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Review: Theatrical Outfit’s splashy ‘Big Fish’ flounders a bit

It’s only a matter of time before someone in “Big Fish” inevitably refers to the protagonist of the piece — a larger-than-life spinner of tall tales from a quaint little Alabama town — as the proverbial “big fish in a small pond.” The same could probably be said about the terrific Travis Smith, who assumes the role in The script (by John August) spans many...
Suburban playhouses have a stellar year of hits

Suburban playhouses have a stellar year of hits

The Alliance Theatre remains the mothership for locally produced theatrical work of national importance, while Broadway in Atlanta’s Fox Theatre series is the dominant producer of shows that trickle down from the Great White Way. But as ambitious, outside-the-perimeter playhouses made purposeful connections with the community this year, the old order has slowly shifted. Here are the year&rsquo...
Atlanta Concerts this week: Blind Boys of Alabama, Trans-Siberian Orchestra

Atlanta Concerts this week: Blind Boys of Alabama, Trans-Siberian Orchestra

The Blind Boys of Alabama bring their holiday cheer to The Ferst Center. BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene FRIDAY Blind Boys of Alabama Spending part of the holiday season with the Blind Boys of Alabama is always special, and this year, the group with the mesmerizing harmonies will perform selections from its soulful albums “Talkin’ Christmas!
Atlanta Concert Tickets on sale this week: Dead & Company, Yes

Atlanta Concert Tickets on sale this week: Dead & Company, Yes

Dead & Company played Atlanta in 2015 and they’ll return in 2017. Photo: Robb D. Cohen /RobbsPhotos.

Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers’ 40th anniversary tour to play Atlanta

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
5 places to get foodie gifts under $20

5 places to get foodie gifts under $20

Drinking chocolate from Xocolatl is perfect to mix with milk and makes a gift gift. Photo credit: Xocolatl.
Dolly Parton telethon adds Amy Grant, Chris Stapleton, Chris Young to lineup

Dolly Parton telethon adds Amy Grant, Chris Stapleton, Chris Young to lineup

Dolly Parton, who performed in Gwinnett earlier this year, is holding a star-studded telethon for wildfire victims.
Atlanta faith calendar

Atlanta faith calendar

Review: Comfort food abounds at the Shed at Glenwood

Review: Comfort food abounds at the Shed at Glenwood

The Shed at Glenwood The little white plant served as the garnish for a butternut squash tart. The tart was a welcome alternative from the typical pumpkin pie of autumn. There was, on the side, a dab of cranberry compote and a dollop of Dark and Stormy — rum ice cream and ginger ice cream swirled into a zinger of a frozen treat. Scattered around the chilly quenelle were crumbled sugar cookies...
Famous Pub closing in Toco Hill after 30 years

Famous Pub closing in Toco Hill after 30 years

Patrons play pool at Famous Pub. / AJC file photo An Atlanta institution is closing its doors. Famous Pub, which has been open in the Toco Hill Promenade at 2947 N Druid Hills Road NE since 1986, addressed the closure on Facebook: Owner Tony Trzos bought the spot in 1986 when it was still Discount Deli, and turned it into its current incarnation, which shows nearly every sport on its more than 50 televisions...
‘Things to Come’ is intriguing French slice-of-life saga

‘Things to Come’ is intriguing French slice-of-life saga

When you open a movie with a vacationing family visiting a historical grave on a coastal hill that looks ready to collapse into the sea, you’ve handed the audience a pretty clear hint: Trouble’s coming. In the French slice-of-life saga “Things to Come,” writer/director Mia Hansen-Love follows an aging philosophy teacher through a series of career bad news, personal dilemmas...
‘Miss Sloane’ is salacious and smart

‘Miss Sloane’ is salacious and smart

“Lobbying is about foresight,” Miss Madeleine Elizabeth Sloane (Jessica Chastain) declares. It’s her mantra, her battle cry, her affirmation. In the crackling political drama “Miss Sloane,” lobbying is a game of chess, and the best lobbyists can see the moves and twists steps ahead of their opponents. Miss Sloane, Liz for short, happens to be the best player in the game...
‘Office Christmas Party’ is wicked fun that’s not suitable for work

‘Office Christmas Party’ is wicked fun that’s not suitable for work

When it comes to big, brassy studio comedies, a filmmaker can do worse than to gather the brightest, funniest stars, situate them in an odd, yet relatable situation and let ‘em rip. That’s exactly what directors Josh Gordon and Will Speck do with “Office Christmas Party,” the delightfully debauched holiday desecration we need this year. Working from a screenplay credited to...
Tierras Alto now closed in Virginia-Highland

