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Volume 15/Issue 23

Schwegmann Wins District 98 House Seat
With LAGPAC Endorsement

Former Louisiana Lieutenant Governor Melinda Schwegmann, who finished a disappointing sixth in a crowded gubernatorial race in 1995, revived her political career by winning a special election for a vacant seat in the Louisiana House of Representatives. Mrs. Schwegmann, a Democrat, was endorsed by LAGPAC in her run-off against Republican George Simno.

Simno finished first in the 10-candidate primary with 18 percent of the vote. Schwegmann came in second with 16 percent. While Simno was able to double his vote total to 37 percent in the run-off, Schwegmann picked up many powerful endorsements and received 63 percent in the run-off. The final vote total was Schwegmann, 4,479; Simno, 2,599, with a very high 30 percent turn-out in the special election.

From the results of her interviews with LAGPAC teams, many observers expect Schwegmann will be good on our issues as she fills the remaining two years in the term. The vacancy was created earlier this year when Governor Mike Foster appointed then Rep. Garey Forster to the post of Secretary of Labor. The seat will come up for a full four-year term in the 1999 statewide elections.

Fifth Annual Red Party

On Sat., Nov. 15, at 10pm, Cafe Lafitte hosts the fifth annual Red Party to benefit Food For Friends and Belle Reve. This has always been one of the most popular events in the Quarter and this year promises to live up to its reputation. The venerable watering hole, located on the corner of Dumaine and Dumaine, will also be presenting its second annual "Turnabout." The entire staff will be performing on stage. Who knows what these zany gals have up their poofed sleeves? Whatever, it promises to be a night full of fun and surprises. Rip and Marsha of Ambush will be the Master and Mistress of Ceremonies. Lafitte's will also be raffling off some wonderful prizes that have been generously donated by local businesses. Tickets are now on sale. Be sure to get yours early to insure a good seat.

Author Appearance At FM Bookstore

Tom Horner, the founder of Faubourg Marigny Bookstore, will sign New Orleans: An Artist's Sketchbook, Original Pen & Ink Drawings by Stephen Lindsley, Text by Tom Horner (from Tryon Publishing, $18.00), at the bookstore located at the corner of Frenchmen and Chartres on Sunday, Nov. 23 from 3pm to 5pm.

The book consists of fifty sketches by New Orleans resident Stephen Lindsley with text by Tom Horner. They cover the historical and social spectrum of the city. Included are LaSalle Claiming Louisiana, Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop, Temple Sinai, the French Market, the Aquarium, Marie Laveau's grave, and Ruthie, the Duck Lady.

In addition to founding the Faubourg Marigny Bookstore, Tom Horner is a retired Episcopal priest and author of several books including the classic JONATHAN LOVED DAVID: Homosexuality in Biblical Times. Stephen Lindsley is a professional artist and resides in New Orleans. Tryon Press is located in Chapel Hill, NC and is the publisher of sketch books on Charleston, Cape Cod and Atlanta, as well as fiction and poetry.

The Mirror Cracked -
"A Fall From Grace"

The Mirror Lounge, "Capital City's Premier Show Bar," announced on Oct. 28 its decision to end its contractual agreement with the recently crowned, and current reigning Miss Mirror 1998, Miss Alexis Vanderhurst a.k.a. Mr. Carustso (Russell) Graves.

Miss Rose Royce, President and CEO of ESOR Entertainment Group, Inc., and official spokesperson for The Mirror Lounge had the following comment on the unexpected announcement: "In compliance with directives given to the Mirror by its legal counsel, I'm unable to give any details on the specifics which led to [this] unprecedented decision. I can say, however, that [this] action comes as a direct result of what The Mirror Lounge is calling unfortunate, irrevocable, and irreconcilable differences between it [The Mirror] and Miss Vanderhurst."

In addition to her own comments, spokesperson Royce had the following prepared statement issued by Mirror co-owner Mr. Danny Harris a.k.a. Miss D. D. DeMarco: "With all due respect to Miss Vanderhurst, unfortunate as today's action is, as co-owner it is my responsibility to ensure and maintain the integrity, reputation, and credibility of The Mirror at its highest possible level. The Mirror has an excellent and long-standing relationship with all of the major pageant systems in the state, and with the continued support of the gay and lesbian community, I envision it becoming a nationally recognized premier show bar. It's in the spirit of this vision that it become of paramount importance that Miss Mirror (whomever that happens to be) conduct herself with the dignity, respect, and professionalism indicative of a professional pageant title holder. Although disappointed and deeply troubled by today's developments, I welcome this opportunity to publicly express my sincere best wishes to Miss Vanderhurst as she continues her reign as the current Miss Capital City - America and in all of her future endeavors. She remains a beautiful, gifted, and talented performer who, with her awesome stage presence, takes total command of her audiences."

