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The ACT Presents

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe At The Bama Theatre

// IN THIS ISSUE >> UP-TO-DATE RESTAURANT LISTINGS ›› HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE ›› SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT ›› NORTH POLE CUPCAKES ›› BEER & WINE REVIEW ›› JUSTICE LEAGUE ›› LOCAL ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT >>> VISIT US ON THE WEB @ THEPLANETWEEKLY.COM

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W I L L I AM B A R SHOP

GRAPHIC DESIGNER EVE TEMONIA

EVENTS

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ROAD TRIP

T R E Y B R OOK S

RESTAURANT GUIDE DOC FRANKENSTEIN

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Images: Creative Common License unless otherwise credited.

9 BEER/WINE REVIEWS

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS REGINALD ALLEN R A I H A B A J WA WILLIAM BARSHOP CO U R T N E Y BLA N CH A R D K A I T LY N B LO U N T TREY BROOKS KELSEY CAMERON JORDAN CISSELL MARGIE GOLDSMITH SHEENA QUIZON GREGG GARY HARRIS C I N DY H U G G I N S KEVIN LEDGEWOOD ELIZABETH MOSELEY BRETT REID VA N R O B E R T S JON ROGERS RACHEL STEINER ALEJANDRA TENORIO

Planet Weekly P. O . B o x 2 3 1 5 Tuscaloosa, AL 35403 Phone: 205.792.7239 Email: publisher@theplanetweek ly.com Please direct correspondence to: publisher@theplanetweekly.com The Planet Weekly is a proud member of The West Alabama Chamber of Commerce. © 2015 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.

22 STORIES 4 HOLIDAY GIFT GUDE // ALAN SCULLEY

10 IN THE KITCHEN

RESTAURANT GUIDE

14 PET PLANET

“Box sets and deluxe album reissues make good gifts for music fans on your holiday shopping list, and 2017 brought more than a fair share of excellent releases. Here are my favorites.”

15 MOVIE REVIEWS

6 NORTH POLE CUPCAKES // RACHEL PAXTON

16 EVENTS

“These cupcakes are really easy to make and kids really like them. They are a fun, festive dessert to surprise your friends and family with during the holiday season.”

7 SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT // REGGIE ALLEN

“Filmmaker Spike Lee returns to his roots with She’s Gotta Have It, a ten-episode re-imagining of his 1986 debut feature film of the same name. Once marketed as a “seriously, sexy comedy”, the Lee joint recycles the story of Nola Darling, a carefree artist, attempting to juggle relationships with three different men.”

16 COMMUNITY ARTS // THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE

“Lucy Pevensie, along with her siblings Peter, Susan and Edmund, invite you to experience the enchanting land of Narnia, as The Actor’s Charitable Theatre (ACT) presents The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the historic Bama Theatre in downtown Tuscaloosa, December 15-18.”

22 LOCAL FEATURE // ELIZABETH MOSELEY

19 ROAD TRIP CONCERTS & EVENTS 20 PUZZLEMANIA / EDITORIAL CARTOON 21 HOROSCOPE

HIGH TIDE SPORTS 23

SABAN WEEKLY PRESS CONFERENCE GARY HARRIS

“The Holiday Spirit of Giving Thrives in Tuscaloosa”

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F E AT U R E | A L A N S C U L L E Y

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE B

ox sets and deluxe album reissues make good gifts for music fans on your holiday shopping list, and 2017 brought more than a fair share of excellent releases. Here are my favorites. The Beatles: “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” – “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”—the album that raised pop music to a true art form and blew open the doors for all manner of exploration and genre blending within the pop form -- gets expanded to four-disc box for its 50th anniversary. But because there were no concerts, no unreleased songs and few complete outtakes, the challenge was how to supplement the original album. The answer was to provide a look at how the album was made, with the finished tracks separated out into multiple partial tracks to show how songs were assembled into their final form. It makes for a fascinating look at how this visionary, world-changing album came together. U2: “The Joshua Tree” – This watershed album gets the deluxe treatment it deserves with three discs of bonus material. One disc is devoted to a fine 1987 show at New York’s Madison Square Garden on the “Joshua Tree” tour. There’s also a full disc of outtakes and b-sides, several of which appeared on the “Best Of 1980-1990” collection in 1998. Of the tracks debuting on this collection, the Latin-tinged “Desert Of Our Love” stands out. There’s also a disc of alternate mixes, which reshape seven “Joshua Tree” songs mostly in cool fashion. Bob Dylan: “Trouble No More: The Bootleg Series Vo. 13”— Dylan was widely maligned for the music he released during his “born again” period of 1979-1981, which saw him go gospel on the albums “Slow Train Coming,” “Saved” and “Shot of Love.” This eight-CD/1 DVD set does not include those albums. Instead, it is filled with live versions, rehearsal, soundcheck and alternate studio takes of songs from those three albums (as well as 15 songs unreleased tracks, including such worthy tunes as the ramshackle rocker “Ain’t No Man Righteous, Not No One,” “Making A Liar Out of Me” and “Thief on the Cross”. Centering on live performances is smart. The live versions had considerably more fire and energy than the studio counterparts and show that Dylan was writing at a high level. In short, “Trouble No More” is a revelation, bringing a whole new appreciation and respect to what many considered a low point in Dylan’s career.

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John Lee Hooker: “King of the Boogie” – Hooker was to blues what AC/DC has been to rock, someone who basically rewrote and elaborated on the same basic song his entire career. And this excellent five-CD career-spanning box set does a fine job showing that like the Aussie rockers, there was something so distinctive, so foundational and soulful that Hooker’s music never sounded tired or played out. Just authentic and essential. Elvis Presley: “A Boy From Tupelo: The Complete 1953-1955 Recordings” – This three-CD set documents where it all began for Presley, encompassing his master recordings for Sun Records studio outtakes and live and radio performances from this period. Together this set shows Presley searching for his sound and beginning to hit his stride, particularly on “That’s All Right,” “Blue Moon of Kentucky,” “Baby Let’s Play House” and “I Forgot To Remember To Forget.” Songs such as these presaged the blockbuster hits that would soon follow, making Presley a superstar and changing rock and roll forever. Various Artists: “American Epic” – This five-disc collection, made in conjunction with a PBS film series, provides an eyeopening look at American music in the 1920s, before the record industry had created genres, trends and formats to reach mass audiences. Nearly 100 artists are represented, and the breadth of music that was documented is stunning, from blues, country and religious, to Spanish, French, African-American, Indian and beyond. What’s most impressive is the sheer quality and timelessness of most of the music and the picture of life in the 1920s that their lyrics present. The team behind this box set and films deserves major credit for finding, restoring and assembling this important look at the birth of modern American music. Various Artists: “Woody Guthrie The Tribute Concerts: Carnegie Hall 1968; Hollywood Bowl 1970” –This three-CD set expands on the original 1972 albums that documented two all-star concerts for Guthrie held in the wake of the folk/ protest song pioneer’s death in 1967. The Carnegie Hall concert featured a who’s who from the ‘60s folk scene, including Guthrie’s son, Arlo, Pete Seeger, Odetta, Judy Collins, Richie Havens, Bob Dylan and others. The show, done all acoustic (except for Dylan), is a bit reverential, but well worth hearing. Several of those stars return for the Hollywood Bowl show. Dylan is absent, but Joan Baez is featured. Unlike Carnegie Hall, this show

features a full band on quite a few songs and additional accompaniment on some others. This adds color and muscle to the songs without obscuring Guthrie’s lyrics, whose spirit and messages ring true today. Queen: “News of the World” Deluxe Edition – This three-CD release marks the 40th anniversary of one of Queen’s best albums. There’s some fat – the instrumental versions of several songs are far from essential. But the alternative versions of several key songs from a BBC session are revelations. (The fast guitarrock version of “We Will Rock You” is practically essential for fans of this great band.) The Smiths: “God Save The Queen” – The four-CD deluxe reissue of this key album by the lauded British band is a must for ardent Smiths fans, with outtakes, b-sides and a tightly played 1986 concert. INXS: “Kick 30th Anniversary Edition” – The Australian group’s hit-filled 1987 album gets expanded and improved, with two discs of outtakes (including releaseworthy songs like “Do Wot You Do,” “Move On” and “Trap”), remixes and live versions. Wilco: “A.M.”/“Being There” – Wilco’s excellent first two albums get combined and expanded over 6 CDs. With a bounty of outtakes (including such unreleased gems as the rockers “Those I’ll Provide,” “Hesitation Rocks” and the rambling country of “Better When I’m Gone”) and a full 1996 concert that captures the original band in fine form, this reissue renders the

original versions of the albums obsolete. The Ramones: “Rocket To Russia” – One of the band’s definitive albums gets expanded to three discs, with many unreleased mixes and alternate takes, plus a blistering 1977 concert from Glasgow that’s worth the price of this edition alone. The Replacements: “For Sale: Live at Maxell’s 1986” – Especially up through the mid 1980s, a Replacements show was a dicey proposition, as frequently the proceedings could devolve into drunken, sloppy – but still fun – messes. This two-disc set captures the Mats on a good night, still rowdy, but on point as they play songs from their great album, “Tim,” as well as earlier material. Bash & Pop: “Saturday Night is Killing Me” – Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson proved he had solid songwriting chops on this 1993 debut album. This deluxe edition expands on the original Replacements-esque album with a full disc of alternate takes, demos and four unreleased songs, including the solid rockers “Situation” and “Making Me Sick.” Game Theory: “2 Steps from the Middle Ages” – The final album by Game Theory and its gifted songwriter Scott Miller featured some of the band’s tightest, most approachable rocking pop songs. This expanded reissue adds some cool demos, a couple of live tracks and a pair of worthy non-album songs from radio sessions (“Bad Machinery” and “I Turned Her Away”) to the original album. With this album, Game Theory went out on a high note, and those that heard the band miss them to this day.

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>>> N E W S | T H E C H A M B E R O F C O M M E R C E

NEWS THE CHAMBER, MAYOR MADDOX EMPHASIZE SHOPPING LOCAL The Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama joined Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox at downtown boutique Lou & Co. on November 21 to talk about how important it is for shoppers to spend their holiday shopping dollars with local and small businesses during the season. “If your house catches on fire, Amazon is not going to come put it out,” said Maddox, stressing that sales tax dollars not only pay for services such as fire and police, but also fund infrastructure such as roads and businesses. He also talked about how local businesses like Lou & Co., owned by Sydney Powers, are more likely to contribute to area non-profits and support our community. “Local businesses pay for our childrens’ sports jerseys.”

ADOPT-A-SCHOOL NEWS Adopter BFGoodrich Celebrates American Education Week BFGoodrich Tire Manufacturing donated pencils to every classroom at its adopted school, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary, for American Education Week last week. The company also provided the teachers with cake. Thanks for the continuous support! BF Goodrich has been an adopter in our program since it began in 1985.

