Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Big Easy Awards 2012 theater nominees announced

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 5:56 PM

The Big Easy Foundation announced nominees for 2012 theater awards. The nominees are here or after the jump. Winners will be announced at the Big Easy Awards on Monday, March 26 at Harrah's New Orleans. Big Easy music awards nominees will be announced in late March.

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More funny people: Dane Faucheux, Scotland Green and Cassidy Henehan

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 1:55 PM

This week's cover story looks at The New Movement theater before its doors open Saturday, March 3, at 1919 Burgundy St. On the blog, read interviews with local comics and the theater's founders.

The Wednesday "You Think You're Funny?" open-mic at Carrollton Station is the spiritual successor of several other mics from venues across town. But since 2008, when the Carrollton mic opened, it's been a nucleus for comedy in New Orleans, both literally (it's in the middle of the week) and as a dedicated mic to highlight local comics. The show is in the hands of comics Scotland Green and brothers Cassidy Henehan and Mike Henehan. Tonight, the mic celebrates its fourth anniversary.

Below the jump, Green and Cassidy Henehan talk standup, performing in New Orleans and the rollercoaster of an open mic — and further after the jump, Gambit talks to comic Dane Faucheux, a regular presence on local stages...

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Oh but didn’t we roll...

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 12:31 PM

You know when you’re in the middle of one of those epic life moments, the kind that flashes before your eyes when you’re on the way to meet your Maker? We had that kind of moment crossing the canal into the Ninth Ward last Sunday with To Be Continued Brass Band during the CTC Steppers annual second line.

(more great footage after the jump!)

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GQ does a ridealong with NOPD during Mardi Gras

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 12:15 PM

Writer/photographer Rafi Kohan shadowed several New Orleans Police Department officers during Carnival to get a sense of what their jobs were like, spent a few hours in Orleans Parish Prison to see what that was like, and turned in an absolute slam-dunk of an article to GQ. (Note to NOPD Chief Ronal Serpas: Your officers really hated wearing those fluorescent yellow vests this year.)

There are too many great quotes and vignettes to cite them all — you really have to read it all — but here's just two of them:

Some of the most common Mardi Gras injuries, according to Palmisano, come as a result of falling drunks, the aforementioned beads, and kids toppling off of ladders, where they've been perched for a better view. But that's never the extent of it. "We've already had one cardiac arrest today," he says. And over the weekend, after the Zulu ball, some guy "was having the big one, passed out in the driveway." He coded on the way to the hospital, but they got him back.

It's sort of a given that folks don't have their own safety in mind during Mardi Gras. Just last Saturday, Smith tells me, some drunk climbed the back ladder of the command van, to surf on the moving vehicle. Now the ladder is boarded up, and that idiot is facing charges of criminal mischief and public drunkenness.

Palmisano's radio crackles. A kid just got hit in the head, it seems, with a coconut—"an infant," he clarifies—which sparks a debate over whether Zulu, the krewe known for tossing coconuts, will be able to keep its insurance. "They've got to get rid of them coconuts," Bourgeois insists.

The officers and I reenter the river of humanity, journeying further away from Iberville, and finally discover a woman beyond the moral-tightening effects of any color neon, vest or otherwise. She has the wild, standing-on-end hair of what I can only assume is recent electroshock, nipples for breasts, and a washcloth-sized loin cloth-slash-skirt. She's perched on a second-floor balcony and is grinding on a handrail. To her right, a middle-aged white woman with Harry Potter hair suctions her mouth to the exhibitionist's chest—I try to imagine these women in Walmart, bargain-hunting. The cops decide now would be a good time to turn me off Bourbon Street. We make a right on Toulouse, then another on Royal. A brass band is playing. From a balcony a handful of pranksters are dangling what appear to be furry puppet tails on fishing line. The crowd is hysterical to grab them. One house over, I see a wisp of a man materialize from behind translucent curtains. He looks pale, misunderstood. Next to me, a guy with long hair and a polo shirt glances up, sees the apparition, hollers to his buddies: "Does he look like a faggot or what?"

Read the whole thing. It's fascinating.

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Free screening of Urban Roots tonight at New Orleans Healing Center

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 11:06 AM

The New Orleans Food Co-Op and the New Orleans Food and Farm Network will present a free screening of documentary film Urban Roots at 7 p.m. tonight, Feb. 29, at Cafe Istanbul inside the New Orleans Healing Center, 2372 St. Claude Avenue in the Marigny. Urban Roots chronicles the emergence of urban farming in Detroit, which is helping to restore the city after the loss of its manufacturing base resulted in a 50% decline in population.

Here's the Urban Roots trailer:

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This means (pizza) war

Posted By on Wed, Feb 29, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Slices from Pizzicare on Tulane Avenue.

Picking which pizzeria to visit can sometimes boil down to habit and convenience, but a new promotional contest now underway in New Orleans asks locals to branch out and take a critical look at a wide variety of pizzerias now working in different styles around town.

“I feel like New Orleans is actually paying attention to pizza now, and I want people to see what’s happening in this city,” says local restaurateur Jeff Baron.

He’s an owner of three players in the scene — the Crescent Pie & Sausage Co., the Dough Bowl and Pizzicare — and in February he helped launch Pizza Wars to promote some of these restaurants and highlight the change in the scene.

