese Grill & Sushi 502 15th Street // 752.8844 Tokyo Japanese Steak & Sushi Bar 6521 Hwy 69 S | Hillcrest Center // 366.1177 Offers steak, seafood, tempura, teriyaki and sushi. Including cooking at your table, if you choose. Sun–Thurs 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Fri & Sat 5 p.m. - 11 p.m. Kobe Steak House 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 759-1400 Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: 4:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. Sat & Sun 11:30 a.m. - 11 p.m.

El Rincon (2 locations) 1225 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa, AL // 366.0855 1726 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 330.1274


Fernando's Mexican Grill 824 McFarland Blvd E | Northport // 205.331.4587

Avenue Pub 405 23rd Avenue

Iguana Grill 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 752.5895

Broadway Pizzeria 2880 Rice Mine Road Northeast Tuscaloosa, // 391.6969

Jalapeno’s Mexican Grill 2001 New Watermelon Rd | Northport // 342.3378

DePalma’s Italian Cafe 2300 University Blvd, Downtown // 759.1879 Menu ranges from sanwiches to finer pasta dishes and pizza. Varied beer and wine selection. Hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

LaGran Fiesta 9770 Hwy 69 S // 345.8871 Los Calientes Mexican Grill 3429 McFarland Blvd E // 553.1558 Los Tarascos (2 locations) 1759 Skyland Blvd // 553.8896 3380 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 330.0919 Margarita's Grill 1241 McFarland Blvd E // 343.0300 Moe’s Southwest Grill (2 locations) 2330 McFarland Blvd E // 342.1487 1130 University Blvd // 752.0234 Pepito’s (2 locations) 1203 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9028 1301 McFarland Blvd NE // 391.4861 Taco Mama 2104 A University Blvd, Tuscaloosa 409-8173


Chuck’s Fish 508 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 248.9370 Steak, seafood, & sushi specialities. Open for dinner and Sunday brunch. Great atmosphere and excellent service. Ladies Night on Tuesdays. Ladies receive ½ off on drinks. Uptown Wednesday - $6 Uptown Shrimp, $8 Uptown Tacos. Cypress Inn 501 Rice Mine Rd // 345.6963 Fax: 345.6997 |


Little Italy 1130 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.345.4343 Mellow Mushroom 2230 University Blvd // 758.0112 Pizzas, calzones, hoagies and more. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Mr. G’s 908 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 339-8505 Olive Garden 2100 McFarland Blvd E // 750-0321 Open daily from 11 a.m.

CASUAL DINING Avenue Pub 405 23rd Avenue // Tuscaloosa The pub offers a different menu for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Feature foods include pineapple French toast, pork sliders, and a house burger which changes daily. The drink menu features specialty cocktails, local pints, bottled beer, and wine. Monday through Friday 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Saturday Noon – 11 p.m., Sunday Noon p.m. – 9 p.m. Big Daddy’s Cafe 514 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 759.9925 Buddy’s Ribs & Steaks 2701 Bridge Ave | Northport // 339.4885


W here to E at in T uscaloosa ( cont . )

Buffalo Wild Wings 2710 McFarland Blvd // 523.0273 Mon–Wed 11 a.m. - midnight | Thurs–Sat 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. Chicken Salad Chick The Shoppes at Midtown & Essex Square, Northport | Said to be the very best chicken salad that can be found anywhere. Chili’s 1030 Skyland Blvd | Near McFarland Mall // 750.8881 Fax: 758.7715 // Dave’s Dogs 1701 McFarland Blvd E | University Mall // 722.2800 Five Guys Burgers & Fries 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 391.0575 Glory Bound Gyro Company 2325 University Blvd // 349-0505 Glory Bound Gyro Company is a unique restaurant that focuses on great food and service in a funky, fun-filled atmosphere. Open Mon-Thu: 11am - 10pm | Fri - Sat: 11am-10pm | Sun: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Hooligan’s 1915 University Blvd // 759.2424 From hamburgers to hummus. Open daily 10 a.m. - 11 p.m. Horny's 508 Red Drew Ave | Tuscaloosa // 345.6869 Mon 4 p.m. - 2 a.m. | Tues-Thurs 11 a.m. - 2 a.m. Fri 11 a.m. - 3 a.m. | Sat 4 p.m. - 2 a.m. New Orleans style atmosphere in the heart of Tuscaloosa on the strip. Horny's offerings include a full liquor bar, beer, and a variety of classic American food. Horny's Bar and Grill offers a limited late night menu from 1:30 a.m. - 2:30 a.m. Tacogi 500 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 342.3647 Logan's Roadhouse 1511 Skyland Blvd E // 349.3554 Madear’s 1735 Culver Road // 343.7773 Mon–Fri 6 a.m. - 5 p.m. | 2nd & 3rd Sunday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Mugshots Grill & Bar 511 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 391.0572 Great burgers & sandwiches. Unique setting, full service bar, veggie entrees, kid friendly, and open late Newk’s Express Cafe 205 University Blvd. East // 758.2455 Fax: 758.2470 // An express casual dining experience in a refreshing and stylish atmosphere. Serving fresh tossed salads, oven baked sandwiches, California style pizzas and homemade cakes from Newk’s open kitchen. Sun–Wed 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Thurs–Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. O’Charley’s 3799 McFarland Blvd // 556.5143 Open daily for lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch Panera Bread 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 366.8780 Piccadilly Cafeteria 1701 McFarland Blvd E | University Mall // 556.4960 Quick Grill 1208 University Blvd | The Strip // 342.0022 Ruby Tuesday (2 locations) 6421 Interstate Drive | Cottondale // 633.3939 Just off I-20/59 at exit 77. Near Hampton Inn and Microtel Inn 311 Merchants Walk | Northport // 345.4540 Ryan’s 4373 Courtney Dr // 366.1114 Near Marriott Courtyard and Fairfield Inn Sitar Indian Cuisine 500 15th St // 345-1419 Southland Restaurant 5388 Skyland Blvd E // 556.3070 Steaks, chops and home-cooked vegetables Mon–Fri 10:45 a.m. - 9 p.m. T-Town Café 500 14th Street, Tuscaloosa | 759-5559 | Mon - Fri: 5 a.m. - 9 p.m., Sat: 5 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sun: 10:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Tuscaloosa Burger & Poboys 1014 7th Ave. | Tusaloosa // 764.1976 Sports bar, breakfast, seafood, Cajun, and of course burgers Over 120 craft beers at the lowest prices in Tuscaloosa Closed Mondays, Tue. - Thu 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. fri - sat 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. sun 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kitchen is open all hours including full menu late night Zoe’s Kitchen 312 Merchants Walk // 344.4450 A wonderful selection of Greek foods

SPORTS GRILL Baumhower's Wings of Tuscaloosa 500 Harper Lee Drive | catering-Pick-up Tuscaloosa // 556.5858 | Always fresh and always fun. Owned by former UA/ Miami Dolphins great Bob Baumhower. Kid Friendly Buffalo Phil’s 1149 University Blvd | The Strip // 758.3318 Sports grille with TVs galore. Diverse beer and wine selection, full bar Billy's Sports Grill Historic Downtown Northport / 879.2238 Good food, beverages and family friendly Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Thursday

through Saturday from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. till 9 p.m. (Sunday Brunch 10:30am-3pm). Buffalo Wild Wings 2710 McFarland Blvd. East | Tuscaloosa // 523.0273 Sports grille with TVs galore. Diverse beer and wine selection, full bar Champs Sports Grille 320 Paul Bryant Drive | inside Four Points Sheraton Hotel // 752.3200 Breakfast and lunch buffets. Sunday brunch 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Hooter’s 5025 Oscar Baxter Dr | Next to Jameson Inn // 758.3035 Wings, clams, shrimp and of course the Hooters Girls Innisfree Irish Pub 1925 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 345.1199 Moe's BBQ 101 15th Street | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 752.3616 Mon-Sat 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Bar open until 2 a.m., 3 a.m. on Fridays Mugshots Grill & Bar 511 Greensboro Ave // 391.0572 Great burgers. Full service bar. Open late. Tuscaloosa Burger & Poboys 1014 7th Ave. // 764.1976 Sports bar, breakfast, seafood, Cajun, and of course burgers Over 120 craft beers at the lowest prices in Tuscaloosa Closed Mondays, Tue. - Thu 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. fri - sat 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. sun 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Kitchen is open all hours including full menu late night Wilhagan’s 2209 4th St | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 366.0913 Wings U 1800 McFarland Blvd East Suite 218 | Pick-up Tuscaloosa // 561.3984 Features the first coal-fired pizza oven in Alabama. Owned by former UA/Miami Dolphins great Bob Baumhower. Completely open concept! WingZone 1241 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 342.2473

BARBEQUE Archibald & Woodrow's BBQ 4215 Greensboro Ave | Tuscaloosa // 331.4858 Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. | Sun lunch Bama BBQ & Grill 3380 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.9816 Dickey's BBQ 9770 Alabama 69 344.6500 Dreamland (2 locations) 5535 15th Ave | Tuscaloosa // 758.8135 101 Bridge Ave | Northport // 343.6677 The legend. On game day, get there early if you want to make kickoff. Seating is limited. Hours: Mon–Sat 10 a.m. - 9 p.m. | Sun 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Hick’s BBQ 4400 Fayette Hwy // 339.3678 // Tues–Sat 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Moe's Original BBQ 2101 University Blvd.. // 752.3616 Serving up an award-winning, all things Southern BBQ and Live music experience. Come dine-in or sit on the patio and enjoy some great Que, beers, whiskey, and live music on Thursday-Saturday. Roll Tide! Mon–Sat 11am - 10pm | Bar service Mon-Sat 2am and Fri -3am | Kitchen closes at 10pm Pottery Grill (2 locations) Highway 11 Cottondale // 554.1815 3420 Alabama 69, Northport // 333.5848 Menu: Awesome barbecue. The Pottery Grill serves up everything from pork, chicken, ribs and sausage to burgers, hot dogs and salads. Take-out and catering available. Tee’s Ribs and Thangs 1702 10th Avenue // 366.9974 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily

STEAKS Logan’s Roadhouse 1511 Skyland Blvd | next to Sams // 349.3554 Steaks, ribs and spirits Longhorn Steakhouse 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 345-8244 #412 Nick's In the Sticks 4018 Culver Rd | Tuscaloosa // 758.9316 A long-time Tuscaloosa tradition. Good steaks at a reasonable price Try a Nicodemus if you have a designated driver. Outback Steakhouse 5001 Oscar Baxter Dr // 759.9000 Twin Restaurant 3700 6th Street |Tuscaloosa | 758-7528 A full service restaurant specializing in Sushi, Prime Steaks, made fresh daily pasta, and whiskey oriented cocktails 11 a.m. - 2 p.m., 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. // Former Tuscaloosa Country Club


