Sunday, August 30, 2009

Review: LSUS Black Box Theater production of I'm Not Rappaport provided laughs and an almost equal amount of discomfort

"One more word, and I'll make a citizen's arrest for crimes against the language!" So barks the character Nat, a wild-eyed octogenarian, as he confronts and bamboozles a young New Yorker in the classic urban comedy I'm Not Rappaport. Loquacious Nat and his African-American park bench-buddy, Midge, are the wise-cracking heroes of the award-winning play.

Two prestigious actors had the principal roles of Rappaport this weekend at LSUS Black Box Theater. Sy Richardson and Pruitt Tayor Vince, both veterans of movies as well as stage, provided a packed house with laugh-provoking voices, timing and bearing. Directed by Robert Alford, they were well-supported by a consistently capable group of young actors.

But there was a fly in the gumbo. Pruitt Taylor Vince, well praised in this blog over his performances in 4 LSUS productions, arrived unprepared. Almost the entire evening he scanned his script, looking for aid in his next line. It provided a deeply uncomfortable counterpoint - almost surreal - to his long-honed talent of flinging his charm over the audience and becoming a stage-dominating, bigger-than-life character.

This weekend Alford answered my email query about Vince's issue by saying, "This is something that hasn't happened before and won't happen again. We discovered, during rehearsal, that we would need more time than usual. Due to the limit's of Sy's schedule it wasn't possible to push back the dates of the performances."

It was a stumble in what has otherwise been a galloping series of successful productions produced by Alford and Mary Jarzabeck in the intimate space in Bronson Hall, LSUS.

One of Alford's strengths is in building an ensemble of young actors who bring consistent competence to the community stage. In Rappaport there were laudable performances by Audra Caitlyn Moss, Kent Jude Bernard, James Palmer, Harvard Taylor and newcomer Aubrey Brummett.

The 1996 movie version of I'm Not Rappaport starred Walter Matthau and Ossie Davis.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Dana Kress, PhD, to voice Benjamin Franklin's French writing at RW Norton Art Gallery on Sat, Sept 12, 2 pm

Dana Kress, PhD, of Centenary University, will read, translate, and discuss some of Benjamin Franklin's French writings at R.W. Norton Art Gallery on Sat, Sept 12 at 2 pm, says Jennifer DeFratis.

The Norton displays six works portraying Franklin among its seven centuries of art. The Kress presentation, “Dangerous Liaisons: Benjamin Franklin in France, 1776-1785,” is part of the museum’s Saturday Speaker Series. Admission to the museum, gardens, and program is free.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Richardson and Vince in I'm Not Rapapport at LSUS Black Box Theater Sat and Sun at 2 and 8 pm

Originally uploaded by LSUS Theatre
LSUS Black Box Theater presents “I'm Not Rappaport” 8 p.m. Thurs and Fri; 2 and 8 p.m. Sat and Sun, says director Robert Alford.

LSUS Black Box Theatre, Room 111 in Bronson Hall
$18 at the door, $15 in advance, $10 for students, teachers, senior citizens, military and groups of five or more.
(318) 797-5396

Sy Richardson - Midge
Pruitt Taylor Vince - Nat
Kent Jude Bernard Jr. - Cowboy
Aubrey Brummett - Laurie
Audra Caitlyn Moss - Clara
James Palmer - Gilley
Harvard Taylor – Danforth

LSUS Theatre:
Photo Robert Alford.

Swedish sister trio called Baskery joining Dirtfoot at the Warehouse on Sat, Sept 12

Originally uploaded by jonnywhite
"You should come to our show on Sep 12 at the Warehouse. We're bringing in a 3 sister group from Sweden called Baskery. They play a weird americana thing, with guitar, a distorted slide banjo and upright bass, along with 3 part harmonies that only sisters can pull off. They are very high energy and raucous, almost the swedish girl version of Dirtfoot," writes J Bratlie of Dirtfoot.

More at and
In fact, their tour schedule lists
Sep 11 2009 Stonewall, Louisiana, USA The Rustic Cowboy
Sep 12 2009 Shreveport, Louisiana, USA The Warehouse (with Dirtfoot)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Shreveport Regional Arts Council's offices on Snow St destroyed by fire believed to be set by a downtown arsonist

Pam Atchison, director of the Shreveport Regional Arts Council, told the Times that she was called to the Snow St headquarters of SRAC about 4:15 am by an alarm. She thought it was a burglar alarm. There she witnessed flames emanating from the SRAC office and auditorium. The building was entirely destroyed by the fire.

The SRAC fire was one of several reported about 4 am in downtown Shreveport. It appears that an arsonist was at work. Reports have pointed out that downtown fires have been prevalent prior to this one.

SRAC's Julia Foley has called artists and friends of the council to join hands at 5 pm today at Artspace.

The city has offered the SRAC team a space for interim administration at Expo Hall, said Megan Clark.

Highly recommended: RW Norton Art Gallery, Shreveport

Check the new Norton web site as well as the campus.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A day for a large pie in the sky: 400 attend Great Expectations planning conference in Shreveport Convention Center

How do you enfranchise a few hundred of a somnolent city's citizen soldiers? The Great Expectations vision conference held by Shreveport's Metropolitan Planning Commission came as close to doing that as I can imagine.

About 400 people converged on the Convention Center and spent their Saturday, 9 am to 4 pm, discussing their city - both its past and future.

Working with some 20 people in the course of the day I found a lot of fresh meat. A large number of my confrerees were not natives. Many of those who were natives were those who'd returned after a significant sojourn elsewhere.

The color breakdown was healthy. In my estimation people of color comprised some 45% to 50% of the audience. After brief intros and establishing commonalities and sometimes quickly exchanging phones and email addresses, we began, in bits and drabs, to address racism. Most of the discussions were wistful and humble. Such as, "This town is no longer like the one my daddy was raised in." And some were lighthearted, such as several of my table-mates' bantering over preference for the category Mixed Race instead of African-American. Still, it became apparent that in communications between ethnic groups this city needs much more work.

There were a few reps from the wealthy and influential class, a few peeps from the underprivileged class and very few from the twentysomethings. Mainly the people I talked with were college-educated but not of the professional class. Still, everyone agreed to talk about pie in the sky for a few hours.

Times reporter Adam Causey wrote a summary of the conference and actually twittered the event through the day. If you care about city government I recommend you become a follower of his reports at

And if you liked the ideas launched at Great Expectations I encourage you to consider tuning in to It is an umbrella organization with groups working issues such downtown development, community gardens, greenways and bicycle paths.

Meetings are held at Centenary Square (park in back, off Woodlawn) on Mons from 6 pm to 7:15 pm. All are welcome.

See more here.

We encourage you to jump upon thy bicycles, fellow Shreveporters

Bicycle, Shreveport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Irrepressible reporter Bill Cunningham has filed a NY Times multi-media report on biking styles revcently observed in Manhattan.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Fine Arts Market at Louisiana Boardwalk will begin Sat, Sept 19, says West Edge Artists Co-op

The West Edge Artists’ Co-op, would like to invite you to apply for the New Fine Arts Market beginning in September at the Louisiana Boardwalk.

The deadline for the Sept 19 show is Mon, Aug 17. A few spaces are left and we are still taking applications, says Neecee Blackwell.

This fine arts market will take place the third Saturday of every month through December. This one-day event will open at 10:00 am go until 6:00 pm.

WEACO is a non-profit arts organization.

Folk music duo Still on the Hill at Fairfield Studios, Shreveport, on Sat, Aug 22, 7 pm

At the very heart of the "folkgrass" phenomenon is a duo known as Still on the Hill (Kelly Mulhollan and Donna Stjerna), says Jim Huckabay. This duo has been making waves all over the U.S., Canada and Europe with their hard-to-classify style that falls somewhere between folk and bluegrass.

Still on the Hill has proved itself a favorite at festivals and venues here and abroad, including the Kerrville Folk Festival, the Philadelphia Folk Festival and countless others. Their own region, the Ozarks, has voted them "Best Folk Band" for 4 years running and they are now members of the Hall of Fame. The group has produced 5 widely acclaimed CD's and recently signed with Swiss record label Brambus Records for European distribution of their latest Chaos & Calm CD.

Reservations: 219-7688.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Steve Lukather, Jennifer Batten, Al DiMeola, KWS, among guitar mavens performing at James Burton International Guitar Fest Concert on Sat, Aug 22

James Burton, 2008
Originally uploaded by ShakeFrog
The annual James Burton International Guitar Festival takes place in downtown Shreveport on Aug. 21-22.

Performers have already been announced on the foundation’s Web site at and include the following: Steve Lukather, Jennifer Batten, Kenny Wayne Shephard, Al Dimeola, Nokie Edwards, Albert Lee, Junior Brown, Doyle Dykes, Davie Grissom, Mike Farris, Kristen Capolino and Andy Crisman.

The concert starts at 7 p.m. Aug. 22 at the Municipal Auditorium. Tickets are $25, $75 and $100.

R.I.P. Jim Dickinson, 1941-2009

Famed record producer and session pianist Jim Dickinson died today in Memphis, TN after recovering from triple bypass heart surgery earlier this summer, Commercial Appeal reports. He was 67 years old.

Whenever the likes of Bob Dylan or The Rolling Stones needed a pianist on a track, Dickinson was a preferred player in the 1960s and 70s. He played keys on the Stones’ “Wild Horses,” Aretha Franklin’s Spirit in the Dark album, and dozens of other classic recordings. Dickinson is perhaps even better known as a record producer, having produced Big Star’s 3rd, The Replacements’ Pleased to Meet Me, Mudhoney’s Tomorrow Hit, and many more.

His sons Cody and Luther Dickinson are famous musicians in their own right as members of the North Mississippi Allstars.

“He had a great life, and he was a consummate family man,” Dickinson’s wife, Mary, said. “He loved music and his family. And he loved Memphis music, specifically.”

I'm Not Rappaport: Pruitt Taylor Vince, Sy Richardson, Kent Jude Bernard, Aubrey Brummett, Audra Caitlin Moss, James Palmer, Harvard Taylor at LSUS Black Box Theater opens Aug 27 -

LSUS Theatre will present a production of the play I’m Not Rappaport by Herb Gardner starring Sy Richardson and Pruitt Taylor Vince with Kent Jude Bernard, Aubrey Brummett, Audra Caitlyn Moss, James Palmer and Harvard Taylor.

The production, says Robert Alford, will take place August 27 through August 30, 2009 at 8:00 p.m. and August 29 and 30 at 2:00 p.m.

LSUS Black Box Theatre
8585 Youree Drive
Shreveport, LA

More on the cast and play here.

Highly recommended: Spike Lee's movie Do the Right Thing, 20 years later

Director Spike Lee at TIFF08
Originally uploaded by jbach
Went to Robinson Film Center to catch Do the Right Thing, the Spike Lee movie about one day in Brooklyn, in Bedford-Stuyvesant, when the heat overcomes better sense.

It remains an enormously well-made movie about racism as well as about community dynamics. Not that one side or the other gets the entire praise or the blame. Do the Right Thing shows America at our best and worst. And it's a sort of ballsy variation on the West Side Story.

"If you weren't there last night," says Kristi Woodard, "there are still 2 chances to see it!

Sat @ 5pm
Sun @ 2:45 pm.

We'll be in the smaller theater tonight," adds Woodard, "so get your tickets early (online or go to the kiosk in the lobby before the box office opens). And if you get there early, go upstairs get a drink or snack at Abbey Singer's Bistro (it's really nice)."
See more or buy a ticket at

Blue Ridge Soaring Society / riding in a glider plane

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Multi-media artist Jerry Davenport opens exhibit of work at Multicultural Art Center of the South; reception Sat, Aug 15, 4 to 6 pm

Jerry Davenport
Originally uploaded by trudeau
Jerry and Tarama Davenport invite you to an art exhibit opening featuring the works of Jerry Davenport at the Multicultural Center of the South.

The exhibit is called 3DJerry. Davenport is showcasing his work in painting, drawing and photography.

