One area of our community that I’ve gotten to know a lot more about in recent years is the world of theater.
Of course, Slidell Little Theater (SLT) was the original in the city, celebrating its 50th anniversary not long ago. Since then we have had a few other smaller theaters in the area that include the Cutting Edge Theater, a small production company founded by Wilbert Williams known as the Midge Carter Theater, and most recently, Café Luke that is headed by Rickie Luke who performs at several locations.
Cutting Edge Theater was founded 10 years ago by Brian Fontenot in what was a bold move by the longtime hair stylist who has operated Attractions Salon on Robert Boulevard for many years. It was a decade ago that he decided to do something many folks might have thought was crazy—turn the salon into a theater at night.
Yes, when the evening hours came along Brian and his cohorts moved things around and got very good at rapidly turning the salon into a small theater. From the beginning he produced a wide variety of plays that were similar to SLT in a few ways, but mostly a Cutting Edge variety that used the name of the theater to describe what they were doing.
This Friday and Saturday there will be a very special show that exemplifies the variety Cutting Edge has brought to Slidell. A tribute musical show to the great Stevie Nicks, former lead singer for Fleetwood Mac, will be performed by Nina Cain. Brian told me he has seen the show and it is a “not to be missed” production if you are a rock and roll music fan.
The show is just what Cutting Edge is all about—very different productions, most that are performed in-house with local actors, but also the occasional traveling theater show with and without music. He recently had a show that included music from the early 1900s.
I am glad I got to know Brian and what he is doing for Slidell through Cutting Edge. Clearly the public loves it since the theater sells out regularly in a very cool new theater they built in the property next door, formerly housing Carter’s Flooring and Appliances.
Now there is a “real” theater with stadium style seating, or as Brian likes to appropriately brag, “not a bad seat in the house.” I know he is telling the truth since my wife and I have attended a number of shows there.
As Brian and Fred Martinez from SLT recently told a Chamber luncheon group discussing the cultural arts in Slidell, local theater is something that many people have missed—not that they don’t enjoy it, but that they have never tried it.
My wife and I were in that boat quite a few years ago, but once we started going to a show here or there we realized what a different and fun experience it is. Tickets for the show this weekend are $22.50 or $30, then there is another typical “Cutting Edge” kind of show starting in October with the “Rocky Horror Side show Freak Under the Big Top.” Yes, that is the name.
To find out more about any of the upcoming productions, go online to cuttingedgetheater.com. You won’t regret it.
I have somehow made myself exercise for most of my adult life. I say it that way because I not only dislike exercising for a variety of reasons, but I don’t have a problem saying I actually hate it.
I did, however, realize long ago there are benefits in doing it. Although I am over 60 years of age, I continue doing it although have lessened the intensity by lifting light weights, playing basketball for flexibility, and then walking in the neighborhood for cardio.
As I walk the neighborhood, I have become fascinated with the level of commitment homeowners have with their yards. The more I look at the yards the more I’m stunned at how much people do to have a nice yard, and how much they spend.
I actually saw a man scrubbing down his driveway recently. Then there are the guys who paint the driveway. I see the most commitment to detail when it comes to small planters with the most beautiful flowers, and of course, bird feeders are a huge hit in most nicely kept yards.
What really gets me are the people who spend time, money and a lot of hard work to raise the height of their yard for the grass to grow by bringing in a load of dirt and spreading it around their entire yard! Yes, just spreading dirt over the grass so it will grow and raise the level of the yard. Don’t you have something better to spend your money on?
Some of you may be laughing at me for writing this since I must not know the GREAT benefit of that. I just see it as a lot of yard work that I don’t want to do.
The bottom line in all this is how much money people are spending to work on their yards. I continue to see more-and-more money spent, knowing that many of the plants and flowers eventually die. I do appreciate the beauty of it, but if you wonder why Americans aren’t saving the way we should, I think I know where the money is going.
Kevin Chiri can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.