Tierras Alto now closed in Virginia-Highland

Photo from Tierras Alto’s Facebook page Mexican restaurant Tierras Alto has closed its doors in Virginia-Highland.
Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is coming to Atlanta

Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is coming to Atlanta

Photo from Hattie B’s Facebook page Here’s some news that’lll heat you up — Nashville standby Hattie B’s Hot Chicken is opening its first Atlanta location.
Ed Roland talks Eddie’s Attic concerts, charity

Ed Roland talks Eddie’s Attic concerts, charity

Sharon Jones memorial to be held in Augusta

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
Atlanta Ballet’s John Welker will take final bow after 24-year career

Atlanta Ballet’s John Welker will take final bow after 24-year career

Sprawled out upon the floor minutes before a scene rehearsal, John Welker, 40, stretches and contorts his body. After all, he doesn’t want to hurt himself when he’s just weeks from hanging up the ballet shoes for good.  “I’m not the young pup anymore,” Welker said. “I used to be the youngest when I first joined the company. Now I’m one of the oldest company...
Jewish Film Fest: a peek at 2017 schedule

Jewish Film Fest: a peek at 2017 schedule

The world’s largest Jewish film festival begins Jan. 24 in Atlanta, with comedy, drama, foreign and independent films showing at venues around the city. Curators will screen 76 films during the 23 days of the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival. The full lineup will be announced on Friday, Jan. 6 and tickets will go on sale at beginning Wednesday, Jan. 18. Here’s a sampling of what to expect...
‘Hairspray Live!’ – behind the scenes with Kenny Leon, Kristin Chenoweth and Jennifer Hudson

‘Hairspray Live!’ – behind the scenes with Kenny Leon, Kristin Chenoweth and Jennifer Hudson

Kenny Leon on set with Kristin Chenoweth. Photo: RYON HORNE/RHORNE@AJC.COM A few weeks ago, video producer Ryon Horne and I traveled to Los Angeles to spend the day on the NBC set of “Hairspray Live!
Free cinnamon biscuit Wednesday morning at this chain restaurant

Free cinnamon biscuit Wednesday morning at this chain restaurant

Get a free cinnamon biscuit today. Photo credit: Bojangles’. Start your morning off with a free cinnamon biscuit at participating Bojangles’ in metro Atlanta on Wednesday from 8 to 9 a.

Paisley Park Celebration 2017 will remember Prince on anniversary of death

Bryan Ferry will return to Atlanta for 2017 concert

Bryan Ferry will return to Atlanta for 2017 concert

Bryan Ferry returns in 2017. BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene More than five years after his last visit to Atlanta, Bryan Ferry will return with a show at the Tabernacle.
Bow tie check! Falcons beat writer shows you how to look sharp for the holidays

Bow tie check! Falcons beat writer shows you how to look sharp for the holidays

Between now and Whether you're going to Tying one can sometimes be tricky, however. We're here to help. If you follow AJC's Falcons beat writer D. Orlando Ledbetter And now D-Led is going to show everyone how he does it, so Atlanta's guys can look sharp this holiday season. THINGS TO DO WEARING YOUR BOW TIE » » » » » »
Grammy nominations 2017: Beyonce and Drake lead, Adele and Justin Bieber show strong

Grammy nominations 2017: Beyonce and Drake lead, Adele and Justin Bieber show strong

BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene As with everything in life, Beyonce rules. The R&B queen leads the nominations for the 59th annual Grammy Awards with nine, though she will compete with fellow megastar Adele in the three most prestigious categories.
PizzaFire coming to Town Brookhaven

PizzaFire coming to Town Brookhaven

A new spot for pizza is coming to the Town Brookhaven development.
Which holiday favorites you’ll find on stages around metro Atlanta

Which holiday favorites you’ll find on stages around metro Atlanta

For all that is festive about the upcoming holiday, it can be a trying time for certain theatergoers: Dare to complain about the been-there, done-that, seen-it-all-before aspect to most of the offerings on the local scene this month, and you risk being labeled some kind of a Scrooge. In the spirit of the season, though, suffice it to say that for every returning “Christmas Carol,” &ldquo...
Pork rinds are the hidden gem at this barbecue joint

Pork rinds are the hidden gem at this barbecue joint

The pork rinds at Bub-Ba-Q. The restaurant has locations in Jasper and Woodstock, Ga. Photo by Ligaya Figueras Dish of the Week: Pork rinds at Bub-Ba-Q William Latimer, aka Bubba, is a heavily decorated competition barbecue pitmaster, but he sure has something special going with the pork rinds he serves at his restaurants.
Eat and party in Atlanta: open bar party, ugly Christmas sweater celebration, more

