Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The search for an image of Shreveport & Bossier co-founder Mary Bennett Cane, 1810ish - 1902

"Mary Bennett Cane was at one time called 'The Mother of Shreveport,'" says Barbara Langston. "She and her father, Samuel Bennett, and her 1st husband, William Bennett, and her 2nd husband, James Cane, founded Bossier City - then Cane's Landing - and Shreveport. They are identified by the State Historical Marker in Shreveport by the Red River, noting the place of the Cane-Bennett Trading Post.

She's my great, great, great grandmother. I have a lot of history on her, but no likeness or picture. Local historians and the University are also looking for a picture of her -- we all have been for years.

When I saw ShreveportBlog, it occurred to me that you might be able to help by getting the word out that we're looking, and maybe somebody will have a lead or clue on an attic full of old pictures which might contain something helpful.

Mary came to Louisiana in the late 1820's, and died in Shreveport in 1902. Any help you could provide will be so appreciated."

Barbara Langston

Imax movie Hurricane on the Bayou: fiddler Amanda Shaw plays SciPort Th, Feb 8, 6:45 & 8:15

Hurricane on the Bayou, the latest movie at SciPort, is recommendable because it has that Imax 1-2-3 punch: it's about loss of the Bayou State wetlands, it's about fiddler Amanda Shaw and other musicians, and it has astounding camerawork - featuring alligators, shrimp boats, etc.

Crusty Cajuns and New Orleans Creoles, like Allen Toussaint, tell the story. What's not to like? For some viewers this kind of movie, an infotainment, falls into a muddled middle ground. That said, my family enjoyed it, learned from it and definitely enjoyed that Imax rush.

To add intoxication to the movie, the mixologists at SciPort delivered Chubby Carrier and his zydeco band 2 weeks ago (I spell it the old way, Carriere, but he's changed it). Next week they will feature Amanda Shaw, a girl who's becoming a star by her appearances on TV and at fests.

Carrier is an international zydeco star who is also featured in Hurricane on the Bayou. He and his band absolutely turned it out at SciPort. We danced, we grinned, we bought his latest album.

So I expect Thur, Feb 8, to be a night of big fun, son-of-a-gun.

Louisiana Wetlands Night, says Eric Gipson, will include:

5:30 – 8:30 Louisiana style dinner
6 – 9 Ongoing hands-on activities (Estuary, LA Coastal Animals, Make-It Take-It Fish Printing)
6:00 Jessica Kastler wetlands talk and Q&A in the Space Dome Planetarium.
6:45 – 7:15 Amanda Shaw
7:00 – 7:45 Hurricane on the Bayou
7:30 Wetlands speaker Jessica Kastler
8:15 – 845 Amanda Shaw
8:30 – 915 Hurricane on the Bayou

$8 / $10, program
$7 / $3.50 supper

Reservations: (318) 424-3466
Jennifer Tuxen (318) 424-8683;

Playbill News, NYC, notes Tony winner Donna McKechnie's Shreveport commitment with Red River Repertory

Writes Kenneth Jones in today's Playbill News: "Tony Award winner Donna McKechnie will play Amanda Wingfield in The Glass Menagerie this spring for River City Repertory Theatre in Louisiana.

The casting is a major coup for the sapling Equity troupe in Shreveport, the only resident union theatre in the northern part of the state.

Artistic director Patric McWilliams told that the actress known for Broadway's A Chorus Line (for which she won a Best Actress Tony) and State Fair will play the faded Southern belle opposite Los Angeles actor Logan Sledge as son Tom Wingfield.

McWilliams will direct the Tennessee Williams play at Shreveport's Strand Theatre, the home of River City Rep. Performances will run May 3-12.

The director said he contacted McKechnie through friends and colleagues; he had heard Amanda was a role she wanted to play one day.

'She's been very generous and warm with us," McWilliams said. "We're looking forward to it.'"

More of the Playbill article, entitled If I Were a Belle: McKechnie to play Amanda in Louisiana Glass Menagerie.

Mr. Christopher opens for singer Paleo at 846 Tex, Fri, Feb 2, 8:30 pm

Originally uploaded by utini.
minicine? host:

Mr. Christopher (SHV) & Paleo (NYC)

Fri, Feb 2
846 Texas Avenue
Doors swing open @ 8:30PM
$5 Donation &

Given the above, I'd have to say David Nelson is the hardest-hitting copywriter in town.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Work in progress: Tiger Martina, Rachael Magill, Lance Horne at Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, Shreveport

The Nerve Ensemble (NYC) is producing a play called The $trip with students at Centenary College, Shreveport. The show will open on the 8th of Feb. at 8:00 p.m., says Don Hooper (who was working while this video was being shot) and play the 9th and 10th at the same time, with a Matinee at 2:00 on the 11th. Mo info at Artistic director of the Nerve Ensemble and ringmaster for the collaboration is Alyse Rothman.

Hogwartian after-school arts program, Renzi Center, will benefit from art auction at Turner Art Center gallery; auction closes Sat, Feb 3

Chuck Loridans, Renzi Center
Originally uploaded by trudeau.

"This is like Hogwarts School, Shreveport;" that's how Chuck Loridans, artist and writer, thinks of Renzi Center. Loridans is a veteran teacher of cartooning for Renzi. Charles Madden, far right, has been creating multi-panel, storytelling cartoons (Vanisher Boy) since Renzi opened, 1999. Also creating lines and stories: Pat Mason (Knotzie Animals) and Ashland Adger (Diego, the Surfing Cat). Cedric Demming, standing, is a Loyola student-volunteer at Renzi. Murals in the background are by Madden.

Renzi Center, located at 435 Egan St, was co-founded by the Sisters of Our Lady of Sorrows and the late Donna Service, artist, parent and teacher.

This week art lovers are stopping by the Centenary College art department gallery in Turner Art Center to bid on art in a show that celebrates the life of Donna Service. Proceeds of the art will go to Renzi Center, says Doyle Jeter, artist and organizer.

The auction will close Sat, Feb 3, at 9 pm. The reception will take place from 6 to 10 pm, says Bruce Allen. Please see art from the show at ShreveportFaces.

Turner Art Center: 10:00- 7:00 Mon through Thurs, 10:00- 4:00 on Fri and 1:00-5:00 Sun.
Bruce Allen: 869-5260.
Renzi Center: Amy Bryant, 222-1414

Monday, January 29, 2007

Mark Hermosillo & Steve Ross present In Fashion; reception Fri, Feb 2, 5:30 to 8 pm, Artspace

Artspace: prep for In Fashion
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Hermosillo & Ross, says MaryBeth O'Connor of Artspace, are flying in decorative painters from Los Angeles and a consultant from Sak''s in NYC to complete their mise en scene for the Fri, Feb 2, opening of their vintage clothing show. Clothing from local closets plus furniture from the decorators' collection as well as gowns from the Mark Hermosillo collection will complete the exhibit.

Reception for In Fashion at Artspace:
5:30 to 8 pm
Fri, Feb 2

Debussy, Stravinsky, Beethoven: SSO at Riverview Theater on Sat, Feb 3,7:30 pm

Fontaine Stravinsky
Originally uploaded by 4mediafactory.

Shreveport Symphony Orchestra music director Michael Butterman will lead the orchestra through three infamous symphonic works that shook the artistic sky and forever changed the musical streetscape – each “Breaking the Mold, ” says Scott Green.

* Beethoven’s revolutionary Third – the Eroica.
* Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun.
* Stravinsky’s first ballet, The Firebird.

7:30 PM Saturday, February 3, 2007
Shreveport’s Riverview Theatre (formerly Civic Theatre)
$10, $20, $30 & $36 - $5 for students
Box office opens at noon on concert days at the Riverview Theatre.
Limited valet parking is available at $5.
Free shuttle will depart one time from Uptown Shopping Center at 6:15 p.m. A second free shuttle will depart from the AmSouth Bank parking garage located on the corner of Milam and Market Streets at 5:30 p.m. Both shuttles will continue to make pickups at the AmSouth garage every 10 minutes until concert time.

Pre-concert dinner at The Cambridge Club of Shreveport - benefiting the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra - at $50 per person.
5:00, 5:30, & 6:00 p.m. seatings available.
Reservations by noon on Thur, Jan 31 by calling 318-227-8863. Diners do not have to be a member of the Cambridge Club to participate.

Downtown reading Sat, Feb 10, West Edge Gallery Books: blue literature

Originally uploaded by ntakahara.

The West Edge Artists' Co-op and West Edge Books and News (both located downtown at 725 Milam St.) are hosting Shreveport's first annual Valentine's Day / Mardi Gras Erotic Literature Reading, and we need your contributions, says Michael Parker.

