Sunday, November 19, 2017

Da Winnas and Da Loozas of the 2017 election

Posted By on Sun, Nov 19, 2017 at 4:03 PM

The scene at LaToya Cantrell's victory party at the New Orleans Jazz Market. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • The scene at LaToya Cantrell's victory party at the New Orleans Jazz Market.

The 2017 citywide elections were indeed a watershed moment in New Orleans politics, just as I predicted in my column posted on Election Eve (Friday, Nov. 17). We not only got our first woman mayor, which was a foregone conclusion, but we also got our first Asian and Hispanic council members (the latter of whom was elected in the primary). The Council also went from five black members to three, and from four women to three.

More than that, the election of LaToya Cantrell as mayor and Cyndi Nguyen as councilmember from District E proves that the post-Katrina “bottom-up” electoral paradigm has gone citywide. Cantrell, a former community organizer and leader of the Broadmoor neighborhood’s comeback after Hurricane Katrina, mounted a grass roots campaign that mirrored both the style and substance of Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid. Cantrell also borrowed a page from former President Barack Obama in terms of her turnout operation, which used technology and social media to amazing effect. As a result, Cantrell becomes not only New Orleans’ first woman mayor but also our first truly post-Katrina mayor.

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Saturday, November 18, 2017

Cantrell to become New Orleans' first woman mayor; Nguyen upsets Gray in District E; Banks beats Bloom by 131 votes in District B

Posted By , and on Sat, Nov 18, 2017 at 11:29 PM

New Orleans mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell greets supporters before her victory speech. - PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER
  • New Orleans mayor-elect LaToya Cantrell greets supporters before her victory speech.

LaToya Cantrell will be New Orleans’ first-ever woman to become mayor in the city’s nearly 300-year history. New Orleans voters elected the District B City Council member in the runoff against former municipal court judge Desiree Charbonnet, capping off a contentious election cycle marked by scandals over public credit card spending, attack ads and debate over the future of the city’s post-Katrina infrastructure, short-term rentals, crime, and the troubled Sewerage & Water Board.

“Almost 300 years, and we’re still making history,” Cantrell said at her campaign party at the New Orleans Jazz Market Nov. 18.

Cantrell spoke to Charbonnet over the phone earlier in the evening as early polling returns put Cantrell in the lead. “I said to her, ‘congratulations on standing with me on making history, because our history was two women in the runoff.’ And we both deserve to be proud of that,” Cantrell said.

Cantrell received roughly 60 percent of the vote in Saturday’s election, with Charbonnet earning 40 percent. An estimated 32 percent of New Orleans voters showed up at the polls.

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Friday, November 17, 2017

Prospect.4 art expo opening events Nov. 18-19

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 2:59 PM

Prospect.4 artist Naama Tsabar created a performance piece in Miami Beach in 2016. - COURTESY PROSPECT NEW ORLEANS
  • Prospect.4 artist Naama Tsabar created a performance piece in Miami Beach in 2016.

Prospect.4, the fourth edition of the Prospect New Orleans international contemporary art triennial, kicks off with a performance event at 11 a.m. Saturday in Washington Square Park. Artist Naama Tsabar has orchestrated a performance by 21 local women musicians, who will all stand on amplifiers. They're grouped into four bands, each playing a separate piece of music created for the event. Participating musicians include Helen Gillet, Meschiya Lake, Sarah Quintana, Kelly Mae, Julie Odell and others. The event is free. There also is an official ribbon-cutting ceremony opening Prospect.4 at 11 a.m. in the park.

There are a couple of performances during the P.4's opening weekend, as well as gallery talks and events. The opening Swamp Galaxy Gala is tonight (Friday) at the Sugar Mill. P.4 runs through Feb. 25, 2018.

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Review: Lady Bird

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 2:46 PM

Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird
  • Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird

For a town that prides itself on social awareness and progressive politics, Hollywood recently has struggled to keep up with changing times. First came the 2015 #oscarssowhite campaign spotlighting the perennial lack of Academy Award nominations (and screen time) for people of color. The Academy responded with major changes to its membership and voting policies, but more roles for nonwhite actors and those behind the camera have remained elusive.

Sexual harassment and abuse scandals have rocked Hollywood in 2017, damaging or ending careers for powerful players such as Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey. More important, the scandals blew the lid off Tinseltown’s barely hidden old boys’ club and its deeply ingrained sexism. Self-deprecating jokes won’t be enough to clear the air on this subject at next year’s Academy Awards ceremony — we’ve come too far for that.