Eat and party in Atlanta: open bar party, ugly Christmas sweater celebration, more

Experience Spain in Buckhead with specialty cocktails and half-priced bottles of wine. Photo credit: Melissa Libby & Associates.
75 years after Pearl Harbor: New film goes inside doomed USS Arizona

75 years after Pearl Harbor: New film goes inside doomed USS Arizona

UPDATE: The documentary will now be available to stream beginning on Wednesday, Dec. 7, the 75th anniversary of the deadly attack on Pearl Harbor. In 75 years, little has lessened the horror of the attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. That’s partially due to the shock factor: World War II was being fought by other countries “over there” in Europe and Asia when the Japanese unexpectedly...
Free hot fudge cake today at this popular chain restaurant

Free hot fudge cake today at this popular chain restaurant

Say yum to the holiday season with a free slice of hot fudge cake at Shoney’s today. Photo credit: 150 PR.
6 metro Atlanta restaurants and farms selling Christmas hams

6 metro Atlanta restaurants and farms selling Christmas hams

Photo credit: The Fresh Market BY ZACHARY HANSEN The transition from Thanksgiving turkeys to Christmas and holiday hams has begun.
FEED fried chicken restaurant coming to Braves ballpark project The Battery Atlanta

FEED fried chicken restaurant coming to Braves ballpark project The Battery Atlanta

Chef and restaurateur Marc Taft Another restaurant has been added to the roster of eateries coming to The Battery, the entertainment development opening adjacent to the Braves’ SunTrust Field in 2017.
BLT Steak closing at W Atlanta – Downtown

BLT Steak closing at W Atlanta – Downtown

Bone in Ribeye steak at BLT Steak. / AJC file photo BLT Steak is closing at W Atlanta – Downtown at the end of the year.
Alino Pizzeria to open at Mall of Georgia

Alino Pizzeria to open at Mall of Georgia

‘Manchester by the Sea’ takes viewers on unforgettable journey

‘Manchester by the Sea’ takes viewers on unforgettable journey

Imagine a film movement based on the idea that the observational telling of ordinary working-class stories in America would be interesting. Not many filmmakers are making movies like that now. The third feature from dramatist-turned-filmmaker Kenneth Lonergan could help many people realize that it’s worth paying attention. In his powerful, deeply touching slice-of-family-life drama “Manchester...
Woodruff Arts Center unveils public piano

Woodruff Arts Center unveils public piano

The Woodruff Arts Center’s new permanent installation will provide some sweet tunes for patrons who visit the space. A public piano, named “Carly,” was unveiled during a ceremony on Sifly Piazza on Sunday, Aug. 21. Paintings on the new piano include butterflies which were painted by local art teachers and students from Springmont. “Carly” was created by Play Me Again...
Rural scenes, regional art coming to High Museum in 2017

Rural scenes, regional art coming to High Museum in 2017

The tobacco farmer is as weathered and wrinkled as the bright leaf that he handles. The young girl is untouched by the sun — as smooth and pale as the inside of a pea pod. The scene is captured in a classic Thomas Hart Benton painting, “The Tobacco Sorters,” which is among 200 works of art coming to the High Museum next spring in an exhibit called “Cross Country: The Power...
Review: Homespun charm at Rising Son in Avondale Estates

Review: Homespun charm at Rising Son in Avondale Estates

Rising Son Before I could take a bite of the open-faced tomato sandwich at Rising Son in Avondale Estates, Kathryn Rouse looked over from the cash register and mentioned, “You know, those tomatoes came from our yard.” The deep, dark red slices were from an heirloom breed called Cherokee Purple, she said, and the bright orange slices were, hold on, she couldn’t quite remember. Kathryn...
Rural scenes, regional art opening at the High Museum

Rural scenes, regional art opening at the High Museum

The tobacco farmer is as weathered and wrinkled as the bright leaf that he handles. The young girl is untouched by the sun — as smooth and pale as the inside of a pea pod. The scene is captured in a classic Thomas Hart Benton painting, “The Tobacco Sorters,” which is among 200 works of art coming to the High Museum next spring in an exhibit called Intended to demonstrate the It...
Joys of everyday life suffuse Hirokazu Kore-eda’s sibling tale

Joys of everyday life suffuse Hirokazu Kore-eda’s sibling tale

“Our Little Sister” has to be seen to be believed. Not because it depends on huge explosions or special effects but because it doesn’t. A delicate, unforced meditation on the bonds of family and the joys and wonders hidden in everyday life, this film is able to move audiences without apparent effort, and that must be experienced firsthand to be appreciated and understood. One of...
Werner Herzog takes on the internet in ‘Lo and Behold’

