by Brad Benedict
BATON ROUGE, LOUISIANA
Under the Influence of TTT
Well, it happened. I went to New Orleans to check on my buddy Jamie at the Phoenix and do some pictures of the leather party in the patio. When I first arrived, I ran into the one and only TTT of Red Stick fame and his companion of the evening, a certain bookman from the capital city, and they joined me for a fun-filled day and night. It seems they had come down early in the day to do some shopping and had even stopped by for a visit with my boss Marsha at Ambush headquarters.
I ran into them on St. Philip, and they twisted my arm and insisted that I enjoy the day with them. It all actually started out with the bars, the first stop being for some separators at Goodfriends. Now I'm really glad I did this because I ran into a beauty named Frank, who's just started at Goodfriends a couple of weeks ago, and I got to talk with him for a brief period of time. Damon assured me that he was almost the spittin' image of that wonderful Raymond he met while in Key West in July. In fact, the bookman apparently fell in love (or lust) again. You be the judge. He talked about this beauty throughout the evening.
This couple of fun guys from BR then dragged me over to Second Skin and MRB, where I had to force myself to check out all those leather goodies and then have another drink. After all, the company at both places was great, and I was glad that I accompanied them. One of the nice men at MRB was Patrick, of The Secret Garden, just down the street toward Chartres, where the old Sebastian's used to be. Also on hand for this little chit-chat session was bartender Dan and Greg, a staff person from Second Skin. I learned that my outrageously handsome Eddie was no longer at MRB but had moved on to greater things at Wolfendale's.
With that knowledge, it was off to Rampart and Wolfendale's. It's not too often that I get over to Rampart, but with my Eddie there, you can rest assured that there will be more column goodies coming out of this section of the Quarter. In fact, I didn't even recognize this gorgeous hunk of humanity. I asked bartender Michael where he was and was astounded to know I had just passed him. The hair color changed, and it made a new man of my Eddie. In fact, it made him even more macho as I got to witness his helping of a lady in distress. He was just fabulous in his efforts to install that license plate.
After this little excursion, the three of us Red Stickers, now completely relaxed with our drinks, decided to do the Marigny. After the fabulous bar run to Baton Rouge, we had promised Jerce Ann that we would pay her establishments a visit. As you recall, this bus load of happy people graced The Parrot, George's, Bogart's, The Time Zone, and the Hide-A-Way and had a blast doing them all.
We started out at the Friendly Bar, where Tony made us feel so much at home. There was a lively crowd here in what we found to be a wonderful setting for another drink or two. Not wanting to slight the people at Big Daddy's, we went over there too, where we enjoyed Brian, Harold, and all those wonderful and happy people.
At this time, I didn't know about TTT and the bookman's plans, but I had to get on to the Phoenix and do the leather thing. I left them at big Daddy's and told them to follow if they were able, or at least get a room for the night if they needed to rest and recover. At any rate, I made my way to Jamie's fabulous Phoenix. The party was going strong with Jamie and the Lords of Leather playing host to a beer bust in honor of the newly crowned Mr. Louisiana Leather, Scott Garrett. Also on hand were two ex-Mr. Louisiana Leathers, Drake Higginbotham and Melvin Knight. I always find George, Neil, Ernie, Danny, that dandy cutie Tom, and all the Lords of Leatherites to be so gracious and nice. It's always a pleasure to be with them. In fact, these guys make togetherness worthwhile with a kind of camaraderie that you usually don't find in any group such as this, but I've come to realize that when it comes to acceptance of individuals in all walks of life, they seem to have a complete understanding of what it means to be kind and caring human beings.
Well, since it was late, I told my friends I had to check out Bryan upstairs in the Eagle before leaving for the capital city. I did just this and made my way past Eric and Bruce (Chiquita Banana) in the downstairs bar and bid that gorgeous doorman David good night. It was the end of a perfect day.
And the Carpenters Came
I was invited to watch the progress on that famous greenhouse project, and I have to report to you that I was amazed at the talents of Steve, Troy, Brock and Michael. These guys really had it all together, with the exception of Brock who did more watching than working. However, when it comes to watching, this is one youngster who is easy to look upon.
After work for the day was completed, it was off to El Rio Grande for 2-for-1 margueritas and some of that great Mexican cuisine served up by a family that knows how to cook. From here it was off to the Hide-A-Way, where a most unusual pool game took place. I just can't put it into words, but Brock ended up on the table. I never knew that was how you played the game.
Things were festive here with all the regulars and lots of new faces in the crowd. Minette was away, either at work or with the pool girls, who were playing at another bar in the league. Jonathan was mixing the drinks, and this charmer was keeping everyone happy. Marie's Bubba stayed home, and I did miss seeing this sweetheart. Lots of things are happening at the Hide-A-Way. Be sure to check out their schedule, and go out and have yourself a great time.