Chuck’s Fish 508 Greensboro Ave // 248.9370 Happy Hour 3pm-6pm with $5 house wine, $5 top shelf, $3

>>> beer review | K E N D A L L M A Y S

THE FAT APE DOUBLE INDIAN PALE ALE // PLAIN FANTASTIC The Fat Ape Double Indian Pale Ale is an unerringly fantastic beer. But the best way to understand the quality of this brew is to explore competitors to provide a more complete view of the Fat Ape’s triumphs. Indian Pale Ale, or IPA, is a style of beer brewed fairly slowly until a deep amber color arrives and a body of rich hops can take hold. They differ from pale ales which rely largely on barley for body. Many brewers of IPAs put their own spin on the style. The Hercules Double IPA from Great Divide Brewery smells of pine but has a nut flavored finish. Sierra Nevada’s lineup of IPAs are all golden like a lager and citrusy. Both of these would be a great choice for an ale fan. But what sets the Fat Ape Double IPA apart from other beers in its category is its plainness. In fact, what makes the Fat Ape a great beer is that it is not likely capable of disappointing anyone. As opposed to so many other IPAs, which at times seemingly attempt to go for the most far out flavor combinations imaginable in order to separate themselves from the crowd, the Fat Ape is a typical British pale. It is not extravagant, it is practical. It is not fruity or immensely sweet, it is teasing and accessible. While there is a bevy of beers that can manage to be drinkable, precious few can manage that while being distinguished. The first sip is as easy as the last. Despite being loaded with a aromatic hop flavor, the Fat Ape is as much a highly enjoyable thirst quencher as it is true pale ale. The brew is well balanced and would serve as a great introduction for unseasoned IPA drinkers. Strangely, the beers best features seem to go fold both into and out of its worst features. All the familiar signatures of an IPA are present. Early, light notes of spice are followed by a bitter, yet welcome finish. Lager fans may think the prospect of a bitter end to an enjoyable drink may be unsuitable. But the Fat Ape accomplishes its drinkability chiefly with a cycle rotating between sweet, hoppy beginnings to a bitter finish. The motion may like an

imposition at first, but the rotation quickly becomes more enjoyable. Each sip satisfies any displeasure of the last. It keeps you coming back. The Fat Ape is brewed in Nottingham, UK by Blue Monkey Brewery. It stays true to its British brewing roots with wheaty flavorings over a vienna-style malt. Designed for maximum drinking ease, the Ape still manages to pack a fisful of American hops in every sip. At 7% ABV, this golden amber brew would likely be a welcome part of any multi-round bar trip or backyard gathering. The Fat Ape is not a chore to manage. It sits very well on the stomach and could be a good addition to a hearty meal of beef or pork easily. Best served in a glass, the Fat Ape has a fantastic aroma that is worth taking the time to pour to experience. Originally produced as part of Blue Monkey’s lineup of seasonal specials, the Fat Ape is perfect brewed for upcoming the Alabama summer. The Fat Ape Double Indian Pale Ale is available to interested drinkers at fine craft brew dispensers and the Alcove International Tavern for a very reasonable six dollars. This is one monkey you won’t want to get off your back.


MAY 1 + MAY 15




As a little girl, I always had the task of helping set the table for supper. Placing the forks and knives beside plates and filling glasses with ice, was a normal daily activity for me and my siblings. Suppertime was spent at the dining room table, whether we liked it or not. As time passed and we grew up, this precious family time was lost. The hustle and bustle of life took over and little effort was put into making suppertime a priority. This is all too true for most families today. Over the decades, quality family meal time has been replaced with eating on-the-go, eating in front of the television, or skipping the meal all together. The Southern Dining Room & Grill provides a family friendly atmosphere, promoting efforts to bring back family meal time. Owner, Jason Wortman says, “We have a goal to bring the family back to the table.” Research reports that family meals promote good emotional, intellectual, and physical health. Wortman is no novice in the restaurant industry, having years of experience running a local fast food chain. However, this restaurant venture reflects a more personal passion. The family’s strong Christian faith drives their mission of “putting Christian values into every meal.” Customers are greeted with evangelistic words of wisdom and enjoy contemporary Christian music as they dine. Ragged brick walls, which divide up the dining area, house faux windows and curtains mimicking a sense of Grandmas house. The menu is, of course, family style. Choose your meat then pick three, all you can eat, fixins for the whole table. Fried chicken, chicken fried steak, and pork chops, are a few southern staples that make up the menu. Within minutes of settling into a booth, a basket of biscuits and gravy hit the table. No true southerner could resist pulling apart a big, flaky biscuit and drowning it in smooth country gravy. This was a delicious treat before the main course. The menu is small with a select few meats and sides. To break up the monotony, daily meat and side specials are offered in addition to the menu. My husband opted for the daily meat special, grilled pork chops, and I settled for the chicken breast. The


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table’s fixins were macaroni and cheese, green beans and collards. In a matter of no time supper was served. A bowl of fresh garden salad was brought for the whole table to enjoy. Cornbread accompanied the meals and was, by far, the best thing that landed on the table all night. This sweet cornbread was so soft that it melted in my mouth. It was disappointing not to find this same experience with the rest of the meal. The fixins were bland. The macaroni and cheese was lacking cheese! It seemed to be replaced with a low quality cream cheese yielding a flavorless, dry, and chewy bite. I kept taking bites hoping it would get better, but it did not. Judging by appearance, the collards tasted just as expected-like salty canned collards. We had high hopes for the generous portions of meat. Yet again, taste buds were confused and very disappointed. The only way to consume the chicken was to submerge it in honey mustard. Majority of the meal was packed up in a to-go box that still sits in the back of my refrigerator. The meat and sides lacked quality and overall, flavor. On the plus side, the meal is very affordable. All you can eat sides really makes


W here t o E a t i n T u s c a l o o s a ( c o n t . )

well. $1 off bottle beer Red Lobster 2620 McFarland Blvd // 553.8810 McFarland Plaza Shopping Center


Tin Top Restaurant & Oyster Bar 4851 Rice Mine Rd NE #460 // 462.3399 McFarland Plaza Shopping Center & Temerson Square

Honeybaked Ham Company 421 15th St. E // 345.5508

Wintzell’s Oyster House 1 Bridge Ave | Northport // 247.7772 Casual riverfront dining Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri–Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Jason’s Deli 2300 McFarland Blvd // 752.6192 Fax: 752.6193 // Located in the Meadowbrook Shopping Center.


Jimmy John’s (3 locations) 1400 University Blvd | The Strip // 366.3699 1875 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 752.7714 815 Lurleen B. Wallace S | Tuscaloosa // 722.2268 Delivery 7 days a week.

Buffet City 1747 Skyland Blvd E // 553.3308 All you can eat buffet. Open 7 days a week. Chang’s Chinese Restaurant 1825 McFarland Blvd N // 391.9131 China Fun 2600 University Blvd | Alberta City // 553.2435 China Garden Hwy 69 S | Hillcrest Center // 758.0148 Hot Wok Express 6751 Alabama 69, Tuscaloosa // 758.0148 Lee Palace 6521 Highway 69 S // 391.9990 Open daily 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Mr. Chen's Authentic Chinese Cooking & Oriental Market 514 14th St. | In the Oz Music shopping center // 343.6889 // Open Sun - Thu 11am - 9pm, Fri & Sat 11am - 9:30pm Pearl Garden 2719 Lurleen Wallace Blvd | Northport // 339.0880 Peking Chinese Restaurant 1816 McFarland | Northport // 333.0361 Open 7 days a week. Super lunch and dinner buffet. Hours: Sun–Thurs 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. Swen Chinese Restaurant 1130 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9887 Trey Yuen 4200 McFarland Blvd E // 752.0088

ASIAN CUISINE Ruan Thai 1407 University Blvd // 391.9973 Exotic Thai cuisine. Offers vegetarian options, outdoor dining, and a full bar. Sushi on Thursdays. Lunch: Mon–Sat 11 a.m. -2 p.m. | Dinner: Mon–Thurs 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. Fri & Sat 5 p.m. -10pm | Sun 11 a.m. -3 p.m. Surin of Thailand 1402 University Blvd // 752.7970 Authentic Thai restaurant and sushi bar. Open daily. Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. | Dinner: 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

PIZZA AND SUBS A Taste Of Chicago 1700 Greensboro Avenue 205-342-DOGS Mon. - Thurs. 10:00am - 9:00pm; Fri. - Sat. 10:00am - 10:00pm 17th Street and Greensboro Avenue. Authentic Chicago style foods with a taste of Chi-Town in every bite. Italian Beef Sandwiches, Chicago Rib Tips, and Chicago Style Pizza.View our menu online and order at CRIMSON2GO.COM. Follow us @TasteofChicagoTtown on Instagram.

this a hard deal to beat. Cost per plate is $11.99 excluding a drink and dessert. The menu offers a shared plate option at $7.99 and a kid’s plate with drink for $6.99. The Southern Dining Room & Grill is a nice, family oriented restaurant. The vision and mission for the business are noble and appreciated. Unfortunately, this may be the only thing going for them. Take the family and try it out for yourself. Tweet us @ThePlanetWeekly and let us know what you think! The Southern Dining Room & Grill is located off HWY 359 at 4251 Courtney Drive Tuscaloosa, Alabama 35405. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Closed on Sunday and Monday. Cindy Huggins is a registered dietitian nutritionist and locale “foodie”! Follow her on twitter @ DietitianCindy.

