Friday, March 24, 2017

Review: Apprentice

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 5:37 PM

Wan Hanafi Su in Apprentice
  • Wan Hanafi Su in Apprentice

There has been no shortage of first-rate films examining the death penalty in recent decades, from Errol Morris’ groundbreaking documentary The Thin Blue Line to Tim Robbins’ powerful Dead Man Walking. Overtly or not, these films mostly build arguments against capital punishment, which can limit their reach as the films typically wind up preaching to the converted.

With his absorbing prison drama Apprentice, Singaporean filmmaker Boo Junfeng hopes to add new perspectives to the debate. In interviews, the 33-year-old Junfeng has stated his unequivocal opposition to the death penalty. (Singapore’s laws dictated mandatory death sentences for those convicted of drug trafficking as well as murder, a practice that continues today with a few circumstance-specific exceptions.) For his film, the writer-director identified two groups of people whose voices have not been a part of the discussion: the families of those executed — who often are consumed by their own guilt and shame — and those charged with carrying out the executions.

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Venetian film series starts tonight at NOMA with The Wings of a Dove

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 4:26 PM


The New Orleans Museum of Art's "Friday Nights at NOMA" film series continues tonight with the first of three Venice-based films screened in conjunction with the museum's exhibition A Life of Seduction: Venice in the 1700s. Tonight it's 1997 romantic drama The Wings of a Dove at 7:30 in the Stern Auditorium. The screening will be preceded by a short lecture on the film from UNO associate professor Laszlo Fulup, who curated the series.

Also tonight are family friendly "Art of the Spot" activities from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.; music by all-female jazz band The BellaDonnas from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.; and “Masks and Identity in Casanova’s Venice,” a lecture by James H. Johnson at 6 p.m.

The series continues with screenings of Death in Venice on April 21 and Don't Look Now on May 19. More information is here.

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The Rip-Off Show celebrates two years as the only comedy game show in New Orleans

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 2:00 PM

Geoffrey Gauchet hosts the monthly comedy show The Rip-Off Show. - BRANDON SIMPSON
  • Geoffrey Gauchet hosts the monthly comedy show The Rip-Off Show.

Billed as New Orleans' only comedy game show, The Rip-Off Show — partially inspired by Comedy Central's rapid-fire pop culture goof-off @midnight — turns two whole years old when it returns Saturday, March 25.

Six months into performing comedy, Geoffrey Gauchet had an idea for a show of his own and pitched it to Hi-Ho Lounge. "They booked me every month off the bat which was scary — 'oh, I would have to follow through with this,'" he says. Since 2015, The Rip-Off Show has run in three states, five cities, two comedy festivals and monthly at Hi-Ho.

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Bratz Y'all is now open in Bywater

Posted By on Fri, Mar 24, 2017 at 1:17 PM


Sausage vendor Bratz Y'all (617 B Piety St.) opened its Bywater restaurant and beer garden today. Sven Vorkauf started Bratz Y'all as a food vendor at festivals and events. He and wife Jen Vorkauf's new spot serves sausages and German fare and German beers, wines and liquors, and there's indoor seating and a patio decorated like a German beer garden.

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Jazz Fest cubes and full schedule to be announced March 28

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 10:01 PM

Stevie Wonder performs at Jazz Fest. - SCOTT SALTZMAN
  • Stevie Wonder performs at Jazz Fest.
The cubes! The cubes!

The New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival announced today that the fest's full schedule — aka "the cubes" — would be released March 28,

That should give Festheads plenty of time to plot their schedules in order to see (or avoid) Stevie Wonder, Tom Petty, Dave Matthews, Widespread Panic, and the rest of the headliners, as well as local acts, book signings, musical discussions and, of course, crawfish bread runs.

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Harrah's blames New Orleans nonsmoking laws for drop in local revenue

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 6:58 PM

  • Harrah's New Orleans.

The smoking ban in New Orleans has driven Harrah’s customers away.

That was the argument March 21 from Caesar’s Entertainment, the global casino enterprise that owns Harrah’s New Orleans Casino & Hotel. Representatives testified to the state’s Riverboat Economic Development and Gaming Task Force a $70 million loss in gaming revenues since the parish implemented the ban two years ago.

Company president and CEO Mark Frissora, company South regional president Dan Real and task force chairman Ronnie Johns all acknowledged the correlation.