Parker continues, "Original material is most welcome, or feel free to read a selection from one of the erotic classics for sale at the bookstore. Authors whose work can be borrowed the night of the event include Anais Nin, Henry Miller, the Marquis de Sade, Lawrence Durrell and Frank Harris, and classic titles incude The Story of O, Candy, Helen and Desire, Fanny Hill, The Perfumed Garden, The Torture Garden, The Carnal Prayer Mat.

Love poetry is acceptable as well. We'll get started at 7:00 Saturday night, Feb. 10, at 725 Milam St. For more information, contact Michael Parker at or call the gallery/bookstore at 221-6961." Proclaims Parker, "Let's put the edge in the West Edge, y'all."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Centenary Film Society: free & open at 7 pm on Tues & Thurs acc toschedule in Mickle Hall

children of heaven
Originally uploaded by gopeter.
Carlile Auditorium of Mickle Hall on Centenary College’s campus is the usual site of the Centenary Film Society showings, says professor Jefferson Hendricks. The society is in its 23rd year of bringing international, independent and particular Hollywood movies to the Shreveport-Bossier area.

Films on this season’s schedule include:

Jan. 30 and Feb 1: Jesus Camp (USA, 2006)
Feb. 6 and 8: Children of Heaven (Iran, 1997)
Feb. 13 and 15: The Science of Sleep (France, 2006)
Feb. 27 and March 1: Babel (Mexico/USA, 2006)
March 6 and 8: The U.S. versus John Lennon (USA, 2006)
March 13 and 15: 13 Tzameti (France, 2006)
March 20 and 22: Only Human (Spain, 2004)
March 27 and 29: Ushpizin (Israel, 2004)

All films:
* 7 p.m. in Carlile Auditorium, Mickle Hall, Centenary campus.
* free and open to the public.
* co-sponsored by The Robinson Film Center.
* 318-869-5254 or or .

Hot movies ahead of schedule: For Your Consideration at Regal Cinema on Th, Feb 8, 7:00 pm; Robinson Film Center event

for your consideration
Originally uploaded by machu picchu.
Robinson Film Center's Chris Jay says, "We are screening Christopher Guest’s new film, For Your Consideration, at 7 pm, Th, Feb 8, at the Louisiana Boardwalk Regal Cinemas. Christopher Guest is best-known for his mock-rock n’ roll documentary This is Spinal Tap, and in this new film, he does to Hollywood what Spinal Tap did to the music industry.

The first film in our One Night Only series, Half Nelson, screened in November to an audience of about 120. We have plans to host six to eight of these screenings during 2007, as a way to cultivate audiences for indie film prior to the opening of The Robinson Film Center in downtown Shreveport.

Admission to each film is $7.50, and will be collected outside of the theater on the evening of the screening."

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Symphony percussionist Anthony Robinson joins Michael Butterman and the Grambling drum line in family concert at Riverview Theater Sat, Jan 27, 3 pm

Anthony Robinson, percussionist for the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra, will bring his drum and fife corps to Riverview Theater Sat, Jan 27, at 3 pm, as part of Bang the Drum, Feel the Beat. The innovative program marks the return of the SSO to providing an interactive concert designed to reach kids and parents.

"We've got pie pans for the audience to play, we've got great guests," said SSO director Michael Butterman," and it's a program with which I've had success in Rochester, NY, and Jacksonville, FL." In fact, the maestro flew to Colorado last week to conduct a similar family concert.

The Grambling State University Marching Band's drum line will add a supercharged pulse to the program.

Adults $20; kids, $5

Yoga, the artful way to exercise; National Yoga Day Sat, Jan 27

Sat, Jan 27: National Yoga Day
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
First-year students at Caddo Magnet High School - some 200 of them - have a reminder of National Yoga Day, which is Sat, Jan 27.

The students have a few sore muscles and a head full of inspiration in regards practicing yoga. Teachers Robert Trudeau and Pam Anderson invited yoga instructor Ken Womack to instruct their classes in the American version of Hatha Yoga. Womack, a business-owner and father of 2 teens, helped students see that yoga can be practiced for strength as well as for flexibility. He added a historic context to the exploration. The students favorite part? "I would have to say, 'Final Relaxation,' "said Tyler Jones.

If you'd like to learn more and meet several local yoga instructors, the Unitarian Universalist Church on Ellerbee Rd is having Yoga Day on Sat. from 9 am to 5:30 pm. Among the instructors: Judy Day, Larry Androes, Dorothy Kristi Hanna, Cheryl Babers Hagar, Susan Bayliss, Karon O'Bannon, Floriana Tullio and John Payne. I can particularly recommend Susan Bayliss and Cheryl Babers Hagar. They have been volunteer Yoga Day teachers for Caddo students in recent years. Also, Hagar has produced her own yoga practice CD. My recommendation would also go to Hanna, a dancer and Feldenkreiss therapist as well as yogini.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Buddy Flett

KSCL Battle of the Bands, Centenary College, Fri, Jan 26, 4 pm, in the Shell

"Admission is free to the Battle of the Bands, and we'll be having a raffle to help support the station. Just be at the Shell on the campus of Centenary College of Louisiana at 4 on Friday and be prepared to rock," says Steven Turner, KSCL web director.

4:10pm: Thin Soul
4:35pm: OMF
5:00pm: Ryan Robinson
5:25pm: Clint Coker
5:50pm: Kaiser Mora
6:15pm: Storybook Misfortune
6:40pm: Fallen to Rise
7:05pm: Jaguar Shark
7:30pm: Scott Hearne
7:55pm: Junior the Third
8:20pm: Sammy Williams
8:45pm: The Peekers

And, on a related note, Alysia Leyendecker says, "KSCL is broadcasting, and you can help out! If you're a student of Centenary College of Louisiana, live in the Shreveport/Bossier area, and have two hours of your week to spare, then you can have your very own show on KSCL 91.3! All of you with DJ dreams should send an e-mail to Alysia, our station manager, at You can check out available spots on our Schedule page. Any empty spot can be yours!"

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Buddy Flett performed with Kenny Wayne Shepherd in Los Angeles, opens for Jesse Winchester Fri, Feb 2, LSUS Theater

Buddy Flett
Originally uploaded by trudeau.

The Bluebirds’ Buddy Flett is coming out with an album of acoustic blues next month, to be called Mississippi Sea. "We recorded the acoustic guitars so they are real, real big," said the happy Flett. The producer is musician Steve Howell, of Howell & Caskey.

Flett recently performed with Kenny Wayne Shepherd in Los Angeles for the music equipment convention called NAMM. "Buddy was featured with Kenny Wayne Shepherd & Double Trouble (Stevie Ray Vaughan’s band), Blues Legend Hubert Sumlin (Howlin Wolf’s Guitarist), and Bryan Lee," wrote Bruce Flett in the Bluebirds newsletter.

He added, "the DVD/CD “10 Days Out: Blues on the Backroads” starring Kenny Wayne Shepherd & Double Trouble and featuring B B King, Gatemouth Brown, Bluebirds’ Buddy Flett, Hubert Sumlin and other blues stars will be released this week. Buddy and Kenny were filmed playing acoustic guitars at Lead Belly’s grave near Mooringsport, Louisiana, performing “Blues in a Honky Tonk Key” from the Bluebirds’ Swamp Stomp CD. "Ten Days Out" will be aired on PBS tv and available from Warner Bros. Recordings. More info at

Next Fri, Feb 2, Flett will open for songster Jesse Winchester at LSUS Theater, says Baton Rouge producer Johnny Palazotto. Tickets are $20 and available at the door for the 7:30 pm show. Click on the acoustic blues / Mississippi Sea hyperlink above for a downhome Flett video.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

What young artists and designers do: multi-purpose web site by graphic artist Shannon Palmer

Shannon Palmer, like most artists, is never far from framing the world and editing and reproducing it via a T-shirt or manipulated photo or painting. Recently she and her pals have been roaming downtown Shreveport with cameras; they're examining the historic cityscape for telling detail.

What young artists do, though, is reach out across boundaries via a web site. The offhand tone of Palmer's web site puts her on the young artists' global map. In the beginning, they don't need galleries as much as digital links to like-minded web sites.

Today, artist-designers like Palmer reach out via the way they Don't look. There's a do-it-yourself ethic, a low-key consciousness that is apparent and appealing to a universe of young consumers.

Shirts or graphics or web site designs that are slick or sexy or full of rage mean little to them. They want something with a non-commital, observational cool. Palmer and her ilk don't talk about it, write it or try to analyze it. They just feel their considerable distance from the mainstream. And they find their buds mainly online, through sites like hers.