Tut’s Place 1306 University Blvd | The Strip // 759.1004

California Underground 13552 Highway 43, Northport | 339.8660 Firehouse Subs 1130 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 248.0680 Hungry Howie’s (2 locations) 1105 Southview Ln | South Tuscaloosa // 345.6000 1844 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.2633 1211 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa | The Strip // 366.1500 4851 Rice Mine Rd | Northriver/Holt // 345.3737 Lenny’s Sub Shop 220 15th St // 752.7450 Fax: 752.7481 // Little Caesars Pizza 1414 10th Ave // 366.2220 Little Italy 1130 University Blvd. // 345.4354 Mellow Mushroom 2230 University Blvd | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 758.0112 Subs n' You 2427 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.758.0088 Roly Poly Sandwiches 2300 4th Street | Tuscaloosa // 366.1222 The Pita Pit 1207 University Blvd | The Strip // 345.9606 Hours: Mon–Sat 10:30 a.m. - 3:00 a.m. | Sun 11:30 a.m. - midnight Pizza Palace Buffet 6521 Alabama 69 Tuscaloosa, AL 35405 752.5444

Manna Grocery & Deli 2300 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 752.9955 McAlister’s Deli (2 locations) 101 15th St | Tuscaloosa // 758.0039 3021 Tyler Dr | Northport // 330.7940 Sandwiches, salads and spuds Momma Goldberg’s Deli 409 23rd Ave // 345.5501 Newk's 205 University Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 758.2455 Schlotsky’s Deli 405 15th St. E // 759.1975 Which Wich University Blvd.// Downtown Tuscaloosa // Mon – Sat 10:30 – 9 // Sunday 11 – 7 // Fun atmosphere,fresh ingredients, great sandwiches. 764.1673

COFFEE SHOP Barnes & Noble 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa 349.6366 Chloe's Cup 2117 University Blvd.| Tuscaloosa // 764.0218 Crimson Cafe International Coffee House & Gourmet Deli 1301 University Blvd | The Strip // 750.0203 Mon–Fri 7 a.m. - 11 p.m. | Sat & Sun 8 a.m. - 11 p.m. Five Java Coffee, fresh juices, smoothies and treats from Mary's Cakes. Open Monday - Saturday at 7am; 9am on Sundays Heritage House 18 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 758.0042 Krispy Kreme Doughnut 1400 McFarland Blvd // 758.6913 Starbucks (2 locations) 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 343.2468 1901 13th Ave East | inside Super Target // 462.1064

DESSERTS Celebrations Bakery, Inc. 1832 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 339.3221 Fax: 349.1945 Cold Stone Creamery 1130 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa //343.1670 Specializes in customized ice cream Hours: Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Sun 12 p.m. - 10 p.m. Mary's Cakes & Pastries 412 22nd Avenue | behind Opus | Northport // 345.8610 Mon–Fri 8 a.m. - 6 p.m. | Sat 8 a.m. - 3 p.m. Smoothie King (2 locations) 415 15th Street | Tuscaloosa // 349.1721 Fax: 349.1945 1403 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 462.3664 Sweet CeCe's Frozen yogurt Treats 2217 University Blvd. | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 561.6458 A fun and friendly make your own creation, yogurt experience! TCBY (3 Locations) 2304 Mcfarland Blbd | Meadowbrook Shopping Center // 349.4661 // 2 Mcfarland Blvd | Northport | Essex Shopping Center // 758.6855 // 1130 Univ. Blvd. | The Strip // 345.0804 Yogurt In Love Patriot Center 7402 Highway 69 South Phone Number: 764.9173 Fax Number: 764.9228 Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m. Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-10 pm. . Yogurt Lab 920 Paul W. Bryant Dr Ste 200 | Tuscaloosa // 347.9522 Yogurt Mountain 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 342.1484 Self-serve frozen yogurt experience Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - midnight

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

>>> F I L M | V A N R O B E R T S


4 ou t of 4

“Captain America: The Winter Soldier” gives super-hero sequels a good name. Not only is this $170 million blockbuster far better than its superb ‘origins’ predecessor, but it also is a real game-changer for the Marvel Universe. Former “Fantastic Four” actor Chris Evans reprises the title role as Steve Rogers, a 90-pound weakling turned 240-pound heavyweight, whose exploits inspired millions in World War II. Remember Rogers spent about 70 years in suspended animation in an iceberg after he contributed to the defeat the Nazis as well as Hydra. Rogers maintains his sense of honor, or naivety, throughout all his trials and tribulations. Evans makes his old-fashioned, nice-guy antics appear both convincing and charming. Meaning, Captain America remains essentially a goody-two-shoes-bachelor with-a-shield. Our hero takes a licking but keeps on ticking despite whatever adversaries he tangles with in the second, in-nameonly theatrical “Captain America” feature. Co-directors Anthony and Joe Russo of “You, Me and Dupree” let the action coast occasionally in this larger-than-life, two-hour-and-sixteen minute melodrama, but the combat scenes are staged with so much kinetic artistry that you will teeter on the edge of your seat during them. Everything is still appropriately formulaic but entirely outlandish in the gravity-defying Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely screenplay that puts our hero early and often behind the eight ball. My favorite close-quarters combat encounter occurs in the elevator with our hero cornered and outnumbered. Later scraps on the three Helicarriers emerge as no less electrifying. Predictably, everything is business as usual, but the Russo brothers and their scribes provide enough twists and turns to keep you interested in this noisy nonsense. Mind you, one or two things won’t register as total surprises because you know some characters cannot perish. Nevertheless, if you enjoyed the first “Captain America” with Chris Evans, you will probably love the second one as much if not more! In terms of a chronological timeline, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”

takes place two years after the cataclysmic New York showdown, but the action itself covers only three days. Steve Rogers/Captain America (Chris Evans) hasn’t totally acclimated himself to the 21st century, but he refuses to let it interfere with his duty. While jogging around Washington, D.C., the fleetfooted Rogers befriends congenial Air Force flyboy Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie of “Notorious”) who counsels veterans suffering from PTSD at the VA Hospital. No sooner have they gotten acquainted than Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson of “The Avengers”) rolls up to whisk Rogers off onto his next dangerous mission. Later, Sam Wilson joins Rogers in his capacity as the winged hero Falcon. The first major action scene in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” is designed to show how extraordinary our eponymous hero is under fire but also how vulnerable he remains. Terrorists have stormed a S.H.I.E.L.D. surveillance ship, and they are issuing outrageous demands for the release of the hostages. Actually, this predicament reminded me of the first mission that Stallone and company embarked on in the initial “Expendables” epic. Mind you, Captain America and his trusty boomerang shield clear the perimeter so Black Widow and Brock Rumlow (Frank Grillo of “End of Watch”) can free the hostages and settle with the terrorists. However, more than meets the eye occurs during this seemingly simple mission, and Captain America confronts his superior, S.H.I.E.L.D. Director Nicholas Fury (Samuel L. Jackson of “Pulp Fiction”), about Black Widow’s cyber-exploit. No sooner have Rogers and Fury fussed at each other at the sprawling new island headquarters of S.H.I.E.L.D. than Fury briefs Rogers about the next best thing. Project Insight will link three Helicarriers via spy satellites and to eradicate preemptively any threats either domestic or otherwise. Naturally, Captain America doesn’t like Insight. If he is shocked that things have changed so much that such a measure must be taken, he is even more shocked later when Fury shows up at his apartment with blood on his hands and an assassin lurking nearby. Of course, D.C. Police are nowhere to be found when these

imposters do everything except blast holes in either the engine block or the tires of his fortified SUV during a tense auto chase through D.C. streets. If this weren’t enough for Captain America, he must go toe-to-toe with a mysterious combatant with a “Six Million Dollar Man” arm to save the day. “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” makes several references to the previous film that strengthens its bond with it. We get a glimpse of the girl that Steve loved and we watch as Steve’s best friend, Bucky Barnes, contends with amnesia. The filmmakers not only bring us up to date about Bucky, but also we lern more about renegade enemy scientist Dr. Arnim Zola who collaborated with the Red Skull in the first “Captain America.” Furthermore, Zola opts to become a ‘ghost-in-the machine’ like Johnny Depp in “Transcendence.” The Russos and their writers keep hurling obstacles into Captain America’s path, and our hero doesn’t have an easy time conquering the villains. Anthony Mackie gets to play the first African-American Marvel super hero, and he attacks the role with relish. He wears a sophisticated set of mechanical wings that enable him to fly and perform far-fetched feats. Scarlett Johansson is just as tough and sexy as she was in “The Avengers.”

Meanwhile, the best special effect in this special effects extravaganza isn’t a special effect. Actor Robert Redford proves computer graphics stand no chance against the real thing. Redford qualifies as the most distinguished silver-screen good guy to cavort in such a dastardly manner since Henry Fonda in Sergio Leone’s western “Once Upon A Time in the West.” If you’ve never seen Redford in action, you owe it to yourself to check him out. By his presence alone, Redford makes this action-adventure opus into a memorable experience. Let’s hope that Marvel Studios can keep up with good work with the forthcoming “Avengers: Age of Ultron” in 2015.

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS





Photos: Jerome Adams

Payne L ake in the Oakmulgee Division of the Talledega National Forest offers several opportunities for recreation not far from Tuscaloosa and the cost is low. It is less than 30 miles from town and easy to find. Travel south on Highway 69 to Moundville and turn left at the town's only traffic light onto County Road 50. Follow the signs. However, the next to last turn which is onto Highway 25 is not marked well, so turn right. The last turn is in about a mile onto the Payne Lake entrance road and well marked. Day use and camping, either rustic, improved tent, or RV(7 sites), is offered. The entrance road divides into east side and west side but does not circle the lake entirely. For day use, the current fee is $3 per vehicle and an honor system is used. A list of types of uses and fees is posted at the gate house. Envelopes are at the


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kiosk for payment and a large yellow pipe with a slit cut into the side receives the completed registration and money. Information about the use of the park and regulations is posted. Park users are strongly encouraged to be mindful of nature and to be conscientious and courteous users of all the facilities. The entrance road splits and turning to the right (east) a visitor wound find a very attractive picnic/day use area. Some features are a covered shed with tables and benches, several grills near tables in the open part, and a picturesque view of Payne Lake. Across the road is a rest-

room facility. If one were to continue, fishing spots would be noticed and a boat launch is also nearby. The road divides and leads either to the marked off swimming area or by numerous rustic camping spots. In one area the road circles a restroom and has many rustic camp spots near one another suitable for group camping such as Boy Scouts do. Not turning off the entrance road (west side of lake), one could find other features of the park. Shortly, a small pond is found to the left and a covered picnic facility a short distance up a rather


steep hill. Fortunately, there are steps constructed of local stone leading to the shed. As the road continues, it winds along the contour of the lake and leads to the RV and improved camp sites where only those camped at those sites may enter. At the end of the entrance road is a marked and improved nature trail for those who enjoy hiking in a watery environment. An area is marked off for parking and a kiosk shows a map of the trail that leads through a swamp ecosystem and then onto higher ground. A board walk is provided over the watery areas. Some paths lead in a circle and others give short cuts. Any hiker is advised to watch where he/she steps! Payne Lake offers a facility only a short distance away along a scenic country drive. Costs are very moderate. There is never a large crowd at the park. It is safe and maintained by a host (park employee) who collects trash and does other tasks to keep the park clean and running. National Forest Rangers patrol to maintain order and enforce payment of fees. Large and plentiful trees offer ample shade for campers and day use visitors. Picnic tables and grills are plentiful. Explore Alabama and visit Payne Lake in the Oakmulgee Division of the Talledega National Forest. It provides for a peaceful and aesthetically adventure in a natural environment and a chance to enjoy a very positive aspect of our state.

