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Smurf Orchestra

LISA DENTON: Barry, you know a lot of my nicknames, which don't have to be repeated here, even the ones that are appropriate for a family newspaper. But have I ever told you about "Mama Smurf"?

That name was bestowed on me by a former co-worker (shout-out to Cathy Crawley!). She could never really explain the why of it, only that of all the people she knew, I was the Smurfiest.

I take it as a compliment.

BARRY COURTER: I think I have a new one or you — "The Randomnator."

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Lisa Denton and Barry Courter
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LISA: I mention it because Ron Campbell, an animator for Hanna-Barbera's Saturday morning "Smurfs" back in the early '80s, is in town Tuesday and Wednesday for the opening of Area 61 Gallery in its new space. Turns out, Campbell is responsible for animating cartoons from my formative years ("The Jetsons," "The Flintstones") and those of my children ("Rugrats," "Smurfs").

BARRY: He's also the animator/director for The Beatles' "The Yellow Submarine" cartoon series. I interviewed him years ago and though he never met any of the Fab Four, there is still that connection, which for Beatles fans is all you need. And he did animation for Scooby Doo. I mean, he practically raised us, didn't he?

LISA: Jinkies! You're right.

Wednesday we can spend An Evening With David Rawlings at the Tivoli Theatre. The bonus there is that seeing Dave Rawlings means you'll also see Gillian Welch. They're touring in support of Rawlings' latest album, "Poor David's Almanack," but their creative partnership is all through the record.

BARRY: They are both so good, and together it's double amazing. I got to talk to him last week, and while we were talking about songwriting, in particular writing with Gillian, he said it was like they were working on a crossword puzzle and that not only were the pieces invisible to the other person, neither knew whether it was a puzzle with 10 pieces or 10,000. I love that description.

LISA: And there's a variety show coming to JJ's Bohemia on Saturday. The local troupe Subterranean Cirqus is one of the acts, and the other is Thunder Snow Cone, which reminds me of the Before & After Category on "Wheel of Fortune."

BARRY: That's a good name, and you are correct about the "Wheel" similarity. You know, it just occurred to me that Chattacon is this weekend. You should go as Mama Smurf. That costume would be a lot easier to put together than The Randomnator, though I guess I could argue that looks like how I dress myself every day.

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

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

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