Monday, February 28, 2005

Documentary filmmaker Jonathan Stack appears at Centenary College March 7 - 9

"Centenary is proud to be the first location to host the complete series of Jonathan Stack's award-winning films about Louisiana prisons, along with his newest internationally acclaimed film, Liberia: An Uncivil War," said Dr. Lisa Nicoletti, associate professor of art at Centenary.

Stack received the Thurgood Marshall Journalism Award for his documentaries on Angola Prison and recently received the Courage Under Fire award for his newest film about Liberia's Civil War.

Stack will screen the documentaries he directed and produced about Louisiana prisons and the unrest in Liberia at Centenary College, Shreveport, March 7 - 9. Each screening will be followed by a discussion of the film and a question-and-answer section.

The film screenings are free and open to the public. More info.

Maximizing the impact of Les Mis; Economic planners go to the barricades

More than 10,000 people attended the eight performances of Les Mis at the Strand Theater, according to the Shreveport Times. An additional sign of success earned by the historic Shreveport theater was that tickets were purchased by customers from Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma, and, less likely, from Kansas, Kentucky and Tennessee.

A Les Mis Economic Development Conference was quickly convened by the S'port Audi Owner & Harley Riders Association as well as the Committee of 30. The topic: maximizing the impact of the Strand's downtown success.

Here's a transcript of what we felt was the heart of the meeting:

Greg Tarver: A friend buzzed me with the idea of establishing a Temple of Les Miz in downtown Shreveport. Can't miss, I don't think. Something like the Hollywood Casino format: costumes and mannequins from the play, photos of the cast, bits of video, essentially a Les Miz Museum.
Virginia Shehee: Let's let Hollywood Casino run with that idea. I'm pret-ty sure they could use a make-over.
Bill Joyce: Les Miz Museum? Right. How about a $5 million defense fund so we could fight NYC, Paris and London for the rights to it.
Shehee: Yet, we do have a few downtown buildings available for such possibilities.
Tarver: The idea rocks but you can't blatantly say we want to cash in on the Les Mis phenom.
Joyce: Le Musee Victor Hugo?
Shehee: Lol; in Shreveport? No way. Given our population, we might go with Javert's World.
Tarver: I think you meant Valjean's World, my friend.
Joyce: What about something a bit subtler? I'm thinking Maison Cosette. Wait, a minute: she's under legal age during most of the play.
Tarver: 2<>4<>6<>0<>1 Texas St.!
Shehee: Gentlemen, let's expand the view here. One building? Let's open up the plan.
Joyce: Galveston does an annual Dickens on the Strand. They block off the historic streets and recreate 19th century London.
Tarver: We could recreate the Barricades of the Paris revolt, 1832, in the middle of Texas St.! SRAC might donate their downtown sculptures, too.
Shehee: Call Pam Atchison, pronto.
Joyce: The Barricades of Paris: we've got local Civil War reenactors out the wazoo. Sounds like a work in progress to me.
Shehee: If that works ... pardon me while I think out loud: I think Fannin St. is largely available. Bless my soul, but I see a glittering recreation of the gutters of Paris.
Joyce: Nineteenth century Shreveport becomes, via dance-and-song, the gorgeous Gutters of Paris! Brilliant; love it.
Tarver: Transvestites, tough cops, brothels, the visiting gentry, opium dens, winos, gunfire and knife fights. Gee, I think that we might be able to assemble a cast of players with background in that type of entertainment. Look, I heard that director Patric McWilliams is available.
Shehee: That, guys, makes a package. Let's get some financing. Indeed, we've "Dreamed the Dream."
Joyce: One mo' idea: maybe we should work in a series of colorful, fabric-draped gates leading up to Texas St. Hey; does that rock?

Virginia Sheehee, Greg Tarver and Bill Joyce appeared in this skit by the generosity of their civic-minded management agencies. Thanks, guys!

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Montessori School for Shreveport Art Auction: Enjoy food, drink and art Sat., March 5

Invitation by designer Colin Davidson.
The Montessori School for Shreveport 32nd Annual Art Exhibition and Silent Auction will be held Saturday, March 5th, from 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. and Sunday, March 6th, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Shreveport Convention Hall. The theme is "40 Years Of Celebrating The Imagination," in honor of the school's fortieth.

The art auction is the school's largest fundraiser, said auction chairman Jennifer Moorhead. The money raised helps keep tuition within the reach of the average family in the Shreveport-Bossier area.

And, I must add, it is a night in Shreveport when art reigns. The crowd looks, chats, evaluates and bids upon a nifty variety of paintings, sculptures, photography and prints. Somehow certain pieces develop a following; a bidding war and wary competition between the bidders develops. It is all in good fun and the artists may choose to receive 50% of the purchase price.