Opening Reception on Saturday, August 15, 2009 from 4 p.m. - 6 p.m. (Free)
The Davenport exhibit will remain for 30 days for viewing with Paid Admission, says MCSS.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Skylight Theater in Milwaukee experiences epic woes; managing director Eric Dillner moves on

Former Shreveport Opera director Eric Dillner has been through an operatic tragedy at Skylight Theater, Milwaukee, says the NY Times. Seems Dillner blundered in his budget surgery. Cutting the wrong people, he incurred the wrath of arts bloggers as well as many performers and long-time fans. He has subsequently left his position.

Said the Times on Aug 3: "Mr. Dillner bore the brunt of the animosity. An outcry ensued. Demonstrations formed outside the theater in Milwaukee’s artsy Third Ward, and petitions circulated on the Internet. Tom Strini, the music and dance critic of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, called for Mr. Dillner to resign. The music director, Jamie Johns, denounced the company’s actions outside the theater in a tirade captured on YouTube."

Read more here.

And there's even more.

Thanks to Pete Haas and Susan Rogers for following this story.

West Edge Artists Co-op plans Fine Arts Market on third Saturdays at Louisiana Boardwalk

The West Edge Artists’ Co-op will host a Fine Arts Market at the Louisiana Boardwalk beginning Sat, Sept 19, says Neecee Blackwell. This fine arts market will take place the third Saturday of every month through December. This one day event will feature local and regional artists selling fine art in mediums ranging from paintings, photography, and sculpture, to jewelry and much more. The hours will be 10:00 am until 6:00 pm.

We would like to invite all local and regional artists to join us. The Arts Market application may be downloaded from our web site

Application deadline is Monday, August 17, 2009. If you need further information or have any questions, please email the West Edge Artists’ Co-op at or call 318-221-6961.

The Golden Legend, opera conducted by Marc-Andre Bougie, Sat, Aug 22, 7:30 pm, at St Joseph Catholic Church

Musical scores written by Franz Liszt and Arthur Sullivan for the story composed by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow comprise the work known as The Golden Legend, says John Goddard.

It will be performed on Sat, Aug 22, by a professional orchestra and chorus with a cast of young and talented soloists including Susan Ruggiero, Erin Roth, Ryan McDonald, Steven McDonald, and Vincent Turregano. It will be conducted by Maestro Marc-Andre Bougie.

St Joseph Catholic Church
200 Patton Avenue
Shreveport LA 71105

General Admission (GA) & VIP Seating
Internet Sales $5.00 $29.00
Phone Sales $7.25 $31.00
At the door Sales $15.00 $50.00


Saturday, August 01, 2009

Andrew Wood, Hope Gutierrez in comedy at Caddo Magnet High on Sat, Aug 1, at 2 pm and 7 pm

The comedy Jerry Finnegan's Sister, says Patti Reeves, is about Brian Dowd, who has spent the last 10 years of his life wrestling with an unrequited "something" for his best friend's sister, who happens to live next door. But each time he's spoken with Beth Finnegan for more than 30 seconds, he's ended up with his foot in his mouth. Now, Brian's time is about to run out: Jerry Finnegan's sister is getting married. The time has come for him to put up or shut up. What's he got to lose--except the love of his life! In a series of fast-moving, hysterically funny scenes, two actors play Brian and Beth from ages seven and six, through their adolescent and teen years, right up to the moment the play is happening, when they're both in their early 20s.

The production will star Andrew Wood, a recent graduate of Magnet who received a theatre scholarship to Centenary College, and Hope Gutierrez, who is on a full theatre scholarship at BPCC and will be graduating from there in the fall. Both actors, although young, have received multiple acting awards and have been active in the Shreveport Community Theatres. Hope has performed in every theatre in town. Andrew was the recipient of the SB Magazine Award for Best Supporting Actor for his performance as Motel in Fiddler on the Roof.

The play is a fund-raiser to defray expenses for a Magnet drama appearance at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Aug, 2010.

Saturday, August 1, 2009 at 2 pm and at 7:00pm
Caddo Magnet High School's Performing Arts Center
1601 Viking Dr.