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Rosa Keller Library (5:00-9:00 PM)
My House NOLA presents a rolling food vendor mini festival
Maple Leaf (8:00PM)
Feel the Mardi Gras Indian beat with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux
Rebirth Brass Band
Crescent City Farmers Market
Meschiya Lake and the Little Big Horns
The Antenna Gallery (7:00 PM)
A series of music-themed movies and documentaries, curated and hosted by DJ Soul Sister, and co-presented by Charitable Film Network, Press Street, and WWOZ
Jewish Community Center (7:30 PM)
The second evening of a chamber music festival that has something for classical aficionados and dilettantes alike
Circle Bar (10:00 PM)
Catch the Indie rockers on their North American tour
NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden (5:00 PM)
The NOLA Project presents this festive comedy that pits two of Shakespeare's most beloved characters, Benedick and Beatrice, in a war of words and wits
1445 Pauger Street (6:00 PM)
Cultural philanthropists Dorian and Kel Bennett have opened their historic Marigny home for this inaugural event with music, theater and dance performances
Circle Bar (10:00 PM)
Punk rock on Lee Circle
Walter Wolfman Washington
d.b.a. (10:00 PM)
Fiery blues on Frenchmen - every week
Curren$y's Jet Lounge
Blue Nile (10:00 PM)
The NOLA rapper's weekly party
Banks Street Bar (10:00 PM)
Blues rock and BLTs!
Country Club (All Day)
Weekly Wed Gig- $3 martinis and free admission for the service industry folks.
Tom McDermott and Meschiya Lake
Chickie Wah Wah (8:00PM)
Weekly Wed Gig- Piano man meets a golden voice.
Aurora Nealand and the Royal Roses
Weekly Wed Gig- Gypsy jazz upstairs in the Marigny
Hi-Ho Lounge (8:00PM)
Weekly Wed Gig- from the street to the stage. Midnight Snax throwdown follows at 10pm.
dba (7:00 PM)
Weekly Wed Gig- The world's premiere washboard-sousaphone-guitar trio.
Treme Brass Band
Candlelight Lounge (9:00 PM)
Weekly Wed Gig- Pass on by and see the 6th Ward’s home band
NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden (5:00 PM)
The NOLA Project presents this festive comedy that pits two of Shakespeare's most beloved characters in a war of words and wits
City Park’s Botanical Garden (5:00 PM)
New Orleanian songwriter performs at the weekly outdoor concert series
The Ogden Museum (6:00 PM)
Singer/ songwriter who has recently performed at Austin City Limits Music Festival and provided tour support for Raul Malo and the Wood Brothers
The Foundation Gallery (6:00 PM)
A screening of Maya's award-winning animation "Pareidolia" followed by a Q &A with the artist
Snug Harbor (8:00 & 10:00 PM)
The third evening of a chamber music festival that has something for classical aficionados and dilettantes alike
Hi Ho Lounge (9:00 PM)
Hip hop artist raps on St. Claude with his album Trap Hop
Circle Bar (10:00 PM)
Performing tracks from the new album 'What a World'
Fringe Binge, Vol. 5
More New Orleans Fringe Festival Shows Held Up to the Light
As the New Orleans Fringe Fest rolls on, so too do NoDef reviews. The latest helping includes tales of being buried alive, new takes on the works of Edward Gorey cards and Shakespeare and intimacy. Click through to peruse:
Ringing Out The Dead
Before the dawn of modern medicine, there were no obvious standards in place for doctors to adequately decipher whether a human had passed away or was simply taking a nap. Consequently, there was the real danger of finding yourself buried alive one day. To rectify this possibility, safety coffins came on the scene, roping those interred too soon to a bell above their grave that would ring out once they awoke, signaling the need (and one would assume, desire) for disentombment.
This is where writer/director Eric Ward’s delightful black comedy Ringing Out the Dead begins. Above a cemetery plot in England toward the end of the 19th Century, a bell sounds. Dumbfounded, a fidgety, well-intentioned man (Thomas Michailidis), whose sole occupation is to exhume the prematurely buried, temporizes while he grapples with his terror and moral obligations.
Meanwhile, inside the tomb, a sharp-witted, world-wearied socialite (performed flawlessly by Clint Johnson), recognizing that he had been laid to rest without his knowledge, ponders cheerfully if his new solitary world underground might be better than the one he departed.
When earth is moved and these two men of very different means and convictions are close enough to communicate, a brilliant repartee transpires, which addresses some of the most dogged of existential questions.