>>> A R T | S TA FF R E P O R T

CLAY DAYS // KENTUCK'S EDUCATIONAL SUMMER SERIES FOR CHILDREN / ADULTS pieces. This is a freedom of expression opportunity for students at a beginner or novice level. June 14, 15, 21, & 22; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Cost: $200/co-op member, $250/non-member.

Students of all ages will have the opportunity to learn and fine tune their ceramic craft skills at the Kentuck Art Center's Clay Place. All class supplies are included. Kentuck members receive a 10% discount on Clay Days' tuition. Registration began on April 29th. For prices, dates and other information, please go to, email or call 758.1257. Hand Building with Hayes Dobbins This is a fun clay class for children to create one of a kind ceramics. This class will teach the students hand building techniques and color application using slips and under-glazes. Freedom of creativity is emphasized, and each child will work on three projects during the course. Hand

Building with Hayes will be separated into two class groups. One group will be designated for children ages 6 to 8 and the second group for children ages 9 to 12. Cost for the class is $95. June 3, 4, & 5; 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Ages: 6-8. July 8, 9, & 10; 9 a.m – 11a.m. Ages: 6-8. June 17, 18, & 19; 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Ages: 9-12. July 22, 23, & 24; 9 a.m. – 11 a.m. Ages: 9-12. Raku: Freedom of Expression with Daniel Livingston Explore the 500 year old Japanese rapid-firing process of ceramic-ware with the well-known Raku ceramicist, Daniel Livingston. Students will spend the first two days getting creative by designing and making pieces. The following two days will be spent glazing and firing the

Glazing Made Easy: Workshop & Lecture with Daniel Livingston This lecture class and workshop will cover basic glazing techniques while focusing on understanding glazing materials. Students will discuss formulation and application of glaze materials. Livingston will demystify the art of glazing by giving students more confidence in their own abilities. June 28 and August 2; 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Cost: $15/co-op member, $25/nonmember.

p.m. – 3 p.m. Cost: $115/co-op member, $125/non-member. Introduction to Wheel Throwing with Fred Mitchell Students will have the opportunity to learn basic ceramic throwing skills by designing three basic shapes, which includes a bowl, cylinder and plate. After creating these basic pieces, students will trim, decorate, and glaze their works leaving them with their own finished products to take home. June 10, 11, & 12; 4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Cost: $125/co-op member, $150/non-member.

Introduction to Sculpting with Lee Busby This course is a two-day introductory sculpting course that will cover the basics of sculpting the human head, face and neck. Day one will focus on setting up an armature, and laying out the key masses, volume and proportions of a human head. Day two will move into the addition of detailing the bone structure, facial features, hair and texture. This is sure to be a fun and memorable experience. May 27 & 28; 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., 1


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NOTE: All events listed here have phone numbers in the 205 area code unless otherwise indicated.


WESTWOOD SINGERS, ROCK AND ROLL FOREVER WHEN: 7 p.m. COST: $5 adult, $1 child WHERE: Bama Theatre PHONE: 342.2666 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Kicking off the Arts Council of Tuscaloosa’s Westwood Art Month, the 9th Annual Musical Extravaganza will feature a history of rock and roll from Elvis to the Beach Boys. The Westwood Singers II will also perform some Disney songs as part of the month-long exhibition of Westwood Elementary’s talents. KENTUCK ART NIGHT WHEN: 5 – 8 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Kentuck Art Center, 503 Main Ave., historic downtown Northport PHONE: 758.1257 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Join Kentuck to celebrate the opening of Sara Johnson’s ‘Illuminate’ exhibit with pizza and music from Angela and the Able Brothers. Check out Kentuck co-cop members and visit the studios of resident artists.


ALABAMA BASEBALL VS FLORIDA WHEN: 6:35 p.m. COST: $8 adult, $5 under 18 WHERE: Sewell-Thomas Stadium, 1201 Coliseum Circle PHONE: 348.2262 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Watch Alabama face off against the Gators on the baseball diamond in the new and improved Sewell-Thomas Stadium. This is the last conference the Tide will play this season, finishing with a Tuesday game against the Jacksonville Gamecocks, so take the last chance to come out and show your support. WORDS CARRY DISTANCES TO YOU EXHIBIT WHEN: 5 – 8 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Dinah Washington CAC, 620 Greensboro Ave. PHONE: 758.5195 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Elizabeth Watson’s work with letterpress, handmade paper and bookbinding combined with text from poet M.C. Richards will all be on display at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center through Friday, May 23. Watson is an MFA candidate in the Book Arts program at the University of Alabama.


SIPS N STOGIES WHEN: 4:30 – 6:30 p.m. COST: $20 WHERE: Southern Ale House, 1530 McFarland Blvd. PHONE: 248.7500 LINK: DESCRIPTION: The Junior League of Tuscaloosa is holding its annual “Sips n’ Stogies” event at the Southern Ale House. For a $20 donation, anyone can try 4


MAY 1 + MAY 15

beers and 4 wines and enjoy the company of the Junior League in support of volunteerism and the potential of women.


5th STREET VINTAGE MARKET WHEN: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: 4150 5th Street, Northport PHONE: 345.4763 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Find vintage clothing, furniture and records at West Alabama’s only all vintage day market. Visit dozens of dealers from the region who specialize in vintage merchandise, curated by This Ol’ Thing Vintage, Grace Aberdean Habitat Alchemy and DJ Tom Kat Kitten. Concessions sold on site.


BEGINNER’S BIKE RIDE WHEN: 5:45 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Munny Sokol Park, 6198 Watermelon Rd. PHONE: 562.3220 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Get into mountain biking this Spring, even with no prior experience. West Alabama Mountain Biking Association encourages ever yone to come out to Sokol Park and join the beginner’s’ group that ride out weekly on Monday evenings. MUSEUM MONDAYS WHEN: 3:45 – 5 p.m. COST: $9 WHERE: Smith Hall, 427 6th Ave. PHONE: 348.7550 LINK: DESCRIPTION: K-5th grade explorers are invited to the Alabama Museum of Natural histor y to stomp around with dinosaurs, unear th rocks and minerals and discover a host of other natural wonders. Drop offs begin at 3:45 and pickup is by 5:15. Snacks are provided.


>>> PET PLANET | T H I S M O N T H ' S P E T S

IT'S ARLO AND MADDIE // LOVE AND FUN PERSONIFIED This handsome young man is Arlo, a long-haired yearold male Tuxedo cat who’s all dressed up with nowhere to go! Arlo is very friendly; he is easygoing and loves everyone he meets! He is very affectionate and loves to cuddle, but also has a playful side. Arlo socializes easily with other cats and is called “Mr. Popular” by his HSWA caretakers; he sometimes even rolls around and play-wrestles with the other cats. Given his fun-loving nature, Arlo might be a bit too rough for very small children, but should do well around kids ages seven and up, or those who are used to being around cats. He would likely be fine around a small cat-friendly dog, but he is not recommended for a family with larger canine pets. Arlo is negative for FIV and FeLK, current on vaccinations, and neutered. If you are interested in giving Arlo the forever home he wants and deserves, visit the West Alabama Humane Society at or call us at 554.0011. M addie is a one-to twoyear-old female Corgi/Terrier mix with the head and long body of a Corgi and a pretty reddish coat with white markings. She is medium in size, weighing 22 pounds in full adulthood. Maddie is fun, social and energetic. She loves to be around people. She likes to play and would make a wonderful family pet. She seems to get along well with other dogs and should be fine around children. She will require a fenced yard if left outside unattended, though she likes to be indoors with her human companions and would not do well to be an outside-only dog. Maddie has started her crate training. She is up to date on her vet care, spayed, heartworm negative and is micro chipped. She is on heartworm and flea/tick prevention. Maddie is just a great all-around dog waiting for that loving home to come her way. If you are interested in giving Maddie the forever home she wants and deserves just before the holidays, visit the West Alabama Humane Society athumanesocietyofwa. org or call us at 554.0011.

BOOK DISCUSSION: THE BARTENDER’S TALE WHEN: 6:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Brown Library, 300 Bobby Miller Pkwy. PHONE: 391.9989 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Ivan Doig’s tale of a precocious boy, a unique father and their transformational summer has received rave reviews since its publication in 2012. Come together at the Tuscaloosa Public Library Brown Branch to discuss with other readers and catch up on what’s new at the library.


TIPS FOR TUSCALOOSA WHEN: 6 – 9 p.m. COST: $20 suggested WHERE: Billy’s Sports Grill, 430 Main Ave., historic downtown Northport PHONE: 879.2238 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Comes see musicians

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>>> E V E N T | J E S S I K A W H IT E


Tickets are now available for the second annual West Alabama Food and Wine Festival, which will be held Thursday, May 8, 2014, at the Cypress Inn Pavilion. The event will highlight local food and drinks while supporting the West Alabama community. The event is a great opportunity to sample signature cuisine of West Alabama restaurants, all while supporting the American Red Cross of West Alabama. “We are excited to bring back the

festival for a second year,” said Peter Schmidt, Hotel Capstone director of food and beverage, who spearheaded the development of the festival. “We got great feedback about last year’s event and will have even more restaurants for guests to try. Where else in Tuscaloosa can you sample specialties from multiple area restaurants, taste local beer, and try new wines all in one evening?” The festival will be held at the Cypress Inn Pavilion on Thursday, May 8, from 6:30 until 9 p.m. A limited number of tickets are now available from the American Red Cross West Alabama Chapter, Hudson-Poole Jewelers and Spirits Wine Cellar at the Shops of Lake Tuscaloosa. Tickets can also be bought online at Tickets are $55 each or $100 per couple and must be purchased in advance. Admission includes a 2014 souvenir wine glass. All proceeds will benefit the American Red Cross West Alabama Chapter’s disaster relief services. Guests will be able to savor the flavor by tasting food from Cypress Inn, DePalma’s Italian Café, Jim ‘N Nick’s, Epiphany, Evangeline’s, Hotel Capstone, Kozy’s Restaurant, La Casa Crimson, Mary’s Cakes and Pastries, Taziki’s Mediterranean Café, Tin Top Restaurant and Oyster Bar, Walnut Hill Designs and Wintzell’s Oyster House. Spirits Wine Cellar will provide wine pairings from Alabama Crown, Grassroots Wines, International Wines, MBC United/ Johnson Brothers and Pinnacle Imports. Druid City Brewery will offer beer. The festival has already seen support from the West Alabama community through sponsorships. Presenting sponsors are BF Goodrich Tires, Townsend Automotive Group and The Tuscaloosa News. Additional sponsors are the Cypress Inn Pavilion, Hudson-Poole Jewelers, Sanford Restaurant Equipment, Special Events: A Game Day Tents Company and Spirits Wine Cellar. For ticket information and additional details, go to

>>> EVENTS CALENDAR | Hope Cassity, Victoria Camp, Brian Futch, John Miller and more at Billy’s Sports Grill, a Northport favorite for their awardwinning wings. Proceeds benefit the Tuscaloosa Preservation Society, and all ages are welcome. WATERCOLOR PAINTING CLASS WHEN: 10 a.m. beginner, 1 p.m. advanced COST: $75/ session WHERE: Phelps Center, 2200 Rock Quarry Dr. PHONE: 562.3230 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Pick up a paintbrush and bring out the artist in you! Learn how to paint with watercolors with the help of an award-winning instructor and a step-bystep method that will soon have you painting as if you had talent.


