Sunday, December 28, 2014

Christopher Durang's award-winning Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike by StageCenterLa at East Bank Theater Jan 9 - 17


Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike, playing January 9 - 17 at East Bank Theater. Directed by Luke Sexton, and starring Janin Jones Pou, Patricia Patti Reeves and Joe Todaro. The cast also features Josh Talley, Emily DeVille and Kezia Pigford.

Young vibe: Matthew Davidson Band @ Superior Grill on Sun, Dec 28, 6:30 pm to 10 pm


The Matthew Davidson Band - appearing at Superior Grill on Sun, Dec 28 - will rock the house if you show them a bit of response. I remember the day at Caddo Magnet HS when the group in the photo above broke into a version of Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" at a rally in the gym. The teens watching them were seized with dance mania. Students in the bleachers rose with giant smiles and threw their hands into the air. In a few moments the most impassioned dancers were filling the floor of the gym. Jumping, shaking students were everywhere.

Though they're still teens, the players in the Matthew Davidson band are journeyman musicians with an entertainment ethic to admire. Matthew recently opened for pop sensation Austin Mahone in Baton Rouge. He recently performed at the Audubon Zoo in New Orleans, at the Natchitoches Xmas Fest and numerous other fests. Nationally respected, he appears in ads for Fender guitars.

Davidson is one of Shreveport's most talented teens. See him. And don't ignore the well-crafted original tunes on his CD's.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Funk thyself up with the Crescent City quintet Cha Wa at Bears on Sat, Dec 27, 9:00 pm, saith the Higher Power

Cha Wa's @ Bears

What some consider the true Carnival spirit - the rhythm of the bayou sages - is arriving from New Orleans at Bear's on Sat, Dec 27, says Chase Boytim.

It's the Cha Wa, capable funksters fronted by a descendant of the tribes of Claiborne Ave. On the road with the Cha Wa is the touted New Orleans funkateer June Yamagishi.

"Music starts at 10:30 pm," says Boytim.

Shreveport Songs: RAY BARTLETT - Stan's Record Revue radio show (KWKH, December 1951)

Announcing a new post on the Shreveport Songs blog.

Ray Bartlett moved to Shreveport in 1947 to work for KWKH. At the radio station, he performed a variety of jobs. This included serving as a morning announcer, disc jockey, and emcee on the newly established Louisiana Hayride. Perhaps Bartlett’s most celebrated role, though, involved his jive-talking “Groovie Boy” persona who spun rhythm and blues records on the radio show “Groovie’s Boogie.”

For the rest of the story, plus audio of Bartlett hosting a "Stan's Record Revue" radio show in December 1951, visit:

Free spirits: Lightnin' Bugs' Shreveport House Concert show at 1508 Fairfield on Sun, Dec 28, sold out

Gay, Guynes, Brogan: Lightnin' Bugs

The Lightnin Bugs would never proclaim themselves a hippie band. They're too down home for such airs and labels. But Tim Brogan, Bruce Gay and Randy Guynes are quintessential free spirits. They make music to animate the community's feet and heart. For years they've been unselfconsciously devoting themselves to the countercultural way of life, the pursuit of the folk artistic ethic.

That low-key, artistic vibe has sold out their Shreveport House Concerts show at 1508 Fairfield on Sun, Dec 28, 7 - 9 pm. Said Alan Dyson, "We've got 119 reservations. And we have 120 seats."

A salsa version of "If I Only had a Brain," is typical of their covers. "We do a swamp style "Your cheatin' heart," added Bruce Gay. "We do a reggae version of Randy Newman's 'Louisiana,' too, but nothing we do is really a cover. And 70% of what we play we wrote ourselves."

Joining the trio on keyboard will be Michael Raspberry. There will certainly be additional musicians sitting in at random moments.

There will be a hat on a mic stand, stage right, indicating the loss of long-time trombone player Dunny Gilyard. He passed away this past year. "He was a soulful, deep-hearted player who knew exactly what to play and where to put the horn in a tune," said Gay. "Dunny was self-effacing and low key but he brought depth, heart and richness to the Bugs. We miss him."

Cornelius Dunny Gilyard, Shreveport

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hackers notwithstanding, The Interview opens at RFC on Xmas for one week

Arirang Mass Games, Pyongyang

"The Robinson Film Center is proud to open “The Interview” on Christmas Day for a weeklong run," says Alex Kent. After initially cancelling, Sony has decided to release the film to select theaters around the country.

“As an art house committed to free expression, we are thrilled to have the opportunity to support Sony, ‘The Interview,’ moviegoers and theaters around the country,” said RFC executive director Kent. “Satire is an important art form, and this film deserves a home in our theaters. We hope audiences will support this run enthusiastically.”

