Tennessee Williams passed away today in 1983. We've got several ways to remember and pay tribute to him.
March 26 would have been Tennessee Williams' 100th birthday, so there's lots of activity involving the playwright this week. Troy Gilbert and Chef Greg Picolo with Dr. Kenneth Holditch published their new book, "Dinner With Tennessee Williams," just in time, and we've got a review plus three books to give away. Part food memoir and part cookbook, the book includes more than 80 recipes, many inspired by Williams' life in New Orleans. The perfect cookbook for literary lovers and foodies, "Dinner With Tennessee Williams" is also a perfect way to celebrate his birthday this month. For the chance to win a copy, read our review, then comment on this post and tell us what you'd make Tennessee Williams if he came over for dinner. Giveaway closes at midnight on his birthday. Each year surrounding Williams' birthday, the city of New Orleans holds the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. This year, the festival has gone all out to celebrate what is also its 25th anniversary, presenting a literary panel with the founders of the festival, world premiere of three never-before produced one-act plays by Williams, a Saturday night birthday toast and a special tasting and symposium for "Dinner With Tennessee Williams" at
by Erin Z. Bass New Orleans Tennessee Williams Festival Named A Top Literary Festival in North America. Only a few days after the close of New Orleans' 24th annual Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, which drew close to 10,000 people to New Orleans at the end of March and broke an attendance record, the event was named one of the "Top Literary Festivals in North America." The blog RatesToGo.com listed the festival in the company of San Francisco's Litquake, the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books and the PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature in New York City, saying, "The Big Easy has a prominent literary and cultural landscape, which the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival celebrates in style every year." Next year would have been the 100th birthday of playwright Tennessee Williams, so the festival is going all out to celebrate, but this year was no less exciting, from the quality of writers presented to the volume of shouting in the closing Stanley & Stella Shouting Contest. Below are a few of our favorite moments from this year, and a full retrospective of highlights since the first festival in 1987 can be found on the festival website. Hearing Dave Eggers speak in a
by Erin Z. Bass Featuring as many as 75 musicians, HBO's new show from the creators of "The Wire," called "Treme" after the New Orleans neighborhood, premieres April 11 at 9 p.m. But making the building excitement of the premiere bittersweet is the death of Emmy Award-winning TV writer David Mills, who passed away March 30 in New Orleans. Mills was producing "Treme" along with David Simon and was present a few days before he died at the Tennessee Williams Festival's "The Making of Treme" panel. Mills sat second from the left inside the Royal Sonesta's Grand Ballroom, with writer Tom Piazza on his left and David Simon, Co-Creator Eric Overmyer and writer and journalist Lolis Eric Elie to his right. As described in the festival program, the "Treme" panel will educate the audience about "the challenges this great city presents to the writers and actors on the show, and how it inspires and engages the stories narrated within." Without giving too much away, the producers and writers did discuss the central plot, a mystery conceived by Elie, who was born in New Orleans and wrote the award-winning documentary "Faubourg Treme: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans." "Treme" begins three months after
Photograph of Tennessee Williams, 1956, Courtesy of Estate of Yousuf Karsh. http://www.karsh.org A Streetcar Named Desire Act 1 Scene 1 Curtain rises in darkness. Music of a small jazz band is heard off. Lights come up slowly, revealing the two rooms of the KOWALSKI apartment in the French Quarter of New Orleans. In the bedroom at L., STELLA KOWALSKI lounges in a rickety armchair, fanning herself with a palm-leaf fan, and eating chocolates from a paper bag. She is reading a movie magazine. So begins the now-infamous 1947 Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Tennessee Williams. As noted, the setting is the New Orleans French Quarter, and the city pays tribute to its deceased resident playwright each year with the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival. Starting on Wednesday, Tennessee's life and work will be felt all over the quarter, from a screening of the movie version of "A Streetcar Named Desire" atop the Chateau Bourbon Hotel to theater productions, writers' panels and even a Stanley and Stella shouting contest. No Tennessee Williams event would be complete without a little Stellaaaaaaaa! Participants in the 2009 Stanley and Stella Shouting Contest. Photo by Earl Perry While the festival is bringing in a who's who of the literary scene for panel discussions and