Off the Couch: Catch 'The Wiz,' Tow Show and TEDx Talk

Off the Couch: Catch 'The Wiz,' Tow Show and TEDx Talk

September 11th, 2017 by Barry Courter and Lisa Denton in Life Entertainment

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, have you heard that the Chattanooga Theatre Centre is doing "The Wiz"? I ask because I keep seeing pictures from rehearsals and chatter on social media from cast and musicians about how good it is shaping up to be.

All of the productions I've seen have been good, but this one seems to have folks extra excited. What a great vehicle for showing off the many talented actors and musicians we have here.

LISA DENTON: Shane Morrow is directing, and he always brings abundant energy to his projects. The new executive director, Todd Olson, has said he wants to court younger, more diverse audiences, and "The Wiz" would seem like a no-brainer on both counts. They also recruited new talent by holding off-site auditions, for the first time ever, at Southside Recreation Center.

Back when rehearsals were starting, Morrow said he wanted Oz to feel like a jazz club that's a mix between the Harlem Renaissance and Chattanooga's Big 9.

BARRY: Morrow is the man. Some folks will know him through his work with Jazzanooga, but he also performs, teaches, drives the bus, bakes the biscuits and who knows what else. I kid about the biscuits, but he is multitalented.

Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

Photo by Staff File Photo /Times Free Press.

LISA: You kid, but I bet if you asked, he'd bake some.

This is shaping up to be a big weekend. The Tennessee Tow Show is at the Chattanooga Convention Center starting Thursday. The highlight of that, of course, is the Tow Truck Beauty Contest.

The Chattanooga Zoo is having a Beast Feast, where you can learn about the beastly eating habits of its carnivores. Chattanooga Market is doing its Cast Iron Cookoff on Sunday. And you can watch polo with internationally ranked players Saturday and Sunday at Bendabout Farm.

BARRY: Folks could just watch you and me eat to learn about beastly eating habits. Don't get your fingers too close to the mouths, folks.

It might be a bit of a drive, but it's still worth noting that Jamie Dailey and Darrin Vincent of Dailey & Vincent have moved their LandFest festival from Denton, N.C., to Hiawassee, Ga., at the Georgia Mountain Fairgrounds. This is the fifth year for the event, and it simply outgrew the facility in Denton, Vincent told me this week. And it's indoors. Jerry Douglas and the Del McCoury Band are among the performers during the weekend.

LISA: Well, I've always been partial to Denton, but I guess Hiawassee's not so bad.

And there's a TEDx Talk coming to Baylor School on Saturday. UTC has hosted two of these events, which are designed to give great minds a forum to give a short, powerful talk about a topic near and dear to their heart.

This one was organized by a Baylor senior, Liam Zhang. His guests include several business movers and shakers, some with national credentials. You can read more about it today in this section.

Get event details every Thursday in Chattanooga Now or online anytime at

Contact Barry Courter at or 423-757-6354. Contact Lisa Denton at or 423-757-6281.

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