The drastic increase in highly visible crime in Tigerland this year has residents anxious, but the Baton Rouge Police Department plans to increase its presence in the area.
“We can see spikes in crime in certain areas and respond to them,” said BRPD Cpl. L’Jean McKneely Friday, saying that this allows the police to concentrate their forces in those areas.
Within the past year, the rate of violent crime in Tigerland has grown at an alarming and unprecedented pace. In March, Gunner Williamson, a Tigerland resident, was discovered in a Bob Pettit Boulevard ditch, unconscious; the Baton Rouge Coroner’s Office later ruled his death a homicide due to cranial blunt force trauma.
To celebrate the state’s bicentennial, LSU’s Swine Palace is producing three plays that revolve around historic moments, people, and places in Louisiana. Proving that true art is controversial, all three have had mixed reactions from theatrical critics, although the Swine Palace performances are sure to be delightful. Paul Russell is set to direct a September run of a comedy that has been called “sluggish” as often as it has “ambitious”; Benjamin Koucherik and Swine Palace Artistic Director George Judy share directing credit for a New Orleans native’s play that has been praised for its mood and tone while being denigrated for being less a play than a series of vignettes; and, finally, Judy will direct a Louisiana perennial that forces the audience to confront its beliefs about the state’s most famed political folk hero.
In a move that would have made “Share the Wealth” proponent Huey P. Long proud, the LSU Board of Regents voted this past Friday to formalize the flow of money between the Tiger Athletic Fund and other branches of the university.
Within the past several years, the university has experienced a downward slide, as budget cuts have forced several departments to close, prevented maintenance from being performed, and the loss of 140 members of the faculty during the 2009-2010 academic year, with others slowly trickling out in disgust or disgrace.
With a little luck, the decision made by the board on September 7 will stop—and potentially reverse—LSU’s slow fiscal erosion.
Too late for yours truly, LSU has finally gotten around to offering Film and Media Arts as a major. This semester’s end will see the first generation of those graduates who chose FMA as a concentration, and while the rest of us with liberal arts degrees have had some trouble finding lucrative employment, this batch of alumni is heading out into “the real world” with high hopes and a better chance.
The LSU Faculty Club has undergone a minor facelift over the summer, and this semester premieres The Club at LSU Union Square, with a new menu to accompany its new name and atmosphere, sous chef Cody Grosshart is looking forward to a semester’s worth of work.
“They’ve definitely tried to make it a much more comfortable space,” Grosshart says of the restaurant’s minimalistic new feel, “They re-did the bar area for people waiting.”
Grosshart’s influences as a chef have been both various and numerous, and it shows in the menu that he helped compose for the new school year.
This past Sunday’s “Reinventing Radio: An Evening with Ira Glass” was only the tip of the metaphorical iceberg of the 2012-2013 season at the LSU Union Theater, a season filled with jazz, ballet, comedy, satire, and a real, historical iceberg, across three different series comprised of fifteen different performances.
In late September, the LSU Union Theater starts its “Comedy Tonight” series, hosting stand-up comedienne Anjelah Johnson, who will be immediately recognizable to those sadists who followed Mad TV into its final season, where Johnson’s notable characters included a Vietnamese nail salon attendant and a rude fast food worker named Bon Qui Qui. Johnson’s currently on tour, and the next week sees her performing in mostly arid areas, with four shows in two days in Phoenix before she makes her way through New Mexico and makes two appearances in North Carolina before her Baton Rouge show.
Any modern production of a Shakespeare work is necessarily a work fraught with concessions.
The Swine Palace’s production of The Taming of the Shrew, running until July 1 with nightly productions at 7:30 PM and matinees at 2 PM June 30 and July 1, has a running time of 70(ish) minutes with no intermission and is therefore somewhat truncated from the Bard’s 1590(ish) full work to make concessions for time. Gone is the open-ended framing device centered around the character of Sly, whose brief opening scene sets the tone for the rest of the comedy by introducing sowing the seeds of disguise and deceit to be paid off in the play proper.
Louisiana summers are, let’s be honest, miserable. Humidity, high temperatures, and a climate that has no middle ground between drought and flash-flood thunderstorms all make for an all-around terrible season. So, when one reads that Shakespeare writes to his ambiguously gendered object of affection that he or she is “more lovely” and “more temperate” than a summer’s day, the Louisiana reader usually responds “they’d have to be.”
Shakespeare himself will be the focal point of the Swine Palace’s summer series this year, so if you feel the need for cultural growth this summer, or your air conditioner goes kaput and you need a cool place to enjoy some entertainment this summer, LSU has you covered, holding the Swine Palace’s inaugural Summer Festival featuring three productions, all to be held in the LSU Studio Theatre in the Music and Dramatic Arts Building.