In 2001 Laura Nanda and my wife, Talbot Hopkins, made a considerable change in the art auction format: they built the event upon work by regional artists. Hopkins prevailed upon the generous Bryan Connell to donate a piece by Hopkins' great aunt, Clyde Connell. The wild bidding war for that piece, "No. 1, 1997," became Montessori legend.

Since then the art auction has been more profitable for both the customers and the local artists. Our art collection has been enriched by our attendance at the MSS Art Auction. May your collection grow this year, too.

Also, please see the Times story by Jennifer Flowers.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Tibetan Exhibit opens at Meadows Museum

Tibet has come to Shreveport via a multi-faceted exhibit at Meadows Museum, Centenary College.

Photos, artifacts and a film about the life of exiled Tibetan Buddhist monks living in India will be on exhibit through May 29.

"The photos and the film have been shot entirely by Tibetans," said Joe Mickey, a Californian who founded the Tibet Photo Project. "This is essentially different from what we've seen. There have been a lot of films about life in Tibet, but they've all been produced by Westerners."

The display is colorful, involving and will merit repeated visits.

Sunday, Feb. 27, at 2 pm, Centenary prof Peter Huff will speak on the Buddhist-Christian Dialogue Today.

Afterwards, about 3 pm, the newly edited film about Tibetan monks will be aired, said Tenzin Wangden Andrugtsang, Centenary's Tibetan representative. We found Wangden an articulate interpreter of Tibetan life. He played a Tibetan singing bowl and told us how its ringing sound aids meditation.

Visitors to the exhibit will be able to play the golden, rich-sounding bowl as part of their visit.

In the photo above: Diane DuFilho, director of Meadows Museum, Centenary's Bruce Allen and Kathy Brodnax, Talbot Hopkins and Joe Mickey, producer and founder of the Tibet Photo Project.

Resisting Entropy: Escaped Images dance performance March 5 & 6

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Escaped Images, Ginger Folmer's dance troupe from Centenary College, will perform shows Sat., March 5, and Sunday afternoon, Mar. 6.

Here an octet of the dancers (not the complete group) are taking a break from rehearsing "Resisting Entropy."
Lower left: Katie Carpenter, Katie DuPont, Laura Beth Sentell, Renee Nolen; upper left: Megan McCrosky, Christina Salter, Jesse Smith, Kristin McCrosky (yes; twins).

Ginger Folmer's programs are vibrant, varied and well-rehearsed. For a world of detail, please see Jennifer Flowers' story for the Times.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Final Performances of MLP's The Distance from Here

The Distance from Here is a raw look at difficult youth in tough suburbia. Directed by Patric McWilliams for Centenary College's Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, there are 2 remaining performances: Fri. and Sat., Feb. 25 and 26 (8 pm).

The cast is led by Joshua Porter as Darrell. Porter has numerous credits at Marjorie Lyons, having appeared in The Shape of Things, The Beauty of Queen Leenane, Verna: USO Girl, As Bees in Honey Drown, Grand Hotel, Pride's Crossing, Wit and Electra. He is a recent graduate of Centenary's theatre program.

Phillip Brooks will play Rich, the newest husband of Darrell's mother. His latest appearance was as Teddy, the menacing stranger, in When You Comin' Back Red Ryder. Brooks has had major roles in The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Noises Off, The Shape of Things, The Bat and The Underpants.
He is a senior film studies major at Centenary.

Charity Schubert appears as Cammie, Darrell's mother. Schubert recently spent a year studying in France and is a senior theatre/French major at Centenary.

The Distance From Here is by playwright Neil LaBute, a specialist in contemporary society's twists of the wire.

The cast is a splendid. Porter is a journeyman of the highest order and Brooks has shown larruping competence in MLP work. MLP has a deep field of support players, among them Sarah Smith, Patrick Kelley, Anysia Manthos and Laura Beth Sentell.

For tickets call 869-5242.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Shreveport Symphony Orchestra Support System: the 16th Annual Luxury Raffle

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
The Shreveport Symphony Orchestra
needs audience support. And one of the best ways to back the orchestra is to participate in its major fundraiser, the 16th Annual Luxury Raffle.

Grand Prize: 2005 Mercedes-Benz C240 Luxury Sedan. Value: $36,000
1st Prize: Custom-built Mirage Putting Green by Oasis Pools. Value: $5,500
2nd Prize: Shopping Spree at Sid Potts, Inc. Value: $2,500
3rd Prize: Two night stay at the Wyndham Canal Place in New Orleans. Value: $700
4th Prize: A car wash a week for a year from Auto Mall Car Wash. Value: $520

Tickets are $100 each.
Only 2005 tickets will be sold.
The drawing is on Saturday, March 19.
You need not be present to win.
Please call me for a ticket - 318-861-6809 - or email me or buy one online.

Above: soloist Monica Blake Mickle sings with combined choirs and the SSO at the People's Concert.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Codrescu at CMHS: "No video, no audio recording"

Visit Codrescu's literary magazine, Exquisite Corpse.

