Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Dali better the second time around?

I went to see Dali: The Late Work again today. I took my niece, age 14, for the 'cultural arts' segment of her home school curriculum. She had never heard of Salvador Dali until a ten-year old she knows mentioned that he'd been to see the exhibit at the High Museum of Art Atlanta. He liked it OK, said it was pretty cool. I don't think my niece knew what to expect.

I had the privilege of seeing the exhibit earlier, prior to the 'official' opening. The group I was with were treated to a wonderful guided tour by Guest Curator Elliott King, a literal fount of knowledge regarding Dali's work, in particular his late works. He was joined by Irene Halsman, the daughter of Dali photographer and friend, Phillipe Halsman. After following King around, hearing his comments and insights, being spoiled, I wasn't sure how I'd "see" the art today.

Thinking about it, today should count as my third time around! After finishing the tour with King and friends, I grabbed the headsets and walked around again. I listened to the adult and the children's mustache narrated commentary... What can I say? I wanted to know everything and hear everything!

So, today on my 3rd time around how did it go? It was different, but still wonderful. I found myself spending more time looking at Dali's technique and questioning why he chose certain subject matter. As my niece listened to the commentary via the headset, I focused on some of the details I'd missed the first two times around. I was also able to share many of the tidbits that King had discussed, making her think I was some sort of Dali expert. Uh huh.

It was a new experience. In particular I loved introducing my niece to Salvador Dali. The High has put together a phenomenal collection of his works which chronicles his personality and talent with perfection. I watched her looking at the details, scrunching her nose with a few "ewwws" at some of the strangeness, chuckling at times, tilting her head trying to figure out the meaning of some part of a painting... and felt like I was discovering Dali anew.

I'm smiling as I type thinking about how enjoyable the day was, how magnificent Dali is and was. I've been to many shows at the High over the years and always had a great experience and appreciated their attention to detail and the quality of art they share with the public. I'm not sure if it's because I have been a Dali fan since my teens, whether it's the quality of the exhibit they've put together, or a combination of both, but to me the Dali exhibit is absolutely the best of the best by the High.

Will I go back again? You betcha. I think I may wait for a while and let today's visit soak in a bit, but I'll definitely be going back before they close the exhibit in January. By the time the pieces of the exhibit are packed up and returned to their homes, I may be able to give Elliott King a bit of competition!

Just in case you're wondering what my niece thought of it, she loved Dali's work. She thought he was strange and she didn't know who Alice Cooper or Andy Warhol were, but she was impressed. We're already planning our next trip to the High. We saw the Dali exhibit but didn't have time to wander through the rest of the museum which is worth a day all on its own!

Even if you're not sure whether you like Salvador Dali you must, must, go to see Dali: The Late Work. I promise, there's something for everyone and it's an experience bigger than art, just like Dali! - jmd

www.high.org for more information
1280 Peachtree Street N.E.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Raving about Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles at Atlanta's Fabulous Fox Theatre

Yes, we're already raving about RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles. How can we rave when it doesn't come to Atlanta until next month? Well, a few of us from Arts Across Georgia saw it last time it was at the Fabulous Fox Theatre and we were singing for days. I'll have to admit that I was one of those rare types who didn't "get it" when it came to the Beatles. I liked some of their tunes, but didn't go ga-ga over them. However, even I got enthusiastic after seeing RAIN!

This is an excellent show for all ages, whether you're a Beatles fan or not. It's fun. It's cool. It's hot. It's fab.

We can't top the reviews included in the official press release below, we can just agree. RAIN is a great show to introduce non-theater-goers to the thrills of live stage. Seeing your first show at the Fox Theatre is an experience in itself! Toss in the music and talent in RAIN and you have a true winner. Be sure to take a ride on the elevator and check out the bathrooms --- who'd a thunk anyone would ever recommend looking at a bathroom?!

