Announcements: Local Art and Culture

McKenna Museum Anniversary Weekend

Friday, Feb. 27 – Saturday, Feb. 28

WHAT:          The George & Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art is celebrating its first anniversary of its grand reopening with the exhibition, Priceless: The Private Collection of Dr. Dwight McKenna. The exhibit’s highlight is the unveiling of two 7-foot portraits of the institution’s namesakes — George and Leah — commissioned by Haitian fine artist, Ulrick Jean-Pierre. Family Day will feature guided tours, storytelling, hands-on arts and crafts activities, chess and Scrabble tables, vendors, a Hip-Hop 101 workshop and much more.
WHEN:          6 to 9 p.m., Friday, Feb. 27

Priceless: The Private Collection of Dr. Dwight McKenna Exhibition

11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 28.

Family Day

WHERE:        The George & Leah McKenna Museum of African American Art, 2003 Carondelet St., New Orleans, 70130.

OTHER:            Admission is free to the opening reception. Entertainment will be provided by The Theron Lewis Trio and light fare will be served. Regular museum admission is required for Family Day, which is co-sponsored by C.R.E.E.D.  For more information on C.R.E.E.D., visit

Wild Mushrooms, a New Comedy by Annie Pie at Teatro Wego! Dinner

The Jefferson Performing Arts Society is proud to present the regional premiere of WILD MUSHROOMS, A New Comedy by Annie Pie on stage March 6-22 at the Teatro Wego! Dinner Theatre, 177 Sala Avenue in Westwego. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30PM and Sunday at 2PM. Veteran actor/producer/director of stage, film and television, T.J. Castronovo directs a cast of local talent in this hilarious mafia comedy.

Tickets are $26 for adults, $23 for seniors and military, $19 for students (with valid ID) and $12 for children (12 and under). Before every Sunday performance there is a Champagne Brunch in Teatro Wego!, $15/per person. $8 for children (12 and under). Advance reservations required. Call 504.885.2000 or visit to reserve your tickets or make reservations for the Champagne Brunch today!

This new comedy set in the Bronx, revolves around the Scrivente family, as seen through the eyes of thirteen year-old Joey Scrivente. Joey’s father, Benny, is a widowed postal worker struggling to raise Joey and his two daughters, Dodie and Regina. Proud of her father’s cooking, Dodie unwittingly invites the Mafia over for a family Sunday dinner. It’s crazy, clairvoyant Aunt Rose’s unorthodox hors d’oeuvres that pack an unexpected wallop leading to comedic mayhem for this Italian family! This hilarious new comedy is sure to have you rolling in the aisles!

 Dane Rhodes (left) stars as Benny Scrivente, the head of this Italian household. A well known figure in the New Orleans theater community, Rhodes has been directing and acting on New Orleans’ stages for the past thirteen years. His favorite acting credits include the films A LOVE SONG FOR BOBBY LONG, JUST MY LUCK and DEJA VU. Favorite Stage credits include:  MACBETH AT THE GATES, THE FULL MONTY and THE MURDER GAME which premiered in The West End of London.   He is currently in production for the movie COOL DOG. Rhodes recently finished directing OVER THE RIVER AND THROUGH THE WOODS and THE ARMSTRONG HOTEL at Rivertown Rep. His latest work with JPAS includes directing last season’s productions of THE QUEEN OF BINGO and JOEY AND MARY’S IRISH ITALIAN WEDDING.

Janet Shea (left) stars as eccentric Aunt Rose. WILD MUSHROOMS marks Janet Shea’s third time working with JPAS this season, although she is a seasoned veteran of the JPAS stages. She recently appeared as Mrs. Potts in the JPAS Production of DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST and directed this season’s family holiday hit, MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET.

Starring as the young insightful Joey Scrivente is Dominick Lloyd. Dominick was last seen on the JPAS stages in OVER THE TAVERN as Georgie. Although the youngest member of the cast, Dominick has performed at several theaters throughout the New Orleans are including Rivertown Rep and Le Petit Theatre. Favorite roles include Nathan Lukowski in Le Petit’s THE FULL MONTY, Jerome in Rivertown’s SOUTH PACIFIC and Peter Pan with the Storyland Players in City Park.

