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Found scraps in gilded frames are artist’s medium

Photo provided by Foundation Gallery -- 'Under the Southern Sky' by Lee Morais, made from a postcard from Galatoire's. 'Of all the work I've ever done, this is the most optimistic.'

In the early 1940s, Lee Morais was just a boy, but he was an artist nonetheless. He was so engrossed by drawing at the time that his business-focused family worried about his preoccupation with crayons and took him to a psychologist. Luckily, the psychologist understood and prescribed nothing more than for Morais’ parents to set him… Continue reading →

Festival brings dancers, wannabes to N.O. stages

Photo by Monty LemanJo 'Boobs' Weldon, headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque, performs in a costume by Maddog Swing.

Think of it as a convention of tassels, pasties and feather fans. Boasting five distinctive burlesque shows, nine workshops and a host of parties, the sixth annual New Orleans Burlesque Festival opens Thursday, Sept. 18, and it brings some the art form’s leading local, national and international talent to stages and clubs across the French Quarter.… Continue reading →

New Orleans area stages calendar, Sept. 18-25

A LIE OF THE MIND: Mid-City Theatre, 3540 Toulouse St., New Orleans. Set in the gritty American West, the story alternates between two families after a severe incident of spousal abuse. 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Thursdays-Saturdays through Oct. 4. $15 to $20. (504) 488-1460 or MidCityTheatre.com. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST: Nims Theater… Continue reading →

St. Maurice in the Lower 9th to host installation, and worshipers have a place

Advocate staff photo by J.T. BLATTY-- in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. The St. Maurice Church in the Lower Ninth Ward. This deconsecrated church, established in 1857, will be the location for artist Taylor Lee Shepard's interactive art installation,

St. Maurice Roman Catholic Church in the Lower 9th Ward was deconsecrated and shut down in 2008, 151 years after its construction. The Archdiocese of New Orleans deemed the heavy damage after Hurricane Katrina, falling attendance and the estimated $2 million cost to reopen it too steep a price, leaving the old church silent and empty. Six… Continue reading →

JPAS rolls out a season in transition as new theater nears the finish line

Photo provided by JPAS -- The Jefferson Performing Arts Society will kick off its 2014-15 season with Butch Caires original production of 'Blueberry Hill.' Butch Caire, left, and Donald Lewis.

For the Jefferson Performing Arts Society, the upcoming season — its 37th — is expected to be one of transition. Or, as JPAS co-founder and Artistic Director Dennis Assaf described it, a “hybrid season.” More than seven years after its groundbreaking ceremony, the new Jefferson Performing Arts Center on Airline Drive in Metairie may… Continue reading →

New Orleans’ Elm Theater stages gritty ‘Lie of the Mind’

Photo provided by Liz Gore Photography -- Joel Derby (Frankie) and Elm ensemble member Becca Chapman (Beth) in Elm Theatre's season opener, 'A Lie of the Mind' by Sam Shepard.

Actress Becca Chapman is preparing to meet one of this country’s great playwrights on his own violent terms. “Our artistic director, Garrett Prejean, told me a quote from Sam Shepard. ‘I’m not doing this to vent demons. … I want to shake hands with them.’ That’s when I knew that we needed to do his work.”… Continue reading →

Themes of racism in ‘Pittsburgh Cycle’ still resonate, director says

Photo provided by Anthony Bean Theater -- From left, Alphe Williams, Zaria Griffin, Roscoe Reddix Jr. and Dwight E. Clay in 'Two Trains Running.'

Anthony Bean is a widely respected actor, director, educator and all-around theatrical professional, yet he doesn’t always follow a script. As founder and director of his namesake theater in Carrollton, he schedules seasons by the calendar year rather than adhering to the traditional theater season between September and June. That’s why Anthony Bean Community Theater… Continue reading →

New Orleans area stages calendar, Sept. 11-18

VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE: 8 p.m., Thursdays-Saturdays through Sept. 20, Le Petit Theatre, 616 St. Peter St., New Orleans. In Christopher Durang’s Tony Award-winning comedy, middle-aged siblings Vanya and Sonia share a home where they bicker and complain about their lives. (504) 522-2081.… Continue reading →

In ‘Of Paint and Paper,’ dense collages form intricate portraits

Photo provided by Keith Perelli --Perelli transforms a famous, once-scandalous Manet painting in 'Le Bain.'

In Keith Perelli’s art, things are never quite as simple as they seem. Which isn’t to say that any of the works in his new show “Of Paint and Paper” at the Delgado Fine Arts Gallery are simple, exactly. Even a casual look will show you just how densely layered and intricately constructed his portraits and figure… Continue reading →

Le Petit opens season with Tony-winning stage play

Photo by Frank Aymami -- Jake Wynne-Wilson is 'boy-toy' Spike in 'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.'

