Culture

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Holiday theater offerings

Holiday theater offerings are plenty in Atlanta

Each year, the holiday season in Atlanta seems to grow longer and longer. The first week of November, for instance, saw the debut of “White Christmas,” the kind of production normally reserved for December. The long season, however, means there’s no shortage of holiday fare in local theaters, from the familiar to the edgy.

Of course, no holiday season would be complete without Horizon’s annual “The Santaland Diaries,” based on gay writer David Sedaris’ “Holidays on Ice.” This is the 12th year for the show, which stars Harold Leaver as the often grumpy, openly gay Crumpet, forced to serve as a department store elf one holiday season. Back is sidekick Enoch King, the usual doses of snideness and “plenty of fresh jokes and references,” promises Leaver.

“The Holiday Ice Spectacular” will feature laughs as well as skating. It stars a cast of 16, including some recognizable skating names. Among the cast is openly gay skater Michael Stack, who promises fun for all kinds of audiences, gay and straight.

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Take a break from leftovers with hearty steaks, warm soups

Parker's on Ponce offers tasty steaks and more...

We were in Decatur, already tired of thinking about turkey, and wanted a nice hearty steak with a spicy glass of pinot noir, but we didn’t feel like paying high Buckhead prices. Plus we wanted something “neighborhoody.” Parker’s on Ponce was the perfect choice.

Open since 2008, Parker’s offers style and class without being pretentious. It’s the perfect setting for good friends or a holiday gathering. The romantic interior is warm with dark woods and soothing ambient stone fireplaces, causing Parker’s to immediately release your stress. When we were there the scene was a Decatur mélange of gay, lesbian and straight. Service was convivial and inviting. They are open for brunch and there’s a big bar. The large scenic patio will be nice in the spring.

The cuisine is decadent without being too over the top.  Sometimes it’s nice to revisit classic steakhouse fare like fried calamari, and Parker’s take was fresh and crispy with a drizzle of garlic and onion aioli. We decided to continue the splurge and split the lamb lollipops, little savory chops with mint balsamic reduction. Our friend got the Irish beer cheese soup with a white cheddar crouton.   It was a butch French Onion.

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Saxophonist unveils ‘whole’ self in first original album since coming out

Saxophonist Dave Koz releases first CD since coming out

Music has rescued Dave Koz’s spirit during some of the most difficult times in his life, and the acclaimed saxophonist hopes his latest album, “Hello Tomorrow,” can be an uplifting “survival guide” during these somewhat bleak times.

“Everybody seems to be going through these massive changes, and these are very unfamiliar times, where life looks very different than you thought it was going to be looking,” Koz tells the GA Voice. “How do you get through it? How do you come out on the other side and embrace all these challenges? Music has an ability to touch people on a level that can help at times like this.”

Koz will also stimulate holiday cheer when he kicks-off his “Dave Koz & Friends: A Smooth Jazz Christmas” tour with a Nov. 27 show at the Cobb Energy Centre. Now in its thirteenth year, the Christmas tour started as a lifesaver for Koz, “a nice Jewish boy.”

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WERKing it at Spelman College — drag fashion show a hit on campus

WERK drag fashion show

Spelman College's Afrekete and Morehouse College's Safe Space program, both serving the LGBT students on their respective campuses, combined forces for the second annual WERK, a drag fashion show featuring men and women, as part of Spelman's second annual Pride Week.

More than 100 people packed into the Cosby Lobby Friday, Nov. 12, on Spelman's campus for spoken word, hip hop and, of course, the main event — a drag fashion.

Last year, for Spelman's first Pride Week, the college was able to get the OK for a drag show to be held on campus — the first time an historically black college has held a drag show as part of official campus programming.

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Come on, Cher — accept you have a transgender son

One thing important to transgender people is being called the correct pronoun. Having others recognize you and respect you enough to call you by the pronoun you identify with is a validation of existence for many.

So when you have gay icon Cher calling her transgender son, Chaz Bono, "she" and a "lesbian" on the David Letterman Show, it's really a tragedy not only to Chaz but to all people in mainstream society — and the LGB world, too — who are still learning the issues transgender individuals face.

According to an article on the Huffington Post, "Cher also said she considers Chaz a lesbian, even though he has described his relationship with his girlfriend as heterosexual."

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Openly gay professional wrestler says ‘It Gets Better’

Tommy “The SpiderBaby” Saturday shares his coming out story in a new video for the It Gets Better campaign.

Saturday, often called “The World’s Meanest Buddhist” in the ring, is one of the sport’s few openly gay participants.

In the video, Saturday describes his coming out experience, dealing with being gay in the upper-Midwest and shares his heartwarming story of overcoming thoughts of suicide.

In the end, however, Saturday says he was able to come to terms with who he is and says, “Be better and it will get better. I guarantee.”

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Dining: Fabulous fall brunch spots

West Egg Cafe

This is a great time to be in Atlanta. The autumn days tend to be crisp and bright making weekends perfect to hit a patio and have brunch.

You must try West Egg Café located in a refurbished warehouse in the gentrified West Midtown district. The scene is mixed in the industrial open loft space with towering windows, plus there is a scenic patio. West Egg has numerous accolades from the AJC, Atlanta Magazine and Creative Loafing for best breakfast and brunch due to efficient service and superlative cuisine by Chef Patric Bell.

West Egg has a can’t-go-wrong menu of breakfast and brunch “new-Southern” comfort foods. Where else can you get a huge pimento cheese and bacon omelet with scratch-made roasted garlic grits and a fluffy Southern biscuit? The consummate Southern author Fannie Flag would gush over the West Egg’s fried green tomatoes that are golden and tangy with dollops of pimento cheese and a horseradish dill sauce.

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DJ Vicki Powell’s Electronic Music Fest

DJ Vicki Powell

Editor's note: This story was written in 2010 in advance of the first EEMF.

 

There’s no denying Vicki Powell is a child of the ‘80s.

“I think I am definitely a product of the ‘80s, heavy on the electronic, the synthesizer,” she says over lunch at the Corner Tavern on Edgewood Avenue, one of the venues participating in Powell’s first Edgewood Electronic Music Fest set for Nov. 13-14.

“I love electronic music. I grew up on New Order, Depeche Mode. That sound is popping up now, like The Presets,” Powell adds, describing the music she is drawn to today.

With her Flux parties, she developed a following of fans who share her love for electronic music. Her new party, Boombox, to be premiered in the next month or so, will likely have a similar feel — no Top 40, no Lady GaGa — just some tight, unique sounds coming from bands that also have a love for electronica.