“For our local Chamber of Commerce, 90 percent of our members have less than 50 employees, and 67 percent have 10 or fewer,” said Chamber President and CEO Jim Page. “Local small businesses provide the majority of jobs for our family, our friends and our neighbors.”

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>>> I N T H E K I T C H E N | R AC H E L PA X T O N

>>> B O O K R E V I E W

NORTH POLE CUPCAKES

MUSEUM OF THE WEIRD

To make these easy North Pole Cupcakes you will need: Cake mix Can of frosting Candy canes Sprinkles North Pole labels To make these cupcakes you can either use your favorite flavor of cake mix or you can use a homemade cake recipe. I made some chocolate cupcakes and white cupcakes, according to the directions on the cake mixes. north pole cupcakes You could use white or chocolate frosting to frost these cupcakes. I used white frosting to make it look more like snow. Next unwrap all the candy canes. You will need two boxes of candy canes to decorate one batch of cupcakes. After the cupcakes have cooled, frost the cupcakes with the icing. Instead of using a knife to frost the cupcakes, I used a pastry tip to give the cupcakes a more decorated look. To make the "north poles", gently break the curved portion off of each candy cane so that you just have the straight portion. Gently push one candy cane into the center of each cupcake.

BY AMELIA GRAY

ABOUT THE BOOK Winner of FC2’s American Book Review/Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize A monogrammed cube appears in your town. Your landlord cheats you out of first place in the annual Christmas decorating contest. You need to learn how to love and care for your mate—a paring knife. These situations and more reveal the wondrous play and surreal humor that make up the stories in Amelia Gray’s stunning collection of stories: Museum of the Weird. Acerbic wit and luminous prose mark these shorts, while sickness and death lurk amidst the humor. Characters find their footing in these bizarre scenarios and manage to fall into redemption and rebirth. Museum of the Weird invites you into its hallways, then beguiles, bewitches, and reveals a writer who has discovered a manner of storytelling all her own. Amelia Gray is the author of AM/PM. Her writing has appeared in American Short Fiction, McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, DIAGRAM, and Caketrain, among others. She lives in Austin, Texas, where she is the founder and co-host of the reading and music show Five Things. “Amelia Gray’s Museum of the Weird is a cabinet of curiosities—a talking armadillo, a serial killer named God, a woman who amputates her toes for dinner, a man married to a paring knife—this collection of stories is so good and funny and wondrous that I couldn’t look away from her dark and curious imagination.”—Michael Kimball, author of Dear Everybody

To make the North Pole labels you can either make your own or download the labels that I created. I laminated my labels so that they could withstand getting wet or moistened by the frosting. After you print out the labels, cut them apart and stick them on the candy canes with a little dot of frosting. That's it! These cupcakes are really easy to make and kids really like them. They are a fun, festive dessert to surprise your friends and family with during the holiday season. Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of five. For more recipes, gardening, organizing tips, home decorating, holiday hints, and more, visit Creative Homemaking at http://www.creativehomemaking.com.

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“To say Amelia Gray belongs in the hilariously inventive hallows of Ann Quin and Rikki Ducornet would be to miss her light. This book is gleaming evidence of the author as a trophy case unto herself, wrought of magic equally surprising, wicked, giddy, and loaded with a megaton of Boom.” —Blake Butler, author of Scorch Atlas and Ever "The opening sentence of Amelia Gray’s Museum of the

Weird—'One morning, I woke to discover I had given birth overnight'— could serve as a metaphor for the creation of a certain type of story. While many stories come into being through intense ­authorial diligence and cogitation, others spring into existence in an instant, discharging themselves onto the page almost by magic."Experienced writers know to approach these latter specimens with skepticism. Inspiration has a seductive power: it wants you to believe that its products are profound and important. Sometimes, miraculously, they are. I don’t know what kind of process Gray employed to write the 24 uncategorizable stories in her eccentric and intermittently arresting new collection, but they bear the signs of having been born overnight. They feel inspired, and embody all the weird energy that word implies, even as they struggle under its burdens. "[The] best stories in Museum of the Weird register as leaps of faith, brave excursions into the realms of the unreal — and convince me that Gray may yet prove an important voice in experimental writing."--New York Times Book Review Winner of FC2’s American Book Review/Ronald Sukenick Innovative Fiction Prize Independent Booksellers Choice Awards Long List for 2011

The University of Alabama Press is a proud member of the Association of American University Presses. The Press currently publishes 70-75 new titles a year and has over 1,800 titles in print. It is a founding member of the University Press Content Consortium and is at the cutting edge of digital publishing. The Press is the publishing arm of the University of Alabama.

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SHE'S GOTTA HAVE IT // A CLASSIC WITH A TOUCH OF COLOR F

the neighborhood’s rise in gentrification. Given the limited number of episodes, the side storylines don’t quite match up to Nola’s more appealing narrative.

ilmmaker Spike Lee returns to his roots with She’s Gotta Have It, a ten-episode re-imagining of his 1986 debut feature film of the same name. Once marketed as a “seriously, sexy comedy”, the Lee joint recycles the story of Nola Darling, a carefree artist, attempting to juggle relationships with three different men.

So, what works for She’s Gotta Have It? The answer is simple: the character development. Lee’s groundbreaking film has survived the tests of time, but that isn’t to say that characters were perfect. Nola was innovative, but bland. Her male suitors, while entertaining, were nothing more than stock archetypes. The reboot offers depth to its featured players, making them more three-demensional. Despite being a thirty-one-year-old remake, the subject of her sexuality is still unchanged. The double standard of a female’s right to express her sexuality is just as relevant as it was in the 80’s, which is what makes the show so brilliant. Lee, who directed all ten episodes, masterfully showcases his dated creation from a modern viewpoint. A millennial viewpoint.

She’s Gotta Have It stays true to its predecessor while adding a modern millennial twist. The series ditches its original black and white format for a more colorful palate. Episodes titles are unique hashtags and the series subtly weaves the curated sounds of Jill Scott, Solange Knowles, Maxwell and the Force MD’s in the background. (Often, the albums of the artist are displayed on the screen after a song is played) Like the original, the miniseries is showcased like a documentary, introducing us to an updated Nola Darling (a charismatic DeWanda Wise). The protagonist firmly establishes her detest of monogamy, choosing multiple partners instead. Nola addresses the viewer that contrary to everyone’s belief, she isn’t a freak. She is a self-proclaimed “sex-positive, polyamorous, pansexual.” Ya Dig? Sho Nuff. From there, we are also introduced to her three suitors: Wall Street type Jamie Overstreet (Lyriq Bent), self-absorbed fashion photographer Greer Childs (Cleo Anthony) and the child-like sneakerhead Mars Blackmon (Hamilton alum Anthony Ramos.) Individually, the trio doesn’t have a chance at securing her heart but together they form Nola’s perfect man. In this modern take, Jamie is now a separated father who can spit Jay Z lyrics just as fluently as he can quote classical prose. Mars, originally portrayed by Lee, is now a half Puerto-Rican, dyslexic malapropist, but stills retains his signature obsession with Michael Jordan. Greer is now a metrosexual playboy so meticulous that he folds his clothes before sex and blurts out his name when he climaxes. The ten-part series kicks off with Nola getting harassed by an unknown bystander, which ultimately kicks off the narrative of the show. Distraught from the situation, Nola spends most of the series trying to regain her sexuality and freedom of expression, which includes buying a provocative “little black dress” and posting “My Name Isn’t” propaganda, a la Bansky,

throughout the streets of Fort Green. Many of her attempts at regaining herself fail, leading her to enlist the help of therapist Dr. Jamison (Heather Headley), who tries to set her on the right path. Despite swearing off monogamy with men, it appears that a woman might be her undoing. Enter Opal Gilstrap (played by charming Ilfenesh Hadera). Originally, a forgettable background character, the reboot reimagines her as femme fatale and single mother who owns a plant nursery, but ultimately, she is the one that got away. While the series is built on a foundation of solid storytelling, there are cracks that weaken the show’s structure. For example, there is a small subplot that involves Darling’s exotic dancer friend, and her failed attempt at butt augmentation. Ultimately, she gets the procedure and the payoff is anticlimactic and detached from the show’s narrative. Another involves

Fans of the seriously sexy comedy will enjoy the myriad references and callbacks from the 1986 film that Lee sprinkles throughout the ten parter, including cameos from Tracy Camilla Johns and Joie Lee. The latter returned to play opposite Wise as Nola’s mother. Out of its few changes, the most notable the departure from film’s cringeworthy climax, when Nola is raped by a drunk and spiteful Jamie. In the past, Lee vocalized his regret for including the controversial scene. Additionally, the infamous Thanksgiving scene where her three lovers all meet each other is given the millennial touch, adding a corny, but clever dance sequence to “Red Barrett” by the late Prince. It’s without a doubt that we haven’t seen the last of Miss Nola Darling. Ending on what some might call a cliff hanger, the ballad of the sexpositive, polyamorous, pansexual is far from complete. All ten episodes of She’s Gotta Have It are currently streaming on Netflix.

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>>> R E S TAU R A N T R E V I E W | S H E E N A G R E G G

Photos Courtesy of Sheena Gregg

ANIMAL BUTTER // A STEP UP IN STREET FOOD

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his week I was finally able to try Animal Butter. This restaurant seemed to have been on my “To Do” list for ages. I’d been by the restaurant several times earlier in the semester only to find that it was still being renovated. Why didn't I just give up and try a different *cool* restaurant? Because the menu for Animal Butter was posted in the window and It. Looked. Awesome. Based on their menu, I was afraid that my “Post Dog Walk on a 75 Degree Day” outfit would have me underdressed for Animal Butter, but I was pleasantly surprised to see a crowd of mixed apparel in the cozy restaurant. My friend and I grabbed two menus and saw ourselves to a table. We looked over the menu and asked our waitress for recommendations as we waited on another friend. She arrived and we made our way back over to the register by the front door to order. The area to order food is very snug, but allowed me to listen in on a few other orders before I placed mine. I ordered the Crispy Brussels and Sweet Potato Shawarma sandwich and my friends ordered the Bao Buns, and an order each of the Chorizo and Hot Chicken tacos. Our Brussels and Buns arrived first and let me just say, these were the real winners of the meal. I consider myself somewhat of a brussel sprout connoisseur, and these were some of the best I’ve ever eaten. The brussels were cooked to crispy perfection and were topped with soy and radishes. The menu says the brussels are also topped with hot sauce, but I didn't taste it. *Disclaimer: I am not a fan

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of spicy food so I was very thankful that, if there was any hot sauce, it was very mild* The equally delicious Bao Buns were topped with spicy fried chicken, collards, and a peanut sauce. The buns were soft and fluffy, and the chicken and collard combo rivaled even my southern grandmother’s cooking. Just as we had begun to dig into our appetizers, our waitress asked if we would like to try a new entree that the chef was thinking of adding to the menu. Naturally, we said yes without even asking what it was. The waitress later brought over what she called a Japanese pancake. The pancake was made with vegetables and topped with a spicy mayo type sauce. Regrettably, I do not have any photos of the pancake because we ate the entire thing before I could snap a pic. As an almost dietitian, I’m always looking for new ways to recommend that patients and friends incorporate more vegetables into their diets. This pancake was soft and fluffy, yet retained some of the cabbage taste that blended beautifully with the other veggies and tangy sauce. I would eat my 2 ½ cups of vegetables in this pancake form any day. My sandwich and my friend’s tacos that arrived later were satisfying, but didn't hold a candle to our appetizers. My sandwich was filled with sweet potatoes, a yogurt sauce, cashews and cucumber on a brioche bun. While the filling was very tasty, I found that the bun was a little overwhelming. Next time I would try the Vegetable Shawarma, which is essentially the same meal with greens instead of bread. My friends

said their tacos were good, but didn't have quite the flavor profile of the brussels, buns, or the pancake. Animal Butter offers a myriad of unique Street Food combinations from salads to tacos to rice bowls. This place has something for everyone looking for an innovative take on local ingredients. I will definitely be back for appetizers and drinks soon! Animal Butter is located at 2217 University Blvd. in Tuscaloosa. Tweet us @ThePlanetWeekly and let us know where you are eating!

