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.

Colin Mochrie at Dad’s Garage

Over in Edgewood this weekend, Dad’s Garage Theatre House had a special two-night improv showing with world-famous comedian: Colin Mochrie.

Ticket

 

Colin is best known for his role in the improv-comedy show: Whose Line Is It Anyway? 

Playing a Game of Freeze

Colin has worked on both the U.K. and U.S. versions of the show and has won countless awards for his talents, including Best Male Performance-Television at the 2000 Canadian Comedy Awards.

Freeze continued

A few of the ATL By Day Team attended the 8 P.M. show Friday night, which included President & Founder Zapp Flanagan, Outreach Coordinator Elsie Tito, and Head Content Writer Davi Gnomes.

ATL By Day

We looked stunning.

The show began with the Gen. Co. of Dad’s Garage which included my loving Giant King. Colin made a small appearance for the first round game of “Freeze”. “Freeze” begins with two improvisers starting a scene inspired by the audience. At any point, one of the other improvisers can yell freeze and tag out another player. A new scene begins from that same position.

Colin Mochrie & the Giant King

After Freeze ended, Colin exited the stage to await the second half. The remaining first half involved a series of hilarious short-form games such as: “Deathbox”, “One-Voice Interview” and “Sounds Like a Song”.

Sounds Like a Song

A short intermission concluded the first half and patrons eagerly awaited Colin’s return.

The Beer Cart

The second half introduced the Dad’s Ensemble, and of course Colin Mochrie. For this part of the show, a “Long Form” game took place which is when a suggestion from the audience inspires a variety of narrative scenes. This suggestion can be referenced throughout the story, and characters can be reoccurring as well.

Colin & The Ensemble

For the Long Form, the suggestion of “blueberry” was taken which resulted in a sequence of “A Single Blueberry Pie”, “Blueberry Zip-Up Underwear”, and “A Dying Marriage on a Spiral Staircase”.

The Butler Brings the Blueberry Zip-Up Underwear

Colin also played the role of the Queen of England, where “she” gave each of the guards a few “cup checks” on her afternoon stroll.

The Queen Before the Cup Checks

All of these scenes had the audience roaring in their seats.

The Healthy Vodka Debate

The show finished with a standing ovation and pure excitement for Colin’s next return to Dad’s.

A Single Blueberry Pie

For more events around Atlanta, check out our Events Calendar https://atlbyday.com/events-calendar/

 

Inter-Brews Episode 2: Sawdust & Crickets w/ Lucky Yates and Amber Nash

Hello and Welcome to the second episode of the Inter-Brew’s Podcast Series presented by ATL By Day & Unfinished Business.

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Lucky Yates & Amber Nash
The goal of each episode is to spotlight local Atlanta celebrities, artists, and residents while sampling some of the best “brews”our great city has to offer.

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Lucky Yates
For this episode, we were over in the Grant Park area at Hodgepodge Coffee with the amazing (and hilarious) Amber Nash and Lucky Yates from Dad’s Garage Theatre House.

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The Shrew & Davi Gnomes
Amber and Lucky are two of the most recognized Improvisers in the Atlanta acting scene and have been performing for over twenty-years.

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Story Time
You may also know them as Pam and Krieger from the hit FX series Archer, which is to return this coming spring.

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Seasonal Drip: Costa Rican Terrazu
Partnering with Chester from Unfinished Business with Chester & The Shrew, we had a great time expanding on Lucky and Amber’s experiences as Improvisers, voice-actors, while also over-caffeinating ourselves on some Hodgepodge coffee.

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Hodgepodge Coffee
The coffees and lattes were fantastic by the way. Davi does Gnomes’ Best.

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Oh Honey Latte, Quad, & Seasonal Drip
Shoutout to Taylor Alan Photography for taking some amazing photos https://www.tayloralanphotography.com/archerpodcast/

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The Gang’s All Here
To listen to Episode One in the Inter-Brew’s Series with English Nick click here: https://atlbyday.com/2018/07/01/interbrews-ep-1-the-g13-experience-with-english-nick-sweetwater-brewing/

For more of Unfinished Business, check them out at: https://www.ufbpodcast.com/

A Dad’s Garage Weekend

Over in Edgewood this past weekend, an eventful showcase occurred at the Dad’s Garage Theatre Company. Saturday night featured the third weekend of the world-premier production of Black Nerd by Dad’s Writer and Improviser Jon Carr.

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Black Nerd
The play as a whole was extremely entertaining and maintained a subtle seriousness concerning cultural issues within the black community. Throughout the course of the play, Marcus consistently breaks the fourth wall to comment on many of these issues while also voicing his own opinions on the prejudices of being a “black nerd”.  

Director Tiffany Porter explained, “My goal in directing this piece was to have people see a piece of their own life….It is a story about acceptance of self.”

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Ticket
Marcus was played by Dad’s Garage Rookie Avery Sharpe, and included an ensemble cast of Dad’s Improvisers and many talented Atlanta actors and actresses.

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Black Nerd Cast
The final showings will be August 2nd-4th , so you should definitely plan on attending if you haven’t already.*

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TheatreSports
That same evening also marked the 23rd Birthday of Dad’s Garage, and featured a “Birthday Edition” of TheatreSports.

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TheatreSports is Dad’s longest running improv show, and consists of two teams ready to compete in a variety of improv games. Suggestions for themes are asked from the audience which can then be used once or throughout each game.  

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Team 2
 I am honored to say that my “popcorn” suggestion was used in many of the games that evening which truly touched my Gnomey heart.

