Friday, September 23, 2016

Fernbank's WildWoods is Wonderous!

"Nearly a century ago, our founders formed Fernbank to preserve Fernbank Forest as a school in the woods for nature study. Now, connecting the museum directly to the forest through WildWoods fulfills our extraordinary legacy," said Susan Neugent, President and CEO of Fernbank.  "At its core, natural history is about reconnecting humans to nature, which is why the living laboratory of learning in WildWoods and Fernbank Forest is so timely today."


WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History
WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History

As a member of Fernbank Musuem of Natural History, I had the great pleasure of a WildWoods preview event last weekend. WildWoods is set to open to the public on Saturday, September 24, 2016 for a Grand Opening Weekend celebration, which is this weekend! I think you're going to love it...I already do.

One begins their WildWoods journey on the Montgomery Highline Trace, an elevated boardwalk that winds through trees and over the terrain. This walkway is highlighted by two nature-inspired tree pods nestled within the tree canopy—one representing a tulip poplar flower (pictured above) and the other represents a fern, both absolutely stunning as are the vistas from them.


WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History
WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History

I love, love, love the Sensory Wall. The challenge presented here is for visitors to identify the various items on it suing only their sense of touch. What a wonderful learning experience! Admiring it for its beauty, I almost didn't touch it, then totally caved in...I just couldn't resist. I thought it was made from various kinds of stone, and perhaps there are various kinds of stone, but there's so much more! Go ahead...touch it and learn!


WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History
WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Within WildWoods is an outdoor gallery, which I'm told will have changing exhibitions. For now there are Bug Hotels—You've really got to check these out! There awesome!—and Sweetgum Tree Sculptures, including the wonderfully wild one pictured above. I personally am super excited about the potential for this area. Part of the goal for this outdoor gallery is to include the community...that'll bring LOTS of possibilities! 


WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History
WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History

There are several places in WildWoods where there are purposely created animal tracks, a learning opportunity for children and grownups alike. And then there are tracks made by the creatures living in WildWoods which are fun to speculate about, unless you're already an animal expert. 

If you want to reconnect with nature, but can't get out of the city, WildWoods and Fernbank Forest may just be the place you're looking for!


WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History
WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Just off the Tulip Poplar Flower Pod are a series of tree identifying markers—I love this! 

There are educational signs and markers throughout WildWoods, but they're done very tastefully and are not at all disruptive...you're having too much fun to wish they weren't there and if they weren't there I believe we would have missed them. Very well done, Fernbank! 


WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History
WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History

The Historic Stone Wall, which now you can walk next to, dates to the 1930s and once marked the northern edge of a formal landscaped garden. 


WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History
WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History

Among these ruins are stone stairs, pond foundation walls and a grotto with a cross. On the morning I visited there was a praying mantis perched on top of the cross. Mantises have natural camouflage, often making them difficult to spot, but the way the sunlight was streaming through the woods at the time I spotted that one, it was like a beacon! Not to worry though, they're not poisonous.


WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History
WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History

I had the wonderful pleasure of an in-depth discussion of WildWoods with Deanna Smith, Director of Marketing at Fernbank Natural History Museum. The entire marketing team at Fernbank has been absolutely delightful to work with over the years and several made this day far more special than I'd expected. "Thank you!"

It wasn't until I ventured down into Isdell Wildlife Sanctuary that I realized why Deanna finds it so charming and fascinating. The boardwalk and an overlook gifts the eyes and other senses a restored creek meadow that attracts birds, butterflies (lots of them!) and other pollinators...and three otters have been spotted in the creek. This sanctuary is alive!


WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History
WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History

This time next year, the Sanctuary will be even more lush and beautiful. Fernbank has dedicated considerable time and resources to ensure its health and sustainability. But even without knowing that, it's still a wholly wonderful and peaceful experience.

There are also designated children's areas, but I'll leave that to my family blogger friends, 365 Atlanta Family and Field Trips with Sue. The areas look like great fun, but I'm an 'old' kid, so I'm sticking to the elevated boardwalk, nature pats and outdoor exhibits! 

WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History
WildWoods at Fernbank Museum of Natural History
I'd like to offer a word of thanks to the Museum's volunteers. They truly enhance ones exploration. And the more I/you can learn from them, the greater our opportunity for a truly mind-expanding experience and the more fun we can have! Thank you, volunteers, for your time and for sharing your knowledge, experience and expertise. You're appreciated! 

Fernbank Forest, which I'll discuss in detail in another post, is the largest old-growth forest of its kind in a major metropolitan area and is now directly connected to the museum through WildWoods...all 65 acres of it!

There are lots of activities going on in Fernbank Museum of Natural History's brand new WildWoods this coming Grand Opening Weekend! A grand exploration of a magnificent 75 acres awaits you!


Monday, September 19, 2016

The Threepenny Opera

The Threepenny Opera, on stage at 7 Stages now through September 25 (extended through Sunday, October 2!), has been inspired by German Expressionist cinema of the 1920s, as well as contemporary struggles for social and economic equality. This show is beyond magnificent! Especially if you watch it for what it is and not for something you "expect".


The Threepenny Opera | 7 Stages | Photo: StunGun Photography
The Threepenny Opera | 7 Stages | Photo: StunGun Photography

The star of the show is, without question, Aaron Strand who portrays Macheath. He's the lead, which isn't always my personal favorite, but in this case he totally is. His expertise as an actor is incredibly strong and present and his voice reverberates throughout the theatre beautifully and profoundly...the two coupled—his acting and his voice—are the theatrical gems theatre-goers are fearlessly seeking.

Stephanie Lloyd, who plays Polly Peachum, is delightfully brilliant. She's a wonderful actress, and wholly convincing that she's experiencing the vast array of emotions her character is going through. Her voice is distinctively pleasing and her character's expressions are the best!  


The Threepenny Opera | 7 Stages | Photo: StunGun Photography
The Threepenny Opera | 7 Stages | Photo: StunGun Photography

I went in knowing little about the show, but expecting the typical brilliance that 7 Stages presents. They do not disappoint with this show. It's edgy, it's thought-provoking, it's gorgeous and sexy. This show makes you—or at least made me—ponder just how similar life in 1920s German Expressionist cinema is similar to life in so many cultures today.

There's love, there are in-laws, there's strife, there's social economic disparity and there's doing what it takes to survive. We often credit our parents for doing the "best that they could", but we don't give fellow citizens that same disclaimer...which sometimes leads to desperation. Sometimes, of course, it leads to people doing the same dumb stuff that they didn't learn from the last time they did it. 


The Threepenny Opera | 7 Stages | Photo: StunGun Photography
The Threepenny Opera | 7 Stages | Photo: StunGun Photography

The Threepenny Opera was written by playwright Bertolt Brecht (born in 1898), whose image has graced the side of the 7 Stages Theatre building for more than a decade! I've seen that face for many, many years and never thought to think who it was. When I saw this play, that mural came alive.

Some other personal favorites in the show are Suzi Bass Award nominee Don Finney (Mrs. Peachum, pictured above), who is absolutely brilliant! She...he, has a wonderful voice, and his acting steals the stage during multiple scenes. I love this bit of casting.

Another favorite is Adam Lowe (Tiger Brown/Filch)...I very much enjoyed this character! He's the (serious) comedic relief as the Chief of Police (and old Army comrade of Macheath's), as well as the role of a rather hilarious peddler (Filch). I didn't realize it, but I met Adam during a Cinco de Mayo celebration in Little Five Points...he was amazing! Don't judge, please...it was Cinco de Mayo!    


The Threepenny Opera | 7 Stages | Photo: StunGun Photography
The Threepenny Opera | 7 Stages | Photo: StunGun Photography

Having seen the advertisements for this show, I would not have been at all surprised if it had been presented in a dramatic, over-acted silent film format...it was totally dramatic! In a wonderful way. 

This show is a musical.

Among the songs performed are songs of revolution like 'How to Survive' along with classic numbers (contemporary to some of us) like 'Mack the Knife' and 'Pirate Jenny'. 


The Threepenny Opera | 7 Stages | Photo: StunGun Photography
The Threepenny Opera | 7 Stages | Photo: StunGun Photography

This play is billed as a "raw musical about power, sex, and the evil things one must do to stay alive in a corrupt world." And it delivers on every single word. I loved it and if you're the least bit edgy, curious, culturally open, I think you'll enjoy it too. 

