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THE

Defender Picks

 

MERCREDI

August 23rd

Wine Down Wednesdays

New Orleans Jazz Museum, 6:30PM

Free yogalates at the Mint

 

The Heart of Herbalism

Rosalie Apothecary, 7PM

Syrups and immune health

 

Trapper Keeper

Side Bar, 8:30PM

Local improv music duo, feat. Dr. Jeff Albert

 

Trainspotting

Bar Redux, 9PM

Free screening of junkie masterpiece

 

Chris & Tami

The New Movement, 9:30PM

TNM's founders perform weekly free show

 

Vixens & Vinyl

One Eyed Jacks, 10:30PM

Burlesque dance party

JEUDI

August 24th

Summertime Blues

Shops at Canal Place, 5:30PM

Young professionals meet-up with blues, brews, and BBQ

 

Architecture & Design Film Festival Kick-Off

Contemporary Arts Center, 5:30PM

Opening night party and film

 

Yoga Social Club

Crescent Park, 5:45PM

Get sweaty and centered

 

Ogden After Hours

Ogden Museum, 6PM

Feat. Sweet Olive String Band

 

Ambush Reggae Band

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Local roots reggae group

 

Royal Teeth

Tipitina's, 9PM

Feat. Merci Raines and No True Scotsman

VENDREDI

August 25th

Friday Nights at NOMA

NOMA, 5PM

Feat. The Pfister Sisters

 

Exotic Races

Fair Grounds, 5PM

Races feat. ostriches and camels

 

More Lovely and More Temperate

Valiant Theatre and Lounge, 6PM

Performance of all 154 Shakespearean sonnets

 

Lil' WeezyAna Fest

Champions Square, 7PM

Feat. Gucci Man, Rich the Kid, Kodie Shane, YoungBoy NBA, and Lil Wayne

 

Drive-In On the Patio

Bar Redux, 9PM

Campy and cool movies, The Wasp Woman, Attack of the Giant Leeches, and The Giant Gila Monster

 

Little Maker & Mr. Universe

One Eyed Jacks, 9PM

Feat. special tribute to The Band

 

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Prytania Theatre, 12AM

Feat. NOLA's foremost shadow cast The Well-Hung Speakers

SAMEDI

August 26th

It's About TIME

Studio Be, 6PM

Artist conversation about oppression via symbols like the monuments

 

New Pride Pageant

Cafe Istanbul, 6PM

Honoring Mr & Miss New Orleans Pride 2017

 

New Orleans Saints vs. Houston Texans

SuperDome, 7PM

The Saints and Texans go head to head

 

Rick & Morty Marathon

Bar Redux, 9PM

Outdoor binge session for Dan Harmon's animated series

 

Swamp Motel

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Album release party for Louisiana rockers

 

Vox & The Hound

One Eyed Jacks, 10PM

Pop group, feat. psych band Midriff and Naughty Palace


An Earnest Rendition

Skin Horse Theatre Brings Oscar Wilde's Importance of Being Earnest to the CAC



In the appreciated absence of a histrionic reinterpretation of Oscar Wilde’s classic drawing-room comedy, The Importance of Being Earnest (directed by Garrett Prejean), Skin Horse Theatre presents this favorite at The Contemporary Arts Center with earnestness, indeed, as it chuckles through a witty evisceration of social institutions and classist expectations.

 

Set in the summer of 1895, late Victorian London, the production aligns its costumes and sets accordingly, but do not fear any embarrassing attempts at high-English accents or hysterical gesticulating ladies. Productions of Victorian drawing-room comedies can easily fail at the indulgence of such pageantry and camp, but, in this case, the gestures employed are considered; the accents are playful but not demented; the set is suggestive of upper-class elegance but not ostentatious. The cast wants you to laugh, but they also want you to hear them. Nothing obstructs the most important pursuit on stage: the actors delivering Wilde’s extravagant lines with ownership and authenticity. The dialogue is sliced smooth from the actors’ lips like so much butter for bread at high tea.

 

The most surprising and delightful artistic choice at recontextualizing this classic is the use of 80’s English rock band, The Smiths, as a soundtrack. Perhaps incongruous at first listen, but lead singer, Morrissey’s infatuation with and allusions to Oscar Wilde is a significant part of his iconography. Both artists are parallel in their pithy critiques of the absurd. Playing The Smiths, in view of their aesthetic connections to Wilde, illustrates his legacy and his still relevant point of view on society. The use of such musical anachronism lends the play a spirited and melancholic energy, unmooring Wilde’s play from a fixed time and place just as the characters on stage unmoor themselves from social expectations.

 

Nat Kusinitz’ John Worthing/Earnest is played with the anxiety of someone keeping a secret. Kusinitz plays between testy and nervous to bold and determined when pushed to his limits by the queen of propriety, Lady Bracknell (Lynae LeBlanc). LeBlanc plays Wilde’s behemoth with the dignity intrinsic to her severe nature but pushes the persona to loony, preaching dame. Her parodying diction, ridiculous rolling consonants and mortified reactions to the general indecorousness of others lend the production a lot of comedy. Lady Bracknell’s daughter, Gwendolen Fairfax (Veronica Hunsinger-Loe) has equal fun delivering her lines with unexpected intonations and humorous mispronunciations. Watching her move back and forth from an aroused passionate lover to a disempowered controlled girl was scene-stealing. Her more ferocious side is delightfully drawn out by a supposed rival, the wispy and elusive Cecily Cardew (Lucy Faust). Cecily’s lover, Algernon Moncrieff, is played by Brian Fabry Dorsam. Stuffing his face with cucumber sandwiches or muffins, he plays the privileged dandy with ease. His physical presence is relaxed and natural, undercutting Moncrieff’s mischievousness.

 

After all the drama of mistaken identity, rescinded engagements and double lives has been resolved, the cast celebrates with a charming group dance number to The Smiths’ “Ask.” The hand slapping and leg kicking is deserved for among all the characters there is at last a relieving new sense of freedom. These Victorian prisoners are giddy because the rigid social sphere, in part a culture of shame, is dismantling. For example, Earnest no longer has to conceal his inferior birth. This “trivial comedy for serious people” is a funny reevaluation of marriage’s sacredness that in its absurdity pushes for emancipation at every level. The freed lovers dance to the lyrics, “Coyness is nice, and coyness can stop you from saying all the things in life you'd like to. So, if there's something you'd like to try, if there's something you'd like to try, ask me - I won’t say "no" -how could I ?” Now that’s a proposal that doesn’t ring of ever after, but it sure sounds like fun.

 

Catch the play for two more weekends at the CAC. For showtimes and ticket information, click here.

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Contributors

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

Photographers


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor

Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily