Tuesday, December 30, 2008

West Edge artists examine the advent, birth, life & death of Elvis in exhibit at Municipal Auditorium; reception Thurs, Jan 8, 5:30 pm

Originally uploaded by trudeau
Inspired by artist Jane Heggen, Shreveport's funky Municipal Auditorium hosts the West Edge Artist's Show "Elvis Has NOT Left The Building". The public is invited, says Lynn Laird, to see artistic interpretations of the life, legend, and birthday of Elvis.

Reception & silent auction is on El's birthday: Thurs, Jan. 8.
He was birthed at 5:30 pm; the event starts at that time.

MoInfo: Lynn Laird, 318-458-1666.
Art at www.westedgeartists.com
Weaco art blog: www.weaco.blogspot.com

Stan Hoffman and the Space Travelers lead off Rockin' Benefit on Tues, Jan 20, at Lee's Place for James Portoff

Originally uploaded by oneeyeddogblues
Says Blue Martin, "A couple months ago my friend James Portoff'S house burned down, all the way to the ground. James has been an avid and active supporter of local live music for a long time. He's also been quick with a helping hand to those in need. When you lose everything you have, nothing can change that. But! We, some local musicians, and you music connoiseurs can give James a hand by going Tues, Jan 20 @ Lee's Place, King's Hwy, 7 pm to midnight. Suggested donation of $5.@ the door

7:00-7:30 Stan Hoffman & The SPACE TRAVELERS
7:45-8:30 PROFESSOR PORKCHOP & THE DIRTY DISHES(Chris McKay, John Compton, Curt Watson)
10:00-10:45 8 TRACK
11:00-12 KANDU BAND
With Special Guests: Joe Nadeau... Don 'Dirty Redd" Crenshaw... and many more for more info: Steve @ 227-1707 or Blue @ 655-0004

Photo of Stan Hoffman by Barbara Beaird.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Academy of Children's Theater production of Wizard of Oz continues the magic Jan 1 through Jan 4 at Marjorie Lyons Playhouse

Cynthia Whitaker, director, and Lauren Ross, choreographer, have developed the Wizard of Oz for their group of 50, the Academy of Children's Theater. It opened last weekend and continues Jan 1- 4.

Dorothy is played by Meredith Little, the scarecrow by Holt Kirkindoll, Tin Man by Shreveport City Councilman Bryan Wooley, the Cowardly Lion by Mike Martindale and the Good Witch by Bridget Winder. The Times Alex Kent, in his review, wrote of Winder, "she also brought grace and melodic charm to a musical that has the power to transport."

Shreveport Blog asked Winder about the challenges in her role: "Since Glinda is so sweet, it's very easy for her to fade into the woodwork. The biggest challenge in this role is to be bright enough that she is not forgotten on stage. Mrs. Whitaker does a great job of directing us so that every actor is seen by bringing out the "acting" in all of us."

The pleasures in her role? "Glinda is not in many scenes, so I get the pleasure to help the other cast members. They are all so incredible."

Her favorite scenes: "I adore watching Meredith Little (Dorothy), because she is SO bright on stage. My favorite moments on stage have to be watching the munchkins. Those kids have worked so hard and they are adorable! Honestly, the whole show is a favorite moment. There is something to love in every line. This is truly a magical show."

Sat & Sun, Jan. 3 - 4, at 2 p.m.
Th, Fri and Sat, Jan. 1 - 3, at 7 pm.
Marjorie Lyons Playhouse
$25, adults; $20, students, seniors and children.
Tickets include a character meet-and-greet and autograph signing after the show.
(318) 869-5242.

Photo by Amanda Nicole Winder.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Celebration at Big D's Tues, Dec 30, 6 pm to midnight at 101 Common St; It's Big D Williams' birthday

Walter at Big D's
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Bbq and music at Big D's on Tues, Dec 30, from 6 pm to midnight. It's a birthday bash for Big D Williams, says Susan Garner. Expect music from . . .

the Noids
Dan Garner
Heydun Camp
AJ Haynes
Christopher Brown

Says Ms. Garner, home to visit from Chicago, where she's attending school: "Get some BBQ, wish Big D happy birthday and you can see all the renovations that've been done!"


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

One comic, one dog: one show on Sat, Jan 3, Fairfield Studios, benefitting Robinson Rescue

From the Austin Chronicle about Arthur Simone, who will do a benefit for Robinson Rescue on Sat, Jan 3 at Fairfield Studios:

Arts Review January 25, 2008
Description: The first week brought packed houses, captivating shows, and the promise that the rest of the fest will be just as magical
"...The first director I ever had told me this important adage: "Never go onstage with an animal or a baby – you'll always be upstaged." ColdTowne's Arthur Simone, however, has thrown such caution to the wind with his improv show Buddy Daddy, featuring just a man and his dog. Luckily, Simone knows how to handle both an audience and Robin Goodfellow, his adorable beagle/dachshund mix..."

Sat, Jan 3, 7 pm
Fairfield Studios
$20/ donation
Rock & roll music open from Powder Keg.
Gumbo by Herby K's.
Cash bar. Raffle.
Reservations: robinsonrescue@gmail.com

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The New Reality exhibit at Norton: trompe l'oeil feast Tues - Sat, 10 am to 5 pm, Sat - Sun, 1 to 5 pm

R.W. Norton Art Gallery is currently hosting “The New Reality: The Frontier of Realism in the 21st Century”, a juried collection of paintings by the members of the International Guild of Realism" says Jennifer DeFratis.

In the late 20th century, a backlash against abstract and conceptual art began, she writes. Many artists began to embrace concepts and techniques borrowed from older masters. For this exhibition, selected artists are required to cite the example of an Old Master or other Realist painting which helped inspire their own work in either theme or technique. Benjamin Orozco Lopez says: 'The most important thing about the Guild [of Realism] is that we are a big group of artists who glorify the values of craftsmanship, which has almost been lost in modern painting.'"

Says Defratis, "The painting I find myself revisiting both in memory and during any break is Veronique Molinier’s “Japanese Doll.” The element of trompe l’oeil (where the eye is fooled into thinking the painted object is actually three dimensional) makes me inclined think this is a sculpture, not a painting, while the colors and textures in the rich Japanese robe reveal new details every time I see it and displays fantastic artistic skill."