I think what I most enjoyed about this play, in addition to Aaron Strand's voice and performance, was the portray of today's challenges in a setting of generations ago...making one wonder what, if anything, has changed...and what it will take to affect change.



Above is a video trailer for "The Threepenny Opera", now playing at 7 Stages Theatre.


The Threepenny Opera | 7 Stages | Photo: StunGun Photography
The Threepenny Opera | 7 Stages | Photo: StunGun Photography

The Threepenny Opera is on stage at 7 Stages through Sunday, September 25 (extended through Sunday, October 2!). If you have any sense of adventure, be sure you see this show...it's truly...so many things!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Hanging With Captain America & Touring Film Sites

I recently had the awesome opportunity to go on a one-time, invite-only Atlanta Movie Tours film sites tour tailored to Captain America: Civil War, a very special event held just before the DVD release of the blockbuster movie. 


Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours
Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours

I'd already seen the movie, so that made this an even more exciting experience...AND we got to hang with "Captain America" for a while! 


Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours
Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours

Our first stop was immediately outside the doors of the offices of Atlanta Movie Tours, located in the ever-growing Castleberry Hill neighborhood. "The Gulch" was the film site for the "market scene" in Lagos, among the first scenes in the movie.

On Atlanta Movie Tours tours you get to see clips of the movies that feature the sites you're about to see and/or explore, which not only refreshes the memory, it shows the magic of movie-making. Some of the transformations, like the Gulch-to-Nigerian-market, are truly magnificent!

The Gulch also was used for multiple scenes in cable television's most popular show ever, The Walking Dead. Atlanta Movie Tours offers several Big Zombie tours, too!


Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours
Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours

As we were approaching our next filming site, it was mere seconds after the first person spotted him that everyone on the bus had their eyes on Captain America himself! I didn't catch the young man's name, but this cosplayer is fantastic! Atlanta Movie Tours did a great job finding the best to be a part of this experience.

What an awesome surprise! We all had the opportunity to make photos with Captain America, and we made the traditional Atlanta Movie Tours group photo...on this tour with Captain America! FUN!



Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours
Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours

The film site pictured above is the Atlanta Civic Center, which served as the Center for Infectious Diseases in Lagos in the movie. Again, another magnificent transformation. I've driven by the Atlanta Civic Center hundreds of times over the years, yet when I saw the movie I did not make the connection...that's movie magic!


Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours
Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours

For this tour we had three tour guides: Clyde Cauthen, Kent Wagner, and Joshua Seymour (pictured above, thumbs-up!). Each was knowledgeable, engaging and totally fun! I've been on a LOT of Atlanta Movie Tours tours and have consistently had remarkable tour guides. Thanks, guys, for making this such a fun experience! 


Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours
Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours

The funeral scene in the movie takes place in London, but was filmed at Peachtree Christian Church on Peachtree Street. The scene was the funeral of Margaret "Peggy" Carter

One thing that I've learned about Atlanta from going on so many Atlanta Movie Tours tours, no matter where you are in Atlanta, you're close to, or actually in, a site that was used in a movie! In fact, Peachtree Christian Church on Peachtree Street is directly across the street from The Temple, which was used for a scene in Driving Miss Daisy


Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours
Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours

We were treated to a special tour of the church by Executive Minister Dan Johnson, who was at the church during the filming and saw many of the celebrities. Mr. Johnson shared with us some history of the church and then quite a bit about filming day at the church. It sounded like it was great fun!    

The church, founded in 1925 and the sanctuary dedicated in 1928, is stunningly beautiful. It has one of the most remarkable collections of stained glass that I've ever seen. There are too many windows to get into here, but I'll share that some of the collections pictorially tell the stories of the Old Testament, life of Christ and parables that Christ told. If you ever have a the opportunity to tour the church, do take advantage of it! 

Nearly 9,000 couples have been married at Peachtree Christian Church.


Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours
Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours

Sharon Carter, Peggy Carter's niece, spoke from this spot in the church during the funeral scene.

