In his commentary tonight on WWL-TV, Gambit political editor Clancy DuBos discussed the New Orleans Mother's Day shootings and Thursday night's benefit for "The 19 Fund," which will benefit the victims. Donald Harrison, Jr. and The Congo Square Nation, Hot 8 Brass Band, Bonerama, Stooges Brass Band and others will perform.
New Orleans has hosted the Super Bowl, Final Fours, championship boxing bouts, presidents, a pope, the Dali Lama and coming in September: The 2013 National Beard and Moustache Championships(Sept. 6-7), the Westminster show of male facial hair. There are 18 categories to medal in, and anything goes except artificial hair.
Germany is home to the World Beard and Moustache Association, which held its first competition in 1990. National Geographic has some good pictures of 2010 competitors. Britain's club has its own impressive competition.
In the U.S., regional groups are cropping up and there are several regional competitions. There is a New York competition, which allows women to participate (and Coney Island has its own competition). There's also a New York beard alliance. Los Angeles has a competition. Missouri has an active hirsute community. There's a club in Philadelphia. Austin. Houston. Bonnaroo has a beard competition this year, and it's got a category for fake beards. The online Beard Club has a links page with a round up of tumblr sites with photos, how to sites, competitions and more.
Update: There also is a local group for those who want to stop shaving and start networking.
The championships in New Orleans are open to men only. There are three main divisions with subcategories: Mustache (Salvador Dali, Hungarian, Imperial, freestyle, etc.), Full Beards (natural, Geribaldi, freestyle) and Partial Beards (Fu Manchu, Muskateer, Amish, sideburns, freestyle, etc.). Competitors are allowed to use various hair products, but from competition photos, it seems that some sort of period costume is a good idea.
Just when pompous period melodramas like The Phantom of the Opera seemed to have cornered the market on serious musical theater, Next To Normal ran off with a Pulitzer Prize, among many other honors. This inventive oddity, deftly produced by Southern Rep, might be characterized as the revenge of the middle class. It’s contemporary, suburban and a maelstrom of psychological torments.
The show is a soft rock opera. Almost all the narrative is sung, and a four-piece band under the direction of Jefferson Turner accompanies the impressive cast.
Bill Walker’s set is a two-level abstract metallic structure, and most of the time, it represents the New York home of the Goodman family.
Wife and mother Diana Goodman (Leslie Castay) has had bipolar syndrome since her son Gabe died 16 years ago at the age of 18 months. Teenage Gabe (Clint Johnson) is one of the main characters, and we realize he is a ghost in his mother’s mind.
Longtime New Orleans political columnist Stephanie Grace and Times-Picayune reporter Laura Maggi are the latest names to join the New Orleans edition of The Advocate.
Grace, who declined a job offer from The TImes-Picayune last year following the paper's restructuring, will return to print three times weekly with a column that will appear Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays. (Most recently, she has written a series of cover stories as a contributor to Gambit.) Last week, James Gill, another veteran T-P columnist, jumped to The Advocate, where his column appears twice weekly.
"I'm back to doing what I always did — writing about local and state politics — and really excited to be part of the conversation in Baton Rouge," Grace told Gambit this morning. "I'm picking up where I left off, and surrounded by some of my favorite people who happen to be great journalists."
Last week (May 13-19), the New Orleans craft beer community celebrated American Craft Beer Week. Bars, restaurants, breweries, and distributors created dozens of events around the city and on the Northshore (and Baton Rouge and beyond) attended by hundreds of local beer enthusiasts. One blogger can only attend so many events, but here are the highlights of what I did attend:
● Cask conditioned ale abounded all week long, starting with Bayou Teche’s Saison d'Ecrevisses dry-hopped with New Zealand Motueka and Alsatian Aramis hops served appropriately alongside a crawfish boil on Sunday evening at the Avenue Pub. Bayou Teche also provided a sneak peek at a beer they aren’t releasing for several months. Their Miel Sauvage, a honey strong ale (also called a braggot, a very old style), was served in a cask on Wednesday night at d.b.a on Frenchmen St. Other standouts were Parish Brewing’s new Envie Pale Ale cask ale on Friday at the Avenue Pub (double dry-hopped with Amarillo and New Zealand Pacifica), Covington Brewhouse’s Pale Ale at the Avenue Pub during Saturday’s Grand Tasting, Lazy Magnolia’s Timber Beast served during the Avenue Pub’s HopHead IPA event on Thursday and Bayou Teche’s cask of Biere Noir at Evangeline in the French Quarter, also on Thursday.
The Green Project is giving away light fixtures, cabinets, cabinet doors and a huge selection of other locally reclaimed building materials starting today in its fifth annual Free Week. In addition to free building materials, the store is also giving away free refreshments from local eateries and holding a contest in which one winner will get a year's worth of The Green Project's merchandise.
The daily free refreshment schedule and contest instructions are below the jump.
A New Orleans company better known for daiquiris and pizza slices in the French Quarter plans to open a much different concept on Magazine Street.
Renovations are now underway for a pizzeria called Amici, which will serve pizzas prepared in a coal-fired oven. The restaurant is expected to open around mid-June at 3218 Magazine St., which had been the home of Byblos before that Middle Eastern restaurant moved a block up the street last year.
Amici is being development by the same management company that runs Jester Mardi Gras Daiquiris and Pizza (its motto: “Home of the World’s Strongest Drink”). Jester operates three daiquiri shops on Bourbon Street and a fourth in Destin, Fla. and has a related beverage mix supply company.
Access to locally-produced foods is improving quickly around New Orleans. How quickly? Just ask someone gearing up for this year’s Eat Local Challenge, which asks people who sign up to eat foods produced within a 200-mile radius of New Orleans for the month of June.
“It’s so much easier now than when we started this, and that was just three years ago,” says Lee Stafford, co-founder of the annual event. “We can get more food at the grocery stores and there are more specialty shops for some of the stuff that had been hard to find before, especially meat. The first week is still hard, but once your refrigerator is filled with all local items you’re good to go.”
Stafford and Dr. Leslie Brown, a Covington pediatrician, started the Eat Local Challenge after learning about a similar event in the Midwest. They saw a New Orleans challenge as a way to encourage people to explore the richness of our local foods and connect with local food producers.
While a lot of this comes down to making careful decisions when choosing foods, the Eat Local Challenge has evolved into a month of events, from workshops on making your own wine, sausage or gelato, to a bicycle tour of urban gardens to wild berry foraging excursions over the levee along the batture.
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