Playing the Scrivente daughters is Lynne Lawrence as Dodie Scrivente, Angie Joachim as Regina Scrivente. They are joined by Lenny Minutillo as Mario, Earl Scioneaux as Angelo Pecorino, Jason Kirkpatrick as Eviel and Joe Bonelli as "The Don."
JPAS is proud to collaborate with director T.J. Castronovo (left) for this regional premiere. Castronovo is a veteran actor, producer and director. As an actor, he performed in over one hundred TV shows and for three years played Tommy the Bartender in "Taxi". As a television and film producer, his work includes: episodes of the series, "Tales From The Darkside" and the CBS series "Police Brass;" the feature films "Double Revenge" and "The Shipment;" and most recently, "The Boiler Maker."

Castronovo received the Drama League Critics Award for directing  "Brooklyn USA" at the Actor’s Forum Theater. Other directorial credits of stage and film include: the feature film "TheBiz;" several episodes of "Tales From the Darkside;" and the off-Broadway world premiere production of "Wild Mushrooms." Recently, his production company, CRC Entertainment, produced "Viagara Falls", a new hit comedy that is currently touring the United States and Canada.
WILD MUSHROOMS, A New Comedy By Annie Pie. Directed by T.J. Castronovo. Costumes by Kelly James Penot and Laura E. Jordan.  Lighting Design by Ryan Hauenstein. Sound Design by Kristen Carrier. Props by Joshua J. Tiska. Acting Technical Director: Daniel Graham. Master Carpenter: Elizabeth Broomall

More about Jefferson Performing Arts Society:
The Jefferson Performing Arts Society is a non-profit arts organization founded by Dennis G. Assaf and Hannah Cunningham dedicated to artistic and cultural enrichment for the Gulf South since 1978. Our mission is to support, produce and promote the performing arts in Jefferson and its surrounding areas. <>

Palm Court Jazz Cafe Listings for March

01 Lucien Barbarin & Sunday Night Swingsters feat. Mark Braud
02 closed
03 closed
04 lars Edegran & Topsy Chapman w/Palm Court Jazz Band
05 Leroy Jones & Katja Toivola w/Crescent City Joymakers
06 Lucien Barbarin w/Palm Court Jazz Band
07 Lionel Ferbos w/Palm Court Jazz Band
08 Lucien Barbarin w/Sunday Night Swingsters feat. Steve Pistorius
09 closed
10 closed
11 Lars Edegran & Topsy Chapman w/Palm Court Jazz Band
12 Crescent City Joymakers feat. Tom Sancton
13 Lucien Barbarin w/Palm Court Jazz Band
14 Lionel Ferbos w/Palm Court Jazz Band
15 Lucien Barbarin w/Sunday Night swingsters feat. Tom Fischer
16 closed
17 closed
18 Lars Edegran & Topsy Chapman w/Palm Court Jazz Band
19 Eddie Bayard & Crescent City Joymakers
20 Lucien Barbarin w/Palm Court Jazz Band
21 Lionel Ferbos w/Palm Court Jazz Band
22 Lucien Barbarin w/Sunday Night Swingsters feat. Tim Laughlin
23 closed
24 closed
25 closed for private party
26 Crescent City Joymakers
27 Lucien Barbarin w/Palm Court Jazz Band
28 Lionel Ferbos w/Palm Court Jazz Band
29 Lucien Barbarin w/Sunday Night Swingsters feat. Duke Heitger
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31 closed

AUDITION:  Sunday Feb 15. Marigny Theatre 2-5pm.

Email for sides and audition appointment:
Include your Stageclick link or attach theater resume to email.

Two male roles:

1.    any race, mid-30s. Burly, "Bear", possibly a former Marine.
2.    any race, 20s. Attractive club boi "Twink".

No nudity is required, but dialog is often explicitly sexual. Bring headshot and resume to audition appointment.

