Erin Wright | WABE 90.1 FM

Erin Wright

Radio Producer

Erin Wright produces "City Lights" and "Strike Up the Band." After studying viola, German and Musicology at UGA, Erin began working at Public Broadcasting Atlanta in 2011. 

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photo of Kenny Leon (left) courtesy True Colors Theatre Company, photo of Paul Conroy credit Tyler Ogburn

Earlier this year, ArtsATL columnist Gail O'Neill launched a 12-part series recognizing the artists elevating our city's arts and culture landscape. It's called the Legacy Series, and the latest profile is of True Colors Theatre Company co-founder and artistic director Kenny Leon.

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Matthew Kaminski, the Atlanta Braves organist, during a game against the Washington Nationals.
Pouya Dianat / Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

At 7:35 p.m. Friday, the Atlanta Braves host the San Diego Padres in their first home game of the new season, and in a brand new stadium to boot.

Now in his ninth season, Matthew Kaminski is the official organist of the Braves, no matter where the team calls home. Matthew joined Lois Reitzes on "City Lights" to discuss his brand-new, state-of-the-art suite at SunTrust Park ahead of tonight's game.

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Courtesy of the Vega Quartet

Shakespeare and Beethoven come together on one program Tuesday evening at Emory University's Carlos Museum.

Will Ransom, Artistic Director of the Emory Chamber Music Society of Atlanta, previewed the celebration of the Bard's words and Beethoven's music with guest pianist Julie Coucheron on "City Lights."

Isadora Pennington

Mice is the plural of mouse, geese is the plural of goose and celli is the plural of cello.

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Here in Atlanta, Celli is also a group of four female cellists who had so much fun playing together in groups like the Savannah Philharmonic that they decided to form their own ensemble. 

Courtesy of Life in a Kilt Podcast

Five years ago, Rick Baldwin decided to wear a kilt every day for one year. It was a self-described "goofy experiment" in celebration of his 50th birthday.

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"I’d never even touched a kilt,” Baldwin told Lois Reitzes on “City Lights.” “It was weird when I started.”

Blue Delliquanti / Iron Circus Comics

Cooking and eating insects is nothing new, but it’s an idea that makes the Western palate squeamish.

No matter how you approach the concept — environmental impact, deforestation, soil acidification, food insecurity, malnutrition, even over-nutrition — the case for adding insects to our diet is strong.

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Maria Abou Nassar

Nemr is a Lebanese-American stand-up comic credited with establishing the stand-up comedy scene not only in his home country of Lebanon, but in the entire Middle East region.

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He’s performed his sets in English to hundreds and sometimes thousands of people and has two comedy specials. He was even on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine’s Middle East edition.

Julian Mignot / Warner Classics

On Saturday evening, Spivey Hall welcomes the Ebène Quartet for a concert of music featuring string quartets by Mozart and Debussy.

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Lois Reitzes spoke with Ebène Quartet cellist Raphaël Merlin about the ensemble's evening of classical, jazz and crossover arrangements. Merlin told Reitzes that when it comes to approaching seemingly disparate styles of music, he cites the wisdom of (fellow classical/jazz/crossover musician) Nigel Kennedy:

Rafterman Photography

The Atlanta Opera's production of "Don Pasquale" sets the comic opera gem in the golden era of Hollywood. The title character, played by Burak Bilgili, is an aging silent film star at the sunset of his career.

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COURTESY THE EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT GROUP

For his 14-year long career as a special education teacher, Andy Jones was also involved with Atlanta's improv and theater scenes. Now Jones has married his former double lives in a new career, offering improv classes to children and teens with learning disabilities and other learning differences. 

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Photo Courtesy of Arís Theatre

When it comes to literature, the Irish have been active for quite a while. After Greek and Latin, literature in Irish is the oldest in Europe, dating from the 4th or 5th century.

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As the 20th century drew near in Ireland, a new nationalist cultural revival stirred. It would come to be known as the Irish literary renaissance and would change modern Irish history. The waves of that cultural sea change continue to ripple across the Irish and Celtic Diaspora.

The Village Theatre

Ten years ago, critic and author Christopher Hitchens wrote an essay for Vanity Fair called “Why Women Aren’t Funny.”

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That outrageous premise did not originate with Hitchens himself, nor did it die with him in 2011. 

This month, the Village Theatre has been putting that notion to task in a celebration of women’s history told through specialty shows, all conceptualized and performed by their women ensemble members.

llustration of Octavian, Antony and Lepidus debating proscriptions from Shakespeare's Julius Caesar
Wikimedia Commons

In Act I of William Shakespeare's historic tragedy "Julius Caesar," a soothsayer warns the titular emperor to "Beware the Ides of March."

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But what are the "Ides of March," and why should Caesar take heed? 

To answer those questions and more, "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes spoke with Atlanta Shakespeare Company Artistic Director Jeff Watkins. 

Courtesy of Alliance Theatre

The Alliance Theatre will bring down the house — quite literally — as it soon begins a major, year-long renovation. The work should result in a theater space that's more accessible as well as acoustically refined.

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But, as "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes noted, "the show must go on," and she spoke with the Alliance Theatre's artistic director Susan V. Booth about the company's upcoming nomadic season.

courtesy James Sliman Media Relations

Forget about being a triple threat, Sandra Bernhard is one of those rare performers who really can do it all.

