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Defender Picks



May 30th

Down on Their Luck Orchestra

Music at the Mint, 2PM

Jazz at the Old U.S. Mint


Craft Happy Hour

Ogden, 6PM

Learn to make paper magnolias with Suzonne Stirling


Vibrational Sound Therapy

Glitter Box, 6PM

Discover the energetic magic of Himalayan Singing Bowls with Faun Fenderson


Monty Banks

Mahogany Jazz Hall, 6PM

Trad Jazz, rat pack era swing and more



Peristyle in City Park, 6:30PM

High Intensity Interval Training



Champions Square, 7PM

Feat. O.A.R. and Natasha Bedingfield


Gender 101

LGBT Community Center, 7PM

Expand your understanding of gender


Thinkin' with Lincoln

Bayou Beer Garden, 7PM

Trivia on the patio


Spring Wrap-Up Show

Arts Estuary 1024, 8PM

Performances and screenings by the artist residents


High Profile

Hi-Ho Lounge, 10PM

NOLA drag stars host a variety talent show, The Stage


May 31st

Abe Thompson

Market Café, 3:30PM

Feat. The Doctors of Funk


Food Waste Collection

Children’s Resource Center, 5PM

Bring your frozen food scraps to be composted


Weird Wine Wednesdays

Spirit Wine, 6PM

Free wine tasting


Free Spirited Yoga

The Tchoup Yard, 6:30PM

Food, drinks, yoga


CeCe Winans

Orpheum Theater, 7PM

Part of the “Let Them Fall In Love” tour


Dance for Bathrooms

Three Keys, 8PM

Benefitting Music Box Village


Rooftop Cinema

Catahoula Hotel, 8PM

A showing of But I’m A Cheerleader


Major Bacon

Banks St. Bar, 10PM

Sizzlin blues and free BLTs


Caleb Ryan Martin

Check Point Charlie, 11PM

Acoustic blues and roots


June 1st

Jazz in The Park

Armstrong Park, 4PM

Jon Clearly + the Absolute Monster Gentlemen


Book Signing

Garden District Book Shop, 6PM

Signing of My Love Looks Back by Jessica B. Harris


Mardi Gras Concert

Tipitina’s, 6PM

Benefitting Marty Hurley Endowment Center


Summer Of Sustainability

Aquarium Of The Americas, 630PM

Enjoy oysters in a unique setting


Magical Burlesque

The Willow, 7PM

Harry Potter themed burlesque show


Bonnie Bishop

One Eyed Jack’s, 9PM

Sweet country rock



14 Parishes, 9PM

Roasts, toasts and laughs


Una Walkonhorst

The Circle Bar, 930PM

Also feat. Patrick Sylvester


Lost Stars

Balcony Music Club, 11PM

Support by Mighty Brother 



June 2nd

Symphony Book Fair

Lakefront Arena, 9AM

Benefitting the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra


Summer Kick Off Film Party

Second Line Stages, 5PM

Supporting BREASTS the film


Nateus Photography Opening

Cherry Espresso Bar, 6PM

Photos as a medium of self expression, snacks included


Dinner and a ZOOvie

Audubon Zoo, 6PM

Showing of the movie Moana


Self Absorbed


A peek inside fifteen artists


Lagniappe Performance Series

Loyola Univeristy @ Marquette Hall, 7PM

Performance by Mikhala W. Iversen


As One

Marigny Opera House, 8PM

A transgender musical odyssey


Joel Wilson

The Building, 9PM

Also featuring Simon Lott as Context Killer



Blue Nile, 11PM

GoGo Brass Funk band 



June 3rd

Grand Opening Party

Parleaux Beer Lab, 11AM

Pouring on all 12 taps


Water Words

New Orleans Public Library, 11AM

Exploring the special role of water in our city and in life


Basics of Beekeeping

Hollygrove Market, 1PM

Learn how to start your own apiary


First Saturday Gallery Openings

Arts District, 6PM

Check out new and returning exhibitions


Harrison Avenue Stroll

Harrison Avenue, 5PM

Food, drinks, fun


Louisiana Wetlands

Carol Robinson Gallery, 5PM

Original art by Dave Ivey


Moonlit Paddle

Manchec Swamp, 545PM

Enjoy an evening of paddling close to home


Final Gala Concert

Jazz and Heritage Center, 8PM

Closing out the Birdfoot Festival


Canine Karaoke

Homedale Inn Bar, 9PM

Supporting the Love A Pit Foundation



Poor Boys Bar, 12AM

Resident DJs, along with special guest


June 4th

June Puppy Social

Louisiana SPCA, 10AM

Toys, treats, low impact agility


Jazz Brunch

Josephine Estelle, 11AM

Live sounds served sunny side up



The Drifter Hotel, 12PM

Presented by Techno Club


Book Discussion

Garden District Book Shop, 12PM

C.D. Colins discusses her memoir


