Friday, April 28, 2017

Today in Confederate camping: Flag vs. Flag

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 2:57 PM

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The ongoing Confederate-defense encampment at the Jefferson Davis statue in Mid-City is beginning to exert its own weird, Endymion-like fascination (though with more Auld Dixie flavor and less spray-painted territoriality).

Spotted today: Six statue defenders joined by one fellow in a rainbow-flag cape and a sign reading "NOT MY PRES" — while what look to be AirBnB Jazz Festers wait on the neutral ground for the streetcar and the folks at Holy Ground bar across the street get a free show.

Happy Friday, New Orleans.

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Review: Graduation

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 2:41 PM

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What constitutes “realistic” in the cinematic world of today? Gritty crime stories often are described as realistic, but so are indie dramas that capture the rhythms of speech and the subtleties of behavior. Realism always has been a moving target. What passed muster in the early days of Hollywood looks utterly artificial today.

Celebrated Romanian filmmaker Cristian Mungiu (4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days) has developed his own narrowly focused ideas about bringing realism to the big screen. The writer-director’s current methods include using a stationary camera to film long scenes as a single shot without edits or soundtrack music, two elements that typically serve as cornerstones for filmmakers building traditional cinematic experiences.

But Mungiu’s Graduation (for which he won a Best Director award at last year’s Cannes Film Festival) is anything but traditional. The story of a well-intentioned doctor who suddenly finds himself willing to do anything to help his daughter earn a scholarship and escape the entrenched corruption of modern-day Romania, Graduation explores the traumatic effects of compromising deeply held beliefs and the dangers of becoming what you have always opposed.

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Jazz Market screens CNN documentary about music associated with Hurricane Katrina

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 2:28 PM

Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall will join post-screening talk
  • Cheryl Gerber
  • Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall will join post-screening talk

Soundtracks: Songs that Defined History is an eight-part documentary series produced by CNN that "explores the music that is tied to iconic moments in history, and the impact of that music on society." Episode four in the series, "Hurricane Katrina" will be screened on May 1 at 7 p.m. at New Orleans Jazz Market (1436 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd.). The screening is free and open to the public but seating is limited and RSVPs are required (write to CNNoriginalseriesrsvp@turner.com). A discussion featuring members of Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Preservation Hall Jazz Band will follow the screening.

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Getting smart on crime: Criminal justice reform bills in the legislature

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 1:46 PM

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The yearlong push for criminal justice reform in Louisiana will reach a critical point this week when a state Senate committee considers a handful of bills that reverse decades of overreaction to nonviolent crimes. It’s a small but vitally important step, but it’s encouraging that opposing sides are finding common ground.

Crime and justice always are hot-button issues, but effectively dealing with incarceration and rehabilitation requires a clear head — and politicians with the guts to stand up for what’s right in the face of demagogues who will assail them for being “soft on crime.”

Several lawmakers stand out as examples of that kind of courage: Sens. Danny Martiny, R-Kenner, and Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge; Senate President John Alario, R-Westwego; Reps. Walt Leger and Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans; Rep. Joe Marino, I-Gretna; Rep. Tanner Magee, R-Houma; Stephen Dwight, R-Lake Charles; and Rep. Julie Emerson, R-Carencro. They are sponsoring the reform bills this year.

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Restaurant news for Cavan, DTB, Nothing Bundt Cakes

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 10:48 AM

Chef Nathan Richard has introduced a new menu at Cavan, including a tuna poke with benne seeds, avocado puree and a red chili puree. - HELEN FREUND
  • HELEN FREUND
  • Chef Nathan Richard has introduced a new menu at Cavan, including a tuna poke with benne seeds, avocado puree and a red chili puree.

Chef Nathan Richard took over the kitchen at Cavan (3607 Magazine St., 504-509-7655) a month ago, and he introduced a new menu April 24.

The chef, who previously ran the kitchens at Kingfish and The Bombay Club, replaced chef Ben Thibodeaux.

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NOSH opens in the Warehouse District

Posted By on Fri, Apr 28, 2017 at 10:03 AM

NOSH, a new restaurant and lounge from the Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts group, is now open in the Warehouse District. - COURTESY NOSH
  • COURTESY NOSH
  • NOSH, a new restaurant and lounge from the Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts group, is now open in the Warehouse District.

NOSH (752 Tchoupitoulas St., 504-581-1103), a restaurant and lounge from the Creole Cuisine Restaurant Concepts group, opened Thursday in the Warehouse District.

