published Monday, February 27th, 2012

Off the Couch: CSO's version of "Wizard of Oz" tops week in entertainment

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, I don't know about you, but the idea of watching "The Wizard of Oz" on a big screen at the Tivoli Theatre with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera providing the live musical soundtrack sounds really cool. That's what they will be doing Saturday. I will just have to remember to discreetly head to the lobby when the flying monkeys appear. Never liked those monkeys.

LISA DENTON: I remember breaking into tears and running from the room the first time I saw the Wicked Witch of the West circling on that broom. I've acquired a little more courage since that childhood trauma. Now as I go through life, I'm more likely to be thinking "If I only had a brain."

Wouldn't it be great if they could paint a yellow brick road on the sidewalk in front of the Tivoli? Even without that, there are several bonuses. Guests can meet one of the original Munchkins before the show, have their picture taken with a life-size sculpture of the Tin Man, and the first 1,000 guests will receive free Emerald City glasses.

This really is a cool idea for a concert. The music in this movie is spectacular.

BARRY: I can hear the dunt-da-dunt-da-dah-dah as Elmira Gulch peddles along with Toto right now. The symphony folks tell me we will hear the original dialogue and voices, but the CSO will provide the music. It truly will be a horse of a different color.

LISA: Speaking of horses, Western recording artist R.W. Hampton will be in town Saturday for a benefit for the Arthritis Foundation. Hampton is known for his rich baritone voice and the fact that he has worked as a cowboy, so he has lived what he sings about.

The concert will take place on Hullander Farm in Apison. The Hullanders have used their farm for such benefits before, including a visit by Roy "Dusty" Rogers Jr. and Dustin Roy Rogers in December 2010. The farm must be a natural for cowboy singers. Makes me want to go put on my chaps and spurs.

BARRY: Did I ever tell you about the saleswoman at the boot outlet store in Murfreesboro who asked me if I knew the difference between Western boots and cowboy boots. "The difference," she said with a little too much judgment as she eyed the pony on my golf shirt, "is that with cowboy boots the 'stink' is on the outside."

Not gonna lie; it stung a little.

Speaking of the real deal, Hank Williams III is coming back to town at Rhythm & Brews on Friday.

LISA: Hank3 is all over the musical map. He's done honky-tonk and country music, which is in keeping with his famous namesakes. But he also does punk and metal. It's an odd combination.

I've read that Minnie Pearl once called him a ghost because of his striking resemblance to his grandfather.

BARRY: I don't think he does much country these days. Oh, and the North Mississippi Allstars are at Track 29 on Saturday.

LISA: Also, country singer Craig Morgan will be signing autographs at noon Tuesday at the Walmart in Hixson. It's one of a series of in-store appearances he's doing this week for the release of his new album, "This Ole Boy."

about Barry Courter...

Barry Courter is staff reporter and columnist for the Times Free Press. He started his journalism career at the Chattanooga News-Free Press in 1987. He covers primarily entertainment and events for ChattanoogaNow, as well as feature stories for the Life section. Born in Lafayette, Ind., Barry has lived in Chattanooga since 1968. He graduated from Notre Dame High School and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga with a degree in broadcast journalism. He previously was ...

about Lisa Denton...

Lisa Denton is deputy features editor and content editor of Current. She previously was a lifestyle, entertainment and region reporter/pod leader for The Chattanooga Times, which she joined in 1983. Lisa is from Sale Creek and holds an associate’s degree in journalism from Chattanooga State Community College. Contact Lisa at 423-757-6281 or

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