Saenger snags a blockbuster

More than two years after premiering on Broadway, the show is still one of the toughest tickets to get in New York, with shows sold out months in advance and tickets selling for over $1,000 on secondary markets. But access to the smash hit “Hamilton” has eased up thanks to the launch of a U.S. tour spanning dozens of cities, including a March run  at the Saenger Theatre.

Written by Broadway breakout star Lin-Manuel Miranda, “Hamilton” re-imagines the story of Alexander Hamilton and his role among the Founding Fathers. With an ethnically diverse cast and a hip hop-inspired soundtrack, the show is one of the most critically and commercially successful Broadway musicals in history.

The production that snagged a Tony Award, Grammy and Pulitzer Prize will have 23 performances at the Saenger, Mar. 12-31, as part of the Broadway in New Orleans series.

David Skinner, general manager of the Saenger, sees it as a landmark event for the city. “The season of ‘Hamilton’ is finally here, and we could not be more delighted to present the extraordinary story and unforgettable music of this production to New Orleans audiences,” he said in announcing the schedule.

Big shows set to follow “Hamilton” at the Saenger include Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Cinderella,” “Come from Away,” “Kinky Boots” and “Wicked.”


Episodic humor

Sometimes the name says it all, and playwright Pat Bourgeois put it all upfront when she named her live soap opera “Debauchery!” Now in its eighth season, the city’s only live soap keeps audiences coming back to Southern Rep Theatre on Bayou Road for the ongoing hilarity. Regulars have come to love sisters Chanel and Cartier, who flounce and fight their way through a maze of outrageous exploits. Enjoy a new episode every month – always accompanied by cocktails.

All performances are at 7:30 p.m., one Wednesday each month. See the Southern Rep website for up-to-date details.

Bourgeois is a member of the Big Easy Theatre Nominating Committee and the Big Easy Theatre Advisory Committee. Her play “The Housewives of Oblivious Lane,” was accepted into Limelight: NYC’S “Go-Green” PlayFest 2014, and she writes every episode of “Debauchery!”


A twist on clubbing

Arts-centered, community-driven programming is the bread-and-butter of Art Klub Nola, and its current lineup of offerings continues the mission. The March schedule, alone, features a host of opportunities for community members to come together in artistic expression. Weekly company dance classes explore styles from hip hop to ballet; monthly playwright meet-and-greets present live readings followed by audience feedback; resident playwright Reese Johanson offers a set of immersive works; and sprinkled throughout the schedule are innovative performances by a range of professional artists. See for details of all upcoming events.


No sheep in this flock

Stories and music come together this month as critically acclaimed New Orleans musician Aurora Nealand teams up with Goat in the Road Productions to create a concert based on Nealand’s album, “KindHumanKind.”

The live performance (March 28-31) at the Contemporary Arts Center will present a visual world that showcases Nealand’s talents as a storyteller and musician, and brings to life her virtuosic musical world. The performance will also feature New Orleans musicians Free Feral, Tiffany Lamson (The Givers), and Alexis Marceaux (Sweet Crude).

Goat in the Road Productions is a performance ensemble dedicated to the production of original and bold new works of theatre, dance, performance art and educational programming. The group is led by innovators Shannon Flaherty, Chris Kaminstein and Mary Guiteras.


Summer camp for creatives

It’s not too early to think about summer learning opportunities for kids with theatre leanings. Anthony Bean’s Community Theatre and Acting School is planning its nine-week summer program for kids 7 to 17 years of age. Stage veteran Bean says the camp is not just a training ground for the arts, but a safe and nurturing environment where children can develop creative skills as they discover more about themselves.

The camp features full-day theater experiences, and no previous theater experience is required. Breakfast and lunch are provided on site. Workshops emphasize teamwork and community involvement, and cover play writing, performance, production, costuming, lighting and set building.

