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A Conversation with Actor Braian Rivera Jimenez



In this episode of Peachtree Corners Life, Rico Figliolini chats with actor Braian Rivera Jimenez known for his roles in DarkNet, 13 Reasons Why (2017), and The Price (2017). Braian is originally from Peachtree Corners, GA and a graduate of Norcross High School. Rico chats with him about his time learning his craft at Norcross’s theater program, his past and current projects, being in Destry Spielberg’s short Rosie, his biggest influence, and his future plans.

Rico’s cohost for this episode is Calvin Bernardo. He is senior at Norcross High School, and an actor in their Drama department. His stage highlights include his roles as Bert in Mary Poppins, Rev. Shaw Moore in Footloose, and Charlie in Willy Wonka. He earned the award for Best Actor in Region 7-AAAAAAA at his One-Act Region competition. Calvin has been a two-time participant in the Georgia Thespian Conference Opening Number, in the tap dance corps. A veteran member of Lionheart Theatre Company, Calvin has experience in writing, directing, and teaching.

Calvin Bernardo, actor Braian Rivera Jimenez, Host Rico Figliolini and behind the camera Paul Duke STEM High School student Quinn Watch. Recorded at Atlanta Tech Park.

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Around Atlanta

Titanic: An Immersive Voyage To Set Sail On 30-market World Tour



Images courtesy of Titanic: An Immersive Voyage

Exhibition Hub in partnership with Fever and a collaborative of Titanic collectors announced today the launch of its latest exhibition Titanic: An Immersive Voyage.

The companies also announced that Milan, Italy and Atlanta, Georgia have been selected as the initial host cities for the next generation experience. Titanic: An Immersive Voyage is scheduled to open in Atlanta on July 25.

Titanic: An Immersive Voyage will feature more than 300 artifacts from Titanic and its sister vessels the Olympic and the Britannic, as well as objects from Carpathia and Californian, two additional ships key to Titanic’s story.

Items to be showcased in the experience were curated from multiple collections including treasures from Kevin Saucier, the owner of one of the largest private collections of Titanic memorabilia in the world. Priceless artifacts from the collection of Spencer Knarr will also be featured in the all-new Titanic experience. Mr. Knarr started his collection at the age of 12.

“Titanic is the most enchanting ship of all time and is revered by many as an iconic gem,” said John Zaller, Executive Producer at Exhibition Hub. “We’re delighted to tell this immortal story in our signature humanistic and immersive style, and to share it with guests around the world. We could not be more appreciative of the collectors who have joined us on this journey.” 

Titanic: An Immersive Voyage represents an entirely new approach to the story of the world’s most famous ocean liner. The experience features more than 300 artifacts, and dramatic room re-creations from the ship, along with advanced theatrical techniques and breathtaking technological overlays that place guests inside the story of the celebrated Titanic.

“Titanic: An Immersive Voyage engages the Titanic story like never before,” said Zaller. “Our expertise in exhibition design and immersive storytelling creates an unforgettable emotional connection to Titanic.”

“The mold for a Titanic exhibition was in need of a refresh,” said Mr. Knarr. “And, Exhibition Hub, with its success in creating immersive experiences, was just the company to do it. I’m really excited to have been invited to participate.”

Knarr’s fellow collector echoed those sentiments.

“One meeting with John Zaller and Exhibition Hub was a lock,” said. Mr. Saucier. “It’s a great way to break away from the traditional exhibit case and create a worldwide touring show. There are collectors who keep their treasures hidden and there are those of us that want to share with the world.”

Titanic: An Immersive Voyage uses cutting-edge storytelling technology to create a powerful emotional connection between visitors and those 2,200 souls onboard. The experience also features hands-on activities, in-depth learning opportunities, projection mapping, a detailed audio tour, educational materials, a special selfie zone, a unique green-screen photo opportunity and an expansive retail store with items from Titanic and her sister ships for sale.

More Information – The waitlist for tickets is now open and tickets will officially go on sale on June 17.  Visit expo-titanic.com/atlanta to join the list.