And listen to samples of his NPR commentary.

Then listen to him at Caddo Magnet HS at 6:30 pm, Wednesday, Feb. 23, in the Ran Kiper Performing Arts Center. Parking is easy and the PAC is easy to find; it's not a large campus. More info:

Codrescu was at lunch today and I stopped to say "Welcome" and to tell him that I planned to videotape his presentation in the 6:30 session, which is free and open to the public. I mentioned it was for this blog. Codrescu replied," No. No videotaping." Stunned, I didn't get his explanation verbatim. It was something like "for various reasons." A couple of minutes later he sidled over to add "No video recording. And no audio recording." In a moment of considerable grace he added," Photos, OK. And you can take notes." Of course, a less bourgeois blogger would not have mentioned it to him. He's a public figure in a public session; shoot and whip it up on the web. And if he tried to stop them, he'd be on camera offering a whole new side to the Codrescu image.

He sees the irony in his stance. A man who stands for inquiry and who stands against totalitarianism has slipped to the level of * I've got to control my image, my performance.* Does he believe that blog video will threaten his opportunity to sell his lecture performance? An attorney opined that he is following the dictates of a publishing or speaking contract. For the sake of the comfortable life he's had to reconcile himself to a pretty serious contradiction. After all, Codrescu spent most of the night discussing the censorship he's had to witness. Today he is a part of the landed gentry, trying to hold back the $1.98 revolution being led by bloggers.

*** ***

Codrescu's visit is sponsored by the Mary Jane Malone Lecture Series. Last year the Malone fund brought Edward Albee to CMHS. Their intellectual and living memorial to a vibrant daughter lost in a car wreck is truly well-considered and generous.

The holocaust and music: Claudia Stevens at Centenary College Tuesday, Feb. 22

Innovative performer Dr. Claudia Stevens will present her original musical drama, An Evening with Madame F., at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 22, at Centenary College. The performance will be held in Anderson Auditorium, Hurley Music Building, Woodlawn Avenue.

Sponsored by the Department of Art and Visual Culture and the Convocations Subcommittee at Centenary, admission is $5 for adults and $2 for students, payable at the door.

Stevens assumes the role of an elderly prisoner and musician at Auschwitz. By blending historical inmate songs and first-hand accounts, Stevens showcases her giftedness in singing, piano playing and acting to portray the struggle of inmates who survived the concentration camp by way of their artistic expressions.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Shreveport Mac Users Group, Broadmoor Library, Thursday, Feb. 24

Apple computers are like the Creoles: they are a distinct minority but they have had an impact that goes beyond their numbers.

S'pt-Bossier area Apple/Macintosh enthusiasts have banded together for what you might call Creole nights.

At the January meeting the group was introduced to HD video by Dallas-area
videographer/Apple Trainer/PixelCuts owner Major Lytton.

This month's speaker will be Sam Denison with Time-Warner Cable Shreveport. In addition to being a Mac user, Sam is a High Speed Data Technical Support Specialist for Time-Warner Cable and its Road Runner high speed online service. He will discuss Mac cooking in the home as well as how to use your Mac as a fireplace and baseless wire station.

Meetings are held the fourth Thursday of the month, 6:30 pm, at Broadmoor Library's meeting room.

It's a pleasant, well-spoken group that could pass for a group of Oregon Mac Users, except for their accents: there are web designers, advertising types, students, videographers, engineers and other professionals. Check out the members and their profiles, see who's attending the next meeting and get acquainted with princial organizers Thomas Avallone and Colin Davidson at the SMUG site.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Requiescat in pace: Hunter S. Thompson

Not one of his big fans, I must admit that Thompson's heroic and spasm-inducing Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas stunned me. It bore down like a skidding cauldron of oxidatious alkaloids.

For my generation no movie could possibly fly like Thompson's winged prose.

Maestro, De la Serna & Bernal in Brazilian "Diarios de Motocicleta"

Smell the exhaust and scorched ankles of Gael Garcia Bernal on a 1939 Norton in the winning movie Motorcycle Diaries. This week you can put the dvd on a shelf and enjoy an airing of Diaries with fellow film mavens at the Centenary Film Society. The movie airs at 7 pm on the 23rd and 24th, and is free and open to the public.

Happily, the 2-night run accomodates those of us who will be attending a talk by Andrei Codrescu at 6:30 pm the 23rd at Caddo Magnet High School. Please see the archives. More info: 221-2501

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Rock opera: Les Miz

Gigantic assemblages of stairs, railings, piers and beams moved from left and right to meet gracefully in the middle of the Les Miserables set, as though they were 6000-pound transformer toys. It was one example of the every-trick-in-the-book staging provided for us by the French and English designers of this Broadway feast.

What we got from Les Miz was a spectacle designed to please an enormous demographic. In addition to the mega-sets, the stage was fitted with a large turntable which provided an extra level of kineticism to the stage action. This show goes toe-to-toe with movies and hockey and is a whirling, magnetic competitor.

