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Defender Picks


State of Play: Theatre Listings 7.16-7.23

Compiled by Michael Martin

A lively pair of musicals and the blackest of black comedies open soon. Plus Halley's Comet continues her ride and Earnest stays important. For a full listing of this week's theatrical offerings, click on through.

State of Play: Theatre Listings 7.09-7.15

Compiled by Michael Martin

The week is filled with fresh works on the stage. The Princess and the Pea and Pinochio offer family friendly fare. Incarnate, and The Importance of Being Earnest kick off the Tulane Shakespeare Fest. For actual Shakespeare, The Tempest is playing downtown. Click through for complete listings.

State of Play: Theatre Listings 7.01-7.15

Compiled by Michael Martin

Save for the fifth anniversary of Debauchery, Pat Bourgeois’ much-loved monthly soap opera parody, July is filled with all-new productions. The Princess and the Pea and Pinochio will entertain audiences of all ages. Shakespeare is well represented Uptown and a "sidewalk sale" at the Old marquer celebrates smaller works. Click through for complete listings.

The Sunday Critic

All the Way Home: 
The Color Purple at ABCT

I doubt there’s another show on a New Orleans stage that better proves the primacy of the performer over the performed than The Color Purple, now in its closing weekend at the Anthony Bean Community Theater. Almost none of the songs (by the non-legendary team of Brenda Russell, Alice Willis, and Stephen Bray) rise above rudimentary. The beyond-complicated script is a hot mess, adapted (more from the beloved Spielberg film than from Alice Walker’s novel) by Marsha Norman, who must have set herself the task of offering a Cook’s tour through every trope of African-American theatre she could think of. There are scenes on the cotton fields, in the gospel church, at the juke joint, in Africa… everywhere but Harlem, I think. 

State of Play: Theatre Listings, 6.12-6.17

Compiled by Michael Martin

For those with classical tastes Cymbeline is opening the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival. If you're lookign for somehting a bit campier, The Great American Trailer Park Musical is in Mandeville. Strays and Blackbird are continuing to please critics. For all of the theatre this week, click on through.


Sunday Critic: The Miracle Worker

By Michael Martin

The Sunday Critic spends so much time in over his head in storefronts, parsing new work and non-traditional stagings that it’s easy to forget, or under-rate, the satisfactions to be had from the traditional American well-made play. William Gibson’s evergreen The Miracle Worker is enjoying a near-perfect revival at the Bayou Playhouse under the loving guidance of Bayou artistic director Perry Martin, who began his career with a production of the classic showdown between teacher Annie Sullivan and blind-and-deaf “wild child” Helen Keller almost three decades ago. With a couple of audience-demand performances added to this closing weekend, you can just make it to Lockport if you jump in the car.

Today in NOLA: 6.05.15

Whether you’re uptown or downtown there is a lot of funk tonight. In the Quarter, there is theatre and down by the river, Jaws is showing. Trumpet Black will also receive one final sendoff. On this day in 1953, Louis Armstrong started working on the film The Glen Miller Story. Now, more Friday happenings.

State of Play: Theatre Listings 6.03-6.09

Compiled by Michael Martin

Three major dramas open this week, including two area premieres and one world premiere. Plus, a couple hits continue their run. So, as the weather heats up, enjoy the cool inside of a theatre. Click through for full listings.

The Cradle Will Rock

Part II: The Show Must Go On

In 1937, the Great Depression raged and unions began to rise. Amdist an atmosphere of anxiety and unrest, The Cradle Will Rock was rehearsed. Part I of this series expains that background. In this installment, we pick up after the Memorial Day Massacre.

When a telegram from Washington came on June 11, the company assumed their fears had come true. Bureaucrats ordered that the show - and all other openings for Federal Theatre Project performances - be postponed until the new fiscal year. The WPA hired guards to lock the doors of the Maxine Elliott Theatre on 39th street. Costume, props, and Orson Welles’ scenery were also guarded. Cradle’s opening had been set for June 16, and the company was livid.

Cripple Creek Talks About Playing With Others

Performance Positing by Francesca McKenzie of Cripple Creek

For the last several months, the Cripple Creek Theatre Company (CCTC) has run columns in NoDef as part of the Civilian Theatre Project, an effort to take our dramatic efforts far beyond the fourth wall and into the community. However, the concept of collaboration extends into our work beyond a few articles. In this piece, I want to take the time to discuss how theatre can be much more than the action on the stage. CCTC tries to achieve this effect on an internal scale as well as through joint efforts with likeminded entities.

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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