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BENEVOLENCE BARREL AGED AMERICAN SOUR ALE WICKED WEED BREWING

COCOBON RED BLEND

I

’ve been on a pretty serious sour beer kick lately. The whole style just fascinates me every time I try a new brew. There’s just something about a beer that’s left alone to do its own thing in a barrel for several months that blows me away. I guess it’s the aspect of not knowing exactly what it’s going to taste like once it’s done or how different things added to it will affect the flavor. Either way, the rise in popularity of sour beers has brought a plethora of brewers into the style to see what they can do and how well they can do it. A few weeks ago I was in Atlanta and decided to stop at a bottle shop on my way back home. I have had Wicked Weed a few times, but never anything that was worth more than saying “yeah, I’d drink that again” and definitely never “I need to tell the world about this.” Hesitations aside, I decided to browse the Wicked Weed offerings (since it’s distributed there and not in Alabama) and I stumbled across Benevolence, a barrel-aged sour that’s brewed with aged hops. I’m in. Can’t get into this fast enough. In hindsight, I probably should have let it set a bit longer to age a bit more, but I couldn’t wait any longer. So, while Alabama was playing Tennessee, I decided to start my celebration a little early and broke this one out. Here are my thoughts: I poured the beer into a tulip glass and first noticed the deep, hazy copper color with about two finger widths of white head. The beer seemed a lot more effervescent than I normally care for, but it made the aroma really shine. The head slowly descended and left a thin film around the top of the glass with some incredible lacing as I drank. The aroma was quite interesting and unlike similar beers in the style. First you can tell that the beer is sour, like real sour, but in a good way. You get some slight fruity notes along with an earthy aroma that blends with a faint hint of oak. This is good, because if you’re barrel-aging something, I hope to smell that oak. Taste only slightly mimicked the aroma, but it mimicked the high points for sure. I got mostly fruity flavors, like orange and raspberry; it’s a very sharp and assertive sour taste. You can almost taste a bit of apple cider vinegar flavor coming through about midway, but that quickly changes. At the end of each sip, the beer starts to

develop this intense creamy, almost oaky flavor that mellows out all the sourness and makes it extremely easy to drink. The beer finishes very dry and leaves a subtle tartness on your tongue that almost resembles a sour candy or a tart fruit. The taste is much more interesting that I’m probably describing, but it’s one of those things like “you have to be there” or similarly “you have to taste this.” There are earthy notes mixed with fruity flavors that blend into a sour, barnyard-like taste (very musty and slightly grassy) but all come together to be very refreshing and very, very tasty. Mouthfeel is, like I said, very carbonated; almost like a kombucha. It’s tart, yet creamy, earthy, yet sweet. This is definitely a very interesting taste profile as well as an interesting feeling beer to drink. I’m definitely ready to drink another one. Overall, this is super weird, but in the best way possible. There’s so many things going on that it’s hard to pinpoint one thing to talk about, but if you’re familiar with sour beers, you may be able to pick apart different tastes and all of the interesting quirks that make this beer so good. The barrel-aged component comes through, thankfully, really strong, and I’m sure a lot of that earthy flavor I was getting is coming from the aged hops, but it was welcomed. I could definitely see myself buying this one again, and at $12.99 per bottle, it’s a priced a little high but definitely worth it. So, if you see it, get it, drink it, and enjoy.

Cocobon Red Blend comes from Cocobon Vineyards in Livermore, California, USA.

Cocobon Red Blend alcohol content 13.5% by volume, per the bottle. Yay! Not overly alcoholic.

The grapes for this wine were harvested during October and November of 2015 and the blended varietals are Petite Sirah, Merlot and Zinfandel.

After just enjoying the aroma, my expectations were set for a fruit forward taste and soft elegance.

Also, this wine has recently won a couple of awards. The 2012 vintage was deemed a “Best Buy” from Wine Enthusiast and the 2015 vintage was awarded 92 points in the 2017 Ultimate Wine Challenge event. Cocobon Red Blend Wine Review Cocobon Red BlendI tasted the 2015 vintage of Cocobon Vineyards Red Blend. From the bottle: We’ve sourced grapes from the finest California vineyards to handcraft a rich, silky red blend with a soft, luxurious finish. Appearance This wine pours dark purple in color and is not as dark as many blends are these days. Light shines through, leaving red reflections on the table. A tip and spin results in the wine coating the glass nicely and very slow falling legs to appear. Aroma I noted subtle whiffs of black raspberry upon opening the bottle and pouring the wine.

Taste And I was right! The flavor is a good mix of raspberry and blackberry that evolves into a note of vanilla. I found the taste to be quite lovely and immediately said to myself “This is definitely a soft sipper.” Mouthfeel and Tannins Cocobon’s mouthfeel is quite silky with tannins that are very soft. They take awhile to develop on your palate. Once they do develop, they remain subtle and noticeable all over the palate. Finish Finish is long lasting and rich. The vanilla note just sits on your tongue for awhile. There’s also a smooth evolution from the flavors to the tannins that I find impressive with this wine. Overall Opinion Given the price I paid (see below), this wine is fabulous! While it’s not overly complex, it is highly enjoyable and will be on my short list of wines to bring to social events and dinners.

Up close the aromas changed to a balanced mix of vanilla and red fruits.

Recommend! Cocobon Red Blend price $7.99 making it a great Under $10 value wine.

I didn’t notice any significant whiff of alcohol, but I did notice a bit of clove or allspice once the wine had a chance to breathe.

Suggested Food Pairing Cocobon suggests pairing this wine with roasted lamb and mint coulis. Sounds perfect to me!

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NOV 29 + DEC 13

9


>>> RESTAURANTS |

W H E R E TO E AT I N T U S C A LO O SA

BREAKFAST / LUNCH

3380 McFarland Blvd - Northport//330-0919//www.lostarascos.com

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. Cook Out 100 15th St E, Tuscaloosa Fast-food chain known for its drive-thru BBQ, burgers & more than 40 milkshake flavors.//Thur-Fri 11:00am-4:00am Sat-Wed 11:00am3:00am//www.cookout.com CountryPride Restaurant 3501 Buttermilk Rd // 554.0215 | www.ta.travelcenters.com Breakfast 24 hours. Lunch and Dinner buffet. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store 4800 Doris Pate Dr | Exit 76 // 562.8282//www.crackerbarrel.com Holler & Dash 1130 University Blvd A-1, Tuscaloosa//752-3310 Sun-Thur 7am–2pm Fri-Sat 7am–9pm Sun 7am-2pm//www.holleranddash.com International House of Pancakes 724 Skyland Blvd // 366.1130 Jack's 1200 Hackberry Lane | Tuscaloosa // 345.1199 Mr. Bill's Family Restaurant 2715 McFarland Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 333.9312

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 | moes.com Pastor's Kitchen 2910 5th St, Northport//553-2320 Mon-Fri 10:30am-2pm, 4:30–9pm Sat 10:30am-8pm Closed Sun Pepito’s (2 locations) 1203 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9028 1301 McFarland Blvd NE // 391.4861 Taco Mama Tuscaloosa 2104 University Blvd A, Tuscaloosa Mon-Wed 11am–9pm Thur-Sat 11am–10pm Sun 11am–9pm www.tacomamaonline.com

FINE DINING

301 Bistro (Was L&N Train Station) 301 Greensboro Ave, Tuscaloosa //764-1395 Casual Dining, Full Bar and Beer Garden Mon-Sat 4–11PM Sun 11am-9pm | www.301bistro.com Cypress Inn 501 Rice Mine Rd // 345.6963 Fax: 345.6997 | www.cypressinnrestaurant.com | 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. 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. 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.

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. Sweet Home Food Bar 2218 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 764-9346 Mon.-Fri. Mon-Sat 9am–9pm Sun- 10am-3pm Tropical Smoothie Cafe 1800 McFarland Blvd E, | Tuscaloosa// 331-4070 Casual, health-conscious cafe featuring custom smoothies, sandwiches & wraps. Mon-Thur 6:30am–9:30pm Fri-7am-9pm Sun10:30-8pm

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// five-bar.com The Side by Side Restaurant 2410 University Blvd. | Embassy Suites | 561-2500 | thesidebysiderestaurant.com

T-Town Café 500 14th Street, Tuscaloosa | 759-5559 |www.ttowncafe.com Mon - Fri 6am - 3pm; Sat - Closed; Sun 10:30am - 3pm

River 1650 Jack Warner Pkwy NE, Tuscaloosa//632-3801 Tue,Wed,Thur-11am–2pm, 5:30–9PM Fri-11am–2pm, 5–10pm Sat-10am–1pm, 5–10 Sun-10am–1pm Closed Monday | www. rivertuscaloosa.com

The Waysider 1512 Greensboro Ave // 345.8239 Open for breakfast and lunch. Smoke free.

JAPANESE Bento Japanese Restaurant & Sushi Bar 1306 University Blvd // 758.7426

MEXICAN

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.