Through Feb 15, '09
No charge.
Tues - Fri, 10 am to 5 pm,
Sat & Sun, 1 pm to 5 pm

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Concert at First United Methodist Bossier presents the I-49 Brass Quintet on Sun, Dec 21, 3 pm

Shreveport Brass Quintet
Originally uploaded by trudeau
First United Methodist Church Bossier is the location for “The Spirit of Christmas Brassed,” with the I-49 Brass Quintet, says Elizabeth O'Bannon. The concert is Sun, Dec 21, at 3 p.m. The FUMC Bossier is at 204 John Wesley Blvd.

Members of the brass quintet are Rick Rowell and Michael Scarlato, trumpets; Thomas Hundemer, french horn; Michael Davidson, trombone; and J. Mark Thompson, bass trombone.

Future Sunday concert dates are February 8, 2009, at 3 pm (Red River Winds) and May 16th, (Strings Attached). All concerts are free to the public.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Little Rock rollers: Greg Spradlin Outfit includes 2 Boondogs at El Dorado Casino performance on Sun, Dec 21

Greg Spradlin, Little Rock
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Holiday message from Little Rock: "Shreveport ex-pat Jason Weinheimer here.. Wanted you to be aware of a show this Sunday night (12/21) at the El Dorado Casino.

Chris Michaels and I will be playing with the Greg Spradlin Outfit (http://www.myspace.com/gregspradlinoutfit). We're hoping to get some old friends out. I'd imagine that the end of the night will turn into a free-for-all with out-of-town folks and the like sitting in.

Also, please check out our main project, The Boondogs.. We have a new record out and are looking to get back to Shreveport to play soon.

Editor: Tell Monsieur Spradlin his myspace songs smell like really speedy spam with Spleen's.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Rest in Peace: Tracy Lynn Phillips, 1966 - 2008

Tracy Phillips, musician and music teacher at Eden Gardens Elementary School, passed away Dec 3 after a sudden illness. Her memorial service will take place at Brown Chapel, Centenary College, on Mon, Dec 22, at 7 pm, says her husband, Thomas Phillips.

Her husband wrote this tribute: "A talented clarinetist and dedicated music educator, Tracy graduated from Cleveland State University with a Bachelor of Music Education degree and studied clarinet with Theodore Johnson of the Cleveland Orchestra. She performed in the Shreveport Symphony in Louisiana as an extra clarinet and in Texas in the Longview and Marshall symphonies. She also was a certified specialist in the Orff Schulwerk method of music education for children. Tracy was a valued member of the faculty at Eden Gardens Elementary School, where her love for teaching and the children she taught will continue to make an impact on the lives of her students."

In addition to her husband, principal clarinetist for the Shreveport Symphony, she is survived by her son, Matthew Phillips.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas in the Sky sold out; Shreveport Regional Arts Council knows how to assemble a fundraiser for its party-loving public

martini 1
Originally uploaded by trudeau
At $250 a ticket, Christmas in the Sky has sold out, says Pam Atchison. The end of the ticket line arrived Tuesday. The big night is Sat, Dec 13, 7 pm to 2 am.

SRAC has a new way to add fund-raising value to the event. If you are a ticket holder you may bid upon items in the Sky auction by going to the new online site, ChristmasintheSkyOnline.com.

Peter Pan Players offer Play Dates for ages 4 through high school on Fri, Dec 12 to Sun, Dec 14

Peter Pan Play Dates, says Denise Landry, are "a fun day filled with theatre games, a movie, pizza, and more! Let your child learn about theatre in a fun way while you take care of preparing for the holidays!"

Friday, December 12th
6-10 PM, $25 per child

Saturday, December 13th
9 AM-2 PM, $30 per child

Sunday, December 14th
1-6 PM, $30 per child

Ages 4 through High School
Call 868-9619 – Reservations Required!

All Play Dates will be held at the Peter Pan Players’ Blue House at
451 Kings Hwy, across from Wendy’s.

Red River Radio's Cyber day is Fri, Dec 12; premiums for pledge include Canadian Brass recording

Canadian Brass
Originally uploaded by Canadian Brass
"Support Red River Radio this holiday season and receive holiday traditions performed on The Canadian Brass Christmas Tradition CD," says Kermit Poling. "It includes music for brass and organ, featuring organist Eric Robertson. Also a premium: Noels and Carols cd by Apollo's Fire as a thank you gift for your contribution of $60 or more. It includes noels and carols performed by Apollo's Fire Baroque Orchestra,"

See more at Redriverradio.org.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Drama community pulls together effectively, says Times writer Kent in review of Shreveport Little Theater's drama Rabbit Hole

Mary Thoma, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Shreveport Little Theater's presentation of the award-winning drama Rabbit Hole won plaudits from Times arts writer Alex Kent this weekend.

Kent acknowledged the cast with these remarks: "Mary Alfred Thoma's performance is rich with struggle, emotion and strength... Emily Brooks' skill at drawing out the nuance of a brash but sympathetic sister makes us care deeply ...Jared Watson ... skillfully directs a volatile, emotionally draining play ...Patricia Reeves, who plays Becca's mother, offers one of the funniest, most balanced dramatic performances in recent SLT memory ... the production design work of Josh Talley, David White and Shelly Price is elegantly simple and adds a clear punch to the drama."

See the Kent article, which addresses the dynamics of the arts community.

Rabbit Hole continues at MLP on Fri-Sat, Dec 12 - 13, at 8 pm and on Sun, Dec 14, at 2 pm.
$10 / 13 / 15
(318) 424-4439.

Review: "You Don't Know Your Mind" is fresh-cooked etouffee from songwriter David Egan

David Egan, Lafayette
Originally uploaded by trudeau
If you crave musical etouffee with a brown roux, you may eat the new CD by pianist-singer David Egan with a large spoon. Egan is a musical soul food chef. His music fits the kitchen as well as the nightclubs where the burly performer has spent much of his life.