DESSERT THEATRE AND SILENT AUCTION WHEN: 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. COST: $10 WHERE: University Church of Christ PHONE: 344.3775 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Enjoy yummy desserts and coffee from local bakeries and be entertained by the current and past actors of Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre. Auction begins at 5:30 and the actors will take you “Through the Years with TCT” starting at 6:30. Final bidding during intermission. UPDATE ON BRYCE HOSPITAL, LECTURE WHEN: 5:15 – 6:30 p.m. COST: $5 WHERE: Battle Friedman House, 1010 Greensboro Ave. PHONE: 758.6138 LINK: DESCRIPTION: As part of the Sundown Lecture Series sponsored by the Tuscaloosa Preservation Society, historian Steve Davis shares his knowledge of this monument to the history of health care. Here what he has to say about preserving Bryce Hospital at the Battle-Friedman House. Light refreshments will be served at 5:15 and the lecture will start at 5:45


land Hall PHONE: 348.1890 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Friday is the last day to see the abstract paintings of Katherine Bradford at the Sarah Moody Gallery of Art on the UA campus. Bradford’s work is in collections at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum in New York.


PUPPET PLAYHOUSE WHEN: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. COST: $9 WHERE: 2213 University Blvd. PHONE: 349.4235 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Join the Children’s Hands-On Museum for a day of puppet activities, from making your own puppets to putting on a show. Watch Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf or Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals with the whole family. All activities covered by the cost of admission. WEST ALABAMA QUILTER’S GUILD WHEN: 8:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. COST: Free WHERE: Department of Transportation, 1000 28th Ave. PHONE: 248.5800 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Visit the West Alabama Quilters’ Guild monthly meeting to share your love of quilts or find out more about the craft. View a demonstration, show off what you’ve been working on or just enjoy snacks with WAQG members.


ALABAMA BASEBALL VS MISSISSIPPI STATE WHEN: 6:05 p.m. COST: $8 adult, $5 under 18 WHERE: Sewell-Thomas Stadium, 1201 Coliseum Circle PHONE: 348.2262 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Watch Alabama face off against the Bulldogs on the baseball diamond in the new and improved SewellThomas Stadium. The Thursday game is part of the Tide’s last conference of the season, so take the last chance to show your support.

BOOK DISCUSSION: 12 YEARS A SLAVE WHEN: 5:30 p.m. COST: Free WHERE: Weaver Bolden Library, 2522 Lanier Avenue PHONE: 758.8291 LINK: DESCRIPTION: Read Solomon Northup’s account recently made into Oscar-winning film of the same name. Discussion will be held at the Weaver Bolden Branch of Tuscaloosa Public Library.



>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

MAY 1 + MAY 15





MONTGOMERY Souled Out, Life Lounge


ATLANTA Lana Del Ray, Tabernacle NASHVILLE Elephant Revival, 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill NASHVILLE John Legend, Saenger Theater


HUNTSVILLE Black Jacket Symphony, Von Braun Concert Hall Sugar Lime Blue, Arezzo’s Kozmic Mama, Lee Ann’s MONTGOMERY Adam Hood, War Eagle Supper Club

ATLANTA Arcade Fire, Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood Mogwai, Center Stage NEW ORLEANS Gov’t Mule, Saenger Theater Buddy Guy, House of Blues

NEW ORLEANS Drive By Truckers, The Civic Theater Keller Williams, Maison de Musique NASHVILLE Ben Folds Project, Andrew Jackson Hall

MONTGOMERY Bridge to Grace, Rock Bottom HUNTSVILLE Doobie Brothers, Von Braun Concert Hall



BIRMINGHAM Jason Aldean w/ Florida Georgia Line, Oak Mountain Amphitheatre Jason Isbell, The Alabama Theatre Gravy, Zydeco

HUNTSVILLE Husky Burnette, Daddy Billy’s

MONTGOMERY Doobie Brothers, Performing Arts Center Southern Fried Funk, War Eagle Supper Club Guts for Glory, Head on the Door

ATLANTA Grouplove, Tabernacle You Me at Six, The Masquerade

NASHVILLE Band of Skulls, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom All for the Hall, Bridgestone Arena Million Dollar Quartet, Andrew Jackson Hall NEW ORLEANS Il Divo, Saenger Theater

HUNTSVILLE Sykosis, Sidetracked

ATLANTA The Dillinger Escape Plan, The Masquerade The Wanted, Tabernacle Iggy Azalea, Center Stage NASHVILLE Blue October, Exit In Wild Belle, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom


ATLANTA James Blunt, Center Stage Beats Antique, The Buckhead Theater

NASHVILLE Neon Trees, Ryman Auditorium Stu Larsen, High Watt


MONTGOMERY Zoogma, Riverwalk Amphitheatre Gone 2morrow, Blue Iguana

ATLANTA Jaheim, Atlanta Civic Center Mike Epps, Fabulous Fox Theater Tokyo Police Club, The Masquerade


MONTGOMERY James Armstrong, Capitol Oyster Bar ATLANTA Bill Cosby, Macon City Auditorium Combichrist, The Masquerade

Acoustic Café 2758 County Hwy 9 205.647.3237

Fox Theatre 660 Peachtree St NE 404.881.2100

Moe’s Original BBQ 6423 Park Dr 251.625.7427

Amphitheater at the Wharf 23101 Canal Rd 251.224.1020

The Hangout 251.948.3030

Bridgestone Arena 501 Broadway 615.770.2000

Marathon Music Works 1402 Clinton St 615.891.1781

Montgomery Performing Arts Center 201 Tallapoosa St 334.481.5100

Centennial Olympic Park 265 Park Ave W NW 404.223.4412

Minglewood Hall 1555 Madison Ave 901.312.6058

MAY 1 + MAY 15

BIRMINGHAM Primus, Iron City

NEW ORLEANS John Prine, The Civic Theater

>>> R OA D T R I P D I R E C T O RY Travel the South's best venues. Visit their website for ticket info and more.


MONDAY, MAY 12 ATLANTA Chromeo, Variety Playhouse

HUNTSVILLE Jason Isbell, Von Braun Concert Hall

BIRMINGHAM I See Stars, Zydeco Earl Sweatshirt, Iron City

NEW ORLEANS Spoon, The Civic Theater MODEST MOUSE Bobby V, Howlin’ Wolf // NNEW ORLEANS // MAY 12

ATLANTA Ledisi, Chastain Park Amphitheatre

NASHVILLE A Prairie Home Companion, Ryman Auditorium


BIRMINGHAM Lady Antebellum, Oak Mountain Amphitheatre Tony Joe White, WorkPlay Theatre

HUNTSVILLE Deray Davis, Von Braun Concert Hall


BIRMINGHAM M. Ward, Iron City

NASHVILLE Jessica Lea Mayfield, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom

MONTGOMERY Goldy Locks, Blue Iguana Rollin’ in the Hay, Southern Trails Inc.

BIRMINGHAM Sir Mix-a-Lot, Zydeco

ATLANTA Vampire Weekend, Fabulous Fox Theater


NEW ORLEANS The Ghost of a Sabre Tooth Tiger, One Eyed Jacks

NEW ORLEANS Ghost, The Civic Theater

NASHVILLE The Dandy Warhols, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom

BIRMINGHAM Eric Clapton, Oak Mountain Amphitheatre Black Label Society, Iron City

saturday, MAY 3


Sandi Thom, Andrew Jackson Hall

205.324.1911 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre 2200 Encore Pkwy 404.733.5010 Von Braun Center 700 Monroe St SW 256.551.2345

The Nick 2514 10th Ave S 205.252.3831

WorkPlay 500 23rd St S 205.380.4082

Sloss Furnaces 20 32nd St N

Zydeco 2001 15th Ave S 205.933.1032


NEW ORLEANS Modest Mouse, The Civic Theater


BIRMINGHAM Pennington Station, Zydeco

NEW ORLEANS Johny Hallyday, House of Blues


NASHVILLE Schlomo, Mercy Lounge/Cannery Ballroom


ATLANTA Tegan and Sara, The Buckhead Theater BIRMINGHAM Zoso, WorkPlay Theatre Charlie Muncaster, Zydeco NASHVILLE Aziz Ansari, Andrew Jackson Hall









Ms. Johnny & the Jammers, Mike's Place


Chad Wesley Band, Rhythm & Brews Sean Rivers Band, Rounders Plato Jones, Innisfree Handshake Promise, Big Al's Swift Kick, Mike's Place Next Two Tracks, Green Bar

Mojo Trio, Rhythm & Brews Soul Tide, Mike's Place


Admiral Snackbar, Gray Lady

Follow Apollo, Green Bar Elnora Spencer Blues Show, Mike's Place DJ Spinzz/Soul Marinade, Rounders Cooter Brown, Rhythm & Brews



Open Mic with Ham Bagby, Green Bar



DJ Spinzz/The Divines, Rounders Soul Tide, Innisfree Nothing Special, Mike's Place Farmers Daughter, Rhythm & Brews

J.K.Terrell, Rhythm & Brews Mack Brown, Mike's Place Knympho Knife, Green Bar


CBDB Duo, Gray Lady


Almost Kings, Rhythm & Brews Open Mic with Ham Bagby, Green Bar


Mike Battito, Innisfree Daniel Elias and Exotic Dangers, Green Bar Jason Miller, Rhythm & Brews Badstick, Mike's Place



Another Hero, Rhythm & Brews Brownie Night, Big Al's

>>> LO C A L B A R S 4th & 23rd

Buffalo Wild Wings // 523-0273

Gallettes // 758-2010

Jackie's Lounge // 758-9179

Rhythm & Brews // 750-2992

1831 // 331-4632

Capones // 248-0255

Gnemis Top Shelf Tavern // 343-0020

The Jupiter // 248-6611

Rounders // 345-4848

Alcove // 469-9110

Carpe Vino // 366-8444

Grey Lady // 469-9521

The Legacy // 345-4848

Bear Trap // 345-2766

Catch 22 // 344-9347

Harry's Bar // 331-4151

Mellow Mushroom // 758-0112

Big Al's // 759-9180

Copper Top // 343-6867

Houndstooth // 752-8444

Mike's Place // 764-0185

The Booth // 764-0557

Downtown Pub // 750-0008

Innisfree // 345-1199

Mugshots // 391-0572


MAY 1 + MAY 15


>>>S P O R T S R E V I E W | S T E P H E N S M IT H


Joe Namath and Coach Paul "Bear" Bryant.