Central Mesa 523-7738// 519 Greensboro Ave, Tuscaloosa Mon-Thur 11am-10pm Friday-Sat 11am-11pm Sunday: 10am-3pm Chipotle Mexican Grill 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 391.0140 www.chipotle.com Chuy's 1320 McFarland Blvd E, Tuscaloosa// 349-4947 Sun-Thur 11am-10pm Fri-Sat 11am-11pm | www.chuys.com Don Tono's 2312 4th Street | Temerson Square // 345.9191 El Mariachi 3520 McFarland Blvd E |Tuscaloosa // 409-8585

Ichiban Japanese Grill & Sushi 502 15th Street // 752.8844 Maki Fresh 759-2555//1530 Mcfarland Blvd N, Tuscaloosa//Mon-Sun 11am–9pm Asian chain serving maki, rice bowls, tempura, sliders & more. 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 // 366.0855 1726 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 330.1274

Pokirrito 68 (was Ezell's Southern Food Express) 220 15th St E, Tuscaloosa Sushi Bar

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

Rock 'n Roll Sushi 469-9060//2229 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa Mon-Thur 11am-9pm Fri-Sat 11am-10pm Sun 12-9pm

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop 2321 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa//409-8344 Mon-Thur 10am–10pm Fri-Sat 10am–12am Sun 10am-10pm | www.fuzzystacoshop.com Iguana Grill 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 752.5895 Jalapeno’s Mexican Grill 2001 New Watermelon Rd | Northport // 342.3378 LaGran Fiesta 9770 Hwy 69 S // 345.8871 La Fiesta Mexican Grill 6521 AL-69, Tuscaloosa// 345-8580 Mon-Thur 11am-10pm Fri-Sat 11am-10:30pm Sun 11am-9pm Los Calientes Mexican Grill 3429 McFarland Blvd E // 553.1558 La Fiesta Mexican Grill 345-8580//6521 AL-69, Tuscaloosa Mon-Thur 11am-10pm Fri-Sat 11am-10:30pm Sun 11am-9pm Los Tarascos (2 locations) 110 Skyland Blvd E - Tuscaloosa//553-8896 NEW LOCATION

10

NOV 29 + DEC 13

ITALIAN

Brunch, lunch, and dinner. Specialty cocktails, local pints, bottled beer, and wine. Mon - Fri. 11 a.m. – 11 p.m., Sat. Noon – 11 p.m., Sun. Noon p.m. – 9 p.m. Big Daddy’s Cafe 514 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 759.9925 The Blue Plate Restaurant (Was Northport Diner) 450 McFarland Blvd, Northport // 462-3626 Buddy’s Ribs & Steaks 2701 Bridge Ave | Northport // 339.4885 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 www.chickensaladchick.com Dat's Good 333-4663// 4300 AL-13, Northport Specializes in Catfish, Hot Wings,and BBQ Tue-Sat 10am-9pm Closed Sun & Mon www.facebook.com/DatsGoodBBQ

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.

Freddy's Frozen Custard & Steakburgers//764-9097 315 15th St, Tuscaloosa Fri-Sat 10:30am–11:00pm Sun-Thur 10:30am–10:00pm | www. freddysusa.com

Hooter’s 5025 Oscar Baxter Dr | Next to Jameson Inn // 758.3035 www.hooters.com

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 MonThu: 11am - 10pm | Fri - Sat: 11am-10pm | Sun: 11 a.m. - 9 p.m.

CASUAL DINING

Avenue Pub 405 23rd Avenue // Tuscaloosa

Innisfree Irish Pub 1925 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 345.1199 Mugshots Grill & Bar 511 Greensboro Ave // 391.0572//Great burgers. Full service bar. Open late. | www.mugshotsgrillandbar.com

Hooligan’s 1915 University Blvd // 759.2424 From hamburgers to hummus. Open daily 10 a.m. - 11 p.m.

Walton's 915 Patriot Pkwy, Tuscaloosa//752-1693 Wings and much more Mon-Sat 9am-10pm Closed Sun | waltonstuscaloosa.com

The Kitchen 2322 4th St, Tuscaloosa//331-4731 Tue-Fri 8am–3pm Sat-Sun 9am-9pm Closed Sunday

Wilhagan’s 2209 4th St | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 366.0913

Madear’s 1735 Culver Road // 343.7773 Mon–Fri 6 a.m. - 5 p.m. | 2nd & 3rd Sunday 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Mae's Southern Cafe 710-5488//4419 hwy 43 n suite 5, Northport Tue-Sat 11am–7pm Sun-10:30pm–12am Sun 11am-6pm Mon12AM–8PM

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! www.wingsu.com WingZone 1241 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 342.2473

BARBEQUE

Metro Diner 464-9428//1800 McFarland Blvd E #404 Tuscaloosa Sun-Thur 7am–8pm Fri-Sat 7am–9pm | www.metrodiner.com

Archibald & Woodrow's BBQ 4215 Greensboro Ave | Tuscaloosa // 331.4858 Mon-Sat 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. | Sun lunch

Miss Dots 1715 University Blvd, Tuscaloos Mon-Sun 11am-9pm | www.lovemissdots.com

Bama BBQ & Grill 3380 McFarland Blvd | Northport // 333.9816

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 | www.mugshotsgrillandbar.com Nothing But Noodles 1320 McFarland Blvd E #530// 349-2900// www.nothingbutnoodles.com Pastas, Salads, Soups, Desserts Fri-Sat 10:30am–10:30pm Sun-Thur 10:30am-9:30pm O’Charley’s 3799 McFarland Blvd // 556.5143 Open daily lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch // www.ocharleys.com Panera Bread 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 366.8780 www.panerabread.com Quick Grill 1208 University Blvd | The Strip // 342.0022 www.bamaquickgrill.com 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 www.rubytuesdays.com

Southern Ale House 1530 McFarland Blvd N//Monday-Thursday 11a.m-9p.m., FridaySaturday 11a.m.-10p.m. Sunday Brunch 11a.m.-2p.m.

Animal Butter 710-5455// 2217 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa// Tue-Sat 11am–10pm Sun 11am–9pm Monday Closed | www.animalbutterinc.com

Billy's Sports Grill Historic Downtown Northport // 879.2238 Mon through Wed from 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Thurs through Sat from 11 a.m.-10 p.m., and Sun from 10:30 a.m. till 9 p.m. (Sunday Brunch 10:30am-3pm).

Five Guys Burgers & Fries 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 391.0575 www.fiveguys.com

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. | www.depalmascafe.com

Olive Garden 2100 McFarland Blvd E // 750-0321 Open daily from 11 a.m. | www.olivegarden.com

BurgerFi 1320 McFarland Blvd E #510, Tuscaloosa//759-2510 Stylish, eco-minded chain serving grass-fed beef burgers, plus hot dogs, craft beer & wine. Fri-Sat 10:30am-10:00pm Sun-Thur 10:30am11:00pm | order.burgerfi.com/menu/tuscaloosa

Buffalo Wild Wings 2710 McFarland Blvd. East | Tuscaloosa // 523.0273 Sports grille with TVs galore. Diverse beer and wine, full bar

Sitar Indian Cuisine 500 15th St // 345-1419

Mr. G’s 908 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 339-8505

SPORTS GRILL Baumhower's Wings of Tuscaloosa (2 Locations) 500 Harper Lee Drive | catering-Pick-up Tuscaloosa //556.5858 4251 Courtney Dr, Tuscaloosa // 556-5658 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

Dave’s Dogs 1701 McFarland Blvd E | University Mall // 722.2800

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

Little Italy 1130 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.345.4343

A wonderful selection of Greek foods

Southland Restaurant 5388 Skyland Blvd E // 556.3070// Steaks, chops and home-cooked vegetables | Mon–Fri 10:45 a.m. - 9 p.m. Sweet Home Food Bar www.sweethomefoodbaral.com//764-9346 Mon-Sat 9am–9pm Sun- 10am-3pm Taziki's Mediterranean Cafe 1800 McFarland Blvd E, Tuscaloosa// 344-6444 Mon-Sat 11am-9pm Sun 11am-8pm Urban Cookhouse 1490 Northbank Parkway #110, Tuscaloosa// 561-6999//We use the freshest ingredients available with an emphasis on supporting the local farmer Mon-Sun 10am–9pm//www.urbancookhouse.com Zoe’s Kitchen 312 Merchants Walk // 344.4450

Dickey's BBQ (3 locations) 9770 Alabama 69; Midtown; and 13544 Hwy 43 North at Rose Blvd. in Northport. Texas Barbecue. | 344.6500 1800 McFarland Blvd, Midtown Village, Tuscaloosa. | 758-1133 | 13544 Hwy 43 North, Winn Dixie Shopping Center, Northport. | 330-1147 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. Full Moon BBQ 1434 McFarland Blvd E, Tuscaloosa// 366-3555 (sports Grill) Mon-Thur 10am–9pm Fri-Sat 10am–10pm Sun 11am-9pm Hick’s BBQ 4400 Fayette Hwy // 339.3678 // Tues–Sat 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q 469-2060//305 21st Ave, Tuscaloosa Sun-Thur 11am-9pm Fri-Sat 9am-10pm | www.facebook.com/ JNNTuscaloosa Hoo's Q 345-6400 101 15th St E, Tuscaloosa//Mon-Sun 10am-9pm | www.hoosbbq.com Moe's Original BBQ 2101 University Blvd. // 752.3616 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: thepotterygrill.com 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

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • TUSCALOOSA'S SOURCE FOR ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC, SPORTS & THE ARTS


>>> RESTAURANTS |

W H E R E TO E AT I N T U S C A LO O SA

R. Davidson Chophouse 2330 4th St. /Downtown Tuscaloosa/ 205.614.8782 Reservations are available online at rdchophouse.com or by phone. Hours - Tues–Fri. Lunch – 11:00am – 2:00pm; Cocktail Hour – 4:00pm; Dinner – 5:00pm - untill. Saturday: Lunch – 11:00am 4:00pm; Cocktail Hour – 4:00pm; Dinner – 5:00pm - until. Sunday Brunch: 10:00am - until

Little Italy 1130 University Blvd. // 345.4354

Texas Roadhouse 1363 McFarland Blvd E, Tuscaloosa// 759-2596 // Fri-Sat 11am–11pm Sun-11am-10pm Mon-Thur 3pm-10pm www.texasroadhouse.com

Subs n' You 2427 University Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.758.0088

43 Prime Steakhouse 13620 Highway 43 N Northport// 331-5800 Monday-Thursday 4:30-9 Friday-Saturday 11-10 Closed Sunday

SEAFOOD

Marco’s Pizza 1021 McFarland Blvd, Northport// 330-4555 Mon-Thur 11am–10pm Fri-Sat 11am–11pm Sun 3–10PM | http://www.marcos.com

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 a.m. | Sun 11:30 a.m. - midnight

Chuck’s Fish 508 Greensboro Ave | Downtown Tuscaloosa // 248.9370 Monday - Thursday 5-10 p.m. and Friday - Saturday 5-11 p.m. Steak, seafood, & sushi specialities. Daily specials.

