Talk of the Town - Party people July 01 2000

Atlanta has diversity covered

Atlanta is at its best when we, as a city, are able to showcase our incredible diversity, as was the case this past weekend. Take Saturday night, for example. I started the evening attending the Atlanta Hispanic Chamber of Commerce's Twelfth Annual Awards Gala at the downtown Hyatt. As I crossed the lobby of the Hyatt, I ran into a company of exhausted visitors in town for the Pride festival. "I think my ass is going to fall off," noted Darren Dial, 29. When his comment drew peals of giggles from his friends, Dial clarified that his ass was "tired from walking."

At the awards gala, Gov. Roy Barnes kicked things off with a welcoming speech before local lawyer Hipolito Goico, the event's master of ceremonies, took the podium. After dinner, awards were given out to several local business people, including lawyer Ralph Perales and travel agent Blanca Gilmore.

The keynote speaker was Delta Air Lines CEO Leo Mullin. Later, Mullin revealed that his interest in the Hispanic community stemmed from his wife's Peace Corps stint in Peru. "She refers to that as the greatest experience in her life," he joked, "and that includes marrying me."

I left the Gala early and busted it over to the Tabernacle, where the Atlanta Press Club was holding its annual Gorilla Ball, which includes an award for Blooper of the Year. As I arrived, I noticed CBS Atlanta sportscaster Steve Taylor driving away, which I thought odd. It turned out that the event already had ended. Two drunk men, one carrying a stuffed gorilla, informed me that WXIA-TV had been awarded the Blooper of the Year, though they had no actual memory of the blooper.

Later, at a party in Midtown's Club Kaya for Dreamworks Records, I found a perch with Nigel Killikelly, the Atlanta-based managing editor of The Source magazine. A few minutes later, Portland Trailblazers point guard Damon Stoudamire emerged from a haze of aromatic smoke. "I just moved here," he reported, "so you'll see me around every night, now."

After a few hours of dance music was spun by Hot 97.5's DJ Mars, local rappers P.A. took the stage. Despite a balky microphone, they tore through 30 minutes of music. Afterwards, P.A. member Kawan "KP" Prather (who also happens to be replacing L.A. Reid at LaFace Records) said, "You don't know nothin' 'bout alternating mic's."

I'm a lumberjack: Dad's Garage received a write-up in last Friday's Wall Street Journal, in a piece that discussed the local comedy troupe's current projects, including Oh Happy Day, a recently discovered play written by the late Monty Python member Graham Chapman. Dad's Garage will premiere the play in the fall.

Monty Python's John Cleese has agreed to serve as a script consultant on Oh Happy Day. "He's gonna help us figure out perhaps what Graham was trying to say in certain points and what the stains on the script are," says Dad's Garage artistic director Sean Daniels.

Daniels also pointed out that his communication with Cleese occurs in a positively Python-ian manner: "I have his fax number, and he has my cell phone number. So, when I want to contact him, I fax him and then he calls me. The last time he called, the number came up as 'number is restricted,' so I didn't answer it. After hearing his message, which I still have saved on my phone, I promised to be less of a caller-ID snob and just answer my phone."

This and that: The Thrashers' chose Wisconsin star Dany Heatley with the second pick in the NHL Draft, Heatley's father, Murray Heatley, asked a reporter, "What's a Thrasher?" We don't know either. ... I'm out.

What's up, Atlanta? Let me know what you want to read and hear about. Hit me up at 404-688-5623 x.1502 or e-mail me at lang@creativeloafing.com.??

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