Painters Coatney, Heggen & Lovelace at Barnwell Art Center; reception Sun, Jan 28, 2 pm

Kindred Spirits is a 3-person show by the very capable Walter Coatney, B. Jane Heggen and Charles Lovelace.

The opening reception is Sun, Jan 28, 2 to 4 pm, says Freda Powell, director of the Friends of the Barnwell.

The RS Barnwell Memorial Garden & Art Center is on the edge of Riverview Park, adjacent to the casino. Parking is limited in the Barnwell lot but easy, expansive - and free - across the street in the casino garage.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Jill McCorkle, award-winning author, speaks at Caddo Magnet High Th, Feb 8, 6:30 pm; free & open to the public

"When Jill McCorkle was twenty-six her first two novels, The Cheerleader and July 7th, were published to critical acclaim. She has published five additional works of fiction to date: Tending To Virginia (1989), Ferris Beach (1991), Crash Diet: Stories (1992), Carolina Moon (1996), Final Vinyl Days and Other Stories (1998), and Creatures of Habit (2001), writes Sherry Ellis for Boston University.

McCorkle will speak at Caddo Magnet High School Thur, Feb 8, as part of the Mary Jane Malone Lecture Series, said Mary Rounds, Caddo Magnet principal. The evening lecture, to be held at 7:30 pm in the CMHS Performing Arts Center, is free and open to the public.

“Billy Goats,” the first story in Creatures of Habit, was originally published in Bomb magazine and subsequently selected for The Best American Short Stories 2002. Richard Bausch called this collection “so rich, so complete an experience . . . McCorkle paints everything with such clarity, and beauty . . . With every line, she incites my awe and wonder.”

McCorkle’s short stories have been published in The Atlantic Monthly, Cosmopolitan, and Ladies Home Journal. She has also reviewed books for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

McCorkle will meet with students in English classes, address the campus at 1:30, and sign books after her public lecture at 6:30.

She is a 1981 alumnus of Hollins College.

Jesse Winchester will sing in S'port Fri, Feb 2, 8 pm, LSUS Theater; Buddy Flett opens

Jesse Winchester is a folksinger known for tunes such as "Yankee Lady", "Rhumba Man", "The Brand New Tennessee Waltz", "Mississippi, You're on My Mind", "Defying Gravity", "Freewheeler" and "Biloxi." They have been recorded by people like Patti Page, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Buffett, Emmylou Harris, Joan Baez, Jerry Jeff Walker, Wilson Pickett, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Reba McEntire, David Ball, Bonnie Raitt, Everly Brothers and Brewer & Shipley.

According to Wikipedia and Baton Rouge concert producer Johnny Palazotto, Winchester was born in Shreveport.

Winchester was part of the 70's Bearsville Records scene that included the Band, Paul Butterfield and Dylan. After taking up residence in Canada, Winchester became a rather quiet legend, writing cool songs, quietly releasing albums and focusing on tune smithing. Palazotto says Winchester gives an animated, affecting show; he compares him to Lyle Lovett.

Buddy Flett, of A Train and the Bluebirds, was also born in Shreveport. Buddy's star is currently rising. Bruce Flett says, "the Bluebirds’ Buddy Flett Performed in Los Angeles for NAMM Convention with Kenny Wayne Shepherd January 18, 19,and 20.
Buddy was featured with Kenny Wayne Shepherd & Double Trouble(Stevie Ray Vaughan’s band), Blues Legend Hubert Sumlin, and Bryan Lee. Bud sang and played slide guitar on "Blues in a Honky Tonk Key", "Dance for Me Girl" and "Dust My Broom".

Flett is on a new DVD/CD that's getting national press: "Jan 23 is the release date of the DVD “10 Days Out: Blues on the Backroads” starring Kenny Wayne Shepherd & Double Trouble and featuring B B King, Gatemouth Brown, Buddy Flett and other blues stars. Buddy and Kenny were filmed playing acoustic guitars at Lead Belly’s grave near Mooringsport, Louisiana, performing “Blues in a Honky Tonk Key” from the Bluebirds’ Swamp Stomp CD. "Ten Days Out" will be aired on PBS tv and available from Warner Bros. Recordings."

The Winchester/Flett show at LSUS Theater is Fri, Feb 2, at 8 pm.
Tickets at the door. See you there.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Ernest H. Lampkins, jazzer & jazz education pioneer, makes NY Times news in the saddest way

Ernest lampkins is a gentle giant of jazz in Louisiana. A comsummate gentleman in my experience, he has been a pioneer in jazz education in Caddo and Louisiana schools. Retired from a long career in education - including earning a PhD in ethnomusicology from the University of Pittsburgh - he did what I would consider the Right Thing in 2004. He entered politics and was elected mayor of Greenwood.

But on Jan 8, 07, around midnight, 2 slugs from a 12 gauge shotgun exploded from an intruder's gun and penetrated his house. Sunday
the NY Times published columnist Dan Barry's story on the attack. The Times included a multi-media report on Lampkins' life with his wife, Shirley, and daughter Brett.

Barry's article is entitled, "Yes, the Ill Will Can Be Subtle. Then, One Day, It Isn’t."

Here's the copy.

Dan Barry / Jan 21, 2007/ Greenwood, La./ The New York Times

Midnight in a handsome one-story house on Waterwood Drive. Hours after Ernest and Shirley Lampkins say goodnight to their teenage daughter, Brett, and to the first Sunday of the new year, a Sunday of churchgoing and turkey and chili and some of those sweet frozen grapes that Ernest likes so much. Two bullets pay a call.

They explode through the living room window. They tear through the soft-yellow curtains that Shirley ordered from a catalog. They rocket past the Easter basket containing family snapshots, past Brett’s bedroom door, past Ernest’s antique upright piano, past the framed portrait of father, mother and daughter in serene pose.

One bullet strikes a golden candelabrum and splits: half whistles into a wall near the kitchen; half crashes through a French door — turning smooth glass into a spider’s web of shards — and into the sunroom, four steps from the master bedroom.

The other bullet slams so hard into the living room wall that it has to be pried out. “It was a piece of lead about the size of my thumb,” Mr. Lampkins recalls. “They use that for killing deer.”

There are no deer in the Lampkins home. Only Brett, 17, a high school junior, who has just learned to drive and wears slippers that look like kittens. And Shirley, 62, a retired high school English teacher and administrator, who enjoys gardening and makes a delectable fig cake. And Ernest, 78, a retired educator who has a doctorate in ethnomusicology and is known throughout Louisiana for reaching children through music.

Oh. One more thing about Ernest. He is also the mayor here in Greenwood, a quiet town of 2,600 a few miles west of Shreveport. Greenwood has a Dollar General store, a Mexican restaurant and some antebellum homes, including one once used as a Confederate hospital. It is predominantly white.

Oh. And one more thing about the Lampkinses. They are black.

On that night, Mr. and Mrs. Lampkins hear no gunshots, but their home alarm sounds, and they leave their bedroom to investigate. They stare at the shattered glass, and then at the holes in the front window. It does not register. Then it does.

As the police arrive to interview and to collect the shell casings from the street, it is hard to forget that several days earlier, the black mayor in Westlake, about 230 miles south of here, was found shot to death, and that some people there dispute findings that he killed himself.

The Lampkins family does not return to bed.

Ten days later, the mayor and his family sit in their sunroom, with its bullet-twisted Venetian blinds, and talk about music, food, Brett’s love for dance. But the shooting has reduced these joyous subjects to fleeting diversions from two central questions: Who? Why?

“The town of Greenwood is not a racist town,” Mr. Lampkins begins, noting that he was elected mayor with 56 percent of the vote. “There are racist people in Greenwood. That’s different.”

That said, he asserts, this was a racist act. A racist act perhaps stemming from the heated politics in town, but racist still. As racist as the For Sale sign he recently found planted in his lawn.

When asked how he can be so sure, Mr. Lampkins drops his voice, as if to emphasize that we are no longer discussing music and food. As if to underscore that this is a slave’s grandson speaking, someone who heard his century-old grandfather talk of being the “house nigger” on a Kentucky plantation.

“I’m 78 years of age,” the mayor says. “Don’t you think I know what racism is in the South?”

Mr. Lampkins was elected to the Board of Aldermen in 2002, and he immediately sensed corruption. He was right: the town clerk was in the midst of stealing at least $130,000 from the municipal coffers. She is now doing eight years’ hard labor.