Summer Reading Kick Off

NOPL Youth Services, 1PM

Feat. Roots music and books by Johnette Downing


Saving Abel

Southport Music Hall, 6PM

With support by Akadia and First Fracture


Open Mic and Slam

Ashé Cac, 7PM

Team SNO + Jahman Hill


Edge Film Festival

Zeitgeist Center, 730PM

Short film screenings + awards


Frontier Ruckus

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Enjoy some multi genre rock

On the Fringe

Fringe Fest Reviews: Cabaret Macabre, Antebellum, American Sideshow

Fringe runs all weekend, and NoDef is here to help you navigate the masive schedule. Today, check out reviews of Cabaret Macabre, Antebellum and more!



Friday's performance of Cabaret Macabre to a sold-out audience at the Marigny Opera House has been one of the highlights of Fringe so far.  Brought from Washington D.C. by Happenstance Theater, the piece matches verbatim its promise on the programs: "witty, visual, theatrical collage and live music played with deadly flare."


The play consists of a series of well-timed vignettes, sometimes related in a loose narrative arc that allows for the few hauntingly tender moments in the piece. Designed to be free-standing, most of these vignettes are sidesplittingly hilarious with a rotating cast of characters inspired by Edward Gorey and "Victorian nightmares." Composed of five actors and a wickedly multi-talented musician (think playing the piano and trumpet simultaneously), the company seamlessly jumps from one character to another, whether as a couple that has a propensity to make bad situations worse, a little girl who likes acting out the death of famous women in history, or a murderously jealous best friend.


While the actors do not speak many words, the relative silence becomes a testament to their physical vocabularies as the stories develop with such clarity. The members of the company have studied theatrical techniques ranging from clowning to puppetry, and apparently everything else.  Wonderfully talented performers, every single movement on stage is precisely constructed and delivered, leading to surgeon-like accuracy for comedic timing. Notably, two performers within the company, co-founder Mark Jaster and actress Sarah Olmstead Thomas, hilariously utilize faces that stretch like putty to angles that only further the laughs.


Another successful segment shows a slow-motion, accidental croquet battle that leads to the vengeance and vindication of an oppressed maid.  Choreographed to the point where one wishes he had more than one set of eyes to catch all the action, this section became a crowd favorite.


The costumes in the piece are perfectly and prudishly Victorian, leaving the actors' body-work and voices most of the creative space. As each performer has a variety of characters, incessant costume changes match the quick-paced clip of the show. Another costume includes a ghost dress magically expanding and becoming the bodiless dance partner of Alex Vernon.


The Marigny Opera House (725 St. Ferdinand), in its eternal state of beautiful disrepair, is the perfect venue for this performance, not only for its aesthetic, but also its size. Cabaret Macabre deserves the sell-out audiences it has been receiving. If you can go see this, go treat yourself.  Catch the show Saturday at 7pm and Sunday at 9pm. 

-Philip Yiannopoulos


READ: NoDef 2013 Fringe Reviews, Vol. 1

READ: NoDef 2013 Fringe Reviews, Vol. 2

READ: NoDef 2013 Fringe Reviews, Vol. 3



John Michael Colgin shines in this one-man piece that flows as a narrative diary entry from the pages of an outrageous and brutally honest young, gay man. This is the third solo performance from the Dallas-based monologist and his artistic mentor/director Matt Tomlanovich from the Nouveau 47 Theatre. While the plot doesn’t necessarily mirror that of the J.K. Rowling novel, he uses Harry Potter references throughout as a medium for expressing deeper thematic issues with being young, misunderstood, and gay. Colgin’s presence on stage is captivating and his dedication to the role unapologetically demands your attention throughout -- even the most uncomfortable moments. 


