Opening Night at Nick’s Flamingo Grill

As you all know by now, the Queen of the Gnomes is a massive patron of the theatre. From One-Act Plays to Musicals and Improv, I will see it all no matter the type.

On Thursday of this past week, the Giant King and I attended the World-Premier of Nick’s Flamingo Grill over at the Alliance Theatre.

Written by the multi-talented and legendary Phillip DePoy, Nick’s Flamingo Grill is described as a “play with live-music” performed by an amazing cast of actors. Bouncing between post-WWII Paris to 1950s Atlanta, Nick’s Flamingo Grill tells the story of two ex-WWII GIs with a dream of opening their own “club du jazz” here in America. Along with a Cuban songbird and a “pretty” French Resistance fighter, the four decide to create a “Camelot” of lively music and good food.

The play focuses on various themes from racial segregation to fraternal brotherhood. A unique aspect of Nick’s Flamingo Grill is that it’s actually based on a real place.

“The club was real…my father was in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and would sit-in with his friends and sometimes play there,” explained DePoy.

Located near the old Armor Meat Packing Plant [now Castleberry Hill]; the club was “technically” illegal due to Segregation Laws at the time. While DePoy may not have been able to verify the existence of this mystical, mixed-race club, that didn’t stop him from writing one of the most humorous and heartfelt plays performed on the Hertz Stage.

Featuring ten original jazz songs by both DePoy and New Orleans’s jazz pianist: Tyrone Jackson, Nick’s Flamingo Grill had the audience snappin’ and tappin’ throughout the evening.

The Gnome Queen highly recommends seeing this fantastic *performance not only for the music, but for the message as well.

*The play is about an hour and a half with no intermission and does include some loud “explosions” for those with sensory-sensitivities.

Dragoncon Halo Cosplay

Who To See At Dragon Con 2018: Part Three

It’s time for Part Three of the Gnome Queen’s “Who to See” at Dragon Con 2018. Let’s take a peek at the Guest List.

At the top begins with Costume and Prop Designer: Robert Allsopp. Allsopp has worked with countless theatre companies around the world including the Tokyo Opera, the Royal Opera House, and The Met Opera. Allsopp has also provided costumes for films such as the Thor sequels, 47 Ronin, and 300: Rise of an Empire. He was also the main costume and prop designer for the award-winning London production of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Golden Globe-nominated actor and director Tom Cavanagh will also be making an appearance on September 1st and 2nd at Dragon Con. Cavanagh is known for his acting and directing of Warner Brother’s The Flash as well as an extensive television, film and theatre portfolio. Cavanagh also works closely with “Nothing But Nets” which aims to raise awareness and funding to fight malaria in Africa.

For those of you interested in martial arts, Ninkage ryu bujutsu Grandmaster Sabutai Musashi will be in attendance as well. Ninkage ryu bujutsu is a Japanese martial arts system which includes weapons-study such as Kenjutsu, bare-handed techniques, Iaijutsu, and the art of the sword. Grandmaster Sabutai Musashi was inducted into the United States Karate Alliance Hall of Fame in July of 1992 and has been providing demonstrations at Dragon Con since 2005.

One of my own personal picks includes award-winning actress Jennifer Morrison. Morrison has starred in a variety of films and television shows such as Once Upon a Time, House, M.D., Mr. and Mrs. Smith and How I Met Your Mother. Morrison also owns the film production company: Apartment 3C Productions where she directed her first film: Sun Dogs in 2017.

For those of you who enjoy comics and music, then I would definitely try seeing Afua Richardson. Richardson is a comic book creator as well as a musician and singer for the band: Waking Astronomer. She has been dubbed an “Honorary Woman of Marvel” for her works which includes the Blade the Hunter series, and is a Nina Simone award recipient.

Best-selling authors Kevin J. Anderson and Cheree Alsop will also be attending. Anderson has written countless novels including the Saga of Shadows trilogy, and the comedic horror series Dan Shamble, Zombie P.I. Alsop has also published over 40 books in a variety of fantasy genres and has taught for the League of Utah Writers.

Another renowned actor in attendance includes Eddie McClintock.  McClintock is known for his work on Syfy’s Warehouse 13 as well as starring as Jack Payne in the USA Network’s series Shooter. He will also be hosting the Dragon Con Masquerade on September 2nd.

For fans of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, then get ready to meet Victoria Atkin. Atkin is the voice of Evie Frye, the first playable female character of the franchise. She also starred in the post-apocalyptic science fiction television series: Extinct.

Actor and Improviser Lucky Yates is another key addition to my list of personal picks. Yates is the voice of Dr. Krieger on the hit FX television show Archer, and can be found at Dad’s Garage Theatre House over in Edgewood.

And finally, for those of us who remember The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod (it was amazing don’t deny it) then get excited to see author Zac Brewer. Brewer is a New York Times best-selling author and goes by the nickname “Z” online. Z is a prominent LGBTQ+ advocate and travels around the country to raise awareness on mental health and bullying.

To view the full Guest “Who to See” line-up, check out http://www.dragoncon.org/?q=guests 

For my final Dragon Con 2018 “Who to See”, I will be focusing on the “Attending Professionals”.

