published Monday, February 17th, 2014

Get off the couch: Broadway, Batmobile command attention

LISA DENTON: Barry, did you know that you can see a Broadway show this week without buying a plane ticket to New York? Before it closed in December, a performance of “Romeo and Juliet,” starring Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad, was taped for broadcast to movie theaters.

The shows will be presented through Wednesday at the Majestic 12 in downtown Chattanooga, Northgate 14 in Hixson and Carmike 12 in Dalton, Ga.

I know it’s Shakespeare and Broadway and all, but in my heart of hearts, I still prefer Andy Griffith’s version, where Juliet says, “Wherefore art thou, Romeo?” And he pops up and says, “I’m right cheer!”

Now that, my friend, is great literature.

BARRY COURTER: Andy is a true Southern bard. I wonder if people realize that the local Carmike theaters also screen opera on occasion. As in, operas from some of the biggest and best companies in the world filmed and presented on the big screen. I bet you can’t get a bucket full of buttered popcorn, a box of Goobers and a half gallon of Co’Cola at one of those fancy Broadway houses.

And, if it’s the costumes that draw you to watch “Romeo and Juliet,” you are in luck. Con Nooga — the horror, fantasy, science fiction, gaming, anime, etc. convention — is this weekend, and there will be plenty of folks dressed up for that. There’s even a parade involved.

LISA: Yes, and one of the entries is a 1966 Batmobile that you can have your picture made in. The convention runs three days, Friday through Sunday, and the costume parade will be at 9 a.m. Saturday. It leaves from one host site, the Chattanooga Choo Choo, and goes down Market and 13th streets to the other site, the Chattanooga Convention Center.

BARRY: And you know where I will be on Wednesday night: glued to the computer watching the Bonnaroo lineup announcement. The megathon will be from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Last year, they had “Weird Al” Yankovic emcee the event, and I hear this one will be a full production as well.

LISA: Oh I love “Weird Al.” All those great song parodies: “Another One Rides the Bus,” “My Bologna,” “White & Nerdy.” And he plays accordion. Yowza!

BARRY: “White & Nerdy,” a parody of “Ridin’” by Chamillionaire and Krayzie Bone, is genius: “Only question I ever thought was hard/Was do I like Kirk or do I like Picard?”

LISA: The other day I heard The Judds’ “Mama He’s Crazy” on the radio, and before I could stop myself, I was singing the Pinkard & Bowden version, “Mama, She’s Lazy.” A true classic.

BARRY: On a more serious musical note, the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Chamber series returns to the Read House on Sunday for Mozart’s Symphony No. 40. And the Hunter Underground, the annual Avant-art event at the Hunter Museum of American Art, is Saturday.

LISA: That’s the one with the Smash & Grab gallery. You give an extra $25 donation to get your name in a drawing (or five chances for $100). There’s a designated collection of artworks that you choose from if your name is drawn. So for $25, you could go home with a cool piece of art.

I’ve been “underground” at the Hunter before, and seeing where and how they store things is almost as cool as viewing the works in the galleries.

Of course, my favorite behind-the-scenes tour was probably the Mayfield Dairy plant in Athens, Tenn. I got ice cream after that one.

BARRY: That’s a good one. Do you think Chattanooga Whiskey will give tours?

Get event details every Thursday in Chattanooga Now or online anytime at www.ChattanoogaNow.com.

Contact Lisa Denton at ldenton@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6281. Contact Barry Courter at bcourter@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6354.

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 ldenton@timesfreepress.com.

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