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Defender Picks


State of Play: Theatre Listings May 5-11

The annual post-JazzFest eruption of theatre begins. Get a jump on what’s about to be a raft of difficult choices (and congratulate these companies for doing their tech while the festival was still dominating the city) by enjoying a selection of the following, listed in order of opening:


Southern Rep’s once-a-month production of PAT BOURGEOIS’ smash comic soap opera welcomes guests BRITTNEY JAMES as new neighbor Passion Parker and KERRY CAHILL as (what else?) an international supermodel. ONE PERFORMANCE ONLY at Mid-City Theatre; Wednesday May 7, 7:30 p.m.. 504.488.1460 or



Adventures in Wonderland

The NOLA Project rejoins NOMA for one of the big shows of the spring: A new all-ages adaptation, by PETE McELLIGOTT, of the Lewis Carroll classic, presented in three different tracks through the Besthoff Sculpture Garden: One for the sprightly (led by the Cheshire Cat, naturally); one for the leisurely; and one sit-down for the infirm, where you’ll probably find me. It’s all directed by ANDREW LARIMER, and features a Who’s Who of New Orleans’ talent, including MOLLY RUBEN-LONG as Alice. May 7-25 at the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden; Wed, Thu, Fri (no show Friday the 9th) and Sun, 7 p.m.. Visit NOMA's website or The NOLA Project.



Marry Me a Little
The night after Pat Bourgeois’ zanies clear the Mid-City stage, rising director STEPHEN ECKERT stretches himself again with his first musical, the Stephen Sondheim revue about lovelorn strangers separated only by one thin wall. It stars ASHLEY ROSE BUTLER and AARON LIND, with accompanist GLENN AUCOIN. May 8-18 at Mid-City; May 8, 9, 10, 15 at 8pm, May 11 at 2 p.m.; May 16, 17 at 9 p.m., May 18 at 8:30 p.m.. 504.488.1460 or



Young Frankenstein

And here’s another (really) Big One: The local premiere of Mel Brooks’ musical adaptation (with Thomas Meehan) of his own comedy film classic, directed by the nonpareil RICKY GRAHAM. I recently enjoyed a fine college production of this, entertaining but unable to wipe out memories of the original. If anyone can shake off the shades of Gene Wilder, Cloris Leachman, Marty Feldman, and Gene Hackman, it’s GARY RUCKER, TRACEY COLLINS (reunited for the first time since the award-winning Noises Off), MASON WOOD, and BUTCH CAIRE. May 9-24 at Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts; Fridays & Saturdays 8 p.m., Sundays 2 p.m.; also Thursday the 22nd at 8 p.m.. 504.461.9475 or visit their website.



booze, broads & bukowski

For awhile now “Picolla Tushy” (not her real name) has offered interesting experiments in combining the DNA of burlesque with other performance forms, especially sexy parodies of beloved pop-culture properties. This recurring show, derived from literature rather than film, is one of her most successful. As The Bluestockings, seven hot women recite dirty words to go with their dirty moves.  May 9-24 at the Shadowbox Theatre; Fridays & Saturdays 8 p.m. (no show Saturday the 17th); 504.298.8676 or visit the Shadowbox's website.



Death of a Salesman

Le Petit tackles its first dramatic classic since re-opening, with AMY BOYCE HOLTCAMP directing our definitive underside-of-the-American-dream Tony- and Pulitzer-winning play.  There’s some kind of irony in this beloved house of musicals offering the sole non-musical drama of the spring, but I can’t suss it out. The legendary GEORGE SANCHEZ and recent twin-Big Easy winner MARY PAULEY lead the cast. May 9-24 at Le Petit; Fridays & Saturdays 8 p.m., Sundays 3 p.m.; 504.522.2081 or visit the theatre's website.



Julian Sands: A Celebration of Harold Pinter
The actor known for drama and high-brow horror (Anne Rice’s preference for the role of Lestat, should you be wanting a local connection) performs his one-man show based on the works of the chilly but fascinating British playwright. The Edinburgh Fringe Festival debut was directed by John Malkovich; there will be a reception following Friday’s performance. THREE PERFORMANCES ONLY at the Contemporary Art Center; Friday May 9, 7:30 p.m., and Saturday May 10, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.. 504.528.3800 or visit the CAC's website.


Badu-Izms: A Tribute to Erykah
Two of New Orleans most inventive theatre women, director PAMELA DAVIS-NOLAND and choreographer STYLIST B – with band THE BANGAS and an all-star team of singers & dancers – remount their stylish tribute to the First Lady of Neo-Soul, which debuted in the Fringe Fest in 2009. TWO PERFORMANCES ONLY at the Joy Theater; Mother’s Day, May 11, 3 p.m. and 8 p.m.. 504.528.9569. More information here. 


[Disclaimer: The compiler of these listings doesn’t promise to be comprehensive, either of shows or within shows.]

Erin Rose
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Renard Boissiere, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Naimonu James, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Nina Luckman, Dead Huey Long, Alexis Manrodt, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via, Austin Yde


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


Listings Editor

Linzi Falk

Editor Emeritus

Alexis Manrodt

B. E. Mintz

Stephen Babcock

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