Each Friday brings a talent show that puts the kids on stage to get the feel of performing and expressing themselves before an audience. The camp will culminate in a performance of the hip hop musical play “504,” written and directed by Anthony Bean. Call 504-862-7529 for more information.

Drama on the Lakefront


On Stage: Front & Center


For some local theatre goers who frequent stages in or near the city’s core, one of the most important live-performance hubs may not even be on their radar. Many theatre pros, however regard the drama and film programs at University of New Orleans, on the lakefront, as crucial resources that have long supported the growth of local talent.

UNO is the only university in the country to have won two American College Theatre Festival National Play-writing Awards, as well as two National Irene Ryan Acting Awards. The theatre arts program, known as one of the most demanding of its kind, is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

A big force behind the success of the program is David Hoover, a theatre pro who  chairs the department and directs the performance master’s degree program. Hoover’s directorial credits encompass dozens of local productions and a host of local and national awards. His work and a number of his students have snagged invitations to the regional Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and to the Kennedy Center itself. Hoover has served as an adjudicator in London, lectured at the Université de Sorbonne in Paris and taught extensively in Italy and Mexico.

The academic programs overseen by Hoover include courses in acting, technical production, script analysis, play-writing, and the study of modern and contemporary theatrical production. Hoover is widely respected for sharing the talent and skills developed at UNO with the community and educational organizations.

In addition to these human resources, UNO theatre students and members of the theatre-going public have access to one of the area’s finest drama facilities in the Robert E. Nims Center. The 225-seat Thrust Theatre is augmented with a 65-seat proscenium lab and outdoor arena for public performances. Scene and costume shops and rehearsal rooms provide full support for the on-campus productions which can range from Shakespeare to original student scripts.

The theatre department presents two main-stage and two lab productions each year, plus dark-night original script readings that let playwrights test their work on a stage.

The program also collaborates regularly with the American Film Institute in conducting workshops in line with a parallel mission of the department – to develop film production expertise in the local community.

The Nims Center Studios house one of the finest production and performance centers in the city. The nearly 100,000-square foot facility sports five stages totaling more than 50,000 square feet, four green screens, 45 production offices, editing suites, a mixing room and state-of-the-art sound and film equipment. It is home to Cineworks, the only full-service film processing lab in Louisiana and the only post-production studio offering a full range of digital processing services.

The film arts degree program prepares students to enter the fields of film, theatre and creative writing, with courses in film aesthetics, digital technology, film history and script analysis, as well electives such as documentary production, cinematography, editing and sound design. The program aims to shape complete, independent filmmakers who are ready to step into a highly technical and competitive profession, for which there is a growing local demand.


Summer is theatre season at Tulane

An Uptown New Orleans university that also supports dramatic talent development is Tulane University, where summer brings separate, annual celebrations of both musical theatre and Shakespeare.

The coming 26th season of the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane will feature two of the Bard’s best as Artistic Director Martin Sachs and Managing Director Clare Moncrief present “Much Ado About Nothing” and “Hamlet.” Audiences can expect polished performances by seasoned actors, surrounded by excellent supporting casts and behind-the-scenes professionals.   

Meanwhile, Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane, now in its 51st season, soon will again delight summer audiences with musical theatre at its best. “Pirates of Penzance in Concert” is slated for a June staging, with the ultimate show-biz musical, “42nd Street,” scheduled a few weeks later. The productions are among the top musical shows on tap  in the city and are sure to be a hot ticket during the summer months.

Also scheduled by Summer Lyric, in July and August, are “She Loves Me” and “Matilda.” Top-notch musical talent from throughout the city and beyond bring energy and passion to these performances, making sell-outs likely. So check the Tulane website for scheduling and details for ordering tickets early.

Stage as community center


On Stage: Front & Center


When Southern Rep Theatre made its recent move into a renovated church on Bayou Road in Treme, it also assumed a stronger-than-ever role as a resource for community improvement and well-being. That commitment is evident in the lineup of community-focused programming now on tap.

