TV show “The French Quarter,” adapted from book by “Gangs of New York” author, gets green light: Deadline Hollywood

French Quarter.pngApproval has been given for a TV series version of Herbert Asbury’s book, “The French Quarter: An Informal History of the New Orleans Underworld,” according to Deadline Hollywood.

Asbury’s well known for his “Gangs of New York” that inspired Martin Scorsese’s Academy Award-winning 2002 movie. That book was published in 1927; “French Quarter” came out in 1938 but has been re-released in recent years.

According to the Deadline Hollywood article, two different Louisiana-based production companies (Vermillion Entertainment and Rubicon Entertainment) will oversee the show, with cast and crew still to be determined:

Being from New Orleans, we were naturally drawn to the material that showcases an incredible time in history spanning pirates and riverboat gambling to voodoo and politics,” Vermilion president Todd Thompson was quoted as saying. “We are excited to further our great relationship with Rubicon.”

[Read more: The New Yorker on the forgotten crime novels of Herbert Asbury]

Vermilion got in the news recently for announcing a planned anthology series based on Alfred Hitchcock’s works, while Rubicon plans an adaptation of Stephen King’s “Drunken Fireworks.”

Should be fun. Stay tuned.

(Hopefully it will be better than “French Quarter Undercover”)

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45th annual Southern Decadence grand marshal walking parade in photos

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Had a blast attending and shooting the grand marshal walking parade for the 45th annual Southern Decadence festival that originated at the Golden Lantern and wound up at the intersection of Bourbon and St. Ann streets.

I previewed the weekend for the New Orleans Advocate, and there are still some parties left to consider as the festivities conclude Sunday night and Monday morning (as noted here).

You can find some other quick snaps from the festival I shot on my phone, over on my Instagram account.

Lucky Pierre’s, Bourbon Street nightclub for drag and burlesque, to close

Lucky Pierre’s, which over the past year tried to blend drag shows with a variety of burlesque-themed shows, will close, an employee at the club confirmed Thursday (Dec. 3) night.

“It’s really true. We found out last night,” said Yarinez Mercado, who performed under the drag name Yari Dumar. (She commented on a story I did on the transgender community’s response to the Caitlin Jenner news.)

The nightclub seemed to have a rocky time while trying to blend drag and burlesque shows during its brief time on the Bourbon Street strip. Hawkers outside the club constantly encouraged locals and tourists to come inside and witness a shows such as “The Real Drag Queens of New Orleans” in the main bar and “Drag Cabaret” in the patio bar inside a courtyard.

The burlesque programming was a little rockier. Popular burlesque performer Bella Blue established her “Blue Book Cabaret” show at the club for several months before one of the performers in her lineup, Ruby Rage, was forced out by management in February in which she said was because of her weight. Following a public-relations nightmare that played out on the club’s Facebook page (with messages defending the move being posted and pulled as commenters erupted in anger), Bella Blue ended her relationship with the club and eventually moved the show down the street to Bourbon Pub and Parade. On Thursday, Bella Blue expressed disappointment about the club’s closing.

“I’m very sorry to hear that Lucky Pierre’s is closing. It’s bittersweet. There are a lot of good people who continued to work there after The Blue Book was pulled and no one deserves to lose their income; no matter what the reasons,” Blue wrote. “I don’t know why it’s closing. It doesn’t matter at this point. It was fun while it lasted. We had some of our best shows there and made so many wonderful friends in the process. What happened earlier this year was truly one of the most difficult things I personally had experienced and it affected a lot of people. But now there are a lot of talented drag queens who need spots in shows. So, let’s support them and hire them as they figure out what’s next.”

Dante the Magician began presenting “The Flim Flam Variety Hour” as well as “Dante’s Dirty Tricks,” at the club earlier in 2015, entertaining customers with a mix of magic, human tricks and boylesque performances featuring, among others, Donny V.

I’ve reached out to management for comment and hope to hear back soon. Come back here for more details.