NOSH, which stands for New Orleans Social House, replaces Tommy’s Wine Bar at the corner of Julia and Tchoupitoulas streets. The restaurant and lounge will host live music every night.

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Thursday, April 27, 2017

Review: Gutenberg! The Musical!

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 5:38 PM

Gary Rucker and Sean Patterson star in Gutenberg! The Musical!.
  • Gary Rucker and Sean Patterson star in Gutenberg! The Musical!.

“Writing a musical is not easy,” says Doug Simon (Gary Rucker) — to which Bud Davenport (Sean Patterson) quips, “Hats off to you, Elton John!”

Gutenberg! The Musical!, currently being produced by The Storyville Collective at The Theatre at St. Claude, is a play-within-a-play in which a couple of aspiring show creators present a sliver of an idea to would-be producers. The two engaging characters — Bud, who is writing the score, and Doug, who is developing the script — hope to convince investors to back their idea so they can produce it on Broadway. There are just a few problems with their plan. Their nonaction hero, Johannes Gutenberg, invented movable type, which does not lend itself to quick-witted dialogue and dramatic action. Doug and Bud search the internet for information about him but find that details of his life are “scant.” So they make up a story, classifying it as “historical fiction” (“fiction that’s true”) and set it to music performed by the amiable pianist, James Kelly.

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Zydeco Hall of Fame in Cajun country burns down; owner now says he may rebuild

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 3:05 PM

Miller's Zydeco Hall of Fame in Lawtell, Louisiana burned down Tuesday night. It was one of the last extant zydeco roadhouses. - ROBIN MAY
  • ROBIN MAY
  • Miller's Zydeco Hall of Fame in Lawtell, Louisiana burned down Tuesday night. It was one of the last extant zydeco roadhouses.

The world of zydeco music lost one of its seminal clubs to a mysterious fire on Tuesday night, in a small town just outside of Opelousas, the self-described zydeco capital of the world.

Current owner Dustin Miller called the club "Miller’s Zydeco Hall of Fame,” but acolytes knew the Lawtell dance hall as zydeco’s Grand Ol’ Opry. Opened in 1947, Richard’s occupied a must-stop address on the famed "chitlin circuit." Both B.B. King and John Lee Hooker played there, expanding the club's legacy beyond zydeco.

The destruction of the dance hall, which was known for most of the 20th century as Richard’s, could bury for good the go-to stage for zydeco luminaries like Boozoo Chavis, Clifton Chenier and Terrance Simien. Zydeco pioneer John Delafose, who graced the Richard’s stage countless times, died of a heart attack shortly after a performance there in 1994.

“The building was built with good, old sturdy wood,” says dance hall researcher John Sharp, who visited the site on Wednesday. “Once a little bit of it caught fire, that’s a lot of fuel. Now, it’s a gutted big black hole.”

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Plans to grow medical marijuana discussed in Louisiana House committee

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 1:50 PM

CREATIVE COMMONS/MARK
  • CREATIVE COMMONS/MARK

The lucrative nature of marijuana sales was at the center of a House Committee on Agriculture, Forestry, Aquaculture, and Rural Development discussion today about a law that puts the state into the marijuana distribution business.

Louisiana State University and Southern University are the two schools that plan to grow marijuana at separate facilities for use as medical treatments authorized under legislation approved last spring that legalizes and regulates such distribution. LSU’s operation alone is estimated to cost between $10 million and $15 million, and lawmakers were warned it will take seven to eight years for the operation to become lucrative.

LSU Vice President for Agriculture and Dean of the College of Agriculture Bill Richardson said a contractor will be selected within the next three to four weeks.

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Auction House Market will open in Warehouse District in 2017

Posted By on Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 10:20 AM

The Auction House Market, a new food hall concept from the owners of St. Roch Market, will open by the end of 2017 at 801 Magazine St. - COURTESY THE AUCTION HOUSE MARKET
  • COURTESY THE AUCTION HOUSE MARKET
  • The Auction House Market, a new food hall concept from the owners of St. Roch Market, will open by the end of 2017 at 801 Magazine St.

The folks behind St. Roch Market have a new project in the Warehouse District.

The Auction House Market, which is slated to open by the end of the year, will house 10 food stalls on the bottom floor at 801 Magazine St., a warehouse building previously occupied by the New Orleans Auction Galleries. The building, which was built in 1895, was originally the Tinker Copper and Iron Works, and the owners say plans for the market’s design will honor the original concept.

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