Regardless of the program, it takes a lot to excel at the quarterback position in college football. Aside from tossing the pigskin, quarterbacks must demonstrate leadership on and off the field. Above all, winning is the most important aspect; especially in championship games. In its career, Alabama has had some of the best quarterbacks in the game. From Bryan “Bart” Starr to AJ McCarron, the Crimson Tide has managed to recruit quarterbacks that have achieved success. Though some have accomplished more than others, here is a list of the top 10 quarterbacks that have come through the Capstone: 10. Andrew Zow (1998-01) ▪ Zow was the definition of a warrior and a team player. ▪ He became the third freshman to start at Alabama since 1984. ▪ Despite splitting time with John David Phillips and Tyler Watts, Zow rescued and won many games for Alabama. ▪ Under Mike DuBose and Dennis Franchonie, Zow guided Alabama to three bowl seasons (1998: Music City Bowl, 1999: Orange Bowl, 2001: Independence Bowl) ▪ Zow’s freshman and senior seasons were his best. ▪ He passed for 1,969 yards and 11 touchdowns as freshman. Zow had 654 passing yards with six touchdown and two interceptions as a senior. ▪ In his tenure at Alabama, Zow guided the Tide to victory over Auburn in three of his four seasons. 9. Tyler Watts (1999-02) ▪ He doesn’t get a lot of credit, but Watts was a weapon for Alabama. ▪ As an option style quarterback, Watts totaled 1,128 yards rushing and nine touchdowns for his career. ▪ His aerial attack excelled in his junior and senior seasons. ▪ In 2001, Watts passed for 1,325 yards, 10 touchdowns and three interceptions. ▪In 2002, he completed 61.9 percent of his passes for 1,414 yards, seven touchdowns and four interceptions. ▪ Though he split time with Andrew Zow,


MAY 1 + MAY 15

Watts led Alabama to a 10-3 season in 2002. 8. John Parker Wilson (2005-08) ▪ Like Watts, Wilson didn’t get a lot of credit; however, he came through when Alabama needed him. ▪ Wilson entered Alabama when the Tide was under sanctions. ▪ His best passing seasons were in 2006 and 2007. ▪ As a sophomore, Wilson recorded 2,707 passing yards and 17 touchdowns. ▪ In his junior season, he had 2,846 passing yards and 18 touchdowns. ▪ Under Nick Saban, Wilson guided the Tide to an undefeated regular season in 2008. ▪ Wilson held every significant passing record in history (7,924 passing yards, 47 touchdowns). 7. Greg McElroy (2006-10) ▪ He was labeled a game manager, but he showed a lot of leadership and play making ability as a quarterback. ▪ His finest seasons passing were in 2009 and 2010. ▪ In 2009, McElroy completed 60.6 percent of his passes for 2,508 yards, 17 touchdowns and four interceptions. ▪ As a senior, he completed 70.9 percent of his passes for 2,987 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions. ▪ McElroy became the first quarterback to win a Southeastern Conference title and a national title in the Saban era at Alabama. ▪ He finished his career at Alabama posting a record of 24-3 as a starter. 6. Mike Shula (1984-86) ▪ He didn’t have the strongest arm and he wasn’t very mobile, but Shula was known for his guts and moxie as an Alabama quarterback. ▪ Under head coach Ray Perkins, Shula posted a career record of 34-11-1 as a starter. ▪ His best season passing was in 1985. ▪ As a sophomore, Shula completed 60.6 percent of his passes for 2,009 yards and 16 touchdowns. ▪ He led Alabama to victories in the Aloha Bowl and Sun Bowl. ▪ He led game-winning drives against Ohio State, Southern California and Notre Dame. ▪ Shula engineered last minute comeback victories against Georgia and Auburn

(1985). 5. AJ McCarron (2009-13) ▪ Like McElroy, McCarron was labeled as a game manager, but possessed the talents of being an effective quarterback. ▪ McCarron’s passing statistics improved each season he was under center. ▪ In 2011, McCarron completed 66.8 percent of his passes for 2,634 yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. ▪ His finest season through the air came in 2012. ▪ As a junior, McCarron completed 67.2 percent of his passes for 2,933 yards, 30 touchdowns and three interceptions. ▪ He passed for 3,063 yards, 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions as a senior. ▪ McCarron finished his career as Alabama’s passing record holder ( 9,019 yards passing, 77 touchdowns, 15 interceptions) ▪ He posted a 36-4 record as a starter. ▪ McCarron is the winningest quarterback in Tide history (two SEC titles, three BCS titles). ▪ He took home the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award and the Maxwell Award in 2013. ▪ McCarron finished second in the Heisman voting in 2013. 4. David Smith (1985-88) ▪ Under head coach Bill Curry, Smith didn’t come on strong until his senior season. ▪ As a senior, Smith guided the Tide to a No. 17 ranking in the polls (1988) ▪ Smith led Alabama to a 9-3 season and a Sun Bowl victory over Army 29-28. ▪ He completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 1,592 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior. 3. Walter Lewis (1980-83) ▪ Under coaches Paul Bryant and Ray Perkins, Lewis’s best season passing was in 1981. ▪ As a sophomore, he passed for 633 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions. ▪ In 1981, Lewis led the Tide to a 28-17 victory over Auburn. ▪ He guided Alabama to three bowl season in 1981-83 and posted win in the Liberty Bowl (21-15 against Illinois) and Sun Bowl (28-7 over No. 6 SMU) ▪ He was the first African-American to play for the Crimson Tide. ▪ Lewis was a dual threat quarterback. ▪ For his career, he totaled 1,442 yards rushing with 13 touchdowns. 2. Patrick “Pat” Trammell (1959-61) ▪ He was the first quarterback to begin the Bryant era. ▪ Trammell’s best season passing was in 1961. ▪ He recorded 1,035 passing yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions. ▪ He totaled 1,119 yards rushing with 15 touchdowns in his career. ▪ He posted a career record of 26-2-4 as a starter. ▪ He led Alabama to its first national title under Bryant in 1961. ▪ Trammell holds the career record for lowest interception percentage. He tossed just four interceptions in 225 pass attempts (1.8 percent).

1A. Kenneth “Ken” Stabler (1964-67) ▪ Stabler received little playing time, despite being on the 1964-65 championship teams. ▪ His finest passing season came in 1966. ▪ Stabler completed 64.9 percent of his passes for 956 yards, nine touchdowns and five interceptions. ▪ He led Alabama to an undefeated 11-0 season in 1966. The season was capped off with a 34-7 rout of Nebraska in the Sugar Bowl. ▪ Stabler will be ever remembered for his play against Auburn in the 1967 Iron Bowl. ▪ In rainy, muggy conditions, Stabler ran in the mud for a 53-yard touchdown to defeat the Tigers 7-3. The play lives on in Alabama’s Hall of Fame as the “Run in the Mud.” ▪ Stabler finished his career posting a 283-2 record as an Alabama quarterback. 1. Joseph “Joe” Namath (1962-64) • Namath was the second quarterback under Bryant. • His best passing seasons were in 1962 and 1964. • In 1962, Namath passed for 1,192 yards and 13 touchdowns. • In 1964, he completed 64.0 percent of his passes for 756 yards and five touchdowns. • He totaled 655 yards rushing in his career. • Namath guided Alabama to a national title in 1964. • He finished his career posting a 29-4 record as a starter. Honorable Mentions: Jay Barker, Gary Hollingsworth and Brodie Croyle. Under head coach Gene Stallings, Jay Barker played for Alabama from 199194. He led the Tide to an SEC title in 1992, defeating Florida 28-21. Alabama went onto win a national title in the same season, defeating Miami 34-13. Barker’s finest passing season was in 1994. He completed 61.5 percent of his passes for 1,996 yards, 14 touchdowns and five interceptions. Barker finished fifth in the Heisman voting in 1994 and finished his career recording a 35-2-1 record as a starter. Under head coach Bill Curry, Gary Hollingsworth led Alabama to a 10-2 season in 1989. The Tide became CoChampions of the SEC and appeared in the 1990 Sugar Bowl against Miami. Hollingsworth completed 60.5 percent of his passes for 2,379 yards and 14 touchdowns in 1989. Brodie Croyle battled knee injuries, but played well in his senior season. Under head coach Mike Shula, Croyle passed for 2,499 yards, 14 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2005. He led Alabama to a 10-2 season, a No.8 national ranking and a 13-10 victory over Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl Classic. Croyle was a finalist for the Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award. In conclusion, the Crimson Tide has had many successful quarterbacks. The lone this program and its fan base Corything Whitsett want for sure is that this trend continues.

