Celebrity Watch

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Public Transit Tuesdays: Avondale

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2012 at 11:59 PM

Other than Mosca's Restaurant, the Avondale Shipyard and Dollar World, I had absolutely no clue what I'd come across while riding the Avondale bus. Turns out I'd try a new snoball flavor, dine at a strange restaurant, meet a local rapper's father, do some impulse thrifting and more...

Elroy, JeT bus driver
  • Elroy, JeT bus driver

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Joan Rivers to perform benefit for New Orleans Healing Center

Posted By on Mon, Jul 16, 2012 at 9:49 PM

Joan Rivers
  • Joan Rivers
Comic Joan Rivers will be coming to New Orleans Aug. 21 for a one-night show at Cafe Istanbul in the New Orleans Healing Center on St. Claude Avenue. Tickets are $45:

The New Orleans Healing Center is proud to present An Evening with Joan Rivers. Uncensored, Unscripted and Unpredictable in a once in a lifetime benefit performance for the New Orleans Healing Center. A rare opportunity to see the legendary Comedian in an intimate setting. Seating is limited. Tickets are priced at $45 in advance-$55 day of show.

The Healing Center's Sallie Ann Glassman, a Vodou priestess, is an old friend of Rivers. The comic has credited her with ridding her New York apartment of a ghost, and Rivers provided Glassman a testimony for her Island of Salvation Botanica website:

"Sallie Ann Glassman is my spiritual guide, my sounding board, my friend. She has very special powers that she uses to help people in need.

I met her through the recommendation of a parapsychologist from NYU after being told that my apartment, as I suspected, was haunted. Sallie arrived in New York—white garb and paraphernalia in tow—and after an unusual night, she not only cleaned out my apartment but ALL the apartments in my WASP controlled building. It was unforgettable and extraordinary. Most importantly, it worked!"

For tickets, click here.

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

N.O. summer wedding guide: Brad-and-Angelina-style

Posted By on Sat, Jul 14, 2012 at 9:00 AM

With Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie possibly tying the knot this summer in New Orleans, I thought I’d give some New Orleans wedding pointers to the bride and groom to-be.

First of all, the idea of getting married in New Orleans in the summer is bewildering to me. Of the 67 local weddings I’ve been to, none of them have been in the summer. Besides being in the middle of hurricane season, the combination of formalwear and 110-degree heat index levels make me sweat just imagining it. But if anyone can pull off looking fabulous while sweat runs down their backs, it’s those two. As a precaution, you may want to have your A/C repair man stop by a week before to check on things, because you never know when that things going to blow out on you, especially in an old French Quarter house.

Also, whether a couple is from New Orleans or not, a wedding reception in the city should absolutely be concluded with a second-line. As a tip, if you choose to dance to Rebirth’s “Do Watcha Wanna”, which does happen to be my favorite, it’s more than eight minutes long. So prepare yourselves for some arm soreness the next day from all that hanky-waving.

Other summer wedding tips:

- Wedding programs make really good fans; stick a handle on that thing so people can stay cool and reference the A-List wedding party at the same time. Jonah Hill will appreciate that.
- Cover the too-often lingering smell of heat-meets-urine-meets-alcohol in the streets of the quarter by using fragrant flowers. (Will jasmine be blooming?) Or just invite Matthew McConaughey to the wedding and his human musk will cover up any smell.
- Serve the seafood of the season, and stay away from crawfish this late in the year. You don’t want Michael Fassbender getting sick.

I have to think that a huge draw to getting married down here, when the couple and their family could celebrate anywhere in the world, is because of our down-home, “Welcome! Enjoy our town! We’ll leave you alone as much as possible!” mentality. So if things start to get crazy, with the likes of people like George Clooney, Julia Roberts and Johnny Depp in town to celebrate the nuptials, let’s all keep that in mind. We welcome you! We want you to enjoy our town! And now we’ll leave you alone! (And we’ll wait to tell Hollie the next day!)

More than a decade ago I wrote an article about New Orleans celebrity weddings. I don’t remember much about it, but the wedding that stood out the most was that of the late Al Copeland and his fourth wife, which included Disney castle-inspired decorations and a Cinderella carriage drawn by white horses. The wedding was all people could talk about that week. I have a feeling that if this thing gets pulled off, we’re going to have a lot more to talk about.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Y@ Speak: R.I.P. Uncle Lionel Batiste

Posted By on Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 11:14 AM

Locals mourn New Orleans brass band legend Uncle Lionel Batiste, who died Sunday morning at age 81. Also this week: Sean Payton gets divorced, ex-Times-Picayune people get hired at WWL-TV, Essence Fest happens and people flip out on Twitter.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

A Very Special Y@ Speak: Summer Meltdowns

Posted By on Fri, Jul 6, 2012 at 3:11 PM

Tweakout. Noun. A term defined by writer Foster Kamer and Gawker commenters used to describe the kind of unhinged freakout that tends to happen pretty easily on Twitter. Unlike a blog or on Facebook, where you can start to write a big chunk of crazy, read over it, come to your senses, and then sensibly decide to scrap the whole thing, once you're headed down a rapid spiral paved by 140-character histrionics, it's hard to stop.

