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Defender Picks


Carmen: New Orleans Opera's Femme Fatale

The New Orleans Opera Association began its 2014-2015 season with a beautiful rendition of the classic opera Carmen. Bizet’s masterpiece first performed in Paris in 1875, but remains one of the most accessible operas. The music has been used so much by mass culture, people who’ve never seen an opera will have an immediate familiarity. The story’s simple to follow, and while it ends sadly, has many comic elements in its first three acts. 

Theatre Review: Broomstick

By Michael Martin

How do you make a hit? Give your audience something familiar, yes, but with enough of a spin to make them feel that leaving the house, finding a sitter and a place to park, is worth all the trouble. Two shows now running excel at crowd-pleasing craftsmanship.

Second City Staged at Saenger

Chicago Reviewed

The Broadway in America touring production of Chicago is bringing one of the America's most popular stage shows to NOLA. The Jazz Age musicalization of a 1920s drama occupies a unique place in American culture, having become to we’re-smarter-than-all-those-chumps cynicism (the chumps being, I guess, everybody outside the theatre) what Annie is to teeth-grinding optimism. The work centers on incarcerated murderesses, the diva Velma Kelly and the ingénue Roxie Hart. The duo are rivals for sympathetic press coverage as well as the attentions of prison matron Mama Morton and high-powered shyster Billy Flynn. Chicago purports to explore the American obsession with fame at any price. Really it’s a celebration of being hipper than thou.

State of Play: NOLA Theatre 10.07.29-10.14

Compiled by Michael Martin

NOLA has no shortage of theatre this week. Productions inspired by Ghostbuster and Star Trek are opening. Chicago is coming to town. Southern Rep and the NOLA Project are continuing their runs of meatier fare. At the universities, two plays about Marines in very different contexts are paying. That's just the start. Click through for full listings.

Procession of The Personal Saints

Fringe Rolls Out New Type of NOLA Party

The Fringe Fest is not known for sticking to the norms. So, it is no surprise that they are rolling out a new event that is part party, part parade, but not quite either. On November 22nd, the Bywater-Marigny will host the 1st Annual Procession of the Personal Saints.

Today in NOLA: 10.05.14

Today in New Orleans, loyal Who Dats will get on their kneesus and pray to Breesus as the Saints try to turn things around. Meanwhile, festing will continue in Gretna, players will perform downtown, and there will be brass on Frenchmen. In 1862 Calcasieu planters warned of arrival of Union troops in Lake Charles. Click through for more to do in 2014.

Theatre Review: A Lie of the Mind

By Michael Martin

Becca Chapman is now giving one of the greatest performances I’ve seen in my theatergoing life.

Not to put too fine a point on it. I noodled about with different openings for my review of the Elm Theatre production of Sam Shepard’s gorgeous A Lie of the Mind: comments about the challenges of scaling the heights of a modern masterwork and whether failure to hit every peak invalidates the attempt; about the prevalence of machismo as a theme of so many of the serious dramas in New Orleans this year; even about the inventiveness of director Joseph Furnari’s on-the-diagonal staging, which does everything imaginable to make an unsuitable venue work for the play. Any of those would’ve amounted to burying the lead. 

State of Play: NOLA Theatre 9.29-10.05

Compiled by Michael Martin

Theatre season is continuing to build up force. This week several new plays open. A one woman show takes on travel, a second one woman show deals with solitude, the NOLA Project wastes no time opening their next production, and the popular Ricky Graham rolls out his latest. Theatre fans will also have the opportunity to catch a few pieces before they close. COmplete listings follow.

Today in NOLA: 9.29.14

Welcome to fall. WhoDats can try to forget last night debacle with some live music or experimental theatre. On this day in LA history, rock 'n roll legend Jerry Lee Lewis was born in Ferriday in 1935. Now, read on to see what’s happening in 2014. 

Parsing the Veil

Theatre Review: Thin Walls

Here’s an insider’s tip for adventurous theatergoers: If Richard Mayer is listed in the cast, call for reservations. By day, a cheerful egalitarian booking shows for the Shadowbox Theatre (a venue that grows more valuable by the month), Mayer’s limited time onstage makes him extremely choosy about roles. Every show he’s done since his award winner, Red Light Winter, has been unusual thematically or structurally or both.

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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt

B. E. Mintz

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily