Our top picks of the month’s events
A Creative Collaboration
Creative director Ben Jaffe of Preservation Hall Jazz Band and artistic director Trey McIntyre of the Trey McIntyre Project have spent the past year collaborating, brainstorming and combining their talents to produce a performance that will be presented by the New Orleans Ballet Association on Feb. 4 at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. Newly written music and updated classics – such as a hip-hop-flavored “St. James Infirmary” – set the unique soundtrack. The dance is fresh and contemporary yet rooted in classical ballet. “Trey McIntyre Project with Preservation Hall Jazz Band” demonstrates the ever-evolving creative landscape of New Orleans as it cleverly mixes music and movement. Noteworthy, too, are the costumes, which were designed by stylist Andrea Lauer – most recently Lauer worked on the high-profile Broadway musical American Idiot. For those who enjoy music and dance, this event is an imaginative display of artistry.
Stepping Out With Satire
If Valentine’s Day sweethearts and sentimentality aren’t your thing, remind yourself that just a few days later the antidote will be presented. Feb. 19 is the Krewe du Vieux parade, renowned for satirical – and often lewd – themes and mockery of everything from politics to pop culture and sex. The theme this year, in honor of the krewe’s quarter-century anniversary, is “25 Years Wasted”; each of the 17 sub-krewes will present their own mischievous interpretations.
The krewe will roll through the Marigny Triangle and Lower French Quarter, presenting its new king, Don Marshall.
Featuring lots of double entendres, clever costumes and gag-gift throws, this parade is also accompanied by talented marching bands and will provide an evening of laughter at (and with) everyone, including yourself.
Children’s Opera Performance
MetroPelican Opera, the educational outreach sector of the New Orleans Opera Association, introduces students to opera with in-school programming and other various community programs. The kids in the program will perform at the Contemporary Arts Center on Feb. 19 for “Opera á la Carte,” a production that will feature some of the greatest hits of opera through the ages, including excerpts from The Barber of Seville, Carmen, Hansel and Gretel, Il Trovatore and The Magic Flute. It will be educational for the audience, exploring the history of opera as well as foreign language terms. The performance will also prove to us that opera is a vibrant, dynamic art form that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and isn’t just for old people with monocles.
Ogden’s Southern Portraits
With a new exhibit of photographic portraits, Ogden’s “On Location: Southern Portraits” portrays various subjects who have been snapped outside the confines of a traditional studio. The subjects have been photographed in their homes, workplaces or public areas – there are no artificially colored backdrops or overly formal settings. From a comfortable and authentic vantage point, the viewer is able to see the subjects in their everyday splendor. The exhibit, on display through April 15, is curated by Richard McCabe and features works by David Halliday, Kevin Kline (above), Meghan McInnis, Will Steacy and Mark Steinmetz.
Kicking it Old-School
The genre of hip-hop music has been celebrated since its inception and has fueled a new generation of artists and fans. Some of the most famous acts – ones that achieved fame in the 1980s and ’90s and spurred the movement forward – are making their way to the UNO Arena on Feb. 12 for Salt-n-Pepa’s Legends of Hip Hop Tour. The concert will feature performances by Whodini, Doug E. Fresh, Kurtis Blow, Biz Markie and of course the namesakes of the tour, among others. Salt-n-Pepa formed 26 years ago, breaking boundaries and paving the way for other artists, and they will demonstrate the evolution of their genre and perform some of their most popular hits from back in the day.
The Color Purple
Broadway Across America brings The Color Purple – a heart-wrenching rendition of Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel of the same name – to New Orleans on Feb. 11-13. The story centers around Celie, a young black woman who has endured abuse and adversity and is searching for independence and happiness. A rich musical score accompanies the dialogue spoken by complex characters that undergo transformations and navigate relationships.