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!

Friday, August 12, 2016

The Only Stutz Biarritz in the World

The only place in the world you can see the only remaining Stutz Biarritz automobile in the entire world is at the Atlanta History Center.


Stutz Biarritz | Atlanta History Center
Stutz Biarritz | Atlanta History Center

There were only 19 of this particular model made and this is the only remaining of them, beautifully restored and preserved for all of us today's antique automobile enthusiasts. Enjoy this video of the Stutz Biarritz by videographer KDawgFilmz, which I found insightful and entertaining. (I love the discovery part of researching my posts!)


Stutz Biarritz | Atlanta History Center
Stutz Biarritz | Atlanta History Center

Stutz Motor Company built only 2,320 cars during its reign in the late 1920s, before the U.S. Stock Market Crash, and only 19 of the Biarritz model were crafted. "Crafted" is a wholly accurate word. This model was indeed, even by today's standards, a unique luxury car.


Stutz Biarritz | Atlanta History Center
Stutz Biarritz | Atlanta History Center

What cost $4,115 in 1929, would cost nearly $60,000 today, but some would argue that some of its features aren't even available today. It was incredibly innovative for its time, including its ability to reach a speed of 75-80 miles per hour! You'll want to learn about its "fabric" exterior and how that made for a luxurious ride.


Stutz Biarritz | Atlanta History Center
Stutz Biarritz | Atlanta History Center

I'm not totally clear on how it worked (two dials to do everything), but this model featured a "Transitone" radio, believed to be one of the first on-board radios in an automobile ... remember, this was 1929, when radio was nationwide, but not everyone had it. 

I imagine the riders of this particular vehicle tuned in to the broadcasts from the Biltmore Hotel (then the "outskirts" of Atlanta), which featured the iconic radio towers that still today grace Atlanta's skyline.


Stutz Biarritz | Atlanta History Center
Stutz Biarritz | Atlanta History Center

That's a tiny little bit about this wholly unique specimen of American automobile history. 

Go see it for yourself at the Atlanta History Center...you will be amazed!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Atlanta's Spectacular "Chihuly in the Garden"

Part of its 40th anniversary celebration, the Atlanta Botanical Garden is home of a spectacular "Chihuly in the Garden" exhibition. This exhibition features 19 installations, three created just for this exhibition.


Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016
Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016

The above installation, Fire Amber Herons, is my personal favorite. It's located in the Ferst Fountain, where you will discover Lily, Lottie and Luna behind a waterfall, in the Perennial Garden.

A mere two years after President & CEO—and visionary—Mary Pat Matheson assumed leadership of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, she again put the Garden "on the map" with a Chihuly exhibition in 2004 that increased visitorship to record levels. She's continued to do so since.


Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016
Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016

Did you know that the Japanese Garden in the Atlanta Botanical Garden pre-dates its 1976 founding? Go on a guided tour of the Garden and you'll learn lots of fascinating facts and factoids about our "Oasis in the City".


Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016
Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016

The two immediately above photos are Turquoise Marlins and Floats, featured in the Japanese Garden.


Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016
Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016

Located in The Gardens in Storza Woods, opened only in recent years, you'll discover three groupings of Red Reeds. Red is my favorite color, so I found these particularly magnificent. They're strategically placed, so you may or may not see them as you come upon them, but you'll definitely see them! 


Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016
Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016

Sapphire Star, in Howell Fountain at the end of the Crepe Myrtle AllĂ©e and the top of the Great Lawn, is magnificent! You can't miss it and you won't be able to resist taking a photo of or with it. 


Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016
Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016

Immediately under the Canopy Walk (which opened only in 2010) is Green Hornets and Waterdrops. Its backdrop is another favorite...several "plantings" of Neodymium Reeds, the purple "stalks" that the sun makes sparkle during daytime and strategic lighting makes spectacular in the evening.


Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016
Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016

At the top of the relatively new Water Mirror in Storza Woods is the 30-foot tall Saffron Tower. I'm not convinced if it's more spectacular during the day or when fully illuminated—all its neon tubes—in the evening!


Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016
Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016

In the lobby of the Fuqua Orchid Center you'll be mesmerized by Sapphire Neon with Neodymium Reeds, Floats, and Logs. This installation features multiple techniques used by artist Dale Chihuly, set among natural elements.


Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016
Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016

I've seen this exhibition many times now, with friends Barry, Jacquetta, Luc and Saffold, all on separate visits, and the one installation that has grown on me the most is the Black and Green Striped Herons with Icicle Clusters, displayed in the Fuqua Orchid Center. It's truly magnificent and a favorite backdrop for visitor photos, group and individual.


Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016
Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016

Lining both sides of the Great Lawn, in front of the Fuqua Conservatory, you'll see the splendid and spectacular Carmel and Red Fiori. I love the movement of Chihuly's work...you can't help but be moved by it.


Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016
Chihuly in the Garden | Atlanta Botanical Garden | 2016

The above, Ikebana, is located in the Tropical Rotunda in the Fuqua Conservatory. Be sure to look around when in the Conservatory...there are multiple sculptures here, each unique and splendid.

Want a video sneak peek? Check out this video featuring Dale Chihuly himself exploring Chihuly in the Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden

This 40th anniversary exhibition will be on display through October 30, 2016. See it and be mesmerized! Then see it at night...see Chihuly Nights!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Fort Pickens...An Historical Treasure

Happy 100th birthday, National Park Service!

I recently went on a short vacation to Pensacola, Florida, when I saw one of my dearest friends married on Navarre Beach. We also visited the Pensacola Lighthouse, toured the National Naval Aviation Museum, explored Downtown Pensacola and spent a great amount of time wandering through Fort Pickens, today a National Park.

I'm going to share here 10 bits of trivia or tips that I picked up on during my visit to Fort Pickens.


Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

1. Construction on Fort Pickens began in 1829, at the time one of forty forts to protect our coastal borders. It's of a pentagon shape, designed for more than 200 cannon and built with more than 21.5 million bricks! Constructions was completed in 1834, with quite a storied process.


Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

2. When you visit, get a map, find a tour guide, do research. There is a considerable lot to explore and discover here...more than what we realized! I totally want to visit again when I return to Pensacola!


Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

3. One summer morning in 1899, there was an explosion. 8,000 pounds of gunpowder showered debris across Pensacola Bay. Flying brick fragments killed Pvt. Earle Welles and injured Pvt. Henry Hopgood. Visitors can today still see signs of that deadly explosion.


Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

4. To support the weight of the fort on a foundation of sand, engineers used arches...lots and lots of arches!


Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

5. Fort Pickens, as well as Pickens County, Georgia, Pickens County Alabama, and Pickens, S.C. (where my mother is spending retirement years), are all named for General Andrew Pickens, a Revolutionary War soldier who was born in Pennsylvania and eventually called South Carolina home, where he passed in 1817.


Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

6. Those are cannon platforms in the above photo. This fort is formidable and fascinating at the same time. 


Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

7. Did you know that this is the 100th anniversary of our National Park Service? That made this visit to Fort Pickens even a little more special. Have you explored all 11 National Parks in Georgia? Since this post is about a State Park in Florida, I'd be remiss to not mention that there are also 11 National Parks in Florida. Go, explore, have a great time in our National Parks!


Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

8. Fort Pickens is a fort within a fort! By the last 1890s, the brick and stone fort had become antiquated and no match for newer weapons. Completed in 1899, Battery Pensacola mounted two 12-inch rifles on disappearing carriages, that could be retracted after firing. Their 1,070 pound shells could be shot at targets eight miles away! 

You'll know it's Battery Pensacola because it's painted black—to reduce glare from the sand and water.


Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

9. Fort Pickens closed in 1947, having been declared "surplus". Guns, railroad tracks, and steel towers were salvaged, leaving only concrete remains. Certain artifact were added later. A State Park in 1971, it joined and became part of Gulf Islands National Seashore, and will forever remain part of our history, present and future. I highly recommend a visit! 


Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor
Fort Pickens | Gulf Islands National Seashore, NPS | Photo: Travis S. Taylor

10. Fort Pickens also has a museum and an active fishing pier. We did not take advantage of those, but we did see the above pictured beautiful Blue Heron. He walked around with us for about 15 minutes! Stunning creature.

