Our top picks of the month’s events
Voodoo Music Experience, Oct. 30-Nov.1
Howling for Coastal Marshes
In collaboration with the Gulf Restoration Network and City Park, ArtSpot Productions and Mondo Bizzarro present Loup Garou, an environmental performance that combines poetry, music and visual installation to explore the connection between the culture and land in Louisiana.
Every 30 minutes, Louisiana loses nearly 100 yards worth of coastal marshes – 25 square miles a year. This event will offer insight and discussions on cultural traditions and industries that are derived from the state’s relationship with the swamps and waters that surround us.
In an abandoned field of City Park (on Filmore Avenue near Wisner Boulevard), Loup Garou will debut on Oct. 8, with discussions and panels about coastal land loss following the performance. Through Oct. 25, you can catch a sunrise performance event on Thursdays around 7 a.m., and on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays at 5 p.m. Nick Slie will portray the Loup Garou, a mythical, wild and dangerous entity – some say a werewolf – who has deep roots in Southern and Acadian mythology. Loup Garou is the second performance collaboration between ArtSpot Productions and Mondo Bizarro, after last year’s show Flight was a sell-out at the New Orleans Fringe Festival.
Halloween Parties for All
In New Orleans it’s perfectly acceptable to celebrate Halloween at any age; in fact it’s rather painful to think that in other cities, adults don’t have quite this much fun on Oct. 31. This year, add the Voodoo Music Experience to your spooky holiday agenda. For three solid days (Oct. 30-Nov.1), New Orleans City Park will host musical greats KISS, Eminem, Widespread Panic, Lenny Kravitz, The Flaming Lips, Jane’s Addiction, Ween, The Black Keys. Other favorites both obscure and well-known include locals Rebirth Brass Band, Bingo! Show, Zydepunks, DJ Soul Sister and numerous others. The concerts go on all day; it’s possible to see your favorite band play as the sun sets, echoing well beyond our picturesque (though at times eerie) oak trees. The festival, in addition to hundreds of musical acts, will also feature food, merchandise, unique art and crafts and costumed characters galore.
The Tragedy of Tosca
The New Orleans Opera Association presents its 28th season, kicking off this month with Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca. Set in the rather turbulent era of the Napoleonic wars, this melodrama is filled with both romantic and political passion – some may draw parallels to modern society, surely a sign of a truly timeless work of performance art. The main characters are Floria Tosca, who’s smitten with a painter, Mario Cavaradossi, who aids in a daring prison escape of a friend and former ally. When Cavaradossi is captured and tortured, Tosca can save his life only by yielding to the evil chief of police, a corrupt and morally uncouth individual. While Tosca cries in vain that she lives for “art and love,” as with any good opera, heartbreak and drama ensue. This stunning story of sacrifice, love and betrayal will be performed at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts Oct. 9 and 11. Conducted by Robert Lyall and directed by Jay Jackson, Tosca is sung in Italian (with English supertitles), and stars Mary Elizabeth Williams and Antonello Palombi as the main characters, and includes opera veterans Mark Rucker and Michael Wanko.
Information, 529-2278, www.neworleansopera.org.
The Art of Film
The 20th annual New Orleans Film Festival, Oct. 8-15, presents a range of films by established and emerging filmmakers. Presented by the New Orleans Film Society, whose mission is to engage, educate and inspire through the art of film, the event will kick off with a fundraising gala on Oct. 8; the following evening is opening night at Prytania Theater (complete with a red carpet!). Throughout the festival, there will be panels and workshops; films from every genre; narratives; experimental projects; and animated films. A highlight of the festival is “I Love Louisiana Day” – Oct. 11 – a day to explore and promote filmmaking in the state.
All of the Louisiana-made films will be screened at various locations with ensuing discussions.
Live Theater and Rock Concerts
Fans of both theater and live music will gather this month at the Marigny Theater, as the NOLA Project and the New Orleans Indie Rock Collective collaborate with Finer Noble Gases, a dark comedy set in New York. Members of a burned-out rock band spend their dark winter days watching television and popping pills – rather than playing music. But when their TV is kicked in, the band mates must brave a blizzard as they attempt to pick up the pieces of their lives. Like the NOLA Project’s previous project Mr. Marmalade, Finer Noble Gases promises to be hilariously inappropriate and filled with dark humor. Performances will take place Oct.
9-25 at the Marigny Theater, and following the play, the audience will experience live concerts by a variety of New Orleans indie rock bands. Finer Noble Gases is written by Adam Rapp, directed by Gabrielle Reisman and stars Liam Krause, Nick Gomez, Matthew Martinez, Tom Gogola and Chris Lane.