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

>>> HIGH TIDE | G A R Y H A R R I S / W V U A S P O R T S D I R E C TO R


Dallas Warmack

Christian Bell announced on Wednesday afternoon that he was committed to Alabama, but the Hoover defensive end says he knew at the A-Day Game in Tuscaloosa that it was a done deal. "It came to me when I was down there," says the 6-4, 225-pound standout. "It wasn't just one thing. There were a lot of factors. The atmosphere was great. The intensity and the passion down there was great. "I liked everything I saw down there. I took my parents down there and they liked it. They were very comfortable. It just felt like home. "I have a good relationship with Coach Saban. It gets better every time we talk. I also like a Coach Cristobal. He recruited me. He's awesome. He's just friendly. I get along with him really well." Bell is tall and rangy with good speed. "I think my strength is me having a good pass rush," Bell says. "They want to use me at Jack linebacker. They want to use me just like they do here at Hoover. They want to move me around. I can stand up and cover, and I can put my hand down and rush. They move me all over the field in high school, and the Alabama coaches think they can do the same kind of things with me there." Bell says he's gained 10 pounds of muscle since last season. At A-Day, he measured at 6-4, 225 pounds. "I think when I get down there, I can play at 255-260 and keep my speed and quickness," Bell says. "They have a good strength program and

I think they will help me to get bigger and still keep my speed." Bell chose Alabama over offers from Louisville, Mississippi State, South Carolina and UCLA.

sippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas A&M. "When you show up and there's 80,000 people in the stands for a spring football game, that's a really strong selling point to the support and the expectations of the football program," says Brookhaven head coach Tommy Clopton. "I think Coach Burns and their staff have done a great job of recruiting, and I think Leo was excited about being there with those other guys who committed that day. I think all of it added up to him committing." "It surprised me when I got the news he committed," Clopton says. "It surprised Alabama. They were glad to get him, but I think it surprised everybody, because he had been very adamant that he was going to wait and let things play out until he felt comfortable. But he said that's just the way he felt on that day." With signing day almost 10 months away, the recruiting process is far from over. Every school that has offered Lewis will continue chasing him until the end. "I wouldn't expect anything less," Clopton says. "If I was in their shoes, I'd still come after him." So how solid is Lewis' commitment? "This far away from signing day, I think

it's very difficult to say," Clopton says. "I think Alabama has been one of his favorites from the first time we got the phone call from them. But these are still teenagers. A lot of things can happen in 10 months. But Leo is a guy you can trust. If he tells Alabama that he's coming to Alabama, then I think that's his intent right now. Does anything change over the next 10 months? I think only time will answer that." One thing for sure, Lewis would be a perfect fit in Alabama's defense. He's a big, strong, physical inside linebacker, and the Tide needs inside linebackers. "You look up 'inside linebacker' in the dictionary and it should have a picture of him," Clopton says. "He plays with great intensity. He's what you would want in a middle linebacker. He really is. We had physicals a few days ago and he was over 6-2 and weighed in at 228 pounds. "He's also a 'yes sir, no sir' kind of kid. He stays out of trouble, does all the right things outside of those white lines. But when he crosses the white lines, he has a different demeanor. Very aggressive. He's exciting to watch." "You don't get this much attention if you don't have talent," Clopton says. "He's worked hard to get where he is today."

LEO LEWIS His Commitment Was A Surprise Nobody expected Leo Lewis to commit to Alabama at the recent A-Day Game. Not his high school coach. Not Alabama's coaches. Not even Leo was expecting to commit. But the nation's top inside linebacker from Brookhaven, MS pulled the trigger for UA. The shot was heard around the SEC, as Lewis also has offers from Auburn, Arkansas, Florida, LSU, Missis-


>>> PLANETWEEKLY • tuscaloosa's SOURCE for entertainment, music, sports & THE ARTS

MAY 1 + MAY 15


>>> T H E F L AT S C R E E N | C A R A B R A K E


A current trend in the US is taking television shows based in the UK and recasting them with American actors. There are still shows from the United Kingdom that leak into the US and are enjoyed as they are. One of those shows is "My Mad Fat Diary", a true to life television series based on the life of Rae Earl when she was a 16 year old living in Lincolnshire. It’s a comedy show about teenaged Rae, played by Sharon Rooney, and her friends, relationships, and school life. The plot point that makes the show eye catching is that it shows Rae’s life the day she checks out of a mental hospital and how she adjusts to a “normal” life. The show is quite relatable as it shows Rae struggling with anxiety, depression and self harm, which are all problems that children, teenagers, and adults all deal with. Rae goes through a lot in her life after the hospital, and one of the primary sources of her feelings is her weight. Rae is a plus sized teenager, which is a rather common situation for most young adults. This piled on top of her other issues makes Rae feel rather unstable, and she struggles to feel grounded again. Thankfully, she meets up with her former best friend Chloe, played by Jodie Comer. They rekindle their friendship, and Rae meets Chloe’s new friends. They all become very close, but she hasn’t completely cut ties with the hospital. Along with her therapy sessions, she has two best friends in the institute, Tix and Danny. While Rae’s eating disorder stems from binge eating to cope with depression, we see the other side as Tix shows the backlashes of anorexia nervosa and the tolls it takes on mental and physical health. Now that she has her support system, she can try to deal with her slightly unsupportive, more than slightly unstable mother, portrayed by Claire Rushbrook. Rae’s father isn’t in the picture, and she has to adjust to her mother having met a man while she was in the hospital. It seems that her mother has developed a life without Rae, and fitting back into that life is a very hard thing to do with such a strained relationship. "My Mad Fat Diary" has a lot of very serious issues addressed as the viewer sees Rae try to work through her issues with the help of her friends and her therapist, Dr. Kester. The dark themes are balanced out by comedy as Rae narrates the show with witty commentary, as if she were reading her diary entries out loud. We hear Rae’s thoughts and feelings on situations, people and places. The show is not yet available on a US television channel, but is available online through Channel 4’s website. Season two is available for streaming, and season one is available for purchase on There has been no news of the show being renewed for a third season. The show is rated NC-17 for sexual content, strong language, violence, depictions and references to serious mental illnesses, and harassment.


MAY 1 + MAY 15



weekly o verv i ew



You might find yourself hosting an impromptu social event, Taurus, and more people could show up than you initially counted on. Don't worry about it, however. The party should be enjoyable for everyone even if the place is a bit crowded. Your visitors can look out for themselves. Among the unexpected guests might be an attractive, interesting person who could shape up to be a potential love partner. Relax and enjoy your day. A festival, rally, or other mass event could occur this week in Tuscaloosa, Gemini. It could center on a social, ecological, or political issue. You could well decide to attend in the company of a romantic partner, and perhaps a group of friends, too. This event could prove exciting for you, although some of what you learn there might be unsettling. Take a notebook and plenty of pens. You'll want to keep a record. Career matters should be going very well for you this week, Cancer. A sudden change regarding your work could catapult you into a position you've been hoping to reach for a long time. A rise in income could result. You've worked hard and done very well, so what may seem a lucky break to others is actually the result of intense, determined effort on your part. Enjoy your success and make the most of it.

A sudden desire to expand your horizons could have you and possibly a romantic partner considering returning to school, Leo, perhaps for an advanced degree. The school you're considering, however, might be located in another state or even a foreign country. Following through with your desire could require some careful planning. As a result, you and your beloved may have some intense conversations over the next few days. Some new ideas for expanding your horizons on some level could come to you this week through an unexpected source, Virgo, possibly even dreams or visions. If an idea does come through a dream or flash of insight, don't write it off as crazy. It probably warrants some careful consideration, if nothing else. Some research is definitely called for, and possibly consulting with people in the know. Think about it! Ideas for a new enterprise, which could be anything from a party to a vacation to a new business, could have you spending a lot of time on the phone this, Libra. You'll need to consult with people who know about what you want to do and at least lay the groundwork for making solid arrangements. Some of what you hear may be confusing, but don't be afraid to ask for an explanation. Go to it!

It's easy to play Sudoku! Simply fill every column, row and 3x3 box so they contain every number between 1 and 9. The game is easy to play but difficult to master! Solution Page 27

Have you been thinking about getting fit by investing in some exercise equipment? If so, Scorpio, this might be the week to actually go out and get it. Don't be surprised if friends, relatives, and neighbors all want to come over and try it out. Health and fitness are very much on your mind right now, so you might also want to pick up some books on whatever discipline interests you the most.

Your curiosity and creative energy may be stimulated this week by information you receive from books, documentaries, or conversations with people familiar with the field you're exploring. As a result, Sagittarius, you could come up with an innovative new project that keeps you and some colleagues busy for a long time. But don't worry - this enterprise should be full of surprises and therefore anything but tedious. Go to it! A female visitor could come to your door this week with some interesting, useful information, Capricorn. It might involve anything from stock market trends to a forthcoming wedding to occult and metaphysical matters. Whatever it is, you'll find it captivating, and might just sit and listen to your guest for quite a while. By the time she leaves, your mind may well be spinning. Take a walk to clear your head or you'll be awake all night. Today your relationships with just about everyone – friends, relatives, colleagues, and romantic partners – should be going very well, Aquarius. Your communication is good, and your ability to see the other person's point of view is clearer than usual. This might be a bit disconcerting, as it could conflict with your viewpoint, but bear in mind you don't have to agree with others to learn from them. Enjoy your day.

Relations with colleagues on the job could be very cooperative this week, Pisces, probably because you're about to complete a project of some kind that could result in higher income for everyone. Communication should be open and honest, and for once you'll probably be able to reach everyone you phone without having to leave any messages. Go with the flow and all should be completed successfully. Onward and upward!

Friendships and romantic bonds should provide a rich source of support and good companionship this week, Aries. Conversation is likely to be light, covering general matters like current events and the weather, but this might be just what you need right now. Someone could introduce you to some new friends from far away who have some intriguing news of their own. This should prove a light, restful, and altogether very pleasant day. Enjoy!


