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OUR TOP PICKS OF THE MONTH’S EVENTS

Eric Lindell, May 6

Boogie Down
The Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo takes place along Bayou St. John from May 18-20, providing music, food, art, vendor booths and more.

This year it draws approximately 30 musical acts including 101 Drummers, James Andrews, Mia Borders, Papa Grows Funk and the Treme Brass Band. Another signature event is the rubber duck derby, featuring upwards of 10,000 rubber ducks who are dumped into the bayou and “race” to the finish line, sponsored by individuals for charity.

Information, TheBayouBoogaloo.com.

Romance and Dance
The highly acclaimed Joffrey Ballet comes to the Mahalia Jackson Theater on May 12 for its stunning performance of “The Age of Innocence,” an emotionally charged new work inspired by life during Jane Austen’s era. Also slated is a romantic series of pas de deux  titled “In the Night” which is performed to the live accompaniment of Chopin’s “Nocturnes.” The Joffrey Ballet, which is based in Chicago, is heralded for its innovation and its commitment to taking world-class, artistically vibrant works around the world to diverse audiences.  Information, NobaDance.com.

Going Greek
A Memorial Day weekend favorite, the New Orleans Greek Fest boasts a wide range of Hellenic activities and cuisine, starting on May 25.

Sit along the bayou and eat fries topped with feta; rent a paddleboat in the bayou or stomp your feet to some traditional music – and make sure to save room for a baklava sundae. The festival also features a face-painting booth, an Athenian playground for kids and a marketplace with arts and crafts, clothing and accessories.

Information, GreekFestNola.com.

“Shiftings” at the Ogden
Last month, photographer Michel Varisco launched a new exhibit at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art called “Shifting” that examines our relationship with our natural surroundings. “A question I’d like to leave the viewer with is, ‘How do we live more in harmony with the natural shiftings of the deltaic environment that we find ourselves living in and even restore some of the natural systems that we’ve hindered?’ I’m asking us to deeply consider our long-term decision-making in a short, fast and furious geologic timeline,” she says.

Varisco’s art will be on display until July 23.

What is your inspiration for the show? I am fascinated by subject matter that seems beyond reclamation. I guess to live here one has to be an eternal optimist because there are so many odds against us. After Hurricane Katrina, I was moved by nature’s ability to repair, as we all struggled to rebuild our lives. In a big way, Hurricane Katrina brought me to this work.

What is your objective as an artist? I see art as a catalyst that can expose, inspire and transform. For the last five years, I’ve returned again and again to the swamps, marshes, islands and the Gulf of Mexico to study the Mississippi Delta – simultaneously the fastest-growing and fastest-vanishing land in the country. The series, entitled “Shifting,” isn’t only about the shifting lands beneath our feet, but also about the shifting of perspective on our relationship to the wetlands.

What kind of media are you using for this show? I use both photography and site-specific installation to create in-depth portraits of our environment. Through tableau-style wall photographs and free-moving silk sheaths, the large-scale work allows the viewer to enter into various environments. The walls, with a hue close to the waters of the mighty Mississippi, allow the viewer to be suspended for a while in both the bliss of land creation and the disturbing reality of environmental destruction. An audio component has been co-designed with Mead Jones and incorporates parts of the journey.

Information, 539-9650, OgdenMuseum.org.

Through May 6. New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival; New Orleans Fair Grounds. Information, NOJazzFest.com.

May 4. Whitney Zoo-To-Do; Audubon Zoo. Information, AudubonInstitute.org.

May 4. Outdoor screening of Breakfast at Tiffany’s; Besthoff Sculpture Garden (NOMA). Information, noma.org.

May 5. Preservation Hall Crescent City Revue with special guest; The Joy Theater. Information, TheJoyTheater.com.

May 6. An Evening with Eric Lindell; One Eyed Jacks. Information, OneEyedJacks.net.

May 7-8. 311 in concert; House of Blues. Information, HouseOfBlues.com.

May 8-15, 25-31. Zephyrs home games; Zephyr Field. Information, ZephyrsBaseball.com.

May 9-10, 13, 16-18, 20. The NOLA Project presents As You Like It; Besthoff Sculpture Garden (NOMA); noma.org.

May 9-16. Southern Rep’s Shirley Valentine; Contemporary Arts Center. Information, cacno.org.

May 10. Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra presents “Rachmaninov Piano Concerto;” Mahalia Jackson Theater. Information, LPOMusic.com.

May 18. Sippin’ in Seersucker (benefit for Ogden Museum of Southern Art); Shops at Canal Place. Information, OgdenMuseum.org.

May 22-26. New Orleans Wine & Food Experience. Information, nowfe.com.

May 25. k.d. lang in concert; Mahalia Jackson Theater. Information, MahaliaJacksonTheater.com.

May 26. Big Easy Comedy Festival; UNO Lakefront Arena. Information, arena.uno.edu.

June 2. 29th WYES International Beer Tasting Event; UNO Lakefront Arena. Information, wyes.org.

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