The 2008 Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival kicked off with a special evening of entertainment, conversations and fun in the French Quarter at Le Petit Theatre’s main stage, where performances took place honoring and reflecting upon the writer’s life. Afterwards, guests headed over to Café Amelie for a reception. Attendance at the five-day festival soared back to pre-Hurricane Katrina levels and new events, such as “Tennessee’s Got Talent,” a take on American Idol, were completely sold out.
Other highlights included a production of Bent to the Flame – A Night with Tennessee Williams, which was a solo performance. Also, New York actor Jeremy Lawrence, a regular at the festival, astounded audiences with his one-man show, Everyone Expects Me to Write Another Streetcar: Another Evening with the Playwright.
In addition to theatrical events, the festival also held panel discussions, many of which were devoted to political topics, as well as master classes, music and culinary offerings.
Most of the events took place in the French Quarter at sites such as the Historic New Orleans Collection, the Cabildo, Bourbon Orleans Hotel, Muriel’s Jackson Square, Palm Court Jazz Café, the Ritz-Carlton, the Windsor Court Hotel and Besh Steakhouse.
The festival ended on a high (and loud) note, as it does every year, with a
rousing “Stella and Stanley” shouting contest in Jackson Square.
Kevin Sessums, Pat Mason and David Hoover
Kathy Higgins and Terry Verigan
Jeremy Lawrence and Elizabeth Barron
Joshua Clark, Fred Todd, Peggy Scott Laborde and Danny Akers