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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Review: Reefer Madness The Musical

Posted By on Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 6:04 PM


Maggie Windler stars in Reefer Madness The Musical. - MASON WOOD
  • MASON WOOD
  • Maggie Windler stars in Reefer Madness The Musical.


I hope fears about our current national problems turn out to be as unfounded as the perils of marijuana posited by the 1936 cult classic film Reefer Madness. The movie ominously warns: “Its first effect is sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter. Then come dangerous hallucinations … followed by emotional disturbances, inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions.” Those symptoms also might describe audience reaction to Reefer Madness, The Musical, which The Storyville Collective presents at Cafe Istanbul and Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts (Feb. 2-12).

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Broadway in New Orleans and local theaters announce 2017-2018 seasons

Posted By on Fri, Jan 13, 2017 at 12:20 PM

The Color Purple comes to Saenger Theatre in February 2018. - MATTHEW MURPHY
  • MATTHEW MURPHY
  • The Color Purple comes to Saenger Theatre in February 2018.

Broadway in New Orleans, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts and Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre have announced new seasons. Broadway shows to play at Saenger Theatre include Rent, The Color Purple, The King and I and a pre-Broadway run of Escape to Margaritaville, featuring music by Jimmy Buffett. The touring production of Hamilton will be included in the 2018-2019 season. Subscribers to the 2017-2018 season will have first access to Hamilton tickets.

Rivertown Theaters presents the popular musicals Guys and Dolls, Little Shop of Horrors and Beauty and the Beast.

Tulane Summer Lyric Theatre presents Gypsy, Hairspray and Annie Get Your Gun.

Full schedules after below.

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Cast members from The Lion King sing at Ace Hotel Jan. 16

Posted By on Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 4:48 PM

Native New Orleanian Kyle Banks performs in The Lion King.
  • Native New Orleanian Kyle Banks performs in The Lion King.

Native New Orleanian Kyle Banks performs in the cast of The Lion King, currently running at Saenger Theatre. He and fellow cast members, including Deshaun Young, who plays Simba, sing in a program called "Resist" at the Ace Hotel's Three Keys at 7:30 Monday, Jan. 16. Other singers include Sihele Ngema, Jalen Harris and Vusi Sondiyazi. The program focuses on songs inspired by the U.S. civil rights movement and resistance to Apartheid in South Africa. The performers are accepting donations at the door, which will be given to St. Augustine High School, Banks' alma mater.

The Lion King touring production typically visits a city for one- or two-month engagements, and cast members hold occasional events like this to sing various types of music. Banks is classically trained and he sometimes uses these events to sing operatic works. Banks spoke to Gambit about his musical training in New Orleans and career.

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Review: The Lion King

Posted By on Thu, Jan 12, 2017 at 2:12 PM

Buyi Zama stars as Rafiki in The Lion King.
  • Buyi Zama stars as Rafiki in The Lion King.

Scar, the bitter, devious brother of King Mufasa, doesn’t seem like he has what it takes to be leader of the Pride Lands in Disney’s The Lion King, and when he and his unlikely allies, a pack of hyenas, take over, the kingdom falls apart. It sets up the challenge for Mufasa’s son Simba to try to restore order, in the long-running musical, currently at Saenger Theatre.

The Lion King opened in 1997 and has become one of Broadway’s longest running shows, combining a fairy tale-like story, a soaring score by Elton John and Tim Rice and brilliant costuming and movement that conjure the teeming wildlife of an African savannah. A touring production last visited New Orleans in 2012, and the current cast makes the show as pleasing as ever.

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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

New Orleanian Kyle Banks performs in The Lion King at Saenger Theatre

Posted By on Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 3:53 PM

New Orleanian Kyle Banks has performed in productions of The Lion King since 2003.
  • New Orleanian Kyle Banks has performed in productions of The Lion King since 2003.

Kyle Banks grew up in New Orleans, where he performed at NOCCA and studied at St. Augustine High School and Dillard University. He was cast in the Broadway production of The Lion King in 2003 and has since performed in New York and touring productions. He moved back to New Orleans in 2015 and takes the stage at the Saenger Theatre, where The Lion King runs Jan. 4-29. He spoke with Gambit about his musical training and the show.

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'Seven Deadly Sins' dinner/theater production debuts Jan. 6

Posted By on Wed, Jan 4, 2017 at 11:19 AM

David Castillo created Jukebox Castle to present events like "Seven Deadly Sins."
  • David Castillo created Jukebox Castle to present events like "Seven Deadly Sins."

David Castillo is an opera singer, artist and the creative director at Jukebox Castle, a new multidisciplinary food, theater and arts collective. The inaugural event titled "Seven Deadly Sins" is Jan. 6 at Loyola University. It combines classical and modern music and a seven-course tasting menu with dishes by chefs Tenney Flynn, Phillip Lopez, Will Avelar and others, as well as a seven-course menu of sweets. Castillo, a Loyola graduate, spoke with Gambit about the idea behind the production.

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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

John Waters: Filthier and Dirtier coming to the Joy Theater March 18

Posted By on Tue, Dec 27, 2016 at 3:56 PM

John Waters.
  • John Waters.

Filmmaker/writer/artist John Waters, who last visited New Orleans in 2013 and 2015 (review), will make a return appearance March 18, 2017 at the Joy Theater with his new one-man show Filthier and Dirtier.

Waters was on the cover of Gambit in 2010 and spoke to us again in 2015, describing the time he lived in New Orleans and his love for the city's institutions, like Tennessee Williams, A Confederacy of Dunces, the "bus named Desire" and the Corner Pocket.

Tickets go on sale Jan. 5, 2017 at 11 a.m.

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Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Review: The Musicians of Bremen: A Holiday Panto

Posted By on Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 12:21 PM

JOHN BARROIS
  • JOHN BARROIS

What better way to simultaneously teach children about theater and community activism than a thinly veiled panto that dramatizes how real estate development can threaten local culture? In The Musicians of Bremen: A Holiday Panto, presented at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, a dog, a rooster, a cat and a mule fight back when a greedy businessman tries to shut down a beloved nightclub to open a trendy restaurant.

New Orleans playwright Jon Greene wrote and directed this colorful and inventive musical, which is as much fun for adults as it is for kids. The remake of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale is produced as a traditional British children’s play that lampoons society while delivering a moral lesson.

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Friday, December 16, 2016

Gambit TV: Entertainment picks for Dec. 16-18

Posted By on Fri, Dec 16, 2016 at 1:22 PM

Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land.
  • Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in La La Land.

Gambit
's Noah Bonaparte Pais stops in to WWL-TV with a blitz of pre-holiday weekend picks, including family-friendly theater at Le Petit, a band credited with inventing shoegaze, and Jim James.

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Thursday, December 8, 2016

Review: The Lion in Winter

Posted By on Thu, Dec 8, 2016 at 11:48 AM



CHRISTOPHER BENTIVEGNA
  • CHRISTOPHER BENTIVEGNA


Family relationships can be strained by decisions affecting inheritance, but when those assets include a kingdom, the crown and a princess, emotions can push people to rage, revenge, revolution and all-out war.

In The Lion in Winter, England’s King Henry II brings the Plantagenet family together for Christmas in Chinon, France, hoping to announce the successor to his throne. For the occasion, he has released his wife Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine from the tower, where she has been imprisoned for plotting against him. Their three sons, Richard the Lionheart, John and Geoffrey, all desperately want to become king.


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