Off the Couch: Visual splendor at Glass Street block party

photo Lisa Denton and Barry Courter

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, I know you've been wondering where in the world you could go to see 12-foot puppets depicting Civil War Gens. Patrick Cleburne and William Sherman, and because I'm constantly looking out for you, I have the answer.

LISA DENTON: You are. I thank you. Do tell.

BARRY: Artist Wayne White has created those very things as part of Wayne-O-Rama. They will make their debut on Saturday as part of the Glass Street Live block party celebrating the Glass Street Collective, which is trying to bring life back to the East Chattanooga area through art and community activities.

It would take me several hours to explain all of this, but here's the short version: White is from Hixson and did set design for "Pee-wee's Playhouse," among many other things. Wayne-O-Rama is a yearlong collaboration centered on him but including all kinds of local arts groups. Glass Street Live will feature music, food, arts and a parade to Sherman's Reservation, which is reopening to the public. And there is so much more.

LISA: I think it's safe to say Civil War history - here or anywhere - has never been depicted quite this way. But I guess 12 feet tall befits the generals' larger-than-life reputations.

And anyone who remembers "Pee-wee's Playhouse" will understand the talent we're talking about here. White won three Emmy Awards for his work on the show.

Oh, we should wish him a belated happy birthday. According to my calculations, he turned 59 Saturday.

BARRY: We will be talking about Wayne-O-Rama all year. He told a bunch of us at a reception the other night that he was here to blow our minds. Of course, he also said it's been his lifelong dream to come back and give everyone that doubted his talents a big ol' "Na na na na."

But that's not all that is going on this week by any means. Whether your tastes run toward classical, pop rock, rock, Southern rock, bluegrass or "Movies, Musicals and Marches," this is a good week for music lovers.

LISA: It always seems to be a good week for music lovers. But, yeah, this week you can catch shows by the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera and rock and pop at various clubs around town. If you put on your traveling shoes, you can listen to the Cumberland County Community Band do the "Movies, Musicals and Marches" show in Crossville or The Infamous Stringdusters do their newgrass bluegrass at Hiwassee College in Madisonville.

BARRY: We've got Of Montreal at the Revelry Room on Saturday; the same night that Judah & The Lion are at Track 29. Either one of those is a good night. On Friday, local artist Ryan Oyer has a CD release party at Granfalloon. He played live here at the paper two weeks ago.

LISA: This is the season kickoff for the CSO, by the way. They'll be featuring music by Strauss and Rachmaninoff with guest pianist Ning An. It's not on the program, but if they'd do "The Blue Danube," I'd be happy to lead the sing-along: "The Blue Danube waltz by Strauss the louse "

Say what you will about the novelty versions, but they make classical music accessible - just like Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd have done over the years.

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.