Bar Hopping in Red Stick
I made it to all the bars in our capital city several times. I have to write down notes or I have a tendency to forget. I know I made it to The Parrot again because Greg told me that I did. He said it was the happiest he had ever seen me. Was that the night of the patio incident, darling? I must remember to ask Don and Tom. I seem to recall that they had something to do with this.
George's was a happening place that same night, I think. All I remember is my contact with Nick. I won't tell you exactly how this contact was made, but it was a definite surprise and a very good one too. On another night, I joined TTT and leatherman Kevin for a nice drinking session. Keith kept it flowing for us, and we left quite happy. On still another time, I recall Bert's Kevin was behind the bar, and I think Guy was back there too, or was that the night of the boxer shorts contest? Goodness, all this fun is getting to me.
Bogart's is expecting a visit from Key West bar baron Donnie. Uncle Jim was up for a visit, and now the Donnie man will make an appearance. Wouldn't it be nice if he brought a young man named Raymond with him? That would make someone here very happy.
James cooked up some great food at last week's special OctoberFeast celebration at the Time Zone. Yes, that's OctoberFeast. The place was packed, and the food and drink was plentiful. It was almost as good as that Thanksgiving feast from last year. He and Kyle are the big antique barons of Government Street. I checked out Martin's Antiques and found some nice items here. The very first thing I spotted was a punch bowl set fit for a king - or a queen.
The Lambda Group celebrated their OctoberFest last week in Port Allen. It was quite successful and is a credit to the hard work that comes from this group of people. Their Community Center is located on Florida.
The staff at Christina's surprised Damon with a big birthday breakfast last week. It was another 39 for him, and he's still counting. Evolution's dj Karen also had a big bash for her birthday over at George's. Kyle at Hibiscus had one too that I forgot to mention. Antique dealer William hit the big 40. Charlie had a hospital bout, but bounded back and is at home working on his novels. Joe and Les opened their own flower business. Apollo held their final regular meeting of the year, so that means ball time is nearing. Rob is still collecting those hibiscus at the Louisiana Nursery outlets. Big Dick's printing business is booming over on St. Charles. Sam and Damon took in the rose show. Obry is all smiles lately. Bruce made a trip to San Francisco and returned all smiles. Roger has scheduled a London trip. Andrew and Cole were over from Lafayette for a visit. Kevin and a cohort will try to do the Gay rodeo in San Antonio, and who knows? Maybe there will be a few hot tails there.
And everyone here is gearing up for big Halloween celebrations. Check out all the ads in this issue of Ambush to see what's going on. I'll update you on this holiday's activities in the next issue as well as tell you some other goodies that should whet your appetite for more. Cheers!
Scheduled For Black Box
The Performance Studies Division of the Department of Speech Communication at Louisiana State University announces the debut of Kentucky Triangle, adapted from Edgar Allan Poe's "Politian." It is directed by Darren C. Goins, a doctoral student in Performance Studies at LSU. He explained his motivation in bringing Kentucky Triangle to the stage.
"In choosing this project, I wanted to focus on the work of a Southern writer," he explained. "Many take for granted that Edgar Allan Poe is from the South, so many adaptations of Poe's poetry and prose already exist. In surveying his corpus of work, I discovered "Politian: An Unfinished Tragedy."
Poe's verse drama is set in ancient Rome. In eleven scenes, he begins to tell the story of a love triangle, which ended in murder. Like many Poe stories, the play is about love, rejection, revenge, and eventual murder. However, Poe's script raises many questions.
"Due to the nature of drama, there are few devices to let the audience in on the character's motivations," Goins continues. "As a result, Poe's play made me hungry to find out the answers. Why? In finding his source texts, I started to answer these questions."
In writing his play, Poe referred to newspaper accounts, court transcripts and the murderer's confession. "Politian" is based on the murder of the Attorney General of Kentucky in 1825.
"Colonel Solomon Sharp courted Miss Anne Cooke, but before they were wed he broke off their relationship. Cooke, humiliated and pregnant, retired to a solitary life. Their love child died. Years later, Sharp married Jereboam O. Beauchamp and plotted with her new husband to commit the murder," Goins explains. "Reading these nonfiction documents placed the story in a whole new light."
Kentucky Triangle attempts to answer the questions that Poe's play poses. Goins thinks this should be a new and exciting evening of performance for audiences. Poe's drama and scenes adapted from the nonfiction texts are intertexualized on stage. Unlike most plays, which tell a story from start to finish, Kentucky Triangle stops along the way and shows the audience a scene based on the nonfiction text. The resulting performance allows the audience to consider Poe's choices and compare his version of the story to the factual accounts.
Through the use of Robert Breen's Chamber Theatre method, the audience will also get to hear the internal thoughts of the characters performed by another actor. In doing so, Breen offers a process for staging prose without eliminating the internal thoughts and reflections found in the narration.
Performances are at 7:30pm in the Performance Studies Black Box Performance Lab, Room 137, Coates Hall, Wed. through Sat., Nov. 4-7. A $5.00 donation to the Performance Studies Black Box Performance Lab Foundation will be accepted at the door.
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