City Lights with Lois Reitzes | WABE 90.1 FM

City Lights with Lois Reitzes

Weekdays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 7 p.m. on WABE's Live Stream

"City Lights" explores the ways in which people express themselves creatively and enhance our lives.

In addition to a wide range of music, "City Lights" covers theater, dance, pop culture, visual arts and more. WABE has long been a partner with many organizations in Atlanta and through "City Lights" we're deepening those relationships to serve our community with even greater arts and cultural content. 

Courtesy of the National Black Arts Festival

The National Black Arts Festivals is dedicated to highlighting and celebrating artwork by artists of African descent. And every year, they focus on one discipline. This past fall was theater.

Since it was started by the Fulton County Arts Council in 1988, however, the National Black Arts Festival has transitioned from a yearly three-day festival to a year-round organization. One of their recent initiatives dives into Atlanta’s schools systems.

Superhero Bugs Take Over Center For Puppetry Arts

20 hours ago
Madalina Anton

The upcoming Center for Puppetry Arts production is not about Pinocchio, Punch or Judy. It’s all about bugs. Called “The Adventures of Mighty Bug,” the title character, Mighty Bug, must save insect town Bugville from the evil villain Scorpiana.

The show features body puppetry, basically very elaborate costumes, along with shadow puppets. The set is also designed to look like a comic book because according to puppeteer Amy Sweeney, who plays Scorpiana, all bugs have their own superhero powers.

Donald Glover, creator/executive producer/director, participates in the "Atlanta" panel during the FX Television Critics Association summer press tour on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, in Beverly Hills, Calif.
Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Donald Glover poses in the press room with the award for best performance by an actor in a television series - musical or comedy for "Atlanta" at the 74th annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Ca
Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

"Atlanta" won two Golden Globe Awards. Not the city — which isn't to say we don't deserve it — but the television series helmed by writer, actor and musician Donald Glover.

The show follows the exploits of Earn Marks, played by Glover, as he navigates the city's hip-hop scene, managing his rapper cousin who goes by the name Paperboy. The program has earned critical praise for its first season, and now from the Golden Globes.

City Lights: Noise Ordinances; Joan Kroc; And More

Jan 17, 2017
Pixabay Images

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Preston Wiles / Dutton

Burgers, fries and a soda did not become a ubiquitous roadside meal because of the McDonald's brothers.

Though they may have invented the concept, it was Ray Kroc who took a single business, McDonald's, and turned it into an international franchise.

Bleux Stockings Society Live Lit Series Turns One

Jan 17, 2017
Wes Cummings

A year ago, the Bleux Stockings Society's founders set their sights high. Bleux Stockings is one of the youngest live lit monthly events in Atlanta, where readers present their work in front of a audience. Its reading slots are open to cis and trans women and non-binary people.

Andrew Eccles / Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

When Hope Boykin last visited WABE, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater veteran was starring as Odetta, the woman often referred to as "the voice of the Civil Rights movement," in a world premiere piece by Matthew Rushing.

Now, as Boykin prepares to return to Atlanta, she’s bringing a work of her own to the Fox Theatre’s stage.

City Lights: Alvin Ailey Dance; Matisyahu; And More

Jan 13, 2017
Paul Kolnik / Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Pixabay Images

Atlanta's music scene is legendary, and recording studios are a big part of it.  But, some studios have caused noise complaints.  A few have seen deadly shootings.

That prompted a proposed city ordinance to regulate new recording spaces.  It's set for a full council vote on Tuesday.

If the ordinance passes, new studios would have to be sound proof and have a special use permit.  They also couldn't open within 300 feet of homes. 

Courtesy of Matisyahu

When your art is rooted in your religious faith, how does your work evolve along with your beliefs?

Matthew Paul Miller could tell you.

The hip-hop and reggae singer is better known by his Hebrew name: Matisyahu.

He emerged in the mid-2000s, clad in a long beard and traditional garments, weaving themes of Orthodox Judaism into his lyrics.

Marco Borggreve

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra welcomes pianist Kirill Gerstein into their hall this week. And among his many accomplishments, Gerstein had a rare opportunity in 2015. He was the first to record the rediscovered edition of Tchaikovsky's first piano concerto, which Tchaikovsky released in 1879 but had been lost.

After Tchaikovsky passed away, an editor made some “significant changes,” in Gerstein’s words, to the score. That resulted in a posthumous edition published in 1894, which became the most well-known version.