Fort Pickens offers a number of campground sites, so if you're looking to camp anywhere in or near Pensacola, this would make for a unique and rather fascinating choice!

Help the National Park Service celebrate its 100th birthday by visiting a National Park! You know you're going to have fun!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Interview: Benjamin Davis on the Inaugural AMTF

Everything has a beginning.

The upcoming inaugural Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival (AMTF) started with a "Why don't we have something like this?" epiphany when Atlanta-area actor-singer-producer Benjamin Davis was at the New York Musical Festival (NYMF) just one year ago.

This summer, Benjamin's then-budding vision will become a reality, making Atlanta musical theatre history!

Benjamin Davis, Founder & Executive Director, Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival
Benjamin Davis, Founder & Executive Director, Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival

I had the awesome honor of interviewing Benjamin who shared with me some background on his theatre adventures and some of what he plans to grow into an annual event.

About Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival

Benjamin envisions the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival as an avenue to facilitate and foster "the next generation of theatre artists...to allow creative minds to explore their ideas with the guidance of seasoned industry professionals." Benjamin sees this as an opportunity to "celebrate our community and the impact that Atlanta can have on the national theatre scene."

Benjamin was inspired when attending/working the New York Musical Festival last year to start one here in Atlanta. NYMF, launched 12 years ago, today runs for nearly a full month and this year showcases 2 to 12 shows per day. Benjamin's fearless endeavor will no doubt rival its NYC sister Festival one day. That Benjamin has in only one year created and is about the launch the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival is mind-blowing! This is BIG, you guys!

There were 20 submissions received by the May 1 deadline and four official selections have been made that will be presented in the inaugural Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival, over two days and two nights, August 1-2. Tickets are available on the Actor's Express website and the shows will be performed at Actor's Express and Synchronicity Theatre

The range of topics presented in the inaugural year of the Festival is quite astounding. Festival-goers will see shows concerning slavery, family, feminism and memory! (more info about these shows is below)

Of course, getting any project of this magnitude off the ground takes vision, dedication and support. AMTF conducted a crowdfunding campaign and it was a total success at 111%! It's very exciting to see such support and enthusiasm for new musical theatre and for emerging theatre artists! 

Want to donate to the success of the Festival? You still can...donate here.

Tickets are now on sale for the two-day Festival. AMTF will take place on Monday and Tuesday, August 1-2. There will be a show at noon both days and a show at 8:00 p.m. both days...a total of four original works.

The Festival will be presented in four blocks over the two days. Each block will include a showcase performance of a local musical, in an abbreviated form, and one of the four official selections—a full performance of the original work.

About Benjamin Davis

A native Georgian, Benjamin has been acting since he was 12 years old. He grew up as a singer, and simply stumbled upon musical theatre when his middle school chorus class presented a musical each year.

He was born in Buford, Georgia, matriculated at University of Georgia and did his apprenticeship at Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville, Georgia, a theatre I've enjoyed on many occasions and highly recommend.

His first role came in 7th grade, as Wihthrop in The Music Man. Benjamin recounts the experience as one in which he "thought he was cast because of his natural talent, but probably had more to do with the fact that he had bright red hair and an actual lisp." 

His favorite shows today include a plethora of contemporary musical theatre, but he says the shows he's dying to tackle are Spring Awakening, American Idiot and Dogfight...*wink* *wink* to all Artistic Directors in Atlanta.

The most recent performance I had the pleasure of seeing Benjamin in was Sweeney Todd at Actor's Express, one of the theatres hosting the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival. After meeting him, I fully know that his passion for theatre is authentic. His desire for AMTF to be a total success is indeed genuine, and I'm wholly convinced it will be!

Over the years I've known many actors and actresses, some of them very close friends. The one common trait each and every one of them possess is a complete and total devotion to their craft. Benjamin's commitment to singing, acting and launching the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival is exactly that...a wholly committed devotion to a successful launch and continuation of the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival.