Set in San Francisco in 1985, JERKER concerns 2 lonely men terrified by "the gay cancer" who develop a meaningful, healing connection via phone sex. It’s a naughty, nasty play with redeeming social value.  Baptists will picket.

Written by Robert Chesley, JERKER is one of the first full-length plays to deal with AIDS. Now in its 25th year, its themes are urgently relevant today, especially in our current political climate. The New Orleans production is a regional premier. Here is a review of its 20th anniversary production:

A member of the Big Easy Theatre Awards nominating committee, Frederick Mead is a prolific writer, actor, and director. Recent projects include John James Audubon in the LA Living History Project and the 7-week run of Out Comes Butch. JERKER is the third San Francisco work that Frederick has helped to debut in New Orleans.

If you’re not parading this Carnival season, WYES will keep you in the Mardi Gras spirit
MARDI GRAS STORIES, Thursday, February 12 at 7:00 p.m.

The rich culture of New Orleans has always been enhanced by the traditional celebration of Mardi Gras.  So much has contributed to the way Mardi Gras is still celebrated today.  This one- hour program looks back at the old French Opera House and the history of Comus, the first Carnival organization to present a New Orleans style parade. Learn about the origin of the doubloon, hear from a family who visited during Mardi Gras over a century ago and from others who share their Mardi Gras Stories.  Hosted by Peggy Scott Laborde.  Produced by Ashli Richard.
STEPPIN’ OUT: CARNIVAL TIME, Sunday, February 15 at 8:00 p.m.
If you’re a fan of WYES’ weekly arts and entertainment program STEPPIN’ OUT hosted by Peggy Scott Laborde, then you won’t want to miss WYES’ Carnival special highlighting the 2009 Mardi Gras season. Peggy and guests Errol Laborde, Mardi Gras historian, and Arthur Hardy, publisher of Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide, discuss the Krewe of Zulu’s Centennial, how anniversary dates are calculated by Carnival krewes, the anniversary of the Doubloon; when parades face rainout and their back-up plans and the significance of this year’s February 24th date in Carnival history.

THE 2009 REX BALL AND THE MEETING OF THE COURTS OF REX AND COMUS , Tuesday, February 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Live from the Sheraton Hotel, hosts Peggy Scott Laborde and Errol Laborde, along with Carnival historian Henri Schindler, will provide coverage and background information on one of the highlights of the Mardi Gras season. Ronnie Virgets will narrate a feature on Mardi Gras in 1959 and a century ago. Marcia Kavanaugh will narrate a segment on Rex’s royal costumer Susu Kearney. Another vignette will look back on the visit during Carnival of the Russian Grand Duke Alexis Romanov.
The broadcast will also include interviews with Carnival royalty past and present. Coordinating producer is Barbara Sillery. Executive producers are Peggy Scott Laborde and Jim Moriarty. Associate producer is Ashli Richard.


Please note the change in the 2009 season line-up below (COMPANY).

Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane University’s will hold auditions in February for its 42nd season of productions: Oliver!, COMPANY, and South Pacific.

Auditions for Performers Age 17 and Up
Auditions for performers age 17 and up will be held Saturday, February 14, 2009. Group dance auditions will begin at 9:30 am in Dixon Hall. Dancers are encouraged to bring tap shoes.
Vocal auditions will be held in five-minute blocks in the Dixon Annex Recital Hall beginning at 12:30 pm. Dancers and singers are asked to bring a current headshot or photograph and a resume. Singers also need to bring sheet music for a two to three minute song. An accompanist will be provided for the vocal auditions.
Singers should call 865-5271 to schedule an audition time.
Auditions for Performers Age 16 and Under
Auditions for performers age 16 and under will be held Sunday, February 15, 2009 at 1:00 pm in Dixon Hall. All performers 16 and under will learn and perform a short bit of choreography at 1:00 pm so wear comfortable clothes. Vocal auditions will begin at 2:00 pm. Please bring a current headshot or photograph and a resume and sheet music for a two to three minute song. An accompanist will be provided for the vocal auditions.
Oliver! begins rehearsals on May 28 and runs June 18 – 21. Rehearsals for COMPANY begin June 22 and will run July 9 – 12. The season closes with South Pacific.  These rehearsals begin July 13, and the show will run July 30 – August 2.