 

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The Thinking Process
To conclude my weekend at Dad’s, the Giant King and I attended the annual “Daddy Awards”.

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Dad’s Birthday Cake
The Daddy Awards focus on awarding specific Dad’s Garage writers, improvisers, and staff members. through submitted votes. Some of these awards included: Hannah Aslesen for Rookie of the Year, Andy Coen for Best Male Lead and Karen Cassady for Best Female Lead.

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Daddy Awards
 Black Nerd was also the winner for Best Original Script while Tiffany Porter won Best Director. 

All and all, Dad’s Garage and the Dad’s Family provided an amazing summer weekend for myself, and know more will come.

*Click Here To Purchase Tickets For Black Nerd
https://dadsgarage.secure.force.com/ticket/#details_a0S4100000D5NmtEAF

 

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/

My Night with “Unfinished Business with Chester & The Shrew” Podcast

Last week I had the pleasure of hanging out with the guys from “Unfinished Business with Chester & The Shrew” to record their latest episode! I met Chester a few weeks back during an Atlanta United tailgate that was hosted by Reformation Brewery. We nerded out for a few hours about my website and his podcast and decided we needed to join forces for the sake of good comedy.

Unfinished business is a podcast that dares to explore the scary depths of Craigslist. Chester, The Shrew, and Oj search through Craigslist with the goal of bringing you the most hilarious (and often questionable) postings. The most classic type of post the guys discuss are called missed connections. Think Uber driver who found their passenger to be very attractive and the conversation stimulating, but wanted to remain professional so they decided not to uncomfortably ask for the passenger’s number. But then a week passes by (sometimes years) and the driver just can’t get this person off of his/her mind. In a Hail Mary attempt, the driver goes to Craigslist describing the passenger hoping he/she sees this post and connects with them. Sometimes these posts are sweet, often times they are extremely confusing, uncomfortable, and downright dirty. So this podcast is NSFW (which is one big reason headphones exist).

In preparation to record with the guys, I had a listen to their podcast on a drive up to Nashville for work. I ended up listening for the entire ride, chuckling to myself and managing to enjoy the drive despite the fact that I was in a car with 3 of my managers for 5 hours.

Reformation tailgate use this one
Reformation Brewery’s Atlanta United tailgate is a great way to ensure the game is a good time, win or lose! You might even get the chance to meet some cool people that record podcasts.

This being my first time on a podcast, I showed up to the house where they record with no expectations, a case of Sweetwater in one hand, and a tumbler of hot tea in the other (we recorded the day after Shaky Beats and let’s just say my voice was not in peak condition). In order to adjust to hearing myself talk through our headphones, we sat around for a few minutes getting better acquainted and of course drinking beer. Little did I know they were recording the entire time; I just found this out yesterday when the episode aired! (Sorry grandpa for telling everyone about our family’s sketchy past)

I told them the story behind the creation of ATLbyDay.com and my pen name, Elsie Tito. We then got down to business talking about sketchy roommate postings, long lost loves from work conventions, and the need for a good wood-working artist; you know your typical Craigslist needs.

So if you have a long commute you want to spice up, or if you’re sick of listening to the same 3 Spotify playlists at work, take a listen! You can find all of the episodes on their website here! If you want all the details of what I spilled, the episode featuring me and ATLbyDay.com is appropriately episode no.69, so check it out!

Also, do us and them a favor: keep comedy alive by following them on Instagram.

The Village Theatre

“Co-Workers” brings award-winning improv to the Village Theatre

Located in Old 4th Ward at 349 Decatur St SE, the Village Theatre is featuring “Co-Workers” every Thursday night through April and May from 8-9pm for just $5. No, that price is not a typo. “Co-Workers” stars the winners of the 2018 Atlanta Improv Festival–Hannah Aslesen and Jason Velazquez. The Atlanta Improv Festival began with a battle that lasted several weeks, during which 27 teams competed for the laughs of audience members. Each night, the audience chose which team would advance through the tournament, ultimately crowning Hannah and Jason.

The Village Theatre
Brews and a cozy atmosphere make the Village Theatre a perfect venue for laughs and relaxation!

If you frequent Dad’s Garage, you may have seen Hannah before as she performs there often. Jason has been performing at the Village Theatre with the weekly improv show “Danger,” which is also on Thursday nights. The two met during an open-mic jam session, realized how complimentary their energies are, and decided to team up for the competition.

“Co-Workers” develops a scene we are all (hopefully) familiar with: the dynamic between you and the people you work with. The show begins by taking audience suggestions for where Hannah and Jason work. The format of their show is unlike any other improv you’ve probably seen. Rather than changing scenes every few minutes, Hannah and Jason take the entire show to develop each character thoroughly, bringing to life their personalities, relationships, and histories. The two may tackle up to 3 or 4 different personas throughout the show, possibly introducing a manager or customer who may stress the relationship between the two coworkers, ensuing in hilarity.

Village Theatre Bartender
The Village Theatre has a well-stocked bar, but you won’t need to be drunk to be falling off your seat!

The Village Theatre has a very laid back atmosphere. As soon as you walk in, a little wooden bar greets you with beer, wine, and snacks. There are multiple theatres in the building, with the one we were in for “Co-Workers” being an intimate size sitting roughly 35 people.

If you’re interested in attending the next show, come by the Village Theatre on Thursdays at 8pm or get your tickets on their website! Or check out our events calendar for more fun, local events!