How long have you lived in New Orleans? Born and raised? Twenty years or more? Moved in the summer of 2005, only to pack up and do it all over again six months later? Came in ’07 for Teach for America and never left?
Jim Fitzmorris couldn’t care less.
With the Katrina anniversary behind us, the longtime observer of New Orleans idiosyncracies presents his latest one-man show: the forward-looking, “Be a New Orleanian: A Swearing-In Ceremony.”
In the play, presented by Dirty Coast, Fitzmorris provides a series of tips — not rules, he insists, but tips — for anyone who wants to call themselves a New Orleanian.
Fitzmorris (who, incidentally, traces his own New Orleans family history back to 1847) says the only things that matter are “if you love this place, you feel like you’re a part of it and you want to help, and you don’t want to explain to everyone else how to be a New Orleanian.”
As a writer and performer, Fitzmorris has previously taken on the quirks of New Orleans culture in shows like “Urban Education Smackdown” and “A Truckload of Ink.”
In “Be a New Orleanian,” he applies his trademark wit to all the usual hallmarks of New Orleans living — sno-balls, potholes, where you went to school — ending each show with a nightly swearing-in of the New Orleanians in attendance.
The play runs through Sept. 26 at the Theatre at St. Claude, 2240 St. Claude Ave.
Directed by frequent collaborator Mike Harkins, the performance leaves plenty of room for Fitzmorris to go off on tangents, get the audience involved and express his affection for this special place.
Because according to this longtime observer, there’s no better way to “Be a New Orleanian.”