The play’s the thing

The blockbuster musical “Hamilton” returns to the Saenger Theatre this week as Broadway in New Orleans wraps up its 2021-2022 season with a big bang. Theater lovers have lots to look forward to, though, because the 2022-2023 season promises to be packed with performances from some big names. “The Lion King,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Tina, The Tina Turner Musical,” and the new smash hit “Six” bring commanding performances, “Pretty Woman, The Musical” and “Moulin Rouge! The Musical” bring movie star power to the stage, and classic favorites “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” bring familiar favorites back for new audiences to enjoy.

While downtown, there’s plenty of places to check out pre-show for a casual dinner or drinks. Some of my favorites include Palm&Pine for their farm-to-table fresh menu (plus often a specially designed theater night special), Domenica for its traditional Neapolitan menu and elevated cocktails, and the new Ginger Roux at the Canopy by Hilton bringing Cantonese Creole (hello, gumbo dumplings!) to the CBD. Be sure to make reservations well in advance, as they all fill up quickly on performance nights.

Podcast performance

The popular “bad movie” podcast “How Did This Get Made” is coming to New Orleans in August for one show only as part of their national summer tour. From cinematic cult classics such as “Sleepaway Camp” and “The Room,” to 80s “hits” “Zardoz” and “Bloodsport,” actors and comedians Paul Scheer, June Diane Raphael and Jason Mantzoukas, along with the occasional celebrity guest, watch some of the best worst movies of all time, with a lively discussion of why and how each fabulously flops. Check out this top 20 list for a taste of the exuberant hilarity the podcast brings each week.

TV party tonight

Speaking of movies, summertime is the time for blockbuster movies and camp TV. Both “Jurassic World: Dominion” and “Lightyear” are sure to be the next on many people’s must-see list at the theater. For me, just venturing out into the heat…and a hot car… is too much to bear. I’ve been staying in and tuning into some DIY fun with the new “Trixie Motel” on Discovery Plus. Drag and makeup icon Trixie Mattel transforms a stuck-in-the-60s Palm Springs motel into a glorious, pink destination. Think color, pattern, Barbie-dreamhouse meets mid-century mod fabulousness. Also check out: “Stranger Things,” which continues to wow and keep me on the edge of my seat, the quirky mystery “Only Murders in the Building” (stars Steve Martin and Martin Short also return to New Orleans for a one-night show at the Saenger in September, so mark your calendars), the riveting BBC police drama “Endeavor” on WYES, and “Reservation Dogs,” which follows the life of four Indigenous teenagers as they try to their small-town lives.

Summer fun, outside the sun

Lagniappe – when the heat is on, we do not cook. I recently attended a summer potluck and opted for this seasonal salad, taking advantage of the best of the best Creole tomatoes and fresh watermelon. Mix up this refreshing dish, throw on a caftan, pop some chilled bubbles, and dip your toes into the kiddie pool, and you’re good to go.