Mature, classically trained singers, and seasoned character actors along with traditional musical comedy performers of all ages are needed and encouraged to audition. 

A message from Colleen Porter
Colleen Porter, a native New Orleanian and a singer/songwriter, has produced two Cds, “Faith in New Orleans” and “I love my City New Orleans.” All of the songs on these Cds are original. They were written and sung by Colleen. Actress Ann Margret is singing “I Miss New Orleans” in her onstage performances. Ms. Margret was in the remake of “Streetcar Named Desire.” She must have felt nostalgic when she heard the lyrics of Colleen’s song
Signs and sounds from right out of a movie scene/ Moss covered trees decorate streets of my dreams/ I’m missin Mardi Gras/ Riding a St. Charles Street Car.”

Colleen Porter and Ann Margret- two ladies who love New Orleans! And Sing about it!

Colleen has appeared on Clear Channel, PR, WWOZ and plans to appear on WWL in the near future singing songs from her CD. For more information regarding her music visit

Mark Your Calendars for Entertaining and Enlightening
Literary Events Sponsored by The Faulkner Society in 2009

February 17, 2009: 7 to 10 p. m.
Krewe of Libris
The fourth annual meeting of the Krewe of Libris, a fun event, will take place at the Cabildo. Last year’s monarchs, Libris III and his queen and our muse, Thalia III, Mr. and Mrs. Ronald Pincus,
will announce crown the new monarchs. The event is co-sponsored by the Louisiana State Museum. Admission is $25 for paid up Faulkner Society members in good standing; $75 per person for non-members. Patron membership in the Krewe of Libris is $250 per couple. The costume theme is Classics Revisited.

March 13, 2009: 5 to 7 p. m.
Meet the Author: Tim Gautreaux
Louisiana author Tim Gautreaux has written a brilliant new novel titled, The Missing. Don’t miss this event with one of our favorite and most talented native sons. 5 to 7 p. m., 624 Pirate’s Alley, New Orleans, LA.

Sunday, May 17, 2009, 4:30 to 6:30 p. m.
M eet the Author: Michael Malone
Join us in celebrating the words of one of America’s best writers and wittiest men, Michael Malone, author of the new novel, Four Corners of the Sky. Malone also is author of the southern classic Handling Sin and three well received literary mysteries – Uncivil Seasons, Time’s Witness, and First Lady – as well as numerous other novels and short stories. Co-sponsored by the Lousiana State Museum, the event will take place at The Cabildo from 5 to 7 p. m.

July 1, 2009
Meet the Author: Reza Aslan
The distinguished religious scholar, and Middle East commentator for CBS, Reza Aslan, will be with us to discuss his new book, How to Win a Cosmic War. Aslan’s first book is the New York Times bestselling, No god but God: The Origins, Evolution, and Future of Islam, which has been translated into 13 languages, short-listed for the Guardian First Book Award in the UK, and nominated for a PEN USA award for research Non-Fiction. Resa will be with us to discuss his new book at an event co-sponsored by the Louisiana State Museum at the Cabildo. Starting time to be announced.

William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition Opens
The 2009 William Faulkner – William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition opened on January 15. Final deadli ne for entries is May 1, 2009.  For information about our prizes and guidelines governing entries, visit <<>>  and when you20get to the welcome page, click on Faulkner – Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, where you will be directed to guidelines, previous winners, and background information about the Society and the competition.

