Mid City Theatre’s Look Back at 2012

Edward Albee’s TINY ALICE – Silk Dress Productions concluded The Albee Project with this show and an incredible ensemble cast cane together to present this psycho-spiritual mystery play – Bob Edes Jr. as Cardinal, Scott Jefferson as Lawyer, Ross Britz as Julian, Doug Barden as Butler, and Jennifer Growden as Miss Alice. January, 2012

 Auditions for the 2010 Yale International Cabaret Academy – A chance to make the cut to go to Yale and train with the best in the business! January, 2012

…AND THE BALL AND ALL – Carnival is Not Carnival until the annual run of … and The Ball and All, the Ricky Graham-penned comedy about the Mystic Krewe of Terpsichore. Becky Allen and Amanda Hebert star as Yat krewe organizers planning their truck float and getting ready for the ball. They’re joined by Yvette Hargis, Mandy Zirkenbach, Go Go Borgerding, Rebecca Taliancich, and Patrick Mendelson – “And the Ball and All” is as full of New Orleans characters as “A Confederacy of Dunces.” It bares more truths than Sophocles. And it has more repartee than a Woody Allen play. February, 2012

THE BEACH BUDDIES: A Tribute to the Beach Boys – A Shore Thing Entertainment, in association with The Mid-City Theatre
just before the launch of The Beach Boys’ 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour at Jazz Fest this spring, starred a rotating local company which includes Rich Arnold, Marc Fouchi, Scott Sauber, Frank Von Hoven, Michael Taravella, Kenneth Thompson, Keith Claverie, Brian Rosenberg, and Matt Armato. February, 2012

HE LOVES AND SHE LOVES – The Gershwin Music We Love – created by the award-winning team of Amy Alvarez and Jefferson Turner. We enjoyed the popular songs of Broadway legends, George and Ira Gershwin. (George wrote the music and Ira wrote the lyrics for some of Broadway’s top shows and Hollywood’s top musical films in the first half of the 20th century.)  February, 2012

DIVINE SISTER – Award-winning actor Varla Jean Merman joined a fabulous cast in this comic homage to all Hollywood films about nuns. Written by the Tony Award-nominated Charles Busch, directed by Ricky Graham and co-starring Michael Sullivan, Gary Rucker, Olive Aniother, Tari Hohn and  Molly Ruben-Long. February/March, 2012

BOSOM BUDDIES 2 – starring Varla Jean Merman & Ricky Graham with Jefferson Turner on piano in the follow-up to this mad-cap show. March, 2012

DEBAUCHERY by Pat Bourgeois – New Orleans only monthly, live theater Soap Opera. Began March, 2012 and continues monthly.

 VISITING HOURS by David Caudle – Rising Shiners presented this World Premiere – Ann Mahoney Kadar directed Becky Allen, Becki Davis, Tari Hohn, Jessie Terrebonne and Nick Thompson in this intense and often troubling drama. March/April, 2012

6X6 –  6 Ten Minute Plays by Six Playwrights – An ensemble of actors and directors interpret and present staged, script-in-hand readings of the six new ten minute plays written by the 6×6 Writers Group: James Bartelle, Gamal Chasten, Michael Aaron Santos, Lisa Shattuck, Jared Gore, Jon Broder, Paul Werner, Mike Harkins, Andy Vaught, Brittain Valenti, Lucy Faust, Brian Sands, Kerry Cahill, Mandy Zirkenbach, Pat Bourgeois, and Madison Curry. Began April, 2012 and continues monthly.

