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. 

Juan Montier

Atlanta chef Juan Montier approaches his food much like a designer. Before cooking, he sketches. He even sketches the cocktails. This is very unusual.

“I primarily started sketching the food because I needed to communicate my team exactly what I wanted it to look like,” Montier said in an interview with Lois Reitzes. With a background in architecture and interiors, this design savvy probably influenced one of his cooking philosophies, which is “your eyes eat before your mouth does.”

Juan Montier

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

BreeAnne Clowdus Photography

A self-help book provided the framework for Theatrical Outfit’s current production. Walker Percy’s “Lost in the Cosmos: The Last Self-Help Book” came out in 1983 and was a quirky and futuristic look at the humanity’s identity crisis.

Theatrical Outfit’s Artistic Director Tom Key adapted the book for the stage in the 1990s, creating the character of the volunteer who participates in a seminar that delves into ideas of existence.

Dave Pickoff / Associated Press

Since 2011, Georgia State and Theatrical Outfit have teamed up to present the works of southern writers on the stage. Whether through dramatic readings or adaptations, local actors and readers perform literature.

This year, the series focuses on four female writers from the South: Eudora Welty, Alice Walker, Flannery O’Connor and Toni Morrison.

Local actress Brenda Bynum presents the Eudora Welty’s “Powerhouse,” a short story about a great jazz musician based on Fats Waller, alongside actor Eric Moore.

Jason Pellett / Orpheus Brewing

One of Atlanta’s contemporary music ensembles is inviting you out for a drink. Chamber Cartel is about to begin a six-concert series at Orpheus Brewing in Midtown. They’ll be performing works by Iannis Xenakis, John Luther Adams and other composers in a series they’re calling “Don’t Look Back: Beyond the Zero.” 

There may not be an obvious connection between contemporary classical music and craft beer, but as it turns out, both entities go way back.

BreeAnne Clowdus Photography

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

In 1939, Dr. Nathaniel Bronner Sr. was the only male graduate of Apex Beauty College on Auburn Avenue.
Courtesy of Bronner Bros.

The nation's largest African-American beauty show turns 70 years old this weekend. A hair product company called Bronner Brothers puts it on twice a year in Atlanta. This weekend’s show runs from Saturday, Feb. 11 through Monday, Feb. 13.

The brand name might sound masculine, but behind it is a league of black women who overcame Jim Crow laws to lay the groundwork for the African-American hair care industry.

Musicians Aileen Loy and Mike Katinsky talk with Lois Reitzes about their annual tribute to love and murder ballads in Bloody Valentines at the Earl on Thursday's ''City Lights.''
Stephen Crocker

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Jeff Shipman

Valentine’s Day is next week and love songs are sure to be everywhere. But one group of Atlanta musicians is offering an alternative. The annual Bloody Valentines show is returning to the EARL and will be performing a mix of murder ballads, songs of obsession and love-gone-wrong.

The creators of the show, which has been happening annually since 2015, aim to go against the grain of typical Valentine's events.

"I've always wanted to do an evening of murder ballads," singer Aileen Loy, who will perform in the show, tells City Lights host Lois Reitzes.

Alberto Vasar

They call him "the Closer." James Judd is the man that the storytelling show Snap Judgment brings out to bring down the house. The lawyer and former stand-up comedian is known for his brash, energetic style and his rollicking stories of public embarrassment and failure.

Judd will be among the performers taking the stage of Atlanta Symphony Hall this weekend when Snap Judgment rolls into town for a live show. 

Social Media Is Changing How Authors Go on Tour

Feb 8, 2017
Robert Scoble via VisualHunt / CC BY


Once upon a time the cross-country book tour was a regular occurrence for published authors. Now, those tours are reserved for “huge sellers who are also excellent public speakers or have multiple platforms that are going to attract a lot of media attention,” best-selling novelist Joshilyn Jackson says.

On this edition of “Writer to Reader,” Jackson gives an overview of how her experience touring has changed over the years, and how tours have changed for the publishing industry as a whole.

City Lights: John Burke; 'Good Hair'; And More

Feb 8, 2017

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Catherine Dee Holly and Fray Forde

This story starts, like many great stories do, with an argument over hair care products.

The short film “Good Hair” was shot in Atlanta with a wealth of hometown talent, including its creators, director and actor Catherine Dee Holly and comedian Fray Forde.

The film begins with Frankie, played by Holly, discovering that Khi, played by Forde, has used the last of her hair conditioner. The scene is based on a real-life argument the couple got into, which formed the basis for the story. 

