Events this week: Glam, literary New Orleans

 

Join us for an evening of carnival-inspired fashion and festivities! Hosted within the Presbytere’s Mardi Gras exhibition, this runway show will present works inspired by the lavish costumes and gowns on display, worn by local performers and models. Attendees will get an after-hours view of Grand Illusions: The History and Artistry of Gay Carnival in New Orleans, which highlights the ground-breaking work of local costumers and krewes and provides further inspiration for how carnival attire can influence year-round fashion. This event is made possible through a partnership with Louisiana State Museum, Friends of the Cabildo, and New Orleans Fashion Week, and all proceeds will benefit the museum.

Purchase tickets here

 

Wednesday (10AM): September 25th
Tickets: $20 Members | $25 General Admission 
Departure Point: 1850 House Museum Store (523 St. Ann St.)

Celebrate the Tennessee Williams Festival with a two-hour French Quarter Literary Tour. The French Quarter and New Orleans served as a muse for some of most important American writers of the 20th century including Tennessee Williams, William Faulkner and Truman Capote. Follow their paths through the French Quarter and see how the city impacted their writing.

Purchase tickets here

 

 

“The German Bazaar of New Orleans, 1915”

Wednesday:Lecture to highlight local German American event during WWI
Letter from the office of New Orleans Mayor Martin Behrman responding to request for support for the German Bazaar; April 1915;THNOC, gift of Deutsches Haus, 2008.0113
a lecture by THNOC Deputy Director Daniel Hammer, presented in conjunction with the exhibition At Home and at War: New Orleans, 1914 – 1919
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
extended exhibition viewing: 5:30 – 6 p.m.
lecture: 6 p.m.
Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres Street
Admission is free. Reservations: (504) 523-4662 or wrc@hnoc.org
                              
On Wednesday, April 20, THNOC Deputy Director Daniel Hammer will discuss the 1915 German Bazaar, an event that helped fortify a sense of community identity among the city’s German Americans.
In April 1915, nine months after World War I engulfed Europe, the German community in New Orleans held a major public event to raise funds for the German and Austrian Red Cross, while also educating fellow citizens about the German war effort. The United States would not enter the conflict for another two years, and Germany and Austria had not yet become the subject of intense American pro-war propaganda. The event was supported by a number of prominent community figures, including then-mayor Martin Behrman (see above), and was a tremendous success, in part because of the city’s rich German culture.
The existing documentation of the event is remarkably complete, making the German Bazaar a rare window into the life of the German American community of New Orleans at a critical time in history. Reserve your seat for the lecture today by emailing wrc@hnoc.org or calling (504) 523-4662.

bonding versus bridging versus bug off

(I wrote this a few years back and always think of it during event season in New Orleans which is just beginning. If you go to the LPO, or a fundraiser at a private home, look for this behavior yourself to see if I am right.)

In many cases, hanging out in the French Quarter allows you to forge new relationships with people who you do not normally see like people from away, or rich folks, hustlers, delivery guys, strippers, musicians, artists. What is also true is that if you live there you can also engineer it to (purposefully) have little interaction with those unlike you.
I learn this when I go the events for the “haves” in the Quarter. Last night I attended the world premiere for 3 one-act plays of Tennessee Williams. The event was held at Southern Rep at the foot of Canal Street, high above the mean streets.
As I came in, an organizer asked me with a surprised note in their voice, ‘Oh, are you here for the world premiere?”
I answered in the affirmative with a smile that said of course you have to ask. They quickly recovered and all went swimmingly. Well, until I sat next to some people who gave me one of those thin smiles that say, “why, who you?” And then soon enough, they politely got up and  went to stand near other well-dressed people.
Maybe my taffeta rustled too loudly.
It is hopefully clear to you, dear reader that I am never well-dressed.

Don’t get me wrong-it wasn’t a wide empty swath around me, just chatty people known to each other who had little or no interest in actually making eye contact with those unknown.
And yet it was fun to listen and watch and not be “someone” or paired with someone who felt the need to nervously scan the room as they made innocuous talk as they realized they were standing back to back with Peggy Scott Laborde. That matters at TWLF by the way.
And I find some of those “haves” perfectly friendly who have made it to that group for good reason, through accomplishment.

Unfortunately though, they can also be one because they married it or bought it and then they wear it like armor.

In contrast, let’s see what the situation might be if you went to say, John Boutte’s show at dba Saturdays.
-The smiles are freely shared and if a regular has seen you more than once before somewhere it’s likely they will start a conversation to find out about you. Or if they are standing next to you, dancing to “At The Foot Of Canal Street.”  During the break and after the show, the musicians, including John, are hugging people, graciously meeting new converts and hanging about. The only thing off limits at those shows are the chairs that are commandeered as soon as the doors are opened. And the beer is excellent.
Chat or not, shared smiles notwithstanding, the TWLF world premiere food was good; the shrimp were only slightly flavored but the salmon was quite excellent. The champagne wasn’t the worst and they came to give more before we went in. All gratis, of course but you knew that.
Overheard:
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when the taxi stopped here…”
“That one is my most intellectual child…”
“Is this the Village People?” (gay friend joke)
“I did not read the synopsis. I left my glasses in the car. That’s fine.”
“Hello you!” (tone was clearly one of “I have no idea of your name, but let’s kiss and hug in case we are good friends.”)

After the first 2 of the 3 short pieces about people who retreat into illusion when unable to deal with the ugliness of reality, the organizers made an announcement as intermission began that the champagne glasses HAD needed  to go back to the bartenders before the “curtain” had gone up and now those glasses were to be delivered home. With a note in their voice that said, seriously, they may start charging us for the extra time, so PLEASE bring the glasses back out to the bar…
…Finally, I watched the female bar staff person come in and scour the theater as quickly as she could for the orphaned glasses, orphaned by those now standing outside in small, select groups who did not and do not ever hear the call that they should hand their glass back.
Moving fast, you knew when she finished she would go home and get off her feet while we went back to see the last piece about fragile people who talk in poetic sentences.

Lucky people.

A Musical Prelude To The Celebration Of Easter

The Bishop Perry Center Presents Six Free Concerts,
Thursdays During Lent, February 19 – March 26, 6 p. m.
St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 1116 Chartres Street.

Bishop Perry Center’s second annual Musical Prelude to the Celebration of Easter. The artists performing: pianists Dr. E. Quinn Peeper and Michael Harold with tenor Casey Candebat, who placed in the recent Metropolitan Opera regional competition. The pianists will perform some pieces arranged for four hands, as well as performing solo. The popular duo are active in the New Orleans Opera Association, the English Speaking Union, the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society and numerous other cultural organizations of the city. Candebat is receiving rave reviews by critics for such journals as the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco
Chronical, and the Times-Picayune.

The third concert on March 5 will feature the enormously talented trio known as the Honey Truffles, three beautiful blondes who harmonize in the style of the Andrews Sisters and sing both pop, such as “The Boggie Woogie Bugle Boy,” and spiritual music. The fourth concert will star Sarah Jane McMahon, well known opera singer, who will don her torch singer persona for a performance with pianist Jessie Reeks. The fifth concert’s star will be Tom Sancton with his traditional jazz band. And the final concert will feature gospel music led by pianist Lawrence Sieberth with singers Phillip Manuel and Yolanda Robertson. And that last concert will have a surprise finale.

The Bishop Perry Center is an outreach mission for the disadvantaged and cultural center for downtown New Orleans, created by the Archdiocese of New Orleans. The Center, offers free spiritual, food, clothing, medical, educational, and legal services to all in need, regardless of religious affiliation. The concerts are free. Donations to the Bishop Perry Center are most appreciated.