published Monday, September 24th, 2012

Get Off the Couch: Samwise, Girl Talk, singing nuns

LISA DENTON: Barry, I don't know if we can get tickets this late in the game, but Sean Astin's visit for First Things First's 15th anniversary celebration Tuesday makes me at least want to watch "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy again.

I've always thought of my children as part hobbit. Not for their stature or fur on their feet but for the hobbit habit of six meals in a day: breakfast, second breakfast, elevensees, lunch, afternoon tea and supper. They like to eat.

BARRY COURTER: That's funny. I'm not sure I could watch the whole trilogy in part because of Astin. Samwise Gamgee and Frodo (Elijah Wood) take forrrreeeeeevvvvverr to get rid of that darn ring. It's a wonder neither one of their faces got stuck that way.

I could, however, watch Astin in "Rudy" over and over. Maybe it's because of that little piece of heaven in Indiana where the action takes place. But I may be biased.

Astin is here to talk about marriage and raising a family in general, but in Hollywood in particular. I would think it might be easier in the land of make-believe, but maybe not.

LISA: As long as we're talking movie tie-ins, the national tour of the Broadway musical "Sister Act" launches this week following shows Tuesday and Wednesday at Memorial Auditorium. Whoopi Goldberg, who starred in the 1992 film, is one of the producers, and Alan Menken, who's won a Tony and gobs of Academy Awards, provided an original score. New music is cool, of course, but it would be a shame to not hear the nuns do "My God" to the tune of "My Guy."

BARRY: I grew up with nuns and I only remember one of them singing, and she sang way too much. And not well. But who was going to tell her, right? But that's a whole different therapy session, I mean topic. I kid. Most of the nuns I've known were very nice.

Anyway, "Sister Act" is another in a long line of shows that have chosen to launch from here. In addition to being able to see the show, it means that the cast and crew have been here for a couple of weeks, sleeping in our hotel beds and eating in our restaurants. That's good news all the way around.

LISA: And don't forget that Girl Talk will be at Track 29 on Friday to mark the venue's one-year anniversary, and the Hamilton County Fair is Saturday and Sunday at Chester Frost Park. Time to get out the overalls.

BARRY: I don't know how much you know about Girl Talk, but the act is one guy named Gregg Gillis. He studied biomedical engineering while dejaying on the side but now just does the music thing. He creates some crazy, but very listenable mashups and remixes using songs from just about every era and genre. That should be a really cool show.

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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