Egan has spent years simmering in Lafayette, though his stock was mixed in Shreveport and he smells like New Orleans. I don't think you'll find a shortage of okra and bay leaves in the new album, "You Don't Know Your Mind."

Opening the album with piano and organ, a Little Milton-style hook and mid-tempo groove, Egan has invited you into his home. He has had considerable success having his tunes recorded by people like Irma Thomas, Etta James and Solomon Burke. With blues licks by co-writer Buddy Flett (it's a shame that the musicians singing, playing bass and guitar are not listed track by track, but the booklet does have all the lyrics), the song is a three-course supper.

"You're Lyin Again" is an uptempo number that rocks the table. Speaking of pounding the piano, it must be noted that Egan songs ride the train from New Orleans to Chicago. Lunch is usually served in Memphis.

"If It Is What It Is" changes the mood to the breezy 30's shuffle. It features a dulcet-voiced girl-guy duet and bread pudding trombone solos by Chris Belleau.

"Bourbon in my Cup" has a tricky head and a smoky tempo. The guitar riff that anchors "Love, Honor and Obey" is addictive.

Two of the cuts herein were perennial crowd-pleasers as performed by Miki Honeycutt and A Train, so Egan has had to try to outcook the family favorites."Best of Love Turned Blue" opens with a sensual electric piano lick. It becomes a souffle. Cooking over a solid rhyme scheme is sort of like putting your gumbo in the freezer overnight. The subtle female vocal behind his voice is an example of what Egan and producer Joe McMahan do at their best.

"Sing It One More Time" is given a super second line vibe. The beat was laid down by the Yat wit a Po-boy - Mike Sipos.

"You Don't Know Your Mind" is righteous but not elaborate. "Money's Farm" is one tune where I wished Egan hadn't settled for his simple-and-classic-is-best formula. Overall, though, this is a gumbo that will be playing in my kitchen during the holidays.

It'll offer everyone some seasoned greetings.

Cup of coffee? Sample Egan's excellent prior album, "Twenty Years of Trouble," at myspace.com/davidegan.

Michael Boiscourt, Natchitoches, at Deck the Halls, Artspace; view and shop Mon to Fri, 10 am to 7 pm, Sats noon to 6 pm

This year’s Deck the Halls features extended late hours, says Leigh Elgin. The exhibit - and sale - is open Mon to Fri from 10 am to 7 pm and Sats from noon to 6 pm.

Deck the Halls has two floors of exhibition space dedicated to Paintings, Drawings, Photography, Jewelry, Woodworking, Fine Craft, Wearable Art, Furniture and Metalwork.

Every year Deck the Halls attracts new artists and this year is no exception, new artists for 2008 are:

- Cindy Posey Singletary, a native of Shreveport now residing in Benton. Cindy is a painter specializing in watercolor and enjoys the challenge of watercolor and the unpredictable things that take place;
- Amy DesOrmeaux is an anomalous artist colliding eco-friendly matter with non-natural environmental impurities:
- Michael Boicourt, an artist who works in mixed media and weaving, believes that artists should never lose their sense of wonder. His voodoo dolls and masks are full of whimsy, color and spirituality. His weavings exude color and texture and his photographs are a view of a world traveled.

Deck the Halls also features The Café @ artspace, where new Food and Beverage Director Michael Chishum will be treating guests to a visual feast of seasonal culinary delights.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Review: The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas: something stinks in leafy and well-tailored Berlin, 1941

Imagine life as a privileged child in Berlin, 1941. Your family is wealthy and well-educated; nonetheless, something stinks. In a marvelous world of smart woolens and leather goods emblazoned with the Nazi insignia there is a not-easily detectable undercurrent of dismay. Mainly it seems to be the women who have trouble buying into the well-tailored Nazi deal.

What of the children? How were they brought along into the coven? In The Boy in the Striped Pajamas we enter the holocaust via the leafy streets of Berlin and the comfortable world of the upper middle class.

Young and well-reviewed novelist John Boyne created this incisive exploration of the issues surrounding the holocaust. It has been made into a thought-provoking and velvety movie by British writer-director Mark Herman.

Having seen many movies that address the issues of the enormous ethnic cleansing called the holocaust I can recommend this one as a deeply-affecting and thought-provoking piece of work. We took our 12 year-old son to the movie and it has started us on lengthy discussions of ethics, retribution and history. It seemed quite appropriate to all of us.

Running time 93 mins.

Robinson Film Center.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Coming to the RFC: "The Boy in the Striped Pajamas," December 5 - 12

Based on the acclaimed novel bearing the same title, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS is a World War II-era drama about a young man, the son of a commandant at a concentration camp, who strikes up a friendship with a young Jewish prisoner of the camp. Their friendship has unexpected consequences for both.

Please see more at the movie site

Also, see the SBFG. .

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Actors Cafe has movie and talk by indie filmmaker David Heavener on Thurs at 7:30 pm

Actors Cafe
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Film maker David Heavener will speak about Independent film producing and screen his latest movie, Confessions of a Exorcist, at the Actors Café on Thurs, Dec. 4, at 7:30 PM.

$5 at the door.

Afterward Heavener, who is planning on filming an upcoming series in
Shreveport, will judge the Actors Showcase at 9 pm


In a 20 year career as a filmmaker, David Heavener has written, directed, produced and starred in over 30 motion pictures and had distributed hundreds more. He has worked with Martin Landau, Tony Curtis, Sally Kirkland, Karen Black, Margot Kidder, Isaac Hayes and Robert Reed.

Many of his movies have aired on HBO, Showtime and USA Network. He has guest-starred on NBC's "Hunter" and "Days of our Lives". He has been featured on "Entertainment Tonight" and "Backstage West". David's recent film, "Dawn of the Living Dead" was released on DVD in August and spend 12 consecutive weeks in Wal-Marts' top 10 list for DVD sales.

The event is a reschedule owing to Dallas traffic, says Actor's Cafe.