PSYCHO BEACH PARTY   by Charles Busch  –  Set in 1962 Malibu Beach, the comedy’s twisted genius comes from mixing movie genres: the surf film (“Gidget,” “Beach Party”) and multiple personality psychodrama (“The Three Faces of Eve,” “Sybil”), with just a dab of unhinged movie moms (“Carrie,” “Mommie Dearest”) thrown in for good measure….Chicklet Forrest (Matthew Mickal), desperately wants to be “part of the crowd.” She goes to the beach with friends, nerdy Berdine (Molly Ruben-Long) and sexy Marvel Anne (Kenneth Thompson), to learn to surf but all they have on their minds is boys. The boys on this beach include Provoloney (Bob Murrell), Yo-Yo (Jermain L. Keelen) and heart-throb Starcat (Chris Ramage) all led by surf guru – The Great Kanaka (Ethan Anderson)….Add to the crazy mix, Mrs. Forrest, the overbearing Mother (Amanda Zirkenbach), Hollywood movie starlet-in-hiding, Bettina Barnes (Tari Hohn), and the fact that our heroin, Chicklet suffers with split personalities, one of them a sexually voracious vixen who has nothing less than world domination on her mind and, even if you don’t get all the references in “Psycho Beach Party,” you’ll likely be entertained by the show’s gleefully cracked sensibility….Directed by Fred Nuccio, Costumes by Veronica Russell; Lights by Robert Bourgault. March, 2012

13 WOMEN AND ONLY ONE MAN…A CABARET WITH BENEFITSYale International Cabaret Conference Alums present a show and silent auction to help send the New Orleans Class of 2012 (Allison Barron and Heather Leonard) to New Haven….Joining them onstage :  Amy  Alvarez, Troi Bechet, Megan Dearie, Meredith Long, Jessica Marasco, Lisa Picone, Natasha O. Ramer, Anais St. John, Jessie Terrebonne, Amanda Zirkenbach and Jefferson Turner on piano. May, 2012

Ricky Graham’s “SHOW OF SHOWS” …a celebration of 26 years in the world of New Orleans Cabaret –  Ricky Graham tips his hat to an amazing run of shows with performances from favorites like Hollywood Heaven, Naughty  Bits, Oh Kaye!, I’m Still Here, Me, I Know What It Means, the Renew Revue and more! Joined by Jefferson Turner on piano and Yvette Hargis on laughs. June/July, 2012

“SubUrbia” Written by Eric Bogosian, Directed by Amanda Francis – Ampersand Productions at Mid City Theatre – The reviews are in from the Times Picayune’s Andrew Adler: “…a bracing, provocative staging…”SubUrbia”…seethes and provokes…” It’s a dramatic play and inspired choice from this young producing company. Set in a convenience store parking lot that is home away from home for a small band of characters. The play recounts a night and the morning after in what one character calls this “pizza and puke capital of the world.” Acted with truth by a young cast that you watch in horror and fascination as they rant and rage against a society that strikes them as so much “spiritual oatmeal.” It’s been likened to Chekhov on speed and Twinkies and may remind you of your youth…June 2012

Becky Allen & Amanda Hebert are DAWLIN’ AND HAWT – Directed by Ricky Graham, renowned local actress/comediennes, Amanda Hebert & Becky Allen, both award-winning favorites who’ve starred in local hits including “..and The Ball and All” and the “Late Nite Catechism” series, join forces to try to talk your ears off in this night of hilarious skits & stand-up comedy, New Orleans Style! Come out for the kicks. June, 2012

WEEK ONE OF MID CITY THEATRE’S 2012 Mid City Heat Summer Series featured C’est La Vie, Book, music and lyrics by Gregg Opelka, starring Jessie Terrebonne & Ann Mahoney-Kadar. Directed by Nick Thompson with musical direction by Harry Mayronne, Jr. Spend an evening in the lives of two 1950’s Paris cabaret songbirds, Dominique and Fatiguee. July, 2012

WEEK TWO OF MID CITY THEATRE’S 2012 Mid City Heat Summer Series featured The Cortez Method, written by Rob Keefe, starring John Neisler , Mark Routhier, Andrea Watson & Kerry Cahill. Directed by Michael Santos – An older brother brings comedy, drama & tragedy into a younger brother’s seemingly well-ordered life. July, 2012

WEEK THREE OF MID CITY THEATRE’S 2012 Mid City Heat Summer Series featured  Still Life with Sushi, written by Cyd Casados, starring Andrea Watson, Developed by Mikko. A one-woman show, for much of the time it’s a comedy, for some it’s a drama, for a little it’s interactive, but most of the time it is a true story. Seen from the author’s own unashamed experience in strip clubs, the writing gives us an intriguing insight into the life of a stripper.

