Home Atlanta News What to see, do and hear: OkCello, Aesop puppetry, new choreography, more

What to see, do and hear: OkCello, Aesop puppetry, new choreography, more

by Atlanta Business Journal

ART+DESIGN

Professors of Art: Georgia, at eyedrum, features 29 artists who teach in art departments at colleges and universities around the state, from Valdosta to Savannah to Dahlonega. They were invited to show in the exhibition juried by recently retired University of North Georgia professor Michael Marling de Cuellar. Expect paintings, sculpture, mixed-media, a bit of everything. At the closing on August 20, eyedrum will award one of the artists a solo show in 2023. Free. 515 Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard S.W.

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“Martha Graham: Letter to the World (Kick),” a 1940 photograph by Barbara Morgan, is at Jackson Fine Art.

Photography is more than 180 years old but relatively young in terms of art collecting, compared to other mediums. The works in Jackson Fine Art’s eighth annual Private Collections Salon & Sale come from photography collections throughout the country. Some prints have been enjoyed and cared for for more than 50 years. The Salon includes vintage photographs by Alfred Stieglitz, one of the most important figures in photography, as well as more contemporary works by William Eggleston and Julie Blackmon. Through September 10.  

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Love is timeless, but at the High Museum of Art an exhibit built around the theme will come to an end on Sunday. What Is Left Unspoken, Love features nearly 70 works from artists across the globe, all of them contemplating the different qualities and expressions of love. ArtsATL critic Deanna Sirlin had some favorites in the show, including Perfect Lovers by Félix González-Torres, in which two wall clocks press against each other in perfect sync. The exhibit presents love as a subject of serious, critical commentary at a time when the world has been thrown off balance by a pandemic and social and political discord. Tickets $16.50, free for members.

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THEATER

The circus is in town! Well, kinda. Created with the youngest theatergoers and circus lovers (ages 2 through 8) in mind, The Tortoise, the Hare & Other Aesop’s Fables has just begun a run at the Center for Puppetry Arts. A dancing lion? Check. An acrobatic crane? Absolutely. No need to worry about the well-being of the animals under this figurative big top, since they are played by puppets or puppeteers. Fables being staged include The Lion and the Mouse, The Country Mouse and City Mouse, The Fox and the Crane, The Ant and the Grasshopper and The Tortoise and the Hare. Through September 18.

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Onstage at Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse in Midtown through Sunday, The Merchant of Venice (above) presents a challenge to contemporary interpreters: Many of the laughs in the 16th-century romantic comedy are rooted in anti-Semitic racism. “Modern productions succeed, as this all-female one does, by addressing the problematic qualities of the show head-on and as humanely as possible,” ArtsATL critic Benjamin Carr writes. In Atlanta Shakespeare Company’s staging, “though there are plenty of laughs and joys to be found, the character of Shylock, the miserly Jewish moneylender, is played with tremendous sympathy, humanity and tenderness by an amazing Rivka Levin.” Levin makes Shylock’s suffering and destruction, for which audiences in Shakespearean times cheered, instead feel like the tragedy it is, Carr notes. The reviewer adds that, overall, the LadyShakes troupe delivers some of the same raucous vibe that it did with last summer’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

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Essential Theatre is one of the region’s true new play nurturers. Since the first Essential Play Festival in 1999, the troupe has premiered or presented 39 new works by 34 Georgia playwrights, with additional readings of more than 40 new plays. Essential is currently presenting full productions of John Mabey’s A Complicated Hope, winner of the 2022 Essential Theatre Playwriting Award, in repertory with Daniel Carter Brown’s The Outrage Machine, a 2020 Essential Playwriting Award honoree. Mabey describes A Complicated Hope as “a play about hope, shining a light on the darkest corners of grief.” In his ArtsATL review publishing Friday, critic Jim Farmer notes: “One of the joys of attending the company’s summer festival is knowing that, for the most part, the productions will be ones no other audience has seen before.” Through August 28 at West End Performing Arts Center.

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MUSIC

With Widespread Panic in the midst of a four-night run at the Fox Theatre, Smith’s Olde Bar is hosting “After Panic” parties tonight through Saturday. In the ATL Room, Astrodawg performs tonight, Airshow on Friday and the Tyler Neal Band on Saturday. The Sam Holt Band presents a tribute show to the late Panic guitarist Mikey Houser in the main Music Room tonight and Friday. Easy Honey headlines a three-band show in the main room on Saturday. Tickets start at $12 in advance.

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OkCello (aka Okorie Johnson) takes the stage August 17 at City Winery Atlanta. Johnson has recorded with India.Arie, De La Soul and Big Boi of OutKast. But he has also made his mark as a solo artist, and his performances are mesmerizing. Johnson uses improvised sound loops to create a wall of sound with his cello and melds together classical influences with jazz, EDM, reggae and funk. Tickets start at $18.

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Kacey Musgraves is included in the new book “Her Country: How the Women of Country Music Became the Success They Were Never Supposed To Be.” Author Marissa R. Moss participates in a virtual author conversation tonight. (Courtesy UMG Nashville)

BOOKS

Charis Books and More hosts a virtual author conversation tonight with Nashville journalist Marissa R. Moss on her new book Her Country: How the Women of Country Music Became the Success They Were Never Supposed To Be. Moss will be joined by Agnes Scott College professor Tracey Laird, who is the co-author of the 4th edition of Bill C. Malone’s groundbreaking book Country Music, U.S.A. Moss’ book focuses on Mickey Guyton, Kacey Musgraves and Maren Morris, and struggles of women artists to survive and thrive in a universe that is dominated by White males. The 7:30 p.m. conversation is free. Registration is required and donations are encouraged.

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DANCE

Dance Canvas and Atlanta Contemporary are midway through their third Summer Choreographic Residency collaboration. Choreographers are given a platform for the creation and presentation of works that reflect our communities, incubating ideas in response to today’s social and cultural climate. Each choreographer will present a 10- to 15-minute work Saturday in the Contemporary’s outdoor pavilion. Audiences will be encouraged to give feedback. 6 p.m. Free, registration required. 

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