My Turn

In 'Treme' Town, Get 'Well-Suited' Fast

3/29/2013 12:02 PM

While HBO fans were excited about returning to Westeros via Sunday night’s season-three premiere of Game of Thrones, it was the premium channel’s dramatic series Treme in the spotlight in New Orleans last week.

Mardi Gras Indian Suits at the Ogden Museum of Southern ArtAs a prelude to the show’s concluding, abbreviated, five-hour, fourth season sometime this fall, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art is hosting an exhibition called “Well-Suited: The Costumes of Alonzo Wilson for HBO’s Treme.” The remarkable, life-sized Mardi Gras Indian Suits that played such an important role in season one of the series, set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and in season three, too, make an even greater impact when seen in person.

Sewn-in details on the suits, including hurricane symbols and the familiar spray-painted “X” marks that search-and-rescue crews made on houses in the city after the storm, add an emotional kick to the two automatic responses: How did even a crew of six people make these in less than a year? And Clarke Peters (who plays Big Chief Albert Lambreaux on the show) must be awfully strong and have been awfully hot wearing these.

The exhibition closed at the Ogden on Sunday (March 31) but, according to the Ogden, it is moving soon to the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, N.C., where it will be on view May 18-Aug. 25.

By the way, there are lots of other great things to see at the Ogden beyond the Treme exhibition. Particularly poignant is "Deborah Luster -- Tooth For an Eye: A Chorography of Violence In Orleans Parish." These black-and-white photographs chronicle the sites where homicides have occurred. The victims are gone; the places remain.

P.S. If you can't make it to New Orleans for the upcoming (April 26-May 5) Jazz & Heritage Festival, Mark Cuban's AXS TV plans live nightly telecasts, scheduling details to come in the next few weeks. This from the AXS TV release:

"The network will broadcast live throughout the 7-day festival from April 26 thru May 5, 2013 including live segments in its nightly program AXSLive and with continuous LIVE festival, concert and event coverage from Friday, May 3 through Sunday, May 5, 2013. The ongoing, shared commitment to place music, artists and fans together solidified a first of its kind partnership for both AXS TV and New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Strengthening its position as the premier destination for 100% live music, news and trends, daily coverage from the festival culminating in the 3-day live broadcast of Jazz Fest is a programming commitment not previously made by the network. For Jazz Fest, the AXS TV live television partnership signifies a commitment to bring their dedicated fans and music fans nationwide the highest quality LIVE broadcast available."

(Photo from "Well-Suited" courtesy the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.)

September