He became the town’s first black mayor in 2004, beating an incumbent who did not believe in graceful transitions of government. On the day Mr. Lampkins took office, he had to find a locksmith to gain access to Town Hall.

The steps he has taken to change the way of doing business, including firing several people from the old administration, have brought praise and vitriol. The monthly board meetings have at times devolved into shouting matches, with some spectators openly ridiculing the mayor.

Ellise Wissing, a board member, says the mayor often endures subtle racism. “These people can’t stand the fact that there’s a black man that’s in control of this town,” says Ms. Wissing, who is white. “That’s so much smarter than they are.”

Contributors to a Web site frequented by those from the anti-Lampkins faction — they like to mock the articulate mayor’s pronunciation, for example — reject his assertion that racism is at play. A few even suggest that he orchestrated the shooting to shift attention from his administration.

The sadness of the suggestion is felt most acutely in the violated house on Waterwood Drive, where a decoy of a police car sits in the driveway, and a father confides that his daughter will suddenly just — cry.

Mrs. Lampkins tells her husband that he ought to return a call she just took from a political opponent of his. Maybe the man wants to express his concern, she says.

The mayor calls the man back. But the man never mentions the shooting. Instead he wants to know why a town building is closed.

Mold infestation, the mayor says. Mold.

** ** **
Having taught his terrific daughter Brett and enjoyed a long acquaintanceship with Ernest and Shirley, I must say it is embarassing and deeply saddening to know that he has to worry about fatal bullets slamming into his house in Greenwood.

Musician and community leader Ron Hardy wrote to Shreveport Blog expressing his rage over the shooting and what he sees as evidence of the region's racism.

The people of Greenwood absolutely must clear the air. Identify the shooter. Put an end to the threat and speculation and this family's worry with utmost expediency.

** ** **
Dan Turner's Shreveport Times story on conflict in Greenwood seems balanced and well written.

High School thespians win recognition in Atlanta with performances of Godspell & Annie

Cynthia Whitaker and Laren Ross were beaming, says Andrew Wood, at the close of their Academy of Children's Theater performances in Atlanta for the Broadway Jr Theater Festival. The ACT's recent trip to perform in the Broadway Jr program brought the student performers the Best Musical award for their performance of Godspell. The Best Male Actor award went to Casey Bozenski for his performance in Annie.

"There were 1500 people in the audience," said Wood. Said Ansley Hughes," It was a terrific experience. There were young troupes from across the country and Europe in the competition."

ACT packed the house for numerous performances in their recent presentation of Annie at the Performing Arts Center, First United Methodist. See photos on SptFaces.

Academy of Childrens Theatre
807 Slattery Blvd
Shreveport, LA
(318) 861-3087

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sun, Jan 21, 7 pm at Fairfield Studios: John & Michelle Law

John & Michelle Law
Originally uploaded by Adam Burke.
Tight vocals, Texas swing; a first-rate folk duo is what we're promised by the arrival of The Laws.

Fairfield Studios - see the SptBlog links.
318 220-0400

All because it's Carnival time: the essential music of Mardi Gras in Louisiana

Charles Neville & brothers
Originally uploaded by Kil Patrick.

New Orleans singers and songwriters were monsters in the 1950's and 60's. And their national hits - "Let the Good Times Roll," "All these Things," "Sea Cruise," etc - became perennials in the city. So they're part of the sound of Carnival season.

The regional hits became associated with the season, too: "Iko Iko," "Mardi Gras Mambo," "Ride your Pony." So a Best of New Orleans Rhythm n Blues collection - including things like "Mother-in-Law" and "Ooh pooh pah doo" - is going to set an authentic mood at a Louisiana gathering during Carnival.

One of the deep classics is the album Dr. John's Gumbo (1975): "Junko Partner," "Iko," Lil Liza Jane," "Big Chief." Put on those tunes and you will be seen as a true believer. In fact, just about anything from the hands and vocal cords of Dr. John is going to set the carnival table right.

Before the Neville Bros, there were the founders of funk: the Meters. Their "Cissy Strut," "Looka Py-py," "Fire on the Bayou," "Hey, Pocky way" and "Africa" are indisputable Mardi Gras. A Best of the Meters is a dance starter, too.

The Neville Brothers have recorded the gold standard tunes: "Mardi Gras Mambo," "Meet the Boys on the Battlefront" and "Brother John"(recorded with the Wild Tchoupitoulas Indians) and "Hey, Pocky way" and "Fiyo on the Bayou." In fact, if I were to recommend one Nevilles disk it would be the 1981 Fiyo On the Bayou.

James Booker, the Piano Prince, and Professor Longhair, of "Tipitina," "Go to the Mardi Gras," and "Big Chief," are piano pounders who also have set the sound of the city. Look to Dr. John, too, for elegant piano on the album Dr John Plays Mac Rebennack.

In brass band jazz you can bring on the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the traditional, or you can go for the pumped up brass sounds of the Dirty Dozen, Rebirth Brass, Hot 8 or the many newcomers. I could not do without the Rebirth's got-to-dance album Feel Like Funkin It Up.

Zydeco is also right for Carnival. Look for disks by the King of Zydeco, Clifton Chenier, as well as Rockin Dopsie and Boozoo Chavis. Buckwheat Zydeco and Nathan & the Zydeco Cha-chas are also highly-approved. This week I bought an album from Chubby Carriere at his show at SciPort and it is hot.

There are two moods from which to choose in Cajun sounds. The traditional and light tunes come from people such as the Balfa Brothers, Jimmy C Newman, Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, DL Menard and Jo-El Sonnier. The bass-heavy new Cajun is also there: try Roddie Romero, Zachary Richard or Beausoleil. On the top of the 2006 lists was the Savoy-Doucet Cajun band.

Locally, I like Tubbs Hardware & Cajun Gifts for a concise rack of CD's that will deliver much of what I've recommended. Online, there is an unusually fine boxed set that I have, thanks to my friends Nan & Clyde Massey: Doctors, Professors, Kings & Queens. Its 4 disks sample all the above.

Regardless of where you get it, the music of Mardi Gras remains a legacy for Louisianians. To me, these records are like the Beatles. It's global heritage. Put on the music and allons danser, cher ("Let's dance, friend").

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Tubbs Hardware & Cajun Gifts: a cornucopia of Crescent City Carnival caparisons

Don Tubbs with Venetian mask
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Tubbs Hardware & Cajun Gifts' high energy proprietor Don Tubbs has worked for years to make sure local aficionados will have a Carnival cornucopia on Benton Rd.

Beads of divers shape and color combo, fringe and flags, goblets and escutcheons. You name it. Books about every phase of the frivolity and hats - all shapes - and numerous sizes of umbrellas. One of Tubbs' strengths is his collection of the classic R & B, jazz and zydeco recordings. Somehow his music distributor and I agree almost entirely on the essential carnival CD's.

And of masks there are many varieties, including spooky, historic Venetian masks.

One of his specialties is shipping King Cakes. The King Cake of my youth in New Orleans was a simple coffee cake; today it is an x-treme feast. People seem to favor that growth: "We sold about 6500 of them last year," he said recently.

Tubbs Hardware & Cajun Gifts
615 Benton Rd
Bossier City, LA 71111
(318) 746-0311

From I-20, exit Benton Road. Go North 1.5 miles. It's across the street from the Bossier Civic Center.

Zack the Rookie & confreres at 516 soundstage Sat, Jan 20, from 1 pm

Zack the Rookie, 516 soundstage
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Zack the Rookie is a trio of screamo-punk road warriors.

Their tune "buried & breathing," on their site, indicates that they've got longer legs than most of their class. As does their considerable touring schedule.

Catch them and a bracket of their brethren at 516 soundstage in a 40-minute-apiece showcase of young talent Sat. from 1 pm.

And they got artist Leland Strebeck to paint this poster for them. Hm.

Leland's show at Prima Tazza is the most intriguing art in Shreveport this month. There's effective contrast in the pairing of Strebeck's art with that of Conchita Iglesias-McElwee. Her images are big and colorful; his are tiny and most are black and white.

Strebeck has not lost a child's sense of play. On quick view, his small-scale illustrations are simple & cute. On further exploration, though, there is a dark core inside each one.

Youth, they seem to want it all, and now. Scream to a whisper in their tunes. Growl to a smile in their art.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Gaffers & grifters: the film production companies need you; job fair Mon, Jan 22, 2 to 6 pm

In an effort to fix local film crew shortages, a job fair will be held Monday at Riverview Hall, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., says Robinson Film Center's John Grindley.

Of the 12 participants, five are production companies who are willing to train for specific skills.