A knock-off of Chekhov kicks off the 2014-15 season at Le Petit Theatre on Friday night for a three-week run. Making its regional premiere, Christopher Durang’s 2013 Tony Award-winning play, “Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike,” takes many of its cues from the works of Russian playwright Anton Chekhov. Durang has a clear affinity for… Continue reading →

Le Petit season has something for everyone

Photo by Frank Aymami -- Susan Shumate and Martin Covert in 'Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike.'

This seasons’s selections at Le Petit Theatre represent an eclectic mix of musicals and traditional stage plays, said artistic director Cassie Steck Worley. Next up for Le Petit is “Peter and the Starcatcher” (Nov. 7-23), a prequel to the more familiar Peter Pan story that Worley termed “a wonderful family show, appropriate for all ages.”… Continue reading →

New Orleans area stages calendar, Sept. 4-13

“ARKHAM ASYLUM”: 9 p.m., The Shadowbox, 2400 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans. The play follows a security breach at Arkham Asylum and a gas leak that is causing Gotham’s favorite super villains to take off their clothes. theshadowboxtheatre.com. FRIDAY NIGHT LAUGHS: 10 p.m., La Nuit Comedy… Continue reading →

Newcomb’s two-woman show might be this summer’s best bet

Photo provided by Newcomb Art Gallery -- Chakaia Booker's 'Color of Hope' is a monumental work made, like much of her art, of discarded rubber tires.

At its most basic level, art is about a process of transformation. Artists combine materials into objects that turn out to be more than the sum of their parts. This summer, you can’t find a better example of how that transformation works, and in different ways, than in the Newcomb Art Gallery’s current shows of work by… Continue reading →

Social worker has the creds for ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’ role

Photo by John Barrois -- Amy Alvarez is the most vilified nurse in theater, Nurse Ratched, and Alex Martinez Wallace is Randle McMurphy in the NOLA Project's staging of 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.' The show opens Thursday, Sept. 4, at NOCCA’S Nims Black Box Theatre in New Orleans.

Actress Amy Alvarez has strong feelings about the presentation of mental health issues on stage and screen. “I’m probably hyper-aware of the different ways mental illness is portrayed in movies, plays and novels,” she said. That’s because, along with portraying Nurse Ratched in the NOLA Project’s season premiere “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” Alvarez is… Continue reading →

New Orleans area arts calendar, Aug. 28-Sept. 4

STEINBECK, THE ART OF FICTION: Irish Cultural Museum, 933 Conti St. Sculptor Lew Aytes and photographer Robert Nease collaborative exhibit honoring the author. icmnola.com. “DATA SHADOWS” EXHIBIT: Carroll Gallery at Tulane University, 6823 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. Works by AnnieLaurie Erickson. carrollgallery.tulane.edu/index.html. “FROM BARBED WIRE TO BATTLEFIELDS, JAPANESE AMERICAN EXPERIENCES IN WWII” EXHIBIT: The… Continue reading →

New Orleans area stages calendar, Aug. 28-Sept. 4

“BUG” BY TRACY LETTS: 8 p.m., Allways Theatre, 1030 Marigny St., New Orleans. The local premiere of “Bug” by Tracy Letts. Set in a seedy Oklahoma City motel room, the play centers on the meeting between Agnes, a divorced waitress with a fondness for cocaine and isolation, and Peter, a soft-spoken Gulf War… Continue reading →

Southern University exhibit coincides with national arts alliance’s annual conference

Advocate staff photo by  April Buffington --

There’s nothing like Christmas morning on an August afternoon in Southern University’s Visual Arts Gallery. Randell Henry and Addie Dawson-Euba are opening packages. They’ve seen the pieces in photos, but there’s nothing like seeing them in person, especially for the first time when composition and color overwhelm the senses. “Beautfiul,” Dawson-Euba says as Henry unpacks Ricky… Continue reading →

Ballet for Children accepting reservations for ‘Journey’ fall tour

Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre’s Ballet for Children is taking reservations for the fall tour of “Journey to the Emerald City: Healthy Stops and Healthy Swaps.” Directed by Michele Ball, a registered dietitian and professional dancer, Ballet for Children’s in-school performance introduces students to dance and nutrition through dialogue and original choreography. “Journey to… Continue reading →

Kids Orchestra program playing in five more schools

The Kids Orchestra after-school music program is now available at five additional schools in the fall of 2014: Dalton Elementary, Winbourne Elementary, Magnolia Woods Elementary, Ryan Elementary and the Gardere Community Christian School. The program is designed for students in kindergarten through the fifth grade and offers music instruction twice a week. The Kids Orchestra also… Continue reading →

Arts Calendar for Aug. 24, 2014

Here’s what’s going on this week in the local arts and cultural scene: ■ River Community Church, 36367 Old Perkins Road, Prairieville, opens its third annual Children’s Community Art and Photography Show today, Aug. 24. The show runs through Sunday, Sept. 28. Hours are 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Sundays and by appointment. Admission… Continue reading →