When I asked him what he does for fun in his spare time—knowing that was a long shot—Benjamin said, "You hit the nail on the head when you mention that our lives are acting. In addition to my acting career, my actual free time is usually spent on the Festival or other projects. My REAL free time would be spent cooking with my girlfriend, playing with my dog, or studying the craft. My free nights are spent watching other shows or movies, usually engulfing myself in other people's work. Free time and hobbies are a thing of the past for me!"

Sadly, Benjamin recently lost his canine companion to health complications. My heartfelt condolences to him and others who loved his pup.

When Benjamin got the idea for the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival, he was working as the Associate Producer for a show called The Last Time We Were Here at the 2015 New York Musical Festival, and the show was a great success.

Before that, Benjamin also had the awesome opportunity to tour with the Broadway Dreams Foundation as a production assistant/intern coordinator. Through Broadway Dreams, Benjamin has had the opportunity to work alongside Broadway greats including Billy Porter, Tituss Burgess, Eden Espinosa, Jarrod Emick, Megan Hilty, Stafford Arima, Norm Lewis, Stephanie J. Block, Tyler Hanes, Deidre Goodwin, and Tony Vincent, among others.


His resume is impressive to say the least! I believe he will prove to be the musical theatre promoter that Atlanta wants and needs.

Benjamin also maintains a steady amount of on-camera work. He has appeared in feature films, including The DUFF and The Fat Boy Chronicles, as well as commercials for Georgia Lottery, Top Flite, Zaxby's, RaceTrac, and Home Depot, among others.


Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival



Official Selections

Let's now have a look at the four Official Selections that will be featured in the inaugural Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival, presented here in performance date/time order. Tickets for all shows are available on the Actor's Express website.

Underground (tickets)
Monday, August 1  |  12:00 p.m.  |  Synchronicity Theatre

Book and Lyrics by Akil DuPont

"1850. With dreams of freedom tuggin' at his soul, Bali plans to escape from slavery after learning that his master, Jacob, is going to sell his young daughter ...Bali encounters a house slave, Dembi, who is content with her station in life..."

Human strife and struggle is often the catalyst for music, whether it offers relief or fuel. This show, I believe, is a story about the human condition, about the incredibly difficult decisions we sometimes have to make...decisions that will dictate our future. A must-see!

Underground | 2016 Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival
Underground | 2016 Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival

The Yellow Wallpaper (tickets)
August 1  |  8:00 p.m.  |  Actor's Express

Adaptation by Hannah Church
Music & Lyrics by Julia Appleton

"...a treatment called the 'rest cure'. Imagine lying in bed for eight weeks in complete isolation."

Granted, there are times, especially in today's busy world, I crave quite alone time, but never would I, or most anyone for that matter, want it forced upon me. I am completely curious about this 1891 "cure"...and how it's put to music!


The Yellow Wallpaper | 2016 Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival
The Yellow Wallpaper | 2016 Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival

The Fine Art of Forgetting (tickets) (website)
Tuesday, August 2  |  12:00 p.m.  |  Synchronicity Theatre

Book by Heidi Cline McKerley
Music by S. Renee Clark
Lyrics by Jeff McKerley

"...we follow Karen's journey as she juggles a mother battling Alzheimer's disease, a disappearing father, a nonexistent romantic relationship, and a new career opportunity that seems too good to be true."

I know S. Renee Clark's music. That alone tells me this one will be magnificent. The story is one that I believe many of us have in the past or are currently dealing with, making it wholly relevant to so many today.



The Fine Art of Forgetting | 2016 Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival
The Fine Art of Forgetting | 2016 Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival


What's Past (tickets)
Tuesday, August 2  |  8:00 p.m.  |  Actor's Express

Written by Chase Peacock and Jessica de Maria

"What would you do if you could remember all the things you never knew you forgot?

That part of the show's synopsis terrifies me. Not because of the show, but because I don't think I'd want to unravel certain aspects of my past, but I can hardly wait to see it dramatically acted out on stage!


What's Past | 2016 Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival
What's Past | 2016 Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival

You can get a discount by purchasing multiple shows and for a short time there will be full-festival passes available for all four shows at a significant savings! Remember to double-check your ticket and time, as the festival is being conducted at two different theatres, Actor's Express and Synchronicity Theatre.

