Tuesday, November 1, 2011
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Sunday, October 16, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
HIV - Could scientists and gamers be on to a cure?
Sunday, September 11, 2011
The field of honor that was once
A testament of steel
Has now been cleared of all debris
Except that which we feel.
In the ruins of sorrow
Families cry for those that won’t return.
Children wail and lovers weep
For those of whom they yearn.
The uniforms of blue and white --
Reminders to us all --
Are fused with red, which is the blood
Of those who heard the call.
And brave men out on foreign soil
Now wage the battle proud.
They rattle sabers gleaming bright
Their caissons ring out loud.
The sinister force from far off lands
Sent assassins from the skies
They thought that killing innocents
Would reinforce their lies.
But what beheld them following
This cowardly attack
Was a steely-eyed America
That was ready to fight back.
The dust that fell from towers tall
Still lingers to this day.
It flows throughout our beating hearts --
It shows up when we pray.
And while we fight these craven foes,
We know we’ve just begun
To honor those that passed away
The date of Nine-One-One.
©2002 Alan Smason
Friday, September 9, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Monday, August 8, 2011
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Friday, July 22, 2011
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Monday, July 4, 2011
Friday, July 1, 2011
Monday, June 6, 2011
Thursday, May 19, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
There is something magical about New Orleans in springtime. The azaleas are in full bloom with dazzling displays of purple, white, pink and red against a sea of green. By mid-March and April the air is typically fed by high pressure cells and the relative humidity plunges downward, making for several very pleasant, temperate days. Occasionally, violent thunderstorms will emerge as low pressure cells from the Gulf of Mexico clash with them, but those days are few in number. With the onset of this mostly pleasant weather comes the opportunities for outdoor fun and exploration. It doesn't take a genius to know that spring is here and the time for festivals abounds as much as those blooming azaleas. The Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival at the end of March kept a number of the literati busy discussing what is the centennial of the birth of one of America's most famous playwrights. Several attendees caught the last of the Historic New Orleans Collections display "Drawn to Life,"a half century of Al Hirschfeld's drawings dealing with Tennessee Williams plays. It closed April 3. While that was intended to keep most folks indoors, the Freret Street Festival last Saturday was just the first of several small festivals intended to boost one neighborhood or specific food group or item. Tomorrow the French Quarter Festival begins for the first time on a Thursday; it has become so successful that a fourth day of fun was added this year. Last year an estimated 400,000 locals and tourists swamped the French Quarter, enjoying food, the unique architecture and a plethora of stages with live music acts. Meanwhile, the folks in Pontchatoula will be hosting their annual Strawberry Festival this weekend as well. For those that make the drive to the country there are several musical acts of note and countless ways to enjoy the noble aggregate fruit. The succession of festivals will continue. By the time the month starts to ebb, the granddaddy of them all - Jazz Fest (the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival) - will be in full swing. Ah yes, it's definitely springtime in New Orleans. I can hear, see, smell and taste it all.
Friday, April 1, 2011
No Time for Fools
There was a time when I was a prankster.
Others' misfortunes made me smile.
But as the years have progressed, I confess, my friends
I haven't felt that way for a while.
As a boy, I loved Larry, Curly and Moe
As they poked each other in the eye
And Laurel and Hardy I confess, they too
Gave me a giddy and not-so-guilty high.
Yet, perhaps it's because I understand now
That no good comes from laughter born of pain
That to love someone means keeping quiet
When they trip and fall down in the rain.
Or when a board is swung full circle
And smashes a bloke on his crown.
I shouldn't break out in a guffaw,
But should emphasize, instead, my frown.
When I see a lady flying forward
After slipping on a banana peel
I must make myself quite contrite
I must not let out a gay squeal.
When I know someone's going to sit
I must resist with all of my heart
Not to place underneath them the cushion
Whose sound gives everyone a start.
Or to offer a stick of gum to a friend
The kind that turns black as they chew it.
I must keep tightly inside my shoes,
Not give into temptation - just screw it.
So I'm guessing you know I am changed
That today when I think about pies
I'm savoring the taste of those tarts
And not smashing them into your eyes.
It feels good to know I am mature
And now follow these simple rules,
But I tell you my friends that it's hardest
On this day that we call April Fools'.
©2011 Alan Smason
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Last night the New Orleans theater community honored its own at the 2011 Big Easy Theater Awards. It was a grand night as the awards ceremony hosted by Broadway and screen actor Bryan Batt returned to Harrah's Casino after a one-year hiatus. More importantly, it signaled the separation again of the theatre awards from the music awards that honor local musicians. Those ceremonies will be held next month at Harrah's. Top honors for Best Musical went to Le Petit Théåtre du Vieux Carre's "Hairspray," many of whose performers were underage and could not attend the ceremonies held at Harrah's Theater because it is in the adults-only gaming hall. Best Drama honors went to "Frozen," produced by the Crescent Theatre Collective, while Theatre 13 snagged the Best Comedy award with their frenetic paced "The 39 Steps." The Honorary Theater Awards Chairman was Dennis Assaf, the artistic and executive director of the Jefferson Performing Arts Society. John O'Neal, the founder of Free Southern Theater and Junebug Productions was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Theater for his nearly five decades worth of accomplishments in local and national theater Varla Jean Merman (aka Jeff Roberson) received the 2011 Theater Entertainer of the Year Award, accepting in a taped message designed to appear as a live feed from Skype. Su Gonczy, the dedicated lighting director and girl Friday at Le Chat Noir, who helped guide the show's technical direction, was honored with the first "Standing Ovation Award," designed to honor those behind the scenes who contribute so much to the theater scene. Quite rightly, she received two standing ovations before and after her acceptance speech. The glitzy affair included several performances by members of nominated productions including "The Producers," "Grey Gardens," "Hairspray," "Mame" and "The Threepenny Opera." For a complete listing of all winners, click here.