Another of the fun aspects on Atlanta Movie Tours tours is the trivia and giveaway! This fun little activity separates the truly enthusiastic fans from the folks who are along for the ride...everyone is on a wholly unique Atlanta experience. The tour guides make the trivia fun for everyone. And on this particular tour, EVERYONE got a movie poster, a movie button AND a digital copy of the movie!


Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours
Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours

I had no idea what the filming sites were for Captain America: Civil War, other than The Gulch. And I certainly had no idea where we were going when we headed to Hapeville, near Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Delta Flight Museum.

Immediately recognizable for its huge-letter name on the building, it turns out that the relatively new Porsche Experience Center, Atlanta was the Avengers Headquarters, a Tony Stark mansion, in the movie! And what a magnificent building it is! The plane flying overhead was total serendipity. We didn't go inside the building, but the Porsche Experience is definitely on my list!

Atlanta Movie Tours tours are typically about three hours and there's usually a break during the tour. On this one we stopped at Drip, a coffee shop in Historic Hapeville, near the Hapeville Depot Museum and next door to Academy Theatre. The staff at Drip were awesome and it was a delightful respite. I want to go back.


Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours
Captain America: Civil War Tour | Atlanta Movie Tours

Who knew that Pym Technologies Headquarters was right down the street from the Olympic Flame Tower and Turner Field?! The former Georgia Archives Building, reportedly sinking because of reverberations from nearby highway traffic, was the site of another important scene in the movie. Have you seen the movie? 

Atlanta Movie Tours partnered with Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment to create this truly special event, one I was grateful to experience! When the DVD was released on September 13 I went out and purchased a copy and, yes, I've watched it at least three times since! Don't judge...it's just harmless enthusiasm and fandom.  

Keep an eye out for Atlanta Movie Tours' newest tour, slated for launch at the end of September...their new Hero Tour!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016

This past Saturday was the exclusive Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium, my second year to attend this awesome event! I've been to Georgia Aquarium many, many times over the years, but this is as unique as it gets!


Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016
Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016

This year's Aquarium event was co-hosted by Catherine Lee Jones, owner of GSTQ Fashions here in Atlanta, and Judge Reinhold, of Beverly Hills Cop and Fast Times at Ridgemont High fame! 


Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016
Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016

There were a lot of aquatic/sea/ocean-themed costumes, and many of other genres...all of them brilliant and fun!


Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016
Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016

One of the highlights of the evening was the costume contest, and these are seriously awesome, mostly hand-made costumes! My friends think I'm joking when I say a Dragon Con costume is a 6-12 month project...obviously, I'm not joking. 


Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016
Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016

Kudos to all the cosplayers who commit time, determined work and hard-earned money to bring great joy to Dragon Con conventioneers, as well as to those who venture downtown for a street-side glimpse at the fun we're having.


Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016
Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016

And great admiration to those who wear heavy, not-heat-resistant costumes! 


Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016
Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016

Guests also enjoyed the new Sea Lion Experience and the newly renovated 4D Funbelievable Theatre! I highly recommend both.


Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016
Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016

I got to hang out a little with my friend David, aka Superman, and we got to visit with my friend Carrie, co-founder/owner of Atlanta Movie Tours. Atlanta Movie Tours was offering "Hero Tours" during the convention...doesn't that sound fun?! 


Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016
Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016

Steel-toed shoes? No, no. He's the "Man of Steel". And we all know that Elmo and Cookie Monster wouldn't hurt a flea. let alone a superhero.


Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016
Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016

It's a bird. It's a plane. It's...it's one of Georgia Aquarium's Manta Rays! They swim near the top of their habitat along with Whale Sharks, the largest fish on the planet! I was gifted the awesome experience of "Swim with Gentle Giants" a couple of years ago...wholly unique and exciting! 


Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016
Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium 2016

This was my second time attending Dragon Con Night at Georgia Aquarium and again it was great fun. I enjoy Georgia Aquarium throughout the year and encourage visitors, and locals, to visit when you come to Atlanta. You can find a few more photos from the evening on the wanderlust ATLANTA Facebook page.

Keep an eye out for at least a couple more posts about Dragon Con 2016...

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City

Combine the creative masterminds of Jim Henson (The Muppets), George Lucas (Star Wars) and David Bowie (pop icon) and the only possible result is a classic that will delight generations beyond imagination. 

