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Gay fare prominent in local theater this season

Upcoming theatre shows in AtlantaThe fall theater season includes many productions with significant LGBT interest making their local bows.

A few of the hot button productions will appear at 7 Stages, which produced the gay-themed “Mr. Universe” earlier this spring. First up is Dale Daigle’s “All Blues,” set in the Jim Crow South, which runs Sept. 22 – Oct. 9.

It’s based on the true story of Ray Sprigle, a white journalist who disguises himself as a black man for a month to report on the black experience first-hand. Out actor Patrick McColery is in the cast —ironically, he portrays the role of a racist in the drama. The show is making its world premiere here.

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Fall music schedule filled with current, former Pride performers

Duran Duran

Fall is Pride season in Georgia: Black Gay Pride just took place over Labor Day Weekend, Atlanta Pride is slated for Oct. 8-9, and in between are Savannah Pride, South Georgia Pride and Athens Pride.

But while many of these celebrations include musical acts, you don’t have to wait for an official festival to find your Pride-ful tunes this season.

From out LGBT performers to allies who have performed at Pride festivals here and around the country, the fall is filled with concerts to get queer hands clapping and bodies dancing.

As usual, lesbian singer-songwriters lead the list. Sept. 20 will be a tough choice for acoustic music fans as Atlanta’s own Doria Roberts plays a CD release party at Decatur CD, while Melissa Ferrick brings her stirring new album, “Still Right Here,” to nearby Eddie’s Attic. Also look for lesbian-inclusive “alternagrass” band Roxie Watson at the Five Spot on Sept. 23, one of several local shows for the band this season.

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‘Peachtree Battle,’ ‘Six Dance Lessons’ bring engaging gay characters back to ATL stages

Peachtree Battle returns to the Atlanta stage

Two popular shows with gay actors portraying gay characters return to the ATL next week – “Peachtree Battle” at Ansley Park Playhouse and “Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks” at Stage Door Players.

“Peachtree Battle,” the long running comedy from the hands of gay playwrights (and couple) John Gibson and Anthony Morris, is back for a summer run, as well as its 10th anniversary. The play opens July 16 and runs through the end of September. In the mix is openly gay actor Stan Gentry, who plays Holcomb Habersham.

“Peachtree Battle” spins around the chaos that happens when the son of a prominent family announces that he is going to marry a Hooter’s waitress. Holcomb is the oldest son of the Habersham clan with drama of his own — he is gay and his family’s reaction isn’t as accepting as he would like.

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‘The Color Purple’ returns

Although Taprena Augustine is now a musical theater veteran, she makes it clear that appearing in the national tour of “The Color Purple” is both a professional and personal high point of her career. The musical returns next week to Atlanta, with its lesbian relationship intact.

Georgia author Alice Walker’s best-selling 1982 novel is the inspiration for the musical, which had its world premiere at Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre in 2004. Shortly after that it bowed on Broadway where it became a commercial success and won a Tony for actress LaChanze. A national tour is on its third stop here.

Augustine was hired at the beginning of last year to play Shug Avery on the road. The actress calls the musical a classic.

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Atlanta artist makes bold statements through his craft

Artist Jon Arge

Jon Arge, or Arge, has made an impact on Atlanta’s art movement for nearly 20 years, from creating flyers for the once popular parties he promoted at the now defunct Metro to unique, one-of-a-kind pieces that hang from the walls of galleries and the homes of close friends and other art lovers.

“When [my pieces] moved from the bathroom to the kitchen to over the mantle, I knew I had made my mark,” he jokes while sitting inside his bedroom, which also serves as his studio.

Arge, 42, whose real name is Randall Jonathan Baker, truly struggled to find his place in the art world. After receiving a scholarship to the Savannah College of Art and Design (in Savannah), he learned the professors there didn’t want him to really draw in his style anymore. A battle of wits ensued as Arge refused to give up his own method and he was eventually asked to leave.