Tuesday, February 7, 2017

10 offbeat and anti-Valentine's Day events in New Orleans

Posted By on Tue, Feb 7, 2017 at 9:07 AM


Even the happily coupled can find much to dread about Valentine's Day. Between overcrowded restaurants, hurt feelings and the crushing weight of a society which values heteronormative romantic love as the be-all and end-all of human relationships, you may be tempted to chuck the fancy dinner out and hit the bars, with or without your sweetheart.

Need a destination? A short list of unconventional and anti-Valentine's Day events — including drag parties, cover band shows and more — is after the jump.

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Review: Toruk — The First Flight

Posted By on Thu, Feb 2, 2017 at 5:45 PM

  • Photo by Errisson Lawrence Costumes: Kym Barrett © 2015 Cirque du Soleil

Toruk — The First Flight features all the high-flying feats one would expect of a Cirque du Soleil show: Troupe members climb almost to the set’s rafters and spin on ropes and ribbons. Five acrobats in skin-tight blue outfits do a synchronized routine of handstands and contortions on a giant spinning see-saw apparatus designed to look like a dinosaur’s skeletal spine. But some of the most entertaining scenes involve more frenzied action by the entire company as Toruk’s story of global cataclysm fills the arena floor at Smoothie King Center. That drama is part of the point of the modern circus company’s collaboration with James Cameron, creator of the $2.9 billion-grossing 2009 film Avatar.

Toruk is a prequel to Avatar, taking place thousands of years earlier, and before humans arrive on the distant moon Pandora. There the blue skinned Na’vi people live in various tribal groups. Following a vision of apocalypse, two young Na’vi hunters, Ralu and Entu, set out to save the threatened Tree of Souls, upon which they all depend for life. Their quest takes them around the moon, where they must enlist the aid of other Na’vi clans.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Review: Jelly's Last Jam

Posted By on Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 11:48 AM


Ted Louis Levy collaborated with the extraordinary Gregory Hines to choreograph the original Broadway production of Jelly’s Last Jam. Twenty-five years later, the master tapdancer assumes the lead in director Jackie Alexander’s production at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre. The early jazz pianist and composer Jelly Roll Morton was a Creole born in the Faubourg Marigny before the turn of the 20th century and later claimed to have invented jazz.

The musical is at once an entertaining romp, biography of a musical genius and exploration of black history at a tumultuous time.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Scientists and fishermen share Deepwater Horizon stories at Feb. 6 event

Posted By on Tue, Jan 31, 2017 at 1:08 PM

An aerial view of Grand Terre Shows leaked oil flowing up against a sand berm.
  • An aerial view of Grand Terre Shows leaked oil flowing up against a sand berm.

At a live storytelling event held Monday, Feb. 6, oceanographers, restoration ecologists and fishermen take the stage to share personal accounts of their experiences during the Deepwater Horizon disaster, when over 130 million gallons of oil leaked into the Gulf of Mexico in the largest spill in U.S. history. The show is sponsored by the Story Collider podcast, which organizes and records storytelling events related to science.

As President Donald Trump's public comments on energy continue to reflect a pro-drilling stance, events like this can highlight some of drilling's risks for coastal communities, including ongoing struggles for Gulf animals, fish and plants and an estimated $94.7 million cost to area commercial fishermen.

The free event takes place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Club XLIV and Encore at Champions Square. Registration is recommended.

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Louis C.K., 'alternative facts,' a market for Marigny and other stories you may have missed this week

Posted By on Sun, Jan 29, 2017 at 9:00 AM


• FEST, FEST, FEST: The 2017 Jazz Fest lineup was announced. You people on Twitter had a few thoughts. And Aaron Neville is part of the just-announced French Quarter Fest lineup.

• COMING TO TOWN: Louis C.K. is coming to town this week for a couple of just-announced shows. The Pixies are coming later.

• LGBT NEWS: The LGBT Community Center is getting a new home. And a new eldercare group is launching a health care provider network for LGBT seniors.

