Jun 142018
 

The beloved characters from children’s author Mo Willems sing and dance their way through an hour-long vaudevillian romp suitable for the smallest theatre-goers and priced for families.

An elephant named Gerald and a pig named Piggie are best, best, “bestus” (a word Gerald and Piggie made up that means “very best”) friends, but Gerald worries that something could go wrong that would end their friendship. Piggie is not worried at all. She’s even happier and more excited than usual. That’s because she and Gerald are invited to a party hosted by the Squirrelles, three singing squirrels who love to have a good time.

And so begins a day when anything is possible. Pachydermal peril and swiney suspense ensue! Filled with beloved characters and lively songs, it’s a perfect way to introduce young people to theatre. Continue reading »

May 252018
 

Author Gary Alipio (left) and Illustrator Sarah Gramelspacher at the release of “The Craziest Fishing Tale on the Bayou” (Tyree Worthy, UptownMessenger.com)

Hatcher Hampton is turning twelve. Per family tradition, he’ll be entering his first fishing rodeo, hoping to prove he’s better than his older brother. First prize wins $500—money that could save his family from being evicted from their home—and the winner gets his picture in the front page of the paper! But getting stuck in a horsefly-infested swamp with Grampa Grump and no extra underwear isn’t what he had in mind.

This is the premise of New Orleans Author Gary Alipio’s first published children’s book, “The Craziest Fishing Tale on the Bayou.” Alipio celebrated the release with a launch party, book reading and signing at Octavia Books on Saturday, March 3. Continue reading »

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May 252018
 

Dominique McClellan (MLK) & Jason Kirkpatrick (LBJ) in Tony award-winning play ALL THE WAY presented by Southern Rep Theatre

The regional premiere of Tony Award-winning play ALL THE WAY by Robert Schenkkan is running now until June 3 at Loyola University Theatre with special events every day this weekend.

Presented by Southern Rep Theatre, the political drama follows Lyndon B. Johnson, Martin Luther King, Jr., and a huge cast of historical figures through the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Johnson’s re-election campaign.

ALL THE WAY received national acclaim in its 2014 run on Broadway, where it won the Tony Award for Best Play. Star Bryan Cranston—also a Tony Award winner—then reprised his role as LBJ in a 2016 HBO film adapted by playwright Robert Schenkkan.

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May 152018
 

YAYA, the non-profit arts community for local children and youth, will host their spring fundraiser Brass ‘N Glass this Friday, May 18. The free event will feature a glass demonstration by Juli Juneau, live music by CoolNasty, and an arts market with work by YAYA artists. Continue reading »

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May 112018
 

Blue Cypress Books on Oak, Octavia Books, Garden District Book Shop on Prytania and Tubby & Coo’s in Mid-City are collaborating Saturday on a scavenger hunt with $100 in gift certificates, as well as special events and exclusive merchandise, as part of the national Independent Bookstore Day the effort to promote local shops in a literary world increasingly dominated by mail-order companies and chains. Continue reading »

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May 072018
 

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Rick Bragg returned to Octavia Books on May 3 to present and sign his new book of classic southern recipes and lighthearted family stories, “The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table.” (Photo by Lauren LeCompte / Loyola Student News Service)

By Lauren LeCompte
Loyola Student News Service

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Rick Bragg returned to Octavia Books on May 3 to present and sign his new book, “The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table.” (Photo by Lauren LeCompte / Loyola Student News Service)

A Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and best-selling author returned to a New Orleans bookstore to present and sign his new book of classic Southern recipes and lighthearted family stories.

“What I wanted to pull off was the narrative of our food,” Alabama native Rick Bragg said.

Dozens gathered as Bragg presented and read from his book “The Best Cook in the World: Tales from My Momma’s Table” at Octavia Books on Thursday, May 3. Continue reading »

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May 022018
 

(via Octavia Books)

Pulitzer-winning author Rick Bragg — an Alabama native with a documented fondness for New Orleans (such as in his recent paean to The Columns Hotel and one of the nation’s most widely read interpreters of Southern culture — will present his newest book, “The Best Cook in the World,” on Thursday at Octavia Books. Continue reading »

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May 022018
 

Where to begin with this contrived foolishness?