Raise your hand if you've seen Les Miz more than once.

The singing was capable and constant. The melodies walked the line between the unresolved cadences of operatic dialogue and sweet riffs that reminded me of Jesus Christ SuperStar. Sweet? Many of the songs were sung over progressions strongly reminiscent of the Beatles. Happily, the orchestra was admirably strong in brass and string sounds.

What I loved most about Les Miz in Shreveport, though, was the big picture. I think that
a) This freshens the Strand's status. Everyone appreciates a team that hits a homerun.
b) Downtown proved itself to a large crowd. Parking was easy, the streets seemed safe, the Strand was a beacon.
c) Some people may have enjoyed the lyrical and historic drama enough to give Shreveport Opera a chance.
d) The show was entertaining without employing the crass elements that we routinely expect in mass market entertainment.
e) The production was a textbook lesson in the power of lighting, of stagecraft and melody. I'm sure it has stimulated local directors and designers as well as performers.

If you loved this show, the Strand's got a follow-up of similar quality, says general manager Danny Fogger; it is called Miss Saigon. Fogger says Les Miz was an 8-truck show (number of giant trailer vans needed to transport the set and gear). Miss Saigon, he points out proudly, is a 7-truck extravaganza.

Friday, February 18, 2005

RW Norton Art Gallery: Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
RW Norton Art Foundation Gallery: Zelda by Herself: The Art of Zelda Fitzgerald
(February 15 - April 10, 2005)

Zelda Fitzgerald's life was overshadowed by that of her husband, F. Scott Fitzgerald, the author. In spite of this, according to the press release, Zelda managed to attain professional status in three different artistic areas: ballet, writing, and art. Until recently not a great deal of attention has been focused on her artistic achievements. This exhibition redresses this imbalance by showing the works she created in oil, watercolor, decorative objects, and, most enchantingly, a series of paper dolls created for her daughter Scottie.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

statuescrybleeding and 11 more acts at the Shell Amphitheater, Centenary College, Friday, Feb. 18

Originally uploaded by trudeau.

Ryan Pearson, drummer for statuescrybleeding, has a list of his favorite bands on the statues' amusing web site: "Cryptopsy, Mastodon, Cephalic Carnage, Dillinger Escape Plan, Rush, Slipknot and the Beach Boys." Lol.

Centenary College KSCL organizer Sara Hebert says ...

"Just a reminder that the Battle of the Bands will be taking place in
Centenary's Shell Amphitheatre starting at 4pm on Friday.  We're not
looking for anymore bands to play (we have a ton!); however, we'd love
it if you attended.  Here's a list of the bands playing.

Queing the Loo
The Vidrines
Robbie Cluck
David Love
The Well Hung Jury
Heath Forbes
King Hippo
Junior the Third
Shelly Walker
Brosius (from Lafayette)

The Battle of the Bands is a fundraiser for Up Til Dawn (who raises
money for St. Jude's Hospital) and your favorite radio station KSCL
91.3 FM.  a $5 donation is encouraged in place of admission.  Also,
we'll be selling awesome record bowls for $3!"

This editor was listening to statuescrybleeding on CD this week and was impressed by their we-can-do-it-all talent, even if it was fairly screamy. Another favorite of mine is the ever-evolving crooner/poet Robbie Cluck.

More info?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Neil LaBute's The Distance From Here was a hit Off B'way last year. This year Marjorie Lyons Playhouse director Patric McWilliams and producer Bob Busieck are presenting it in Shreveport. Yes, Shreveport, Louisiana.

Josh Porter, Phillip Brooks and Charity Schubert are the principals. Cast photo is by Neil Johnson.

LaBute's The Shape of Things was produced convincingly by MLP two seasons ago. Shape of Things was provocative, clever, memorable and even treacherous.

I think we'll have one of more of those, please, sir.

Distance opens Feb. 17, runs Feb. 18-19 and Feb. 24-26 at 8 p.m., and has a 2 p.m. matinee on Feb. 20.
Theatre Box Office - 318-869-5242 - is open daily from noon to 4 p.m. Tickets: $15 for adults, $13 for senior citizens; and $10 for students. There will be a preview performance on Wednesday, Feb. 16 with all seats priced at $7.

More info.

Writer Jennifer Flowers captured an emotional interview with director McWilliams for the Times. Distance is his last play for Centenary College drama.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Les Mis squeezes into the Strand Theater, Shreveport

Les Miserables, with a 36-person cast and orchestra of 18, is too big for the Strand Theater. So the Strand's Danny Fogger, general manager, and Penne Mobley, executive director, have gone to work with wire and tong to retrofit the venerable backstage area.

You can get a vivid look at why the company needs so much space via Jennifer Flowers extensive report for the Times. Flowers and photog Jessica Leigh trekked to St. Louis to watch the production in action.