It seems the heat is adversely affecting all of us lately: although not Tila Tequila-level meltdowns, New Orleans Twitter did witness two minor tweakouts this week prompted by a fatty pork chop and a Twitter impostor. Welcome to the inaugural mid-week Very Special Y@ Speak: Summer Meltdowns.

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Saturday, June 30, 2012

This week in Hollywood South: Beasts of the Southern Wild premiere

Posted By on Sat, Jun 30, 2012 at 5:35 PM


The cast and crew of the highly honored and anticipated Beasts of the Southern Wild, along with about 150 additional family, friends and fans, celebrated the New Orleans premiere of the locally shot film at the Joy Theater Monday night. If you haven’t read Ken Korman’s in-depth cover story about the movie, what have you been doing?!?!? But seriously, check it out here. Also in attendance at Monday's screening were Treme stars Lance E. Nichols (Larry) and Michiel Huisman (Sonny), and following the premiere the crowd headed over to La Trobe’s on Royal to celebrate the work of everyone involved.

The almost entirely local cast has been traveling the globe picking up awards, and there’s no doubt that we’ll be seeing them on the big screen in many more projects after this one. Dwight Henry, who stars as Wink, the father to Hushpuppy, our heroine, has already signed on for a role in Steve McQueen’s Twelve Years a Slave, which began filming in Vacherie this week and co-stars Brad Pitt, Paul Giamatti and Michael Fassbender.

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Friday, June 22, 2012

Celebrity Watch: John Cusack, David Arquette and more

Posted By on Fri, Jun 22, 2012 at 4:35 PM

DISCLAIMER: In no way are we trying to invade anyone’s privacy, but it’s fun to hear about the great places celebrities are visiting while they’re hanging out in New Orleans. We’re appreciative of the people who are way more famous than we’ll ever be for enjoying our city and state, spending their money, and sometimes even contributing to our rebuilding and recovery efforts. That said ...

Aziz Ansari and Friends in <i>The End of the World</i>
  • Aziz Ansari and Friends in The End of the World

John Cusack spent Saturday night Uptown at Mr. John’s Steakhouse. Cusack will be playing Richard Nixon in the upcoming Lee Daniels (Precious) film The Butler, which stars Forest Whitaker as a White House employee who served under eight Presidents. Cusack also co-starred in the New Orleans-shot and Daniels-directed film The Paperboy, which just premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. The Butler will be bringing more than a dozen more A-List celebrities to town, including Jane Fonda, Alan Rickman, Minka Kelly, Alex Pettyfer, Lenny Kravitz and Oprah Winfrey. Kravitz, who may as well be considered a local, was also spotted having a drink at Avenue Pub recently.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Y@ Speak: Drew Brees sandwich

Posted By on Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 12:03 PM

Lots of important developments in this week's tweet roundup: Drew Brees didn't show up to Saints mini camp but did make an appearance at City Council (whose members have actually started showing up), Times-Picayune firings begin Tuesday (in the meantime, be sure to get a T-shirt from the opportunistic retailer of quirky "only in Nola y'all!" items of your choice), the Wendell Pierce-produced play Clybourne Park won Best Play at last night's Tony's and, perhaps most importantly, there is such thing as apple Hubig's Pie ICE CREAM. I guess things aren't so bad after all.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

Oprah is coming to New Orleans

Posted By on Sun, Jun 10, 2012 at 1:35 PM

Among the many other motion pictures that will be filmed in New Orleans this summer, Lee Daniels, director of the film Precious, has also chosen the Big Easy as the filming location for his latest film, The Butler. The film, based on a Washington Post article by Wil Haygood, tells the story of Eugene Allen, a man who served in the White House for more than thirty years and eight presidential administrations.

Forest Whitaker will be playing the title role, with other stars such as John Cusack, Alan Rickman, Jane Fonda and Minka Kelly, all slated to play various Presidents and First Ladies. But the star I’m most excited to see attached to the film is none other than Queen of All Things (except maybe network television ownership) – Ms. Oprah Winfrey.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Y@ Speak: Of Rihanna, Hornets and oysters

Posted By on Tue, Jun 5, 2012 at 11:58 AM

After last week's Times-Picayune bombshell, it seems things are getting at least somewhat back to normal. Celebrities are working and eating sandwiches around town, another local food festival happened and, finally, some sports-related news that doesn't involve bounties. It always seems when one horrible thing happens to this city, a good sports thing happens — and vice versa. Can't we have all the good things at once?

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