A Round-Up of This Weekend's Artsy Events
June 20-23, 2013
The New Orleans-based group Generationals
Thursday, June 20
Upstairs, Wayne Self’s musical about the 1973 arson at the French Quarter gay bar the Up Stairs Lounge, premiers in time for New Orleans’ Pride Weekend. The fire killed 32 people, making it the most deadly in New Orleans history at the time, but it quickly disappeared from the public’s consciousness, largely due to rampant homophobia. Read a story by Gambit’s Will Coviello about the play here, then find info about the play here.
The splashy musical La Cage aux Folles kicks off Tulane’s Summer Lyric Theatre series. Bob Edes Jr. stars as Albin, the star drag queen of a St. Tropez nightclub who has to play it straight when Georges, his mild-mannered other half, invites his son, his son’s fiancé and his conservative intended in-laws over. The original Broadway production won six Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and it inspired the film The Birdcage. Info here.
Hannibal Buress has spent time in the writers’ rooms of Saturday Night Live and 30 Rock (on which he had a small role), co-stars on Adult Swim’s "The Eric André Show" and has appeared on other comedy series and late-night shows. But he’s earned spots on comics-to-watch lists because of his stand-up comedy, which you can hear on his Comedy Central special and album "Animal Furnace" and live at The New Movement tonight and Friday. Info here.
Twin Shadow — real name: George Lewis Jr. — brings his brand of sleek synthpop to The Maison. Check out the ultra catchy New Wave jam “Five Seconds” from his 2012 album Confess. Elliphant opens. Info here.
Friday, June 21
The New Orleans Film Society hosts an outdoor screening of the 1950 film noir Panic in the Streets, which was shot in New Orleans, at the Old U.S. Mint. Info here.
Italian violinist Matteo Fedeli performs on the rare Grand Stradivarius violin at the recently reopened Civic Theatre. Info here.
The New Orleans-based Generationals — whose indie pop has enjoyed prime placement in movies like the Drew Barrymore rom-com Going the Distance and commercials for Bloomingdale's and Reese’s — hosts a release party for Heza at the Maison. “When They Fight, They Fight,” from the duo’s debut Con Law, is a bright, retro tinged indie-pop confection that embodies what the band does best. Gringo Star and Coyotes open. Info here.
The first Louisiana solo exhibition by artist Rashaad Newsome, whose work could be described as hip-hop baroque, opens at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The New Orleans native's "King of Arms" includes opulent, large-scale collages depicting urban culture. There is an opening reception from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., including a talk with Newsome and curator Miranda Lash at 6 p.m. The show is on view until September 15. Info here.
Saturday, June 22
Think you can sing “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” better than the rest? Audition for the National World War II Museum’s Stage Door Idol, its retro take on the ubiquitous music talent competition, Saturday-Monday. Singers should prepare to sing a 1940s or 1940s-style song a capella. Preliminary rounds take place in July, and the grand finale is Aug. 14. The winner receives a $1,000 prize. Info here.
Bourbon and Burlesque, the Contemporary Arts Center’s annual fundraiser, features, well, bourbon and burlesque. New Orleans burlesque troupes perform at the event that also includes bourbon cocktails, food by Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House, raffles and live music by Linnzi Zaorski and Jayna Morgan and the Creole Syncopators. Info here.
Sunday, June 23
Actors memorize half a scene — written by local writers — and are paired with improvisers who fill in the rest in the dangerous and hilarious "You Don’t Know the Half of It" at The New Movement. A band featuring Sam Craft and Alexis Marceaux of Alexis and the Samurai, plus other local musicians, will perform at the event. Info here.
He made a stop at the Youth Orchestra of the Lower 9th Ward’s summer camp, and tonight Todd Rundgren performs at the House of Blues. He’s known for pop songs "Bang the Drum All Day," "Hello It's Me" and "I Saw the Light," as well as his production work on albums by The Band, Meat Loaf, Badfinger and others. Info here.
T.I.’s a hip-hop radio stalwart whose hits include “Whatever You Like” and “Live Your Life” featuring Rihanna. His most recent album, 2012’s Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head, features the New Orleans bounce-influenced “Ball” featuring Lil Wayne. Fellow Atlanta rapper Future, responsible for last year’s hit “Turn on the Lights,” opens at the UNO Lakefront Arena. Info here.