Pyros Fire Fresh Pizza 1320 McFarland Blvd E #270, Tuscaloosa//248-7343 Mon-Fri 10:30am-10pm | www.pyrospizza.com

Red Lobster 2620 McFarland Blvd. | Tuscaloosa // 205.553.8810 Sun-Thurs 11AM-10PM//Fri & Sat 11AM-11PM Reservations Accepted | Take-Out Available Private Dining Area Available for Advanced Booking (Lunch Specials Available Mon-Fri 11AM-3PM)

Honeybaked Ham Company 421 15th St. E // 345.5508 //www.honeybaked.com

Shrimp Basket 3249 McFarland Blvd E, Tuscaloosa//469-9786 Mon-Fri 10:30am–9pm | www.shrimpbasket.com Catfish Heaven 2502 21st St, Tuscaloosa// 752-7222 Mon-Sat 11am-7:30pm Closed Sun Steamers on The Strip 1301 University Blvd, Tuscaloosa//750-0203 Mon-Sat 11am-8pm Sun 11am-5pm | www.steamersonthestrip.net The Levee Bar and Grill 1 Bridge Ave | Northport // 632.3136 Casual riverfront dining Hours: Mon-Thurs 11 AM-9 PM, Fri-Sat 11 AM-10 PM, Sun 10:30 AM-3 PM (Happy Hour Mon-Thurs 2 PM-6 PM) | leveebarandgrill.com

CHINESE

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 Chongwah Express 1425 McFarland Boulevard, Northport. 333-1088 Hot Wok Express 6571 Alabama 69, Tuscaloosa// 758-0148 | Mon-Sat 10:30am–8pm 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 New China Fun 4213 University Blvd E, Tuscaloosa//553-2435 Mon-Thur 11am–9:30pm Fri-Sat 11am–10:30pm Sun 12–9:30PM Panda Express 636 15th St E// 343-6888 Fri-Sat 10:30am-10:00pm Sun-11:00am-9:00pm Mon-Thur 10:30am-9:30pm | www.pandaexpress.com

DELICATESSEN

Jason’s Deli 2300 McFarland Blvd // 752.6192 www.jasonsdeli.com 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. www.jimmyjohns.com 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 www.mcalistersdeli.com Momma Goldberg’s Deli 409 23rd Ave // 345.5501 | www.mommagoldbergs.com Newk’s Express Cafe 205 University Blvd. East // 758.2455// www.newkscafe.com Sun–Wed 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Thurs–Sat 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. Schlotsky’s Deli 405 15th St. E // 759.1975 // schlotskys.com Which Wich University Blvd.// Downtown Tuscaloosa // Mon – Sat 10:30 – 9 // Sunday 11 – 7 // Fresh ingredients, great sandwiches. 764.1673

ASIAN CUISINE

Ruan Thai 1407 University Blvd // 391.9973 | ruanthaituscaloosa.com 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 Open daily. Lunch: 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Dinner: 5 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. | www.surinofthailand.com COFFEE SHOP Barnes & Noble 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Tuscaloosa // 349.6366 Five Java Coffee, fresh juices, smoothies and treats from Mary's Cakes. Open Monday - Saturday at 7am; 9am on Sundays Heritage House 700 Towncenter | Northport // 758.0042 Open Mon-Fri 7 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sat. 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Pearl Garden 2719 Lurleen Wallace Blvd | Northport // 339.0880

Krispy Kreme Doughnut 1400 McFarland Blvd // 758.6913 //www.krispykreme.com

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.

Starbucks (2 locations) 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 343.2468 1901 13th Ave East | Inside Super Target // 462.1064 | starbucks.com

Swen Chinese Restaurant 1130 University Blvd | The Strip // 391.9887

Celebrations Bakery, Inc. 1832 McFarland Blvd N | Northport // 339.3221

Trey Yuen 4200 McFarland Blvd E // 752.0088

Dunkin' Donuts 2520 Stillman Blvd. |Tuscaloosa// 349.3400 McCorvey Dr. | Tuscaloosa // 348.4041 | www.dunkindonuts.com

PIZZA AND SUBS

A Taste Of Chicago 1700 Greensboro Avenue 205-342-DOGS Mon. - Thurs. 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.; Fri. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Italian Beef Sandwiches, Chicago Rib Tips, and Chicago Style Pizza. California Underground 13552 Highway 43, Northport | 339.8660 Chuck E. Cheese's Midtown Village, 500, Tuscaloosa St//979-3420 Mon-Thur 11am-9pm Fri-11am-10pm Sat-9am-10pm Firehouse Subs 1130 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 248.0680 Hungry Howie’s (4 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 Little Caesars Pizza 1414 10th Ave // 366.2220 | www.littlecaesars.com (Second location) 5980 Old Greensboro Rd, Tuscaloosa// 331-8150

CRAFT BEER | WINE | BARCADE | GROWLERS

DESSERTS

Frutta Bowls 752-3293//2531 University Blvd Suite 110 Mon-Sun 7am–9pm | www.fruttabowls.com Mary's Cakes & Pastries 412 22nd Avenue | behind Opus | Northport // 345.8610 www.maryscakesandpastries.com//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 1403 University Blvd | Tuscaloosa // 462.3664 TCBY (2 Locations) 2304 Mcfarland Blbd | Meadowbrook Shopping Center // 349.4661 2 Mcfarland Blvd | Northport | Essex Shopping Center // 758.6855 Yogurt In Love Patriot Center 7402 Highway 69 South//764.9173 Monday-Thursday 11 a.m. - 9 p.m., Friday & Saturday 11 a.m.-10 pm. Yogurt Mountain 1800 McFarland Blvd E | Midtown Village // 342.1484 Mon–Thurs 11 a.m. - 11 p.m. | Fri & Sat 11 a.m. - midnight

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NOV 29 + DEC 13

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DICKENS DOWNTOWN IN HISTORIC DOWNTOWN NORTHPORT FREE COMMUNITY EVENT USHERS IN THE HOLIDAY SEASON NORTHPORT, AL, November 29 – Dickens Downtown in Historic Downtown Northport will be Tuesday, December 5th, from 5 – 8 pm. Dickens Downtown spans the shops of Downtown Historic Northport, which offer shoppers and holiday enthusiasts treats given by staff and volunteers clad in traditional Victorian attire. Visitors can enjoy carriage rides, demonstrations by makers of traditional crafts, and a variety of musical performances. Of course, it wouldn’t be Victorian England without snow; a snow machine will be located on Main Avenue. Main Avenue will be closed for this event from 4:30 pm – 8:30 pm. Dickens Downtown is a free event for the community provided by the Downtown Northport Merchants Association.

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NOV 29 + DEC 13

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • TUSCALOOSA'S SOURCE FOR ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC, SPORTS & THE ARTS


e rnest hadley booksellers

1928 7th street tuscaloosa, al 35401 Hours: 10 am–6 pm, Mon.–Fri. 10 am – 5 pm, Sat. Closed Sunday

205.632.5331 www.ernestandhadleybooks.com The Crossroads Arts Alliance, 2015, 14 artists, is an eclectic and multi-generational group of artists and craftspeople who live and work in and around Gordo, AL (originally named Crossroads). Our work represents a range of art and artistic craft, from photography, to letterpress printing, to metal work and mosaics.

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NOV 29 + DEC 13

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>>> PET PLANET

TUX // SWEET FACE

DORI // PLAYFUL & SWEET

T

M

eet Dorie, an 8-month to 1-year-old (as of 10/17) terrier/Whippet mix. She has a lean body and long skinny nose which reminds us of a Whippet, and has the cutest stubby tail like a terrier. Dorie weighs about 21 pounds now and may get a little bigger but we think she is closer to 10 months, maybe even a year old. Dorie was pulled from our local animal shelter where she had been picked up by Animal Control and was down there for almost 3 months with no one coming to claim her. She is a super sweet and friendly dog! Dorie would make a great walking/jogging partner and then coach potato. She is just happy to be with her person. Dorie could do fine in an apartment as long as she gets plenty of exercise - she is young and does have some energy. She will require a fenced-in yard if left outside any unattended. Dorie seems to do well with other dogs and tends to be the submissive one. She should be fine with children 10 and up. We have started on her crate training. Dorie is up to date on her vet care, spayed, heartworm negative and is microchipped. She is on heartworm and flea/tick prevention. Please call 205554-0011 or visit humanesocietyofwa.org to request an appointment to meet our available animals.

his lucky young man is Mister Tux, appropriately named and formally dressed! Mister Tux is a very handsome and sophisticated charmer, approximately 7 years old and 11 pounds. Mister Tux was rescued after the 4-27-2011 tornado. He'd love to be your permanent escort anywhere to greet you at the front door, he's more than ready to be your companion. Mister Tux was diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease and returned to the HSWA, but we now have him on medication and a special diet to alleviate the problem. Don't you want to give this sweet guy another chance at a forever home? Mister Tux is negative for FIV and FeLK, neutered, and current on vaccinations. He is house trained and already neutered. Vet records will be provided to adopters. If you are interested in giving DORI or TUX a forever homes they want and deserve, visit the Humane Society of West Alabama at http://www. humanesocietyofwa.org or call us at (205)-554-0011. The Humane Society of West Alabama is in need of volunteers for both the cat and dog facilities. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer please contact our volunteer coordinator at volunteerhswa@gmail.com or go ahead and download a volunteer application from www.humanesocietyofwa.org/formsinfo.html and send to the same email.

VOLUNTEER

// IN THIS ISSUE >> UP-TO-DATE RESTAURANT LISTINGS ›› CHEVELLE ›› NEEDTOBREATHE ›› BEER & WINE REVIEW ›› OVERDRIVE ›› ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Happy Thanksgiving!

Turning point domestic violence and sexual assault services center and the Board of Directors are excited to announce the new Executive

From our family to yours

Committee at its annual meeting. The annual meeting starts at 6:30pm at the First United Methodist Church and features awards, a chance to meet the new committee members and exciting guest speakers on February 27, 2017. A few words of welcome are planned by local officials including, Chief Tommy Reese of Demopolis, Dr. Mallory of Shelton, board members and others. In recognition of Turning Point, the West Alabama areas domestic violence/sexual assault agency,

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NOV 15 + NOV 29

1

Next Issue // December 13

Advertising Deadline: Friday, December 8 205-523-4668//205-792-7239

theplanetweekly.com 14

NOV 29 + DEC 13

issuu.com/planetweekly

is inviting all citizens, social groups and other non-profits to join with them in this annual event to thank them for their continued support. Our goal is to create a conglomerate displaying the strength gained by joining together. We are asking individuals and various groups and members to join us and continue a commitment to ensure that all lives are lived free of violence and abuse,? said Amy Gundlach-Foster, Executive Director of Turning Point.

