Starting October 16, Cane & Table will expand their hours to be open on Mondays. In addition, they'll be offering a Happy Hour (Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 5-7PM). The menu will have 5 cocktails (no food) on there that are mostly rum-based and tropical-inspired.
Cane & Table website
Osteria Lupo - the brainchild of Chef Brian Burns and Reno De Ranieri, the talented team behind Costera - is thrilled to honor Italian-American Heritage and Culture Month by sharing the flavors and traditions of Northern Italy with its guests during the month of October.
Guests can indulge in the flavorsome four-course family-style tasting for $55 per person (excluding tax & gratuity; full table participation required). The ever-changing menu highlights some of Osteria Lupo’s popular antipasti, pastas, and desserts. Dishes on the tasting menu include the Burrata con Panna, Pesce Crudo, Mushroom Campanelle, Grilled Lamb Rack, and more.
Add to your feast by sipping on curated cocktails like the Black Manhattan with Rittenhouse 100 Rye, Averna Amaro, bitter cube orange, and Angostura; Negroni Bianco with Citadelle Gin, Suze d’Autrefois, Alpe Amaro, Rothman and apricot and grapefruit; or a glass of wine from the 100 percent Italian wine list.
Osteria Lupo is located at 4609 Magazine Street. For additional information, please visit www.osterialupo.com. To reserve a table, please book on Resy.
READ OUR REVIEW OF OSTERIA LUPO HERE
Throughout the month of October, these three local restaurants will each feature specialty cocktails to benefit Krewe de Pink - the non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness for breast cancer research and funding innovative research on breast cancer therapies at Tulane Cancer Center.
For each pink cocktail sold in October, $1 will be donated to Krewe de Pink. Featured cocktails at each location include:
Tujague's - Classic Paloma ($12): tequila, grapefruit, lime, and soda
The Bower - Leo Cocktail ($15): vodka, hibiscus, orgeat, lime, and mole bitters
Birdy's - Rosé Grapefruit cocktail ($11): grapefruit vodka, rosé wine, simple syrup and soda
This sporting underdog tale has all the elements that scream ‘Oscar buzz’. Based on a real person, Saúl Armendáriz (Gael García Bernal) is an openly gay wrestler in a run-down Mexican border town when we meet him. Known as El Topo (The Mole), his slight frame and effeminate nature mean that he is routinely cast as a pipsqueak, thrown around by his giant opponents.
He has dreams, though, to become ‘the Liberace of Luchador’ and to do this, he must take on the persona of an “exotico”. These are wrestlers who don make-up and a feminine look, but who are traditionally doomed to be punching bags and on-stage sponges for the crowd’s homophobia. Emerging as ‘Cassandro’ (named after a camp Mexican soap opera), Armendáriz wants to flip the script and be an exotico who wins.
We’ve had movies exploring the inner lives of wrestlers before - most famously Aaranofsky’s The Wrestler - and this movie shares the grit and grime of their reality. Cassandro is mainly supported by women: his hard-working single mother, and his trainer Sabrina (the excellent Roberta Colindrez), a local lucha success who spots his potential.
As Cassandro starts to move up the ranks, he attracts a possibly scummy promoter and his pseudo-gangster son (Bad Bunny), as well as scorn and admiration in equal measure from the crowds. There are unavoidably cliched training and sporting montages as the process takes on momentum, but Bernal’s showy magnetism easily carries them in an engagingly joyous way.
Conflict comes in the shape of his relationship with his closeted wrestler lover (Raúl Castillo), who has a family that holds his main affections, and another man - the estranged father who first introduced him to lucha libre. Bernal channels his anxieties about these relationships into hard work on his craft, and increasingly risky behavior as his lot in life improves.
There’s a lot to love in the flamboyance of Bernal’s character and his determined challenges to well-established macho norms. Bernal does great work combining camp showmanship, sporting grit and extreme vulnerability, and some of the wrestling sequences are genuinely impressive.
For me, though, what must have been some very testing real life stakes are kind of rushed through. Cassdandro wins over hostile crowds in an instant and seemingly cruises to a nationally-televised glamor match. There’s a shift in tone over the last 20 minutes that glosses over a lot of character development and the climax doesn’t feel quite earned in some way.
There’s some touching scenes, especially between Cassandro and his mother, a tough but loving woman, wonderfully portrayed by Perla De La Rosa. Bernal, too, is warmly charismatic and real, and you’re on his side from the off. Personally, I felt that director Roger Ross Williams didn’t quite stick the knockout, but the bout as a whole is still an enjoyable ride. (PO)
Cassandro is currently showing at The Broad Theater.
Home is Here NOLA, a local nonprofit with a mission to cultivate community-based systems of support with newly arrived immigrants in Louisiana and the Gulf South is excited to present a Taste of Afghanistan on Tuesday, October 17 (4-7 pm) at Saint John (1117 Decatur Street). The evening will feature a tasting menu of home cooked dishes by Afghan refugee chefs who will be present to introduce their food, culture and experience as new community members resettled in New Orleans. All event proceeds will benefit Home is Here NOLA.