“The crew base is a very important missing piece in north Louisiana,” Lampton Enochs, owner of Louisiana Production Consultants said. Any attending parties should bring several resumes and be prepared to complete employment applications.

Some of the position shortages are in make-up, wardrobe, electrical, carpentry, and accounting.

Job fair for the film industy.
2 to 6 p.m. Monday (Jan. 22).
Shreveport's Riverview Hall, 600 Clyde Fant Parkway.
Seeking: electricians, accountants, electricians, makeup, costumes, wardrobe, construction workers, etc.
What to bring: résumés.

By the way, the rain scene above - shot for Mr. Brooks - took all day to assemble near the corner of Oneonta & Thornhill. All manner of crew people worked to assemble high-flying light arrays and the water boom. Looked like good work, if a bit tense at times.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Chubby Carriere, zydeco star, intros Imax film Hurricane on the Bayou at SciPort Sat, Jan 20, 3 pm

Chubby Carrier, one of the featured musicians in the IMAX film Hurricane on the Bayou, will introduce the 3 p.m. showing of the film this Saturday, January 20, at Sci-Port Discovery Center. Following the film, the Chubby Carrier Band will perform in Sci-Port’s SWEPCO Demonstration Theatre, says Eric Gipson. Carrier will also be available to answer questions about the film and Zydeco music.

Dubbed Louisiana’s “premiere Zydeco showman,” Chubby Carrier is known for his infectious brand of dance music. Chubby is the third generation of a family of artists considered to be legends. Chubby is also the owner of Swampadelic Records and has long-standing relationships with other musicians featured in Hurricane on the Bayou, including Tab Benoit and Amanda Shaw.

Hurricane on the Bayou carries its audience on a journey into the heart of Louisiana—before, during and after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Unfolding against the backdrop of the most costly natural disaster in American history, the film follows a group of four musicians as they explore the culture of New Orleans, speed through bayous on airboats, recount their personal stories of Katrina, and bring focus to the rapidly disappearing wetlands.

Louisiana wetlands are vanishing at a rate of one acre every 38 minutes, say the producers of Hurricane on the Bayou.

Sci-Port Discovery Center
820 Clyde Fant Parkway, downtown Shreveport Riverfront
(318) 424-3466

Sundance Film Fest: former Shreveporter Cody Cobb designer of Digital Kitchen openers

Originally uploaded by vectorsnob.

"Cody Cobb is a 22 year old 3D designer at Digital Kitchen in Seattle, WA," says correspondent Shannon Cobb. "His latest project is a series of promotional spots for the 2007 Sundance film festival. This is Cody's second year to produce animations promoting Sundance.

Cody grew up in Shreveport, LA and from a very young age pursued interests in both artistic and technical subjects, including photography, music, web design, and illustration. He graduated from Caddo Parish Magnet High School in 2002.

He attended the Academy of Art in San Francisco with a full summer scholarship. He returned to Louisiana after being offered a position at Digital FX in Baton Rouge. Here he learned the multimedia production process and became self-taught in 3D animation software, including Softimage and AfterEffects. During his 3 year tenure at Digital FX, Cody's animation work contributed to earning the company several Emmy awards.

In September 2005, Cody relocated to Seattle to join the Digital Kitchen team. Since then he's created work featured in such projects as the Xbox 360 game Crackdown, the miniseries The Path to 911, the movie Superman Returns, and commercials for clients such as Yoplait and AT&T.

When he's not "three-deeing" Cody pursues other interests such as photography, music, and exploration of his new environment in the Pacific Northwest. Cody possesses the rare trait of being both artistically and technically talented, which enhances his incredible ability to consistently produce innovative work."

Cody wrote last week: "I just wanted to show you a piece that I recently completed for Sundance (which I will be attending next week). This movie, along with three others created by Digital Kitchen, will play before every movie screened at Sundance. The movie was inspired by the industrial anatomy artwork of Fritz Kahn."

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Bang the Drum, Feel the beat: Michael Butterman with the Drumline from the Grambling State Marching Band and the Shreveport Symphony Sat, Jan 27, 3 pm

grambling & star wars
Originally uploaded by jonathankylebowden.

America liked the way Leonard Bernstein spoke the language of music to youngsters. Bernstein was a Chinese dragon, floating in like fog, roaring when necessary to protect the emperor. Shreveport now has its own Bernstein. His name is Michael Butterman.

Having watched Shreveport Symphony Orchestra music director Michael Butterman communicate with orchestra audiences numerous times I can assure you that he has a silver tongue. And his programming ideas have unfolded to lovely effect - bringing the Marcus Roberts jazz trio to the Shreveport stage, among several.

On Sat, Jan 27, regional audiences watch him take another leap. He's dreamed up an interactive percussion concert that features the symphony plus, says the PR, the Grambling State University World Famed Tiger Marching Band Drumline. Fresh from an appearance in the Rose Bowl parade, I'd like to add.

Bang the Drum, Feel the Beat brings to mind the percussion show Stomp. As seen at the Strand the colorful show Stomp was exciting at first but lost its edge through the relentless pounding. The SSO drum show has the potential to draw on the personalities of the Grambling players as well as the SSO players. And it will hinge upon the erudite but supple voice of the city's still-new and charged-up orchestra conductor, Michael Butterman.

Bang the Drum, Feel the Beat
For children of all ages
Riverview Theater (formerly the Spt Civic Theater)
Sat, Jan 27, 3 pm
adults $20
students $5

Monday, January 15, 2007

SciPort 07: the art of science, the allure of architecture, the engagement in hands-on exploration

SciPort: funnel to the new wing
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
After the flurry of holiday activity surrounding the opening of the Space wing at SciPort, the one that juts toward the river, we thought you'd like to be reminded of its artfulness.

Take your camera, your sketchbook and your friends when you visit this downtown cosmos.

Imagine a gleaming Foucault Pendulum measuring the rotation of Planet Earth on the banks of the Red.

The Space Dome Interactive Planetarium: it's both physical and digital.

The rooftop observatory/terrace: you are King Kong.

The 16-million pixel laser planetarium projection system: O M G.

Special events are on SciPort's Calendar. A biggie: the Space Odyssey Family Camp-In, the first all-night camp-in to be held in the new Space Center at Sci-Port Discovery Center: 6 p.m. Fri, Jan 26, to 7 a.m. Sat, Jan 27, says Eric Gipson.

M - F: 10 - 5
Sat: 10 - 6
Sun: 1 - 6

Terrific Tuesdays:
first Tuesday of every month, 10:00 - 12:00,
$2.00 Discovery Areas.
(IMAX Dome Theatre tickets $5 per person.)
(318) 424-8660.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Michael Brecker, 1949 - 2007

Michael & Randy Brecker
Originally uploaded by Garry Corbett.

NEW YORK (AP) — Michael Brecker, a versatile and much-studied jazz saxophonist who won 11 Grammys over a career that spanned more than three decades, died Saturday at age 57.
Brecker died in New York of leukemia, according to his longtime friend and agent, Darryl Pitt.

In recent years, the saxophonist had myelodysplastic syndrome, a cancer in which the bone marrow stops producing enough healthy blood cells. The disease, known as MDS, often progresses to leukemia.

Becker, who had a home in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York, was born in 1949 in Philadelphia and had won 11 Grammys for his work as a tenor saxophonist. He was inspired to study the tenor saxophone by the work of jazz legend John Coltrane, according to his website.

He and his brothers led a successful jazz-rock fusion group called the Brecker Brothers. Throughout his career, he recorded and performed with numerous jazz and pop music leaders, including Herbie Hancock and Joni Mitchell, according to the site.

His technique on the saxophone was widely emulated and taught. Jazziz magazine once called him "inarguably the most influential tenor stylist of the last 25 years."

Though somewhat introverted, his struggle with the blood disease led him to publicly encourage people to enroll in marrow donor programs.

A respondent on the Fender Forum wrote: "Michael was truly one of the greats, and he could play both rock/blues and the most challenging, way-out jazz with equal facility. If you haven't checked him out I'd highly recommend "Tales From The Hudson" and "Time Is Of The Essence" (both with Pat Metheny) for starters. What a tragic loss."

Confrontation with the Laws: duo in House Series at Fairfield Studios Sun, Jan 21, 7 pm

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
"Here come the Laws, a hot grassroots husband & wife duo from Canada," says Jim Huckabay. "Read all about 'em in this week's Forum ("Permanent Honeymoon", p 27).

They cite musical influences like Steve Earle, Guy Clark Buddy & Julie Miller and Willie Nelson. Currently, they have been taken under the wing of producer Mark Bright, noted for his work with Rascal Flatts and Carrie Underwood. John plays guitar, mandolin and harmonica; Michele plays bass & guitar. They're known for their Tight as a Glove vocal harmonies."
318 220-0400

Stop at Fairfield Studios for the House Series spring schedule, which looks like Strontium 90. For instance, see British guitar wonder Adrian Legg on March 24.

Newest sound on regional airwaves: college radio from Centenary's KSCL, 91.3

alysia leyendecker, kscl 91.3
Originally uploaded by trudeau.

Alysia Leyendecker is new director of, in effect, the newest station in Shreveport. Among her goals: "With our upgrade to 2100 watts, we're told we're reaching something like 350,000 people. We're getting calls from Texas and Arkansas, and people are genuinely very excited. We're working hard to try to expand the presence of KSCL in the community. We want our DJs to be known, and we want to be a media force in Shreveport.

My main goal as station manager is to try to make sure that KSCL does not stay the same station with just a larger broadcast radius. This does not mean that I want us to become a commercial station, as KSCL is and always will be student run and operated.

We will always play underrepresented voices and will do everything we can to assure that KSCL never turns into a top 40 station. I would just like to see KSCL expand as much as possible. I would love to see our professionalism increase along with our presence, so that we can be a pull for Centenary as well as for Shreveport."

Battle of the Bands Fri, Jan 26, 4 pm a benefit for KSCL 91.3,Centenary College

"KSCL is now taking submissions for its annual battle of the bands," says director Alysia Leyendecker, "which will take place on Friday, January 26th at 4 PM. The site is Centenary College's The Shell amphitheater or, in case of rain, Kilpatrick Auditorium.

If you are in a band that would like to play, send us a song or two." Submit hard copy to:

KSCL Battle of the Bands
2911 Centenary Blvd.
Shreveport 71105.

To submit a digital copy, e-mail us at
* Last day for submissions is Mon, Jan 22.
* Cash prizes for first, second, and third place winners.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Michael Parker's Books in the West Edge Gallery: new store, old books in a downtown art co-op, 725 Milam St

Book maven Michael Parker says by way of a bio, "I bring six years of experience working for Powell's in Portland, the largest independent bookstore in the world, including five years as a used book buyer. I'm a native of this area, but have also lived as an adult in Lafayette and Baton Rouge, Vermont, New Hampshire, northern California and seven years in Portland before returning about 2 1/2 years ago."

His offerings include "Literature/Fiction, Poetry, Louisiana History/Politics, Science Fiction (with an emphasis of quality over quantity), Fine and Performing Arts, Philosophy, Sports (particularly baseball),
Politics (divided into the following subsections: Anarchism, Leftist Studies, Labor and a catch-all Political Economy/Law/Activism), Erotica and Out-of-print and collectible mass market paperbacks."

"Some of the more unique items include," says Parker,
"Signed and numbered copies of Gore Vidal's Empire and Hollywood, in nice slipcases; Signed copy of T. Harry Williams' definitive bio of Huey Long, Signed memoir by former Secretary of State Dean Acheson, Paperback of Spit in the Ocean #7, devoted to the work and memory of Ken Kesey and signed by several contributors, including filmmaker Gus Van Sant (Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting), Rare mass market edition of The Earl of Louisiana by A.J. Liebling, Mass market copy of Vote!, book-length endorsement of George McGovern in the 1972 presidential election, written by Yippie co-founders Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and Ed Sanders."

10-6 Tues.-Fri.,
10-4 Sat.
12-4 Sun.

725 Milam St.
318- 221-6961.

Fashion lovers bearing their uptown apparel from recent decades will converge upon Artspace 4 to 8 pm, Sat, Jan 13, 710 Texas St

An antique fashion road show hosted by Mark Hermosillo with the help of Steve Ross will unfold at Artspace Sat, Jan 13, from 4 to 8 pm.

Artspace has been decorated Audrey Hepburn style and is ready for locals who care about fashion to deliver garments, says MaryBeth O'Connor. "There have been a number of calls from people who are excited about the project and looking forward to bring in their clothes," she said.

The show that follows the clothing auditions, In Fashion, will open on Friday, February 2. Hermosillio will offer one floor of elegant clothing from his own collection.


Friday, January 12, 2007

Turner Art Center, Centenary College, presents work by 30 artists in tribute to the late Donna Service

Self portrait, Donna Service
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Doyle Jeter, popo for the Eye-Twenty Group of artists and proprietor of Enoch's Irish Pub, Monroe, says, "On Jan 9 an exhibition of Works on Paper will open at Turner Art Center, Centenary College, Shreveport. This exhibition, entitled "Donna...Service with a Smile," is a tribute to our friend and fellow artist Donna Service."

Jeter continues, " Almost 2 years have rushed by since Donna's untimely passing, and in that time many have expressed the desire to do something in Donna's memory." He has chosen some 30 artists from the region - Monroe, Ruston, Shreveport - to produce a show at Turner in her memory. He adds, "Thank you Leonard and Mac Service for supporting this project."

A silent auction of the work at Turner will take place Sat, Feb 3, says co-producer Bruce Allen, director of Turner. Monies collected will go to Renzi Center in Donna's name. She was the founding director of Renzi Education & Art Center, 445 Egan St.

Turner Art Center is a former residence on the corner of Centenary Blvd and Rutherford; it contains one of the city's pocket galleries. Turner is across Centenary Blvd from Meadows Museum. A swell parking lot serves both facilities.

Two nationally-recognized artists have work on display in the Service show. They are Lynda Benglis and Deborah Luster.

Turner Art Center: 9 am to 9 pm M - Th, 9 to 5 Fri, 2 - 5 on weekends.
Bruce Allen:
Doyle Jeter:

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

NYC theater troupe Nerve Ensemble to produce original drama with students at Centenary College; show runs Feb 8 - 11

Nerve Ensemble, NYC: Lance Horne
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Steve Vanderkuy, of Centenary College's art department says, "Don Hooper, head of the Theater Department said, 'Look at the material on the Nerve Ensemble, a drama troupe in NYC; sure would be great to bring them here for a residency.' And I said, ' Maybe I can help you raise the money to bring them in.'"

Along the way to bringing the Nerve Ensemble to Shreveport, VanderKuy and Hooper added film maven Marion Marks and the decision was made to make a documentary film of the premiere production of the work, tentatively entitled The $trip.

This week the Nerve nucleus went to work at auditioning students and filling out their project. The play in development is billed thusly: "We're exploring the American Dream in a perfect marriage of form and content: a Vegas specracular. Alice in Wonderland meets MTV. Desire in a fragile house of cards."

The Nerve Ensemble:
Lance Horne, composer/lyricist
Tiger Martina, choreographer
Sarah Bishop-Stone, dramaturg/producer
alyse Rothman, director

"The show will open on the 8th of Feb at 8 pm and play the 9th and 10th at the same time. A matinee will be presented at 2 pm on the 11th," says Hooper.

Having briefly met the young but well-traveled troupe I must say my expectations are high. And I salute Hooper, Vanderkuy and Marks for their ambitious and stimulating plan. It is this sort of moxie that provides a launch pad for students and energizes a community.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Hicks Concert: a quartet of Shreveport Opera singers perform at Caddo Magnet High

Kisrsten Chambers, soprano
Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Four young operatic voices brought a midday version of A Night at the Opera to Caddo Magnet High School this week. Students were attentive as they were introduced to arias from classics such as The Marriage of Figaro and The Magic Flute. The singers were Kirsten Chambers, Christina Hager and Timothy Bostwick. Accompanist was Keith Chambers. The show was sponsored by Shreveport Opera Board of Trustees member Bobbie Cates Hicks, said production manager Ashley Owens.

Owens noted, "This year we have the following shows available through our SOX program: Hansel & Gretel, The Pied Piper of Hamelin, Why Dinosaurs Don't Smoke, SOX on Broadway (musical review), and a Night at the Opera. There are two options with Hansel & Gretel and Smoke. They can perform the opera alone or the singers can do an interactive workshop for around 25-30 students, who then perform in the show with our singers."

Shreveport Opera Xpress 2006-2007

Hansel & Gretel by Engelbert Humperdinck: PreK - 8th grades
Shreveport Out of Town
Hansel & Gretel Performance $ 500 $ 750
Hansel & Gretel Interactive Residency $1000 $1250

The Pied Piper of Hamelin by Seymour Barab: PreK - 8th
Pied Piper Interactive Residency $1000 $1250

Why Dinosaurs Don’t Smoke by Susan M. Yankee: PreK - 8th
Why Dinosaurs Don’t Smoke Performance $ 500 $ 750
Why Dinosaurs Don’t Smoke Interactive Residency $1000 $1250

SOX on Broadway: 8th - 12th grades
SOX on Broadway 45 min. $ 600 $ 850
SOX on Broadway 75 min. $1500 $1500

A Night at the Opera (selected arias from the repertoire): 8-12th
A Night at the Opera 45 min. $ 600 $ 850
A Night at the Opera 75 min. $1500 $1500

A Lecture Series on Opera (Madama Butterfly, Carmen, Opera Appreciation): 8 - 12th.