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • TUSCALOOSA'S SOURCE FOR ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC, SPORTS & THE ARTS


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

JUSTICE LEAGUE // YOU CAN'T SAVE THE WORLD ALONE

★★★

OU T OF 4

“J

ustice League” is a slambang, smash-up saga, but it doesn’t surpass last year’s “Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice.” Mind you, as entertaining as “Justice League” is, it isn’t as exhilarating as Marvel’s most recent “Thor: Ragnarok.” At this point, the cliché about apples and oranges crop up. The DC Cinematic Universe differs from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Nevertheless, despite their intrinsic differences, comparisons are inevitable. I grew up reading DC Comics and preferred them over Marvel Comics. Unfortunately, Warner Brothers hasn’t scored the same critical and commercial success that New Line Cinema, Columbia Pictures, Paramount Pictures, Twentieth Century Fox, and Walt Disney have with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ironically, Warner Brothers made history when it released the first “Batman” (1989) with Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson, but the esteemed studio—Warner Brothers introduced sound movies-hasn’t maintained the consistency and charisma that distinguishes the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For the record, the first Marvel property to illuminate the silver screen was “Captain America” (1944), but it was a 15-chapter, black & white, Saturday afternoon, Republic Studios serial. DC Comics still beat its competitor to the screen with Columbia’s release of the 15-chapter “Batman” serial in 1943 and followed it up with a 1949 serial sequel. Later, these serials inspired Twentieth Century Fox’s liveaction “Batman” television series, costarring Adam West & Burt Ward, that aired from 1966 to 1968. Initially, the Marvel Cinematic Universe stumbled at the get-go with “Howard the Duck” (1986) as well as the straight-to-video versions of “The Punisher” (1989) and “Captain America” (1990). New Line Cinema’s “Blade” (1998), Twentieth Century Fox’s “X-Men” (2000), and Columbia’s “Spider-Man” (2000) struck pay-dirt on the big-screen. Disney has since appropriated the MCU from Paramount Pictures, and they have made it a cornerstone of their studio. Ultimately, the DC Cinematic Universe doesn’t have anybody like Stan Lee, the venerable Marvel Comics’ publisher and chairman who everybody recognizes and adores with his cameo appearance. Moreover, Warner’s has not been able to duplicate its stunning back-to-back success with “Batman V Superman” and “Wonder Woman.”

The biggest problems facing “Justice League” are its $300-million price tag and its $150-million advertising campaign. Meaning, just because “Justice League” is a good movie, doesn’t mean that it will triple its investment like “Batman V Superman” and “Wonder Woman.” “Suicide Squad” was no slouch either with worldwide receipts amounting to over $745-million. Meantime, any movie that resurrects the Last Son of Krypton can’t be all bad. “Watchman” director Zack Snyder and scenarists Chris Terrio of “Batman Vs Superman” and Joss Whedon of “Avengers: Age of Ultron” have not only brought Superman back from the grave, but they have also ushered the Flash/Barry Allen, Aquaman/Arthur Curry, and Cyborg/ Victor Stone into the fray. Some may be disappointed to learn that this Flash (Ezra Miller) isn’t the same Flash (Grant Gustin) in the WB’s television series. Furthermore, Snyder and company shun frivolous romantic subplots since they have more than enough to keep them busy with the newest superheroes. Clocking in at two high-octane hours, “Justice League” doesn’t dawdle Surprisingly, even with Joss Whedon aboard, “Justice League” qualifies as strictly by-the-numbers with few surprises. The first third dispatches Bruce Wayne (former “Daredevil” Ben Affleck) to recruit Barry Allen, Arthur Curry, and Victor Stone because an intimidating the ancient extraterrestrial villain threatening Earth—Steppenwolf (voice of Ciarán Hinds)—is more than the Dark Knight can handle. Says Wayne to Aquaman, “I believe that an enemy is coming from far away. I'm looking for warriors. I'm building an alliance to defend us.” Steppenwolf looks and sounds sufficiently malevolent. This wicked

superhuman warrior wields a nasty electro-axe and invades Earth with an army of google-eyed airborne predators called Parademons. Before he sets off in search of the new superheroes, Bruce Wayne reacquaints himself with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot of “Wonder Woman”). She sneaks into his ultra-security equipped Bat Cave without tripping off any alarms. Reluctantly, Allen, Curry, and Stone agree to join up, but Aquaman/Arthur Curry isn’t impressed initially with Bruce Wayne. “What’s your super power,” the oceanic warrior asks. “I’m rich,” replies Wayne. Unlike “Thor: Ragnarok,” “Justice League” confines its humor to clever dialogue quips. At one point, Alfred Pennyworth (Oscar-winner Jeremy Irons of “Reversal of Fortune”) remarks to Wayne, “I miss the days when one's biggest concern is exploding wind-up penguins.” This doesn’t keep the Flash from enlivening the action with his fleet-footed frolics. Ultimately, once the Justice League

has assembled, and Steppenwolf has uttered his ultimatum, the second third ensues with the resurrection of Superman (Henry Cavill of “Man of Steel”), but he isn’t particularly pleased with the Caped Crusader and what happened in “Batman Vs Superman.” Wayne keeps a secret weapon in his arsenal to lure Kal-El back into the fold. Unless you’ve skipped Superman’s earlier exploits in “Man of Steel” and “Batman Vs Superman,” you should be able to guess what Batman has that can change Superman’s mind. Death hasn’t been too traumatic for Clark Kent. He has managed to preserve his magnificently muscled physique along with his incandescent laserbeam eyes. The final third pits the League against Steppenwolf, and this obnoxious hellion doesn’t go quietly into that good night. Of course, you know that the Justice League will thwart Steppenwolf, but he doesn’t go down with a fight. The biggest letdown about “Justice League” are the segments that introduce the various superheroes. Surely, Snyder and his writers, particularly Joss Whedon, could have conjured up something more exciting and less generic. The confrontation between Wonder Woman and a criminal gang planning to plunge the world back into the Stone Age lacks the “wow” factor. The same goes for the other superheroes. Batman unveils some impressive gadgets, namely ‘the nightcrawler.’ Snyder relies again on CGI galore, as he did in “Batman Vs Superman,” but this is not surprising considering it depicts larger-than-life heroes and villains who perform the impossible. Altogether, despite its predictable plotting, “Justice League” delivers action aplenty and doesn’t wear out its welcome.

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NOV 29 + DEC 13

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>>> C O M M U N I T Y A R T S

Presented by The ACT

THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE

AT THE HISTORIC BAMA THEATRE IN DOWNTOWN TUSCALOOSA

“I

t’s a magic wardrobe. There’s a wood inside it, and it’s snowing, and there’s a faun and a witch and it’s called Narnia. Come and see.” Lucy Pevensie, along with her siblings Peter, Susan and Edmund, invite you to experience the enchanting land of Narnia, as The Actor’s Charitable Theatre (ACT) presents The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe at the historic Bama Theatre in downtown Tuscaloosa, December 15-18. In this theatrical adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ classic tale, the Pevensie children step through a dusty wardrobe and into a snowy landscape filled with thrilling adventure. There, they discover that the White Witch has cast a spell that makes it always winter and never Christmas. They will unite with Mr. Tumnus the faun, mythical creatures, talking animals, and Aslan the Great Lion to battle the forces of evil. Director and set designer Benji Stocton is thrilled to bring The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to life on stage. “It’s one of my favorite stories,” Stockton said. “This production will have something for everyone as it is filled with magic, special effects, sword fighting and, most of all, heart.” He has a bachelor’s degree in theatre from the University of Southern Mississippi with an emphasis in performance, scenic design and directing, and performed in Atlanta for 10 years with the Aurora Theatre and Six Flags Over Georgia. The ACT’s artistic director, Joey Lay, brings more than 10 years’ experience in costume design to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, and says these are some of the most elaborate costumes he has built in quite some time. “The costumes will truly transport the audience to a world of imagination and wonder, with everything from eagles, dwarfs, witch monsters, centaurs, unicorns, leopards and more,” Lay said. “We are bringing to life an amazing story with incredible visuals.” The cast of more than 50 talented West Alabama actors includes Mary Kathryn Matthews as the evil White Witch. “I LOVE playing the villain!” exclaimed Matthews, a music teacher and mother of three young children.

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“It’s fun to do roles like this, and my favorite scene is the first with Edmund, where you get to see the truly cunning side of her as she plots to get ALL of the children.” Matthews has had roles in over 40 shows, including playing other villains such as the controlling Velma Von Tussel in Hairspray, and the Witch in Into the Woods (both by The ACT). “While I love playing both good and bad characters, Mary Poppins (in The ACT’s Mary Poppins) will always be my favorite. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the first straight play I’ve done since college, and it feels odd not to burst out into song during the show, but it’s also fun to lean on my acting chops for a change.”

Seven-year-old Harmony Beams plays cheerful and kind Lucy, the youngest Pevensie and the first of the children to venture into Narnia. “I love being part of this magical show and I’m having so much fun during rehearsals!” Beams said. “Being a lead in a show is a lot of work but it’s totally worth it. You have to make sure you get enough sleep and practice your script at home. A challenge for me is remembering not to turn my back to the audience.” Beams, a Northport Elementary School secondgrader, was four years old in her first show with The ACT, and loves singing and performing, and putting on pretend musicals with her friends. “I also play guitar and hope to get a ukulele for my birthday,” she added.

The four Pevensie children are all played by stage veterans themselves, who bring experience from a total of 44 shows. Caleb Burdette plays spiteful Edmund who quickly finds himself in a dangerous predicament during his first visit to Narnia, when he meets the scheming White Witch. Burdette has appeared with Matthews in several shows, including Mary Poppins when he played young Michael Banks, one of the two “impossible” children that Mary Poppins cares for as a nanny. Burdette is a 10th-grader at American Christian Academy, where he is a member of the marching band.

Playing the part of lovable Mr. Tumnus the faun is Tristan Hallman, a recent Tuscaloosa County High School graduate who is now a freshman studying theatre at the University of Alabama. “So far, rehearsals for this show have been nothing short of awesome,” Hallman said. “Benji is an incredibly talented director and is amazing to work with. He has even helped me with the one challenge I have faced so far: choosing the dialect for this character, as the story is based in World War II-era England.” Hallman, who aspires to work as an actor on Broadway, or in Chicago or California, adds that “getting into theatre is one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I recommend to anyone who has ever thought about it to go audition for something!”

John David Streetman (8th grade) and Virginia Hutto (9th grade) are both homeschool students who play the oldest siblings, Peter and Susan. Streetman describes all seven Chronicles of Narnia books as “amazing” and has twice read them all in chronological order. “This play is about 95% the same as the book, which I think is so cool,” he said. “My experience so far in rehearsals has also been amazing, but probably the biggest challenge I have had is trying to swing around my heavy sword.” Hutto is also a huge fan of The Chronicles of Narnia. “I’ve been slightly obsessed (with the series) since age seven, so playing Susan is a pretty awesome experience,” notes Hutto. Through this show, she would “like to make as many people as possible fall in love with theatre, because it is a place where you can come and just have fun, whether you are in the audience, or involved with costuming, set design, or as an actor or crew member.”

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe will run December 15-18, at the historic Bama Theatre in downtown Tuscaloosa. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday through Monday night, and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The Sunday 7:30 p.m. performance includes admission to a 7:00 p.m. pre-show discussion with Dr. Scott Reynolds, lead pastor of North River Church, on the works and writings of C.S. Lewis. Reserved seat tickets are $21 for adults, $19 for seniors and students, and $13 for children ages 12 and under. Tickets and information are available at www.TheACT.info or (205)393-2800. The Box Office will be open one hour prior to each show time as well.