The Legendary – Chicken Little – written by Ricky Graham and Freddie Palmisano, directed by Heidi Junius with Jim Walpole as musical director….This is one for the kids as well as the adults…the story of Chicken Little set in a very musical barnyard with bright, beautiful costumes by Linda Fried and just a great, good time. July, 2012

WEEK FOUR OF MID CITY THEATRE’S 2012 Mid City Heat Summer Series featured Cherry Docs, written by David Gow, starring Dane Rhodes and Christopher Ramage. directed by Fred Nuccio. “I am taking you through the eye of the needle. You are the thread.” — Danny, Cherry Docs……a play of meetings between the skinhead perpetrator of a vile hate crime and his Jewish legal-aid lawyer, it is not an easy play. It is complex. It demands thought. It is worth it. August, 2012

HALLEY’S COMET by Ann E. Mc Queen…directed by Troy R. Poplous, readers include: Idella Johnson,Adella Gautier, Yohance Myles, Evan Cleaver, Monica R. Harris, Derrick Deal, Jaren Mitchell, Troi Bechet, Carol Sutton and Troy R. Poplous. Stage Directions will be read by Keshuna Jones Lee. August, 2012

The joint will be rockin’ as the Original New Orleans Cabaret Duo recreate songs and sketches from their performances at The Mint, the Stage Door, Feelings Cafe, Margaritaville, the True Brew, and other venues lost in the mists of time!  Jefferson Turner joins the madness on piano, Brian Albus on percussion and Su Gonczy continues on lights, etc…some serious fun – in true Yat style!! August, 2012

MONOLOGUES AND MUSINGS, FOR THE MONEY, HONEY! features Nell Nolan, Steve Kelley and Ashley Nolan in assorted, original works ranging from drama to stand up comedy…in this benefit for severed Times Picayune employees. September,2012

JIM FITZMORRIS’ HIT SHOW “URBAN EDUCATION SMACKDOWN!”                                                                                                                     Don’t miss your chance to see the show The Times Picayune, called “electric”, that Gambit exclaimed “Bravo”, Ambush Magazine saw as “moving”, and Bayou Buzz determined was “required viewing.” If The Lorax speaks for the trees, Jim Fitzmorris speaks for New Orleans’ teachers. Climbing into the ring against the public education system, Fitzmorris takes on all comers including NPR Democrats, Creationist Republicans, razor wielding students, confrontational parents, and in the main event of the evening, the hall monitor himself: Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. If you want to know what’s happening with the kids, then get down to Urban Education Smackdown at Mid City Theatre. When the lights go down, the schooling begins! September 2012

RICKY AND VARLA TURN YOU ON! – – – Varla Jean Merman joins Ricky Graham – and besides skewering the less-than-electric company, the wacky duo give a jolt to the latest pop hit songs, nuns, disco, country singers and even Mary Poppins! All with Musical Director, Jefferson Turner & Brian Albus on percussion. September 2012

MISS COCO PERU makes her much-awaited New Orleans debut!  In this intimate evening, Coco will tell stories about her life, sing some songs, and basically change lives. Well maybe that last part is a little too much, but all she asks of her audience is to pretend that they’re at a big group therapy session… and it’s her turn to talk. September, 2012

3X3 – THE ONE ACTS. Three one act plays by writers: Jared Gore, Brian Sands and Paul Werner. Produced by Sister-theatre: Southern Rep.
October 2012

BECKY ALLEN & AMANDA HEBERT ARE “DAWLIN’ & HAWT” – In this show directed by Ricky Graham,  these renowned local actresses and comediennes, both award-winning favorites who’ve starred in local hits including “..and The Ball and All” and the “Late Nite Catechism” series, are joining forces to try and talk your ears off in this night of hilarious skits & stand-up comedy, New Orleans Style! – Come out for the kicks. October 2012

BOB MURRELL’S “IN MISSERY”Reading of Bob’s new, very dark comedy in which Parker needs a way to pay off his college loans, so he finds a loophole that will fix all of his problems – but it will cost a life. October 2012

BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON is a great big rollicking musical that tells the story of America’s first political maverick.  A. J. kicked British butt, shafted the Indians, and smacked down the Spaniards all in the name of these United States — who cares if he didn’t have permission?
An exhilarating and white-knuckled look at one of our nation’s founding rock stars, BLOODY, BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON recreates and reinvents the life of Old Hickory, from his humble beginnings on the Tennessee frontier to his days as Commander-in-Chief.  It also asks the question, is wanting to have a beer with someone reason enough to elect him? What if he’s really, really hot? READ THE REVIEWS!!  Book by Alex Timbers, Music and Lyrics by Michael Friedman, Directed by AJ Allegra, Musical Direction by Natalie True and Starring: Lucas Harms, Leslie Limberg, Brittany Chandler, Keith Claverie, Jessica Gordon, Michael Krikorian, Bill Mader, Abbey Peterson Murrell, Bob Murrell, Allee Peck, Price Provenzano, Ken Thompson, and Carlos Velazquez. Produced by Harms Way Theatre. October/November 2012


COMIC CUTIES CABARET: A Burlesque Tribute with the Billion Dollar Baby Dolls…The Baby Dolls are anxiously awaiting New Orleans Comic Con and are paying tribute, burlesque style, for a two-night run at Mid City Theatre. Come help celebrate favorite characters from comic books, science fiction, anime, and more!!! FEATURING: Spooky LeStrange, Cherry Bombshell, Hurricane Velour, Honey Tangerine, Moira Vie, Remy Dee and special guest: May Hammer! November 2012


ACTORS’ CHOICE PRODUCTIONS – Mid City Theatre’s newest series begins with Chris Ramage and Idella Johnson producing and starring in Alan Bowne’s “Beirut.” Chris Ramage, star of Mid City Heat’s “Cherry Docs,” brings us this riveting two person drama. Starring with him, the delightful and dangerous Idella Johnson. You won’t be able to take your eyes off the stage or forget this very different story of segregation. Would YOU die for love? November/December 2012


 Shine Productions presents: “BLESS YA, BOYS: THE CURSE OF GOODELL” – For five seasons, Shine Productions’ Bless Ya, Boys has taken fans on a black and gold comedic stroll through Saints’ history.  From Billy Kilmer to Aaron Kromer, our BYB troupe has brought laughter and luck to the Who Dat Nation.  But now, Bless Ya, Boys must solve The Curse of Goodell. Written by and starring Barry Lemoine, Christian Bordelon, Tom Hassinger, Wes Cannon, Will Schneider, Ronnie Blanchard & Katherine Lemoine, it’s a fast and funny football show for all the fans who love the Saints and need some laughs this season.  Who knows – you may even help break the Commissioner’s curse?  Join Tom, Rita, Drew and the gang at the Mid-City Theatre! November/December 2012


BIBLE BEAUTIES with Rev. Spooky LeStrange & Her Billion Dollar Baby Dolls  For two nights only, Reverend Spooky LeStrange & Her Billion Dollar Baby Dolls will embody some of the greatest saints (and sinners) of all time! Join us for worship as your favorite Bible parables come to life in the Church of Burlesque!  Featuring: Rev. Spooky LeStrange, Cherry Bombshell, Hurricane Velour, Honey Tangerine, Moira Vie, Remy Dee, Singer: Sonya Sequins. December, 2012


SCROOGE IN ROUGE  starring Varla Jean Merman, Ricky Graham, Yvette Hargis and Jefferson Turner. It’s Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” re-imagined as a British Music Hall show with three of New Orleans’ funniest actors playing all the roles. A silly send-up for the Season’s beginning, middle and end!! December, 2012


SHUT UP, SWEET CHARLOTTE! The show is a side-splitting parody of the original novel and the camp classic film Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964) which starred Bette Davis and Olivia de Havilland. This larger-than-life production stars Ricky Graham as Charlotte Hollis and International Drag Sensation Varla Jean Merman (a.k.a. Jeffery Roberson) as Cousin Miriam Deering.– The triple threat talents of director, star and writer Roberson leads a talented cast which includes Michael Sullivan as Harry Wills, Jack Long as Dr. Drew Bayliss, Brian Peterson as Velma Cruther and Yvette Hargis as the only female in this “all male” creative stroke of genius who pulls double duty as Jewel Mayhew and Luke Standish.December, 2012 & January 2013