Imagination is precisely what went into Jim Henon's Labyrinth. Mastery of the aforementioned person's respective professions is precisely what brought Labyrinth to fruition, which continues to be a movie and puppetry fan favorite! 


Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City | Center for Puppetry Arts
Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City | Center for Puppetry Arts

Jim Henson’s Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City, A 30th Anniversary Celebration opens at the Center for Puppetry Arts on Friday, September 2, 2016, part of the Center's 30th anniversary celebration of the fantastical film Labyrinth

On display in this immersive special exhibition, in addition to many other items, are more than 20 never before seen artifacts and memorabilia from the film. You'll see noted on the placards accompanying the items on display if it was used in the film 30 years ago. 


Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City | Center for Puppetry Arts
Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City | Center for Puppetry Arts

Featured items include original goblin puppets from the film, the plaster mold for the head of the original Hoggle puppet, crystal balls used by David Bowie, his costume from the M.C. Escher-inspired stair scene and behind the scenes video, photography and drawings from the production, multiple props and masks used in the film and clever movie-inspired markers indicating how to navigate the labyrinth-inspired exhibition space. 


Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City | Center for Puppetry Arts
Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City | Center for Puppetry Arts

When I first walked into the exhibition, around the first corner I wanted to continue to the right, then heard a voice that said "Not that way!" (or something like that). I looked around and then noticed the markers on the floor indicating the correct way to proceed through the brick-walled labyrinth that is this exhibition. 

The exhibition is relatively small, but in no way modest. There's artifact after artifact, video after video, images and copy blocks...you could easily spend an hour or more exploring this spectacular exhibition!


Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City | Center for Puppetry Arts
Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City | Center for Puppetry Arts

Most of you who have read this far probably know what Labyrinth is about, but if you do not, or it's been 30 years since you've seen it, it's an exciting story about a selfish 16-year old girl, performed by the wonderfully talented Jennifer Connelley, who has only 13 hours to solve a labyrinth and rescue her baby brother. She had wished for him to be taken away, which was granted by Jareth the Goblin King, performed brilliantly by David Bowie.


Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City | Center for Puppetry Arts
Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City | Center for Puppetry Arts

In conjunction with the opening of the exhibition and the opening of Dragon Con, the evening before, on Thursday, September 1, the Center for Puppetry Arts will host The Labyrinth Masquerade Ball!

Labyrinth-inspired costumes are encouraged as there will be a costume contest, judged by none other than Brian Henson—son of Jim Henson and cast member of Labyrinth—who will award Henson-related prizes to the winners!


Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City | Center for Puppetry Arts
Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City | Center for Puppetry Arts

When worlds collide...

I had not realized it before, but in researching I found out that the late Kenny Baker (of R2-D2 fame from Star Wars) was also in Labyrinth, a member of the Goblin Corps. I'm certain there are many, many more connections between cast, crew and other works, but that takes nothing away from Labyrinth being wholly unique.


Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City | Center for Puppetry Arts
Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City | Center for Puppetry Arts

Be sure when you visit that if you're visiting just to see Journey to Goblin City, that you make time to stop in the Worlds of Puppetry Museum...it has a section dedicated to Jim Henson's Labyrinth, which includes (pictured above) Sir Didymus!

You will notice placards in the Journey to Goblin City thanking the Henson Family, and the many other contributors to the exhibition, but if you ever meet a member of the Henson Family, please thank them for their treasured contribution to the Center for Puppetry Arts and to Atlanta...it means more to the puppet and puppetry fandom than perhaps they'll ever know.

Jim Henson's Labyrinth: Journey to Goblin City is on display through Fall of 2017, but don't wait. This is one exhibition, a truly special exhibition, that you do not want to miss. Check out what else is going on at the Center for Puppetry Arts and perhaps couple another event or activity with seeing Journey to Goblin City!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

'da Kink in My Hair

Set in a very special hair salon, ‘da Kink in My Hair has been a long-running international hit, as well as a hit television show and today finds itself an award-winning, uplifting, now musical at Horizon Theatre. Performances for this run have consistently sold out, so if you want to see this amazing work of theatrical artistry, do your best to get tickets for this coming week, it's closing week. 


