New Orleans is celebrated across the country and around the world as a center of extraordinary live entertainment. Not just in the French Quarter but all over the city there's a vast amount of live music, theater, and comedy every night of the year.
However, on the inside of what appears to be a thriving local entertainment industry you frequently hear the same criticism: we have a lot of entertainment, but not much industry. Plenty of shows, but not enough show business.
This week on Inside the Arts, we stroll down memory lane as the American Theater Project of New Orleans presents Dryades Street Divas Review: A Cabaret, with a cast representing artists who worked the "chitlin' circuit" back in the day. Those artists include the likes of Etta James, Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson and "Moms" Mabley.
Then, in Kenner, the Rivertown Theater's Patchwork Players open with Aladdin.
And, in the city where jazz was born, harpists gear up for a concert that will make their heavenly instruments swing.
Angus Lind’s column in The Times-Picayune documented things that he described as, “a little offbeat”: people, places and events that gave New Orleans its local color. But that didn’t come until later in his career. When he got started in the early 1970s as a young man, Angus was a general-assignment reporter who cut his teeth on a series of tragic events within a single calendar year.
Out to Lunch is recorded each week live over lunch at Commander's Palace in New Orleans' Garden District. One of the reasons Commander's has been in business for over 130 years is that each time we come here for lunch it's just as good as it was the last time.
Imagine if you had to replicate that dining experience at not just one, but hundreds of restaurants. That's what a franchise is.
Go ahead, we DARE you. Try listening to this week's re-broadcast of Music Inside Out with Deacon John Moore and NOT enjoying yourself.
As a guitarist, band leader and showman, Deacon John has been delighting crowds for more than half a century. This year, he's played the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival and the White House. He's just that irresistible.
Common sense is difficult to define. In business, people with unique and quirky ideas can run into a lot of negativity based on "common sense." Like the guys who decided that, at a time when newspapers are going under all over the country, they're going to launch a brand new daily newspaper in New Orleans. Crazy, right?
That newspaper is The Advocate. Its editor, Peter Kovacs, who was canned by the Times-Picayune in its business realignment to a 3-day-a-week paper, is Peter's guest on this episode of Out to Lunch.