The Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS) and the New Orleans Opera Association (NOOA) announced their 2013-2014 schedules. JPAS opens its season Sept. 20 with Blueberry Hill, an original musical production by Butch Caire celebrating classic New Orleans R&B with songs by Fats Domino, Irma Thomas and Ernie K-Doe. Many JPAS shows run in Jefferson Parish and on the Northshore. Visit the website for details. The opera association opens its season with Marschner's The Vampire (Der Vampyr). Opera productions are at the Mahalia Jackson Theater except for Noah's Flood, which is at Trinity Episcopal Church. The schedules are as follows:
Sept. 20-Oct. 20 Blueberry Hill
Oct. 11 Pasta and Puccini fundraising gala
Oct. 18-Nov. 17 Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Nov. 22-Dec. 22 A Tuna Christmas
Dec. 21-22 Ballet Hysell's The Nutcracker
Jan. 24-Feb. 23, 2014 Murder at Cafe Noir
March 7-April 6 The Perfect Wedding
JPAS shows by and for young audiences
Nov. 1-10 Little Shop of Horrors
Dec. 6-8 School House Rock Live! Jr.
Feb. 14-16, 2014 Willy Wonka Jr.
March 21-30, 2014 Grease
Oct. 11 & 13 The Vampire
Nov. 17 Noah's Flood (at Trinity Episcopal Church)
Feb. 14 & 16 Cinderella
April 4 & 6 La Boheme
Kenner's Hollywood Cinemas 9 movie theater closed abruptly Friday, according to a NOLA.com report.
"One local moviegoer said he went to the theater to catch the locally shot heist film Now You See Me, only to see employees carrying supplies out of the darkened building."- NOLA.comVishu Mandava, the theater's owner for over a decade, couldn't fund renovations and had trouble passing inspections. The worst thing for Mandava, however, was the impending opening of The Grand, a 2,400-seat, 14-screen movie theater. The Grand is slated to open around August (years after Memorial Day 2009, the opening date authorities originally gave) near The Esplanade, only a seven-minute walk away from where Hollywood Cinemas 9 was.
To say I patronized Hollywood Cinemas 9 often would be a lie. The last time I went there was in 2002 or 2003 to see Brown Sugar with my Aunt Cheryl. It wasn't the best theater, but it wasn't the worst, like The Joy in the '90s. The Joy in the '90s was like the movie scene in Cooley High. To lose Hollywood Cinemas 9 — especially so suddenly — seems to go against what Mandava's idea was in reopening the theater in 2002 — providing Kenner residents with a nearby, inexpensive movie theater.
Imagine yourself the manager of a local grocery store. Now imagine that you forgot to order king cakes in time for Carnival season. The cakes arrive on Ash Wednesday, so you quietly put them on “sale” and, when questioned by the store owner about lost profits, you blame your employees for the snafu and say that the store has always put leftover king cakes on sale after Mardi Gras.
That, in effect, is how Jefferson Parish President John Young explained his bungling of the parish’s failed millage propositions on May 4.
The propositions were intended to extend a pair of 5-mill property taxes that provide for critical sewerage and water services in most of Jefferson and to renew a 20-mill tax for fire protection in Terrytown. They had the misfortune of appearing on the same ballot as the wildly unpopular CCC tolls, which Jefferson voters killed by a margin of more than four-to-one.
Everyone saw the tolls’ defeat coming. All the more reason, therefore, for Young, as the parish’s chief executive, to marshal Jefferson’s civic and political forces in support of the millages, which every responsible citizen agrees are absolutely necessary. Instead, he ran to the front of the anti-toll parade and all but ignored the parish millages, at least publicly. He even sent out a parish-wide email the day before the election with the subject line, “Vote NO Tomorrow.” The text of his email message dealt exclusively with the tolls, no mention of the millages.
Jefferson Parish Council Chairman Chris Roberts and Councilman-at-large Elton Lagasse have sent an open letter to state representatives, asking them to call off the special election in May that would have voters (again) determine the fate of the now-suspended tolls on the Crescent City Connection.
Roberts and Lagasse also announced that the council would act on a formal resolution requesting the state legislature to "save the cost of the election which would be incurred by the State of Louisiana."
Letter under the jump.
If you want a taste of Carnival during Super Bowl weekend, you'll have to leave Orleans Parish and head to Jefferson, where there are three parades on the East Bank and one on the West Bank. Or you can go to the Veterans Memorial Boulevard neutral ground in front of Lakeside Shopping Center, where the parish's annual Family Gras festival will be held Fri.-Sat. Feb. 1-2, featuring plenty of live music both days. The first day's theme is "Fun Friday" (wear your Carnival colors), while the second day is "Sports Saturday," where attendees are encouraged to break out the colors of their favorite teams. (In response to the commenter below: Family Gras has been abbreviated to two days this year because of the Super Bowl, but the festival plans on going back to three days next year.)
Under the jump: the lineups for both days. They're still working out some of the times, but here's what we know:
The latest rumor about former Jefferson Parish president Aaron Broussard is that he has decided to form a prison ministry in anticipation of his conviction on federal criminal charges. He faces several dozen felony counts, including conspiracy, fraud and bribery, among others.
Several of Broussard’s friends have told me they heard “prison ministry” talk from Broussard himself, so it’s more than just a rumor. Of course, most of those same friends also shake their heads when they tell that story. Some wonder if Broussard has lost his senses.
It’s not unusual for those who have found the Lord to be accused of insanity. Broussard’s well-documented penchant for showing his emotions publicly merely adds a measure of believability to such talk. After all, the other rumor — which I have heard from attorneys who I believe know a thing or two about this case — is that the feds offered Broussard a plea deal that would have let him off with probation … and he turned it down.
If that’s true, the presiding judge should appoint a sanity commission forthwith. After all, you don’t have to be an inmate to have a successful prison ministry. Just ask Sister Helen Prejean.
Meanwhile, Broussard’s last remaining co-defendant, former Jefferson Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson, proved this past week that he’s no loon. Wilkinson cut a deal to plead guilty to a single charge of conspiracy to commit misprision of a felony. In return for his expected testimony against Broussard, the feds are dropping 22 more serious felony counts against him.
Court filings indicated that former Jefferson Parish Attorney Tom Wilkinson, who last month pleaded not guilty to more than 20 counts of fraud and conspiracy for his alleged role in the ongoing corruption case centered around former parish president Aaron Broussard, may be cooperating with federal investigators.
U.S. Attorney Jim Letten today filed a superseding bill of information against Wilkinson. A bill of information generally indicates that a defendant has decided to cooperate. He was formerly charged in an indictment along with Broussard. What's more, the bill of information contains only one charge, misprision of a felony, the same, lesser charge to which Broussard's ex-wife Karen Parker and former parish Chief Administrative Officer have already pleaded guilty. Whitmer and Parker are both listed as witnesses for the prosecution in the case.
Read the bill of information: WilkinsonBOI.pdf
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