The Curtain Calls Theater lights are shining brightly this month with plays and musicals to suit all tastes. • Tulane Summer Lyric is staging two musicals: “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Pippin.” “Bye Bye Birdie,” July 6 to 9, is about a rock singer who takes a trip to a small Ohio town to meet his biggest fan. “Pippin,” July 27 to 30, takes a less traditional musical route and is performed as vaudeville sketches linked by the story of Pippin, the son of eighth century King Charlemagne, who searches for the meaning of life before he settles down. Tickets are $12.50 for previews; $35 for opening night; $25 for adults and $12.50 for children 12 and under during regular performances. Information, 865-5269. • “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” kicks off the Shakespeare Festival at Tulane, July 15 to 28. This classic comedy involving real and fairy worlds, centers on the tribulations and joys of love. Tickets are $25; call for senior and student prices. Information, 865-5105, ext. 2. • For a dose of drama, there’s “Mirrors of Chartres Street: Faulkner Reflects New Orleans,” by Rob Florence. The play is based on William Faulkner’s life as a writer living in the French Quarter in 1925. The show runs July 14 to 16, 21 to 23, 28 and 30 at the Contemporary Arts Center (900 Camp St.). Tickets are $15. Information, 528-3800. Cheers! Even though cocktails are celebrated year round in New Orleans, from July 19 to 23 they get their rightful place in the spotlight at “Tales of the Cocktail.” Seminars, demonstrations, book signings, cocktail clinics, dinner pairings and other cocktail-themed events fill the five days. Special guests include “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy’s” Carson Kressley, celebrity caterer Serena Bass and NPR’s “Kitchen Sisters” Davia Nelson and Nikki Silva. Information, (800) 299-0404 or www.Talesofthe Cocktail.com. Getting a Leg Up Men get to strut their stuff on July 15 at “Mr. Legs VI,” a benefit for Bridge House at Generations Hall (310 Andrew Higgins Dr.). Categories such as “Short Legs,” “Skinny Legs,” “Sexy Legs,” “Fat Legs,” “Hairy Legs” and “Muscular Legs” ensures that no leg will go unnoticed. Valet parking is complimentary, as are food and libations from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., though the party goes until 10 p.m. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, VIP $40. Information, 522-2124, ext. 13 or www.bridgehouse.org. Red, White and Blue To-Dos nThe riverfront will be bustling on that most patriotic of days – July 4 – for the annual “Go 4th on the River.” Presented by the Riverfront Marketing Group, music starts at 1 p.m. in the French Market’s Dutch Alley, continuing at Spanish Plaza, Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World and Woldenberg Park. Finishing off the night is the spectacular “dueling barges” fireworks extravaganza at 9 p.m. And it’s all free. Information, www.go4thontheriver.com. nWhat Fourth of July weekend would be complete without the Mandeville Seafood Festival? Located at the lakefront, this festival will feature food, music, arts and crafts, children’s activities and a fireworks extravaganza on July 2. Information, www.seafoodfest.com. Keyed In Piano prodigies will be tickling the ivories for the 18th annual New Orleans International Piano Competition. From July 24 to 30, pianists from all over the world compete to receive a grand prize. Then later in the year, the winner returns to New Orleans to play at a concert with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Hosted by the Musical Arts Society of New Orleans, performances will be held at Loyola University, Roussel Hall (6363 St. Charles Ave.). Information, 899-4826.

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