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • TUSCALOOSA'S SOURCE FOR ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC, SPORTS & THE ARTS


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>>> PLANETWEEKLY • TUSCALOOSA'S SOURCE FOR ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC, SPORTS & THE ARTS


>>> ROAD TRIP | S O U T H E A S T E R N CO N C E R T S A N D E V E N T S BIRMINGHAM

Sunday, Dec 17 Iron City//The War On Drugs

Friday, Dec 1 Zydeco//Curren$y Lyric Theatre//Squirrel Nut Zippers Christmas Show

NASHVILLE

Saturday, Dec 2 Saturn//New Found Glory Uptown at the BJCC//Cinderella James K. Polk Theater//Street Corner Symphony

Sunday, Dec 3 Legacy Arena at the BJCC//Michael Caronaro Live The Alabama Theatre//Chris Tomlin Christmas Iron City//Kane Brown Monday, Dec 4 Iron City //Chevelle

Tuesday, Dec 5 Saturn//Kamasi Washington

Wednesday, Dec 6 Exit In//Cannibal Corpse Shcermerhorn Symphony Center//Jennifer Symphony Center Friday, Dec 8 Zydeco//Buku q/ Luzcid Samford University//George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker

Saturday, Dec 9 Alabama Theatre//Christmas Vacation The Alabama Theatre//The Polar Express Legacy Arena at the BJCC//The Buddy Holly Story Lyric Theatre//Voices of the South Monday, Dec 10 Lyric Theatre//Robert Earl Keen The Alabama Theatre//Miracle On 34th Street Tuesday, Dec 11 Ryman Auditorium//Andrew Peterson Tuesday, Dec 12 Lyric Theatre//Three On a String

Wednesday Dec 13 Legacy Arena at the BJCC//Trans Siberian Orchestra The Alabama Theatre//Christmas Vacation Friday, Dec 15 Zydeco//The Vegabonds & Dirtygirl

Saturday, Dec 16 Legacy Arena at the BJCC//Birmingham Ballet The Nutcracker

Friday, Dec 1 Bridgestone Arena//The Great Xscape Tour

Sunday, Dec 3 Ryman Auditorium//Brian Setzer Orchestra Monday, Dec 4 Ryman Auditorium//ALS ASSOCIATION The Ford Theatre//David Crosby

Tuesday, Dec 5 The Ford Theatre//Jason Isbell Bridgestone Arena//Casting Crowns & King Country: The Glorious Christmas Tour Thursday, Dec 7 Bridgestone Arena//Janet Jackson David Lipscomb Campus School//Alabama Crimson Tide

Friday, Dec 8 Downtown Presbyterian Church//Andrew Bird

Saturday, Dec 9 Bridgestone Aren//Garth Brooks & Trisha Yearwood Marathon Music Works//Kamasi Washington Sunday, Dec 10 Ryman Auditorioum//Leann Rimes Today is Christmas Tour James K. Polk Theater//Sebastian Masiscalco Monday, Dec 11 Ryman Auditorium//Andrew Peterson Marathon Music Works//Purity Ring

Sunday, Dec 17 Ryman Auditorium//Needtobreath 3rd and Lindsley Bar and Grill//Shooter Jennings Plus Jason Boland WSG Julie Roberts Wednesday, Dec 20 Bridgestone Arena//Cirque Musica Holiday Presents Believe

Sunday, Dec 24 Ryman Auditorium//Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker Thursday, Dec 28 Ryman Auditorium//Robert Ear Keen’s Merry Christmas

ATLANTA Friday, Dec 1 Variety Playhouse//Cut Copy

Saturday, Dec 2 Variety Playhouse//Nils Lofgren

Sunday, Dec 3 City Winery//Squirrel Nut Zippers

Tuesday, Dec 5 Tabernacle//Seether Atlanta Symphony Hall//Rick Springfield & Richard Marx

Friday, Dec 8 Atlanta Symphony Hall//Jazz at the Lincoln Center Orchestra w/ Wynton Marsalis Atlanta Colliseum//Old Dominion Fabulous Fox Theatre//Atlanta Ballet: The Nutcracker Saturday, Dec 9 Variety Playhouse//Robert Earl Keen Infinite Energy Center//Trans Siberian Orchestra Sunday Dec 10 The Buckhead Theatre//A Drag Queen Christmas Monday, Dec 11 The Masquerade//Gary Numan

Tuesday, Dec 12 Coca-cola Roxy Theatre//Star 94.1 Christmas with Kelly Clarkson Wednesday, Dec 13 Towne Cinema//Shooter Jennings & Jason Boland Thursday, Dec 14 Variety Playhouse//Gin Blossoms Sunday, Dec 15 Center Stage//Mike Birbiglia

Monday, Dec 16 The Buckhead Theatre//Rhett & Link’s Tour of Mythicality Sunday, Dec 17 Variety Playhouse//Dave Barnes: A Very Merry Christmas Wednesday, Dec 20 City Winery//Dwele

Thursday, Dec 21 The Buckhead Theatre//Ed Roland’s Winter Wonder Saturday, Dec 9 Variety Playhouse//Robert Earl Keen

>>> 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. Acoustic Café 2758 County Hwy 9 205.647.3237

Fox Theatre 660 Peachtree St NE 404.881.2100

Montgomery Performing Arts Center 201 Tallapoosa St 334.481.5100

Von Braun Center 700 Monroe St SW 256.551.2345

Amphitheater at the Wharf 23101 Canal Rd 251.224.1020

The Hangout 251.948.3030 thehangout1.com

The Nick 2514 10th Ave S 205.252.3831

WorkPlay 500 23rd St S 205.380.4082

Bridgestone Arena 501 Broadway 615.770.2000

Marathon Music Works 1402 Clinton St 615.891.1781

Sloss Furnaces 20 32nd St N 205.324.1911

Zydeco 2001 15th Ave S 205.933.1032

Centennial Olympic Park 265 Park Ave W NW 404.223.4412

Minglewood Hall 1555 Madison Ave 901.312.6058

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre 2200 Encore Pkwy 404.733.5010 >>> VISIT US ON THE WEB @ THEPLANETWEEKLY.COM

NOV 29 + DEC 13

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>>> PUZZLEMANIA | C R O S S W O R D P U Z Z L E

Across

1. Nike competitor 5. Shaq's game 10. Yearn (for) 14. Minn. neighbor 15. Tito Puente's nickname 16. "Dianetics" author ___ Hubbard 17. Bankrupt 19. Puppy cries 20. Eases up on 21. Easy ___ 22. Hebrew schools 26. ___-loading (marathon runner's strategy) 30. Deep bow 34. Not as damp 35. Current fashion 36. Jolson and Pacino 37. Like a raccoon tail 39. Gelato alternative 42. NATO cousin 43. "This is right ___ alley" 47. Sponge sort 48. HOMES and Roy G. Biv, e.g. 51. Money owed 52. It doesn't require union membership 54. Courseload 57. Overseas traveler's gadget 62. Classic soda 63. Chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry 66. Dirty old man, say 67. ___ Volta (former name of Burkina Faso) 68. When tripled, a WWII film 69. Plains tribe 70. Dull sounds 71. iPad add-ons

SOLUTION FOR PUZZLEMANIA CROSSWORD ON PAGE 21

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NOV 29 + DEC 13

Down

1. Truant, in a military sense 2. Ristorante bottle 3. Comparative phrase 4. Cologne cries 5. Swiss capital, to the Swiss 6. Begin to flourish 7. Electrical discharge 8. Cash in Albania 9. Ghent river 10. She played Samantha on "Who's the Boss?" 11. Street gang member 12. Southwestern Indian 13. "____ petit placidam sub libertate quietem" (Massachusetts motto) 18. Pooh's grumpy pal 21. Common power sources 23. Showtime rival 24. Modern mil. concern 25. Is a contender 26. Digital storage medium 27. Ending for sect or unit 28. Washer cycle 29. Command to Rover 31. Bigwig 32. Like some chins 33. Shakira's "Donde ___ Corazon" 38. ____ buggy 40. Buddy from way back 41. Small deer 44. ATM code 45. Hosts, briefly 46. Like some intersections 49. Reason for action 50. Abbr. word after black or covert 53. Lysol targets 54. Potentially offensive 55. ____-do-well 56. Her, in German 58. Stuffable bread 59. Type of roof for a muscle car 60. Wild West Wyatt 61. Genetic molecules 63. Almond or cashew 64. Bible book between Gal. and Phil. 65. Manjula's husband, on "The Simpsons"

>>> PUZZLEMANIA| S U D O K U

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 21

WRITERS WANTED

For Information, please email PlanetEditor@ yahoo.com

>>> PLANETWEEKLY • TUSCALOOSA'S SOURCE FOR ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC, SPORTS & THE ARTS


>>> HOROSCOPES | W E E K L Y O V E R V I E W You might sense that something needs to change, but the start of the week may not be the time to act. There could be a lot of resistance to letting something go and allowing new opportunities or ideas to take its place. Later in the week, you’ll find it easier to release whatever has been holding you back. In addition, Venus, your guide planet, will enter your financial zone on Friday, encouraging you to get your money to work harder for you. Don’t take it personally if someone seems somewhat aloof at the start of the week. They could be busy with their own projects and plans and will likely have time to spare once they’re done. Things become lighter and easier when Venus enters your sector of relating at the end of the week, bringing the opportunity to smooth over any difficulties and compromise where necessary. Chatty Mercury, your guide planet, turns retrograde on Saturday, so it might be wise to complete your holiday preparations early. You could be under a lot of pressure early in the week. But rather than get frustrated, relax and go with the flow. Otherwise, you could find that the more you try to force the pace, the less you accomplish. Life get easier later in the week. With flamboyant Jupiter aligning with dreamy Neptune, you could have some wonderful plans, but getting a second opinion would be a valuable and necessary reality check. Sunday’s full moon encourages you to take time out for self-care. Don’t be too hard on yourself if a creative project doesn’t go as planned. You could be critical early on, when there’s likely no need to be. But as the week proceeds, the idea of relaxing and enjoying life could take hold. The move of Venus into your leisure sector on Friday could encourage you to get out and enjoy romantic breaks or lighthearted dates. The full moon could intensify feelings on Sunday, however, so thinking before you speak can help avoid later regrets. Try not to set yourself too many impossible tasks early on, as you could find it hard to live up to your expectations. If you’re realistic, you can accomplish a lot. As the week proceeds, your focus could turn to more lighthearted activities. With Venus entering your domestic sector, it’s time to engage in a little pampering and selfcare, especially if you’ve been busy with holiday plans. Mercury, your guide planet, turns retrograde on Saturday, so getting holiday tasks completed early might be helpful. The start of the week might see you engaged with mental tasks that could be quite demanding. However, you’ll feel much better once they’re done. Luscious Venus, your guide planet, enters your sector of communication on Friday, suggesting that much can be accomplished with a little charm. You might prefer to adopt a more independent stance in an ongoing relationship, and this could influence activities from Friday through the weekend. The full moon on Sunday could remind you of what you’re missing. You could feel a little cash strapped at the start of the week, but this is a temporary phase. If you plan for it, you might avoid too many difficulties. As the week gathers pace, Venus enters your money zone, which could see you splurging rather than saving, especially on small luxuries. The weekend could be rather special and very romantic as flamboyant Jupiter aligns with dreamy Neptune. If you have a special date planned, it should be a time to remember.