The announcement comes after Monday’s move by the Art House Convergence, a network of independent and art house exhibitors around the country, petitioned Sony to show its support for “The Interview.” Kent will attend the Art House Convergence’s annual conference in Utah in January.

“The Convergence is an indispensable voice in film exhibition,” Kent said. “We’re thrilled by its passion for cinema and excited to see how audiences respond.”

Says Elise Hu at, "A buddy flick about killing North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un will be shown on Christmas Day after all, at least in about 200 independent theaters. This kind of small-scale distribution model and the politics surrounding The Interview give what was once a big-budget Hollywood release the spirit of an art house film."

Bite the water on Wall St: Hydrogen Child and Royal Teeth at Strange Brew on Fri, Dec 26

Ansley Hughes / Super Water Sympathy, Chicky's Boom Boom Room, Shreveport

Hydrogen Child was Super Water Sympathy for a couple of albums but what's in a name, you ask. Does Ansley Hughes Rimmer still hit every note and wail like her butt's on fire? Indeed. Check their kangarooey video for "Sirens."

The show at Strange Brew on Fri, Dec 26, will be a night for musical anthropologists, since telling these two bands apart on their recordings is not easy. Fans can tell them apart. Otherwise, you'd have to ask how in the hell did Louisiana germinate two top pop bands that sound like the musicians were born in recording studio nurseries?

Royal Teeth claims roots in Lafayette, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge. Their counterpart to Ansley is singer Nora Patterson. Alongside hoppy frontman-guitarist Gary Larsen. See their "Wild."

Regardless of the swimmy similarities be aware that the well-honed pop power of these groups is equally redoubtable. Both bands want you to take you to danstasy. To fill your ears and bubbly brain with slightly tangy chocolate.

Beware their cosmoparallelism.

9 pm open with Emily Kopp; 10 bucks.

Royal Teeth

Monday, December 22, 2014

Shreveport Regional Arts Council call to Directory artists: submissions to Critical Mass 3 due by Tues, Jan 13

Rainforest Art Foundation, Shreveport; Louisiana Dance Collective

Performance art, visual art and literary art comprise the categories into which art must fall in Shreveport Regional Arts Council's Critical Mass 3 art show. Submissions will be judged by critics chosen by Robert L Pincus, PhD, long-time critic and art prof in San Diego.

Artists in the 10-parish area administered by SRAC are eligible if they are members of the Artists Directory.

An opening night party for the exhibition will take place at Artspace Shreveport on Thurs, Jan 29, 2015.

Rainforest Art Foundation, Shreveport; Louisiana Dance Collective

Friday, December 19, 2014

Meet Marlene and James Yu, Stephanie Yu Lusk at Rainforest Art Foundation opening, 710 Travis St, Sun, Dec 21, 1 to 4 pm

Rainforest Art Foundation, Marlene Yu Museum, Shreveport

A tsunami of modern art awaits at 710 Travis St, downtown Shreveport. Behind the freshly painted, bright green railing of the building - the former YWCA - opening ceremonies will celebrate the Marlene Yu Art Museum and the Rainforest Art Foundation.

Those attending the reception on Sun, Dec 21, 1 to 4 pm, will see more than the giant, buoyant canvasses painted by Marlene or the galleries freshly filled with verdant work by regional artists. At the center of this vortex of renovation and art display is a trio of Shreveport newcomers whose energy is visible in the building, the art and the event.

They are James Yu, NYC property developer and art gallerist, Marlene Yu, artist, and their daughter, Stephanie Yu Lusk, developer and curator.

Part of a renaissance of downtown refurbishment, the Yu-refreshed building is a block away from Lofts@624, the Texas St retail and apartment development being produced by New Orleans-based developer Roland Von Kurtanowski. It is a block from Artspace, Where Pam Atchison continues to transform another historic Texas St building. It is only a few blocks from Big D's BBQ performing venue and from Millennium Studios.

While James and Marlene Yu embody a very approachable serenity, it is Stephanie Yu Lusk who is the pumping fountain of get-it-done. She is busily dressing Shreveport in a fresh coat, hat and cape of green.

They are not to be taken for granted; it is time for Shreveport to meet the entire Yu family.

Rainforest Art Foundation, Marlene Yu Museum, Shreveport: James Yu

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Theresa Andersson in smoke-free show @ Bears, Shreveport, on Sat, Dec 20

Theresa Andersson @ Jazzfest 2014

Theresa Andersson will be preceded by Chelsea Norman, AJ Haynes and Josh Hollis, says Chase Boytim of Bears on Fairfield. Doors 8 pm, show 9:30 pm.

