Arts: January 2018
Street Art Smarts: A rare Banksy graffiti mural was recently unveiled during Prospect.4.
Three years ago, New Orleans developer Sean Cummings discovered what turned out to be a rare and original Banksy graffiti mural, titled “Looters,” under nine layers of paint. Cummings saved the artwork from building demolition and has worked on restoring it ever since. The 10-foot-by-10-foot mural was recently unveiled during a Prospect.4 event with featured speakers that included revered, worldly street artists and conservationists such as actor Hill Harper; legendary UK graffiti artist and childhood friend of Banksy, Nick Walker; New Orleans artist/activist Brandan Odums; Los Angeles graffiti pioneer, RISK; the director of SAVING BANSKY, Colin Day; and Cummings.
The recovery of this Banksy artwork is hugely significant news in the worlds of art, culture and travel. As you may or may not know, Banksy is an anonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist and film director whose satirical street art combine dark humor with graffiti. As such an important find, the mural was just installed at the International House Hotel on Dec. 1 in honor of New Orleans’ Tricentennial in 2018. 221 Camp St., (504) 553-9550, ihhotel.com, banksy.co.uk
On Stage: Rivertown Theaters continues its 2018 season with Tony Award-winning Broadway musicals and comedy classics.
Now in its sixth season, Rivertown Theaters has widened its range of shows to feature titles and music that everyone knows and loves. “There is so much talent in the New Orleans area, so we are very proud to introduce some new directors to Rivertown Theaters,” says Kelly Fouchi, co-artistic/managing director. “We have great respect for them and their work, and know they will bring the same level of excellence we are committed to.”
This month, Million Dollar Quartet, directed by Michael McKelvey, will be showing Jan. 12-28. This is the new smash hit musical inspired by the famed recording session that brought together rock ’n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the first and only time. On Dec. 4, 1956, these four young musicians gathered at Sun Records in Memphis for what would be one of the greatest jam sessions ever. The thrilling musical brings that legendary night to life, featuring a score of rock hits including “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Fever,” “That’s All Right,” “Sixteen Tons,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Walk the Line,” “Folsom Prison Blues” and more.
Then, Steel Magnolias, directed by Ricky Graham, will be showing March 2-18; followed by Little Shop of Horrors, directed by Gary Rucker, showing May 4-20; and Beauty & The Beast, directed by Ricky Graham, showing July 12-22. 325 Minor St., (504) 461-9475, rivertowntheaters.com
A World of Wealth: M.S. Rau Antiques’ current exhibition highlights the evolution of lifestyles in 19th-century England.
Currently on view at M.S. Rau Antiques through Jan. 20, “Aristocracy: Luxury & Leisure in Britain” illuminates the spectacular age of socioeconomic, cultural and artistic change through a wealth of art and superbly crafted objects. Some of the pieces on view include furniture and fine art, as well as important pieces of provenance. For example, a rare royal commission by Edwin Henry Landseer is a highlight of the exhibition, as well as an extensive porcelain dinner service once owned by the Duke of Hamilton. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, ties in with New Orleans’ 300th anniversary.
“Aristocracy [is] the most ambitious public exhibition from M.S. Rau to date,” says Bill Rau, owner of M.S. Rau Antiques. “It weaves a compelling narrative about the intersection of entertainment and innovation, and is the first of its kind to explore the culture of Victorian leisure on such a grand and comprehensive scale.”
Through an exploration of the elaborate leisure culture that defined the era, the exhibition reveals the complex ways in which the country’s aristocracy displayed — and ultimately preserved — its vast wealth and social power. 630 Royal St., (504) 224-5132, rauantiques.com