With snappy monologues and dialogue, genuinely funny performances, and a splendidly morbid subject manner, the aptly named Prolix Productions’ Ringing Out the Dead gives us voluble absurdity at a breakneck pace. Highly recommended. Ringing Out the Dead plays at The Elm Theatre (220 Julia St.) on Nov. 17 at 5 & 9 p.m. and Nov. 18 at 5 p.m. -Joe Shriner
Adolphus is a big, black dog. Angus loses a shoe near the folly. A mysterious urn appears on the grounds. A disguised stranger enters through one of the side doors. These are a sample of the twenty sentences Edward Gorey illustrated and placed on a deck of cards under the title The Helpless Doorknob. The deck was designed to be an inspiration for improvisational storytelling in any form; shuffle the deck and read the sentences straight through, and you’ll have one of over two million possible iterations of a tongue-in-cheek tragedy. Theater groups have based productions on The Helpless Doorknob for over twenty years, but MTB Production’s take on it for NOFF adheres to the supplied text about as closely as you can.
The actors are already onstage when the house doors are opened to the audience, covered in white sheets like furniture in a closed wing of an old mansion. When the lights come up fully, we are presented with an eccentric, rich family dressed in tuxedos and evening gowns. The set implies a drawing room or library they all inhabit, aside from a raised section to the side occupied by a woman in a rocking chair with a swaddled infant. The family chants through the twenty sentences of the script, each a brief declarative sentence involving one member or another. These sentences make up the only dialogue; nothing is added and no verbal exposition is given.
Instead, the troupe runs through brief sketches that either enact one of the sentences or schizophrenically use the words as a verbal filler while acting out an argument or passionate rendezvous. For instance, one actor portraying Alfred runs through the sentences with a bold proclamation. Another takes a turn as a gossipy socialite. The shifts in tone from creepy to comedic come quickly and without warning, but are never jarring. Before the show is halfway through, the audience has the sentences memorized as well and can anticipate the action or themes, yet the show remains unpredictable to the end as the group keeps shuffling the story and emphasizing different portions.
Each cast member brings their own personality to the show, and their acting is outsized but never campy. Angus, the overgrown boy with his shrunken blazer, short pants, and missing shoe and Adolphus, the big, black dog, portrayed by a man in a tuxedo for comedic effect were both popular with the audience. The repetition of the lines draws a dream-like haze about the production, but the deft lighting changes and dramatic music shoulder a lot of the atmosphere-building as well. You can only keep an audience captive with twenty sentences for so long, though, and after about thirty-five minutes the show arrives at its impactful culmination. All in all this an acting exercise dressed up in full costume. In the hands of a crew with less flexibility the production could have been boring, irritating, or overbearing. However, the MTB Productions team keeps the absurdity harmonious and don’t leave anyone lost in the creative maze they’ve built. Helpless Doorknobs plays at Mudlark Theatre (Port and Marais) on Nov. 17 and 8 at 1& 9 p.m. each day. -Ryan Sparks
In Tremor Theatre Collective's recasting of Hamlet, Ophelia is reborn as a flower child, lines from advertisements and dance numbers are bandied like Yorick's skull and everyone is forced to talk to the camera. Meanwhile, some of the soliloquies and all of the drama are fully intact. The audience even gets to laugh. Over the hour, a torrent of visuals and tones grace the floor of the Den of Muses, an appropriate setting for the whimsical pop-culture references and cracked-mirror view of the world. that the work embodies.
Telling the story of the angsty Prince of Denmark out of order and out of its time period, The Rub is the kind of reworking of Shakespeare that is by now a timeless tradition of Fringe theatre. It's one of two in this year's Fringe Fest alone. Shakespeare seems to hold out temptations over experimental theatre artists in a particularly serpent-like fashion, as the masterful control of language and universal themes create a host of opportunities to extract new approaches and reimaginations. But there is always the danger that the new work doth protest too much.
In this case, the cast of Hamlet is dressed up in bad 70s costumes and thrust into the thick of the 21st century media overload. In all likelihood, this was designed to show what's degrading within our own state just as we explore that certain something that's rotten in Denmark. But for this troupe, there's too much of the meat of Hamlet to recite, and far too many other conceits to roll out, for our own times to ever be fully explored.