Tired of It Rally and candlelight vigil at Linwood Ave and Lucky St on Sat, Dec 20, 5 pm

Tired of It Rally

"We will be holding a candlelight vigil," says Jerome Adkins. "Please bring tea candles or bubbles we can symbolically breath life into and release into the heaven."

Speakers are Jerome Adkins, Pastor Demetrese Phillips, and Patrice Thomas. "This is a movement to help make our community better."

Saturday, 5 pm; Corner of Linwood Ave and Lucky St.

Lucky St @ Linwood Ave, Shreveport

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Shreveport teens: Kameron Hobley covers "Under the Mistletoe" with Victoria Wells

Kameron Hobley, Shreveport:

Singer Kameron Hobley and vocalist Victoria Wells are classmates at Caddo Magnet HS and have taken the time to sing a sweet version of "Under the Mistletoe" for the holidays. Check it on Youtube.

Both will be singing onstage at Magnet on Thurs, Jan 8, 6:30 pm, as they appear in the Freshman Talent Show, Class of 2018 version.

Texas Ave Makers Fair, Shreveport: Victoria Wells

Shreveport challenge: help Robinson Film Center raise $95,000 by end of 2014

Robinson Film Center, Shreveport

Robinson Film Center is working to raise $94,587 between now and the end of 2014, says Alex Kent.

"The business of movies has changed over the last several years with the advent of Redbox machines, movies on demand and 70-inch home screens," notes Kent. "Robinson Film Center is working to be that place that people gather for movies they can’t see anywhere else, for events such as the popular Book Lovers’ Supper Club and Heels & Reels and for great dining at Abby Singer’s Bistro."

“It takes support from a big community to make RFC thrive,” says Kent. “Every donation, sponsorship, membership, and movie ticket purchased helps out.”

The Downtown Development Authority (DDA) and Downtown Shreveport Development Corporation (DSDC) will challenge others who love downtown, great cinema and Robinson Film Center in a gathering on Tues, Dec 16 at 5:30 pm on the second floor of RFC, 617 Texas Street, says Liz Swaine.

Robinson Film Center, Shreveport

Monday, December 15, 2014

Caddo Parish Courthouse vigil on Wed, Dec 17, 7 pm, planned by Sex Workers Outreach Project USA

Donna W Moore, Shreveport, 1956 - 2010

Sex Workers Outreach Project organizers are planning a Shreveport vigil to raise awareness about the violence faced by sex workers, says Loftin Wilson. The vigil will begin at 7pm at the Caddo Parish Courthouse, 501 Texas St.

"Criminalizing sex work has not worked,” commented Lindsay Roth of the Outreach. “We know that criminalization leads to more violence by stigmatizing sex workers and contributing to unsafe working conditions. If you fear arrest, negotiating your personal safety becomes a secondary concern.” Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP) -USA promotes decriminalizing sex work, or ending criminal penalties for the selling or purchasing of sex, says Roth.

"We hope that December 17, the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers, sends a message that sex workers' lives do matter, and that victims of violence were people worth remembering and protecting."

Sex workers were legal laborers in Shreveport from 1903 - 1917, says Wikipedia.

Lights, reflectors: night ride with SBC Bike Social gang on Fri, Dec 19, 6 pm, to Great Raft Brewing

Critical Manners August ride, Shreveport

"There's an ugly sweater party over at the Great Raft Brewing, with a band - The Good News - and a new beer," says Stephen Pederson. "So, we'll ride over there for merriment and pleasure."

Cyclists meet at Columbia Park about 6 pm.

Return of the Noble Savage Tavern, 417 Texas St ; Curtis Joseph and Easy Money on Th, Dec 18

Curtis Joseph, Everyday People, Shreveport

Shreveport Stonehenge: the Noble Savage. A tribal gathering ground in the shape of a brick and wood bar is returning, says Eric Johnson.

He expects all to be straight - as straight as this sodden piece of the planet can be - by Thurs night. Curtis Joseph and friends, Easy Money, will stomp upon the stage. Serious imbibers will howl.

All may hail the return of the Savage. And Chris Lyon has the latest in Heliopolis.

"Feel free to leave us a message or make reservations at 318-221-1781," says Johnson.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Successful diplomat Robert Oakley was raised in Shreveport; deceased this week at age 83

U.S. Forces in Somalia - Department of Defense Joint Combat Camera Center DD-SD-00-00755

In a major NY Times obituary, Shreveport-raised foreign service man Robert B. Oakley was celebrated for success in difficult negotiations.

