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With large, international casts, Cirque Du Soleil productions almost always feature LGBT performers and “Totem,” now playing in Atlanta, is no exception. Under the Grand Chapiteau at Atlantic Station, “Totem” stars openly gay Joe Putagnino as the leading character, Crystal Man, who officially brings the show to life decked out in a stretch velvet leotard.
“Totem” deals with the evolution of an amphibian form to that of an adult ready to fly away, on a stage resembling a turtle. Putagnino calls Crystal Man the “spark” who literally opens the show, figuratively and literally, and creates life.
A competitive gymnast growing up, Putagnino got sidetracked.
With 50 surveillance cameras located throughout Atlantic Station’s 138-acre complex of residences and retail businesses, finding out exactly when and where a gay man said he was assaulted on the property is apparently no easy task.
Atlantic Station security personnel are still poring through “hours and hours” of video as part of its investigation into the alleged Aug. 4 attack on John Mark Parker, 50, as he was walking to the Fenuxe Fire Party in the former Fox Sports Grill.
“I know we are working closely with the Atlanta Police Department and working closely with them to go through hours and hours of footage,” said Elizabeth Hagin, spokesperson for Atlantic Station. “Everything we have so far has been turned over to APD.”
Days after he told police he was attacked in an apparent anti-gay assault, John Mark Parker is still being sought by the Atlanta Police Department for a critical follow-up interview to determine if the attack should be investigated as a hate crime.
Parker, 50, told APD Aug. 4 he was punched in the face by a white male at Atlantic Station as he was walking to the Fenuxe Fire Party. He has yet to respond to repeated requests for an interview by the APD. Parker said the male asked him, "Are you gay?" and when Parker said, "Yes," he was punched in the face and knocked to the ground.
"We continue to reach out to the victim, but have not yet been successful in reaching him in order to complete an interview for investigative follow-up. Zone 5 investigators need to conduct that interview so we can get specific details on the incident," said APD spokesperson Carlos Campos.
An Atlanta Police Department report states the victim in an alleged gay bashing Aug. 4 in Atlantic Station kept telling police it was "not a big deal" and did not want medical treatment.
The report also indicates surveillance cameras were located in the area.
The victim, John Mark Parker, 50, of Decatur, told police a white male punched him in Atlantic Station on Aug. 4 after asking him, "Are you gay?"
The report further states Parker, a white male, was walking in the West District of Atlantic Station when he stopped a couple to ask for directions. The alleged victim was attending the Fenuxe Fire Party located in the old Fox Grill.
A gay man was attacked in Atlantic Station on Saturday night after being asked if he was gay by an unknown male who fled the scene on foot, according to a friend of the victim. The assailant has not yet been arrested, according to a statement from the Atlanta Police Department.
The victim was going to the Fenuxe Fire Party when he was attacked. The Fire Party was held at the Old Fox Grill at 261 19th St.
Atlanta's Piedmont Park will not hold the annual “Screen on the Green” series at the park in 2011, according to the Piedmont Park Conservancy. Organizers of the summer-time outdoor movie nights have been held continuously since 2000, but suffered a tarnished image last year when a melee broke out during a showing of "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen."
Organizers say the series' main sponsor, Peachtree TV, pulled out of their sponsorship agreement after a management shuffle in January and they have failed to find a replacement.
“It is our desire to continue the tradition of kicking off every summer with great movies in this great park,” said Yvette Bowen, President of the Piedmont Park Conservancy. “As one of our many free community-building initiatives, we have treasured our first ten years of movies on Piedmont Park’s Meadow. This year’s event, however, the timing of Turner’s announcement left us with too little time to secure sufficient sponsors to support it and, as such, must be cancelled,” she added.