Doug Stanhope is an award-winning, internationally-recognized comedian. His career has been amazingly diverse: he’s performed at major festivals such as Montreal Just For Laughs and the Chicago Comedy Festival, he’s been on Comedy Central and co-hosted the Man Show, he’s hosted Girls Gone Wild, and he once made a serious bid to be President on the Libertarian Party ticket.
In this piece, Stanhope talks about how social networking has allowed him to avoid mainstream comedy and perform on his own terms; why he dislikes comedy clubs; and a condition called “irony fatigue.”
The American Lung Association in Tennessee has been honoring women in the Chattanooga area for more than a quarter of a century with the Women of Distinction award. Women are nominated by the community and a committee determines the honorees based on their contribution to the community. Volunteerism plays an important role in the selection process. This year the awards are being expanded to include young ladies in high school for their community contributions, academic achievement and leadership roles. Proceeds from the award luncheon will support the American Lung Association. Reservations can be made by calling 423-629-1098.
FYRE is First Year Reading Experience, a new program at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The concept is simple. Every faculty and staff member along with every incoming student reads the same book. This book will then be incorporated into lectures and projects all across the campus. The book chosen for the Fall 2011 semester is The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.
The book was chosen by a committee of faculty, staff and students to have a broad appeal across many subjects. The program will encourage student engagement across all disciplines. Faculty are encouraged to include concepts from the book into their courses.
The Chattanooga Theatre Centre opens Tennessee William’s rarely produced, revised version of, “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.” Here’s more from CTC about this production:
April 1 – 17, 2011 on the Mainstage at CTC
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the Drama Critics Award for Best Play. The sensuality and excitement of CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF first heated up Broadway in 1955 with its gothic American story of two brothers (and their wives) vying for the inheritance of their dying father, Big Daddy, amid a whirlwind of sexuality untethered (in the person of Maggie the Cat), and the burden of love repressed (in the person of her husband, Brick Pollitt). Williams, as he so often did with his plays, rewrote CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF for many years – this version was prepared by Williams for the American Shakespeare Festival production in 1974, with all the changes that satisfied the playwright’s desire for a definitive text.
The “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” film starring Paul Newman and Elizabeth Taylor premiered in 1955. Director, Bob Willie says that the script for the film was edited quite a bit from William’s original version which prompted the playwright to go back years later and revise it again to include more of his original ideas. The 1974 script by Williams includes the, “pure love” between the son, Brick and his friend, Skipper that would have been taboo for a film made in the 1950’s. And the character of Big Daddy is more accepting than one would think coming from a wealthy planter in the South at that time.
Tom Vitale wrote an article for NPR in honor of Tennessee William’s 100th birthday titled, “Tennessee at 100, the Poet of the Outcast.” Vitale quotes Kenneth Holditch, the editor of “The Collected Plays of Tennessee Williams,” as saying:
“He is the poet of — and the dramatist of — the outcast,” Holditch says. “He’s fascinated by and champions those people who have been pushed outside the mainstream of society for some reason or other,” Holditch says.
Williams’ empathy for the downtrodden grew out of his own experience. His father drank heavily and argued bitterly with his mother. When the young boy began writing poetry, his father belittled him as a sissy, and his classmates bullied him.
In a 1973 interview, Williams told filmmaker Harry Rasky that his sister Rose became his closest friend.
The Odyssey 2011 Luncheon and Awards Ceremony will be held May 10th at noon in the Chattanooga Convention and Trade Center. This event will honor the accomplishments of local women in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math through the Supernova Awards. The keynote speaker for the event is Soledad O’Brien, anchor and investigative report for CNN. Proceeds from the luncheon will support Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy.
The Chattanooga Girls Leadership Academy is the first all girl charter school in the state of Tennessee. Funded in part by the Young Women’s Leadership Academy Foundation, this 12 month academic program provides curriculum with an emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math.
The 2011 Show of Champions hosted by the Sound of Tennessee will be held April 9th at 7:00 pm. The show celebrates the best of barbershop quartet with featured 2010 gold medal winners Storm Front and the 1999 gold medal winners FRED in the international competition for the Barbershop Harmony Society. Both quartets feature humor and comedy in their routines. In addition to the international award-winning quartets, regional champions Rush Hour. The Sound of Tennessee chorus will adding their own humor to the evening as well. Advance tickets are available, call 423-479-2553 for more information.
“The Robber Bridegroom,” a musical written by Alfred Uhry with music by Robert Waldman opens in the Dorothy Hackett ward Theatre on the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga campus on April 8th and runs through the 16th, 2011.
MTI Shows says of this love story based on the novella by Eudora Welty from the original fairy tale by the Brothers Grimm:
A rousing, bawdy Southern fairy tale set in eighteenth century Mississippi, “The Robber Bridegroom” is the story of the courting of Rosamund, the only daughter of the richest planter in the country, by Jamie Lockhart, a rascally robber of the woods. The proceedings go awry, thanks to an unconventional case of double-mistaken identity. Throw in an evil stepmother intent on Rosamund’s demise, her pea-brained henchman and a hostile talking head-in-a-trunk, and you have the recipe for a rollicking country romp.
Professor Steve Ray who both directs and designs the set for this production, says that, “The Robber Bridegroom,” is not only based on great Southern Literature but also offers great Blue grass music featuring some of Chattanooga’s finest musicians with Musical Theatre teacher, Suzanne Carter conducting the cast. Sydney Roberts designs the costumes and Ray reports that she took the concept for her drawings from research of fairy tales featured in Children’s books and that he took his cues for the set design from her costume drawings.
Part of the play is set in 1795 in the Antebellum South or from Eudora Welty’s fairy-tale version there of. Professor Ray says that he and the cast also studied the many photographs that Welty had taken as a way to further inform their characterization of the old South.
As Welty’s career unfolded, it became clear that “The Robber Bridegroom” was unique among all her works, a startling and winning departure for a writer whose fiction mostly is deeply rooted in the realities of 20th-century small-town Southern life.
Listen to the story with Steve Ray and the cast singing during rehearsal with lead vocalist, Maggie McNulty :
The little gadgets that make our lives easier during the daytime could have a negative impact on our sleep patterns at night. The National Sleep Foundation recently conducted a nationwide survey called “Sleepy Connected Americans,” which revealed that when we play video games, send text messages or use iPods shortly before bedtime, the activities could affect our brains to the point that it keeps us awake.
I talked to Dr. Anuj Chandra, a board-certified sleep specialist in Chattanooga, about exactly what the survey says and what we can do about it.
Grow Healthy Together Chattanooga is a community action based program funded nationally by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to reduce childhood obesity in America. The program combines community activism with public agencies to identify needs and promote change in areas with the highest level of childhood obesity. In this segment we spoke with 2 residents of one of the areas targeted as high childhood obesity levels. My guests are involved with community action committees to work toward improving their neighborhoods for the sake of everyone’s health.
Jeff Simmons is an aquatic biologist with Tennessee Valley Authority. Part of his job includes monitoring the biodiversity in the waterways of the Tennessee Valley. We travel with Jeff to a small creek to check on a unique species of crayfish that can only be found in the South Chickamauga Creek watershed.