Werner Herzog takes on the internet in ‘Lo and Behold’

Werner Herzog breaks the internet in his latest documentary “Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World.” Well, he cracks it open to carefully examine the insides — the glorious possibilities and the devastating potential pitfalls. He brings his signature style, but also his singular point-of-view: skeptical, hopeful, existentially curious. Through his eyes we see the internet...
Jonah Hill, Miles Teller join forces to play arms-dealing thugs

Jonah Hill, Miles Teller join forces to play arms-dealing thugs

So this is weird: Vocally, Jonah Hill and Miles Teller sound eerily alike, even though they’re completely different physical types. If “War Dogs” were more interesting, funnier, wilder, something, anything, this wouldn’t warrant a mention. But director and co-writer Todd Phillips’ flat, enervated movie, based on a 2011 Rolling Stone story about a couple of Miami pals...
New ‘Ben-Hur’ is a good ride, but you won’t forget the original

New ‘Ben-Hur’ is a good ride, but you won’t forget the original

“Ben-Hur” and Charlton Heston go together like sword and sandal, the two being inextricably linked in the public mind. But the new, $100 million version of “Ben-Hur” owes less to the well-known 1959 big-screen epic in which Heston starred than to the 1880 Lew Wallace novel, “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ,” on which both are based. The result is a film that is a...
Animated film is wonderful adventure fantasy

Animated film is wonderful adventure fantasy

Even in this heyday of computer-animated movies, the greatest special effect is creating emotionally resonant characters. The adventure fantasy “Kubo and the Two Strings” is seamless stop-motion storytelling, from Laika, the independent animation studio that gave us the darkly entertaining “Coraline,” “ParaNorman” and “The Boxtrolls.” Yet wizardly art...
This museum is offering unlimited free membership to kids

This museum is offering unlimited free membership to kids

A local museum is offering unlimited free admission to kids and an accompanying adult. The Museum of Design Atlanta has announced  In addition to being able to tour the museum’s exhibits for free, Design Club members will also have access to a newsletter with “unique design challenges” and invitations to activities that “empower youth to use design and design thinking...
Which food delivery apps deliver in your neck of the woods?

Which food delivery apps deliver in your neck of the woods?

Gone are the days when "delivery" pretty much meant pizza. Sure, it's still easy to get a killer pie delivered in metro Atlanta, but whether it's vegan fare, gluten-free grub or an upscale burger with truffle fries, Atlanta residents don't have to sacrifice selection when it comes to Restaurants all over the city are working with third-party delivery services to offer their meals on the...
Atlanta’s classical music season ranges from Baroque to rock this fall

Atlanta’s classical music season ranges from Baroque to rock this fall

For many casual classical music fans in Atlanta, the season begins and ends with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Atlanta Opera. While both ensembles will be presenting new seasons filled with rewarding concerts, intrepid listeners that don’t mind straying a bit farther from Symphony Hall and the Cobb Energy Centre can hear captivating music from more intimate, equally polished ensembles...
From Kanye to Sia, a starry fall music season in store for Atlanta

From Kanye to Sia, a starry fall music season in store for Atlanta

After a sweaty summer of amphitheater concerts, it’s time to head indoors for a new round of high-profile performances. This season welcomes a few pop female titans, as well as some stalwarts known for their engaging stage presence. Here are some shows we’re looking forward to. to consider. Unless otherwise noted, tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster at 1-800-745-3000...
Photography prominent in Atlanta galleries this fall

Photography prominent in Atlanta galleries this fall

With fall comes blessedly cooler temperatures and a heated-up arts scene. Museums and galleries truck out their headline shows, and photography is front and center. Photographer Chip Simone has curated a survey of Georgia-based photographers at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia with an emphasis on photographers who depict the diversity of the modern South, replacing a common vision of the...
Review: Atwoods Pizza Cafe more worthy of penthouse than basement

Review: Atwoods Pizza Cafe more worthy of penthouse than basement

Atwoods Pizza Cafe Most big office complexes have a cafe in the bowels of the building. Often, this place is a convenient dispensary of sad desk lunches. It’s a place where blah turkey sandwiches are slapped together and served beneath buzzing fluorescent lights. There’s nothing like a basket of bruised apples and bananas next to the cash register to impel a hasty retreat back to work...
‘Don’t Think Twice’ isn’t all fun and games

‘Don’t Think Twice’ isn’t all fun and games

When a film is set in the make-‘em-laugh world of improv comedy, you might think the emotional tone is going to be lighthearted, even bawdy. That’s just a thin slice of “Don’t Think Twice,” which steers us into very different terrain. Mike Birbiglia, the writer/director and one of the leading members of the ensemble cast, delivers a surprising, bitingly honest drama entwining...
Rude, crude ‘Sausage Party’ is unlike any animated film you’ve ever seen