"Robert B. Oakley, a blunt-spoken career diplomat who was known for successfully handling some of the world’s prickliest situations, including the capture of an American pilot by Somali militiamen in 1993 in what became known as the “Black Hawk Down” crisis, died on Wednesday," wrote Douglas Martin.

He grew up in Shreveport and attended Southfield School. His mother, Josephine "Jody" B. Oakley, "was a founder of one of the first all-female realty firms in Shreveport," said Talbot Hopkins. "Her company was Oakley Wise and Talbot."

The Washington Post obituary on Oakley.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Spunky college radio: KSCL, FM 91.3, has returned with new transmitter

kscl, shreveport

The jangly music and nervous dj's of KSCL, 91.3 fm, have been missing from the radio dial in recent months, says Elena Hibbs. It was for lack of a transmitter.

Now the station, operated by Centenary College students, is back, says Aly Velasquez. See more in Velasquez' Heliopolis story.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Smoke-free night at Bears with Papa Mali trio Fri, Dec 12

Papa Mali, Shreveport

Papa Mali twists the blues like a kid with a Twizzler. Did he arrive at this ability by being raised in two cities, those being Shreveport and New Orleans?

Regardless, he can conjure the Bayou State voodoo by his protean voice and the grey, watery strings on his guitars.

Recommended, partly because his fans will be dancing inside and smoking outside.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Guitars, drums and flute: Twang Darkly followed by Mark Griffith at Bears on Th, Dec 11, 9:00 pm

Mark Griffith sfx, Shreveport

Bears on Fairfield presents the exploratory trio Twang Darkly followed by jumparoo guitarist Mark Griffith.

1401 Fairfield Ave, Shreveport, Louisiana 71101

"A double-hitter," says Chase Boytim, "with guitar guru Mark Griffith. Twang will get going in the 9ish hour, with Mark jumping on for show # 2 in the 11ish hour."

Monday, December 08, 2014

Local shorts, rock and tacos on Sat, Dec 13, 7 pm to midnight: all ages Xmas at da Shop at 2002 Southern Ave

Xmas Under da Ground, minicine?, 846 Tex Ave, Shreveport

Shorts by local film makers will begin at 7:30 pm, says Garrett Johnson of the Heliopolis event Xmas at da Shop. A continuation of the minicine event Xmas under the Ground, there will be music by Brittany Maddox, Engine, Don't Forget Your Dinosaur and Soul Society.

Omen Art will unveil an installation and individual artists will also show work.

Provender by Ki' Mexico and Kern Has Coffee.

All ages event. $5 suggested at the door, which opens at 7 pm.

The Shop, 2002 Southern Ave, Shreveport, Louisiana 71104

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Highly recommended: the trippy Keaton - Inarritu comedy Birdman at RFC Dec 5 - 11


A lunatic actor (Michael Keaton, subtly hilarious), once a winged superhero, is the eponymous Birdman. He is staging a comeback in a midtown Manhattan theater in a serious if maladroit play. Thereupon his ego, his family, his career and the actor himself come to raving, hysterical apotheosis. A perfectly insouciant Emma Stone, head-whipping Ed Norton and manic Zach Galifianakis make the film a rave.

Extraordinary vibe created by DP Emmanuel Lubezki.

Run time: 119 min., R.
Dec 5 - 11
Robinson Film Center

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Scary pianistics: highly-tuned young performers from across the globe arrive at Centenary College for the Wideman Piano Competition Fri, Dec 5 - Sun, Dec 7

Wideman Piano Competition bronze medalist

"The best young pianists from 12 countries and 14 states fly to Shreveport for the 64th Wideman International Piano Competition," says Lester Senter Wilson.

"We are expecting contestants from such schools as Boston University, Cleveland Institute of Music, The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, Royal College of Music (London), Royal Conservatory (Montreal), and Yale to name a few," added Wilson.

Preliminary performances in Anderson Auditorium are free and open to the public. The final competition, Sun, Dec 7, is free for students and $10 per person for the public. More info.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Sculptor and animatronics artist John Cox presents How To Make a Monster; exhibit opens Sat, Dec 6, at SciPort

Maddie and mike the teddy

Sculptor and animatronics master John Cox is the producer of an exhibit called How to Make a Monster: The Art & Technology of Animatronics. It opens at SciPort on Sat, Dec 6, says Claire Floyd.

The Academy Award-winning artist, an Australian, will have pieces from feature films Peter Pan, George of the Jungle 2, and Pitch Black.

The piece above, Maddie and Mike, is one of a series of heroic sculptures created by Fox for the coast of Oz.

Admission to How to Make a Monster is $3 for Sci-Port Members, $5 for Future Members and $3 for school groups.

The exhibition runs through April 2015.