Singer Joshua Ledet has been astounding audiences and viewers on the hit television series American Idol for the past few weeks, and we’re thrilled that he is still in the running! Ledet is a local of Westlake, Louisiana and a graduate of Westlake High School. Growing up he was influenced by the music of Michael Jackson, Whitney Houston, and more recently, by Fantasia Barrino. Having previously auditioned for American Idol, Ledet was thrilled to just make the first cut this year. But, his increasingly wonderful performances have kept him in the running following each of the eliminations. Currently, 19 year old Joshua is in the top 7 with a few weeks left in the competition. His soulful, classic Motown renditions have gained him specific attention and have us all hopeful that he’ll come out of Idol victorious. We’re also happy to see he’s brought some of that Hollywood South heritage with him on stage. Perhaps his most famous performance was the classic A Change is Gonna Come by Mississippi-born, Sam Cooke. Definitely check out the video of this amazing performance, and be sure to tune in and vote for this local star!
Our local celebrities are at it again! Giving back to the community they love, many of the area's most celebrated chefs are dedicating their time and talents to benefit St. Michael Special School here in New Orleans. Here are the details...
35th Annual Chefs’ Charity for Children
What: Some of New Orleans finest chefs present a cooking demonstration and luncheon to benefit St. Michael Special School in New Orleans, which serves developmentally disabled students of all ages in the New Orleans area.
When: Tuesday, April 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tickets are $65 and cover admission to the chefs’ demonstration, a sampling of all the dishes prepared by the chefs, and a cookbook featuring more than 35 of their recipes, including those prepared for the luncheon. Tickets can be ordered by calling 504.524.7285. They can also be purchased at the door. Visa and Mastercard accepted.
Emeril Lagasse -- Lasagna Bolognese
John Besh of Restaurant August -- Chicken and dumplings
Andrea Apuzzo of Andrea’s -- Crawfish ravioli
Frank Brigtsen of Brigtsen’s – Crawfish cornbread
Leah Chase of Dooky Chase – Tutti frutti pork
John Folse of Chef John Folse & Company – Mirliton and spinach-stuffed breast of chicken
Gunter Preuss of Broussard’s – Bouillabaisse
The Wong Brothers of Trey Yuen – Pineapple delight
David Woodward of the Hilton New Orleans Riverside – Bermuda fish chowder
Lazone Randolph of Brennan’s – Steak Diane
For more information: visit NOLA.com!
Actress, Ashley Judd is known for her roles in movies such as “Where the Heart Is” and “The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood”, in addition to her famous mother and sister. But this young Judd is also known for her dedication to the University of Kentucky basketball team. Having attended UK herself before receiving a Master’s from Harvard, Ashley has made many celebrity cameos at the games to show her support for her Alma Mater. We’re happy to report, that the recent Final Four games were no exception. Judd was spotted here in the crowd rooting for her favorite team. Perhaps she brought them luck, because the team did exceptionally well! NOLA is happy to welcome yet another famed celebrity to our city, and happy to see she’s been enjoying her stay!
For more on this story, visit USAToday!
Academy Award winning actress, Reese Witherspoon has been making her hometown of New Orleans proud for the past 20 years. The star has appeared on television shows, advertisements and multiple major films including her most famed roles in “Sweet Home Alabama”, “Walk the Line”, and “Water for Elephants”. The public sees Witherspoon as serious actress with a Southern heart, but her latest film is more action than what we‘ve seen before.
The new picture, “This Means War” features Reese playing the love interest of two CIA operatives. While the love-triangle theme is familiar from her other movies, like “How Do You Know” and “Water for Elephants”, the gun-fights and explosions are totally new for a Witherspoon picture. Co-stars Chris Pine and Tom Hardy battle it out with a wide variety of action stunts and military tactics to hopefully win over Reese’s heart.
But action isn’t the only thing new to the actress’ portfolio. Reese has also announced that she is looking forward to taking on more of a producing role in the entertainment industry. She explains, “I’ve been making movies for 20 years and it’s time to sort of take on a leadership role. You don’t feel like a leader at 35, but when you’re on set and realize, ‘I kind of know everything that’s happening here’, I think it’s time to step up a bit”. We’re all anxious to see this Louisiana local’s new film which comes out on Valentine’s day this year. But we’re also looking forward to all of the exciting new plans for this incredible actress, and producer!