Stephen Michael Brown, Title Sponsor of Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival, is someone I do not personally know, but I've seen his hand in a lot of great work, a lot of magnificent theatre, so it wasn't a surprise when I learned that he extended his expertise and generosity to the Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival.

I hope to meet Stephen at some point in the future, but allow me please to share with you one of his favorite quotes, which I believe is accurate of how he approaches every day:
"I believe that if, at the end, according to our abilities, we have done something to make others a little happier, and something to make ourselves a little happier, that is about the best we can do. To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try. I didn't always know this and am happy I lived long enough to find out." - Roger Ebert
I'm looking forward to what I know will be a magnificent musical theatre experience! Thank you Benjamin, staff, artistic advisors, sponsors, playwrights, directors, crew and actors! And of course a huge thank you to all who purchase tickets!

Submissions for the 2nd Annual Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival will open this fall, so be sure to sign-up for informative email updates (bottom of their homepage) and follow AMTF on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

We may all very well be witnesses to the beginning of the next national musical theatre sensation! See you at the Festival!


Atlanta Musical Theatre Festival

Monday, July 4, 2016

A Final Star Wars Night at Turner Field

I finally made it to Star Wars Night at Turner Filed, an extra-fun Atlanta Braves game. The fun was out of this world, "in a galaxy far, far away"...yet really close! And the fun began as soon as you stepped inside the gate.

Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves
Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves

As most everyone knows, this is the final season the Atlanta Braves will play in Turner Field. We're not sure "exactly" what's going to happen to the field, but I sincerely hope it finds a new home, avoiding the wrecking ball. I hope the Braves like their new home, but I'm going to miss having them so close to downtown!

Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves
Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves

I made sure to make it to the field in time to see the on-field Star Wars Parade, which started 45 minutes before game time.

Some of the parade participants were fascinated with the view from the field. The youngster pictured above looks so very much like my great nephew Johnny, also a curious little fellow. 


Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves
Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves

The field was fully wrapped by time all the participants made it out. There were some excellent costumes and it looked like everyone on the field, including staff and players, were having a great time!

Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves
Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves

If you're making plans to attend a Braves game that has a parade, do make time to see it...it's great fun! Check the schedule for games that have a parade.

Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves
Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves

Of all the Star Wars characters, Yoda is my all-time favorite. And he's the one I most often quote, for inspiration: "The is no try. Do or do not." I love the droids, too, but Yoda is wise and tell it how it is. I admire that directness.

Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves
Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves

As I mentioned, there were some awesome costumes for Star Wars Night! There were characters and cosplayers throughout the stadium and up by the giant drum near the main entrance, but the parade is when you get to see the costumes best.

Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves
Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves

When I went to "Zombie Night" at Turner Field last year, they had zombiefied everyone on the scoreboard. For Star Wars Night, they used bad guys (Yoda, Boba Fett or Darth Vader) for the opposing team's photos. But there was video of them getting ready to bat, so it was all in fun.

Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves
Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves

For the Atlanta Braves, they dressed them in good guys costumes! They played a great game, but a few Jedi mind tricks for the win would have been nice.

The next Zombie Night at Turner Field is scheduled for Friday, July 15. I had a great time at last year's, as I did at this year's Star Wars Night. I highly recommend going! Just remember to get there at least an hour early so that you have time for photo ops and to see the on-field parade!

Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves
Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Freddie Freeman | Atlanta Braves

I've been talking about Star Wars and not much about baseball, of which I am truly a fan. There was some excellent playing this game. In fact, we went into overtime with a 5-5 score. 

At the bottom of the 10th, with bases loaded, we thought we'd win the game. But that wasn't the Braves' destiny...not that night anyway. 

The game finished 5-7 at the bottom of of the 12th inning...it was a long game, but a good game!

Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves
Star Wars Night 2016 at Turner Field | Atlanta Braves

And as is tradition for Friday night home games, there were fireworks! On this particular evening, however, the fireworks were choreographed to Star Wars music.

The evening was great fun...I'm so glad I finally went to a Star Wars Night at Turner Field and I wish the Atlanta Braves all the best next year at their new home.