The story of the Order of the Penix begins with John Michael using Rowling’s Mirror of Erised to introduce his character’s comedic lament as a pizzafaced, urban boytoy who desires nothing more than an acne-free life of happiness and promiscuity. His delivery is sharp, outrageous, and often (extremely) vulgar, leaving the audience to wonder if they are seeing someone merely pushing for shock value or actually witnessing cutting-edge comedic genius. The way John Michael figure skates through his space, utilizing every inch of the Shadowbox Theatre to tell his story, adds to his charismatic allure. It’s clear that Colgin comes from a strong performance-art background and it really comes out in this act. 


He progresses in a candid and confessional sermon-like monologue, recounting anecdotes of his hilarious and sometimes reckless life as a young man working at a gay porn store in Dallas. His loves, and loves lost, are the centerpiece in what is a deeper thematic motif that really comes full circle during the final moments of the performance. You wouldn't think that a one-man show that so bluntly speaks on issues like HIV and death could be a laugh-riot, but John Michael and the Order of the Penix pulls it off. It’s a deep and serious social commentary that one would think to be incongruous served with playful pop-cultural references and Harry Potter metaphors, but you still have a heart-felt empathy the main character during every second of the performance. It’s brilliant.


John Michael and the Order of the Penix runs at the Shadowbox Theatre (2400 St. Claude Ave. Friday at 9pm, Saturday at 11pm, and Sunday at 5pm.

-Owen Legendre



Possibly the most self-explanatory spectacle on the Fringe schedule, American Sideshow is a traveling group of pain-loving performers. The vintage freakshow devotees of FreakShow Deluxe practice classic conventions of the genre, and they do it effectively, if you are into that sort of thing.


Host Reverend Tommy Gunn, Miss Malice Afterthought, and Raven Lunatic were featured at last night’s performance at the Allways Lounge and Theatre (2240 St. Claude Avenue).


Gunn hams it up in his role as the ring leader, making dirty jokes, pulling up audience volunteers, and maintaining his showmanship throughout the relatively short performance. The entire thing ran for about 50 minutes


Needless to say, sideshow acts are not for the squeamish. People lay on nails, deep-throat balloons, and shove six-inch nails into their nostrils. There is also a cringe-inducing stunt involving Gunn’s penis, or a very convincing fake penis, and a chandelier.


Aside from the gross-out factor, Gunn and his team do a good job of keeping their crowd engaged. Malice acts as the ring girl, holding up signs to let the crowd know when it is time to clap, say “oooo,” or yell “More Danger!"


The venue suits the act perfectly. Audience members can grab drinks and use the bathroom as they see fit, and iphone use and photo taking is encouraged, provided users upload their photos to Facebook or tweet them.


In a creative spin on the New Orleans pin-a-dollar-on-my-shirt birthday trick, Gunn invites every member of the audience to staple a $5 on to Raven Lunatic. Yes, Gunn offers everyone the chance to “maim another human being” for the cheap price of $5. More than one person took him up on it.


See American Sideshow at the Allways Lounge tonight, 11/22, at 11 p.m., or Sunday, 11/24, at 9 p.m.

-M.D. Dupuy




Keebles’ Comedy Cabaret features the eclectic showcase of a dysfunctional, yet enchanting show-business family from Alabama. From the minds of mother-daughter duo Brenda German-King (Maw Keeble) and Aimee German, the variety-hour structure introduces the audience to each member of the Keeble clan in the time it takes for a batch of brownies to be cooked in the on-stage oven. Some bits outshine others in a comedic sense, but the whole experience has the genuine charm of a living-room recital put on by family members during a Christmas party. Adina Valerio rounds out the three-piece cast as Cousin Agnes Keebles, who’s timing and appearance brings to mind an early Gilda Radner with her absurdity and sincere charisma. While Brenda German-King and her daughter originally hail from the south, the production is in town from New York City where German and Valerio reside. 


The performance is somewhat of a time warp, paying homage to the slapstick humor of early 20th century vaudeville cabarets in which comedy bits are scattered amongst traditional saloon songs and old-timey dance bits (including a couple strip-tease routines by Valerio). When real-life mother and daughter Aimee and Brenda German share the stage, their natural timing is truly something to admire and their cadences are something akin to a lost episode of I Love Lucy or a more boozy version of Laverne & Shirley


The venue at Backyard Ballroom is a fitting and charming atmosphere for the show’s campy delivery and bodes well for the intimate sideshow feel of the performance. Crowd participation is elevated in some bits more than others, so expect to join in on a few sing-a-longs and gags. You may even find yourself being brought onstage for a barnyard dance off or a death defying minibike stunt. 


