I just learned that on June 1st of last year Barack Obama proclaimed June to be LGBT Pride month in the United States. I’m surprised that that didn’t get more controversy at the time. Shows quite a bit of progress, actually.
On the subject of the LGBT struggle for civil rights, I remember seeing an art show a couple of years ago about the 1973 fire at the Upstairs Lounge, a gay bar that used to be in the French Quarter. That show was the first I had ever heard about it. The Upstairs Lounge Fire remains the deadliest fire in New Orleans history, and one of the worst hate crimes ever perpetrated against gay people. It is an important and terribly overlooked bit of LGBT and New Orleans history.
Anyway, this being the last day of LGBT pride month, it would be appropriate to go on over to Zeitgeist where they are showing a double feature of gay themed films. First, at 7:30, is Stonewall Uprising, a documentary about the riots at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village on June 28, 1969. That series of riots is largely held as the beginning of the modern gay liberation movement, the first time gay people in the United States fought back against the socially and politically sanctioned discrimination against them.
Then, at 9:30 is the lost films of Charles Ludlam Museum of Wax and The Sorrows of Delores. I had never heard of him before, here is what Zeitgeist has to say about it all:
THE LOST FILMS OF CHARLES LUDLAM. Zeitgeist is extremely honored to present THE SORROWS OF DOLORESand MUSEUM OF WAX, the rare 16mm films by the legendary gay playwright and director Charles Ludlam. Charles Ludlam carved out a career staging gender-bending gothic satires with his groundbreaking Ridiculous Theatrical Company, influencing countless drag performers like Charles Busch. He is best known for his play The Mystery of Irma Vep, which has been staged by hundreds of repertory theaters across the globe. THE SORROWS OF DOLORES is a feature based on early silent serials like The Perils of Pauline, while the MUSEUM OF WAXis a short horror film starring Ludlam. Both films feature regular Ridiculous cast members like Everett Quinton, Minette, “Crazy Arthur” Kraft, Lola Pashilinski, John D. Brockmeyer, and Black-Eyed Susan. Begun in the late 1970s and still uncompleted at the time of Ludlam’s death from AIDS in 1987, these films have only been screened 3 or 4 times for private audiences until after decades they were digitally transferred and screened for the first time publicly at the IFC Film Center in New York this February through the efforts of gay filmmaker Ira Sachs and singer Anthony Hergaty of Anthony and the Johnsons. In honor of the anniversary of Stonewall, we thought it would be a “riot” to screen these lost films for three nights. This is only the second time these films are being screened publicly. This is a major once in a lifetime opportunity. Not to be missed. This program is presented through the generous support of the John Burton Harter Charitable Trust.
I haven’t been going to the Farmer’s Market since it got hot, because I’m a wimp about the heat. I also have hardly been cooking, because I’m a serious wimp about the heat. But, I’m going to change all that today. How about a cool summer recipe. Like this chilled watercress soup from this month’s Bon Apetit:
And maybe some grilling outside, like these “dinosaur bones” with chipotle cherry bbq sauce. I am generally against chipotle, but in this instance I am willing to give it a try.
And, the perfect accompaniment to these ribs would be these grilled summer vegetables with Harissa dressing:
This month is Gay Pride time, nationally. There are parades in many major cities in this country today, but I can bet none will rival the one in New Orleans. Sure, others may be bigger, but when it comes to parading, no other city can touch us.
The Pride Second Line Parade starts at 1pm. Then from 2-6 the street fair and block party ensues. Ground zero is Bourbon between Orleans and Dumaine.
…or as it’s known to the francophones of the region, Le Festivale de la Viande Boucanee. Now, that’s my kind of festival. Smoked meat. I had no idea I was living so close to the self-proclaimed “smoked meat capital of the world,” Ville Platte. Here is their emblem. It appears to be a woodcut of an anthropomorphic sausage.
This afternoon the cook-off winners will be announced, along with the “smoked meat royalty.” There all sorts of beauty pageants in conjunction with this festival, as well, so expect to be gnawing on animal bones with newly-minted cajun beauty queens. I can think of no way I would rather spend a Saturday. And, the food and music are going until midnight tonight!
I remember when Bingo! was just a few kids who worked at Fiorella’s clowning around in the back of the restaurant while Clint Maedgen sang. Now, it’s “The New Orleans Bingo! Show” and I think they’ve performed for, like, the president or something. There’s also the Bingo! tent at VooDoo Fest which includes lots of local rock bands in the big festival. They’re not playing around! Well, they are playing around, but they’re also working hard at world domination. Almost there guys.
How do you explain Bingo? Hmmm…imagine if Morris Day and the Time got into Tin Pan Alley and became performance artists. Something like that.
Tonight they are putting on the spectacle at Tipitina’s as part of the Tipitina Foundation’s Free Friday series. 10pm. Free!
Filed under cabaret, music
Need a project? I find I always need one to get through the summer. Well, maybe you need to hook up with the New Orleans Craft Mafia. (I love how they make stuff your grandma would do sound totally tough.)
This evening from 6-10, they are having their five year anniversary party at The Factory, a new space that will begin hosting screen-printing lessons on July, 7th.
Here’s what they have to say about this evening’s event:
Cinco de Craft Mafioso is a celebration of all things crafty. The event is free and open to all ages, and will feature free craft workshops, including t-shirt recycling and screen-printing. Bring your old t-shirts in and revamp them – we’ll show you how to breathe new life into your old tees!
The event will also feature a crafty marketplace with handmade goods by members of the New Orleans Craft Mafia, as well as music and snacks. Be sure to stop by for free beer (while it lasts!) and get there early because the first 20 guests will receive a free New Orleans Craft Mafia tote bag filled with handmade goodies!