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Lagniappe

 
THE

Defender Picks

 

MARDI

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

 

HIITuesdays

Peristyle in City Park, 6:30PM

High Intensity Interval Training

 

Train 

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

MERCREDI

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

JEUDI

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

 

ButchLivesMatter

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 

 

VENDREDI

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

TREO, 6PM

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

 

Brass-A-Holics

Blue Nile, 11PM

GoGo Brass Funk band 

 

SAMEDI

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

 

TRAX ONLY

Poor Boys Bar, 12AM

Resident DJs, along with special guest

DIMANCHE

June 4th

June Puppy Social

Louisiana SPCA, 10AM

Toys, treats, low impact agility

 

Jazz Brunch

Josephine Estelle, 11AM

Live sounds served sunny side up

 

THINK DEEP

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


Fringe Finale

Reviews: My Horse's Name is Loneliness, Roller Rink Temptations



The plus of having your planned slate of Fringe Fest shows fall apart is that you start just wandering around to whatever’s still available and sounds interesting. That’s when synchronistic patterns emerge. Two of the four shows I saw Saturday night – My Horse’s Name is Loneliness, Aztec Economy’s sequel to its Fringe hit, My Aim is True, and newbie troupe Beaubourg’s production of Catherine Weingarten’s A Roller Rink Temptation – both seem to me to be modern, niche variations of the old-school gay sensibility’s main contribution to culture: Camp.

 

Defined, too briefly, as a social and aesthetic sensibility that relies on deliberate artifice to imply what otherwise can’t be said, camp has taken a beating in the cultural market. Like so many of the fruits of pre-Stonewall gay culture, what was once transgressive has turned trivial, rarely more than a fashion choice or a manner of speech. Domesticated in general since the whole culture became ‘insider’ – even your great-grandma greets Miley’s antics with a knowing smile. Camp has been squeezed on one side by the modern mainstream gay community’s preference for assimilation over separatism and on the other by the earnest identity politics of the transgender movement. The highest-profile camp is now, at best, RuPaul’s Drag Race (pious and hysteria-ridden), or American Horror Story: Coven (nonsensical).

 

But the knowing theatricality of camp, the possibility it presents to offend on the sly, still appeals. Specialty variations of it are still possible. Neither of these shows were completely successful, and only one of them was even much fun, but I think both Loneliness and Temptation are, perhaps unintentionally, campy as hell. “Geek camp” and “dyke camp,” respectively.

And I’m sure that both will be back… 

 

My Horse’s Name is Loneliness

(Spoilers Follow)

Setting aside the long cowboy-poetry speeches that are its raison d'être, the plot of My Horse’s Name is Loneliness basically works as follows. The Stranger, an Eastwoodian symbol of pure taciturn masculinity, newly arrived with his horse in an isolated mountain town, is obliged to kill an endlessly wordy mountebank, either because he won’t shut up or, more likely, because he won’t stop making passes at him. The weary, rather emasculated local sheriff is in turn obliged to arrest The Stranger, holding him in the local jail for a long night of more monologues as various townspeople come and go. Most prominent of them is Bob, a moonshiner who runs things and wants The Stranger dead, for no reason I’m certain of except to eliminate a rival alpha male. Bob’s sidekick is a sexual little snake who licks long knives and stares lasciviously at everybody, especially The Stranger. He even makes a pass at Opal, the widowed sheriff’s spunky young daughter. The Stranger offers to sacrifice himself for the sake of the town, but the sheriff and his effeminate, limping deputy will have none of it. Eventually, once everyone’s had their say, the showdown arrives. In an explosion of well-choreographed slo-mo shoot-outs, played out before a rapid-fire big-screen projection of violent scenes from pop culture, especially videogames, the villains are dispatched. The deputy shoots the nasty little snake in the back. The Stranger himself takes out Bob, once the mysterious Woman with Ruby Lips, who otherwise has nothing to do, reappears just long enough to light the fuse of The Stranger’s dynamite. Bob is killed, and The Stranger and Loneliness disappear, presumably to be available for the next installment. The Sheriff and the Deputy, their heterosexuality confirmed by their defense of The Stranger and the death of all the faggots, are free to pose in a dad-and-mom family portrait with Opal as the lights go down.

 

Since playwright Matthew Hancock and the principals of Aztec Economy are New York millennials with a young following, I assume this playing with “Celluloid Closet” tropes is meant all in ironic fun. Even if not, I’m about a decade past being offended by culturemakers who offer up good straight guys killing evil gay guys to affirm their “as long as I don’t suck cock I’m straight, however it appears” bona fides. It’s been going on forever, and better in Art than in Life. Presented from the perspective of the gamer generation (where the politics of masculinity are extremely fraught) The Stranger trilogy does offer the potential for something new: Geek camp.

 

However, for that to work, either the speeches will have to get a lot shorter or the acting a lot more stylish. Or both. Only the very funny Jody Reho as the Deputy, Timothy McDonough as Bob’s sidekick, and, in tonally limited roles, Adam Belvo as The Stranger and Noelle Wilcox as the Woman with Ruby Lips, rise to the campy requirements. Everybody else (i.e. the major players) find a single vocal approach and declaims the night away.

 

A Roller Rink Temptation

Catherine Weingarten’s A Roller Rink Temptation is camp that has been seen before, albeit not recently, of a much more ebullient sort. A coming-out-lesbian spin on the Mean Girls-style of comedy, it’s a manic celebration of blossoming female desire, wherein three analogous couples (each pairs off one amorous, frustrated suitor with one resistant virgin) meet and court in a disco roller rink that seems to have a clientele comprised exclusively of baby-dykes. The pairs include the adult owner of the rink, maybe intended to be a diesel dyke, with a Jewish nerd who seems to be Weingarten’s stand-in; a Heathers-esque cheerleader, with a tiny brainiac who lives to make art out of frogs; and two more girls who…well, I couldn’t tell what their deal was.

 

It hardly matters. The cross-cutting dialogue is as apropos-of-nothing as in Loneliness and most Fringe theatre, but much funnier. Weingarten offers almost no plot, but director Maile Zox moves it all speedily enough that story isn’t much missed. A male emcee (Steven Markow) sets up scenes and the occasional change-of-pace non sequitur, like a beauty pageant sequence to satisfy the dreams of the cheerleader. There are several endearingly amateurish song-and-dance routines.

 

Annie Gaia, who plays the cheerleader, also choreographs. Her stylish look-at-me performance, along with those of the fake-suave Markow, Zox as the motormouth Jewish nerd, and Clara Fernandez as the wide-eyed frog lover, which are mostly responsible for elevating the show above sitcom into camp. (Everybody else is just fine, I hasten to add.) Each offer the hard-to-describe ultra-sincerity that is one hallmark of the style: “Kidding?! Who, moi?” Especially in the writing of the rink owner and cheerleader, Weingarten subverts expectations. The owner, who normally would be worldly and domineering, is all but a needy virgin herself; the cheerleader is the obsessed hunter, not the unobtainable hunted.

 

Weingarten could afford  to introduce a few more bumps in the road to true love other than virgin inexperience. Likewise, she has probably done her play no favors by failing to bring all three couples to a happy ending. It’s almost a betrayal of the audience to swerve into poignant loss in the last five minutes. And she really does need to give the third couple some thought.

 

The production values are ramshackle, even by Fringe standards. Although I’ve seen plenty of shows in my time where sloppiness and ebullience were inextricably entwined, I think A Roller Rink Temptation could withstand a bit more polish without taking a blow to its joyous heart.

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Contributors

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

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