POSTED Mon. Dec 9, 2013
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN

John Waters – filmmaker, auteur and possessor of the creepiest mustache this side of the sophomore section of a high school yearbook – is undoubtedly of Baltimore. Baltimore is the man’s spiritual home., and physical setting of some of his greatest work, from family friendly Hairspray to Pink Flamingos (I can provide no external links to Pink Flamingos, and if you’ve seen that movie, you’ll know why). It matches his distinctly American aesthetic. It gives him inspiration. There’s a café essentially built in his honor (OK, Café Hon was ostensibly built in honor of Baltimore’s white working class, but the public persona of that culture is essentially a Waters creation. And the place is fronted by a giant pink flamingo, which Waters has basically trademarked, so deal).

But for all that Baltimore-iness, when Waters performs his one man show, A John Waters Christmas, at the Civic Theatre tomorrow (Dec 10) at 8pm, he will be performing for, essentially, the home team.

How so? As a native of Maryland who has adopted New Orleans as a hometown, I feel safe saying the Baltimore-New Orleans connection is strong. Both cities possess an appreciation of the absurd, the corrupt and the tacky. Both towns sincerely love their lowbrow while appropriating and mass marketing that lowbrow; Vic and Nat’ly, with their rhinestones, beehives and flowered prints, would seamlessly blend into an event like Honfest. Indeed, at its core, there is not much separating Baltimore’s white working class Hampden hons from New Orleans’ Lakewood and Irish Channel yats. To take it further, posh Timonium and Lutherville, MD share a lot in common with Covington and Mandeville, while towns like Odenton are pretty analogous to Kenner. And don’t get us started on the fact that Maryland and Louisiana are the only two states with significant populations of black Catholics…

Blah blah. More to the point: John Waters is one weird dude, and New Orleans loves weird dudes, and weirdness, the holidays and Waters’ creepy mustache are all coming together into the Civic show tomorrow evening. You should go. I’ve listened to the album the show is ased off of, and it’s suitably dark and bizarre. At a time of year when the days are shortest, the nights are deep and foggy and we battle it all with strings of Loew’s lights, I like a little dark and bizarre (I like cheerful and hearth-y and heartwarming too, but were covering that later in the week). But tickets for the show here.


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    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.


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    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

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