Stage

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Louis C.K., 'alternative facts,' a market for Marigny and other stories you may have missed this week

Posted By on Sun, Jan 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM

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• FEST, FEST, FEST: The 2017 Jazz Fest lineup was announced. You people on Twitter had a few thoughts. And Aaron Neville is part of the just-announced French Quarter Fest lineup.

• COMING TO TOWN: Louis C.K. is coming to town this week for a couple of just-announced shows. The Pixies are coming later.

• LGBT NEWS: The LGBT Community Center is getting a new home. And a new eldercare group is launching a health care provider network for LGBT seniors.

• KRISPY KRUNCHY KING CAKE: Where you can eat king cake topped with crickets.

Lots more under the jump ...

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Review: White Rabbit, Red Rabbit

Posted By on Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 5:01 PM


Kathy Randels (right) works with members of the audience in White Rabbit, Red Rabbit. - COURTESY POOR YORICK
  • COURTESY POOR YORICK
  • Kathy Randels (right) works with members of the audience in White Rabbit, Red Rabbit.

Iranian playwright Nissim Soleimanpour’s White Rabbit, Red Rabbit is a once-in-in-a-lifetime proposition, though more for the actor than the audience. The actor doesn’t see the script until handed an envelope on stage at the beginning of the performance. The novelty of the playwright’s manipulation of those circumstances means what follows is a series of surprises, and that is part of the appeal of Poor Yorick’s production at St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church.

Producing the show requires a pool of actors to do one-night stands of the solo show. Poor Yorick recruited Kathy Randels (the performance I saw), Lisa D’Amour, Devyn Tyler, James Bartelle, Michael “Quess?” More and Clare Moncrief.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Review: Gomela/to Return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue

Posted By on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 12:37 PM

Sunni Patterson stars in Gomela/to Return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue. - MELISSA CARDONA
  • MELISSA CARDONA
  • Sunni Patterson stars in Gomela/to Return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue.

Gomela/to Return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue, presented by Junebug Productions is one of the most innovative performances of the season, combining spoken word, movement, dance, photography and videography. Currently running at Ashe Power House, Gomela is a mesmerizing tapestry of creative forces that conveys the breadth of African-American history while emphasizing the resilience of black people.

Director Stephanie McKee, producer Kiyoko McCrae and poet Sunni Patterson studied under John O’Neal and Doris Derby, co-founders of Free Southern Theater, which became a major influence on the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s. Junebug Productions carries on Free Southern Theater’s mission to use the arts in support of civil rights, and Gomela touches on slavery, racial profiling, poverty, lack of opportunity, Hurricane Katrina and negative societal messages relating to the black community.


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Friday, January 20, 2017

Review: Sea of Common Catastrophe

Posted By on Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 10:22 AM



Different sides of New Orleans meet in Sea of Common Catastrophe. - LAUREN HIND
  • LAUREN HIND
  • Different sides of New Orleans meet in Sea of Common Catastrophe.

Perpetua (Kathy Randels), a woman in eccentric if not slightly frumpy garb, sings a song based on the tongue-twister “She sells seashells by the seashore.” Her tone is somber, but the woman does in fact sell shells to tourists, including the gleeful Mr. Herbert (Jeffrey Gunshol), in a scene that miniaturizes one of the changes in their surreal home, a magically realized vision of New Orleans. There also is a fleeting hint of attraction between the two in Sea of Common Catastrophe, an ensemble-generated show by Jeff Becker and ArtSpot Productions, currently running at UNO’s Robert E. Nims Theatre.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Gambit TV: Entertainment picks for Jan. 20-22

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 3:50 PM

Gambit music commentator and professional man-about-town Noah Bonaparte Pais stops by WWL-TV to share weekend picks: a crossover country chanteuse at Gasa Gasa, vogue performances and more.


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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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