Jennifer Williams/Doris Derby

Dashboard is an arts agency dedicated to challenging artists to create work in unfamiliar, unused and untraditional spaces. The organization is based here in Atlanta, and since it was founded in 2010, Dashboard has put on 42 exhibits in 7 US cities.

Their latest exhibition is in a venue that has seen artwork before. “Women Change Agents: The Photographs of Dr. Doris Derby” is now on view through April 5 in the Atrium Gallery at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

Brock Scott

A new nonprofit looks to bridge the gap between art and politics. It's called Georgia Artists for Progress.

The organization has already had one event: a concert that also featured talks by state Reps. Park Cannon and Renitta Shannon. Attendees were also invited to figure out their legislators at the event.

Jeanine Michna-Bales

The latest exhibit at Arnika Dawkins Gallery features the work of photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales.

Michna-Bales traveled 1,400 miles to sites along the Underground Railroad. She photographed the landscapes at night, seeing her surroundings much like how those traveling on the Underground Railroad would have experienced on the route.

“This was America’s first civil rights movement,” said Michna-Bales in an interview with Lois Reitzes. “I tried to pick a first-person viewpoint and try to look at what they could have possibly seen as they were moving.”


Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

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. 

Credit Atlanta Opera

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Kawai Matthews

We've yet to reach Valentine’s Day, but Atlanta resident and Grammy-winning trombonist Saunders Sermons has dedicated the whole month of February to love. He has curated a series at City Winery featuring soul cabaret. The concerts are on each Monday this month, starting tonight with Grammy-nominated singer Tamar Davis. 

“Soul cabaret, it can be rock, blues, jazz, RnB. I want to keep it eclectic,” said Sermons in an interview with Lois Reitzes.

Courtesy of Out Front Theatre

Inclusivity is front and center at the Out Front Theatre Company. Its mission is to share stories about the LGBTQIA community through theater. That’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intergender and allied.

“Other cities in the country had companies that have been around for decades telling these stories,” said Out Front Founder and Producing Artistic Director Paul Conroy. “But our audiences weren’t being reached on a consistent basis. Shows might have popped up once in a while, but we wanted to do it full time.”

City Lights: Gad Elmaleh; Super Bowl Bets; And More

Feb 3, 2017
Pascal Le Segretain / Associated Press

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

City Lights: Gaelynn Lea; James Baldwin; And More

Feb 2, 2017
Courtesy of Gaelynn Lea

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

© Dan Budnik, all rights reserved / Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

James Baldwin's work has become a touchstone in recent years. His writings have inspired activists, intellects and those on the quest for civil rights in the United States.

Filmmaker Raoul Peck was fundamentally transformed by Baldwin's work. Peck’s passion became the documentary "I Am Not Your Negro," which has just been nominated for an Academy Award.

The documentary is essay-style. Instead of interviews with experts, the content features Baldwin's words from an unfinished manuscript for a book called “Remember This House.”

Courtesy of MINT

The art organization MINT is going through a lot of changes. The gallery recently announced that their creative director, Candice Greathouse, has resigned. 

This follows their announcement in April 2016 that they were moving out of their gallery space on North Highland. MINT has since been setting up exhibitions in temporary spaces. 

Greathouse became MINT's full-time creative director in 2014 after serving as interim operations manager. 

Gabbie Watts

The Founding Fathers adorn history classrooms across the country and are remembered for their intellect, morality and fierce dedication to freedom. But even as they endorsed "all men are created equal," many of them held slaves.

This idea is explored in the new documentary "Liberty & Slavery: The Paradox of America's Founding Fathers.”

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.

Courtesy of 7 Stages

Gentrification is at the center of “Sea of Common Catastrophe,” a meditative piece that combines theater, music and dance. It was developed by multidisciplinary company ArtSpot, which is based in New Orleans.  

“Our work does not begin with a script,” said ArtSpot Artistic Director Kathy Randels in an interview with Lois Reitzes. “We start with an idea we want to explore …We, on some level, play in the sandbox for a year and then share our experiments.”

Jeff Shipman

"Le Petit Prince" is an iconic book. From its illustrations to its cast of characters, the Prince teaches lessons of friendship, growing up, dreams and how to see with the heart.

And there's no better theater company to present "The Little Prince" than the Theater of the Dream, or Théâtre du Rêve, Atlanta's own francophone theater company.

Holly Renee

If the idea of “swiping left or swiping right” is second nature to you by now, this show may be for you. Onstage now at Dad’s Garage, “U Up?” takes a look at relationships in the 21st century.

"Not every sketch is about online dating or Tinder," co-writer and co-star Alison Hastings tells "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes. "Almost all of them are about two people right in front of each other, trying to connect in some way."