Bigger and Better
In 1999, Tad Gormley Stadium held the first annual Voodoo Music Experience, during which a few acts performed before calling it a night. Ten years after its humble start, the Voodoo Music Experience has taken over City Park, which serves as a beautiful (albeit slightly eerie) backdrop for hundreds of musical acts appearing for the now three-day fête and reportedly drawing crowds from around the world. It also shows just how durable New Orleans artists are; this year they’ll keep up with numerous big names including R.E.M., Stone Temple Pilots, Nine Inch Nails and Joss Stone. New Orleans natives Lil Wayne, Walter Wolfman Washington, the Hot 8 Brass Band and Big Sam’s Funky Nation are just a sampling of local acts that will take to stages set amongst the picturesque oaks and lagoons. Don’t forget about the vendors – booths will be scattered throughout the park, selling cocktails, crafts and snacks.
United by Art
Prospect.1 will become an omnipresent force in the art scene around town as it makes its debut on Nov. 1. Locations including the Contemporary Arts Center, the Ogden and the New Orleans Museum of Art, along with other galleries and historical sites, will be lending exhibition spaces for the project – the biggest biennial of international contemporary art ever organized in the U.S. Throughout the community, universities, schools and other nonprofit organizations will also contribute to Prospect.1. Over the course of 11 weeks, the project will showcase contemporary art installations, theatrical performances and exhibitions, drawing visitors and artists from far and wide to celebrate the city’s past, present and future as a vibrant artistic community.
If you thought that Oktoberfest was only celebrated in Germany, bust out your liederhausen and head over to Mid-City. The historical Deutsches Haus (which celebrates its 80th anniversary next month) will open its doors and host live bands, with lots of German goodies (plenty of meat, beer, wine and shnapps) and a variety of souvenirs available for purchase.
Incorporated in 1928, the Deutsches Haus was formed as a benevolent and social organization to provide support for German immigrants in the New Orleans area. With lasting power, the Haus continues to celebrate and foster the culture, musical heritage, language and history of the German people. Oktoberfest will be held Fridays from 3 p.m. until 1 a.m., and Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m., through Oct. 31.
Finding a Cure
While many of us associate October with Halloween candy, parties and costumes, on a more serious note it’s also National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Each year, more than 4,000 women in Louisiana alone are diagnosed with breast cancer. Saks Fifth Avenue is hosting the “Key to the Cure.” From Oct. 16-19, a percentage of sales will be donated to cancer research programs. Locally, Tulane, Loyola and LSU have joined forces to create the Louisiana Cancer Research Consortium, which will be greatly benefited by the event. Saks is also hosting a gala party on Oct. 15. All three stories of the shop will be filled with libations, entertainment, live music and food from more than 25 restaurants.
Another way to help fight cancer is to sign up for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Oct. 19 at City Park. With a Survivors’ Recognition Program commencing at 8 a.m., followed by a 5-kilometer walk/run, the event is a great way to raise funds, catch up with your friends and get some exercise.
Love, Passion and Power
It is a monumental season for the New Orleans Opera Association and it’s a time to explore the extremes: love, life and death. While the opera will soon return to its beloved and restored Mahalia Jackson Theatre, performances this month of Manon Lescaut (Oct. 17 and 19) will be held at Tulane’s McAlister Auditorium. Giacomo Puccini’s third opera is set in France (though the heroine is, in the end, banished to the “deserts of Louisiana”) and features a convent-bound French country girl who chooses the glamour of Paris, where she soon sacrifices her true love in exchange for wealth and power. The opera is set in four acts, sung in Italian, and is based on L’histoire du chevalier des Grieux et de Manon Lescaut, the 1731 novel by Abbé Prevost. Melody Moore will portray Manon, the heroine, with Brian Mulligan performing as Lescaut. The performance is directed by Jay Lesenger and conducted by Robert Lyall.