Rude, crude ‘Sausage Party’ is unlike any animated film you’ve ever seen

Leave it to Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg to take animated films to a realm they’ve never gone before — the hard R-rating. “Sausage Party” is the rude, crude, foul-mouthed “Secret Life of Snacks” that could only have come from the brains of Rogen and Goldberg, who dreamed up the idea 10 years ago. It’s taken that long to get two studios in Annapurna Pictures...
‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ hits all the wrong notes

‘Florence Foster Jenkins’ hits all the wrong notes

Perhaps not every quirky true story needs a biopic starring Meryl Streep, as evidenced by Stephen Frears’ bizarre “Florence Foster Jenkins,” the story of a wealthy older woman who launched an amateur singing career in the 1940s, despite her distinct lack of talent. It’s a film that dares you to give it a bad review, simply so it can turn around and call you a bully who picks...
Roth adaptation ‘Indignation’ nimbly depicts youth, repression

Roth adaptation ‘Indignation’ nimbly depicts youth, repression

“Indignation” is beautifully acted and the tone is witty and grave. Writer-director James Schamus can’t solve all the limitations of the source material: The female protagonist, a WASP goddess tormenting the Jewish narrator, remains more person-adjacent than an actual person. But the movie respects author Philip Roth’s coming-of-age reverie while ever so gently questioning...
‘Hell or High Water’ is intense modern Western

‘Hell or High Water’ is intense modern Western

In the desolate Texas of “Hell or High Water,” a bank clerk (Dale Dickie) gently sasses the ski-masked robbers with the condescending assessment, “y’all are new at this.” That’s the world created by director David Mackenzie and writer Taylor Sheridan in this post-recession Western, which plays like a Johnny Cash song come to life. All the adventures and angst of...
Live music picks

Live music picks

FRIDAY Even though “Pour Some Sugar on Me” has earned its place in ‘80s glam rock history (as well as in strip clubs around the world), Def Leppard has about 4,328 additional hits and has assembled a fan-friendly set list that revisits more than a dozen of them (“Animal,” “Love Bites,” “Foolin’,” “Rocket,” &ldquo...
Remake of ‘Pete’s Dragon’ is one of most heartening surprises of year

Remake of ‘Pete’s Dragon’ is one of most heartening surprises of year

Wait: How did this happen? How did a remake of the 1977 Disney animation/live-action hybrid “Pete’s Dragon,” a pushy mediocrity from tip to tail, become the most soulful film of the summer, and one of the best of the year? In terms of story, director David Lowery’s version shares only two things with the ‘77 model. Pete’s an orphan. And the title is still &ldquo...
It’s back! All the info on Art on the Atlanta Beltline & Lantern Parade!

It’s back! All the info on Art on the Atlanta Beltline & Lantern Parade!

Fabulous French drummers. A supersized sculpture all the way from London. And of course, the come one, come all Lantern Parade. Art on the Atlanta Beltline Officially the South’s largest temporary public art exhibition, This year’s exhibition will be concentrated along the paved and interim hiking trail portions of the Eastside Trail, as the Westside Trail’s future paved three-mile...
Frozen treats with a twist in metro Atlanta

Frozen treats with a twist in metro Atlanta

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. True, this dairy-licious dessert never goes out of style, but sometimes we need a break from two scoops of cookie dough on a cake cone. Metro Atlanta has a host of spots to change up your frozen sundry game. Here are four places where brain freeze and a sugar high come with a twist. Hey, trendsetters! If you hadn’t already heard, scoops are...
Pig out on cupcakes at these gluten-free Atlanta bakeries

Pig out on cupcakes at these gluten-free Atlanta bakeries

If you're following a gluten-free diet, you may be avoiding most cupcakes. But you can still have your (cup)cake and eat it, too, thanks to the following five metro Atlanta bakeries. They offer treats that will satisfy your sweet tooth while still staying gluten-free: 203 Hilderbrand Drive, Sandy Springs. 844-354-7487. Create Your Cupcake, located in Sandy Springs, is owned by Barbara Sherwin Hart...
Belmont restaurants in Smyrna should open by September

Belmont restaurants in Smyrna should open by September

All 10 businesses in the new Belmont development in Smyrna should be open by September, including four restaurants: Opa Greek Village Taverna, Torta Di Napoli, Cielo Blue Mexican Grill and Cantina and Creatwood Tavern. The other six businesses in Belmont are Belmont Cleaners, Hearing Solutions, a shoe boutique named Ms. Heel, N-Style barber shop, Parisian Nail Salon and Sprint Wireless. On 47.5 acres...
7 Rio Olympics-inspired meals and games for your family