Bye for now!

 

Funday Sunday feat. the 7th Annual Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival

When people think of Sundays, many anticipate the dread of the weekend concluding. No one enjoys going back to work or school; however for the Gnome Queen, I view Sunday as a unique mystery. Anything can happen and its usually less crowded throughout most of Atlanta.

My Sunday began with the FIFA World Cup Tournament Finals. I watched the game with some good friends and food, but unfortunately had to see France beat Croatia 4-2.
Viva la France.

Later on, I celebrated National Ice Cream Day with the Giant King at Sub Zero Ice Cream. Sub Zero is located across from Centennial Olympic Park and uses liquid nitrogen in its creation. Customers can mix and match countless flavors and milk-bases including Diary-Free, Fat-Free, or Custard. The flavors and bases can then be mixed with add-ins which is then frozen using the liquid nitrogen.

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Sub Zero Ice Cream
I got the Brownie Batter and Amaretto mixed with Andes Mints and Cookie Dough Bites while the Giant King got Peanut Butter and Chocolate mixed with Peanut Butter Cups.

He loves his peanut butter

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The 7th Annual Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival
Afterwards, we hit West-Midtown for the main event of the night: The 7th Annual Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival hosted at Actor’s Express. The Annual Atlanta One-Minute Play Festival occurred both Sunday and Monday evenings, and included 60 one-minute plays by some of Atlanta’s established and emerging playwrights and directors.

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Kevin Qian & Joshua Quinn
Each play also featured an assortment of many talented Atlanta-based actors and actresses, which included my loving Giant King.

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Post-Show Chatter
The plays were broken down into “clumps” of 10 and were organized based on theme. Many of these themes included current political trends, cultural references, and overall social issues. Each “clump” was unique and provided an interesting outlook on the modern world.

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Post-Show Chatter
My choice “clump” was definitely the first one as well as various plays from clump 5 and 9. Out of all of the plays, Hard Candy by Steve Yockey was hands-down my most favorite. It was humorous and involved a dangerous argument over Gobstoppers and Jawbreakers. (Cough Cough Gobstoppers rule.)

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Post-Show Chatter
The commitment and work of each playwright, director, and cast member made the night extremely entertaining, and I am excited to see the creativity at next year’s show.

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Actor’s Express Season 31 Play Guide
If you’re interested in seeing more shows at Actor’s Express, check-out their website https://www.actors-express.com/

Dragoncon Halo Cosplay

Who to See at Dragon Con 2018: Part One

You know what’s happening Labor Day Weekend right?

That’s right, the one and only: Dragon Con.

Beginning in the fall of 1987, Dragon Con was founded on the combined interests of comic-book fans, gamers, and science-fiction readers. Since then, the convention has expanded into various fandoms, literary genres, and creative aspects of “nerdism”.

With my own love for comics (DC) and cosplaying, the Queen of the Gnomes is here to give you an all-access pass to the ins-and-outs of Dragon Con 2018.

With over 100 actors, writers, artists and more, this year’s “Who to See” is going to be the talk of the ATL.

For this article, I will be diving into some top picks for the “Featured” section for this year’s Con.

Starting with legendary comic-book artist: Scott Hanna; Hanna has been in the comic game for years and has worked with both DC and Marvel Comics. He is also one of the co-founders of the Arts and Fashion Institute.

Comic-book artist and writer: Joe Benitez has created works for DC and Image Comics. Benitez is also the creator of the Lady Mechanika and Wraithborn series

Author Sherrilyn Kenyon is a prime focus of my own personal pick-list. Kenyon is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author and is known for her Dark Hunter series.

Comic-book and professional artist Sho Murase is to also make an appearance.  Murase is hands down one of my favorite artists and has created a variety of pieces for Disney, DC and Marvel. Her portfolio always includes a dark-twist and continues to expand on a global sphere.

And while I may be a DC lover at heart, I do enjoy Mike Colters portrayal of “hero to hire” Luke Cage. The newest season of Luke Cage is to premiere tomorrow on Netflix and damn does it look good.

The dream-man of so many Dr. Who and Torchwood fans, John Barrowman, will also be around to smile and swoon.

For my American Gods’ fans (both book and show), be on the look out for Ricky Whittle (Shadow Moon), Demore Barns (Mr. Ibis), and Bruce Langley (Technical Boy). Season two couldn’t come fast enough.

The incredibly voice-actress Tara Strong will also be heard around the Con, and hopefully to stay.

For those of you who want some nostalgia, writer Christopher Paolini of the Inheritance Cycle, Roscoe Orman of Sesame Street (Gordon Robinson), and former professional wrestler Ric Flair will also be in attendance.

And finally, my own personally favorite, the voice of Spongebob himself: Tom Kenny! 

All of you judging me right now can drink your hater-ade somewhere else, because this man has voiced the greatest character in cartoon and meme history. There is no argument that will ever change my mind.

If you want the full line-up of Featured “Who to See”, check out  http://www.dragoncon.org/?q=featured_list

My next “Who to See” will focus on the Performers of Dragon Con 2018.

See ya then.