When INtown asked me to write about the Atlanta Rollergirls, I jumped at the chance. My only dealing with roller derby was the Raquel Welch movie from the 70’s, Kansas City Bomber. I was expecting catfights, brawls and plenty of play-acting.
What I didn’t expect was that it is a real sport and although theirs names are humorous (Hate Ashbury and Quadratic Abrasion, for example), these girls are dead serious when it comes to earning points on the rink. The league features four home teams – the Apocalypstix, Denim Demons, Sake Tuyas and Toxic Shocks – that compete each season for the championship trophy. The home teams battle it out at the Yaarab Shrine Center on Ponce during their February-to-September season. There’s also a up-and-coming junior league for younger girls called Atlanta Derby Brats.
Strict rules apply, but the Rollergirls can push opposing team members with their hips or butts and push their own their own teammates in competitors. There was so much action going on when I attended a recent game, it was hard to follow at first, but I totally got into it.
Atlanta’s All-Star team entered 2013 ranked #14 in the world. Coming from behind in 2012 they won huge upsets and nearly beat the top contenders, the Texas Rollergirls. This game is an international hit with fans and girls, and roller derby is even being considered for the Olympics in 2020. For tickets and information about the Rollergirls, visit atlantarollergirls.com.
I also got the attend Circus Cats featuring the Amazing Astro-Cats This show was hysterical. Samantha Martin has created a vaudeville-style show of laughter and merriment with “trained” cats. More than 50 cats put on jump through hoops, walk on balls, do tricks, play cowbell and at the end of the show they feature a cat band called the Astro-Cats. There’s also a chicken, Gregory Peck, the most obedient animal of the show, who managed to stay on stage for his entire act. I don’t want to give away all the surprises, but suffice it to say cats have a hard time not wandering off into the audience where they are petted until a helper comes to bring the AWOL cat back to stage.
The Circus Cats are rescue animals and after the show almost all the cats are up for adoption. For more, visit circuscats.com.
The third show I caught was SeeThrough, an interesting, bawdy look at what is sexy and what lies inside and outsid your personal comfort zone. Staged by PushPush Theater, attendees were propelled into the show by actors who give you a key and a number or letter. Then you are on your own to discover different rooms and different people along the way. Waiting to get into the “7 Minutes in Heaven” room was a show in itself and the feather filled tub room was one of my favorites visually.
In closing, I also visited my friends at the model train club. Located at 487 ½ Edgewood they still meet every Monday night (since 1946!) and the first Saturday of every month. Both times they are open to the public – just knock on the door and someone will let you up the stairs to a magical land of model trains. They let me and my daughter run the trains. I didn’t kill any passengers, but I did run my train off the track. Thanks for trusting us with your trains! For more information contact Bob Peppel at (770) 934-4067 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
And one addendum – Susan Sarandon. I challenged her to play my friend Grant of Sister Louisa’s Church of the Living Room and Ping Pong Emporium. It looked like we might have a match but I think the movie, Robin Hood, that she was filming here has left. Alas, I might have to go up to New York and play her myself.