48 pianists representing 17 nations visit Shreveport to compete in Wideman Competition on Fri, Dec 5 through Sun, Dec 7 at Centenary College

If you see unusually cool young people at gatherings around town this week, be aware that 48 young pianists from around the globe are here for the Wideman Competition. The 2008 Wideman Piano Competition will be held Friday, Dec. 5 through Sunday, Dec. 7 in the Anderson Auditorium of the Hurley School of Music, located on the Centenary College campus, says Lester Senter Wilson. The event is free and open to the public with contributions accepted at the door for the final round.

Sponsored by the Shreveport Symphony Guild, the competition includes 48 contestants representing schools from across the United States as well as 16 other countries. Schools represented include the Boston Conservatory, Eastman School of Music and The Juilliard School. The competition will be judged by nationally and internationally known pianists and conductors.

Preliminary rounds begin at 10:45 a.m. and run until 6 p.m. Friday and begin at 9:15 a.m. Saturday with each contestant playing for 15 minutes. For the final round, held on Sunday, each finalist will perform a complete concerto. The starting time will depend on the number of selected finalists.

Winners will be chosen in the final round. The gold medal winner will perform with the Shreveport Symphony at the 2009 opening concert, the Bell Concert Series at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series in Chicago and the Phillips Gallery in Washington D.C.

Competition awards include the gold medal, the $5,000 William Peyton Shehee and Virginia Kilpatrick Shehee Award; the silver medal, $2,500 F. Thomas Siskron III Family Award; the bronze medal, $1,500 Martha Jones Rice Award given by Mr. and Mrs. Marshall Carl Rice; honorable mention, $1,000 Dr. Jack E. and Carroll Bright Carlisle Award given by Mr. and Mrs. Jack E. Carlisle Jr., Dr. and Mrs. Joseph F. Carlisle, Mr. and Mrs. William Hancock; and special awards including the $1,000 Raymond Morris Award, $500 Glenda Lee Harrison Award given by Stephen Harrison and $500 Lester Senter Wilson/Marcille Young Award.

The Nena Wideman Piano Competition, which began in 1950, has been held annually the first weekend of December, at Centenary College-Hurley School of Music.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Steve Howell's new CD, My Mind gets to Ramblin', topping the Blues Roots charts

This weeks' Roots Blues Charts at Roots Music Report show
Steve Howell's "My Mind Gets to Ramblin'" at number 7, says musicologist Bruce Flett. Howell's competition includes the top names in blues, including Taj Mahal, B B King, Elvin Bishop, Buddy Guy, Freddie King and Stevie Ray Vaughan (re-issues).

Howell's new CD is his second release on Out of the Past Music and focuses on his mastery of the under-appreciated American Music Genre of Acoustic Country Blues, says Flett.

Steve is now booking tour dates for 2009, notes Flett. House Concerts, coffeehouses, pubs, 'listening rooms' and festivals are his specialty. Solo acoustic guitar with vocals or with his 3 piece band, his home of Marshall, Texas, can indeed be proud of Howell.

"Ramblin'" was recorded, mixed, and mastered at Sandbox Studios in Shreveport. Among the musicians that played on the recording: Musicians Hall of Fame member Joe Osborn on bass guitar and nationally known guitarist/singer/songwriter Buddy Flett.


The art of flinging oneself through the air in style: Salsa Gala and auditions Dec 5, 6 at the Capri Theater

Originally uploaded by trudeau
"Would you like to see World Class Salsa Dancers Competing and auditioning for a spot on the next Viva La Salsa Show Tour?" asks Michael Majesty.

"Do you enjoy watching So You Think You Can Dance??
If so, you will love this event! Held at the newly restored and beautiful Capri Theatre, this event will surely kick off your Christmas celebration with excitement!"

Mjesty says, call 318.779.1873 to reserve your tickets right now and pay through the phone with a major credit card or pay at your own comfort on-line securely through paypal. Simply visit:
After You register, we will add your name to our Pre-Paid List.
Note: All Sales are final, no refunds! Also see tickets at

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Auction and show at Actor's Cafe will benefit Miss Mary Arnold, Shreveport, on Tues, Dec 9

Local musicians will hold a benefit, says Kern Courtney, at Actor’s Café on Tues, Dec 9, 7pm, to help offset the costs of cancer treatments for Ms. Mary Arnold, a waitress of Murrell’s Grill in Shreveport.

Known as “Miss Mary” to countless college students, musicians, and other night owls, Ms. Arnold has been serving evening breakfast to patrons for 32+ years. For the past few months, she has been battling cancer without any health insurance in sight.

Fans of Ms. Mary have rallied together to present an art auction and an outstanding night of music, says Chris Alexander. The suggested donation is $10.

The line-up has expanded, but be aware that times are estimated and subject to change:

7pm Chuck Kesilman
7:35pm Danny Wilder
8:10pm Buddy Flett
8:45pm Romulus Remus
9:20pm Mr. Christopher
9:55pm AJ Haynes
10:30 The Peekers
11:20pm Dirtfoot
12:30am Music Jam


What to do with the SSO in the lurch: Elizabeth O'Bannon creates chamber music series at First United Methodist Bossier; opening concert Sun, Dec 21, 3 pm

First United Methodist Church Bossier announces a new chamber music series “Bossier Jam ‘n Bread,” sponsored by FUMC and funded through grants from the Louisiana Division of the Arts and the Bossier Arts Council.

Ms. Elizabeth O’Bannon, professional musician and teacher for Bossier schools, wrote the grant for FUMC and is artistic director for the series. She has been concertmaster for the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra.

The three pairs of concerts will feature area professional artists in educational “preview” concerts aimed at young and new audience members, and Sunday chamber concerts at FUMC Bossier. The programs will feature traditional chamber works as well as music by local composers and “fun-fare.”

The opening concert “The Spirit of Christmas Brassed,” with the I-49 Brass Quintet, will be on December 21 at 3 p.m. The FUMC Bossier is at 204 John Wesley Blvd.

Members of the quintet are Rick Rowell and Michael Scarlato, trumpets; Thomas Hundemer, french horn; Michael Davidson, trombone; and J. Mark Thompson, bass trombone. Rowell and Hundemer will also perform an educational preview for Bossier band students on December 12.

Future Sunday concert dates are February 8, 2009, at 3 pm (Red River Winds) and May 16th, (Strings Attached). All concerts are free to the public.

