Friday, August 4, 2017

Review: Gypsy

Posted By on Fri, Aug 4, 2017 at 10:29 AM


Gypsy has been called the quintessential American musical. Based on memoirs composed by the famous stripper Gypsy Rose Lee, the eight-Tony Award-winning play is presented this weekend by Tulane Summer Lyric Theater as the final show in its 50th anniversary season.

The blockbuster musical, written by Arthur Laurents with score by Jule Styne and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, captures the difficult relationship between a single mother and her two daughters, who were performing vaudeville when variety shows succumbed to burlesque and talking pictures.

While Gypsy is essentially the story of a family struggling to survive on the cutthroat, theater circuit, it also is a portrait of the domineering Mama Rose (Elizabeth Argus), who is determined to make her girls the stars she wanted to be. Baby June, first played by Ellie Bono then by Tatum Ludlum as a teenager, performs the same saccharine song and dance routines year in and year out. Completely focused on promoting her child star, Rose refuses to let any in her troupe celebrate birthdays beyond 10, even when they’ve become young adults.

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Monday, July 24, 2017

New Orleans museums offer free admission again this August

Posted By on Mon, Jul 24, 2017 at 1:00 PM

Purple Rain Lounge by Birney Imes and more Southern photography currently is on display at Ogden.
  • Purple Rain Lounge by Birney Imes and more Southern photography currently is on display at Ogden.

In an annual event that's actually kind of a steal, a network of New Orleans museums offers free admission in August during "Museum Month," as long as you're a member at a participating institution.

The event includes all the major art museums, including New Orleans Museum of Art, Ogden Museum of Southern Art and others, plus cultural landmarks such as Longue Vue House and Gardens, The National World War II Museum and New Orleans Pharmacy Museum. As always, this is a good way to play tourist during a time of year when facilities tend to be less crowded.

Some of the more economical memberships include Ashe Cultural Arts Center ($25-$49), Beauregard-Keyes House and Garden Museum ($30) and Contemporary Arts Center ($35 through July, $45 thereafter).

A complete list of "Museum Month" locations is available online.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Traveling exhibit featuring sexual assault survivors' portraits opens July 20

Posted By on Tue, Jul 18, 2017 at 10:06 AM


Shreveport artist Mollie Corbett's exhibit "Outlier," a collection of portraits, stories and documentary film depicting sexual assault survivors, opens at New Orleans Public Library's main branch Thursday.

For this installation, Corbett identified and photographed 15 survivors from the greater New Orleans area. With her work, she hopes to dispel victim stigma and raise awareness of sexual assault, which many public health groups say is distressingly common: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention surveys regularly find that as many as one in three women and one in six men have experienced sexual violence at some point in their lives.

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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Books roundup: Five literary events in New Orleans in July

Posted By on Wed, Jul 5, 2017 at 1:18 PM


Welcome back, friends, to the dog days of summer. After the conclusion of Essence Festival and the Fourth of July, New Orleans buckles down for a long stretch of uninterrupted, air-conditioned time in which we do mostly nothing and pray for no hurricanes. (Good times.)

But it's important to leave the house, once in a while, if just to keep up our social skills. Here are some July book events for those occasional sojourns.

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Friday, June 30, 2017

Screening, panel July 1 talk about black women's maternal mortality crisis

Posted By on Fri, Jun 30, 2017 at 11:27 AM


To coincide with this weekend's Essence Festival, Black Mamas Matter Alliance and Planned Parenthood Federation of America host a screening of the documentary The Naked Truth: Death by Delivery Saturday.

The Fusion-produced film documents the rising maternal mortality rate for black women and babies, often attributed to problems with access to health care for women of color and systemic inequities in the greater health care system. It's one facet of a larger maternal mortality crisis affecting the U.S., where women are more likely to die during pregnancy or in childbirth than in any other developed nation.

A panel discussion featuring The Root managing editor Danielle Belton and representatives from the Black Lives Matter movement, the National Birth Equity Collaborative, SisterSong Women of Color Collective and Planned Parenthood follows the screening.