Tickets are pricey but the promise of a groaning epic in the region's gem, the Strand Theater, is enticing. The show runs from Tues., Feb. 15, to Sun., Feb. 20.

Tickets are available, by the way, via the box office - 226-8555 - as well as online.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Zounds! Lake & Taylor present Coursen on Shakespeare at LSUS

World-renowned poet and author H.R. Coursen will speak on film versions of Shakespeare's plays at the Noel Memorial Library, LSUS, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 16. Coursen will also give a reading of his poetry and take questions at the same location on Thursday Feb. 17, at 6:30 p.m.

Both presentations, sponsored by the James Smith Noel Collection at LSUS and the LSUS College of Liberal Arts, are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Dr. Helen Taylor, professor of English, at 797-5211 or, or Dr. James Lake, professor of English, at 797-5252 or

Looks like wheaties topped with juju bears to us. The only question: will the witty Taylor and droll Lake join the the capable Coursen onstage for a Shakespearean jam?

Art is not an oil well, but it is pumping hard

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Alan English, executive editor of the Shreveport Times, finds signs of health in the regional arts scene. See his column in the Times Sunday, Feb. 13.

Happily, he mentions this site, English says of my art & culture chronicle, "It serves to celebrate and share the "goings-on" in the arts community through the omnipresent Internet. It is a digital signpost toward our arts adulthood. Check it out."

The artistic work of photographer Mike Silva - Times photo editor - as well as the arts reportage of Jennifer Flowers - particularly on the Strand and the Les Miserables production - are used as examples. He also points to SRAC's ArtBreak student art fest as a sign of health.

Yet I believe he was trying to say, "My predecessor as Times editor, Gannett's insensitive Ronnie Ramos, tried to curtail arts reportage. That was a mistake." English has taken the opposite road: he has decreed a level of arts covereage unprecedented in recent regional history.

Now let's see if we can sell a little of this well-covered art.

Above: the stage at Arodasi Dance Center. Paintings on the wall and sculpture on the floor by Dorothinia Kristi Hanna, founder of the Arodasi, formerly called the Harmony Healing Center.

"Dancing down the bones," a movement workshop featuring international-level somatic guru Sondra Fraleigh, will take place at Arodasi Dance Center March 14 - 18. More info: Peggy LaCour, program coordinator, 518-6282, or

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Maestro William Henry Curry backstage in Shreveport

Following the standing ovation won by Wideman Piano Competition soloist Konstantyn Travinskyy in his performance with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra Saturday night, there was the briefest of awkward moments. The 24 year-old prodigy began to leave the stage. "Sorry, dear fellow," Maestro Curry seemed to say as he took the pianist by the shoulders and gracefully directed him to the piano. "You've got an encore to play."

The highly expressive pianist ripped through a rollicking "Polka" by Rachmaninoff.

The guest conductor - one of the five candidates being auditioned by the SSO this year - was charming in his description of the Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 4, the evening's centerpiece. While the pizzicato sections might have been cleaner, the dynamics and triumphal ups and downs of the "Tchaik 4" were delivered.

Coming up with the SSO:
Thursday, March 3, at Hurley Music Building, Centenary College: "World Rhythms," a chamber concert featuring percussionist Chandler Teague and talented friends.
Saturday, March 19, a Masterworks concert entitled "Commedia."

And tickets for the SSO's Luxury Raffle, an extremely important fundraiser, are available online or from this writer, at 861-6809.

Bernice Lewis, singer-guitarist-songwriter, plays Shreveport Tuesday night

Bernice Lewis' voice and stage craft has impressed numerous of my friends. Dr. Paul Jordan has hosted several Lewis shows at his house in recent years and has been pleased by "her casual style, stimulating songs and easy manner."

Based in New England, she is on the southern leg of her twice-a-year tour schedule. This year her concert site is Fairfield Studios' House Concert Series, 1510 Fairfield Ave., Shreveport (220-0400).

She performs Tuesday, Feb. 15, at 6:30 pm.

House Concerts are the pips: they're right for those who love live music but who may not like cigarette smoke and may not have a late night-friendly work schedule. Ta da: here's an alternative. And here's detailed reportage on the last concert by the Times' Alexandyr Kent.

Tickets are $15.

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Hot Pianist, Cool Conductor: the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, Saturday, Feb. 12

William Henry Curry, conductor for the North Carolina Symphony, is Shreveport-Bossier's fresh meat this week. Maestro Curry is candidate number three in the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra's year-long conductor search.

Saturday he will both cue the SSO and integrate the keyboard boom of the Wideman Piano Competition winner, Konstantyn Travinskyy.

Travinskyy is a Kievan who has won a googol of medals in recent European as well as American piano competitions. Winning the Wideman means outdoing the world's best young international crew.

Curry is a Philadelphian who has conducted the Baltimore, the St. Paul and New Orleans orchestras before taking his North Carolina position. From Jerusalem to Taipei to LA, he has not stinted on guest conductorships.

