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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Review: Home for the Holidays with the Victory Belles

Posted By on Wed, Dec 20, 2017 at 10:20 AM

The Victory Belles sing to audience members at BB's Stage Door Canteen. - JEFF STROUT
  • JEFF STROUT
  • The Victory Belles sing to audience members at BB's Stage Door Canteen.

For a sweet dollop of all-American nostalgia, you can’t beat The National World War II Museum’s seasonal performance of Home for the Holidays with the Victory Belles. For an hour, a bevy of beautiful singers serves up sugar and spice and everything nice in a lively variety show.

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Thursday, December 14, 2017

Ashe Cultural Arts Center details renovations for 20th anniversary

Posted By on Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 5:20 PM

Architect Steven Bingler, Ashe Cultural Arts Center Executive Director Carol Bebelle and Ashe board member Al Kennedy detailed renovation plans at Ashe Power House theater.
  • Architect Steven Bingler, Ashe Cultural Arts Center Executive Director Carol Bebelle and Ashe board member Al Kennedy detailed renovation plans at Ashe Power House theater.

Ashe Cultural Arts Center Executive Director Carol Bebelle and architect Steven Bingler of Concordia described renovations to the arts and cultural center at 1712 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. Bebelle also highlighted Ashe's mission as it begins an extended celebration of its 20th anniversary, officially falling Dec. 16, 2018.

Ashe's 18,000 square foot space hosts art shows, community events, theater and dance productions, film screenings, youth and wellness programming and more.

"Culture is taken for granted," Bebelle says. "It needs a home as well. It needs a place where people are praying, planning and working on it."

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Review: Not About Nightingales

Posted By on Thu, Dec 14, 2017 at 12:01 PM

Zeb Hollins III stars in Not About Nightingales. - JAMES KELLEY
  • JAMES KELLEY
  • Zeb Hollins III stars in Not About Nightingales.

Tennessee Williams often wrote about conflicted, familial relationships embedded in the culture of the Deep South. But one of his earliest plays, Not About Nightingales, currently being presented by the Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans, is not typical of his work. As a student at the University of Iowa in 1938, Williams was assigned to write a “living newspaper” play and chose to dramatize horrific events that had taken place at Holmesburg County Prison in Philadelphia, following a hunger strike.

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Thursday, December 7, 2017

Review: Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley

Posted By on Thu, Dec 7, 2017 at 11:03 AM



Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley is a lighthearted comedy using the characters from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice - PHOTO BY JOHN BARROIS
  • PHOTO BY JOHN BARROIS
  • Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley is a lighthearted comedy using the characters from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice

Inbetween scenes of Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, the maid (Erin Sheets) at Fitzwilliam Darcy’s Pemberley estate doubles as a sign carrier, presenting the audience with brief notes, such as “Transition,” in a flowery script surrounded by glossy images of garlands. The signs look like labels on holiday fruitcakes or plastic-wrapped gift baskets, and I don’t know if the sign bit is included in the script of Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon’s comedic sequel to Pride and Prejudice, but it’s a tipoff to the lighthearted, easy humor in the holiday drama.

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Review: The Happy Elf

Posted By on Thu, Nov 30, 2017 at 1:39 PM

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From the opening scene of the musical The Happy Elf, currently running at Slidell Little Theatre, there’s a profusion of candy cane stockings and pointy green and red caps. Director Scott Sauber directs a cast of 35 actors, including four entire families. Its seven crew members also include 17-year-old sound technician Payton Subervielle and 14-year-old Blakely Shouse, managing stage lights.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

New Orleans' offbeat and not-so-traditional holiday events

Posted By on Tue, Nov 28, 2017 at 11:28 AM

Fleur de Tease presents its holiday show Dec. 2-3 at One Eyed Jacks.
  • Fleur de Tease presents its holiday show Dec. 2-3 at One Eyed Jacks.

The holiday season brings a full schedule of traditional events. There are multiple versions of the Nutcracker (by New Orleans Ballet Theatre, Delta Festival Ballet and the Moscow Ballet) and New Orleans Symphony Chorus' production of Handel's Messiah. A touring production of Irving Berlin's White Christmas is at Saenger Theatre.

There also are less traditional and offbeat holiday celebrations. Here are some of them.

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Monday, November 20, 2017

Cirque du Soleil brings Corteo to Smoothie King Center March 2-4

Posted By on Mon, Nov 20, 2017 at 10:47 AM

COURTESY CIRQUE DU SOLEIL
  • COURTESY CIRQUE DU SOLEIL

Cirque du Soleil kicks off a U.S. tour of Corteo March 2-4, 2018 at Smoothie King Center. The show is a modern circus with a story about Mauro the Dreamer, a clown who images a his own funeral as a wildly festive parade, The show features acrobats performing on ladders, trampoline like beds, chandelier trapeze, teeter boards and more. It's a grand-scale production with a large performing space, plenty of acrobatic aerial rigging and more than 250 costumes.

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Review: Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story

Posted By on Tue, Nov 14, 2017 at 12:05 PM

John Fitzpatrick and Eli Timm star in Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story. - PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER BENTIVEGNA
  • PHOTO BY CHRISTOPHER BENTIVEGNA
  • John Fitzpatrick and Eli Timm star in Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story.

In 2017, the deadliest shooting in U.S. history was committed by one person operating semi-automatic weapons, but 100 years ago, the “crime of the century” was committed by two promising university students wielding a chisel. But the bizarre story of Nathan Leopold (John Fitzpatrick) and Richard Loeb (Eli Timm), two wealthy friends from Chicago who kidnapped, ransomed and murdered a teenage acquaintance in 1924, remains chilling for its cold-blooded senselessness.

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Thursday, November 9, 2017

Review: The Last Five Years

Posted By on Thu, Nov 9, 2017 at 10:09 AM

Meredith Owens and Adair Watkins stars in The Last Five Years. - SANDY BOYER
  • SANDY BOYER
  • Meredith Owens and Adair Watkins stars in The Last Five Years.

Who hasn’t experienced the waning of love’s first blush? The Last Five Years, directed by Michael E. McKelvey at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, follows the unfolding of a young couple’s relationship, withering over five years from ecstatic meeting to sorrowful parting. Only during his sweet marriage proposal does the couple harmonize. The play’s book, pop-rock music and lyrics are a semi-autobiographical account of playwright and composer Jason Robert Brown’s own failed union.

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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Review: Caroline, or Change

Posted By on Wed, Nov 1, 2017 at 3:02 PM

JOSHUA FREDERICK
  • JOSHUA FREDERICK

Musicals don’t wrestle with weighty societal issues often, but Caroline, or Change takes on civil rights, low-wages and oppression, setting its story to a wide array of American music, including blues, spirituals, Motown, klezmer and folk, scored by one of Broadway’s most accomplished composers, Jeanine Tesori. With poignant lyrics and book by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Tony Kushner (Angels in America: A Gay Fantasia on National Themes), masterfully presented by Jefferson Performing Arts Society and Loyola University’s Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, Caroline, or Change is one of the season’s most powerful performances.

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