Julia Reed, Bryan Batt to appear at Art In Bloom 2009 at NOMA
Springtime fixture set for March 11-15
[Hi-res image of painting by Auseklis Ozols available upon request.]
NEW ORLEANS, La. (Thursday, January 22, 2009)–Author and television commentator Julia Reed, actor Bryan Batt (Mad Men), Chef Sue Zemanick (Gautreau’s), and artist Tim Trapolin are among the luminaries scheduled to participate in Art In Bloom 2009, the annual springtime celebration of floral arrangements, educational programs and social events set for March 11-15 at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
The Twenty-first Art In Bloom is a joint project of the Museum and the Garden Study Club of New Orleans. The five-day events showcases over 100 exhibitors of creative floral designs, sculptures and scenes, and benefits educational projects and exhibitions at NOMA and projects of The Garden Study Club. Beneficiaries include the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, the New Orleans Botanical Gardens at City Park, the Restoration of the Gardens of Project Lazarus, and Longue Vue House and Gardens.
The annual Art In Bloom Patron Party, one of the spring’s premier social events in New Orleans, and the subsequent Preview Party, will be held Wednesday, March 11. The popular Art In Bloom lecture series and the annual Art In Bloom luncheon are scheduled for the following day, Thursday, March 12.
NOMA’s Caroline Calhoun and Marilee Hovet of the Garden Study Club are co-chairing Le Jardin des Arts, as this year’s festival is known. "The rich and varied culture of the arts in New Orleans is a theme that runs through every aspect of life in our city" said Hovet. "Our goal this year is to put local artists in the limelight."
More about Art in Bloom
The featured categories of Art In Bloom 2009 are: Garden Clubs, Artists, Exterior and Creative Designers, Bonsai/Ikebana, Professional Designers and Young Artists. Over 100 exhibitors will take part in this dazzling display of talent. Among the 2009 Movers and Shakers will be Zemanick and Batt. Zemanick was recently honored by Food and Wine Magazine (April 2008) as one of the "Top Ten Best New Chefs in America" and was chosen by Louisiana Cooking Magazine as one of "Five Chefs to Watch in Louisiana." New Orleans native Batt is an acclaimed actor of both stage and screen. Currently he can be seen on television Emmy Award-winning drama Mad Men. Batt is also co-owner of the boutique Hazelnut on Magazine Street in New Orleans.
More about the Patron Party
The five-day event kicks off with the Patron and Preview Party on Wednesday, March 11. Party Chairs Holly Mentz and Michele Romano are hard at work planning a spectacular opening night. Auction Chairs Elaine Gleason, Kay McArdle and Kim Page are thrilled to announce that an original Auseklis Ozols painting created expressly for Art In Bloom will appear on the invitation and will be the featured item at the Live Auction to take place at the Preview Party. Over 1,200 guests are expected to attend this premiere viewing of the floral fantasies and talent that make Art In Bloom a springtime must-see in New Orleans.
More about lectures and related events
Pam Hayne and Leah Whann are pleased to announce that the Thursday lecturers will be Julia Reed and Tim Trapolin. Reed, a contributing editor of Vogue and Newsweek, has called New Orleans home since 2005. A collection of her essays about the South, Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena, was published in 2004. Her book, The House on First Street, My New Orleans Story, was published in 2008, as well as Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns and Other Southern Specialties: An Entertaining Life (with Recipes), a collection of her food columns, published in The New York Times Magazine from 2001 to 2004. The transplant from Greenville, Mississippi appears regularly on MSNBC and CNN.
Trapolin is a past Art In Bloom favorite, featured on the invitation cover in 1994. A graduate of Tulane School of Architecture and Newcomb Art School, Trapolin headed the Art Department at the Louise S. McGehee School and worked with Louisette Brown and Pam Hayne in the design team Anything Grows. His travels and studies abroad have taken him throughout Europe and the United Kingdom as well as India, Egypt and South America. About his hometown, Trapolin says, "There is a depth of inspiration here like nowhere else–from the Himalayas to the Highlands, East or West, home is best!"
Susan Wormser, Winnie Brown and Dana Hansel are planning a Thursday luncheon at the Pavilion of the Two Sisters, following the two morning lectures. Saks Fifth Avenue will again provide the fashions.
Art In Bloom will remain on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art through Sunday, March 15, 2009. Le Jardin des Arts will be a feast for the senses as it proudly honors the rich artistic community that uniquely defines New Orleans.
About NOMA and the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden
The New Orleans Museum of Art, founded in 1910 by Isaac Delgado, houses more than 30,000 art objects encompassing 4,000 years of world art. Works from the permanent collection, along with continuously changing temporary exhibitions, are on view in the Museum’s 46 galleries Wednesdays from noon to 8 p.m. and Thursdays to Sundays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission to the Museum is free to Louisiana residents through the generosity of The Helis Foundation.
Admission to the adjacent Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, featuring work by 58 artists, including several of the 20th century’s master sculptors, is always free during regular Museum hours.
The New Orleans Museum of Art and the Sculpture Garden are fully accessible to handicapped visitors and wheelchairs are available from the front desk.
Queer electro-pop superstar NICKY CLICK heads to New Orleans on February 28
New Hampshire’s resident electro-pop queen NICKY CLICK is coming to New Orleans on February 28 at Dragon’s Den. NickyClick is a producer, beat maker, video artist, songwriter and performance artist. Her sophomore album, I’m On My Cell Phone, out on Olympia, WA’s Crunks Not Dead Records, is filled with original, catchy electro-pop songs that have all the memorable hooks to keep ‘em in your head for days, while also telling the story of this unique artist’s life and experience as a queer femme and feminist.  The characters represented by NickyClick are reflective of the many sides and parts of the gal herself; the ones she wants to hide, the ones she is ashamed of; the sexy side, the smart side. In presenting these faces to audiences and listeners (through song and performance), NickyClick hopes that viewers will feel an opportunity to "let go" and break down walls of limitation. The intention is to create a space and dialogue where people (especially women and queers) can release societal standards, and create their own. NickyClick draws comparisons to Peaches, Miranda July, Le Tigre and Sadie Benning, and has shared stages with Lady Sovereign, Scream Club, ESG, Tender Forever, Yo Majesty, Deadlee, Team Dresch, Michelle Tea, The Blow, The Gossip, Anna Oxygen and many more. She was named 2006 Emerging Artist of the Year for her films and music by the Flaming Film Festival. She helps run the collective independent label Crunks Not Dead. She has played prestigious festivals such as Homo A Go Go, Estrojam, Mondo Homo, Peace Out East, as well as Ladyfests and pride festivals nationwide. Her videos have played in theatres and festivals such as the Berlin Queer Festival, Mania TV and the GLBT Milan Film Festival.