Tickets ($35) are available at https://givebutter.com/HHNOLA-Taste or in advance or at the door and include a welcome cocktail and tasting menu highlighting the Afghan national celebratory dish, Khabuli Palao (veg and non-veg), Mantu (beef dumplings), Borani Banjan (Roasted eggplant casserole) and Bolani (Afghan flatbread). Home is Here NOLA will be on-hand to provide refugee-related information and resources to all interested attendees. Generous sponsors include Cheramie Rum.
Click here for the Saint John website.
Learn more about Home is Here NOLA’s work and how you can get involved at: www.homeisherenola.org
Jefferson Performing Arts Society kicks off its Westbank 46th season stage productions with Steel Magnolias this month at the Westwego Cultural Center on Sala Avenue in Westwego. The show runs for two weekends, Thursdays through Sundays, from Thursday, September 21 through Sunday, October 1.
JPAS will present two more stage plays at the intimate setting of the Westwego Cultural Center as part of its 46th season: Looped (November 9-19, 2023) about Tallulah Bankhead, featuring Leslie Castay in the lead role, and The Mountaintop (January 25-February 4, 2024), about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s final hours, in a surprising and spiritual story that takes place in the Lorraine Motel. Auditions for this show are underway and the cast will be announced soon.
For tickets and information, visit www.jpas.org or call the box office at 504-885-200. All shows will be onstage at the Westwego Cultural Center.
For those searching for a boozy coffee fix, head over to Birdy’s Behind the Bower - the Instagram-worthy restaurant serving Southern-inspired dishes for breakfast, brunch, lunch, and delight in the Irish Coffee. Served iced or hot and made with Tullamore Dew Whiskey, Irish cream, coffee or cold brew, and fresh whipped cream, this delightful coffee will awaken your taste buds while giving that caffeine kick. Guests can also opt for an Espresso Martini or nix the booze and delight in one of the many coffee drinks available, including Cortado, Lattes, Cappuccino, and more. Indulge in one of the restaurant’s famed Toasts and brunch specialties like the Peaches & Cream Bubble Waffle, Chai Chia Pudding, or Claire’s Cookie Cereal – mini chocolate chip cookies, meringue “mallows” and berries served with milk of choice. Open daily from 8 AM - 3 PM.
Nestled in the corner of the Pontchartrain Hotel overlooking St. Charles Avenue, Silver Whistle Cafe is a bright, cheerful café where locals and visitors can enjoy the charming ambiance with their breakfast or lunch. Offering an array of coffee brews, enjoy the Cafe au Lait, Cold Brew, Espresso, Macchiato, Cappuccino, and more. During your visit, try fresh pastries made in-house, including blueberry muffins, butter croissants, or chocolate croissants. Have a few moments to indulge in breakfast options? Savor dishes like the Pulled Pork Scramble with cheese, peppers, and grits and the Broken Yolk Sandwich with fried egg, garlic aioli, bacon, cheddar, multigrain, and grits. Open daily from 7 - 11 AM.
Birdy’s Behind the Bower: Birdy’s Behind the Bower
Silver Whistle Cafe: Silver Whistle Cafe
The Bower’s Beverage Director Mickey Mullins will pay tribute to the zodiac with new libations inspired by the twelve signs. Zodiac libations include the Leo – complex, fun, and surprising with vodka, hibiscus, orgeat, lime, and mole bitters; Virgo – steady, loyal, and classic with bourbon, Angostura bitters, simple syrup, and orange peel; Scorpio - just like the sign, this cocktail is intense, smoky, and seductive with beet-infused mezcal, passionfruit and lime served straight up in a smoked salt-rimmed coupe; and the Sagittarius – cheerful and assertive with poblano tequila, citrus and smoked salt.
The Bower is located at 1320 Magazine Street and serves dinner Monday – Thursday 4PM - 9PM; Friday and Saturday 4PM – 10PM. For reservations or additional information, please visit www.thebowernola.com or call (504) 582-9738.
The View UpStairs
Review by Paul Oswell
On June 24th 1973, 32 people died in an arson attack on a gay bar called The UpStairs Lounge in the French Quarter. The devastation was compounded at the time by a shameful, callous reaction to the loss of life from so-called religious leaders (even given that one of the deceased was a Reverend) and city officials alike. It remained the most horrific, violent act against the LGBTQ community until the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando in 2016.
Before anything, we remember and honor the memory of those who lost their lives.
This may sound like an unlikely backdrop to a life-affirming musical, but playwright and composer Max Vernon was moved to create The View UpStairs in 2013, this one-act production first performed at the Lynn Redgrave Theater in New York in 2017.
