Big bucks roll in for the Bard, “The Chew” takes it to the street, editing the perfect tribute

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The financially imperiled Georgia Shakespeare theatre company is taking a moment to exhale today. On Thursday, co-founder Richard Garner announced that supporters had donated an astonishing $306,727 toward its end of the year total of $500,000 to keep the 26-year-old theater up and running. Because of the cash infusion, this fall’s production of “The Glass Menagerie” will go on as planned. “It’s been emotionally gruelling,” Garner tells Atlanta magazine. “But the response and the support have been overwhelming.”
 
Garner and staff made the difficult decision to go public this month after many of the company’s longtime corporate donors declined to cut any more checks in this still-struggling economy. “We were getting by week by week just through ticket sales,” Garner explains. “We finally had to ask ‘What are our options?’ We had to have a very frank discussion about just shutting our doors. We had a very long meeting where we asked the question: ‘What would it mean if we no longer existed?’ For me, a founder, that was an emotional roller coaster of a ride. Another option was to go public. In that meeting, we said, ‘We have to give people the option of helping if they want. We have to go public with this.'”
 
Even though Georgia Shakespeare is now more than 60 percent toward its final fundraising goal, it remains imperative to raise the remaining cash. Says Garner: “This is the last, best effort we can make and there is no guarantee it’s going to work. You only get one of these in the life of an organization. It has to be the time when you really need it. For us, that time is now.” To make a credit card donation through the Georgia Shakespeare secured PayPal account, go to the Georgia Shakespeare website or call: 404-504-3404.
 
QUOTE  UNQUOTE
“Is it too weird for people our age to be acting like this?” — Swimming Pool Q’s vocalist Anne Richmond Boston to the crowd at the iconic Atlanta rock act’s Red Light Cafe show last weekend after performing her pivotal primal scream on “Black Bug” from the band’s 1981 debut album, “The Deep End.”
 
FREE FOOD!
ABC Daytime is hoping some free food from some of the city’s finest food trucks will take away the bitter after-taste of the network cancelling its signature soap “All My Children.” To whet your appetite for its new lifestyle show “The Chew” (debuting at 1 p.m. Monday), ABC is handing out free eats Saturday at the Yumbii food truck parked at Atlantic Station from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Pickle food truck parked in front of the 15th Street Plaza on Peachtree Street. Alas, the sun sets on Pine Valley, Pennsylvania today as “All My Children” airs its final broadcast television episode. Spoiler Alert/Side Bar: Stuart’s alive! Dr. Joe and Ruth Martin are home! Tad and Dixie (who’s also alive!) are getting married! Erica’s moving to Tinseltown to become a movie star! At age 60! (Did we mention this is a soap opera?).
 
A FINAL EDIT
To paraphrase Tom Hanks’ famous line from “A League of Their Own,” there’s no crying in newspapering. But that didn’t stop the friends of veteran AJC copy editor Anita Harkins from experiencing some moisture in their eyes this week at her memorial service. Last week, Harkins passed away at age 57 after a lengthy battle with breast cancer. Harkins was one of those boisterous, brilliant newspaper characters that only crop up these days in old Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy films.  Her career legacy will likely include an afternoon in the Summer of 1996 when she was copyediting a Dave Kindred column and saw a potential lawsuit marching her way down Peachtree Street. As the New York Times later famously reported, when Harkins saw Kindred’s column linking together then-Olympic Park bombing suspect Richard Jewell and convicted Atlanta child murderer Wayne Williams, she alerted her editor, saying: “They can’t do it this way.” Her bosses vetoed her and allowed the column to run. The AJC then spent the better part of a decade defending that decision in court. A Facebook tribute page to Harkins has helped more than 200 of her now far-flung former co-workers reconnect to recall old newsroom memories this week while hosting a virtual family reunion. Observed former AJC copy editor Joyce Lee Pink from her home in Florida: “So, Anita’s no longer with us yet her spirit makes this group continue to grow. Does anybody else see what I’m seeing?”

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