SARAH RAVITSGet your Greek on
Memorial Day weekend (May 25-27) will mark the 34th annual Greek Fest on Bayou St. John at the Holy Trinity Cathedral in the Hellenic Cultural Center. This year, expanded festival grounds allow for gourmet Greek cuisine, desserts, music, family entertainment, artwork and Hellenic shopping. Another attraction is the 24–foot-high, 400-square foot climbing rock that allows children to climb at four difficulty levels, ranging from Monkey Hill to Mount Olympus. There will also be live bands playing traditional Greek music as well as traditional dance performances – and don’t underestimate the ouzo.
Greek Fest, May 25-27
Saints, Sinners and all those in between!
The fifth annual Saints and Sinners LGBTIQ Literary Festival will be held May 10-13 and will serve as a benefit for the NO/AIDS Task Force. Participants in this festival are diverse, as it attracts a mix of lesbian, bisexual, gay, transgendered and heterosexual individuals who are interested in literature from both established and newly emerging authors. Key events include master classes, which will be held in the Festival’s headquarters at the Bourbon Orleans Hotel, playwright contests and other social events. Writers including Dorothy Allison, Amie M. Evans and Greg Herren are just a few of the dozens of writers who will grace the city with their presence.
Information, 581-1144 or visit www.tennesseewilliams.net.
New Orleans Food and Wine Experience, May 23-27
A Matter of Taste
New Orleans Wine and Food Experience, a local nonprofit organization, will host its annual five day festival May 23-27, offering a silver platter of events from which to choose. For example, the Royal Street Stroll combines fine art, antiques, live jazz and wine tastings at many galleries along Royal Street. This year, NOWFE will host new events, including the Culinary Tribute to the Sun King, May 22, during which Chef John Folse will explore Louisiana’s French roots by preparing a feast paired with French wines. Proceeds will benefit the Chef John Folse Culinary Institute scholarship fund. On May 24, VINOLA! will debut a premium tasting event featuring 30 notable winemakers. During NOWFE, several of New Orleans’ finest restaurants will be participating, offering dining experiences that are planned by both chefs and vintners – which means dozens of culinary adventures await you.
Cabaret in Slidell
There were a lot of troubles during the post-World War I period and citizens sought solace at the cabarets to distract them from the depression. This month, Slidell’s Little Theatre hosts Cabaret, a performance set in a Berlin nightclub at the end of the 1920s. The Master of Ceremonies assures the audience that they will forget their troubles; shortly afterwards they’ll meet Cliff, a young American writer who has journeyed to Berlin in hopes of finding inspiration for his novel. The musical score is entertaining, decadent and lavish, directed by Slidell’s own Rhonda Reilly and based on the book by Joe Masteroff with music originally composed by John Kander and Fred Ebb.
Information, (985) 641-0324 or visit www.slidell-slt.org.
Bayou Boogaloo, May 26
On May 26 (rain date: May 27), the second annual Bayou Boogaloo will take place on the banks of St. John’s Bayou, between Orleans Avenue and Bienville Street. The free festival is a wonderful way for locals and out-of-towners to get to know Mid-City. Founder Jared Zeller says that his goal was to produce a multi-cultural affair with different genres of music and art, and the Bayou Boogaloo will do just that by hosting and employing New Orleanians who specialize in art, music, food and more. The Bayou Boogaloo has dozens of booths and vendors and there will also be games, face-painting and activities for children.
Information, 488-3865 or visit www.bayou-boogaloo.com.
Wednesday at the Square,
May 2, 9, 23, 30
Why not add a little lagniappe to the middle of your week?
YLC (Young Leadership Council) Wednesday at the Square is a 12-week concert series at Lafayette Square that’s free and open to the public, with each concert hosting two live bands or musicians. The food’s not bad either – lots of local restaurants are participating and of course there’s no shortage of drinks. Beer, cocktails and soft drinks will keep concert goers hydrated under the hot May sun. Also, be sure to check out the Artists Village – an arts and crafts area that supports local artists.
This month, the featured musicians are Marcia Ball and Paul Sanchez (May 2), The Radiators and Robert Fortune Band (May 9), Terrance Simien and Amanda Shaw (May 23) and Beausoleil and Ghost Town (May 30). The series will last through the end of June.