I’ll start with the rent-a-voodoo princess who wears the bejeweled and feathered turban of a Hindu Maharaja. If that isn’t enough, she also travels with a Home Decor store crystal ball, Italian Tarot cards and sprinkles Arabian frankincense and myrrh from a miniature broom–the type my grandfather kept under the seat of his car.

Princess Catherina, available for readings, housewarmings, and bat mitzvahs (screenshot from Southern Charm New Orleans, Bravotv.com)

Bravo states that the Southern Charm New Orleans television series will follow an “elite circle of friends…born into prominent families,” presumably from New Orleans. “Presumably” being key. Continue reading »

May 012018
 

McDonogh 35 Senior High School’s marching band performs during Battle of the Bands at the “Instruments A-Comin” benefit concert, silent auction and community arts fair in front of Tipitina’s Monday evening. The fundraiser also includes a benefit concert with all proceeds dedicated to placing instruments in New Orleans school music programs (Claire Byun/cbyun@nolamessenger.com).

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Apr 272018
 

Jesmyn Ward listens as interviewer Nathaniel Rich poses a question during a reading at Garden District Books in October. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Novelist Jesmyn Ward — whose accolades include frequent comparisons to fellow Mississippian William Faulkner — will give this year’s commencement address to students at Tulane University, where she is a professor of English. Continue reading »

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Apr 262018
 

The limited engagement of ECLIPSED—award-winning play by Danai Gurira (Black Panther)—continues its run at Loyola University through Sunday, May 6. The black female-led production about five women during the Second Liberian Civil War is part of Southern Rep Theatre’s 2017-18 season in residence at Loyola’s Department of Theatre Arts and Dance.

Idella Johnson (L) & LaSharron Purvis performing ECLIPSE. (photo by John B. Barrios)

ECLIPSED is described as “a delicately drawn portrait of the captive wives of a rebel officer in Liberia in 2003. Each one works to find her own way to survive and her place within their tenuous community as the war draws to a close and an uncertain future awaits them. Gurira’s play celebrates their strength, resourcefulness, and humor within an unflinching examination of the human toll of the conflict.” Continue reading »

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Apr 232018
 

City Councilwoman Susan Guidry applauds and city hall staffers shoot video as Deacon John Moore sings on the City Council dais on Thursday, April 19. (photo via City of New Orleans)

When City Councilwoman Susan Guidry asked Deacon John Moore to reflect on his 60 years in the music business last week, he wished them off with a rendition of Nat King Cole’s “For All We Know.” Continue reading »

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Apr 122018
 

Level Artist Collective (photo courtesy of YAYA)

The five members of New Orleans-based Level Artist Collective will collaborate with YAYA Arts Center’s glass team on Friday the 13th to create pieces inspired by superstitions.

Join YAYA this Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. as they explore the limits of the imagination with “Until Something Breaks,” an experimental glass collaboration with the collective. The free event takes place at YAYA Arts Center, 3322 LaSalle St., and is suitable for all ages. Guests must be 21+ to drink. Continue reading »

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Apr 022018
 

Walter “Wolfman” Washington plays with his teeth during his performance at Jazz in the Park in Armstrong Park June 25, 2015. Washington is set to release a new album produced by Galactic’s Ben Ellman. (Zach Brien, UptownMessenger.com)

Walter “Wolfman” Washington, a veteran in the New Orleans scene for many years, is set to release his first studio album in 10 years: My Future is My Past.

This new record is unlike any he has ever done. He is recording without his band, The Roadmasters, who he has been playing with for nearly 40 years. There is no shortage of talent on this record, however, which features New Orleans’ stars singer Irma Thomas, pianist Jon Cleary, drummer Stanton Moore, and organist Ivan Neville.

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