Weekend Update, Feb. 24-27, 2011

As I said at the start of the week, there are some tough choices this weekend, and a few additions not included in This Week to make it even harder. Whatever you choose, hope you have a ravishingly Retro good time!

Thursday Feb. 24

The Atlanta Opera presents the opening night of George Gershwin’s PORGY & BESS, a American folk opera about two lovers struggling to find happiness in Charleston’s Catfish Row. Find out more about the production at the Cobb Energy Centre which runs through March 6, in KOOL KAT OF THE WEEK spotlighting Costume Coordinator Joanna Schmink.

Good grief, CB’s an adolescent now, his little sister’s a goth, his ex-girlfriend’s in a mental hospital for setting too many fires, his friends are all drunk, and when his dog dies from rabies after killing a “little yellow bird,” he starts to question the existence of an afterlife.That’s the wacked-out premise of DOG SEES GOD: CONFESSIONS OF A TEENAGE BLOCKHEAD, a black comedy inspired by the popular PEANUTS comic strip and performed by the new Fabrefaction Theatre Company, which premieres today and runs through March 13.

ATLRetro will finally be joining the Last Of The Red Hot Truc-ers as Ghost Riders Car Club celebrates Vietnamese New Year with classic ’50s honkytonk and rockabilly for the last of their February Thursday night free gigs at Pho Truc in Clarkston. For a sneak peek, read Feb. 1 ’s KOOL KAT OF THE WEEK with guitarist Spike Fullerton. Listen to Tongo Hiti’s luxurious live lounge sounds, as well as some trippy takes on iconic pop songs, just about every Thursday night at Trader Vic’s. And Breeze Kings bring on the blues at Northside Tavern.

Friday Feb. 25

Get back to rock’s rockabilly, country and Western swing roots with Big Sandy & His Flyrite Boys, with special guests Caroline & the Ramblers and The Stumblers, at Star Bar. It’s a soulful night at Highland Inn Ballroom with The Soulphonics & Ruby Velle and George Hughley with Johnny & the Lakewood 5. The Nick Longo Band jazzes up Fernbank Museum of Natural History’s Martinis & IMAX. And go really retro with a futuristic twist at AnachroCon, a three-day steampunk convention, which kicks off today in grande style with The Gaslamp Gala, a concert extravaganza organized and presented by The Artifice Club‘s Dr. Q, at 7 PM. Performers include The Ghosts Project with Nathaniel Johnstone (Abney Park) and Play it with Moxie, a ballroom jazz band. Admission is included in your AnachroCon membership, with VIP seating available for $5. All festivities are at the Holiday Inn Select Perimeter, 4386 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road.

Saturday Feb. 26

“It all started like a regular record hop. Had they only known…” With so much great to do today, the good news is that at least the Silver Scream Spookshow has two shows, a kids’ matinee at 1 PM and adult show at 10 PM, both at the Plaza Theatre, of course. This month’s monster movie is GIANT GILA MONSTER(1959) featuring missing teenagers, hot rods, a sock hop and a hungry 70-foot reptile. Also rarely on the big screen at the High Museum of Art’s Richard H. Rich Theatre is Jean Renoir’s THE RULES OF THE GAME (1939), a genius of a tale of a hunting party at a country chateau gone wrong. Pauline Kael dubbed it “perhaps the most influential of all French films,” and Robert Altman declared that it “taught me the rules of the game.” Henri Cartier-Bresson, whose photography is currently on display at the High (see ongoing), served as second unit director. Showtime is at 8 PM, and the screening is part of the High’s 12th annual FRENCH FILM YESTERDAY AND TODAY series.

Saturday also is the fist day of derby season for the Atlanta Rollergirls. The first bout at 5 PM pits Dirty South Derby Girls (Atlanta All-Stars) against the Memphis (Tenn.)Hustlin’ Rollers. Then the Denim Demons take on the Sake Tuyas at 7:30 PM, all at the Yaarab Shrine Center on Ponce.

Moving onto music. The Masquerade hosts Mon Cherie’s Rockabilly Lounge, featuring Atomic Rockets, special guest Flathead Mike Niles, Rev. Andy spinning Psychobilly Freakout, Broken Hearts Burlesque Show and free jello shots. Jazz legend Roy Haynes, also known as “the father of modern jazz drumming,” plays his first Rialto show. Meanwhile back at Star Bar, it’s a punk rock reunion with Atlanta’s notorious Dead Elvis, the El Caminos and Sid Vicious Experience and all proceeds supporting “Bread for Ed” Waller and Kari Smid, who suffered a serious motorcycle accident and serious medical bills. Who said punk rockers don’t have big hearts?! Look for an interview with Derek Yaniger of Dead Elvis later this week here at ATLRetro.

Saturday also will be the big day at AnachroCon with scads of steampunk-related panels, and in the evening, an Enchantment Under the Sea Dance with Cemetery Surfers and ‘80s cover band Denim Arcade, featuring Becky Cormier Finch of Three Quarter Ale at 7 PM. The evening continues with The World’s Fair Exposition, featuring Extraordinary Contraptions and Frenchy and the Punk (formerly Gypsy Nomads) at 10 PM, and burlesque diva Talloolah Love’s Lovely Ladies at midnight. Again, everything happens at the Holiday Inn Select Perimeter, 4386 Chamblee-Dunwoody Road.

Sunday Feb. 20

AnachroCon wraps up, but before it’s time to pack up the TARDIS, Talloolah Love offers tutelage in Vintage Hairstyles for the Modern Lady and the Atlanta Radio Theatre Company revives the popular entertainment of a bygone age. At night, rock to John Mellencamp at the Fox Theatre and Georgia Satellites at Oysterfest at Steamhouse Lounge.

Ongoing

Last week’s KOOL KAT Emily Yetter stars as a precocious, politically incorrect Tinkerbell J.M. BARRIE’S PETER PAN under the big tent at Pemberton Place, next to the World of Coca-Cola. Performances have been extended through April 10.

Sometimes Lorazepam works slowly, so I think about increasing the dose.

THE RED BALLOON takes flight via Theatre du Reve in 7 Stages’ Backstage Theater from Feb. 16-27. The stage adaptation uses puppetry and live original music to bring to life the classic 1956 French movie about a boy who befriends a shiny red balloon. Suitable for ages 4 and up.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec died in 1901, but it’s not a stretch to say that his vibrant posters and prints of showgirls, nightclub stars and the café culture influenced the 20th century romantic view of Paris and still inspire today’s burlesque performers. The High Museum of Art’s dynamic special exhibition, TOULOUSE-LAUTREC AND FRIENDS: THE IRENE AND HOWARD STEIN COLLECTION, runs through May 1. Also at the High through May 29 is the MOMA-organized HENRI CARTIER-BRESSON: THE MODERN CENTURY, another blockbuster exhibit showcasing a photographer and photojournalist who captured on film many of the seminal moments of the 20th century from World War II to the assassination of Ghandi, China’s cultural revolution to civil rights and consumer culture in America.

If you know of a cool happening that’s coming up, send suggestions to ATLRetro@gmail.com

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