7 Rio Olympics-inspired meals and games for your family

RECIPES Red, white and blue veggie platters. Lime and cilantro grilled chicken with rice and a special salad. Balloon tennis. With the Rio Summer Olympics beginning Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Strong4Life The Strong4Life team has also rounded up its favorite healthy ideas for patriotic snacks for Olympic Games viewing parties along with some fun Olympics-inspired games to play....
Classic movie stars to attend Marietta film festival

Classic movie stars to attend Marietta film festival

The city of Marietta recently announced a guest list of stars who will attend its inaugural Classic Film Festival this September. The three-day event hosted by the Marietta Gone with the Wind Museum will feature classic movies “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “American Graffiti” and “Gone with the Wind.” “The classic films offer something today’s movies don&rsquo...
Heart of Atlanta’s westside: Northside Tavern

Heart of Atlanta’s westside: Northside Tavern

On a Monday afternoon, Northside Tavern is devoid of blues, bodies in motion and beer. But, as sunlight filters through the smoke-covered windows, even in this lonely state the tavern is alive with stories — memories seared into every nook and cranny.
Film business brings stunt driver school to hotspot

Film business brings stunt driver school to hotspot

DAWSONVILLE — Stuntwoman Natalie Govin found work easily in South Florida — until funds for the state’s film incentives program recently went dry. With more movies such as the “Furious” series and “Need for Speed” filmed in Georgia, Govin didn’t want to get caught in Florida’s drought. So she moved north to the neighboring state like many of her...
Free movie screening of this 1980's classic Thursday at Venkman's

Free movie screening of this 1980's classic Thursday at Venkman's

Tonight, partake in the ultimate Throwback Thursday by reliving the cinematic shenanigans of Chicago's favorite high school slacker and attempt not to recite the famous line:  Venkman's The free movie screening kicks off Venkman's Facebook page touts: "Thursdays in August, Venkman's will be screening some of the FUNNEST FILMS to come out of the year of our lord 1900-and-86!" For more...
‘Suicide Squad’ has its moments

‘Suicide Squad’ has its moments

Superhero fatigue? Warner Brothers and DC Comics have a remedy for that with “Suicide Squad,” filled with characters who are decidedly uninterested in heroics. “We’re bad guys,” sneers demented clown Harley Quinn, in case there was any question. They’re so bad, that the narrative around the film has centered around the on-the-set antics of the cast and crew. While...
‘Gleason’ is true window into life with ALS

‘Gleason’ is true window into life with ALS

The word “hero” gets thrown around a lot, and it’s a title that Steve Gleason first earned during the first football game back in the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina. The New Orleans Saints safety blocked a punt and became a symbol of renewed hope for the broken city, and effectively cemented his status as a New Orleans sports hero. But as we see in the documentary “Gleason...
Harley Quinn could be 2016’s most popular movie character

Harley Quinn could be 2016’s most popular movie character

A deranged psychiatrist wouldn’t seem like something you’d want to be for Halloween, but once Harley Quinn is unleashed on the world this week, it very well could be the hot costume this fall. One of DC Comics most popular anti-heroes, Harley Quinn is the doctor who thought she could get in the Joker’s mind and understand what makes him tick. She fell in love instead, and craziness...
Where to get free cookies on National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Where to get free cookies on National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day

Cookies are good. Doubletree by Hilton Hotels has a tradition of welcoming guests with a warm chocolate chip cookie, and on Thursday, August 4, National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, the hotels plan to extend that tradition beyond the lobby. On that day In addition, the hotel has teamed up with Amtrak to give away cookies at Penn Station in New York and Union Station in Chicago. The gesture is part...

Making frozen pops in Atlanta

For many of us, summer memories include racing to finish a frozen pop before the sticky syrup drips off the stick and down onto arms and shirt fronts. Sometimes the treat was a fancy store-bought Popsicle and sometimes it was a homemade pop of juice frozen in little paper cups with wooden craft sticks inserted through foil-covered tops. For “Paletas are a big part of the culture there. When...
8 acts to see at Music Midtown

8 acts to see at Music Midtown

Whether your musical interests fall in the pounding electronic beats of Deadmau5 or the rootsy yowls of Alabama Shakes, The two-day festival returns for its sixth year Sept. 17-18 with a spread of three dozen acts performing on four stages staggered across Piedmont Park. While the lineup deliberately skews younger this year — Peter Conlon, president of Live Nation Atlanta, which...
Kristin Chenoweth vows to ‘represent’ Broadway in concerts

