Synchronicity annually performs three contemporary plays for adults and two or three family-friendly musicals as part of its commitment to raise the local and national profile of Atlanta theatre. Kicking off its Bold Voices series is The Storytelling Ability of a Boy , which tells the dark story of an English teacher who gets overly involved in the lives of two of her students. Performances run at 7 Stages Theatre through November 21, when the play will be returned to a dramaturgical library to spend the holidays with its leather-bound family. The children's classic, The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, will ensnare the hearts of cynical holiday audiences from December 11, 2010, through January 2, 2011, at the Balzer Theater at Herren's. See the calendar for all show dates and times.
Flush with cash during the Roaring Twenties, Atlanta's Shriners set out to build a magnificent monument for their headquarters, dubbed the Yaarab Temple Shrine Mosque. The structure was to feature grandiose architectural touches such as towering minarets and onion domes. When a teetering economy threatened construction, the Shriners sold the building to film mogul William Fox, who finished the space as a movie palace with virtually no changes to its extravagant design. As splendid as the exterior was, audiences were unprepared for the interior. After seeing it for the first time, one Atlanta Journal reporter breathlessly remarked on the "picturesque and almost disturbing grandeur" on display.
Crafted to resemble the courtyard of a Moorish castle, the main hall's decorations begin in the back with a faux canopy of plaster and steel stretching over the rear balcony. Stone parapets wrap around the sides, culminating in a towering proscenium arch illuminated by hanging lanterns and overhung with persian rugs. Above, a blue ceiling sparkles with hundreds of recessed light bulbs, which refract through three-inch crystals. Projected clouds drift across this simulated starry night and rain on anyone who texts during a show.
The final jewel in the theater's gilded crown is the The Mighty Mo Organ. The second-largest theater organ in the world, the Mighty Mo was custom-built in 1929 for the princely sum of $42,000 to accompany any movie or live production. The instrument’s richly textured sounds erupt from 3,622 pipes of varying length, with the smallest no larger than a pen and the largest spanning five feet in diameter. Adding to the Mighty Mo's sonic tapestry is an internal glockenspiel, marimba, and xylophone, plus a system by which the stage's grand piano can be played remotely. The Mighty Mo also mimics thunder, steamboat whistles, saxophones, and its parents' voices when they're not around.
Jose Maldonado has been moved by the lively rhythms and smooth horns of Latin music as long as he can remember, swaying his body with the steps of Afro-Cuban, salsa, and cha-cha styles. The Puerto Rico native has been performing, choreographing, and teaching dance since 1999, appearing on stages and film sets across globe and working alongside stars such Oscar D'León, Grupo Niche, and The Black Eyed Peas. In 2004, Jose founded PasoFino Dance Studio, where he shares his passion for dance and years of expertise with aspiring students.
In his spacious studio, Jose and his staff of experienced dance instructors conduct private and group sessions in a variety of styles including salsa, mambo, cha-cha, and belly dancing. They work with students of all experience levels, guiding them through spins, body movements, and footwork at a comfortable pace. The dedicated dancers also choreograph, teach, and perform for special events—ideal for those who’d like to tango at their wedding or break into a lively mambo number during their next company financial-earnings presentation.
Project 9-6-1 celebrates five years of rocking Atlanta's airwaves with the Filthy Fifth Anniversary concert, a bass-heavy evening of raucous metal, hip-hop, and dub-step headlined by world-famous band Korn. Since 1994, the group has gripped music fans with its raw energy and signature nu-metal sound, which fuses aggressive riffs and cathartic caterwauling with thesaurus-shredding hip-hop. With more than 30 million records sold and two Grammys on the mantel, vocalist Jonathan Davis and his band of sonic swashbucklers execute an athletic set that mixes classic tracks with new thrashers from the band’s latest album, The Path of Totality. Joining the sonic mélange, dub-step DJ Datsik blows up the dance floor with helium tanks of hip-hop, Netherland rappers Dope D.O.D. drop hardcore rhymes about wooden shoes, and Canadian bass-master Downlink puts treble knobs in their place with telltale beats that haunt guilty floorboards.
As may be apparent by her name, studio director Ursula Undress is a student of both classical burlesque and its neoburlesque modern revival. At her studio, she puts together a curriculum that pays tribute to the history of sultry dance while also integrating its modern trends. Among the goals of the classes is for all women to learn to confidently swing their hips and master the subtle art of the tease—while striking up a renewed relationship with their inner temptress. Ursula and her fellow instructors also add variety to classes by integrating sexy hoop dancing, graceful ballet moves, or Latin-inspired dance forms, including salsa, cha-cha, and mambo. Students looking for a more intense workout can tone up through the studio’s go-go fitness classes that are aided by an upbeat pace and hefty gold-plated feather boas.
Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center is the city’s grandest artistic complex, containing the High Museum and the Alliance Theatre, in addition to the Atlanta Symphony. Located right in the middle of Midtown, the theater is comfortable for both dates and young families, and since the Atlanta Symphony is known for its fantastic acoustics, there are no bad seats in the house. The orchestra’s annual gala is one of the arts season highlights, featuring the talents of the orchestra in addition to celebrities like Broadway’s Audra McDonald, while even the commonplace shows tend to wow crowds, without breaking the bank. There’s nothing better at the end of a difficult work week than to sit in a plush, comfortable chair, close your eyes and allow the strains of a live orchestra to carry you away.