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Atlanta Film Festival Opens With 'Dave Made A Maze'

Mar 23, 2017
Courtesy of Atlanta Film Festival

"Dave Made A Maze" is the opening night feature of the Atlanta Film Festival, which kicks off this Friday at the Plaza Theatre at 7 p.m.

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City Lights: Future; 'Dave Made A Maze'; And More

Mar 23, 2017
Robb D. Cohen / Invision/Associated Press

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

In theater, typically the way things work is a playwright writes a play and then a theater company puts it onstage. There is one group helping Atlanta artists with all of the stuff that happens in between. They’re called Working Title Playwrights.

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Jeremiah Parker Hobbs and India S. Tyree star as the titualar characters in the Alliance Theatre’s fairy tale ''Cinderella and Fella.''
Greg Mooney / Courtesy of the Alliance Theatre

The phrase "Cinderella story" is used to describe a meteoric rise from humble beginnings to fame and fortune. The Alliance Theatre is putting a new kind of Cinderella story onstage –  one that subverts its fairy tale origins for today's children.

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"Cinderella and Fella" is billed as being "more high-tops than glass slipper" and is fueled by a different kind of magic.

Photo Courtesy of Capitol City Opera

Don Quixote is such an iconic story that a word derived from the name: quixotic, meaning exceedingly idealistic, unrealistic and impractical.

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Miguel de Cervantes' tome was adapted into a Broadway musical in 1965. In it, Cervantes has been captured by the Inquisition and must face trial. In the meantime, he and his fellow prisoners reenact the adventures of a blundering nobleman, Don Quixote.

Rene Perez / Associated Press

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Kim Kenney / Atlanta Ballet

A proposed sales tax to create a steady stream of funding for the arts in Atlanta appears to be dead.

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Mayor Kasim Reed needed Georgia lawmakers to sign off on the plan in order to put it before voters as a referendum in November. The idea was to let constituents decide whether they wanted to pay a one-tenth of a penny tax to support music, dance, theater or other artistic ventures in the city.

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.

Ballethnic Dance Company

The City of Atlanta could get a small sales tax to support the arts. For every dollar spent in the city, one-tenth of a penny would go into a fund for music, dance, theater, fine art or other creative endeavors. That money would generate an estimated $15 million a year. City leaders hope to let voters decide the matter in a referendum this November. 

City Lights Host Lois Reitzes discussed the plan with WABE Arts and Culture Reporter (and "All Things Considered Host") Amy Kiley.

INTERVIEW HIGHLIGHTS

Joan Marcus

“The New York Times” estimated that somewhere between 700 and 900 productions of the musical “Annie” are performed each year in the United States.

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Most of those productions, however, do not feature a sizeable chunk of the original crew, including director and lyricist Martin Charnin, or real dogs from rescue shelters.

Courtesy of Theatrical Outfit

Reading liner notes, talking to aficionados and library research guided Birmingham-based Leanna Leithauser-Lesley's portraits of jazz musicians.

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Her collection is now on display at Theatrical Outfit in conjunction with their production of "Simply Simone," a revue of Nina Simone’s music, which opens next week.

These are not paintings: Leithauser-Lesley does her portraiture in needle point.

Horizon Theatre, Nobody Loves You, reality TV musical
Courtesy of Horizon Theatre

Characters must find love in “Nobody Loves You,” a reality TV musical by Gaby Alter and Itamar Moses. The musical will be at Atlanta's Horizon Theatre with performances starting tomorrow and running through April 30.

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Center for Puppetry Arts, World Puppetry Day
Bill Jones / Center for Puppetry Arts

It might not be on your calendar, but World Puppetry Day is next Tuesday.

The Center for Puppetry Arts is celebrating this weekend with a bounty of free events along with its usual programming.

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“Puppetry is a place where everyone can find a home,” Aretta Baumgartner, the Center’s Education Director, said in an interview with Lois Reitzes. “We’re hard-wired to tell stories through objects.”

Courtesy of Horizon Theatre

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

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. 

SHAXAF HABER

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Shaxaf Haber

Israeli filmmaker Nitzan Gilady is spending this semester at Emory University as a filmmaker-in-residence. As a documentarian, he’s explored conflict throughout his career between Jerusalem’s gay and Orthodox community in “Jerusalem Is Proud to Present” and within his own family in “Family Time.”

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skeeze / Pixabay

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Willy Sanjuan / Invision/Associated Press File

Oprah Winfrey had long been looking for something that would keep OWN viewers from switching to other channels. The answer to her prayers turned out to be a juicy drama series set in a house of worship.

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"Greenleaf," which co-stars Winfrey in a recurring role, premiered last year as the most-watched debut in the six-year history of her network and has given the media mogul a boost of confidence.

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.

Stacy Bode Photography

Two longtime collaborators who happen to have the same first name, Raymond Carr and Raymond Wade Tilton, have created a show about contrast. Divided into vignettes, the show looks at contrast in a variety ways from relationships to religion to their own artistic partnership.

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City Lights: Irish Music; 'Exit Strategy'; And More

Mar 13, 2017
M. Spencer Green / Associated Press

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of T. Lang

Imagine spending weeks, years, or a lifetime apart from lovers, friends and family. And then, one day, you are reunited. This process led Spelman dance chair, professor and choreographer T. Lang to question, what is the toll of searching, longing and finding?

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Those are just some of the themes explored in her four-part series, “Post,” which started back in 2014. The first installment, "Post Up," was the result of T. Lang's grief from the death of her father. 

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.”

Debbie Allen: Atlanta Needed What I Have To Offer

Mar 10, 2017
Debbie Allen Dance Academy

From acting in "Fame" to executive producing "Grey's Anatomy," dance has remained the bedrock of Debbie Allen’s prolific career onstage and in television.

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She wanted to pass on the lessons of dance to young people, so she created the Debbie Allen Dance Academy in Los Angeles. This summer, she is again hosting a two-week summer intensive here in Atlanta.

Louis Perry

Who is your favorite visual artist? Are they still alive? Are they local? A collective of artists opening a group show tonight operates under the motto “Support artists that are alive and well.” They call themselves Future Dead Artists.

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Richard Shotwell / Invision/AP

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Seth Wenig / Associated Press

After a meticulous restoration that took more than a year, a Stradivarius violin that was stolen from violinist Roman Totenberg and missing for decades is about to return to the stage.

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Mira Wang, a violinist who immigrated to the United States from China 30 years ago to study under Totenberg, will play the instrument at a private concert in New York on Monday, and more performances after that are possible.

Stungun Photography

We often hear about actors transforming themselves to play a role. What happens when the role transforms the actor? That is Tara Ochs’ story.

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