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Defender Picks


The Sunday Critic

If You Breathe, It Breaks
: The Glass Menagerie at ABCT

Gwendolyne Foxworth’s portrayal of Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie alone makes the ABTC production worth your time…at least if you haven’t visited Tennessee Williams’ game-changing memory play for awhile, or ever. (Even then, I assume no plot summary is necessary. This is one of those perennials that every theater lover “knows” even if they don’t know it.)

Southern Rep Releases 2015-2016 Schedule

Southern Rep still does not have a permanent home, but the local theatre company is rolling out lots of work. The group just announced their 2015-2016 schedule. Plays will tackle art versus reality, a Shreveport murder, masculinity framed by football, and a Tennessee Williams classic.

The Sunday Critic

Theatre Reviews: Two for Tennessee, Dinner With Friends

“If not for infidelity the lives of the middle class would have no drama at all,” said some famous writer whose name escapes me. One of the most divisive recent plays to address the repercussions of unfaithfulness, Donald Margulies’ 2000 Pulitzer winner Dinner with Friends, is running at the reinvigorated Le Petit in a semi-revival. (The director, René J.F. Piazza, and half of his four-person cast have been here twice before.) Respected theatre pundits dismiss Margulies’ drama as “upper-class white people’s problems,” but I’m a fan.

State of Play: Theatre Listings 4.02– 4.13

Compiled by Michael Martin

The Tennessee Williams Festival is over, but local theatres are continuing to stage works by the City's favorite playwright. Plus, a couple of shows salute Eartha Kitt and Patsy Cline. For all the happenings on stage this week, click on through.

The Sunday Critic

The Tender Trap

An easily abused theatrical device – having an actor or actors perform in silence during the pre-show – is enjoying resurgence. If you want to give it a try, let me recommend casting Jen Pagan. In Christopher Bentivegna’s staging of Rudy San Miguel’s new Human Resources, Pagan logs at least 15 minutes at her desk on Playhouse NOLA’s postage-stamp stage while the audience assembles (no lobby) before the play proper begins: signing and filing documents, making marginal notes, brewing coffee.

Depression Impression

Cripple Creek Introduces New Series Exploring WPA

Over the next few months, NoDef will partner with Cripple Creek Theatre to feature a series of articles about the history and legacy of the WPA in New Orleans. CCT cofounder introduces the project.

Cripple Creek Theatre Company’s Civilian Theatre Project intends to integrate theatre into the civic fabric of our city by exploring the works and legacy of the Federal Theatre Project. During the Great Depression, the federal government set about putting a large swath of Americans to work for the Works Progress Administration (WPA). The Federal Theatre Project was the WPA’s attempt to put over 15,000 theatrical professionals to work plying their trade.

State of Play: Theatre Listings 3.17-4.02

Compiled by Michael Martin

The spring theatre season is nearing its peak. Drama lovers will have lots of Tennessee Williams to check out in the weeks ahead. Plus, a couple of Broadway road shows are coming to town. Throw in some labor rights, a little cabaret, and a couple classics and you have some busy nights ahead.

The Sunday Critic

Theatre Reviews: Monsters, Stinky Cheese, & Sex Please

The Sunday Critic, finding his Sundays too restful, keeps falling behind in coverage of shows he found interesting. Short reviews of three shows I’ve seen lately (including one that has closed, simply for the acknowledgment) follow, in hopes of being ready to rise to the spring flood of shows soon to hit.

The Garden of Good Not Evil

Southern Rep’s Suddenly Last Summer

The fascinating aspect of Southern Rep’s Suddenly Last Summer is how much director Aimee Hayes and her expert cast have warmed up one of Tennessee Williams’ most luridly Gothic melodramas. Unlike their superb staging of A Streetcar Named Desire a few seasons ago (I missed the recent Night of the Iguana), which was thoroughly traditional in its interpretation of every element (excepting Stanley Kowalski), Last Summer is a genuine and generally successful, rethinking of one of Williams' good but not great works. The tone is closer to The Glass Menagerie than to, say, 27 Wagons Full of Cotton.

State of Play: Theatre Listings, 3.2-3.16

Compiled by Michael Martin

Theatre season is heating up. The next couple of weeks feature no less than 12 different new works opening. Anthony Bean Community Theater is taking on Shakespeare for the the first time. Cabaret abounds across town. A D&D inspired play continues its run. For full theatre listings, click on through.

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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

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