Supported in part by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts,
Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation & Tourism, in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council.
Funding has also been provided by the National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal Agency.

Photo by O-Bannon's daughter, Megan Poling.

Austin-based artist-actor Arthur Simone showing work at Biscotti's, Lewis Gifts, Youree Drive

Arthur Simone, Austin
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Showing paintings at Biscotti's. part of Lewis Gifts, is an Austin artist-actor, Arthur Simone.

Simone is an improvisational actor, abstract expressionist artist and advocate of the culture of spontaneity, says Shreveporter Lucienne Simon, his mother.

His artwork has been shown at galleries such as Chicago's Echo Gallery and art festivals such as Around the Coyote and the East Austin Studio Tour. Arthur's artwork has been twice a nominated finalist for the prestigious Hunting Art Prize.

A graduate of Oberlin College and a veteran of the Chicago stage with Suspicious Clowns and Moving Dock Theatre, he is currently a co-founder of Austin's improv powerhouse ColdTowne, where he teaches sketch, improv, and acting.

On the screen, Arthur has starred in Jigsaw, The Evil One, A&E's Faith of My Fathers, Big Momma's House 2, and has been featured on the series Friday Night Lights. In 2007, he won the O'Henry Pun-Off World Championships, Austin's regional Air Guitar Championship, and most recently the Alamo Drafthouse's Air Sex World Championship. He's also been featured in the May 2008 issue of Austin Monthly.

5807 Youree Dr
Shreveport, LA 71105
(318) 868-6700

Friday, November 28, 2008

Mega shark by Chris Opp at La Downs ready to consume Christmas in the Sky attendees on Dec 13, 7 pm, to 2 am

Chris Opp
Originally uploaded by trudeau
"The eyes have strobes behind the red turn signal covers," says artist Chris Opp of the giant swimming raptor he has created for the biennial arts benefit called Christmas in the Sky.

"Last Friday I was filmed with the Shark in the back of my open trailer, traveling down the road to Harrah's Racetrack, where the Shark is "swimming with the Fish," wrote the momentary master of local media.

"This event is on December 13, and SRAC puts this fund raiser together every two years, to put money back into the Community Art programs. The Shark with go up for auction. That's how they raise money, businesses give SRAC items to auction. American Airlines donates 10 fly away packages."

See tickets for Christmas in the Sky at Shrevearts.org.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Review: The Clean House at LSUS Black Box Theater offered domestic comedy, ethereal luminosity and an effective young cast

How strong is the new program at LSUS being directed by Robert Alford, Mary Jarzabek and guest director Pruitt Vince? Is the new Black Box Theater an effective room? And what about the ensemble of drama grads and undergrads being gathered by Alford into a sort of ensemble?

The Clean House was a good testing ground for these questions. Written by Sarah Ruhl, who won a MacArthur Fellowship in '06, it is a romantic comedy about a physician who cannot convince her depressed Brazilian maid to clean her house. Owing to its flights of magical rabbitry, it is not an entirely orthodox comedy.

We saw it on the last Sat of its run and in the first act laughed frequently at the domestic insights and ribaldry (actress Kelly Mills is contemplating the possible owner of the black briefs in the laundry photo above). The interaction between the tightly-coiled Emily Kirkland, playing a doctor, and the oscillating Kelly Mills, the yin-yang sister, was rich. Kirkland whisked, Mills squirreled. Rachael Magill played the fractious maid. Called to fill in at the last minute, Magill anchored the sometimes neutronic ensemble.

Jennifer Lynn Warren performed two roles but became the earth mother goddess of the contemplative second act. The house turned inward in act two, as James Palmer, playing Kirkland's fractal husband, found a soul mate - which was not, alas, his wife. Then the new woman, played with growing luminosity by Warren, is diagnosed with cancer.

Ruhl melds the competing gang into a coherent mass of souls. So did the young actors seem to find a meeting of the energies. While the second act meandered (the performance opened at 8:10, took one intermission, and closed at 10:40 pm), its tone was convincingly ethereal.

The seats were comfortable and the sound and lights were straight in the Black Box Theater. Vince worked the young cast effectively. Each of the actors seemed to us to find their turf.

Bodes well for the Feb production of a play written by Californian Julia Edwards called Family Planning. Edwards will give 3 symposia on her play and a workshop on play writing, too. See more at the new LSUS Theater web site.

Shreveport Little Theater box office open for Rabbit Hole, Dec 5 - 14, performances at MLP

Rabbit Hole, the 07 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, by David Lindsay-Abaire, is the Shreveport Little Theater play for December, says Robert Darrow.

The play focuses on a couple, Becca and Howie, trying to cope with the death of their only child, a four-year-old, in an auto accident, while Becca’s well-meaning mom and off-kilter sister attempt to lift their spirits (and deal with their own problems), each in her own inimitable way. The couple's lives are further complicated, says Wikipedia, when the young driver who killed their son contacts them seeking closure.

SLT: (318)424-4439
SLT Special Events Hotline (318)673-4758
Office: 12-4 pm, M-F

Performances: Marjorie Lyons Playhouse, Centenary College Campus,
corner of Wilkinson & Woodlawn.

Movie review: Dylan touched the best and brightest at the Newport Folk Festival, '63 to '65

Bob Dylan
Originally uploaded by Robinson Film Center
Just before long hair, beards and flowing cotton blouses became the mode, well-born young Americans in madras shirts and khaki shorts pondered the civil rights movement and watched black storytellers like the Rev Gary Davis at the Newport Folk Festival.

Prosperous, well-educated young America was a hungry crowd. They sensed that the lifestyle being offered them by their parents was ridiculously provincial.

Amidst them walked young Bob Dylan, in his Pete Seeger-style work shirt and lace-up shoes. He was the essence of inquiring, conscience-driven ("Blowin in the Wind") young America. He had a gift for imagery ("Hey, Mr Tambourine Man") and storytelling. He was an entertainer via Woodie Guthrie and other authentic visionaries.

In the documentary Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival you can almost smell the yearning of handsome young East coast Americans for an alternative to pop culture. They sought a way to protest racial inhumanity and war and to do it poetically.