• KRISPY KRUNCHY KING CAKE: Where you can eat king cake topped with crickets.

Lots more under the jump ...

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Review: White Rabbit, Red Rabbit

Posted By on Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 5:01 PM

Kathy Randels (right) works with members of the audience in White Rabbit, Red Rabbit. - COURTESY POOR YORICK
  • Kathy Randels (right) works with members of the audience in White Rabbit, Red Rabbit.

Iranian playwright Nissim Soleimanpour’s White Rabbit, Red Rabbit is a once-in-in-a-lifetime proposition, though more for the actor than the audience. The actor doesn’t see the script until handed an envelope on stage at the beginning of the performance. The novelty of the playwright’s manipulation of those circumstances means what follows is a series of surprises, and that is part of the appeal of Poor Yorick’s production at St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church.

Producing the show requires a pool of actors to do one-night stands of the solo show. Poor Yorick recruited Kathy Randels (the performance I saw), Lisa D’Amour, Devyn Tyler, James Bartelle, Michael “Quess?” More and Clare Moncrief.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Review: Gomela/to Return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue

Posted By on Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 12:37 PM

Sunni Patterson stars in Gomela/to Return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue. - MELISSA CARDONA
  • Sunni Patterson stars in Gomela/to Return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue.

Gomela/to Return: Movement of Our Mother Tongue, presented by Junebug Productions is one of the most innovative performances of the season, combining spoken word, movement, dance, photography and videography. Currently running at Ashe Power House, Gomela is a mesmerizing tapestry of creative forces that conveys the breadth of African-American history while emphasizing the resilience of black people.

Director Stephanie McKee, producer Kiyoko McCrae and poet Sunni Patterson studied under John O’Neal and Doris Derby, co-founders of Free Southern Theater, which became a major influence on the Black Arts Movement in the 1960s. Junebug Productions carries on Free Southern Theater’s mission to use the arts in support of civil rights, and Gomela touches on slavery, racial profiling, poverty, lack of opportunity, Hurricane Katrina and negative societal messages relating to the black community.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

Review: Sea of Common Catastrophe

Posted By on Fri, Jan 20, 2017 at 10:22 AM

Different sides of New Orleans meet in Sea of Common Catastrophe. - LAUREN HIND
  • Different sides of New Orleans meet in Sea of Common Catastrophe.

Perpetua (Kathy Randels), a woman in eccentric if not slightly frumpy garb, sings a song based on the tongue-twister “She sells seashells by the seashore.” Her tone is somber, but the woman does in fact sell shells to tourists, including the gleeful Mr. Herbert (Jeffrey Gunshol), in a scene that miniaturizes one of the changes in their surreal home, a magically realized vision of New Orleans. There also is a fleeting hint of attraction between the two in Sea of Common Catastrophe, an ensemble-generated show by Jeff Becker and ArtSpot Productions, currently running at UNO’s Robert E. Nims Theatre.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Gambit TV: Entertainment picks for Jan. 20-22

Posted By on Thu, Jan 19, 2017 at 3:50 PM

Gambit music commentator and professional man-about-town Noah Bonaparte Pais stops by WWL-TV to share weekend picks: a crossover country chanteuse at Gasa Gasa, vogue performances and more.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Review: Reefer Madness The Musical

Posted By on Tue, Jan 17, 2017 at 6:04 PM

Maggie Windler stars in Reefer Madness The Musical. - MASON WOOD
  • Maggie Windler stars in Reefer Madness The Musical.

I hope fears about our current national problems turn out to be as unfounded as the perils of marijuana posited by the 1936 cult classic film Reefer Madness. The movie ominously warns: “Its first effect is sudden, violent, uncontrollable laughter. Then come dangerous hallucinations … followed by emotional disturbances, inability to direct thoughts, the loss of all power to resist physical emotions.” Those symptoms also might describe audience reaction to Reefer Madness, The Musical, which The Storyville Collective presents at Cafe Istanbul and Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts (Feb. 2-12).

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