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Five For Fighting Comes To Peachtree Corners For A Free Show On May 25



To date, Five For Fighting, has released six studio albums, including the platinum certified America Town and The Battle for Everything

Grammy-nominated, platinum-selling artist, Five For Fighting (aka John Ondrasik) will be playing a free show at Peachtree Corners Town Green for one night only on May 25. 

Ondrasik will bring along his band, drummer Randy Cooke, bassist Sean Hurley, and guitarist Peter Thorn, to play the songs his fans have loved for over two decades, along with recent hits. 

To date, Five For Fighting, has released six studio albums, including the platinum certified America Town and The Battle for Everything as well as the top-10 charting Two Lights, along with other EPs and live albums.

Ondrasik has penned major hits, including 100 Years, The Riddle, Chances, World and Easy Tonight, which have earned tens of millions of streams and place him as a top-10 Hot Adult Contemporary artist for the 2000s. 

Five For Fighting’s music has also been featured in more than 350 films, television shows, and commercials, including the The Blind Side, Hawaii Five-O, The Sopranos and the CBS drama, Code Black

Ondrasik’s passion for supporting humanitarian efforts and freedom has been a longstanding commitment for the artist as well.  

Recently, he’s been taking a non-political stance on key events around the world, writing songs from a humanistic perspective. He recently released OK in response to the October 7 Hamas attacks in Israel, while addressing the cultural aftermath both in America and around the world – watch the video here.

Hours before Iran’s missile attack on Israel on April 13, Ondrasik performed OK in Tel Aviv. The singer/songwriter also performed his 9-11 anthem song, Superman (It’s Not Easy).  Watch the performance and listen to his comments here

Ondrasik has been one of the few in the entertainment industry who has spoken up after the October 7, 2023, Hamas attacks on Israel. You can read more about in this Wall Street Journal story.

Ondrasik penned the track for OK in the same vein as his previous songs, Blood On My Hands, about the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan and Can One Man Save The World?, which was recorded in Kyiv in support of Ukraine.  Ondrasik, says “’OK’ is not a political message, but a moral one. A call to action.” 

Tying in with “Music In Our Schools Month,” Ondrasik teamed up with The Tullman Family Office, through its operational philanthropic wing Tullman Community Ventures, for the Music Matters Challenge.

The national online music challenge asks Americans to create an original rendition of the song Let Music Fill My World, a song recorded and written by Five For Fighting’s John Ondrasik and students of the Farragut Career Academy in Chicago, Illinois.

The challenge is designed to spotlight the magic of music and bring awareness to the generational impact of removing music from schools.  The Grand Prize winners will be announced on May 31.  More information can be found here.

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How Shakespeare in the Park in Peachtree Corners Came Together



In Shakespeare’s day, London theaters like the Globe accommodated up to 3,000 people watching popular plays. In open-air theatres, the cheapest price of admission was only 1 penny, which bought you a place amongst the ‘groundlings’ standing in the ‘yard’ around the stage.

Shakespeare in the Park in Peachtree Corners will be free, and much like then we’ll be out in nature, but listening to a contemporary version of “Much Ado About Nothing.” I spoke with Susanna Wilson and Charlie T. Thomas from Contemporary Classic Theatre ⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠⁠about bringing Shakespeare to our city, what it takes, where they’re presenting, and all the things that must happen for this year’s presentation. Podcast hosted by Rico Figliolini.

Much Ado About Nothing – Saturdays and Sundays, May 11-26, 2024 at Simpsonwood Park, Christ Church Episcopal, and Autrey Mill Nature Preserve. One of Shakespeare’s most beloved romantic comedies, director Susanna Wilson’s version of Much Ado is set in Italy during a 21st century film festival. Love at first sight, jealousy and confusion, an illegitimate sibling, mixed-up lovers, three weddings and a funeral – Much Ado About Nothing is an amusing look at timeless truths about love, betrayal, and acceptance. All performances will be outside, for a “Shakespeare in the Park” experience. Bring your own blankets and lawn chairs; no seating will be provided. The show will run for approximately 100 minutes with no intermission.

Free Admission to Simpsonwood Park performances on Saturday, May 11, at 2 pm and 5 pm and Sunday, May 12, at 3 pm.

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