For them, Dylan was a magician.

In the Newport Folk Fest documentary cameras are tightly trained upon him. His gifts of humor, mesmerizing simplicity and elegant word play are apparent.

Dylan became the pied piper. The Newport audience, looking like 3000 young cousins of JFK, were an army primed for a quest. And they almost uncontrollably devoured Dylan.

A highly recommendable piece of history and a meditation upon the role of the bard, this 83-minute movie is known as "The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at the Newport Folk Festival, 1963 - 1965."

Monday, November 24, 2008

At the RFC: Bob Dylan at the Newport Folk Festival, Mon, Nov 24, 7:30 pm, downtown Shreveport

The Robinson Film Center's NOVEMBER ROCKS series, says Chris Jay, concludes with a one-night only presentation of Bob Dylan's legendary performances at the Newport Folk Festival, 1963-1965, presented in HD video and an all-new 5.1 digital surround soundtrack.

The presentation is literally ONLY the three performances, as well as additional performances by Johnny Cash and Joan Baez - less a documentary film than a straight-forward recording of three historic performances.

Includes the controversial electric guitar performances from 1965.

Suite Sounds at Artspace on Thursdays twice a month in '09; musicians apply to Julia Foley

Suite Sounds @ Artspace

Featuring the best local and regional musicians, says Julia Foley, Two nights each month!

Accepting applications now for performances in January through April -- for all types of music from Blues, to Rock, to Country, to R&B, to Rap, to Metal or anything in between or otherwise.

For more information contact Julia Foley at (318) 771-1768. The application form is at Shrevearts.org/artspace/artspace music.

Photo of progressive rock band Tetrafusion by event producer Mark Flentge.

Gypsy Mountain counteracts tryptophan-induced stupor with show at Lil Joes on Fri, Nov 28, 9 pm

Gypsy Mountain band will be playing Friday @ Lil’ Joe’s from 9 pm to midnight, says Will Maranto.

"We plan to do our part to shake off the tryptophan-induced stupor that Thursday will surely deliver. What’s my prescription for this you ask? Why, Astonishing Rock ‘n Roll, I say! We’re expecting a few of our friends to drop by and play some songs with us, too. This promises to be a great show."

"In other news," he adds, "check out my new blog, Will Maranto’s World. Topics are only limited to whatever is floating around my evil little mind, but you’ll definitely catch a good bit of Gypsy Mountain-related content."

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Baroque Artists present concert at St Mark's Episcopal on Sun, Nov 23, 3 pm

We won't be taking the Baroque Artists for granted anymore, will we? With the effective demise of the Shreveport Symphony the region is starved for classical music. Happily, orchestra players have long been members of Baroque Artists and the concert on Sun, Nov 3, 3 pm, will be a richly-performed chamber concert.

Music by Vivaldi, Teleman and Handel is on the bill. The show is free and open to the public.

The musicians include Sally Horak, Theresa Zale Bridges, Laura Crawford, Angela Russell, Samara Humbert, Ruth Drummond, Donald Smith and Gay Grosz.

Baroque Artists will present 3 concerts in 2009: Jan 18 at First Methodist Couch Chapel, March 1 and May 3 at St Mark's Episcopal.

St Mark's sumptuous stone interior produces remarkable sustain. Sitting in the back maximizes, I believe, the reverberation. To enjoy crisp musical articulation I recommend sitting as close to the players as possible.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Karl Hasten & JJ O Brien at KLKL FM, 95.7: The State of Music on Weds at 6 pm

Karl Hasten, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
The State of Music is a show tht airs each Wed evening from 6 to 6:30 p.m. on KLKL FM 95.7, says writer-producer Karl Hasten.

"J.J. O'Brien is the on-air interviewer. As producer I schedule all the acts, provide JJ with a CD of the music, bios, info and a basic script to follow in the interview. Our first show was the first Wed. of Sept. with Kenny Wayne Shepherd as our guest. Since then we have had---among others---Terrance Simien, Buddy Flett, Joe Stampley, bassist Joe Osborne, Professor Porkchop, Henry Gray (he was our guest the Wed. before the Highland Fest), Dan Garner and Amelia Blake. David Egan will be our guest next Wednesday and we have Flame Shark, Leon Medica (Louisiana's LeRoux founding member and co-writer of "New Orleans Ladies") among future shows. I am contacting Dirtfoot today to schedule them for a show and we have a number of others on our wish list --- Fats Domino, Allen Toussaint, Aaron Neville.

Though we are based here and focusing on northwest Louisiana, our goal is to cover artists of all genres all across the state. The show's format is we talk to the artist interspersed with playing their music. Pretty simple really.

My phone number is 344-3955. Anyone interested in being on the show can reach me at karl.hasten@yahoo.com to start the process."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Shreveport City Council hears from arts organizations: "extremely positive" attitude, notes Atchison

Pam Atchison, head of Shreveport Regional Arts Council, reported that "On Tuesday, the Shreveport City Council met to review the 2009 budget for the non-profit organizations that are funded through the Riverfront Development Fund. The meeting was extremely positive with many non-profit organizations sharing their achievements of the previous year and their plans for the future. The City Council welcomed this opportunity to hear from the non-profit arts organizations. It was an honor for me to share many of the victories of our arts community, as well as to hear very positive reactions from the City Council Members.

What was clear in this meeting is that at this time the City’s financial resources are both reduced and stretched. It is possible that non-profit organizations will receive a funding cut; however, the depth and breadth is not apparent.

The City Council has indicated that it would be helpful to see the impact of the Sales Tax Revenue at the first quarter of the year in order to make effective decisions about funding of the non-profit organizations. As the Shreveport Regional Arts Council receives its funding on a quarterly basis, there is interest in waiting until the first quarter to determine if the allocation can be increased. As we do not receive funding until the first quarter, this situation would have limited impact on your grants and services from SRAC, before April 1.

While funding conversations that involve the words “cut” and “reductions” are very difficult and frightening, I believe - as I have said in every monthly Arts Administrators and Roster Artists meeting - that this is not the time for the arts community to take aggressive action. As always, I would encourage you to invite City Council members to your events and programming and to express your gratitude for the continued, historic, support of the arts in our city.