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Bernhard got her start in the 1970s, working the stand-up circuit where she first debuted her signature brazen sense of humor. Now, she’s back on the road with a new show, “SANDRA MONICA BLVD: Coast to Coast.”

MJCCA

Jerry’s Habima Theatre is Georgia’s only theatrical company directed and produced by professionals, featuring actors with special needs ages 18 and up. For 24 years and counting, the company stages a Broadway-style musical, and this year’s production is “The Wizard of Oz.”

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Garrison Keillor
Erik Hageness

Garrison Keillor may no longer host "A Prairie Home Companion," but he's certainly not retired.

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Ahead of his evening of storytelling at the Cobb Energy Centre, the longtime public radio personality spoke with "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes about what he's been up to.

Screengrab

A new documentary aims to tell the story of chocolate, bean to bar.

Filmmaker Tim Shephard followed a group of craft-chocolate makers into the jungles of Peru as they sought to strengthen relationships with farmers and identify new varieties of cacao to introduce into the U.S. market.

Jeremy Ayers

Cindy Wilson just wants you to have a good time.

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She is, famously, a founding member of The B-52s – the Athens, Georgia, band that formed in 1977 and has since become known as “the world’s greatest party band.”

Screengrab via Safety Third Productions

“The Arts are alive and well at Georgia Tech.” That’s a direct quote from Madison Cario, the Director of the institute’s Office of the Arts. Many Atlantans are surprised to hear that the arts have a home on the Tech campus, let alone a dedicated office.

Copyright Dan Kamin

Dan Kamin is on a mission to remind audiences of the genius of Charlie Chaplin. In his one-of-a-kind program at Spivey Hall, Kamin screens a newly-restored version of Chaplin’s 1916 movie “The Pawnshop,” complemented with storytelling, film clips and live performance.

Matthew Terrell

The long-running TV show “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” may arguably account for the expansion of improv comedy, especially in the U.S. and Canada.

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Sophie Wright / Decca Classics

Diana Ross paid tribute to her friend Marvin Gaye with "Missing You." Michael Stipe and R.E.M. famously penned "Man on the Moon" about the late comedian Andy Kaufman.

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Artists and musicians have long paid tribute to their patrons and their loved ones, but perhaps the trickiest homage is from one composer to another.

The Atlanta Daily World entrance
Brenna Beech / WABE

The Atlanta Daily World is the nation’s oldest daily African-American newspaper. Alexis Scott is not only the descendant of the paper’s founder, William Alexander (W.A.) Scott, she was the “World’s” publisher for 17 years.

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Katy Porter

Hari Kondabolu is a mainstream American comic.

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He tours nationally, headlines festivals and records bestselling comedy albums. In fact, Kondabolu’s latest album, “Mainstream American Comic,” hit No. 1 on the comedy charts last summer. Yet there’s more than a little twinge of irony in the album's title.

The Daffodil Project

After an unusually mild winter, Georgia’s own groundhog General Beauregard Lee predicted an early spring. While his prediction has proven correct – so far – a more reliable sign of spring is the sight of daffodils blooming after a months-long hibernation.

If you’ve been downtown in the past couple of weeks, you may have seen thousands of these bright yellow flowers blooming from Woodruff Park to the campus greens of Georgia State University.

Jeff Roffman for The Atlanta Opera

The Atlanta Opera is near the end of their wildly successful, sold-out run of Astor Piazzolla's tango opera, "Maria de Buenos Aires," on stage at Le Maison Rouge in Paris on Ponce. The company's General and Artistic Director, Tomer Zvulun, is largely responsible for such productions, and he says the upcoming Atlanta Opera season continues to represent their strategic direction.

In an interview on “City Lights” (posted above), Lois Reitzes spoke with Zvulun about how the 2017-2018 season represents his vision for Atlanta’s major opera company. 

Courtesy of Gaelynn Lea

In about a month, we'll learn the winner of the third annual Tiny Desk Contest, the songwriting and performance contest from the creators of NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts.

Last year, the six judges received over 6,000 entries, listening for what host Bob Boilen identified as "something singular, a song and sound that felt original, and a performance that felt inspired." In the end, the judges’ decisions were unanimous: Gaelynn Lea of Duluth, Minnesota.

Marion Bataille

Alphabet books are simple in concept and in structure – a tidy, ordered sequence of the letters of the alphabet, from A to Z.

“Innovative” is not a word one would usually associate with alphabet books, so it’s with some distinction that the Washington Post called one such book, “ABC3D,” "easily the most innovative alphabet book of the year, if not the decade.” The first thing that stands out – quite literally – about “ABC3D” is that it’s a pop-up book.

Courtesy of Rabbi Micah Lapidus

“Rise Up!”

That’s the rallying cry of Atlanta Falcons fans as the hometown football team prepares to take on the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI.

“Rise Up” also happens to be the title of a gospel song written by a rabbi and embraced by Atlanta’s most prominent and historic African-American congregations.

Rabbi Micah Lapidus is the Director of Jewish and Hebrew Studies at The Davis Academy in Dunwoody. It’s really in his work as a composer, however, that Lapidus carries on the tradition of interfaith dialogue in Atlanta.

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