SARAH RAVITSTennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, March 28-April 1
For the Love of Literature
Now in its 21st year, the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival (March 28-Apr. 1) honors the legacy of a playwright who referred to New Orleans as his “spiritual home.” The five-day festival offers classes, panel discussions and celebrity interviews to provoke thought and creativity. Theater events include a staged reading of John Kennedy Toole’s A Confederacy of Dunces as well as several of Williams’ lesser-known one-act plays. Food prepared by local chefs as well as literary and other French Quarter walking tours offer even more insight. The event will kick off with a fundraiser gala, and the final celebration is in Jackson Square – the “Stella and Stanley Shouting Contest,” for the brave and the loud who may mimic the famous scene from A Streetcar Named Desire. As with all festivals, volunteers will be needed. Information, 581-1144; or visit www.tennesseewilliams.net.
Big Easy Roller Girls, March 24
On March 24, if you want to see some nonstop action, here’s an idea: The Big Easy Roller Girls will take on the Green Country Rollergirls of Tulsa, Okla., along with the East Texas Bombers of Tyler, Texas on their home turf at Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World. The action starts at 7 p.m., doors open an hour before and most people start the party early. Our city’s first all-female, flat-track roller derby team has been a great source of entertainment, drawing spectators of all ages to their bouts. By the way, the Roller Girls – who hail from diverse backgrounds and careers – are looking to recruit more team members on March 6. So if feistiness on wheels sounds like your thing, it’s time to skate on up.
Marching in March
It’s a month of recognition for saints – St. Patrick, St. Joseph and Reggie Bush (who turns 22 on March 2). OK, there’s not a parade for Reggie’s birthday just yet, but St. Patrick’s Day and St. Joseph’s day festivities will turn our city green (and red and white). On Sat., March 10, the St. Paul Marching Band will lead the Italian American Marching Club through the French Quarter, beginning on Canal and Chartres streets at 6 p.m., winding through Bourbon and St. Ann streets and then down Royal Street. Eighty maids adorn the floats and between 800-1,000 marchers throw beads in red, white and green. They also give out flowers, canes, Italian and American flags, St. Joe’s lucky fava beans and other goodies.
Information, 561-1006 or visit www.italianamericanmarchingclub.org.
Also, on Fri., March 9, a dinner at the Hilton Riverside will toast the celebrity honoree – actor Vincent Pastore of The Sopranos. Information, 891-8573.
“Femme, Femme, Femme,” March 4-June 3
Art à la France
We can always learn a thing or two from the French. Right now, we can say merci for showing us compassion and generosity. Two months after Hurricane Katrina, the French Minister of Culture and Communication, Renaud Donnedieu de Vabres, along with the President of the Louvre, Henri Loyrette, brought a delegation of diplomats to the city. Deeply saddened by what they saw, they promised they to do their part to help rebuild the tourism industry. Beginning this month, the New Orleans Museum of Art hosts “Femme, Femme, Femme: Paintings of Women in French Society from Daumier to Picasso,” which displays the progression of the modern woman as seen through art. It begins with the classic images of domestic life then moves forward into the emergence of women in the workforce. Nearly 100 works are displayed with highlights including original works by Renoir, Dégas and Toulouse-Lautrec. Information, www.noma.org.
Music and Mayhem
Cirque du Soleil’s world famous musicians, dancers and singers, presented in collaboration with Live Nation, will perform DELIRIUM at the New Orleans Arena March 29-30, at 8 p.m.
This live multimedia concert features a system of pre-recorded, animated and manipulated live images on two screens that are comparable to two IMAX screens. Though DELIRIUM is not centered on the usual feats of skill that adorn other Cirque shows, be assured that their magic will be present in this exhilarating event with remixed music, astounding performances and stunning costumes.