MAY 1 + MAY 15



Across 1. South Honshu city 5. Briefly Eva's, 1945 10. Froth 14. Sarcastic reply to an assurance 15. Pianist Chick with 14 Grammys 16. Badly 17. Astringent lotion 19. Stitching line 20. A Japanese, in America 21. "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'" musical 23. Cereal whose ads feature a "silly rabbit" 26. Attaches, as a rope 27. Horatio Alger book, e.g. 32. Table-talk collection 33. Bright star in Virgo 34. Low and Thomas 38. Walk unevenly 40. Salad days 42. Suds maker 43. Bygone Montreal ball club 45. Cav or Mav, e.g. 47. BlackBerry, e.g., in brief 48. Introduction in a Dr. Seuss book 51. Plummer of "Agnes of God" 54. Words of relativity 55. Vivaldi works 58. Zhou ___ 62. ___ - daisy 63. Present for a mom-to-be 66. Dread 67. Actor/dancer Gregory 68. Of the ears 69. To be given away 70. Inventory entry 71. Homebuilder's strip Down 1. Green fruit 2. Geisha's sashes


MAY 1 + MAY 15

3. "All ___ are off!" 4. "Blah, blah, blah..." 5. German "Oh!" 6. ___ number on (mess up) 7. Italian soup pasta 8. Onionlike vegetable 9. Start eating 10. Wide-angle lenses 11. Table spreads 12. Crockett's last stand, with "the" 13. "Dear friend!" 18. A&W rival 22. What snobs put on 24. 2002 Eddie Murphy espionage film 25. Hudson's were green 27. Reduced-price event 28. Widely used operating system 29. Kitschy 30. Dive among coral reefs, say 31. Japanese mat 35. Sun hat of India 36. "Mary ___ little..." 37. Meat in a mess 39. Former French political leader 41. Gas company famous for its toy trucks 44. Marquis de - 46. Olympic judge, for one 49. Actress Warfield of "Night Court" 50. Genghis Khan, e.g. 51. Singer Roy nicknamed "The King of Country Music" 52. Apathetic one 53. Looped vase handles 56. "___Magic Moment" (60's hit) 57. Certain atoms 59. ___ fire (started burning something) 60. Throw___ (rant) 61. Seven-year phenomenon 64. Infinitesimal 65. N.Y. time zone SOLUTION FOR PUZZLEMANIA CROSSWORD ON PAGE 27

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It appears that “Once Upon A Time” will stand alone as the only ABC show to play around with the tales and fables of old. ABC announced early April that it’s spinoff “Once Upon a Time in Wonderland” would not be renewed for an additional season. The spinoff, which was based off Lewis Carrol’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” was not seeing a very sustaining viewership in its looking glass. Though it had the prime time spot, the spinoff still did not receive as many viewers as the original series. In the usual fashion of “Once Upon A Time,” the spinoff takes the story of Alice in Wonderland and gives it a twist. Alice (played by Sophie Lowe) is no longer the naïve, inquisitive little girl who donned the blue and white dress. In this universe, she is now a woman being held in an English asylum due to her tales of traveling to a world of magical mushrooms and talking caterpillars. In Wonderland, she claims to have fallen in love with a genie named Cyrus (Peter Gadiot), and had a close encounter with a talking white rabbit (John Lithgow). After witnessing her beloved die, she vows never to return to the magical land. When the white rabbit returns to her world, he bears the news that Cyrus may still be alive. Along with Will Scarlett (Michael Socha), also known as the Knave of Hearts, Alice returns to Wonderland in hope of reuniting with her true love. While in Wonderland, they must steer clear of the ruthless Red Queen (Emma Rigby) and the mischievous sorcerer Jafar(Naveen Andrews) who both seek to use Cyrus’s wish-granting abilities. “Once Upon A Time in Wonderland” ran for 13 episodes. Why didn’t the show work? For one, Wonderland ventured off into unfamiliar territory. Unlike its counterpart, the spinoff did not utilize source material from Disney’s Hans Christian Anderson or the Brothers Grimm inspired animated films. Wonderland, instead,

focused on the works of Lewis Carroll, an author that formed his own mythology. The viewers apparently were not feeling it. Once Upon A Time gained its popularity because of familiar source content and, of course, strong writing. Viewers were more receptive to the popular fairy tales and myths of Snow White, Cinderella and Red Riding Hood. The elder show, also based a large majority of their characters off of their Disney counterparts; characters that most viewers could relate to or easily recall from their memories. Even though Disney popularized Caroll’s work, most viewers were not familiar with the mythology of Wonderland and simply did not find it interesting. Also, it was the competition between both series. “Once Upon A Time” had its loyal following on Sunday, leaving Thursday virtually untouched. According to Tvfinale. com, the season had a 1.0 in the 18-49 demographic. By the end of the series, it had an average viewership of 3.76 million. It is a rarity to have a show and a spinoff on the air together. When Fox’s “ The 70s Show” was in it’s fifth season, they tried to also release a show of the same nature titled “ That 80’s show”. It also met demise when it received low ratings and was cancelled after its their freshman season. Like Wonderland, the show only ran for 13 episodes. What lies next for the Once Upon A Time universe? They have covered Neverland, Agrabah and now the current season has visited Oz. Though, the portal to Wonderland has been permanently sealed there are still many realms that the show has not covered according to a source from Cue the original series: Even though Will Scarlett has made his final debut in Wonderland, the creators are not done with him just yet. Though “Once Upon A Time” has yet to be renewed for a fourth season, they have already added Socha to their roster. “Once Upon A Time” airs every Sunday at 8 p.m on ABC.

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MAY 1 + MAY 15



PEE WEE'S PLAY SUIT // I HAD ONE BEFORE HE DID After many decades of living, loving and getting by, I’ve come to the conclusion that everybody feels cool at least once in a lifetime — maybe even a few times in a lifetime for the lucky ones. Coolness is a state of mind, which means that you may feel cool to yourself, but you have no idea how you might look ridiculous — uncool — to others. There’s the time in my life when I owned and wore an exact replica of the Pee Wee Herman suit–you know, his trademark outfit–which consisted of this form-fitting neatly pressed narrow-lapeled suit complete with white dress shirt and bow tie. In my case, I wore the obligatory Mad Men thin necktie. Also, in my case, I wore black wing-tip dress shoes instead of Pee Wee’s white loafers. But in all other respects, I looked like Pee Wee Herman. I was skinny as a rail, still had my hair, wore hornrimmed glasses, and thought the coolest thing in the world was my then-fashionable suit. You might have guessed by now a couple of things: 1. This was back in the 1960′s, long before Paul Reubens had ever conceived of Pee Wee and his suit, so in essence, Pee Wee wore an exact duplicate of my suit, rather than the other way around. 2. This was the era of Mad Men, when we all smoked and drank and caroused too much, and had miles to go before we became enlightened about the wrongness of smoking and drinking and carousing too much. Anyhow, I worked as an on-air personality at Tuscaloosa’s fledgling television station, then known as WCFT-TV, Channel 33. I would snazz up in that suit, grab my loaded, hand-wound 16-millimeter movie camera, and go off to cover some news event, hoping to get back to the station in time to have Curtis Lake develop and edit the film while I wrote the story to go with it. Then, I’d get ready to host the daily live Noon broadcast interview show, called “This is the Show that Starts at Noon,” which remained on the air for four years. Back in those days, you could look cool while out in the public being recognized as a TV personality, but there was no way to be cool, once you got back to the station. At the station, you were just another employee, trying to keep your job, stay out of the way of the more hostile pointy-haired folks, and just having fun doing your job. It is thus with virtually all jobs: as long as you can concentrate on and perform the tasks you love, you’re happy. But office politics and office politicos will be working full-time trying to spoil it for you. Denial is your only weapon. Anyhow, for a few minutes at a time during those years at Channel 33, I could overcome my insecurities and self-doubts, don the Pee Wee suit, leave the station to cover a story or host a panel or judge a beauty contest or make a personal appearance, and just plain forget the other facts of life I had to put up with. The Pee Wee suit was my magic time machine, my way to beam up and away each time conflict threatened to douse me. It made me feel like somebody, even though I wasn’t. It made me feel stylish, even though I wasn’t. It gave me a few chuckles many years later, when I saw Pee Wee himself wearing that outfit and feeling like a million dollars. Wonder if Pee Wee found my suit at a thrift store ©2014 by Jim Reed


MAY 1 + MAY 15


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In the early 2000’s the largest summer music festivals took place in rural areas. Many of these have survived, including Bonnaroo, Wakarusa, Coachella and Electric Forest. However, as the decade turned, more festivals have sprung up in urban locations. This began with The Voodoo Experience taking up residency in New Orleans in 1999, but really gained momentum when the iconic Lollapalooza ended its run as a traveling festival and permanently stayed in Chicago. Others included Forecastle in Louisville, Made in America in New York, Ultra in Miami, and Beale Street Music Festival (part of Memphis in May). These festivals became popular due to their relative ease of travel and available lodging. Now the festival scene has made its way to the ATL as Shaky Knees Music Festival will take place at Atlanta Station May 9-11. Atlanta has long been a live music central for southeastern concert goers, rivaling traditional music cities Nashville and New Orleans. Venues like the Tabernacle, Masquerade and Variety Playhouse bring in some of the best touring acts in the country. Just down the road, the city of Athens has been home to many great artists such as REM, the B-52s and Widespread Panic. Shaky Knees looks to add to this city’s great music scene. The fun starts Friday, May 9th with headliners The National. An indie band from Cincinnati, The National are leaders in a movement that has seen alternative rock move back to a more indie direction after being mainstream throughout the 90’s and early 2000’s. Through record stores and festivals, bands such as Arcade Fire, Kings of Leon and Arctic Monkeys have found large audiences without using traditional venues for promotion. Alternative is the theme of the day, with Cage the Elephant, Gaslight Anthem, American Aquarium and Bright Light Social Hour. The day includes Celtic punk band Dropkick Murphys, famous for their sailing/drinking anthem “Shipping Off to Boston”. Spoon, The Airbourne Toxic Event, Man Man and Band of Skulls also highlight Friday at Shaky Knees. Probably the biggest group of the festival headlines Saturday night. Modest Mouse broke into the mainstream in the early 2000’s with the classic hit “Float On”, but they continued their career by making increasingly experimental albums that have garnered a loyal following. Also on Saturday, post-punk pioneers The Replacements will join Shaky Knees. Though they never achieved wild success, they were significant influences on future groups such as Green Day, the Goo Goo Dolls and They Might Be Giants. Portugal. The Man, Dawes and Cold War Kids also play on Shaky Knees’ Saturday lineup. Sunday’s headliner is our state’s own Alabama Shakes. In 2012, the band went from playing Egans to opening for Neil Young in under a year. Their success continues, showing how modern music fans are craving more blues-based rock in the modern scene. Alternative legends Violent Femmes also take the stage Sunday. So does rising stars Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes. Other Sunday bands of note include Trampled By Turtles, Local Natives, Iron and Wine, Jason Isbell, Deer Tick and the Hold Steady. Since the 1960’s, Atlanta has become the cultural and economic capital of the South, and its music scene reflects this development. Now, Atlanta has a world-class music festival to cement its reputation as a thriving musical center. Shaky Knees is only in its second year of operation, but it has already caught the attention of festival veterans nationwide. As Atlanta continues to grow, so too will the sounds coming from this large and diverse city.


MAY 1 + MAY 15



MAY 1 + MAY 15

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