As we move through this process, I will keep you apprised of the progress that is made and I will be glad to answer any questions that you may have. Thank you for your continued support."

Multiuse paths, repainted streets, homemade trails, recommended routes: Loren Demerath and A Better Shreveport at work on such possibilities

If a network of multiuse paths, repainted streets, homemade trails, recommended routes, etc. are your cup of meat then you need to find and join the group called A Better Shreveport. The chef is Loren Demerath, sociology chair at Centenary College and a fellow with a track record in the struggle to change life in Shrevetown.

For one thing, he ordinarily walks his 2 children to school - crossing Youree in the process - and often does it with a guitar round his neck and a tune in the air. He's becoming grant savvy, too. Recently he announced that "we didn't get the EPA grant, but I got the news that we won the National Park Service grant!"

This a group - meeting Sat at 1 pm this week, as you'll see on the blog - whose goals are both short term and long term. Shreveport's streets, access, modes of transportation and point of view are definitely going to change. If you want a voice in the change, here's an opening.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Fresh foodstuffs downtown: cafe at artspace open Mon - Fri, 10 am to 7 pm, for food and wine

In the kitchen of the new Cafe at Artspace are Michael Chisum , formerly of Bella Fresca, and Sidney Bell. The duo will be whipping out muffins in the morning, sandwiches midday and will be pouring wine in the evening, says Pam Atchison.

Open 10 am to 7 pm Mon through Fri, the duo will also cater their goodies. On the menu are salads, soups, sandwiches and special items. Desserts and snacks are also their pleasure.

The afternoon wine bar's hours are 4 to 7 pm.

Call in your order at 673-6541.
The Artspace number is 673-6535.

Shreveport Little Theater experiences fire in existing wing during construction of new wing

"It is a sad day, indeed, for our SLT Family" wrote Robert Darrow on Nov 18. "Apparently this morning's fire started from a welder's torch. We are already planning to rebuild ASAP.

We are a strong theatre and with your continued support, we'll eventually be home.

Donations to our building fund, "The Phoenix Project x 2" may be made to: Shreveport Little Theater, PO Box 4853, Spt 71134."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ed Wood movie Plan 9 From Outer Space at RFC on Fri, Nov 21, 10 pm, in Fri Night Freak series

Did you love the Johnny Depp movie Ed Wood, about the notorious Hollywood director? If mm-hmm, check the Robinson Film Center’s monthly cult and horror cinema showcase, the Friday Night Freak-Out!

This week there's a one night-only screening of Ed Wood’s 1959 horror/sci-fi classic Plan 9 From Outer Space. It's Fri, Nov 21, at 10 pm, says Freak's father, Chris Jay.

Plan 9 stars an aging Bela Lugosi and is frequently referred to as “the worst film ever made.” The plot involves vampires and aliens collaborating to destroy the Earth with a bomb made out of the Sun.

The film will screen from a rare 35mm print, and will be preceded by a hand-picked selection of outrageous horror and sci-fi film trailers from the 1950’s. All Friday Night Freak-Out! screenings include random movie merchandise give-aways and a guest host.

Tickets: the Robinson Film Center box office, 617 Texas Street, or on-line at www.robinsonfilmcenter.org.

Shreveport City Council to cut arts budget by as much as 80% if there's no political response; meeting Tues, Nov 18, 5:15 pm, City Council Chambers, 505 Travis

The Shreveport City Council is holding a hearing today, Tues, Nov 18, on proposed budget cuts. SRAC’s funding is facing an 80% cut from the city’s budget, says Pam Atchison.

The hearing will be held at 5:15 pm in City Council Chambers at Government Plaza. It would be great if you could come
and supports the arts in our community, says Atchison and staff.

Tus, Nov 18, 5:15 pm
Government Plaza / City Council Chambers
505 Travis Street

Being political beings, the council and mayor will take the box cutter to arts funding unless recognizable and viable voices speak out. I'd suggest that if you cannot attend this meeting you email or phone your city council rep or the mayor's office.

Dirtfoot at the riverfront Warehouse on Sat, Nov 22: release party for new CD, Bone Sessions

Dirtfoot's new album, "Bone Sessions" is complete and our official CD Release will be held Nov 22 at the Warehouse in Shreveport, says J Bratlie. Featuring 12 songs and a few surprises, pre-sales have begun and are available on our website and myspace page.

We're very excited about all the great people that worked with us on the album. Chris Bell engineered and mixed "Bone Sessions". You can learn more about him at http://www.proaudioengineer.com and his list is long. Working with artist like The Eagles, U2, Peter Gabriel. Destiny's Child, Erykah Badu, The Roots, and many more, this man is legit!

Mastering was done by Gavin Lurssen of Lurssen Mastering. This man is personally responsible for the mastering of Tom Waits, T Bone Burnett, O Brother Where art thou, and tons more. Check them out at http://lurssenmastering.com.

Thom Self of A Design Studio from Tulsa,OK took care of our art work and it looks great! Also we're printing the album as eco-friendly as possible with recycled paper and plastic for the cd cases.

Photo by Casey Jones of I Am Jones Designs.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Future of the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra dims as concerts in Nov and Dec are officially cancelled; talks continue but no one has shown anyone the money

SSO Choirs
Originally uploaded by trudeau
A Joint Statement from the Shreveport Symphony and the American Federation of Musicians, Local 116 on Mon, Nov 17, 2008:

On Thursday and Friday of last week, representatives of the American Federation of Musicians Local 116 and the Shreveport Symphony Board met with Henry Fogel, a nationally recognized expert in orchestra management, as part of their continued efforts to reach a labor agreement that is acceptable to both parties.

As of Sunday, November 16, no agreement had yet been reached. In light of these circumstances, the SSO Board has voted to cancel concerts scheduled for November 22 and December 20, pending further developments.

While reserving all rights, both parties will continue communications and efforts to work toward an agreement that will allow the orchestra to resume performances.