Thus Saturday's concert by the SSO will crackle with creative tension. How many agendas are allowed in the symphony hall at any one time? For the audience will have its say, too, in the evaluation of the conductors in the SSO search.

Saturday's concert will begin at 7:30 pm in the Civic Theater. Tickets? 227--8863. Parking? I recommend the shuttle from AmSouth Bank, corner of Milam and Market. It's complimentary and runs every 10 minutes after 5:30 pm.

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Savor Delpy with the Centenary Film Society

Before Sunrise" (Wed., Feb. 9) and "Before Sunset" (Th., Feb. 10) will be aired at Centenary College, Shreveport, via the Centenary Film Society.

All fims to be presented this semester will be shown in Mickle Hall Auditorium (Rm 114). Admission is free and films are open to the public. All begin at 7 pm.

The CFS (their website wanted updating this week) is one of our favorite local institutions. Hosted by film and English prof Jeff Hendricks and his students - and aided by art dept. head Bruce Allen - the series always contains provocative work. For those of us who can't dash to Dallas to see artful flics, the CFS is the answer. The audience is typically small but diverse in age and motleyness.

Coming up: the hot "Motorcycle Diaries," Feb. 23 & 24. Also on the schedule are French, Canadian, Italian and American movies. Call 869-5254 for more info and a printed menu.

Parking? Use the lot on the corner of King's Highway and Woodlawn, across from Joe's.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Carpe diem: the last Carnival quiz before Lent

1. The term Carnival derives from the a) French b) German c) Latin d) English.
2. Carnival means a) Let us celebrate! b) A journey to the New World! c) Goodbye to flesh! d) Wine and feasting for all!
3. Rex is the best-known krewe of New Orleans but it is not quite the oldest. That distinction belongs to the Mystick Krewe of a) Zulu b) Proteus c) Comus.
4. T / F New Orleans Mardi Gras was not affected by the graceful dancing and festive costumes seen on African-American slaves as they gathered every Sunday in Congo Square.
5. Nova Scotia was known to the French as a) Canada b) New France c) Acadia
d) Haiti North.
6. Which group of French-speaking colonists came to Louisiana first? a) the Acadians, popularly known as the Cajuns b) French colonists under Governors Iberville and Bienville.
7. The principal region from which slaves were brought to the New World: a) North Africa b) East Africa c) South Africa d) West Africa.
8. The nation that is home to the Roman Catholic Church and place where the first Carnival masking and parades were seen: a) Italy b) France c) England.
9. T / F The term Creole comes from the Spanish word for cry. It referred to the cry of a baby born to parents who have emigrated to the New World.
10. Louisiana's Carnival season begins on January 6. That day is also known as a) Twelfth Night b) Tableau Night c) Dionysus Night.
11. Shreveport-Bossier has perhaps half a dozen parading krewes. The New Orleans
area has some a) 25 b) 50 c) 300 parades.
12. The immediate source for traditions and materials in Louisiana's early carnival festivities was a) Paris b) Rome c) Venice d) London.
13. In the city of New Orleans, which was developed first? a) Jazz music b) Mardi Gras.
14. What force connects the culture of South Louisiana to Carnival and makes it difficult for North Louisiana to do the same? a) racial heritage b) poverty
c) socio-religious culture d) history.
15. What unites the various US states who have the biggest propensity to Carnival? a) telecommunications b) the Gulf c) love of costumes d) music.
16. Which group of European colonists used the port of Cadiz as their point of embarkation and debarkation to Louisiana? a) Spain b) France c) Italy d) Portugal.
17. Which group of people spent a year or two on a Caribbean island before being allowed to work in the American colonies? a) Acadians b) Africans c) Creoles.
18. T / F Ethiopia, Nigeria, the Congo: these are the West African nations of America's heritage.

1. Latin / Italian 2. Goodbye to meat, or flesh. 3. Comus, which no longer offers a parade. 4. False. The Congo Square dancers were a magnet for the carriage class. Congo Square has been called New Orleans' first tourist attraction. 5. Acadia 6. The French colonists began immigrating about 1700; the Acadians arrived during the Spanish administration - the 1770's. 7. West Africa
8. Italy 9. Yes. 10. Twelfth Night 11. some 50 parades over a 3-week period 12. Paris 13. Carnival and Mardi Gras had been a part of the city from 1699; jazz was created in the 1890's. 14. socio-religious unawareness 15. The Gulf coast
16. Cadiz, Spain 17. West Africans 18. No; one of these nations is East African
- Ethiopia.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Michael G. Moore: "Torn," acrylic on canvas

Dreamscapes such as this richly-hued piece have put Michael G. Moore on the global map. He was invited to show in the 2003 Biennale Internazionale dell'Arte Contemporanea in Florence, Italy, as well as the Woburn Gallery in Bloomsbury, London, after he was discovered through Northwest Louisiana Art Gallery, the site he founded in 2002.

