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Our top picks of the month’s events

Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus, June 24-27

Creative Art
Collaborations between the Historic New Orleans Collection and the New Orleans Museum of Art will be on view.

The two venerable institutions are hosting “Women Artists in Louisiana, 1965-2010,” using holdings from both museums. Approximately 50 works by more than 35 women artists who visited or lived in New Orleans are on display at NOMA. Among the artists represented are Lynda Benglis, Ida Kohlmeyer, Mignon Faget, Angela Gregory and others. The works are varied – they range from sculpture to decorative arts to paintings. The exhibit will be on display until Sept. 12.

Information, www.noma.org.

Zing Zang Zoom
June 24-27, an all-new Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus will take place at the New Orleans arena, with incredible thrill acts. Called “Zing Zang Zoom,” the circus will feature a magical “Zingmaster” Alex, with his assistant Levitytia, who leads the audience through an extraordinary evening of reality-defying tricks and acts of entertainment.

Fearless human cannonballs will blast through the air, and a never-before-seen quadruple Russian fire swing will send acrobats criss-crossing two stories in the air. There will also be disappearing acts, and the Qi Qi Har Chinese Swinging Log Trapeze makes its debut. Also, during the all-access pre-show, which is free to all ticket-holders, audiences are invited to meet performers and animals, as well as learn circus skills and hang out with clowns.

Information, www.Ringling.com.

Vieux to Do
Three of New Orleans’ festivals have collaborated once again for the annual “Vieux-to-Do” June 13-15, a French Quarter attraction that draws people from near and far to experience a trio of our finest industries: The Louisiana Seafood Festival, the Cajun Zydeco Festival and the Creole Tomato Festival will throw down for some serious foot-stomping, crawfish-eating good times.

Grammy winner Buckwheat Zydeco headlines the Louisiana Cajun-Zydeco Festival, which features two stages of music and hand-made arts and crafts. Also look for Sunpie and the Louisiana Sunspots, Bruce Daigrepoint, Lost Bayou Ramblers, Feufollet and numerous others who will perform all three days.

Saturday and Sunday will be days of celebration for our ever-popular fruit – the Creole Tomato. The French Market hosts the tomato fest, which features live demonstrations by local chefs on the various ways to prepare the little red gem that is packed with nutrients and deliciousness.

The tomato can either be the appetizer or the main course; but either way, you’ll want to save room for plenty of seafood, which will be available at various booths throughout the weekend.

Information, 522-2621, www.frenchmarket.org, www.jazzandheritage.org.

Amazing Avenue Q
June 8-12, the Mahalia Jackson Theater will host Avenue Q, a three-time Tony Award-winning musical that perhaps many of us can relate to. Based on the book by Jeff Whitty, Avenue Q is about an optimistic, gung-ho college grad named Princeton who moves to New York City hoping to make his dreams come true. The problem is that his bank account won’t allow him to live anywhere other than Avenue Q, a place where everyone seems to be struggling to find a purpose – or just a stable job. Mixing in humor and catchy tunes, Avenue Q embraces the young American dreamer and pokes lighthearted fun at the fact that sometimes college doesn’t really train us for the real world as much as we’d hope, but it is full of high points that are to be cherished, and low points from which to learn. The story is told by a quirky cast and goofy puppets with music and lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx.  Information, 287-0351, www.mahaliajacksontheater.com.

Stars and Stripes
June 6 is the 66th anniversary of D-Day – and the 10th anniversary of the World War II Museum. A full weekend of events will pay tribute to those who made sacrifices and allow the public to see what life was like back in the day. Starting on Saturday, there will be volunteer re-enactors, dressed in authentic uniforms educating and engaging audiences. Attendees will also get to view some of the museum’s artifacts (some of which aren’t on regular public display), see special photography exhibits and tour a PT-305 boat. The museum will also offer firing demonstrations, panel discussions, music and showings of Beyond All Boundaries, the museum’s four-dimensional experience that journeys through the war with state-of-the-art cinematic effects. Also be sure to check out food provided by the American Sector restaurant, as well as musical performances that will take place throughout the weekend. Information, www.nationalww2museum.org.

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