Now for the official release which we included in our Backstage Georgia blog at an earlier date:

From Ed Sullivan to Abbey Road…
RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles


GET BACK Atlanta! “Hey Jude, Lucy, Martha My Dear, Lovely Rita and all you Beatles fans... we’re delighted to help you get back to one of the most fab shows ever,” states Christopher B. Manos, Producer of Theater of the Stars. “The award-winning Beatles concert, RAIN: A Tribute to The Beatles, returns to Atlanta’s Fabulous Fox Theatre from September 17-19. Like The Beatles, the onstage members of RAIN are not only supreme musicians, but electrifying performers in their own right. You can see the show here before it makes its Broadway debut in October. Make plans today to experience RAIN with your loved ones and friends. Tickets are on sale now at all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling 800-982-2787, online at www.ticketmaster.com and at the Fox Theatre Box Office.”

RAIN, the acclaimed Beatles concert, returns by popular demand! They look like them and they sound just like them! “The next best thing to seeing The Beatles,” raves the Denver Post. All the music and vocals are performed totally live! RAIN covers The Beatles from the earliest beginnings through the psychedelic late 60s and their long-haired hippie, hard-rocking rooftop days. RAIN is a multi-media, multi-dimensional experience...a fusion of historical footage and hilarious television commercials from the 1960s lights up video screens and live cameras zoom in for close-ups. “A thrilling bit of time-warping nostalgia…Boomer Heaven!” raves The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Uncanny! RAIN are a quartet of fine musicians in their own right…as The Beatles, they triumph!” cheers the Boston Herald. “An adoring Valentine to The Beatles,” declares the Washington Post. Sing along to such favorites as “Let It Be,” “Hey Jude,” “While My Guitar Gently Weeps,” “Come Together” and “Can’t Buy Me Love,” and relive Beatlemania from Ed Sullivan to Abbey Road!

RAIN covers the Fab Four from their very first Ed Sullivan Show appearance through the Abbey Road album, through the psychedelic late 60s and their long-haired hippie, hard-rocking rooftop days. RAIN is a multi-media, multi-dimensional experience...a fusion of historical footage and hilarious television commercials from the 1960s lights up video screens and live cameras zoom in for close-ups. RAIN boasts a repertoire of nearly 200 Beatlemaniac favorites, ranging from such beloved songs as “Yesterday” and “Hey Jude” to classic hits including “Revolution” and “Come Together.”

For the four longtime band members – Joey Curatolo (Paul McCartney), Joe Bithorn (George Harrison), Ralph Castelli (Ringo Starr) and Steve Landes (John Lennon), with a little help from their friend Mark Lewis (keyboards, percussion) – the music is first and foremost. For more than two decades, RAIN has distinguished itself by focusing on details, always being faithful to The Beatles with the ultimate goal of delivering a perfect note-for-note performance. All the music is performed live, with no pre-recorded tapes or sequences. For more information visit: www.raintribute.com

“On their feet, with arms raised high above their heads, all in the audience were swaying and singing along in blissed-out, nostalgia-powered unison! -- Chicago Sun-Times

“The enraptured audience relives the soundtrack of its life!” -- Chicago Tribune

"RAIN nails the full glory of those heavenly vocal harmonies and thrilled an all-ages crowd with note-perfect renditions of songs from the mightiest canon in all of popular music history." -- Buffalo News

“RAIN creates musical nirvana…makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up! A thrilling bit of time-warping nostalgia...Boomer Heaven!” -- Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“Uncanny! RAIN are a quartet of fine musicians in their own right…as The Beatles, they triumph!” -- The Boston Herald

“An adoring Valentine to The Beatles!” -- The Washington Post

“RAIN is a spectacular extravaganza…did the audience love it? Yeah, yeah, yeah!” -- The Philadelphia Inquirer.

“Parents (and grandparents) and kids were on their feet bopping like crazy!” -- The Courier Post

RAIN will play the Fabulous Fox Theatre in Atlanta from September 17-19, 2010. Performances are Friday at 8 pm, Saturday at 2 pm & 8 pm, and Sunday at 1:30 pm & 7 pm. Tickets are on sale NOW at all Ticketmaster outlets, at 800-982-2787 and online at www.ticketmaster.com. Ticket prices range from $25-$65. Special group rates are available through the Fox Group Sales Dept. at 404-881-2000.

Theater of the Stars celebrates its 58th Anniversary as one of the nation’s premier regional theater companies. A civic not-for-profit cultural treasure, Theater of the Stars is dedicated to presenting and producing the best in musical theater. To learn more about our history of excellence, visit www.theaterofthestars.com.
Twitter: @artsacrossga
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