Give yourself a break and try to be less demanding of yourself, especially at the week’s start. While it’s good to focus on getting things done, high expectations can be daunting. Lowering them might enable you to accomplish more. As luscious Venus dances into your sign on Friday, you might feel more inclined to socialize and reach out. Charity work might also appeal, as well as assisting those who can’t help themselves. Mercury’s retrograde phase, starting Saturday, could spell delays at a critical time. You could be doing a lot of thinking early in the week, and this might lead to a decision that has been some time in the making. Once it’s made, you should feel very relieved. In general, the cosmos is encouraging you to relax and reflect wherever possible. When delectable Venus enters a more private sector on Friday, this subtle influence will encourage you to enhance your relationship with yourself and your spiritual side. Friends could be rather idealistic, but this may complement your mood. You might need to make a tough decision related to a friendship or social group at the week’s start. There’s no point in putting it off, as you’ll only be delaying the inevitable. Do what you must and you’ll feel much more relaxed for the rest of the week. With feisty Mars opposing restless Uranus on Friday, a desire to do your own thing could see you adopting a more independent course. Mercury turns retrograde on Saturday, so try to finish important tasks before then.

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The week’s start could see you grappling with certain responsibilities. You might not want to, but it’s better to do them to the best of your ability and get them out of the way. The rest of the week can then unfold at a pleasant pace. Expansive Jupiter aligns with ethereal Neptune in Pisces over the weekend, and this could coincide with discovering a philosophy or set of beliefs that you find very attractive. There’s a good chance you’ll want to learn more. Try to get things organized at the start of the week, because you could be less inclined to plan by the end of it. Dealing with a deadline? Working at it on Monday can enable you to complete it easily. Things may flow more freely as lovely Venus enters Sagittarius, encouraging you to go in search of a love adventure and exotic fun. The full moon on Sunday could heighten feelings, so go easy to avoid doing or saying something you might later regret.

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>>> L O C A L F E A T U R E | ELIZABETH MOSELEY

Photos Courtesy of Elizabeth Moseley

THE HOLIDAY SPIRIT OF GIVING THRIVES IN TUSCALOOSA

W

hile the weather may not feel like it, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas as Tuscaloosa gears up for the holiday season. The welcome sight of bright holiday figures line the streets of the downtown area, businesses and homes are alight with cozy red and green adornment, and the annual traditions we so fondly anticipate finally arrive. We may not see a blanket of white snow cover the city this year, but we can see the holiday spirit thriving through the work of charitable organizations all over Tuscaloosa. There is nothing that encompasses the holiday spirit more than the act of giving to those in need, and Tuscaloosa is rife with opportunities to give back to the community this December. “It’s not very complicated to be giving,” says Chet Goldstein, Founder of Santa’s Elves, a certified nonprofit organization dedicated to giving underprivileged families in the Tuscaloosa area a chance to have a Christmas experience that might have been otherwise impossible. Santa’s Elves provides a free shopping experience for parents of K-12 students in the city and county school systems. “It’s for parents who may not be able to provide for their children a simple gift for the holidays,” said Goldstein. “So we wanted to create a charity that can basically go out and have a retail environment set up for the parents to actually come in and pick out a toy that their child will relate to and like to have.” Parents are given vouchers by school counselors determined by need to pick out three toys for their child completely free of charge. Santa’s Elves provides everything: personal shoppers, gift wrapping, batteries, and even a stocking filled with candy and small toys for each of the 700 children provided for by the charity. Goldstein says the best part of this organization is getting to see the thrill in the parents who get to pick out a toy for their child. The parents get to have choices in their childrens’ presents and are allowed a stress-free shopping experience at no cost. Santa’s Elves is made possible by donations and volunteers from the business community of Tuscaloosa as well as from individuals knowledgeable of the charity. “We’re very grateful for the opportunity to get a network of all these people that see the need for a simple

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cause like this,” Goldstein said. This year, there are 46 corporate sponsors that have collected donations, toys and all the other materials that Santa’s Elves needs to operate. Businesses can have employee toy drives, raise money and shop for the children in need. While there are a number of recognized official sponsors, Santa’s Elves takes donations of any amount from individuals looking to take part in the spirit of giving this holiday season.

will host two more events that members of the community can enjoy in the holiday spirit. Pet Night, on December 3 from 3-5 p.m., will feature representatives from various organizations benefitting animals in need. Visitors can bring their pets to walk along the trail, visit Santa Paws and learn more about helping animals through groups like Callie’s Place, the Human Society of West Alabama, the Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter, The Canine Compassion Fund and TSnip.

For information on toy donations and any other contribution, email chet@ campuscollection.net or gigi@ campuscollection.net to take the next steps in providing an wonderful holiday for a child in need. Santa’s Elves is a 501(c)(3) approved tax deductible nonprofit organization.

On December 17, the Tuscaloosa River Market will hold Sunday With Santa, which will offer not only the sights of the twinkling decorated trees, but personal photographs with Santa, refreshments and other activities for the whole family. More information on these events can be found on the Tinsel Trail’s website, www. ttowntinsel.com

“I think people make it complicated to do good unto others…and to just do something for your neighbor,” Goldstein said in closing. “If you feel like somebody’s in need, reach out and make something happen. Just act and make it happen.” There is hardly a more iconic holiday image than the Christmas tree, and Tuscaloosa is home to an an evergreen extravaganza along the Black Warrior River called the Tinsel Trail. It is put on by Tuscaloosa’s OnePlace, a Family Resource Center that improves the quality of life in the community through programs that strengthen families, promote self-sufficiency and prevent child abuse. According to their mission statement, Tuscaloosa’s OnePlace strives to empower people to meet their full potential. The Tinsel Trail is one of OnePlace’s many projects that go to fund its programs, which help over 8,500 people every year. From November 20-January 14, the Riverwalk is lined with over 150 trees, each sponsored and decorated by a local business, organization or individual. People can walk alongside visitors of all ages and view the glittering ornamentation, enjoy refreshments from local food trucks and attend events in the Tuscaloosa River Market at the end of the trail. While the trail is open during the day, the most brilliant lights can be seen from dusk until midnight when the trail fills with visitors flitting around in awe. After their grand opening, the Tinsel Trail

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>>> H I G H T I D E S P O R T S | GARY HARRIS

Courtesy UA Media Relations

TIDE FALLS IN BARCLAYS CHAMPIONSHIP GAME BROOKLYN, N.Y. - The No. 25 Alabama men's basketball team dropped a hard-fought battle to No. 14 Minnesota, 89-84, in the Barclay Classic championship game Saturday night at the Barclays Center. The Crimson Tide were forced to finish with only three players on the court over the final 10-plus minutes of the contest. Seven Alabama players were ejected for leaving the bench during an altercation at the 13:43 mark of the second half, which left five UA players on the court. Two minutes later, sophomore Dazon Ingram fouled out with 11:37 remaining. Less than a minute later, freshman John Petty went down with an injury, leaving Alabama with three players over the final 10:41 and the Tide trailing 67-56. However, that's when freshman Collin Sexton and his two remaining teammates turned up the pressure on Minnesota. Sexton put on a show in front of the Barclays Center crowd, as he ended the night with 40 points to become the first Alabama player to score 40 in a game since Reggie King had 43 points against Virginia on Dec. 29, 1978. Sexton, senior Riley Norris and freshman Galin Smith went on to outscore Minnesota 30-22 over the final 10-plus minutes to give the Tide a chance to win. The three players were able to whittle the lead to just three, 83-80, with 1:39 remaining before the Golden Gophers ended the game on a 6-1 run to close out the victory. Sexton connected on 12-of-22 from the field, 4-of-7 from beyond the arc and went 12-of-16 from the charity stripe en route to his 40-point night. Norris finished with 13 points, while Smith ended with season bests of 10 points, eight rebounds and three blocked shots. "Tough finish for us," Alabama head coach Avery Johnson said. "Obviously we didn't have our bench to be able to substitute and to give our guys a blow. It was all about a numbers game but take your hats off to our guys who finished the game, whether it was the four guys initially or the three guys before (John Petty) got injured. They battled, they fought, they made some tough shots, they passed and moved, we got some tip-ins inside, and that's the type of energy and effort we need, especially when we're full strength. I'm proud of our guys, we have a lot of lessons that we can learn from today's game. "I haven't (encountered a game such as this one). That's a new one right there. It's amazing when you come into a game and you don't

expect anything like that to happen. But we didn't make any excuses. We were still in the huddle drawing up plays, trying to solve problems and our guys executed with some of the screening action that we ran to try to get some of our guys free. We tried to punch it inside around the free throw line and use Collin's (Sexton) speed and Riley's (Norris) shooting ability. There was no surrendering our team, and that's the bright spot about today's game."

Over the final 20 minutes, Alabama shot 53.3 percent (16-of-30) from the floor and 54.5 percent (6-of-11) from deep, but the Gophers were able to match that by going 53.1 percent (17-of-32) from the field and 50 percent (6-of12) from beyond the arc in the final 20 minutes.

Minnesota jumped out to an early 11-2 lead over the first 3:22 minutes into the contest and quickly extended its lead to double digits. Momentum started to shift as Alabama trimmed the lead down to 10 at the 10:05 minute mark, but Minnesota used a 7-0 run to lead 30-13 with 6:54 left in the half. The Golden Gophers took a 41-29 lead into the locker room.

Freshman Collin Sexton turned in an outstanding performance at the Barclays Center, scoring 31 points in the second half to total 40 points for the night. Sexton is the first Alabama player to score 40 points since Reggie King had 43 points against Virginia on Dec. 29, 1978.

Alabama began to rally back into the contest at the start of the second half. After a double technical on Minnesota's Nate Mason at the 14:06 mark, followed by Gopher's head coach Richard Pitino being issued an additional technical foul for arguing with the official, Mason was ejected and Sexton hit 3-of-4 free throws to make it a 10-point game. In the ensuing possession, Norris drilled a three to cut it to seven when the melee occurred forcing the Tide to play shorthanded. The Tide scored 55 points in the second half despite being shorthanded for a majority of it.

Minnesota's Jordan Murphy led the Golden Gophers with 19 points and 14 rebounds, while Mason finished with a game-high 20 points before being ejected.

Senior Riley Norris and freshman Galin Smith also reached double digits, tallying 13 and 10 points respectively. After trailing by double digits at the end of the first half, 41-29, Alabama rallied back into the contest, shooting 53.3 percent from the floor (16-of-30) and 54.5 percent from deep (6-of11) in the second stanza to fall just five points short in the championship game. For all the latest information on the team, follow AlabamaMBB on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. General athletic news can be found @UA_Athletics on Twitter and Instagram and Alabama Athletics on Facebook.

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