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Arts and culture

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":

City Lights: Avi Avital; Soul Food Cypher; And More

Dec 29, 2016

Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Warner Bros.

An upcoming film series at Landmark Midtown Art Cinema delves into the corrupt, the ambiguous and the dark. The series features ten films considered film noir, released from the mid-1940s to 1980s.

“It’s a vision of American society where everyone is corrupt and nobody can be trusted,” said Emory film professor Matthew Bernstein in an interview with Lois Reitzes.

Film noir generally features a male lead, who strays in his morality. He is paired with the femme fatale, the dangerous, conniving and often beautiful woman who leads the hero to his doom.

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.

The Woodruff Arts Center is home to the High Museum, the Alliance Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.
Alison Guillory / WABE

After years of symphony lockouts, tight budgets and bad press, it has finally been a good year for Atlanta's dominant arts organization in 2016. The Woodruff Arts Center is home to the High Museum, the Alliance Theatre and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. 

Last year, the ASO opened its season with a performance of Mahler's "Resurrection Symphony," but now, resurrection might be a better theme for the Woodruff Arts Center.

Tony Duran

Actor Jane Fonda insists that women “have a different way of looking at everything.”

“From poverty, bankruptcy, to war and peace and the environment,” she tells In Conversation host Valerie Jackson, “very often we are the ones who have more to lose, more at stake.”

Fonda is a two-time Academy Award-winning actor, political activist and advocate for women’s rights. She is currently starring alongside Lily Tomlin, Sam Waterston, and Martin Sheen in the Netflix series “Grace and Frankie,” as well as in her third film with Robert Redford, “Our Souls At Night.”

Justin Driscoll

The latest season of "Top Chef" pits rookie chefs against veteran contestants, or as the judges call them, “cheftestants.”

But the rookie chefs are hardly rookies. They are experts in the field, just perhaps not in front of a camera with painfully short deadlines to whip up a dish.

Jamie Lynch is one of this season’s cheftestants, and he’s the executive chef of the 5Church Group, which has a restaurant in Midtown.

Alison Guillory / WABE

You might not have heard of some of your favorite Georgia musicians without Russell Carter. The Atlanta native started his career in entertainment law, representing bands like R.E.M. and Widespread Panic.

In 1989, he formed his own management company, and one of his first clients was none other than Georgia jewels, the Indigo Girls.

“Amy Ray and Emily Saliers and I grew up in the business together,” said Carter in an interview with Lois Reitzes. “It’s called personal management for a reason, and it is a very personal relationship.”


Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Dan Raby / WABE

For the past two years or so, James Beard Award-winning food writer Corby Kummer has called Atlanta home – and during his time here, he’s fallen in love with this city, in no uncertain terms.

It was a new job for Kummer’s spouse that first took them to Atlanta, and it’s a new job that takes them away again. But the writer and editor is making any excuse to visit Atlanta at least once a month. Kummer resigned as restaurant critic for Atlanta Magazine, but will continue to write profiles and conduct interviews on the local food and dining scene as a freelance contributor.

Lucasfilm Ltd. via AP

Wednesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Atlanta Homeward Choir

Tuesday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Myke Johns / WABE

Actor's Express is putting on something of an uber Christmas pageant. They're presenting 44 holiday-themed plays ... at one minute apiece. They're calling it "A Very Merry (All-Inclusive) 1 Minute Play Festival Holiday Spectacular."

City Lights: Christmas Cabaret; Food Gifts; And More

Dec 19, 2016
Photo courtesy of Alliance Theatre

Monday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of CW3PR

Joby Talbot has had a varied career. With his musical beginnings in rock band The Divine Comedy, he now receives commissions from the Royal Ballet in London and the Dallas Opera.

His most recent work is on the screen. “Sing” is an animated film from Illuminate Entertainment, in which animal characters participate in an American Idol-like competition. Scarlett Johansson voices a punk-rock porcupine, while Reese Witherspoon voices a pig with 25 piglets, ready for her chance at stardom.

Jocelyn Gragg

Not to malign the perennial holiday fruitcake, but if you're looking to give the gift of food this Christmas season, there are other options. And our Diva of Delicious, Mara Davis, joined "City Lights" host Lois Reitzes to discuss gift ideas that are "local, delicious, and fabulous."

Among those mentioned:

Duane Nutter (front) and Todd Richards
Alison Guillory / WABE

As respected and nationally recognized chefs, Todd Richards and Duane Nutter get a lot of questions about cooking, especially around the December holidays.

Richards (executive chef at White Oak Kitchen & Cocktails and chef and owner of Richards’ Southern Fried) and Nutter (formerly executive chef at One Flew South and chef and owner of the soon-to-open Southern National) joined Lois Reitzes on “City Lights” to share their insights on common American and Southern Christmas dinners.

National Center for Civil and Human Rights/Courtesy of Patricia Henritze

Dictator Idi Amin, America and a bar of soap have all defined Derreck Kayongo’s life.

Born in Uganda, he’s gone from refugee to founder of a nonprofit that delivers recycled soap to impoverished communities to CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, based here in Atlanta.

“Idi Amin, America, and a Bar of Soap” is also the name of a new play inspired by the life of Kayongo.

The Sandler Hudson Gallery

Maggie Davis creates beautiful, colorful, abstract multimedia works. Think large panels and canvases of texture and shape that seem to ask you to listen – listen to the painting, listen to yourself.

Public domain image

Friday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Courtesy of Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church

December 12 is the Feast of the Virgin of Guadalupe.  It's especially important to Catholic Latinos.

Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church in Atlanta has a large population with roots in Guatemala and Mexico, so it celebrated the feast.

It started with a Mass.  Then, the celebration moved to the church hall.  There, parishioners told the story of the Virgin of Guadalupe with a play, music and dance.


Thursday on "City Lights with Lois Reitzes":

Southern Reel

Multi-instrumentalist and multi-Grammy winner Coy Bowles has played countless sold-out venues with the Zac Brown Band. He’s also released his own album with his band Coy Bowles and the Fellowship.

But his most recent venture starts with these words:

Life has its ups

And life has its downs

You have days when you smile

You have days when you frown

This is from his upcoming children’s book “When You’re Feeling Sick,” which will be released on Jan. 10.

Andrew Howard/WABE

Local pianist John Burke woke up early one morning last week to the news that he had been nominated for a Grammy for the Best New Age Album for his album "Orogen."

He came by WABE earlier this week and spoke with “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes about this recent accomplishment.

Burke is an independent artist. In the current post-record label music industry, he finds himself managing all his own promotions and touring, among other responsibilities.