published Monday, June 18th, 2012

Get Off the Couch: Dancing returns, 'Hair' continues

BARRY COURTER: Lisa, everybody's favorite dancing war hero will be in town Saturday at the Tivoli. J.R. Martinez will be there as part of Dancing With the Stars Chattanooga. I like him. What an amazing journey he's been on since being injured in 2003 while fighting in Iraq as an Army infantryman. Coming back from that to become a soap-opera actor, motivational speaker and winner of "Dancing With the Stars" Season 13 is amazing enough. But he just seems like a good guy too.

LISA DENTON: I couldn't agree more. He comes across as a beautiful person inside and out.

Saturday's event will pair eight amateur dancers with Fred Astaire instructors to raise money for the Partnership for Families, Children and Adults, a very worthy cause.

I also want to find time to see "Hair," which is playing on the CircleStage at Chattanooga Theatre Centre the next four weekends. I have vague memories of learning the 5th Dimension's "Age of Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In" medley in school, but that was about as close to the bohemian lifestyle as we got at Sale Creek.

BARRY: "Flow it, show it / Long as God can grow my hair" are lyrics I've tried to live by. It speaks to me more than "They'll be ga-ga at the go-go, when they see me in my toga / My toga made of blond, brilliantined, biblical hair."

Scott Dunlap is directing, and if I know Scott, he's also doing the costumes, making lunch for everyone and selling tickets, but anyway, I like his work a lot. It should be a great show.

LISA: Don't forget manning the curtain and cleaning up afterward. He definitely has mad skills. Why delegate when you can multitask?

The controversial nude scene isn't included in this production of "Hair," but I have heard that the Ensemble Theatre of Chattanooga is boldly going there with its next production, "Equus," opening Thursday.

This is the play, you might recall, that helped actor Daniel Radcliffe leave his Harry Potter role, um, behind when it played on Broadway.

BARRY: Right, it exposed his talents beyond waving a wand and casting a few spells.

And, for music fans, G Love & Special Sauce is at Track 29, and Nightfall gears back up with Shannon McNally, both on Friday.

LISA: You know, The Avett Brothers produced G Love's latest album, "Fixin' To Die." It seems like an odd title for an alternative hip-hop band from Philadelphia since "fixin' " is one of the greatest Southern words ever.

One of our Michigan-born co-workers (I'm talking about you, Dave Flessner) used to make fun of me for saying it, until I told him that he could find it in the dictionary -- between "dang" and "Yankees." He hasn't bothered me since. Sometimes you just have to nip that Northern aggression in the bud.

Get event details every Friday in Current or at

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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