News & Opinion

News about Atlanta issues, arts, events, and more

When Carrie met Samantha: Author Candace Bushnell dishes on “Summer and the City”

In just three days this summer, the W Buckhead threw together a glamorous pool party at the hotel's Wet bar worthy of "Sex and the City" heroine Carrie Bradshaw herself.

Hagman, Duffy, Gray spawn a new generation of family dysfunction in reboot of “Dallas”

Good news, Ewing family fight fans. If the 1 minute and 6 second sneak peek of next summer's TNT reboot of "Dallas" is any indication, sibling rivalry and imploding family units remain the chief export of Ewing Oil, even in the age of "Dr. Phil."

TNT renews “Falling Skies” for a second season to air in Summer 2012

This just in: Atlanta-based TNT just announced it has renewed its ambitious sci-fi drama "Falling Skies" for a second 10-episode season to air in the summer of 2012. In a recent interview with Intel, "Falling Skies" actor Noah Wyle indicated he hoped for an early pick up for season two since producing the special effects-laden drama is a lengthy process with a lot of post-shoot CGI work. The show is produced by Dreamworks Television with Steven Spielberg serving as executive producer.

Q&A with “Rock of Ages” star and “Idol” alum Constantine Maroulis in town at the Fox through Sunday

He was the fourth season “American Idol” contestant who oozed so much cheese into the cameras, lactose-intolerant viewers were forced to avert their eyes. But then in 2009, rocker Constantine Maroulis was cast in the hit Broadway musical “Rock of Ages" and ended up with a Tony Award nomination as Best Leading Actor for his role as wannabe rocker Drew Bowie. He’s reprising the role in the national tour of the musical that runs through Sunday at the Fox Theatre.

The first Atlanta International Pop Festival

“There it was, man, pop culture in the middle of an unreal dust bowl with a wide asphalt rim.” Thus wrote the Atlanta Constitution’s Albert Scardino forty-two years ago about the first Atlanta International Pop Festival, which took place on the Fourth of July weekend in 1969.

The Mad Violinist

When Ashanti Floyd, twenty-six, was a fifth grader in Tallahassee, his classmates laughed at him for playing the violin. With Tupac Shakur cranking out multiplatinum records, there were few young African American violinists, let alone ones traveling to Europe for classical music competitions. But by high school, Floyd’s gym performances inspired such bedlam that the principal had to shut down student assemblies.

Anne Rivers Siddons

Veteran novelist and former Atlanta magazine staffer Anne Rivers Siddons sets her eighteenth novel, Burnt Mountain (Grand Central Publishing), in the metro area. These days Siddons divides her time between Maine and coastal South Carolina, but Atlanta “is burned into my heart and retinas,” she says. “I’ve kept all I know of it.” Indeed, Siddons captures the lush, old-money neighborhoods and the prickly Perimeter wars—inside or out?—with clear affection. “There are maybe ten small towns and communities orbiting Atlanta like dwarf moons,” she writes. “Most of them are close enough to the city to lie, figuratively, under its canopy, like fruit dropped from a great tree.” Burnt Mountain is steeped in Celtic myth, loss, and breathtaking betrayal. Thayer Wentworth grows up a tomboy in a proper family. In one magical summer at camp, she meets her first love and has her first heartbreak. Years later she marries Aengus O’Neill, an Irish professor with “banked-fire blue” eyes that only hint of the dark magic to come. Throughout Thayer’s life, her twisted relationship with her mother provides a powerful undertow. Siddons, now seventy-five, sometimes lays the drama on pretty thick, but her skill at drawing nuanced characters, painting beautiful scenes, and simply writing perfect sentences is on full display here.

Constantine Maroulis

This month at the Fox Theatre, American Idol rocker Constantine Maroulis reprises the 2009 Tony-Award-nominated role he debuted in Rock of Ages, an homage to eighties hair bands that the New York Times has described as both “absurdly enjoyable” and “Xanadu for straight people.” Here’s what he told us from the tour bus:

Johnny’s Hideaway

Nothing much has changed at Johnny’s Hideaway, the cougar bar buried in the strip mall homogeneity of Roswell Road. Not the disco ball or the parquet floor or the glamour shots of dead and dying celebrities. Divorcées in tight jeans and halter tops still troll the perimeter. The oldies soundtrack is the same, though founder Johnny Esposito, “Mr. Nightlife,” passed away in April at age seventy-nine. Chris Dauria, the son of Esposito’s partner Mike Dana, has run the place for years—still guarding the door with his entourage of big, bald bouncers, as if something valuable were inside. And maybe, in this age of disposable bars, there is.

Radcliffe Bailey comes home

Artist Radcliffe Bailey, forty-two, is as close to a celebrity as the Atlanta art scene gets, with his iconic dandyish fedoras and glamorous it-coupledom with writer and TV soap star wife, Victoria Rowell. Even the High Museum—not known for consistently exhibiting local talent—is acknowledging his achievements, staging a major survey of his work, Memory as Medicine (through September 11).

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