Aside from a couple of rather needless slow-mo scenes that bookend the work, tenacity and passion drive the reimagining through the drafty warehouse air. That, and the French New Wave. From gold balloons that read "torn" and "rotten" to the always crowd-pleasing hip-hop dance scene (this time, to "Rich Bitch") to the movement of the entire audience from their chairs and to the floor for the final scene, there are a lot of experimental approaches coming at the audience in rapid-fire here. There is ample opportunity for the appreciative audience member to find themselves swept up in the pastiche, as the players - notably a hammed-up Gertrude and a saccharine Ophelia - pull off their tricks with the kind of passion that convinces the audience they believe in what they're doing. "To Be or Not to Be" and other famous recitations are embedded throughout. They're performed with no less gusto, but the tonal shift that occurs when the the original text enters the fray is so large that the work's center remains obscured among all the distortions. Instead of extracting anything new from the time-honored linchpin of the Western canon, they simply want to show us what Hamlet looks like when the blender stops running. The Rub plays at Den of Muses (Port and Architect) on Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 18 at 11 p.m.
The Fringe Festival is known for eclectic fare, pushing the bounds of “theatre” to include the likes of dance, comedy, and even some light shows that would make Roger Waters blush. The Reese Johanson Collective's annual Fringe installment, UnRoute, pushes past the fringe all the way to the edge, and offers up a sampling of everything that is Fringe.
However, dear reader, please note that in offering everything, Ms. Johansen and company present a Russel Stover sampler of swank, but not a traditional play replete with beginning, middle, and end, and by no means conventional narrative. Instead we are offered a compilation of the best of Fringe-iness loosely centered around a central theme. This year, intimacy is the theme.
Johanson's troupe of Mary Carol Chenet, rosS Hamlin [sic,] Daneeta Loretta Jackson, Craig Leydecker, Tatianna Macchione, Jamie Neumann, Rozetti, Sundog, and Alex Martinez Wallace spin, sigh, and saunter through three acts of performance art and all four chambers of the human heart. The cast leaves no emotion or theatrical trope unexplored.
Classic Jerome Robbins style choreography? You got that in the opening number. A little minimalist sketch comedy? A full ensemble scene in a stuck elevator takes care of that. Projections? Of course they have projections: on wardrobe items, on beds, and the old stand by on the backdrop. (It should be noted that the motion designer behind these works is truly talented.) An operatic aria? You have two beautifully performed by Craig Leydecker. Puppets? We did say that this a Fringe show, right? Yes, there are puppets and in one bit, they even deconstruct dubstep for the uninitiated. Stirring Soliloquies? Macchione essentially performs a one woman play in intervals. Intermission Art? Unroute provides a performance piece centered around the porta-potties.
Johanson has staged numerous works in the Michaelopolous space, a large warehouse retrofitted with seating, a bar, and the technical trappings of a theatre. (In fact, a small sign at the entry dubs the venue “ReeseOpolous.” Accordingly, her use of the physical environs is one of the performance's greatest assets. The bucket list should not be expanded to include “site specific performance;” yet, Johanson's choreography takes is powered by a free flowing energy that consumes the space, making use of side stage, occasionally venturing into the audience, and holistically providing an experience that meshing audience and performer without resorting to cliché tricks of breaking down the fourth wall.
The show's superb technical aspects are also of note. Christy Beshears' lighting design manages to not only keep pace with the myriad of styles, but even carry some scenes. Likewise, the recruitment of local impressarios Sundog and DJ Tracheotomy as one-man band and sound engineer, respectively, literally elevated the score from the dark of an orchestra pit to the limelight of the stage.
At the conclusion of the second act, Johanson takes to the stage to inform the audience that there will be a third, optional LagnAct. The collective found themselves with too much material, and decided the bonus time would be the best compromise. The additional time offers some gems like the show as a whole, but also epitomizes the piece's accompanying flaws.
Rather than a single performance, Unroute is a portfolio. Some works are brilliant, while others need more time in the workshop. A zealous believer in the process that leads to artistic expression, Johanson pulls the curtain back with Unroute, reminding the audience that art is not always uniform, simple, or perfected. Those who understand this will enter the Elysian Fields space as if it is their living room (The collective cast it as a bedroom earlier this year.) But the uninitiated should not take that as a cue to stay away. The scope of the work offers something likable for all comers.
Unroute plays at Michalopolous Studio (527 Elysian Fields Ave.) on Nov. 17 at 10:17 p.m.
Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Ian Hoch, Sarah Esenwein, Ryan Sparks, Will Dilella, Chris Rinaldi, Lianna Patch, Phil Yiannopoulos, Cate Czarnecki, Jonas Griffin, Jennifer Abbot, Mary Kilpatrick, Elaina Patton, Mike Horst, Devin Bambrick, Katherine McGuire, Norris Ortolano, Joe Shriner
Ryan Sparks, Kerem Ozkan
Michael Weber, B.A.
Assistant Managing Editor
B. E. Mintz
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