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Defender Picks



November 30th

Big K.R.I.T.

House of Blues, 8p.m.

Part of the Kritically Acclaimed Tour



Higher Heights Reggae Band

Blue Nile, 9p.m.

Get your reggae jams on


Glen David Andrews

b.b.a., 10p.m.

Nola jams


Aurora Nealand & Royal Roses

Maison, 7p.m.

Traditional jazz meets modernity


December 1st

Pelicans v. Grizzlies

Smoothie King Center, 7p.m.

Memphis takes on Nola


The Art of Giving

Ogden Museum, 5p.m.

A holiday shopping events


Until The Beat Stops

Garden District Book Shop, 6p.m.

A novel by Stella Mowen


Poetry: A Survivor’s Guide

Maple Street Book Shop, 7p.m.

Compilation by Mark Yakich



Saenger, 7:30p.m.

Broadway smash-hit


December 2nd

Tank and The Bangas Backyard Hangout

1032 St. Maurice St., 6p.m.

Also ft. The Original Pinettes Brass Band


A Dark and Stormy Night

The Arbor Room, 6:30p.m.

An evening of cocktails and ghost stories


Pelicans v. Rockets

Toyota Center, 7p.m.

Nola heads to Houston


Freeman’s: The Best New Writing on Arrival

Garden District Book Shop, 6p.m.

Compliation of writing about “arriving”


Cas Haley

Howlin’ Wolf, 10p.m.

In the Den


December 3rd

Ogden After Hours

Ogden, 5:30p.m.

This week ft. Roman Street


Prism Break

Zeitgeist, 6p.m.

An interactive video installation


The Butlers of Iberville Parish

Garden District Book Shop, 6p.m.

Dunboyne Plantation in the 1800s


An Evening with Lusher’s Creative Writing Program

Maple Street Book Shop, 5:30p.m.

Students read from their original work


December 4th

Newcomb Art Department Holiday Sale

Carroll Gallery, 10a.m.

Ft. works in glass, ceramics, printmaking, jewelry and more



Home for the Holidays

Peoples Health New Orleans Jazz Market, 8p.m.

Fundraiser honoring returned Nola homeowners


The Soul Stoned Fest

The Willow, 8:30p.m.

Art, music and visuals


Doombalaya & CakeWalk

Tipitina’s, 9p.m.

A couple Nola bands jam for the weekend


Pelicans v. Cavaliers

Smoothie King Center, 8:30p.m.

Cleveland comes to New Orelans


Friday Nights at NOMA

NOMA, 5p.m.

This week ft. Artist Perspective with John Barnes


December 5th

St. Nicholas Day Fair

French Market, 10a.m.

Ft. the Saint Nick Secondline, facepaint and more


Algiers Bonfire & Concert

Algiers Ferry Landing, 5p.m.

“A Riverfront Holiday Celebration”


12 Brews of Christmas

House of Blues, 6p.m.

$20 to taste 12 seasonal beers


NOLA Polar Express

Freret St. Publiq House, 8p.m.

Benefit for CASA New Orleans


3rd Annual Krampus Gras

The Voodoo Lounge, 10p.m.

Dancing, drinking and fundraising for Planned Parenthood


December 6th

White Christmas

Prytania, 10a.m.

Part of the Holiday Movie Series


Saints v. Panthers

Mercedes-Benz Superdome, 3:25p.m.

Carolina comes to Nola


Bikes Vs. Cars

Zeitgeist, 9p.m.

Bikes for change



Saenger, 2p.m.;7:30p.m.

Broadway smash-hit

NoDef Nods: Theatre

Theatre, Person, & Story of the Year

2011 was wild a ride that saw Aimée Hayes guide Southern Rep through tough waters and into successive hits, The St. Claude Corridor rise as a theatre power and suddenly have to deal with being in the spotlight, and finally, the shocking close of two mainstay theatrical venues while a new one rose in Mid City. 

It was a time of precarious transition, and I, for one, am interested to see if the next will solidify the trends begun or spin us off our axis once more. However, before the New Year begins I wanted to take one more look back and give you my theatre, person, and story of 2011. These picks are about the doing, the done, and the action. The company, man, and the donnybrook I have chosen are nothing more or less than that aforementioned trifecta. 


Theatre of the Year

Anthony Bean Community Theatre. ABCT defines the meaning of the word Community, and it spells it with a capital C. It has a clear precise mission statement, and it follows it. It understands the daunting challenges of violence, corruption and disruption facing our city, and it gives us shows like The Good Negro, The Blood, and Reflections: A Man and His Times that bear that out. When coupled with its summertime musical offerings and American classics like Jitney, it is one of the few theatres where the season alone suggests a genuine conversation.


However, it is not just a matter of the play being the thing. The people who attend the theatre are the story there as well. Dedicated to educating both young and old alike, ABCT serves any and all who have the courage to hoist themselves on the boards at 1333 Carrolton Avenue. Through its multiple educational programs, many of its students have worked their way from the back of the chorus to leading roles, and in doing so, they have earned a chance to rub elbows with some of the finest practitioners of the craft in the city and beyond. In particular, Bean’s work with young people across town borders on the heroic and does not receive the attention it deserves. A lot of people talk about reaching out to the schools, but few do it on the level of ABCT.


Bean will entertain any and all offers, but the pitch must include an opportunity for the people who sit in his theatre to hear the stories we tell ourselves about ourselves. He tells our tales, and that makes his company Theatre of the Year.




Theatre Person of the Year:

Gary Rucker. The co-artistic director of Theatre 13 was simply a tyro, a man on an almost singlehanded mission to keep popular mainstream theatre alive in New Orleans. Every month, Rucker was glued to his Droid and racing across town to appear in one show while focusing on minutiae like securing the props for another. Whether it was to lend lovely support in On the Air, split your sides as Auguecheek in Twelfth Night, or infuriate you by being right in God of Carnage, Rucker just kept coming and finished his year by appearing in the sold out run of The Pecan Cracker. That means he appeared at The National World War II Museum, Tulane, and Southern Rep in under twelve months. In other words, if you saw theatre this year, you saw him.


But the performances were only the half of it. When not onstage, he was putting his personal tempo on Drowsy Chaperone, bringing new works and their creators into town with Play Dates, or keeping the kids happy with Schoolhouse Rock. As of this writing, he is staging the musical Spring Awakening for its regional premiere. He and partner Kelly Fouchi worked with anyone, anywhere and gave opportunities to people all over the city. Furthermore, for a guy who loves the spotlight as much as Rucker, he has that wonderful saving grace of demanding it be made ever-so-wider to include his many collaborators. For those reasons, he is our Theatre Person of the Year.



Theatre Story of the Year:

Le Petit. It was divisive, ugly, and spellbinding. It tore the theatre community in half, ended friendships, and left a massive hole in the fabric of performative life in New Orleans. However, it ran deeper than simply another theatrical brouhaha between a few drama queens, because it was a power struggle for a building worth millions in New Orleans’ most historic neighborhood. It involved one of the city’s most prominent culinary families, a television celebrity, community gadflies, a sitting Councilwoman, and even City Hall. It received shoddy coverage from a press desperate to appear fair and balanced. And it ended with the tensest vote count since the hanging chads of Bush v. Gore. By the time it was over, Le Petit was left with one performance space, an incoming fine dining restaurant, and the promise of desperately needed upgrades.  No matter what side you were on, you have to admit it was The Theatre Story of the Year.



Happy New Year!

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Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,

Staff Writers

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Theatre Critic

Michael Martin


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Film Critic

Jason Raymond


Paolo Roy

Art Director:

Michael Weber, B.A.


B. E. Mintz

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