We previously reported that musicians Cyndi Lauper and Bret Michaels were to ride in the Krewe of Orpheus. Since that time, more stars have followed the lead of these rocking celebrity monarchs! Louisiana local Harry Connick Jr., along with actresses Hilary Swank and Mariska Hargitay will also be joining in the parade. Swank is best known for her Academy Award winning performance in “Million Dollar Baby”, but also acted alongside Connick in the 2007 film, “P.S. I Love You”. Hargitay has also acted with Harry Connick Jr. during her television series “Law and Order: SVU” where she portrays detective Olivia Benson. But Mariska isn’t the only television star in the Krewe of Orpheus! Sarah Hyland from “Modern Family” will also be in Orpheus along with her boyfriend, not to mention "High School Musical 3" sensation, Matt Prokop.
Harry Connick Jr. co-founded this particular parade which gets it’s name from the god of music in mythology. The krewe rolls on Lundi Gras, which is the 20th of February this year. Stay with us and we’ll keep you posted about all of the other celebrities heading to NOLA for carnival!
For more on this Krewe, visit their official website.
Henry Frost. While working as an extra on the set of the new movie, “Dog Fight”, Frost captured the attention of the directors. During shooting, he was pulled off set and into a trailer for an impromptu audition for a speaking role. A speaking role playing Jesus Christ.It isn’t everyday that someone gets pulled out of a bar scene because they look like Jesus Christ. But that is exactly what happened to Thibodaux local,
According to a staff writer at Houma Today, the figure of Jesus appears in “an over-the-top campaign commercial” as the two politicians rival one another for power in the South. Frost was singled out, auditioned, and immediately cast for this role.
But Frost isn’t exactly new when it comes to acting. Aside from his numerous appearances as an extra, he is also planning to study theatre and film in the coming years. The article indicates that, while currently enrolled at Fletcher, Henry Frost plans to transfer to UNO to pursue his talents as an actor. Well, this Southern Celebrity Gossiper wishes him a world of luck, and is excited to have- yet another- local STAR!
Steven Seagal has been a household name when it comes to action movies since the late 80’s with the release of his first movie, “Above the Law”. Since then he has released dozens of action films, each showing off his admirable martial arts training. With that enormous of a film portfolio, it is hard to imagine that the actor had time for much else- But he did!
Over twenty years ago, during his rise to stardom, the action hero also graduated from the police academy in California. Since that time he has been serving as a reserve officer, before applying for a more permanent position in- you guessed it, Louisiana. Seagal owns a home here and decided to commit himself to the Jefferson Parish Law Enforcement. When A&E heard the story, they couldn’t miss the opportunity to develop a television series out of this perfect premise. The show “Steven Seagal: Law Man” followed the star on his real life adventures with the Jefferson Parish police. While Law Man only last a few years, Segal isn’t abandoning his post quite yet. In fact he is taking his experience with the Louisiana Law Enforcement to a whole new project! “True Justice” which is set to air in spring of 2012, features the actor playing a Seattle-based police officer. While this show is filming in Canada mostly, the actor is sure to bring his experience in Louisiana to the role.
For more on this story, read what REELZ had to say!
John Besh has been making the rounds here in Louisiana promoting his new book, “My Family Table: A Passionate Plea for Home Cooking”. Louisiana is hardly new territory for him, having been born in Meridian, Mississippi and raised around New Orleans. Besh has made quite a name for himself in the culinary community, and boasts nine of the finest restaurants throughout the Crescent City. Included in these is the acclaimed, Restaurant August which has appeared twice on Gourmet Magazine’s “Best Restaurants” list. The restauranteur has also made appearances on Food Network’s “Iron Chef” and released his own cookbook, before being awarded the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in the Southeast.Culinary Celebrity,
Despite this supreme fame in his field, John Besh stays rooted in his southern manners. Most important of these manners- the ones at the table! His most recent publication stresses the significance, both nutritionally and socially, of joining the family together for meals. Having children of his own, he understands the importance of preparing food together as a family as a way of spending time together. Especially when you’re flying around the world for Food Network television appearances! Fortunately for Besh, this week he got to stay close to home. He visited both Barnes & Noble and The Accidental Chef Cooking School in Lafayette to sign copies of his new book, along with his wife and kids.
For more on his latest book, visit his website.