Kristin Chenoweth vows to ‘represent’ Broadway in concerts

NEW YORK — “Glee” and “Wicked” star Kristin Chenoweth is returning to Broadway this fall for a series of concerts celebrating the history of the Great White Way in what she vows will be a different show each time because the songs will change every night. “I’m going to do my best to represent our community,” she said Tuesday by phone, “and just...
‘Cloth Field’ pairs Atlanta Symphony’s Spano with dancers

‘Cloth Field’ pairs Atlanta Symphony’s Spano with dancers

A couple dozen chandeliers of wildly different styles hang from the ceiling of Goodson Yard, a former warehouse space at the Goat Farm Arts Center, providing a curious touch of the baroque to a performance that’s otherwise almost entirely given over to a sort of naked minimalism. “Cloth Field,” a collaboration between Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Music Director Robert Spano and Lauri...
‘The Prom’ has a date with Broadway

‘The Prom’ has a date with Broadway

THEATER REVIEW Remember Tracy Turnblad? The rotund epicenter of “Hairspray,” the girl with the big bouffant had the audacity to integrate a 1960s Baltimore dance show in the 1988 John Waters film, adapted for Broadway in 2002. Now, Tracy finds her gay equivalent in Emma, the teenage lesbian who stirs up controversy, and unintentional comedic bedlam, when she invites her girlfriend to the...
Tom Hanks and crew soar in ‘Sully’

Tom Hanks and crew soar in ‘Sully’

The sight of a passenger plane along the skyline of New York is an image that has been seared in the global collective consciousness. It’s a memory that “Sully,” Clint Eastwood’s new film, acknowledges, but also attempts to redefine. What if a plane skimming skyscrapers could conjure an image not just of unimaginable terror, but one of incredible heroism and skill? That&rsquo...
Stellan Skarsgard executes Norwegian justice

Stellan Skarsgard executes Norwegian justice

As a generally mild-mannered father undertaking a brutal course of revenge in “In Order of Disappearance,” Stellan Skarsgard might occasionally strike you as Scandinavia’s answer to Liam Neeson in the “Taken” movies. Then again, he might not. The comparison almost, but not quite, nails the quiet authority and steely intelligence of Skarsgard’s performance, and it...
Food tour: Cheap lunches in downtown Atlanta

Food tour: Cheap lunches in downtown Atlanta

As I walked through downtown Atlanta last week, I passed Blossom Tree, a Korean taco joint I’ve been happily eating at for years, which happens to be next to Anatolia, a not-bad Mediterranean joint where the college students like to smoke hookahs. Then, I headed toward Fred’s Country Kitchen, a down-home Southern meat-and-three where the owner serves a homemade Greek yogurt. It was an...
‘Wild Life’ imagines Robinson Crusoe tale from animals’ perspective

‘Wild Life’ imagines Robinson Crusoe tale from animals’ perspective

The tale of Robinson Crusoe, loosely based on the real life experiences of castaway Alexander Selkirk, has been told for hundreds of years, since Daniel Defoe’s 1719 epistolary novel. But what if Crusoe’s story had been seen from the perspective of the animals and local wildlife he encountered during his shipwrecked stay on a tropical island? That’s what the animated feature &ldquo...
Art review: Vintage technique, subject matter mark dreamy exhibition

Art review: Vintage technique, subject matter mark dreamy exhibition

ART REVIEW Reaching back over 150 years into photography’s past, Atlanta-based photographer Mary Anne Mitchell has resurrected the 19th-century art of wet plate collodion photography for This early, very technically complex photography technique, in which images are captured on glass plates, has been embraced by other contemporary photographers including Sally Mann. Unlike other early photographic...
Review: Pauley’s Crepe Bar wins only on nostalgia

Review: Pauley’s Crepe Bar wins only on nostalgia

Pauley’s Crepe Bar College towns are the best at taking something random and making it an institution, especially when that randomness is edible. Take a place called Pauley’s, which took Athens by storm in 2008. It stayed open until 2 a.m. and had a 10-yard-long local beer list. The food at the heart of this joint’s menu? Crepes. And not some crispy, handheld, might-as-well-be-a-pizza-slice...
‘Morgan’ goes from great to grisly in second half

‘Morgan’ goes from great to grisly in second half

It wouldn’t be fair to compare father and son, but Ridley Scott’s progeny, Luke Scott, takes on some similar themes to his father’s work in his feature directorial debut, “Morgan.” In a story that contemplates the emotional boundaries and consequences of artificial intelligence, Seth W. Owen’s script landed on the 2014 Black List of Best Unproduced Screenplays,...
‘The Light Between Oceans’ doesn’t quite connect emotionally