Said the SSO's Scott Green, "Single ticket holders are being contacted via telephone to discuss ticket refund options. Letters were mailed this afternoon to our subscribers with detailing ticket refund options."

One night at the RFC: "The Who: Live at Kilburn '77," on Mon, November 17

The Robinson Film Center presents a one night-only exclusive HD broadcast of The Who's legendary 1977 performance in Kilburn, Ireland, says Chris Jay.

The set list is a Who fan's dream come true, featuring "Baba O'Reilly," "Won't Get Fooled Again," and many more. A bombastic performance that marked one of the final concert appearances of drummer Keith Moon.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Review: Barbara Acker, Logan Sledge, Charity Schubert, Angelique Feaster implode in drama Doubt at Capri Theater, Shreveport

Four capable actors arrived onstage Sat night at the Capri Theater to live out a 90-minute dramatic implosion in River City Rep's presentation of the drama Doubt.

Director Patric McWilliams presented a tantalizing struggle between a somewhat naive, liberal bachelor, played with fluency by Logan Sledge, and a wizened conservative widow, played with graceful implacability by Barbara Acker.

Charity Schubert and Angelique Feaster portrayed the people who are shouldered and hobbled by the conflict, despite their considerable defenses. The quartet of actors matched each other step for step in their march into emotional warfare.

The John Patrick Shanley script is a distillation of the inflammatory forces that drive humans. While the script pitted a young priest against a nun of a certain age, figures akin to a springy Barack Obama and the battle-proven John McCain came to mind.

There is a final performance today at 3 pm.

The Capri Theater proved an effective venue for Sledge and Acker and the tightly-coiled drama. Seated in theater-in-the-round style, the view and auditory connection between audience and the actors was vivid.

Tickets: 868-5888.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Student assaying the background of the late, great rock & blues emporium, Humpfree's in the Square, and needs photos, stories, details

Her parents once owned Humpfree's, so Anna Sheffield knows a lot about the glory days of the Shreve Square tavern. To write an effective historic paper, however, she needs more from interviews than glad stories of splendid inebriation.

She needs to hear the names of bands that performed (one of my favorites were the Sheiks, a quartet based in St Louis and New Orleans) and at least approximate dates. Do you have a photo or a newspaper clipping? Were you one of the numerous business partners that kept the bar alive?

Do you remember the Sports Page and who played there? The Fritz? Bands that played at Steamboat Annie's, across the square from Hump's? The names of other clubs that were in operation during Humpfree's tenure?

If you can help, please email this deserving student from Caddo Magnet High at Annasheff@gmail.com.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Peter Pan Players' band of merry men at the Centenary amphitheater Thurs through Sun beginning Nov 20; Renaissance fair on Sats at 11 am

Sir Robin's band
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Peter Pan Players has a new artistic director, Heather Peak Hooper, and a new show: Robin Hood.

Th, Nov 20 through Sun, Dec 7
Centenary College's Shell amphitheater

Th & Fri @ 7 pm
Sats @ 2 pm & 7 pm
Suns @ 2 pm

Beginning at 11 am each Sat there will unfold a Renaissance fair, says Hooper. Call 868-9619 during the hours of 11:00 am to 4:00 pm Mon through Fri for ticket info.

Kent calls Doubt a razor-sharp, powerful production with absolute clarity of purpose; see it at the Capri Theater through Sun, Nov 16

"'Doubt' arrived at The Capri Theatre on Wednesday with the power to upend the conscience," wrote Alex Kent in his rave review in the Times.

"River City Repertory Theatre presents John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize-winning drama with a conviction of character that is at once spellbinding and revolting. Being that the play is about the danger of moral certainty, these words are chosen as pure praise. This "Doubt" is a gripping and devastating achievement."

Read more.

Box office: 868-5888.

Highland Festival: an amalgam of blues, jazz, r & b, gospel, folk and the other strands of Bayou State music, noon to 6 pm, Sat, Nov 15, Columbia Park

For academic perspective on the annual Highland music shindig, I like Dr. Kathryn Usher: "Hippies used to hang out in Columbia Park back in the day. That's why the vibe there is so groovy good. It'll be the spirit of change and love this Saturday during the festival. Join us. Bring money for food, art and drinks. Admission is free. Take that Revel. (Sorry Kipper, I lub ya)!"

The Little Revel. Hmm.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Dark Side of Oz atomizes at Robinson Film Center on Sat, Nov 15, 9:45 pm

Dark Side of Oz
Originally uploaded by JQuest1
Robinson Film Center will host a one-night only presentation of “Dark Side of the Rainbow,” the legendary synch-up of the classic musical The Wizard of Oz and Pink Floyd’s seminal rock album “Dark Side of the Moon.”

The event will begin at 9:45 PM on Sat, 11/15, says Chris Jay. Tickets are now on sale and may be purchased at the RFC box office or here. To buy tickets on-line, purchase tickets for the 9:45 PM screening of “The Wizard of Oz.”

More Memphis sounds downtown: Jump Back Jake at Noble Savage Tavern on Fri, Nov 14

Originally uploaded by tn1store
Red Wax Music has another artist playing the Noble Savage Tavern on Friday 11/14: Jump Back Jake.

The band has signed with Ardent Music, the label arm of the legendary studio in Memphis. This will the label's first secular release since the days of Big Star. Jump Back Jake plays pop music with some Memphis soul. Kat says the horns are great.

Their record, Brooklyn Hustle/Memphis Muscle, will be released in December on www.redwaxmusic.net.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sex, marriage, gender and equality: gathering on Sat, Nov 15, 12:30 pm Central Standard Time, Caddo Courthouse, 501 Texas St

"It is exciting that Shreveport will be part of this nationwide effort that has cities from every state participating," says Adrienne Critcher. She adds, "In Louisiana it's just New Orleans and Shreveport!"

People will gather across the nation Saturday, Nov. 15, at 12:30 pm Central Standard Time to show support for marriage equality. It's a Nationwide Protest Against the Passage of Prop 8 in front of the Caddo Parish Courthouse, 501 Texas St., downtown Shreveport.

Adrienne Critcher
P.A.C.E. Political Director
LSUS Gay-Straight Alliance Faculty Sponsor