‘Pantomime’ opens season for new professional theater company; blondes head to local stages | Entertainment/Life

“Pantomime,” a two-person show of power dynamics and racial identity, takes the stage in the debut performance of Crescent City Stage.

The opening production by Derek Walcott looks at two men at a bed-and-breakfast resort on the island nation of Tobago. Using humor and a “show within a show” motif, the story looks at questions of race, equality, equity and identity for the two men, one Black and one White.

John “Ray” Proctor directs the production, featuring Michael C. Forest as Jackson and Stage founder Michael A. Newcomer as Harry, the inn owner. Harry wants to put on a Robinson Caruso-type play, but with the roles reversed.

Perspective plays a large role as the pair discovers “what is equality and what does it mean,” Proctor said. “What is the show that we put on to just get by every day — the mask that we wear.”

“I think it’s a real good show for New Orleans,” he said.

With underlying issues of colonialism, masculinity, authority and showing one’s vulnerability, the show uses dark humor to convey messages.

And, as Proctor said, it asks the question: “Which one of these two people do you identify with?”

“Pantomime” opens Sept. 8 at Marquette Theater at Loyola University, the home for the new company and runs at 7:30 pm Thursdays to Saturdays and 2:30 pm Sundays through Sept. 25. Tickets start at $10 for Loyola students, $35 for general admission. crescentcitystage.com.

broadway blondes

A pair of Broadway blondes will come to local stages for one-night-only shows.

Tony winner Christine Ebersole will be joined by Billy Stritch on the keys at Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts on Oct. 15 and Broadway veteran Emily Skinner will feature songs from the great American stage songbook Sept. 10 at Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré.

Ebersole, who nabbed her second Tony for the dual roles of Edith and Little Edie Beale in “Grey Gardens,” will be the opening performer in the Broadway in New Orleans concert series. She won her first Tony for the revival of “42nd Street” as Dorothy Brock. She currently appears on the television sitcom “Bob Hearts Abishola.”

Stritch, a solo show himself, is a Grammy-winning writer for “Does He Love You” and has worked with such entertainment luminaries as Liza Minnelli, Tony Bennett, Linda Eder and Linda Lavin.

Tickets for Ebersole’s evening musicale start at $45 at the theater, 325 Minor St., in Kenner. Visit rivertowntheatres.com.

Skinner, a Tony Award-nominated vocalist, brings a solo concert for “Broadway, Her Way” with music from Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim, Irving Berlin, Lerner and Lowe, George Gershwin, Kander and Ebb and Jerome Kern plus contemporary composers.

The evening also features a chance for a meet-and-greet with the veteran of such shows as “The Cher Show,” “Billy Elliott” and “Side Show,” for which she received the Tony nomination with Alice Ripley. She was also recently selected to appear in the musical based on Julie Andrews’ children’s book, “The Great American Musical.”

Her other appearances having included Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, Birdland and Lincoln Center performances, symphonies around the country and worldwide, plus several albums and audio books.

Tickets for the performance at 616 St. Peter St. start at $25 for adults, $15 for students. Visit lepetittheatre.com

Inproduction

“THE LITTLE MERMAID”: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays through Sept. eleven; Slidell Little Theatre, 2024 Nellie Drive, Slidell. Disney’s version based on Hans Christian Andersen’s story about a young mermaid and her quest to see the land, with music by Oscar-winners Alan Menkin and Howard Ashman, including “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl” and “Les Poissons.” Tickets start at $22. Visit slidelllittletheatre.org.

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