‘The Light Between Oceans’ doesn’t quite connect emotionally

With “Blue Valentine” and “The Place Beyond the Pines,” filmmaker Derek Cianfrance has proved that he has a knack for both intimate romantic fables and sweeping family epics that span decades. In his adaptation of M.L. Stedman’s 2012 debut novel “The Light Between Oceans,” Cianfrance makes a film that is both epic and intimate, a love story intertwined with...
Film has dark premise drowned in whimsy

Film has dark premise drowned in whimsy

A comatose boy communicates telepathically with his doctor in the mystery “The 9th Life of Louis Drax.” Adapted from a 2004 novel by Liz Jensen, the film is a benign departure for director Alexandre Aja, who specializes in such horror movies as the brutal 3-D remake of “Piranha.” Unfortunately, this film’s dark premise is drowned in whimsy and a forced childlike wonder...
Comedian Craig Robinson terrific in ‘Morris From America’

Comedian Craig Robinson terrific in ‘Morris From America’

Chad Hartigan’s low-key coming of age charmer “Morris From America” takes the fish-out-of-water tale and gives it a hip-hop twist, in the story of an African-American teen learning his first adult life lessons in Heidelberg, Germany. Indie filmmaker Hartigan drew from the well of his own experience, having spent his early childhood in Cyprus, the son of missionaries. Markees Christmas...
Influence of Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ undiminished after 50 years

Influence of Beach Boys’ ‘Pet Sounds’ undiminished after 50 years

UPCOMING There was no mass critical cheer or chart-topping stateside success upon initial release, but 50 years later some call the Beach Boys’ “Pet Sounds” the best pop album ever, and its influence rolls on like an endless summer. The album washed away the group’s fun-in-the-sun reputation with its deeply personal introspection, unconventional arrangements and instrumentation...
Bridget Jones makes welcome return in ‘Baby’

Bridget Jones makes welcome return in ‘Baby’

What a treat it is to dive back into the cozy world of Bridget Jones, who is the kind of old friend you can pick up with right where it left off, no matter how long it’s been. “Bridget Jones’s Baby” opens with a familiar scene for our pal: Bridget (Renee Zellweger) celebrating her birthday alone to the tune of “All By Myself,” blowing out a candle on a single cupcake...
‘Blair Witch’ goes back into the woods, in search of scares

‘Blair Witch’ goes back into the woods, in search of scares

According to legend, the witch who haunts Maryland’s Black Hills Forest is so scary that anyone who so much as looks at her immediately drops dead from fright. In 1999’s “The Blair Witch Project,” three film students ventured into the dark woods, armed with Super 8 video cameras, to find out if she really existed. None of them survived — their bodies were never found...
Sins of Nazi crimes wrest hold of nuptials in dark, funny ‘Demon’

Sins of Nazi crimes wrest hold of nuptials in dark, funny ‘Demon’

“Just a normal wedding,” the mother of the bride sniffs more than halfway through Marcin Wrona’s “Demon.” She’s exaggerating a little. By that point in this Polish-set matrimonial horror film, the weather has taken a foul turn, a few guests have come to physical blows, and the groom has been confined to the cellar after a series of violent convulsions, which his...
Mystery Christmas tree reappears in Arizona

Mystery Christmas tree reappears in Arizona

The juniper tree along I-17, north of the Sunset Point rest stop, is anonymously decorated each year during the Christmas season. The
Obamas send last White House Christmas card

Obamas send last White House Christmas card

As Barack Obama's presidency comes to a close, the first family has sent out its last Christmas card from the White House. The president, along with first lady Michelle Obama and first daughters Malia and Sasha Obama, appear on the card in a photo originally taken in March at a state dinner honoring Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, The card was signed by the entire family, including their...
Can a debt collector call you during the holidays? It depends

Can a debt collector call you during the holidays? It depends

Getting a call from a debt collector looking to recoup on an old debt is never pleasant, and it’s probably the last thing you want to deal with during "the most wonderful time of the year." After all, who wants to excuse himself from Christmas dinner just to sort out that cable bill he forgot to pay in college? Under the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, it’s totally legal...
Close to home Dec. 10: Holiday activities in metro Atlanta

Close to home Dec. 10: Holiday activities in metro Atlanta

You’ve got a few hours over the weekend and are looking for a nearby diversion – something that doesn’t require reservations or a tank of gas. Welcome to Close to Home! Each week we’ll highlight the quick, quaint and quirky events in your neighborhood. Email submissions to CommunityNews@ajc.com. Henry Holiday Tour of Homes by McDonough Arts Council. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today...
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