The Miss Mirror Pageant has been plagued with controversy this year. It started when "Miss Syrice Synclaire," the 1st runner-up, was disqualified shortly after the crowning ceremonies, when pageant officials discovered that she didn't meet the minimum age requirement of 21 as set forth in the Official Miss Mirror Pageant Regulations. This was followed by the surprise announcement of the involuntary resignation of Miss Vanderhurst.

ESOR Entertainment Group, Inc. has been contracted to produce A Special Announcement Ceremony and Show at The Mirror, in honor the newest Miss Mirror 98 "Miss Shakeir DeBlack," and the new 1st runner-up "Miss Krystal Kane." A tentative date has been set for Wed., Nov. 19, 1997.

"Going For Baroque":
NOMA's First Annual 5K Road Race

Don't let the fun pass you by Nov. 16 when the New Orleans Museum of Art hosts Going for Baroque, its first ever road race. The 1 mile and 5K run and walk through beautiful City Park is sponsored by RTL Corporation and presented in conjunction with the New Orleans Track Club.

Race day festivities begin in front of NOMA with a Jazzercise warmup at 8:15am. The 1-mile run and walk begins at 8:30. The 5K run begins at 9, with walkers following at 9:01. The race's start and finish lines are in front of the Museum.

Making this event unique will be free admittance to NOMA for all runners. In addition to seeing NOMA's outstanding permanent collection, runners will have the first public viewing of the 350-piece, multi-million dollar exhibition, The Genius of Meissen: Porcelain Figures from the H. Lloyd Hawkins, Jr. Collection. The collection is a promised gift to the Museum. Also opening at NOMA are the exhibitions Grotesqueries: Form, Fantasy and Function in 19th Century European Ceramics, The Collection of Brooke Hayward Duchin; Bright, Bold and Shining: Copper Lustres from the Donald A. Meyer Collection; and Dunbar: Mining the Surfaces.

And what's a race without a party? Going for Baroque will be followed by a brunch including Semolina's Sugar Buster Pasta, seafood jambalaya from Patout's Cajun Cabin, duck and andouille gumbo from Charley G's, and freshly baked breakfast Danish and fresh fruit from the Hyatt Regency, and beverages from Coca-Cola, Kentwood, Smoothie King and Coors Light. The post-race brunch will be accompanied by the jazzy sounds of The Bad Oyster Band.

The race will include artistic touches special to a NOMA-organized event. The long-sleeved high-quality commemorative T-shirts feature colorful decoration by Philip Collier Designs. Special art-inspired medals will be given to runners in categories including Pop Arts (12 and under), Impressionists (13-18), Contemporary Artists (18 to 30), Modernists (30 to 45) Realists (45 to 55) and Grand Masters (55 and over). There are special categories for NOMA members and group teams. In addition, a winner will be drawn from all race entrants for a French Quarter weekend for two at the Westin Canal Place and dinner for two at Bayona.

Proceeds from the race, which NOMA plans as an annual event, will benefit the educational and exhibition programs of the New Orleans Museum of Art. Founded in 1911, NOMA is Louisiana's oldest and largest fine arts institution. The permanent collection now contains nearly 40,000 objects valued in excess of $200 million. International traveling exhibitions presented by NOMA in the past include Faberge in America (1996-97), Monet: Late Paintings of Giverny from the Musee Marmottan (1995), The Precious Legacy (1985), The Search for Alexander (1982), and Treasures of Tutankhamun (1977-78).

Painters to the Shoguns
Featured in NOMA Exhibition

The Kano school, a stylistic lineage of professional painters who flourished under the patronage of the military rulers of Japan, is the subject of a new exhibition at the New Orleans Museum of Art. In the Service of the Shogun: Japanese Painting from the Kano School is open through December 31 in NOMA's Asian Galleries and features 20 paintings, including screens, scrolls and small albums, drawn from the Museum's permanent collection and generous loans from the Gitter-Yelen Foundation.

