100 Years of Zulu
It is time to gather your costumes, finalize your King Cake recipe and locate the flasks, because Mardi Gras season is here.
Zulu, one of the parades held on the day itself – Fat Tuesday – will celebrate its centennial, and the Louisiana State Museum will host an exhibit to commemorate this milestone. “From Tramps to Kings: Zulu 100 Years” will explore the origins, traditions, and cultural and civic contributions of the historic krewe, known for bright colors, Mardi Gras Indians and the highly sought-after decorated coconuts thrown into eager crowds. The Presbytere will host a gala benefit on Jan. 9, and the next day the exhibit will open to the public. Fanfare will include a second-line parade through Jackson Square and inside, the exhibit will feature many unique treasures loaned by Zulu members; artifacts from the museum, the Historic New Orleans Collection and Tulane University will also be on display.
Happy Birthday, Tip’s
One place that’s always brought people together – be it during an all-night Galactic performance on Lundi Gras, or a casual Wednesday evening jazz concert – Tipitina’s has become a cherished musical setting that’s loved as much by its patrons as it is by its performers. Jan. 14-17, the establishment – named for a Professor Longhair hit song from 1977 – will celebrate its 31st birthday with performances by Midnite Disturbers, Johnny Sketch and the Dirty Notes, Ivan Neville and more.
Information, 895-8477,www.tipitinas.com. International Flair
An “International Tryst in New Orleans”? Well, it’s a port city! The official Prospect.1 party and closing ceremony, held at the Contemporary Arts Center will serve as a grand fundraiser for the CAC and salute the SweetArts 2009 honorees with all four floors filled with international food, art, drinks and entertainment. The spotlight will be on a variety of cultures, continents and countries: Japan, Africa, the Caribbean, China and Mexico – with drummers, stiltwalkers, lion dancers, mariachi bands, geisha girls, Vietnamese breakdancers, belly dancers and more. The fête will take place on Jan. 16. The SweetArts ball will also be preceded by a patron party in a private home and will be primarily sponsored by Regions Bank.
Something to Sing About
The iconic Mahalia Jackson Theatre has been restored at last – no small accomplishment. The theater, which was named for the New Orleans-born gospel singer, has long been the site of New Orleans Opera performances, concerts, Mardi Gras balls and international dance productions. Damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the theater has undergone extensive renovation just in time for the new year. The theater’s renovation has included an acoustical “shell” to enhance sound quality, new seating, enhanced lighting, security, hydraulics beneath the stage, renovation of lobbies and bathrooms, new wiring and plumbing, and a new stage curtain. To celebrate its reopening, this month will be filled with grand soirees.
On Jan. 10, the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the New Orleans Ballet Association will participate in the rededication called “An Evening of Music and Dance.” (Fun fact: This is exactly 35 years and one day following the original opening of the theater.) Guest stars from throughout the world will be present, including dancers from the San Francisco Ballet and the New York City Ballet.
Information, 523-6530, ext. 108,lpomusic.com.
Then, on Jan. 17, a grand gala with the New Orleans Opera Association will take place, featuring the world-famous tenor, Plácido Domingo. Known for his versatility, not to mention his goodwill toward our city (having aided pervious fundraising events), Domingo will join other local talents, the Opera chorus and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Conductor Robert Lyall and actress Patricia Clarkson will host the gala; it’s sure to be star-studded – and something to sing about.