Marco Borggreve

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Kristian Bush from Sugarland; playwright Janece Shaffer with WABE's Lois Reitzes
Al Such / WABE

Turning over the family business from father to son can be tough when tradition bumps up against a new way of doing things. A new play at the Alliance Theatre begins there … it just so happens that the family business is country music. The show is "Troubadour," and was written by the creative team of playwright Janece Shaffer and songwriter Kristian Bush.

City Lights: Alice Hoffman; 'Troubadour'; And More

Jan 10, 2017
Deborah Feingold

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes"

Courtesy of MailChimp

Conventional wisdom says for-profit employees work for paychecks, and nonprofit employees want to make a difference.

Two Atlanta companies have turned that wisdom on its head. They made philanthropy a part of their business model and found it has paid off.


Evan Jang / WABE

This weekend's weather may not have been as extreme as metro Atlanta had been preparing for. While the northern counties did get snow and ice, many of us who who saw only the lightest dusting of frost still spent Saturday and Sunday huddled inside for warmth.

Courtesy Paste Magazine

Paste Magazine is growing in a multitude of directions. In December, the New York and Decatur-based company announced two important developments: a substantial expansion of coverage with seven new sections, including theater, science and wrestling; and a return to print with Paste Quarterly.

Paste Quarterly will be a large format, 12" by 12" magazine, packaged with a music sampler which will be pressed on a vinyl record. 

Evan Jang / WABE

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Georgia Center For The Book

2016 kaleidoscoped into a rough year for many, and that was in part the inspiration for an upcoming reading and lecture series called “Connecting Lines: Building Empathy Through Literature.”

The series includes five lectures at the Georgia Center for the Book at Decatur Library by Professor Pearl McHaney, who teaches southern literature at Georgia State.


On stage, Roman GianArthur is a master of his craft, singing soulfully and shredding on his guitar. His recent EP “OK LADY” features lush reinterpretations of songs by Radiohead and D’Angelo, and on the EP, his talent with his guitar and his production chops shine.

So, it is surprising that he’s only been playing guitar for four years. And he learned from a video game called Rocksmith.

“It’s like Guitar Hero but you just plug your real guitar into it,” said GianArthur. “One of the first songs I played was the three chords from Radiohead’s ‘High and Dry.’”

David Pedde

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Amy Kiley

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Dan Carmody / Studio 7

We should all try to live a little.

This idea is at the center of a world premier play opening at Georgia Ensemble Theatre. It’s called “Greetings Friend Your Kind Assistance Is Required” by Atlanta playwright Topher Payne.

In this case, “living a little” involves spam email, parachuting from an airplane into a foreign country, and somehow, Blockbuster Video.

Actor Brenda Porter plays Rhonda Charles, a retired English teacher who is looking to redefine her life.

Teri Darnell

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Atlanta Photographer Documents Cheshire Bridge Road

Jan 4, 2017
Teri Darnell

Cheshire Bridge Road has been called Atlanta’s red-light district. It is a street that comes to life after hours with strip clubs, drag performance venues, and adult shops.

And, like much of Atlanta, it has completely transformed in recent years. Restaurants and clubs have closed to make way for apartments and mixed-use developments.  

Some residents will be happy to see Cheshire Bridge Road's former reputation go. But one Atlanta photographer has dismantled that reputation by highlighting the area's diverse and generous community.

A plush “Cat in the Hat” toy is displayed next to “What Pet Should I Get?,” the latest book by Dr. Seuss, on Tuesday, July 28, 2015 at a bookstore in Concord, N.H.
AP Photo/Holly Ramer

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Pexels / Pixabay

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Michael Krasny Delves Into Jewish Humor In New Book

Dec 27, 2016
Gabbie Watts / WABE

One of Woody Allen’s jokes starts with him showing off his watch.

“This is a gorgeous, gold pocket watch, and I am proud of it,” he says. “My grandfather, on his deathbed, sold me this watch.” Cue audience laughter.

Or, for those who find that joke too crass, a less problematic one-liner comes from Jon Stewart. He says, “My wife is Catholic. I’m Jewish. It’s very interesting; we’re raising the children to be sad.”

Al Such / WABE

Some critics say that “La La Land,” starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, signals the return of the golden-age Broadway-style movie musical. While this trend is yet to be realized, “La La Land” does indeed hearken back to a time when the paychecks of Hollywood lured New York songwriters to sunny southern California.