Posts Tagged ‘New Orleans’

Lionell Thomas Presents His Painting

Saturday, May 1st, 2010
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Lionell Thomas with Painting
Photograph courtesy of Troy Poplous

Shortly before a group of twelve young singers and actors from the McDonogh 35 College Preparatory High School left New Orleans to perform in the musical Ain’t Misbehavin’ at the Banlieues Bleues festival in La Courneuve, near Paris, they were invited by the French consul Olivier Brochenin to a reception at his home. It was there that Lionell Thomas, the twin brother of one of the performers, presented a painting that honors the twelve students and their director, Troy Poplous. Thomas’ work will be featured at this year’s New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

Read about the great performance that the students gave at the Banlieues Bleues Festival in this month’s Paris Insights newsletter. To join our ever growing list of subscribers, click on the “Subscribe” link on the newsletter announcement page, just above the title of the article. (Access to the newsletter is by paid subscription.)

American Students “Ain’t Misbehavin'” in Seine-Saint-Denis

Thursday, April 8th, 2010
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McDonogh 35 College Preparatory High School Students of New Orleans
Photograph courtesy of Banlieues Bleues

Twelve students from McDonogh 35 College Preparatory High School in New Orleans, their director, and a supporting cast of student musicians, singers, and dancers from conservatories and colleges of Paris and the Parisian suburbs gave a spectacular performance of Ain’t Misbehavin’ last weekend at the Banlieues Bleues festival in La Courneuve, a commune in the administrative département of Seine-Saint-Denis. Xavier Lemettre, director of the festival, wanted the musical—the first performed in Banlieues Bleues’ 27 years of existence—to inject new, artistic energy into the multi-week celebration. Based on what I saw at the performance, he greatly succeeded!

Ain’t Misbehavin’ is a tribute to song writer, musician, and composer Fats Waller and other musicians of the Harlem Renaissance. The show’s director, Troy Poplous, has extensive experience in directing stage plays and musical productions, including Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin In The Sun, as well as the musical version of this play. Among his current activities, he teaches Theatre Arts and Fine Arts at the McDonogh 35 High School. Funding for the American students’ trip to Paris was provided by the Consulate General of France of New Orleans.