Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It’s A Birthday Party and You Are Invited to the Celebration

Two weeks ago, a dear friend of mine, Bill Balzer, sent me and my husband an invitation to the 35th birthday party celebration of Theatrical Outfit—one of the three oldest theater groups in Atlanta.

I stared at the invitation like a deer caught in headlights.  I had not been to the theater in almost two years. Was it the economy, the aversion to fighting traffic downtown, too much work, or all three and some more? I slumped. Years back I was a theater nut. In 2004, under the penname L.V.Rosh, I even wrote an article for the now defunct Artlanta Magazine, titled "A Dream Develops Downtown," based on an interview I took with the Balzers. This is how I met Peg and Bill in the first place.
They are the tiny figures in this picture, as Bill put it: “Peg and me in front of the theater from afar”. In 2004, their generous donation of 1.5 million dollars and resilient, around-the-clock legwork, gave Theatrical Outfit its own home--The Balzer Theater at Herren’s, at 88 Lucky Street in Atlanta, Georgia.  With sponsors like the Balzers, who wouldn’t want to park their dream on Lucky Street?

In my mind, I picked up the phone,
“Hi Bill, thank you for bursting my day-to-day, humdrum, deflated grey bubble.”
In reality, I shot him an email,
“Would you mind if I blogged about the birthday party?”
He didn’t.

We met a few days later at a Starbucks coffee shop in Roswell and had a long conversation about kids, spouses and of course the theater. Bill was up to speed in that last department, but I had a lot of catching up to do and was itching to make up for time lost; I even volunteered to help with the liaison between the theater and schools throughout Atlanta.

That night I bought tickets to The Adventures of High John the Conqueror, My name is Asher Lev and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, a production of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theater Company staring Tom Key, the artistic director of Theatrical Outfit which premiered last Friday at the Rialto Center for the Arts. And, of course, I bought Theatrical Outfit a gift— 2 tickets to their 35th birthday party, and a rim of standard white paper, an item I picked from their website wish list.

As always, to feed our hungry website,, my camera will be memorizing the grandeur and flair of the old Macy’s Building in downtown Atlanta, at 200 Peachtree Street, where the birthday bash will take place on August 4. 

If you haven’t been there yet, get ready to be blown away.

The Balzers will be displaying pieces of their private art collection: 

Red Photography Faces by Amalia Amaki, an artist and educator who received her BA in photography and painting from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque and her MA and PhD from Emory University. Says Amaki: “My work capitalizes on a long time interest in film and advertising and its impact on self-perception and notions about others”.

The Market, by Geoffrey Johnson, born in 1965 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Geoffrey Johnson is a contemporary impressionist who, in his own words, allows his paintings to “almost dance on the water of abstraction or of just being.” 

Frog Playing Guitar, by Beau Smith, a “Renaissance” artist—sculptor, writer, singer/songwriter, and painter with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Rhode Island School of Design where he studied film animation and illustration. He has exhibited his sculptures at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and in many galleries across the country as well as abroad.

These are just a few of what will be on exhibit.

Theatrical Outfit actors will be mingling with guests, so you can wish them a Happy Birthday in person and toast to their achievements.

I hope to see you there. If you are serious about your intellectual and artistic sanity, go to, and purchase your $25 birthday gift to Theatrical Outfit. Who knows, you may show up in my next blog rubbing shoulders with a celebrity.
And if like Peg and Bill, you would rather walk to the old Macy’s than sweat the traffic in your business casual apparel, here are the three most and three least expensive condos up for grabs within a mile of 200 Peachtree Street (click image for details).

Ask me questions—I have answers.


  1. Nice writing, I love how you put everything together. Maybe I can take my wife for a little ride to the theater on August 4. Look forward to seeing the photos you'll take.

    1. Thank you for your kinds. I hope to see you both there; somehow I know we'll recognize each other.

  2. Nice write up. Just a reminder, party is at the Grand Atrium on Peachtree several blocks from the theater itself.