Like so many of you, we attended the trendy and highly anticipated Atlanta Jewish Film Festival opening gala at the Cobb Energy Centre on Jan. 24. After heading straight to the bar, we proceeded to hit each food station like good fortysomethings who look forward to food as we once did to … hmm … let’s say dating.
We met Jack McGinn, the welcoming, generous and hip chef at the South City Kitchen station, who was kind enough to invite us to dine at our convenience. We were thrilled! Not only because of his kind offer, but also because his bourbon-cured salmon dish was so delicious, we knew the rest of the menu wouldn’t disappoint — and it didn’t.
We took Jack up on his generous offer on the way to Out Front Theatre Company to review “The Mystery of Love & Sex.” We chose the Midtown location, set in a charming 1920s bungalow, and were seated on the heated porch facing Crescent Avenue.
South City Kitchen is known for its contemporary Southern cuisine, and we were delighted with the menu options. As two good Southern, mid-aged women, we began with drinks. What better way to start a Southern meal than with a drink called Peach Next Door, consisting of house-made peach-cardamom shrub, Old Fourth Ward vodka and prosecco? Yum!
We opted for a light dinner and shared an order of fried green tomatoes with goat cheese and red pepper coulis, which was out of this world with flavor, and a light and equally delicious pear salad.
It was fabulous from the drinks to the food to the service, and we look forward to heading back for entrees. Shout out to chef Jack McGinn and manager David Bridges. Thank you!
Leaving full and happy, we headed less than two miles to Out Front for a provocative and contemporary play.
“The Mystery of Love & Sex” is a tale of two millennial best friends and their complex relationship. Charlotte is a white, Jewish free spirit, coddled by overbearing parents, while Jonny is a black, Baptist traditional, brought up by a single mother and never knowing his father.
The play opens with an intimate dinner party thrown by Charlotte and Jonny for Charlotte’s parents in her college dorm room. Charlotte and Jonny have been best friends and next-door neighbors since they were 9. Now both have difficulty coming to terms with who they are.
The “mysteries” of love and sex are revealed over five years, as Charlotte and Jonny’s friendship is tested through honesty, conflict and sexuality.
Charlotte’s parents, Howard and Lucinda, are open-minded, complex liberals. They try desperately to wrap their heads around Charlotte’s explorations as they face secrets and resentments of their own.
We see only those four characters in the play: Charlotte, Jonny, Howard and Lucinda. All the performances by the four actors are honest. Rachel Wansker gives a heartfelt portrayal as Charlotte, and Terrance Smith’s Jonny is raw and true.
There are a lot of emotional twists and turns in “The Mystery of Love & Sex.” Race, gender, religion, generational/parent-child relationships and sexuality are all explored. This tale about coming of age is open to interpretation and conversation after viewing.
“The Mystery of Love & Sex” is written by Bathsheba Doran, who also wrote for HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire” and Showtime’s “Masters of Sex.”
The play is showing Thursday to Sunday through Feb. 18. Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for students (www.outfronttheatre.com/events).
Look for the further adventures of Jen and Michal in the AJT.