The Kano school dominated the history of official Japanese painting from the 16th through the 19th centuries. Initially brought to prominence by Kano Masanobu (1434-1530) during the Edo period, the school grew into an extended organization with close ties to the shogunate, or military leadership of Japan. Kano painters were commissioned to decorate the shoguns' castles and residents, and were rewarded with donations of land. As the pre-eminent painters of their time, the Kano school members also counted wealthy merchants, samnauri and Buddhist temples among their clientele.

The thematic range of Kano paintings includes landscapes, birds-and-flowers, figure subjects and Chinese themes. Many early Kano artists painted subjects associated with Zen Buddhism, but more secular themes soon predominated. Included in the exhibition is one of the oldest paintings in NOMA's collection, the screen Birds and Marshy Stream, painted by artists in the workshop of Kano Motonbu (1476-1559). Another rarity included in the exhibition is a work from NOMA's collection by a female member of the Kano school. Kiyohara Yukinobu (1643 -82), was related to one of the greatest Kano artists and married one of his students. She is especially noted for her paintings of women, such as the painting of the famous Japanese author Muraski Shikibu included in the exhibition.

While much of Kano painting falls within the monochrome ink painting tradition, many paintings feature bright colors - particularly gold and silver. The use of these precious metals is apparent in many works in the exhibition, especially the large folding screens.

The paintings featured in In the Service of the Shogun chronicle significant changes during the history of the Kano school, notes Lisa Rotondo-McCord, NOMA's Associate Curator of Asian Art. The bold compositions and strong brushwork that characterize Kano painting were modified as new styles, techniques and trends required. "This exhibition, while by no means exhaustive, provides a glimpse into both the continuity and change of one of the most important stylistic lineages in Japanese art history," Rotondo-McCord said.

NY Opera Tour To Benefit
Young Gay Singers

Pro Musica Tours is pleased to announce an extraordinary Opera Tour in New York City exclusively for gay men called "Divas," Jan. 16 - 22, 1998. Pro Musica organizes Opera Tours of exceptional quality and value while simultaneously financially assisting young opera singers during their training. Pro Musica Tours are led by experienced travel professionals and young singers living, studying, and working in new York. These artists are hired by Pro Musica to guide the group and share their unique inside perspectives and experiences. This combination of tour leadership allows tour members to experience facets of New York that other commercial tour operators can not provide. In addition, tour members have the satisfaction of knowing that while getting an extraordinary tour at a great price, their travel with Pro Musica on this tour financially assists young gay artists.

"Divas" is a six night, seven day expert guided tour for gay men that will feature the greatest divas (and a few Divos) in the opera world in six incredible performances: 1) The Marilyn Horne Foundation Recital at Carnegie Hall: a Gala benefit concert featuring Marilyn Horne, Deborah Voigt, Dolora Zajick, Benita Valente, David Daniels, Frank Lopardo, and Samuel Ramey plus the winner of the 1997 Cardiff Singer of the World Competition. Dame Joan Sutherland will make a guest appearance at the Gala; 2) Il Trovatore (Verdi) at the Metropolitan Opera with June Anderson, Dolora Zajick, Richard Margison, and Juan Pons; 3) L'Elisir d'Amore (Donizetti) at the Metropolitan Opera with Ruth Ann Swenson and Luciano Pavarotti; 4) Capriccio (R. Strauss) at the Metropolitan Opera with Kiri Te Kanawa; 5) Die agyptische Helena (R. Strauss) Opera in Concert/Great Performers at Lincoln Center featuring Deborah Voigt and Paul Frey; and, 6) The New York Philharmonic and Kathleen Battle in a mixed program of works by Mozart, Bernstein, Corigliano, and John Williams.

Day tours during the week feature Backstage at the Metropolitan Opera; a Gay History Tour of Greenwich Village, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The cost of this tour is $1349. per person based on double occupancy. Accommodations for the group are provided at the Mayflower Hotel, conveniently located on Central Park West, two blocks from Lincoln Center. Independent Travel to New York may be arranged individually or with the assistance of Pro Musica.

Spaces on this tour are extremely limited. Reservations are being taken immediately on a first come first served basis. If you have any questions about Pro Musica Tours, or would like further information on this special tour for gay men, please call Larry Edelson, Director at 800.916.0312.

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