In an interview with Jennifer Flowers for the Shreveport Times, Moore said he is using acrylic instead of casein at the moment. He is at work on the biggest pieces of his life, one a 72" X 72."
In May he will show his large canvasses at Cafe des Amis in Breaux Bridge, Louisiana.

Moore will show works on paper at Prima Tazza, 8835 Line Ave., Shreveport, Feb. 14-March 11. 

Similar to his recent canvasses, Moore's online work has been heroic. He has fashioned pages for over 40 regional artists and has made it a dynamic site. Last year he and I determined to offer the Critical Thinking section of the site as a forum for local writers.

Rebecca Hudsmith, Michael Parker, Noma Fowler-Sandlin and I have been published for the past year through Moore's art site.

Today Moore is spending increased time painting and the Critical Thinking section writers are using blogs to publish stories and photos. Nonetheless, we are linked and indebted to Moore's catalytic thought and friendship.

Early work by Michael G. Moore: "Color 6"

Michael G. Moore, Shreveport-based painter, created the online Northwest Louisiana Art Gallery in 2002. There he shows work by his friends and acquaintances and works steadily to build a one-stop world of art.

Michael was the subject of an interview by Shreveport Times arts reporter Jennifer Flowers on Friday, Feb. 4.

Alas, the daily newspaper offers its reporters and subjects limited if, I suppose, democratically allotted space - even when it comes to visual arts stories. Happily, there are new tools and windows through which we can look at our society. At this metro blog and Moore's you can enjoy more of the artist's compelling work.

In this series Moore presents the artist as wounded if heroic observer. As he revealed in the Times / Flowers interview, he is bi-polar. "And all my art really deals with personal issues and things that I've gone through in my life and things I'm currently going through. I'm bipolar so I deal a lot with mental illness in my work. I'm very vocal about being bipolar and it makes many people uncomfortable to talk about it, but I think that different illnesses need to be talked about more. It's something people don't need to be uncomfortable with. It's not different form being diabetic, for instance."

Does knowing about the imbalance suffered by the artist affect your ability to enjoy his work? Background such as that provided by Flowers certainly helps the viewer understand the nature of the outsized eye in this benign, haunting self-portrait.

Saturday, February 05, 2005

What's for lunch? Wikipedia on rye

Try the phenomenal Wikipedia
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Wikipedia is a Web-based free content encyclopedia designed to be read and edited by anyone, with editions of varying sizes in 190 languages. 16,000 registered users collaboratively edit and maintain the English edition Wikipedia, which has allowed it in less than four years of operation to become the world's largest encyclopedia, containing 460,000 articles (growing 3000 per day) and 77 million words.

Wikipedia is one of the most popular reference sites on the Web, getting around 80 million hits per day. Wikipedia continues to receive plaudits from sources including BBC News, USA Today, The Economist, NewsWeek, BusinessWeek, the Chicago Sun-Times, and Wired Magazine, and has been the subject of a study by IBM.

Critics point to the potential for inaccurate information and that Wikipedia can not be as authoritative as a traditional encyclopedia with a more formal editing process. Vandalism is a recognized problem, though it is generally caught and reverted within minutes by users who monitor the recent changes.

In addition to traditional encyclopedia entries, Wikipedia includes information more often associated with almanacs, gazetteers, and specialist magazines, as well as coverage of current events. For more background on collective editing and the wiki movement, see Wiki.

Me, I find myself using more and more frequently. And in the areas of my concentration, for example, zydeco music, I find the entries impeccable. Look at all the pertinent links! Do you have any stories about your use of

Friday, February 04, 2005

Twentysomething Art: auction benefitting Jimmy Cousins

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
art show and auction
with sounds and snacks
a benefit for our jimmy cousins and his busted wrist

Saturday, February 5
6:00 to 9:30pm
Silent Auction begins @ 6:00
and closes promptly @ 9:00

be hella smart, buy local art

Lee Hardware Gallery
719 Edwards St.
(the curve where Cotton
turns into Edwards) Shreveport

Admission: $5+
(sliding scale)

Art by:
jimmy cousins
bill daniel
eric dean
allison dickson
ruth junto
jay marks
david nelson
rob reterson
joanna tagert
morgan thomas
jen wasson
and others

Sounds by:
DJ chris brown
jimmy cousins
john mackey
and others

Snackin Trix by:
libby patterson

support local soul

for more info email or
call joanna at 344-6731

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Don Tubbs sells How To Mardi Gras - and everything else under the Carnival sun

Italian masks? Extreme King Cakes? Tubbs Cajun Gifts was a Mardi Gras emporium before most people knew that Mardi Gras had been made legal. Don Tubbs, on Benton Road across from the Bossier Civic Theater, combines a world of cool hardware items with a Carnival cornucopia. He's got zydeco, jazz and cajun CD's, umbrellas in every size, baubles & bangles, mantles & dolls, and he sells the heck out of my 36-page guide, How To Mardi Gras.