Lectures on current Shreveport Opera productions $250 or 25 student tickets to the current production.

"We will be happy to hold a date for you pending funding. If you
would like to see the Shreveport Opera Express in your school, please give us a call today," added Owens.

When's the next big show ? "The coming mainstage opera is Carousel on March 17 at 7:30 pm at the RiverView Theater. The show will be directed by Bill Fabris and conducted by Dan Gettinger, both from New York. Check out our website for pics and bios of the director and conductor at You can also find a schedule of SOX shows by clicking on Calendar."

Shreveport Opera, 212 Texas Street
Ashley Owens:
(318) 227-9503

Leia Lewis to speak at Culture Jam breakfast, 7:15 am Thur, Jan 11, Stone's Throw Cafe

Leia Lewis, Ora Hart
Originally uploaded by trudeau.

Leia Lewis will speak to the Culture Jam Dining Society's breakfast meeting on Thur, Jan 11, at 7:15 a.m, at A Stone'sThrow Cafe, 729 Jordan St., says Michael Parker. Lewis, the founder and director of Sankofa Vision, Inc., will speak on the topic, "We are the one's we've been waiting for! Organizing grassroots networks to build sustainable communities."

Sankofa Vision, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that exists to celebrate and cultivate the art, culture, and community life of people of African descent. The organization has initiated Sankofa Gardens, an intergenerational organic community garden program.

Lewis is also working to establish the ON PURPOSE Whole Life Development Center, a community school for children and adults with transformative learning programs to advance academic excellence, empowered living, community building, and peace.

The Culture Jam Dining Society's breafast meetings are open to the public every second and fourth Thursday, and are designed to provide a forum for the cultural evolutionaries of the area. They are co-hosted by A Stone's Throw Cafe, the West Edge Artists' Co-op and West Edge Books and News. For more information, contact Michael Parker at or 227-7685.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Leland Strebeck & Conchita Iglesias-McElwee show new work at PrimaTazza: reception Sat, Jan 13, 2 - 4 pm

Between the Curtains is a two-person exhibit featuring work by Leland Strebeck and Conchita Iglesias-McElwee.

It opens Mon, Jan 8, and runs through Feb 3 at Prima Tazza, 8835 Line Avenue, in the Ashley Ridge Pointe Center. An opening reception will be held Sat, Jan 13, from 2-4 P.M., and is free and open to the public, says Donna Strebeck.

Self-taught artist Leland Strebeck will be showing ten pieces in this exhibit, says Donna. It will differ from his past work, as he will be displaying mostly ink drawings. A Strebeck friend says, " Leland's art is brilliant because at first glance, you notice the vibrant colors, the main image, and the cartoon-esque style of painting that define pop art, but with Leland's work you'll notice the realism in the backdrop and sometimes a sharp message of cynicism. He also isn't afraid to look at things from a different perspective; he lets his creativity take control in a way that most artists (and people in general) cannot do."

Also included in the exhibit will be drawings by Leland's daughters and, for the reception only, soft sculptures by his wife, Donna Strebeck. To see examples of the families work visit,

Conchita Iglesias-McElwee is an artist who fuses pop culture with traditional Mexican themes, says Her maternal family traces artistic roots back four generations to the streets of Mexico and Spain. Conchita embraced her artistic talents while working with abused children in Nashville, Tennessee.

Her art is often a statement of self discovery or a remembrance of someone she loves or respects. She often works with the traditional themes of Dia de los Muertos. Originals of her work are available at

Prima Tazza: M - F, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sat,10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Reception: Sat, Jan 13, 2 - 4 pm

The artists will be donating 15% of sales commissions to Spt-Bossier Rescue Mission and will collect non-perishables for donation.

Exit interview with Kamyar Hedayat, MD, leaving Center for Integrative Wellness: All Souls Unitarian, Wed, Jan 10, 7 pm

A Health and Healing presentation at All Souls Unitarian Church will feature Kamyar Hedayat, MD. Dr. Hedayat has been director for a multi-disciplinary out-patient holistic pediatric practice at the Center for Integrative medicine, says Frances Flournoy.

The event is Wed, Jan 10 at 7 pm, at All Souls UU Church, 9449 Ellerbe Road. Reservations are requested: 868-3313.

"Dr Hedyat's contract with Schumpert Hospital has recently ended. He will be returning to Chicago in the next few months, so come learn from him now," says Flournoy.

Kamyar M. Hedayat, MD, was born in Detroit, the son of a
cardiologist and nurse anesthetist. He was raised combining Western and Eastern philosophy, spirituality and healing techniques, including essential oils, hydrolats, herbals and energy medicine.

He completed a BA, with honors, in Psychology and minors in languages (ancient Greek, French, and Farsi) and literature from the University of Michigan in 1991. He obtained his medical doctorate at Wayne State University in 1998, which included a one month preceptorship with Dr. Andrew Weil. He completed residency in pediatrics in 2001 at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan. He completed a fellowship in pediatric critical care at Stanford University in 2004.

Dr. Hedayat has introduced aromatherapy, music therapy, massage,
cransiosacral manipulation, myofacial release, and holistic nutrition into the in-patient and out-patient care of children. He has conducted a multi-disciplinary out-patient holistic pediatric practice at the Center for Integrative Medicine where he practices aromatherapy, Reiki and allopathic medicine, working closely with physical and occupational therapists, spiritual and psychological counselors and holistic nutritionists.

He is married and has two children. In addition to his scholarly activities, which includes over 10 articles on topics ranging from medical ethics to critical care, he writes articles on clinical aromatherapy, poetry, children’s short fiction, and enjoys hiking, swimming and finding a good place to get lost and find his way back again.

Kermit Poling, Angelique Feaster, Kellee Johnson, Royce Moseley: the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra's People's Concert at Riverview Theater Fri, Jan 15, 7:30 pm

Originally uploaded by trudeau.
Like the movie Dreamgirls, the annual Shreveport Symphony Orchestra People’s Concert gives the populace a moment of public ethnic unity.

SSO associate Conductor Kermit Poling has produced the People's Concerts for a number of years. He has created rousing and utopian events. The 15th Annual takes place 7:30 pm Fri, Jan 12, at Shreveport’s Riverview Theatre.

From Beethoven to a composition by SSO principal horn player Thomas Hundemer, Poling promises a lively show.

* an arrangement of the spiritual "He Never Said a Mumblin’ Word" by Poling.
* gospel favorites by the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir; arrangements by BTC's Carol Cymbala.
* KMJJ personality Al Weeden as M.C.
* Angelique Feaster narrating Thomas Hundemer’s original composition "Opening Night in Bougalusa."
* guest soloists Kellee Johnson and Royce Moseley.
* Inter City Row Modern Dance Company performing to a composition by local composer Darrell Andrews.
* A mass gospel choir composed of singers from Mt. Canaan Baptist Church, Little Union Baptist Church, Midway Baptist Church, and Avenue Baptist Church Choirs, the Lone Wa Sanctuary Singers, ULM Interdenominational Ensemble, Springs of Grace Church, Peaceful Baptist Church and Stonewall Baptist Church under the direction of S. Royce Mosely.

Tickets are free and available at all Goodwill Stores, County Market Grocery Stores, Garland’s Supersound and the Shreveport Symphony’s Box Office. The concert is subsidized by the Community Foundation of Shreveport Bossier.

Shreveport Symphony Orchestra

Saturday, January 06, 2007

When we had a sense of style: Hermasillo & Ross cherry-pick regional couture on Sat, Jan 13 at Artspace, 4 to 8 pm

Mom & Dad Walking By Theater in San Francisco
Originally uploaded by Pixel Packing Mama.

Once upon a time the Good People of Shreveport dressed up to go shopping downtown. The country cousins were also expected to wear a dress & heels or sport coat in order to shop respectably on Texas and Milam Streets. If your mom, dad or grandparents were among that set and you've managed to save any of their nicer clothing, your time in the sun has begun.

An Antique Couture Road Show featuring clothing consultants from Saks Fifth Avenue will visit Artspace on Sat, Jan 13, from 4-8 pm, says Pam Atchison. Fashion mavens from Northwest Louisiana are respectfully requested to present their vintage gowns and downtown clothing to be photographed and evaluated by the Saks team.