But 24 hours later, Cynthia Hallett, the president and CEO for Americans for Nonsmokers Rights, called those accusations “baseless.”

Real said Tuesday he does not expect the parish to repeal the ban, nor is the company actively lobbying against it. And Caesar’s Entertainment executive vice president of public affairs and communications Richard Broome said the company accepts the smoking ban.

“We don’t want to dwell on the smoking ban,” Broome said. “But it has had an impact on revenue. That’s incontestable.”

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X brings 40th anniversary tour to New Orleans May 18

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 6:00 PM

click image X in 2016. - DAVID LEE
  • X in 2016.

Continuing its run of 40th anniversary shows, primordial punk band X will perform in New Orleans on May 18.

X — among the first-wave punk bands in the embryonic Los Angeles scene — recently added new dates to follow last year's 40th anniversary performances with the band's original lineup: vocalist Exene Cervenka, bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer D.J. Bonebrake.

The band plays One Eyed Jacks on Thursday, May 18. Tickets are $30 general admission (and $99 for VIP).

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Response: Artists in the Park art sale and auction March 31

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 12:44 PM

Enrique's Dream, 2017 by Auseklis Ozols is among paintings for sale at the fundraiser. - COURTESY BOTANICAL GARDEN
  • Courtesy Botanical Garden
  • Enrique's Dream, 2017 by Auseklis Ozols is among paintings for sale at the fundraiser.

Nature has always served as an inspiration to artists, and Response: Artists in the Park brings together a variety of artistic interpretations inspired by the Botanical Garden at New Orleans City Park for exhibit and sale March 29-31.

About 100 artworks will be included in the show, according to event co-chair Carmen Duncan. Styles and mediums range from abstract and plein air oil paintings to photography and sculpture.

"This is meant to be a diverse body of work, all of which is done 'in response' to the landscape of the New Orleans Botanical Garden," Duncan wrote in an email. "The diversity in style, medium and size is what will make this a fascinating show."

The artwork will be exhibited at the Garden Study Building at the Botanical Garden (5 Victory Drive, New Orleans City Park, 504-483-9488;" 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 29-31. Individual pieces will be sold during a celebration, art sale and auction from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. March 31. Some works have a set price and selected pieces will be auctioned. The event includes hors d'oeuvres, a special cocktail and music. Tickets for the March 31 event are $50 ($35 for people 35 and younger).

Proceeds will be used to build a teaching kitchen in the garden.

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Tough talk with 2tender4house, a new New Orleans independent poetry festival

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 12:35 PM

Left to right: Laura Theobald, Prairie M. Faul, Zoë Blair-Schlagenhauf, Jo Gehringer, El Pearson — organizers of 2tender4house
  • Left to right: Laura Theobald, Prairie M. Faul, Zoë Blair-Schlagenhauf, Jo Gehringer, El Pearson — organizers of 2tender4house

A new independent poetry festival will take place across town on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 24-26. 2tender4house (or just "fest," as its founders refer to it) is a collaboration between two poetry ventures, the online journal tenderness, yea and the publisher/journal 2fast4house. I spoke with some of the festival's organizers about the festival, its components, and its underlying aims, which are to showcase local queer, trans, and POC poets and to foster a more inclusive New Orleans poetry community.

Gambit: Hi! Can you introduce yourselves to the readers?

ZOË BLAIR-SCHLAGENHAUF: I'm an artist and designer in New Orleans and the cofounder of tenderness, yea.

I'm a trans poet and Cajun native of Louisiana.

I'm also a confounder of tenderness, yea, and still alive somehow.

I cofounded 2Fast2House and just moved to New Orleans like two weeks ago.

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WBOK-AM hosts panel on addiction issues March 23

Posted By on Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 11:49 AM


A panel
 at Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market tonight covers addiction issues, including myths regarding people struggling with addiction and services offered by Metropolitan Human Services District (MHSD). MHSD executive and medical director Dr. Rochelle Head-Dunham and radio host Oliver "OT" Thomas are the panelists; Gentilly-based radio station WBOK-AM hosts.

Addiction is on the minds of public health officials statewide as Louisiana and New Orleans succumb to the national crisis related to opioid addiction and abuse. Deaths in New Orleans related to opioid overdoses kept pace with the murder rate through much of last year, even as naloxone (a drug that can combat opiate overdoses) became available over-the-counter to help reduce fatalities linked to the epidemic.

The panel is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. It's free to attend.

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