“I’d like to see a real appreciation for how far pizza has come in New Orleans,” he says.

Pizza Wars continues through April 15 and offers people willing to eat at 10 different pizza restaurants before that time the chance to vote on their favorite and enter a drawing for prizes (see details below).

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Juicy Lucy’s expanding to Metairie

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 6:19 PM

A stuffed burger at Juicy Lucys.

Less than a year after it opened, the Mid-City burger joint Juicy Lucy’s (133 N. Carrollton Ave., 598-5044) is planning to expand with a second restaurant in Metairie, taking over the long-time home of Texas Bar-B-Q Company.

The restaurant’s name is a reference to its specialty in stuffed burgers — often called a juicy Lucy around the country — with cheese and other erstwhile toppings cooked into the patty itself.

Michael Juan opened the first Juicy Lucy late last spring at an address in the middle of a Mid-City restaurant row that had previously seen a string of short-lived eateries. Because the restaurant has video poker machines in the open, patrons must be 18 or older to enter.

“Some people bless me for that, some people curse me for it,” Juan says for the child-free policy. “I live in Metairie and the soccer moms told me I had to open another one that the kids could come to.”

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Review: Thornton Dial at NOMA

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 5:58 PM

Detail from Thornton Dials Trophies (Doll Factory).
  • Detail from Thornton Dial's Trophies (Doll Factory).

“I mostly pick up stuff,” says Thornton Dial when asked about his creative process. “Then I look at it and think about life.” In his early 80s, the former Pullman railroad car fabricator has had a lot of time to think, but his sculptural works are not “naive” and his illiteracy has not limited his outlook. And if his complex wall assemblages have parallels with the canvases of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, his vision may ultimately be closer to the weird nexus of pop and expressionism shared by fellow Southerners Robert Rauschenberg and Red Grooms. His convoluted, 10-foot-wide Don’t Matter How Raggly the Flag, It Still Got to Tie Us Together suggests a fateful encounter of Old Glory and a mulch machine, but its colorful anarchy of mattress springs, chicken wire and fabric is more elegiac than nihilistic, conveying a sense of tattered resilience in the face of the stresses that have long challenged American life. High and Wide (Carrying the Rats to the Man) features Mickey Mouse in blackface chained to a boatlike construction amid a mix of goat hides and wire suggesting a slave ship, but beyond the irony is a sharp sense of intrigue that seduces the eye and boggles the mind with its startling evocation of cruel wonder. Victory in Iraq melds mannequin and animal parts, wheels and barbed wire into an eloquent melange, as if the viscera of the world had been ripped out for all to see, but Trophies (Doll Factory) (detail pictured above) is a whimsical take on the feminine persona in pop media with Barbie dolls, plastic toys and rope in a visual razzmatazz that gives de Kooning a run for his money. Stand-alone sculptures like Lost Cows, a concoction of cow bones, mirrors and golf bags, can be quite extraordinary and, all things considered, the case can be made that Dial may well be the most forcefully eloquent American sculptor to have emerged in the last quarter century, if not longer.

Through May 20
Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial
New Orleans Museum of Art, City Park, 658-4100

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New Orleans Film Society launches "Movies to Geaux" Kickstarter campaign

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 4:38 PM

The New Orleans Film Society has launched a campaign via online crowdfunding site Kickstarter to fund a full mobile cinema system. The Society tested the local appetite for outdoor movies last year with a series of successful events. It hopes to bring a wide variety of movies, including classics, cult films, and Louisiana favorites directly to the neighborhoods of New Orleans with free and low-cost screenings in 2012.

Donations begin at $1, and will help the Society purchase a 25-foot inflatable screen, projector, and sound equipment. As with all Kickstarter projects, funds are pledged but not collected until a specified fundraising goal has been reached by an established deadline. The Society is seeking a total of $4,500 in donations, and must do so by March 23 for the project to be funded. As of today, Feb. 28, pledges total $2,657.

To make a pledge or learn more about "Movies to Geaux," visit the project's Kickstarter page here.

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Get healthy on Magazine Street — and win $1,000 in prizes

Posted By on Tue, Feb 28, 2012 at 2:42 PM


Many of us have given up something for Lent (mostly meat, chocolate, alcohol, tobacco and couch-potatoing among my aquaintances). Might as well capitalize on the commitment — there's still six weeks of willpower to sustain — and get proactive about your health (plus get a lot of FREE STUFF). A group of Magazine Street business owners are presenting A Night of Health + Wellness on Magazine Street from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 29 — (that's TOMORROW for those of us feeling woozy from lack of stimulants).

Earthsavers, LIFE Yoga + Boutique, Lululemon Athletica, Paris Parker Salon & Spa, Pinkberry, Pure Barre, Romney Pilates, Salvation Studio, Southern Runner and Whole Foods Market will have workout demonstrations, personal consultations, fitness assessments, classes and more. They'll give away samples of products, prizes, healthy food recipes, wellness information, lifestyle tips and discounts on products, services and classes. Several businesses are providing refreshments (including a healthy cocktail) aimed at proving that healthy snacks can taste great.

Participating businesses have put together a prize package worth $1,000. For a chance to win, pick up a "Healthy Passport" at your first stop and have it stamped at each of the businesses hosting the event, then turn it in.

A schedule of events and locations follows the jump.

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