For thousands of years, orchids have lured men and women into obsession – with up to 35,000 species, the flower’s beauty and variety are unsurpassed; there is even one species found in the Arctic. To showcase this unique flower, the New Orleans Orchid Society is holding its annual show at Lakeside Shopping Center, June 2–4. There will be exhibits by orchid societies and vendors, as well as blooming orchid plants, supplies for growing orchids, and orchid-themed merchandise for sale. A seminar, “Orchid Basics,” is June 3, noon to 3 p.m. Show hours: June 2-3, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; June 4, noon to 4:30 p.m. (The exhibits are closed for judging June 3, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. The sales area will remain open.) Information, 888-6639 or 887-1927.
Call Me Madam
She knew the city’s high and mighty, and she entertained quite a few of them in her brothel. Before today’s “Canal Street Madam” there was Norma Wallace. Living such a colorful life in the early- to mid-20th century, Wallace was the muse for the book The Last Madam, A Life in the New Orleans Underworld by Christine Wiltz, which in turn inspired playwrights Jim Fitzmorris and Carl Walker to write “The Last Madam.” Presented by All Kinds of Theatre, the play is set in 1964, when Wallace finds herself in the middle of a turf war between District Attorney Jim Garrison and Police Chief Joe Giarrusso. To find a solution, Wallace decides to throw a party, and as expected, much drama ensues. The play runs June 8-July 2 at Southern Rep. Information, 522-6545.
Reading is fundamental, and for 53 years the Symphony Volunteers – the support and fund-raising group for the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra – has been satisfying bibliophiles. This year’s book fair, June 4-7, takes place at the Jewish Community Center, Uptown, where there will be thousands of books of every genre to peruse and buy. Time to stock up for your next beach weekend! Information, 861-2004.
Down by the River
Music, food, and arts and crafts – sounds like a festival to us. On June 4, the Old Algiers RiverFest will take over the area in front of the Algiers Courthouse with all those festival mainstays and maybe a few surprises. Keeping the day in tune will be Michael White and the Liberty Jazz Band, Panorama Jazz Band, Ingrid Lucia, Algiers Brass Band, and Shades of Praise Interracial Gospel Choir. Proceeds from the festival benefit the Old Algiers Main Street Corp. Information, www.oldalgiersmainstreet.com.
Wine and Song
“Jazz ‘n the Vines” is bringing sweet sounds to Pontchartrain Vineyards, located just north of Covington. Held on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, this month Charmaine Neville appears on June 10, and Don Vappie & the Creole Jazz Serenaders on June 24. Gates open at 5:30 p.m. and the show starts at 6:30 p.m., so bring a picnic dinner. Though there is food for sale, the only liquor allowed is Pontchartrain Vineyards wine. Admission is $10 per person. Information,www.pontchartrainvineyards.com, (985) 892-9742.
Do that Voodoo
Now that hurricane season is officially here, the city needs all the help it can get. On June 24, St. John’s Day, International House Hotel will hold a voodoo ceremony that hopefully, will keep the city safe. Starting at 6:30 p.m., renowned voodoo priestess Salle Ann Glassman will lead a ceremony with song, dance, and prayers to voodoo gods and New Orleans’ famous voodoo queen, Marie Laveau. At the hotel’s bar Loa, the “White Night” cocktail, a mix of champagne and pear juice, which represents purity and affection, will literally keep those who imbibe in good spirits. Information, 553-9550.
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