Curator Mark Hermasillo will review the photographs and call on the people with the clothing that fits the show. Additionally, a slide show of all the outfits and accessories that are brought to the Antique Fashion Road Show will be produced.

The Artspace fashion exhibit at the end of this process, In Fashion, The Art of Style, will open Fri, Feb 2. The show will feature regional couture discoveries from the Saks review (1940's to 1970's) as well as Hermosillo's collection of fashion and design.

Steve Ross will join Hermosillo in producing the show. Hermasillo and Ross are the Los Angeles-based interior design team for Bill Robinson, benefactor to Chimp Haven and Robinson Film Center, among several local institutions

Antique couture road show: Sat, Jan 13
In Fashion exhibit opens Fri, Feb 2
Pam Atchison: 673-6500

Don't look for an earlier post I made from an In Fashion PR post card from SRAC. My first article missed the tone of this event by a plaid suit.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Terrific cast in A Little Night Music might catch fire if audience takes it as a sex farce; performances at Strand Theater Jan 5, 6 & 7

A Little Night Music / River City Repertory Theater, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau.

Steven Sondheim and Patric McWilliams have brought a grand evening of song and costume to the Strand Theater with the River City Repertory's rendition of A Little Night Music. The stately production has a cast full of pretty women and handsome - even cute - men. They demonstrated tuneful voices. The troupe was light on its feet, too. On opening night, however, the production arrived tantalizingly short of brilliance.

The Thursday night audience sat there as though gazing at a wedding of some of the town's nicest couples from the finest families. Terrific ceremony. But where was the laughter? Maybe it was the audience's sense of care that damped their response and blanketed the cast. And as well-rehearsed and competent as the cast was, no one seemed ready to jump out and milk the audience for giggles.

John Gayle was mesmerizingly consistent and clear of message as the protagonist. Seva May was handsome and fluent onstage; her tone and energy matched Gayle's. And her version of "Send in the clowns" was thoughtfully modulated. It was one of the high points of the lengthy show. First night ran 7:40 to almost 10:30.

Jonathan McVay and Ellen Lindsay, two of the Equity Actors on stage, were yin and yang. Young and impetuous, they seemed appropriately over-the-top. Bill Gallmann played Gayle's principal antagonist with vast competence and was closest to letting the audience know to lighten up. But he pulled in the reigns on his comic horse. In Act Two the lusty maid, played with sparkling eyes and confident voice by Heather Bryson, jazzed the show with "The Miller's Son." But the missing twinkle was brought to the stage on opening night by the knowing smiles of Jim Montgomery, who seemed to relish his less-than-leading role.

McWilliams certainly is effective at filling the stage with a visual banquet. The costumes, designed by McWilliams, were sumptuous and modestly sexy. The McWilliams set was shrewdly minimal and enhanced by the adept lighting of Mike Riggs.

In the orchestra pit were 23 first-chair orchestra players from the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra. Their full-bodied accompaniment was velvety. Happily, the singers' wireless mics were smartly managed.

McWilliams has delivered an elegant show. The cast is so competent in their singing and so well-disciplined in their dramaturgy that an entertaining evening can be guaranteed. And somehow I think that the weekend audiences may be better than we were at giving the cast a fair return on their energy.

Pardon me this prescription, but I hope you attend A Little Night Music knowing that Sondheim is risque (John Gayle strips in Act One and it worked) and fun as well as thoughtful. His tunes are not burlesque, but the play is largely a sex farce. The dialogue is a bit dense at times, but don't be inhibited by the serious bits. There's bawdiness galore.

Both cast and audience might be reminded. Don't be afraid of the sex in A Little Night Music.

Jan 5,6, at 7:30 p.m. and January 7th at 3 p.m.
Strand Theater, Shreveport
Adults $30.00
Senior Citizens and Student $25.00

Tickets: Strand Theatre Box Office, 318-226-8555.

Alex Kent's review for the Shreveport Times.

Artists, craftsmen, designers, musicians: workshop your way into a Division of the Arts grant

Ariej & Megan Hayes Adams
Originally uploaded by trudeau.

Grants will soon be available to Louisiana's arts community, says SRAC's Ariej Alexander. Workshops to assist grant seekers in the application process are scheduled for January 2007. The workshops will be led by the Louisiana Division of the Arts, which oversees and distributes state and federal grant funds.

Visual artists, craftsmen, musicians, creative writers, designers, theater and dance professionals in addition to nonprofit/governmental entities whose mission is to provide arts programming to the public are eligible. Grants are also available for the development of arts education programs in schools.

The workshops will walk applicants through new grants programs and the application process step-by-step. There will be opportunities to meet with Division of the Arts staff one-on-one and network with other arts community members seeking grants.

All workshops and sessions are free. The Grant Workshop Schedule is available on the Division of the Arts website at

More info: Louisiana Division of the Arts, P. O. Box 44247, BR, LA 70804-4247, or call (225) 342-8180.

Ariej Alexander
Director of Grants & Community Development
Shreveport Regional Arts Council
800 Snow Street
Shreveport, LA 71101
318-673-6515 FAX

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Postcard from Florida: Drew Hunter's circular house, Geodesica, in Jacksonville

Originally uploaded by trudeau.

Artist Drew Hunter was gothic before gothic was mass market. A gifted illustrator and designer, he once entertained Shreveporters with Halloween installations, costumes, logos, films and soundtracks.

Formerly a resident of Dallas, Hunter recently wrote, "I am in Florida now -- Jacksonville to be exact. I’m the Design Director for Sally Corporation. We specialize in audio animatronic figures and dark ride attractions for amusement and theme parks worldwide. Look us up if you get a whim –

I live in a unique home here – a vintage “Atomic Age” round house titled “Geodesica."

It was built in 1959 and was a sensation (and quite a novelty) of that year's Jacksonville Parade of Homes. It's amazing how many people we've met here who remember that, and who have always wanted to see inside the house. We ought to charge admission!

My partner of almost 25 years, Charles Chapman, and I bought it from the original owners in 2002. It's built like a bunker -- cinder block and stucco outer walls, and a 20 foot diameter rotunda in the center, also built of cinder blocks. It rests on a rise about a block off the St. Johns river in the North Arlington area of Jax.

We have a beautiful panorama view of the river and of a really spectacular bridge which spans it a few miles away. It's an older, very quiet neighborhood, and we love it here. And, hey, in my opinion, you simply can't have too many palm trees!"

The irrepressible Hunter adds, "Here's a bit of Shreveport palm tree trivia. I grew up in the Broadmoor area of town at 4107 Finley Drive. The house -- second off Atlantic, on the east side -- is currently owned by the Broadmoor Baptist Church. There's some truly ironic Cosmic Joker sort of significance to that, but I'm too weirded out about it to figure out what it may be. If you drive by, look to the far right of the house in the front yard -- you'll see what may be the tallest palm tree in town.

I bought that tree in the late '50s from Akins Nursery with my allowance, and planted it. It has survived ice storms, snow storms, tornadic winds and more, and the last I saw it in August '06, it was doing quite nicely, thank you. What a legacy!"

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Jonathan McVay, John Gayle, Seva May, Bill Gallmann, Ellen Lindsay, Janin Pou and Patric McWilliams bring Sondheim to the Strand Jan 4, 5, 6 at 7:30

Jonathan McVay, Kaytha Coker: Deep in the Heart; Hobby Center, Houston

"River City Repertory continues its season," says Patric McWilliams, "with one of Broadway’s most acclaimed musicals, the romantic and achingly beautiful, A Little Night Music. The musical explores the subject of love in all its wondrous, humorous and heart breaking stages." McWilliams adds, "What a treat it has been to be provided the opportunity to delve deeply into this masterwork from Sondheim. What an amazing work of genius it is."

Writer Alex Kent described the company in rehearsal for The Times.

Seva May, John Gayle, Ellen Lindsay, Bill Gallmann, Jodie Glorioso, Janin Pou, Jonathan McVay, Heather Bryson, Catherine Barbaree, Horace English, Susan Yankee, William Parsons, Jennifer Dowd, Karmyn Tyler, James Monk.

Kermit Poling, Musical Direction,
Patric McWilliams, Set and Costume Design
Mike Riggs, Light Design
Katie Dupont, Choreography
Patric McWilliams, Direction

January 4,5,6, at 7:30 p.m.
January 7th at 3 p.m.

Adults $30; Seniors, students, $25.

Strand Theatre Box Office 318-226-8555