How's that for a buoyant disclaimer?

Tubbs Extreme King Cake

Tubbs Extreme King Cake
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
One of the liveliest Carnival markets is in confections. It's the battle of the bakeries. "Oh, I've got King Cake from Bakery X!" "Not to worry," someone else might say; "I've got a fabulous King Cake from Bakery Y!"

Don Tubbs, proprietor of Tubbs Cajun Gifts, Bossier City, has been a student of Carnivalia for years. His cream-filled cake name is perhaps the catchiest in the region, befitting the dynamism of the marketplace: Tubbs Extreme King Cake.

Does that mean you can eat it while skateboarding or skydiving? Or does it mean that he's just trying Extreme-ly Hard to get your business?

Either way, the beneficiary is the King Cake customer. Bon appetit!

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Temporary lapse of sanity: Krewe of Highland bead mavens

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
"The 2005 Krewe of Highland parade will include all of Centaur's floats, all of Gemini's floats and all of ours," says parade founder Matthew Linn. "Better say 'most'," he added, "in case some don't show."
The Shreveport parade, he added, "starts moving at 2 pm sharp."

That means some ten jillion strands of beads will be tossed. Many of them will be handed back to the paradees a block later. Recycling is engendered by the presence of some 100 motley marching groups.

"Right now, tickets are available to the Krewe of Highland Masquerade Ball," said Linn. At the ball, Friday, Feb. 4, at 7:30, you can witness the fireworks as Queen Marsha Millican and King Tim Greening - the editor/author of News for Dumb Guys - are crowned. Anticipate celestial masking and fumaceous dancing to R & B singer Dorothy Prime. Miss Prime will be accompanied by piano pounder Steve Ramey and the Blues Jumpers. The ticket includes a considerable array of complimentary comfort food and a cash bar within the stylish walls of the Randall T. Moore mansion.

Tickets to the bal masque and more info: Krewe of Highand's 2005 Captain, Mary Brownfield or any board member. Always available is Columbia Cafe's Matthew Linn - 425-3862.

The parade is followed by the Carnival de Highland, a festival in Highland Park. Headlining the entertainment - from about 3:30 to sunset - will be Dorothy Prime and the Blues Jumpers.

See a parade map at the Highland Area Partnership site.

Boeuf Gras, new symbol of Americanism, in the Krewe of Highland Parade

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Sunday, February 6, the Krewe of Highland Parade will roll north on Creswell St. through the historic Highland neighborhood of Shreveport.

The 2005 parade will almost double last year's number of entries of dilatory floats, roaring and buzzing vehicles and amusingly-clad groups of people parading, according to Matthew Linn, proprietor of Columbia Cafe and founder of the krewe.

To accomodate the growth in paraders the route has been lengthened. The return route will include a jog on Herndon and Olive and a considerable stretch on Centenary Blvd.

The mood of the crowd along the Highland route has been celebrated in literature and song ("Utopia," Thomas More, and "Mellow Yellow," Donovan Leitch). Tranquility seems pervasive. While we haven't ventured far from the Creswell at Dalzell area, we have attended the parade for many years.

There is something witty about the juxtaposition of giant, manufactured floats (the Gemini floats are made by New Orleans' famous Blaine Kern company) with nattily-attired walking groups such as the one led by artist Bruce Allen.

One of the highly-watched institutions in the parade: the Krewe of BBQ, the Jeff Clark family Hot Dog float. They cook hot dogs on their float and keep them in heated containers until they are thrown. Thus their friends the Baucums, whose float follows the Clarks', throw a companion item: moon pies. "That's lunch and dessert," explained teen Madeline Baucum.

You will enjoy photos from the 2004 Highland parade as shot by the Times' Robert Ruiz. There's a parade map at the Highland Area Partnership site.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Zale Bridges & Phillips: Romance!

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Romance! But not between these two winsome musicians. Theresa Zale Bridges, principal oboist for the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, and Thomas Phillips, principal clarinetist for the SSO, are both espoused to other parties, according to their bios, and as per recent sightings. But what of indulging in the romance engendered by gorgeous music? Indeed, they have our permission to perform that.

Thus Thursday night, (Feb. 3) at 7:30 pm, in Hurley Music Building, Centenary College, the Red River Radio Spotlight Series chamber performance will feature the Shreveport Symphony’s Chamber Orchestra with guest artist Thomas Phillips on clarinet. And Theresa Zale Bridges on oboe.

Selections include Gustav Holst’s Brook Green Suite, Gerald Finzi’s Clarinet Concerto, Joaquin Rodrigo’s Tres Viejos Aires de Danza and Igor Stravinsky’s Suite from Pulchinella Balle, according to

Tickets at the door: $15. Students: $5. More info: 227-8863. See more on Phillips below, please.