The event takes place at Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market at 4:30 p.m. Saturday. If you're interested but can't make it, the full film also is available online.

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Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Panel and book signing June 29 highlight gun violence survivors

Posted By on Tue, Jun 27, 2017 at 9:40 AM

Shyrica is one of many featured in Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America. - COURTESY KATHY SHORR
  • Shyrica is one of many featured in Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America.

One of every five people pictured in Kathy Shorr's Shot: 101 Survivors of Gun Violence in America was shot in an incident of domestic violence.

There's Shyrica, who was shot by her husband in a Walmart parking lot. Elizabeth was shot in the face by her estranged husband, who then killed her 18-year-old daughter. A Miami woman was shot in the parking lot of her apartment building by her husband, a veteran with PTSD.

These women all appear in the book, along with portraits of 98 other survivors. They represent just a small fraction of the thousands of people in America who are victims of gun violence each year, many of whom have no personal involvement with criminal activity. Shorr presents the book at a panel discussion at Treo Thursday night, where she'll appear with a trauma surgeon and some of of the people she photographed.

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Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Review: Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3)

Posted By on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 2:07 PM

  • Photo by John Barrois

Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3)
is an emotionally moving epic about the U.S. Civil War written by Suzan-Lori Parks and presented by Southern Rep Theatre. It borrows themes from classical Greek theater to heighten the drama about a slave named Hero (Sam Malone), who faces an awful dilemma. He can stay and toil on the plantation or take his chances following the colonel (Greg Baber), his master, to the battlefront. Master promised Hero freedom twice before, but perhaps he will be rewarded once the Confederacy triumphs. By putting on the gray uniform and cap of the Confederacy, however, Hero takes sides against his enslaved brothers.

“I’ll be helping out on the wrong side,” he says.

Parks’ characters are multidimensional, intelligent and articulate, eschewing the stereotypes of uneducated field workers lacking conscience or aspiration. They laugh, philosophize and wager whether Hero will go off to war.

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Participants mull mortality at 'Death Cafe' June 13

Posted By on Mon, Jun 12, 2017 at 10:00 AM


Unless you're aspiring vampire Peter Thiel, you — and everyone you love — will someday die.

To make sense of this basic, yet frankly sort of upsetting reality, Tulane Narrative Medicine hosts an informal "Death Cafe" at Treo at 6 p.m. Tuesday. At the event, participants discuss their feelings about mortality and the ways death affects our lives and process deaths that may have affected them (for example, the death of a family member, or deaths observed while working as a medical professional).

Though the event is organized by medical facilitators, it's open to anyone who wishes to attend and isn't specifically health care oriented. Participating in the conversation isn't required — you can just come and listen.

Cocktails, beer and wine are available for purchase, and cake is served. It's free to attend.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Voodoo Fest announces 2017 lineup

Posted By on Tue, Jun 6, 2017 at 12:02 PM

  • Photo by Cheryl Gerber
  • Foo Fighters

The Foo Fighters, Kendrick Lamar, The Killers, DJ Snake and LCD Soundsystem are headliners at the 2017 Voodoo Music + Arts Experience at New Orleans City Park the weekend before Halloween.

Dozens of other bands have signed on play during the three-day festival Oct. 27-29, including Galantis, Dillon Francis, Brand New, The Head and the Heart, Kehlani, Post Malone, Miguel, RL Grime, Prophets of Rage, Cold War Kids, Yellow Claw, Crystal Castles, Superduperkyle and the Afghan Whigs.

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Friday, June 2, 2017

Books roundup: Six literary events in New Orleans in June

Posted By on Fri, Jun 2, 2017 at 11:40 AM


In book scene news this month, we bid a sad farewell to Uptown mainstay Maple Street Book Shop. It's a tough world out there for independent booksellers, who are faced with competition from behemoths like Amazon (which, in a move that adds insult to injury, opened its own brick-and-mortar bookstores recently).

Such developments are all the more reason to support your local book shops, and the writers who hang around them. Some June picks for literary events are below.

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