Unless it was just to be a straight retelling of the events, a conceit was necessary, and so Vernon presents a kind of living flashback to that night. Wes (Donyae Asante), a hyper-modern influencer, has - oblivious to its history - just purchased a derelict lounge bar and tells his online followers that he can’t wait to transform it into a trendy art space.
The audience is asked to make a sudden leap as his presence somehow opens up a portal in time, and he is transported back to 1973, where it's just another night for the UpStairs regulars. It’s important to remember that much of queer life was illegal at this time, and so places to socialize were rare, the clientele ranging from vagrants to men of the cloth.
Among others, we meet firecracker bartender Henri (Lauren Sparacello), piano man Buddy (Marshall Harris), theatrical Freddy (Eddie Lockwood, who also designed the costumes), pastor Richard (Tom Vaughn), queer elder Willie (Rayshaughn Armant) and hustlers Patrick and Dale (Ty Robbins and Justice Hues).
The sense of family is apparent from the off, with a wonderful chorus adding to the opening’s song and dance numbers, a whole world and its dynamic efficiently conjured. Wes imagines himself to be hallucinating at first, but he quickly adapts and before long is explaining phone apps and the vacuity of contemporary life.
This theme has some easy laughs as the bar patrons dismiss his rants, and while it’s not the most interesting part of the night, it’s an empathetic bridge that allows us all to cross. Issues - some of which still resonate today - are discussed and fought over...the behavior of the hustlers, the spiritual health of the group, how to deal with a police raid. Some people fight, while others pretend to be straight married men, the eternal conflict between pragmatism and idealism.
Asante is tremendously charismatic as he deftly navigates a difficult role, veering from cartoonish arrogance to being mystified and lovelorn as he and Patrick - played with note-perfect, easy assurance by Robbins - start to fall for each other despite the odds. Lockwood shines as a drag queen, beaten on the street and comforted by his mother (JeAnne Marcus) before an entertaining “we’ve got just one night to put on the best show ever” subplot. Mostly in the background, Justice Hues grapples with a gradual descent into desperation with real aplomb.
Almost all of the cast are on stage for the entirety of the 100-minute run time, and I want to especially commend the chorus. Given the time-travel aspect, the show relies on the integrity of creating a realistic 1970s world, and they do an excellent job. Jack Lampert’s direction, and the choreography of Monica Ordoñez are both admirable in their dynamism and realism.
The music and songs deliver a sense of comradery and maintain an emotional resonance. There are some seriously impressive pipes on stage, particularly from Donyae Asante, Lauren Sparacello, Rayshaughn Armant and soprano JeAnne Marcus.
There are some memorable lines, and I laughed out loud when Asante begs “Give me one more chance to ruin your life!” Harris and Armant expertly tease out their characters, while Eddie Lockwood brings their skills as one of the city’s most creative burlesque performers, and they are similarly a joy to watch.
The set and book do a great job in taking us back to the early 1970s, capturing the linguistic and aesthetic ticks and contrasting them nicely with the relentless modernity embodied by Wes. It’s a love story, a cautionary tale of modern superficiality, and a gut-wrenching tragedy all in one.
It’s also a piece of New Orleans history that asks us to keep in mind both the devastating consequences of one man’s torment, but also the barbaric indifference of our institutions when a compassionate, human response was needed, but from them, none came. Many times, our found families are the ones that matter the most.
The View UpStairs plays at Jefferson Performing Arts Center through September 17th. More information and tickets here.
Live Music, Networking & Shopping in Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month
The Aarón Sánchez Impact Fund, in partnership with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana (HCCL), the New Orleans Jazz Museum, Port Orleans Brewing Co., and CRC Global Solutions, is hosting a fun, social event for networking and shopping while bringing awareness to Hispanic Heritage Month.
The general public is invited to this free, all-ages event. A marketplace featuring select HCCL members and vendors will sell Latin-inspired food and products, and local community organizations will share information and resources. Port Orleans is donating a portion of the proceeds from their Dorada Mexican-style beer throughout Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept. 15 – Oct. 15) to the Aarón Sánchez Impact Fund. The New Orleans Jazz Museum is sponsoring live music from local artist Margie Perez. The event will also feature a performance by members of Victoriano López, an orchestra visiting from Honduras, sponsored by CRC Global Solutions.
Sunday, September 17, 2023. 12–4pm
Port Orleans Brewing Co., 4124 Tchoupitoulas Street
The Aarón Sánchez Impact Fund, a program of Emeril Lagasse Foundation, uplifts the lives of Latino youth through food. The culinary arts education pillar works to diversify future kitchen leadership through scholarships, financial support, mentoring, and career pathways guidance. The Aarón Sánchez Scholarship, established in 2016, serves as the signature education program of the Impact Fund. The human services pillar works toward changing the trajectory of Latino youth lives through better food access, nutrition education, crisis feeding programs, and more.
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