Keebles’ Cabaret runs Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 9pm, and Sunday at 11pm at the Backyard Ballroom (3519 St. Claude Ave.). Tickets are $8 with a Fringe button. Beer, wine, and other concessions are available for purchase at the venue. 

-Owen Legendre



New Orleans history has long been an inspiration for art beyond the "distinguished swamps", as a character in Antebellum puts it. But Gogol Annex' Antebellum goes beyond sazeracs and jazz. The work, which is being given its first spin at Fringe by the New York/Toronto-based company, digs into three infamous personas of pre-Civil War history for inspiration. With three characters who never talk directly to each other and no set, the company delivers one of the more intriguing productions of the 2013 Fringe program.


The "Living History" vibe dominates the warehouse upon entrance. First, a board informs who the characters are based on with summaries that could have been taken from a museum wall. The audience learns that the characters are based on gambler Charles Starr (the Colonel), beloved and hounded opera singer Jenny Lind (Nightingale) and serial killer Mary Jackson (Bricktop). But the characters' historical personas are merely jumping-off points.


Continuing the museum theme, audience members find that they will be standing for the performance, and are free to wander around the viewing area. When the performance begins, the characters open by moving with precise and repetitive motions, perhaps recalling the animatronic mannequins of Disney World. It would all be a very placid educational field trip if two of the characters weren't looking troubled and holding knives.


Setting the tone for the drama that is to come, the production is backed by a moody soundtrack that weaves its way between the characters and provides definitive start-and-stop points for the separate "numbers." On Thursday night, the music filtered its way into the production perhaps too deeply, as it drowned out Taylor Sutherland during the opening stages of a monologue as the Colonel. The simply lighting also helps set a darker mood, with a green background providing no hint of the over-stuffed Orleanian landscapes.


The piece contains a mixture of coordinated motion and dialogue between the players, and even a few songs. The latter portion moves into monologues that introduce the characters, and are loosely based on the historical figures.Violence, lifting of the skirt and much talk of good eating follows.


Before the good times can roll, however, performers Nicole Kontolefa, Leah Loftin and Taylor Sutherland provide the dramatic and thematic heft that most trips through history leave to the quirky anecdotes.The production succeeds in being more than an art installation because each of the characters' monologues goes through a well-defined arc, even though the production's method of delivering the tales is by no means linear, or direct. In the case of the Nightingale and the Colonel, the characters find themselves exposed as they repeat lines that soon melt away as a facade. For instance, the colonel starts by enjoying his meal, but we soon find out it was purchased not by riverboat winnings, but by loans.


Gogol Annex' approach to dramatic storytelling may not club you over the head with their directness, but the performances are dynamic enough to keep the audiences enrapt, and the excavation of three lesser-known figures from the city's rich history offers a necessary change of pace with a festival that features a healthy dose of Storyville. There aren't many other considerations of New Orleans history that include the question, "What the hell am I doing with this city?"


Antebellum plays at the Mardi Gras Zone warehouse (Architect's Alley) on Sat., Nov. 23, at 7 p.m. and Sun., Nov. 24, at 1 p.m.

-Stephen Babcock



With the end of Storyville came the beginning of an underground culture of all the "immoral" activities like jazz and prostitution. In Down and Outskirts, the New Orleans Poetry Brothel takes both meanings of "word-of-mouth" to its logical end, staging a series of dramatic poetry/spoken word recitations in the tucked-away Backyard Ballroom. 


For this Fringe Fest show, the St. Claude venue transforms into one such hideaway club trying to preserve the depraved district's trappings after the authorities have come through and ruined all the fun. Still, some good times are left to roll, as the poetry readings (literally) pop up from the audience. 


While viewers may be struggling to make connections between Storyville and a kitten-prince, the later pieces in the work come full form in transporting the audience back to their era by reminding of time when being suggestive actually meant using some allusion. The lineup of original works are set to rotate for the remainder of the Fringe Fest, and provide a quality showcase of what one of the city's fledgling performance groups has been up to over the past year.


Down-and-Outskirts plays at the Backyard Ballroom (3519 St. Claude Ave.), on Nov. 23 at 5 p.m. and Nov. 24 at 7 p.m.

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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


Alexis Manrodt

Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

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