Archive for January, 2013

The UpStairs Lounge Tragedy: Now A Musical

From "Remember the UpStairs Lounge" by Skylar Fein

From "Remember the UpStairs Lounge" by Skylar Fein

Here is a conundrum: since fourth grade I’ve been involved in theatre, I have a degree in theatre, and I currently work with a theatre company in New Orleans. Some of the first shows I ever did in the theatre were musicals. And yet: I hate musicals.

“Hate” is a strong word. Let me rephrase that: I don’t hate musicals, I’m just very, very, very wary of them. And in fairness, it’s probably because I’m getting old.

As a kid, the premise of musicals — the literally fantastic idea that entire groups of people would suddenly break into song and dance — didn’t bother me at all. I mean, my parents took me to plenty of Disney movies. What was the difference between a pack of singing mice on screen and a posse of singing cowboys on stage?

With age, however, comes experience. More specifically: bad experiences. I’ve seen more terrible musicals than Rose Kennedy saw funerals. I’ve choked on plot twists more times than Lindsay Lohan has choked on ‘nads. (Then again, she’s surely developed a gag reflex by now.) I have been through some shit, is what I’m saying.

Comic musicals are a little easier to swallow because they don’t usually take things too seriously. Nine times out of ten, they’re more interested in entertaining audiences than getting all wrapped up in “art”. Dramatic musicals, on the other hand? Break out the Klonopin.

I mention this because someone in San Francisco is writing a musical about the fire at the UpStairs Lounge. And I am not entirely sure what to think.

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Hints From A Homo: Things To Remember During Carnival & MardiGras

Fat Tuesday 2010 (photo by Jonno)If you’re heading to New Orleans within the next few weeks, there are plenty of ways find Carnival-themed fun.* Gambit’s Best of New Orleans website is a great place to start your research, and if you like the printed word, every Walgreens in town has copies of Arthur Hardy’s Mardi Gras Guide.

I’ve also cobbled together a few Carnival pointers of my own, which should give you a sense of what to expect during your visit.

But beyond the basics, there are other Carnival rules to consider. Well, maybe not “rules” per se — more like “tips” that will make your trip much more pleasant.

Here are nine of my tips for having a successful Carnival. There are plenty more where these came from, so if you still have burning questions when you reach the bottom of the page, feel free to drop me a line.

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