Above & Beyond Comes to Ampersand
European trance DJ trio ABOVE & BEYOND will be hitting the hottest clubs in North America this February including AMPERSAND in NEW ORLEANS during MARDI GRAS on MONDAY, FEBRUARY 23 as they celebrate the February 16 release of their latest album ANJUNADEEP:01.
Interviews and Press Materials are available to advance the show!
ANJUNADEEP:01 (ULTRA Records) is the debut compilation for Anjunadeep, the melodic and progressive house offshoot that has grown from being a promising sibling label to the Anjunabeats label to a dynamic and influential imprint in it’s own right, winning fans such as James Zabiela, Desyn Masiello, Eric Prydz, and Laurent Garnier, and receiving a nomination for “Best Record Label” at DJ Mag’s Best of British Awards 2008. The 2-disc set of spirited melodic house music features various artists, including Anjunadeep stalwart Jaytech who will join the trio as support during this tour, as well as a special remix of Radiohead’s “Reckoner”, officially licensed via XL Recordings for the physical format only.
ABOVE & BEYOND—Tony McGuinness, Paavo Siljamaki, and Jono Grant—got together in 2000 to remix Chakra’s “Home” and have been making music together ever since. The trio have performed all over the world in clubs and festivals including the Coachella Music & Arts Festival, and performed to 1 million people in Rio de Janeiro for a 2007 New Year’s Eve show. Winners of the Essential Mix of the Year (2004) and currently ranked in the top 10 poll for DJ Magazine’s Top DJs, they can also be heard on over 15 FM, Internet, and Satellite radio stations worldwide on their show “Trance Around the World”.


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