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THE

Defender Picks

 

SAMEDI

February 25th

Krewe of Iris

Uptown-St. Charles Route, 11AM

All-female group is one of Carnival's oldest krewes

 

Krewe of Tucks

Uptown-St. Charles Route, 12PM

1,300 men and women make up one of the most satirical and irreverent krewes in Mardi Gras

 

Krewe of Endymion 

Mid-City Route, 4:15PM

One of the biggest and most extravagant parades, Endymion is long enough to last all night

 

Big Freedia

One Eyed Jacks, 9PM

Bounce Queen moves ‘dat azz

 

Leroy Jones Quartet

The Bombay Club, 8:30PM

Classic jazz trumpet

 

Sticky Fingers

House of Blues, 8PM

Australian reggae rockers

 

SiriusXM Jam On Presents: Galactic

Tipitina’s, 11PM

First-rate funk band is joined tonight by Stoop Kids

 

Hustle with DJ Soul Sister

Hi-Ho Lounge, 11PM

Underground disco and rare groove dance party 

 

Rebirth Brass Band

Howlin’ Wolf, 10PM

Beloved brass band takes the stage

 

Washboard Chaz Blues Trio

Blue Nile, 7PM

The iconic Washboard Chaz takes a break from the Tin Men to lead this trio 

DIMANCHE

February 26th

Krewe of Okeanos

Uptown-St. Charles Route, 11AM

Celebrating it's 68th year, Okeanos is heavy on tradition

 

Krewe of Mid-City

Uptown-St. Charles Route, 11:45AM

Yes, the Mid-City krewe is parading along the Uptown route

 

Krewe of Thoth

Uptown-St. Charles Route, 12PM

Thoth seeks to bring Carnival joy to the sick and infirm 

 

Krewe of Bacchus

Uptown-St. Charles Route, 5:15PM

Celebrating the God of wine, feasts, and general good times, Bacchus is one of the most anticipated parades 

 

Sweet Megg and the Wayfarers

Rare Form, 4PM

NYC-based hot jazz, blues and swing

 

Palmetto Bug Stompers 

d.b.a., 6PM

Local trad jazz masters

 

Academy Awards Watch Party

Prytania Theatre, 6PM 

Enjoy snacks, cocktails and more as the rich & famous vie for those golden statuettes ($25)

 

Swingin’ Sundays

The Allways Lounge, 8PM

Weekly recurring dance lessons to live swing music (FREE)

 

LEON + Jacob Banks

Gasa Gasa, 10PM

European invasion from Swedish indie pop star LEON and UK-based R&B singer Jacob Banks ($15)

 

Dumpstaphunk + Miss Mojo

Howlin' Wolf, 10PM

Ivan & krewe bring da funk, joined by Miss Mojo

 

Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & John Papa Gros

d.b.a., 11PM

Golden Eagles Chief brings Mardi Gras Indian funk

 

Jason Neville Band

Vaso, 11PM

Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose


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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Contributors:

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,

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Art Director:

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