'da Kink in My Hair | Horizon Theatre
'da Kink in My Hair | Horizon Theatre

"If you want to know a black woman, you touch her hair," says Novelette (Terry Burrell, most recently the star of Alliance Theatre's Ethel), as she delves into the tresses and stresses of her clients to reveal their hidden stories. 
On this day in the salon of their West Indian stylist, hurried women converge to have their hair done for dates, jobs and upkeep. But they come away with not just a new hairdo, but a lifted soul and a lightened heart. This amazing musical tells their incredible, uncensored, unforgettable tales through dance, song and stories that will move, inspire, and delight you!


'da Kink in My Hair | Horizon Theatre
'da Kink in My Hair | Horizon Theatre

‘da Kink in My Hair tells of love, hope, survival and redemption through eight women’s trials and celebrations. Each character is wholly different from the other, but the story they tell through song is a harmonious one. And speaking of harmony, these ladies voices are make-you-move-in-your-seat magnificent!

This play is an epic adventure, a roller-coaster of emotions...you're laughing your ass off throughout one scene and sobbing like a little baby come the next. Your heart will break, more than once, but you'll leave this musical feeling joyful and hopeful for the strength off compassion, tolerance and empathy that each of us can offer one another.  

This play did not start as a musical, but today features a broad range of music types and style. Some of what I heard I would call world beat, gospel, island and lounge...and humor and drama are definitely told through the music.


'da Kink in My Hair | Horizon Theatre
'da Kink in My Hair | Horizon Theatre

And speaking of music, Musical Director S. Renee Clark has done it again. She said in the sneak peek of 'da Kink how grateful she is to have an entire cast—meaning everyone in the cast—has such talented and amazing voices to work with. S. Renee Clark is also the keyboardist for the show.

Nearly every actress in this show performs multiple characters. Two actresses in particular caught my attention, in addition to already mentioned Terry Burrell. Mind you, the entire cast is truly phenomenal!

Three-time Suzi Award nominee Minka Wiltz (Patsy, Shannon) is again at Horizon performing roles in 'da Kink that tug at your heartstrings and tickle your funny bone and make you take a reflective inventory of all that makes you who you are. Maiesha McQueen (Miss Enid, Nia) is brilliant. She could make an entire comedy play of the Miss Enid character...a senior citizen whose found her groove


'da Kink in My Hair | Horizon Theatre
'da Kink in My Hair | Horizon Theatre

I've had the pleasure of meeting playwright Trey Anthony, a bright, lively and grateful artist for how incredibly well her work has been received. I particularly love her recounting of how her grandmother was the unsuspecting, yet incredibly blunt, catalyst in Trey's career path leading to her becoming an award-winning playwright.  

Billed as "incredible, uncensored, unforgettable"...'da Kink in My Hair is that and so much more.


Nekeisha, Terry Burrell and Jacquetta visiting after the performance | Horizon Theatre
Nekeisha, Terry Burrell and Jacquetta visiting after the performance | Horizon Theatre

One of my favorite Atlanta theatre traditions is at Horizon Theatre! Following every performance, theatre-goers are invited to the stage to meet, chat with and make photos with the cast. On this visit I got a photo of my friends Nekeisha (left) and Jacquetta (right) with star and brilliant actress Terry Burrell.

I sometimes get star-struck and ideas of what I might say to an admired, illustrious actor falls right out of my head. But the other times, when I'm excited but calm and collected, I very much appreciate the opportunity to thank and congratulate an actor on a remarkable performance, and perhaps glean a little something about the person behind the character that was just performed.

Oh, and you never know who you might meet at Horizon Theatre. On my last time seeing 'da Kink in My Hair, Jasmine Guy was sitting in the row in front of us, directly in front of me! She came across as the social, easygoing type, so we said "Hello", told her how much we we enjoyed her daughter's performance in Serial Black Face and how much we have enjoyed her own career as an awesome actress. Super sweet and funny, she is!





If you missed 'da Kink in My Hair or you'd like to re-live some of the snippets, check out this highlights video

Also, be sure to get your tickets to Freed Spirits, the final show of Horizon Theatre's 2015-2016 Main Stage Season. It's a world-premiere mystery-comedy set in Atlanta's Oakland Cemetery!