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Defender Picks


Theatre’s Spring Shower

A Preview of the Upcoming Season

Amazingly, life does go on in New Orleans between Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest.


Our calendar is not a complete caesura in the time after the last float rolls and the moment before tens of thousands pour into The Fairgrounds. Cultural events like French Quarter Fest, Easter, St. Patrick's and St. Joseph all have their time in the warming Spring weather, however, there is nothing so large as to drown out the theatrical activity in town. So, why not have a theatre season? In fact, look closely at the approaching two months, and you will see there is one upon us. All one need to do is declare it as such.


Okay, then. It is theatre season.


And with that mind, we would like to give you a pick six of recommendations, provide an overview for the coming months, and finally, tease you with a story worth following in the coming year. If this column has any say so in the matter, it hopes you will begin to see the end of Carnival as a chance to watch others do the performing for you while you sit in the air-conditioned dark and wait for the musicians to arrive in the last week of April.




The Hunting of the Snark (Through March 17) We think highly of this work and are interested to see both how it translates outside in The Sculpture Garden and as more adult fare at The Backyard Ballroom. An unleashing of words and movement, Snark is accessible for children of all ages, and it is the least pandering offering for youngsters either of us has seen in quite sometime.




March Openings

Two Gentlemen of Verona  (Tulane: Through March 3); The Bikinis (JPAS: through March 18); Becky Shaw (The Shadowbox: March 1-17);Widow Bride (Slidell Little Theatre: March 3-18); Boy Gets Girl (Delgado Community College: March 6-11); Flanagan’s Wake (JPAS: March 9-April 10); Tick, Tick... Boom! (Cafe Istanbul: March 9-18); Moon Over Buffalo (Playmakers: March 9-25); Steel Magnolias (March 9-April 1)The Light in the Piazza (JPAS: March 16-18); All’s Well That Ends Well (Loyola: March 16-24); Welcome to Desire (The Allways Lounge: March 16-25); Bat Boy the Musical (NOCCA: March 28-31);  Visiting Hours (Mid-City Theatre: March 29-April 21); La Concierge Solataire (Shadowbox Theatre: March 29-April 14).

April Openings 

On the Air (National World War II Museum: April 9-May 27); A Man of No Importance (UNO: April 17-22); Hay Fever (Tulane: April 17-22); The Clifton Monroe Chronicles (Shadowbox Theatre, April 19-28).

After the Jazz Fest

How I Became a Pirate (Slidell Little Theatre: May 19-27); Shirley Valentine (Southern Rep City Series: May 12-27). 


The Divine Sister (Through March 10) The funniest thing from 2011 to 2012, Charles Busch's uproariously inappropriate and surprisingly sweet camp comedy continues its run at The Mid-City Theatre. Ricky Graham, Varla Jean Merman, Gary Rucker and Cecile Casey Covert are all at the top of their games. Get your tickets now; it is selling fast.


The Lion King (March 14-April 15) If the executives who thought hiring a post-colonialist, avant-garde puppeteer to helm a major Broadway musical was a good idea are not fabulously wealthy and sitting on a beach, there is no justice in the world. One of the great collisions of art and commerce, The Lion King comes to The Mahalia Jackson for an extended run.


A Streetcar Named Desire (March 21-April 15) Southern Rep pushes in all its chips for poker night. Working in collaboration with The Tennessee Williams Fest, The Jazz Fest, and InsideOut Productions, The Rep tackles what is possibly America's greatest play. And they are upping the ante by staging it at The Michalopoulos Studio on Elysian Fields, essentially in the same neighborhood as the play itself. Director Jason Kirkpatrick's production of the theatrical monster promises to be the local high stakes event of the season.


Blues for an Alabama Sky (April 6-22) Once The Amen Corner's return engagement has concluded, Anthony Bean Community Theatre presents Pearl Cleage's 1995 drama about the effects of The Great Depression on The Harlem Renaissance. As always, ABCT manages to pick a title that speaks to the hard truths of the culture in which we live.


Kiss Kiss Julie (March 22-April 15) From the people who brought you Rumours of War comes a wild deconstruction of the world of August Strindberg.  Featuring the talents of Nick Slie, Rebecca Mwase, Lisa Shattuck, and Ashley Sparks, Kiss Kiss Julie is directed by acclaimed artist Kathy Randels with script assistance from Pulitzer Prize finalist Lisa D'Amour.



Developing Story to Follow The New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane's All Hamlet Season versus The NOLA Project's As You Like It at NOMA. We are going to find out if New Orleans can support two high-quality Shakespeare companies.

My hope is that audiences

My hope is that audiences will enjoy both NOLA Project and Tulane Shakespeare. The two run at different times, so maybe we can create a few folio-philes over the three month period that both shows are running. And I just want to point out to those less familiar with NOLA Project's work that we are not strictly a Shakespeare company, but a company that puts out own unique, environmental spin on Shakespeare at the museum in addition to plenty of other styles and authors throughout the year. But thanks for the exciting shout out Jim!

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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

Published Daily