Thursday, August 23, 2012



By Doc Lawrence

Dr. George Coletti with Actress Marla Gibbs

STONE MOUNTAIN, GA--Stone Mountain, the giant monolith forever remembered as part of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech and one of the most popular parks in America, can now add another triumph to its trophy chest. The area is a major part of a highly-anticipated movie, “Grantham and Rose,” now being filmed here and a prominent couple Susan and George Coletti extended a taste of true Southern hospitality to the cast, director and producers at their historic home that literally sits in the shadow of the mighty mountain.

With actress legend Marla Gibbs and young superstar Jake T. Austin in their 1820’s-era home, joined by the movie cast and production staff, Dr. Coletti, author of the acclaimed Civil War historical novel, “Stone Mountain: The Granite Sentinel” and wife Susan, a Stone Mountain city councilwoman, served an old-fashioned Low Country Boil accompanied by fine wines from France, Italy, Spain and the United States.

Marla Gibbs, famous for her dry wit, soared to stardom in the feisty maid role on the popular ground-breaking CBS comedy "The Jeffersons," is cast opposite Jake T. Austin in "Grantham and Rose." The 17-year-old star portrays a young man struggling to find his way as an adult in New York City when a petty crime thrusts him into the company of a feisty 81-year-old African-American woman (Gibbs), who teaches him about life and love, and together they take a road trip back to their Georgia roots.

The film also stars Tessa Thompson ("For Colored Girls"), Lisa Winters and Ryan Spahn, who also penned the script, and is directed by Kristin Hanggi, a 2009 Tony Award nominee as Best Director for the Broadway musical "Rock of Ages." 

Sharing stories laced with laughter with local dignitaries including Stone Mountain Mayor Pat Wheeler dominated the lovely late summer evening. “We’ve had so much fun with these easy-going new friends,” George Coletti said, “and we are thankful they gave us the time to show them our amazing community’s history and heritage. Marla Gibbs radiates goodness and beauty and the entire production unit’s presence has been a treat for the city.”

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