Hollywood’s current predicament sets an unlikely stage for first-time solo writer-director Greta Gerwig’s beautifully realized Lady Bird, a coming-of-age story about a 17-year-old girl struggling to break free of her conservative upbringing in suburban Sacramento, California in 2002. One almost can hear Hollywood’s sighs of relief because a woman was greenlighted to make a debut film that will undoubtedly figure prominently in awards season, which begins in a couple of weeks and won’t let up until the Oscars ceremony on March 4, 2018.

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Comedy Central returns to the Civic Theatre to film half-hour standup series

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 1:30 PM


Comedy Central will film another season of its Comedy Central Stand-Up Presents... at the Civic Theatre next month, with comedians performing 30-minute sets to be aired next year.

The nine comics on this season's slot include The President Show's Emmy Blotnick, Jimmy Kimmel Live! writer Devin Field, Insecure's Langston Kerman and American Vandal's Ryan O'Flanagan, as well as Tim Dillon, Megan Gailey, Chris Garcia, Mike Lawrence and Sarah Tiana.

The comics will perform across four shows, and tickets for each show are free and available online. Ticket holders must be at least 18 years old to attend the shows. More details are available on the ticket website. Here's the lineup and schedule:
  • Ryan O'Flanagan and Langston Kerman perform 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8.
  • Megan Gailey and Devin Field perform 9:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 8.
  • Chris Garcia, Emmy Blotnick and Tim Dillon perform 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9.
  • Sarah Tiana and Mike Lawrence perform 10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9.

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A watershed election in New Orleans

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 12:00 PM

  • LaToya Cantrell.

Although the 2017 mayoral election gave us a painfully uninspiring field of candidates, it still produced a political watershed in several ways. Here are my takeaways one day before the election, assuming LaToya Cantrell wins easily, as suggested by every poll. (If Desiree Charbonnet somehow pulls off the biggest upset since Bienville hoodwinked the British Navy in 1699, I’ll eat what follows.)

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Amy Schumer returns to New Orleans for New Year's Eve show

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 10:30 AM


On New Year's Eve 2016, Amy Schumer headlined the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts before the ball dropped. She'll return to New Orleans for another round at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017.

The stand-up comic and actor created the Comedy Central sketch series Inside Amy Schumer and recently starred in Snatched and the war drama Thank You For Your Service, roles following 2015's hit Trainwreck. In 2016, she was the first-ever woman comic to sell out Madison Square Garden, and her 2015 HBO special Live at the Apollo was nominated for several Emmy Awards.

Tickets go on sale at noon Friday, Nov. 17 at the Saenger Theatre box office (1111 Canal St.), at (800) 745-3000, or at and
Location Details Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts
Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts
1419 Basin St.
New Orleans, LA
(504) 525-1052
Recital Hall and Theater

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Prytania Theatre's Classic Movies series screens Raging Bull and The Birds this weekend

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 9:36 AM

The Birds
  • The Birds

This Sunday, Nov. 19, the Prytania Theatre's never-ending series of classic films presents Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (10 a.m., $6) and Martin Scorsese's Raging Bull (10 p.m., $10). Ticket are available here.

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Shotgun Cinema presents third annual Talking Heads dance party

Posted By on Fri, Nov 17, 2017 at 9:01 AM


Shotgun Cinema presents its third annual no-chairs dance-party screening of Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense on Saturday, Dec. 2 at Court 13 Arts (2801 Franklin Ave.). This year's screening is dedicated to the 1984 film's director Jonathan Demme, who died in April at age 73. Doors open at 6 p.m for art installation viewing and the screening begins at 9 p.m. Tickets are $12 and available here.

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Thursday, November 16, 2017

Landrieu meets with Jeff Sessions, Sen. Kennedy to discuss 'sanctuary' policies

Posted By on Thu, Nov 16, 2017 at 5:56 PM

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu. - PHOTOS BY GAGE SKIDMORE/NICK PRETE / CREATIVE COMMONS
  • U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

The dispute between Mayor Mitch Landrieu and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions over New Orleans' compliance with federal immigration authorities has seemingly hit another wall.

It's been a caustic back and forth, following hardline immigration policies and rhetoric from President Donald Trump, lawsuits over cities and "sanctuary" policies, and aggressive Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) action.

Landrieu says the city and New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) do communicate with ICE, and nothing in NOPD policy prohibits the department from sharing information with the feds. Sessions says the city harbors people living in the country illegally through NOPD policy that effectively gives them "sanctuary." Landrieu says NOPD arrests people regardless of status and that "New Orleans is not a sanctuary city." Sessions says NOPD policy doesn't go far enough to open communication between the city and the feds when an undocumented person is in custody.

On Nov. 16, Landrieu, City Attorney Rebecca Dietz and NOPD Superintendent Michael Harrison met with Sessions and U.S. Sen. John Neely Kennedy. Landrieu said the meeting went well — once again assuring that the feds agree with Landrieu that the city does not have "sanctuary" policies.

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