“By increasing the number of seats at our theatre-making table, we start to cultivate and grow long-term community relationships,” Artistic Director Aimée Hayes said of the array of programs Southern Rep has scheduled.

She described this new “community table” as a forum for conversation and art-making. “We work to include a diverse representation of our community to plan and design the most nutritious and enriching offerings,” she said.

The community table lineup includes:

• Second Saturdays – monthly free story time performances by Southern Rep Theatre Acting Company members. The experience may involve a great story, craft-making, snacks and even a dance party. The events are designed for families, particularly those with kids 2-12 years old, and they take place on the Lagniappe Stage.

• Play dates – free two-hour community art-making events held on Saturdays and overseen by local professional artists.

• Community-powered events – These will be high-quality works of participatory theatre that aim to draw in anyone interested in exploring stage drama. Whether it’s your first time on stage or you live and breathe theatre, you are invited to join in.

• Radical solutions conversations – Designed as a platform for community-led problem solving and dialogue, these conversations encourage the community to engage with a diverse panel of civic leaders on ways to strengthen and improve the community.

• Mondays Are A Drag – Southern Rep’s night to let local drag artists of all kinds have the Lagniappe stage all to themselves to curate their heart’s desire. Glitz, glamour and racy delights are sure to ensue.

In addition to the community table lineup, Southern Rep has launched Care for Creatives, a partnership with the New Orleans Musicians’ Clinic that enlists mental health practitioners to promote resilience through workshops and events. The activities center around personal development, psychological education and healing through music, drama, visual art, movement, guided relaxation and other expressive forms.

Well-being workshops, for instance, include sessions such as Metamodern Psychodrama and Paint with Passion. “Healing power hours” invite walk-ins to join in meditation sessions, yoga and autogenic hypnosis relaxation training. Sunday Brunch talks, meanwhile, combine live music with brunch and include the sharing of personal stories of hope.

Further demonstrating how the theatre is embracing its new home, Southern Rep has commissioned Louisiana playwright Pamela Davis-Noland to lead a team of artists, neighbors and vendors from the historic Bayou Road area to create an interactive, multi-disciplinary play that will premiere as part of the company’s 2019-20 season. The work will use stories collected through personal interviews and discussions along with research into the history of Bayou Road, which encompasses generations of indigenous peoples including the Natchez, Tunica, Tensas, Houma, Chitimacha, Washa, and Atakapa tribes.

Southern Rep invites its neighbors to be part of the process of implementing ideas as they develop from page to stage. Once a month, theatre audiences and fellow artists will be invited to join Davis-Noland in examining the process of new play development. This project is supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.


Springtime drama

It is definitely a rite of spring at Southern Rep Theatre: When March rolls around, it’s a sure bet that the theatre is at work on a play to be featured at the Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival.

The festival has for many years brought hundreds of writers, actors and other creative types to New Orleans for several days of discussion, workshops, readings and performances.

This year Southern Rep’s contribution to the festival is the world premiere of New Orleans native and playwright Christina Quintana’s evocative new play “Azul,” directed by Estefanía Fadul. Facing the loss of her Cuban-born mother, Zelia digs into her legacy and learns of her great-aunt who remained in Cuba for the love of another woman. Echoes of the past inform Zelia’s own relationship with her wife and her struggle to place herself between worlds.

This production is in partnership with Saints+Sinners LGBTQ Literary Festival, which is a project of the Tennessee Williams fest. See either the Southern Rep or the festival website for scheduling details.



On Stage: Front & Center


Southern Repertory Theatre

2541 Bayou Road, New Orleans
Box office: 504.522.6545

Housed in a beautifully renovated former church, Southern Rep offers a full slate of performances annually in its main stage season, as well as staged readings, special events and educational shows. See the lineup below and check the website for up-to-date details about scheduled performances.



“Azul” (March 27-April 14).  In partnership with the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival, New Orleans native Christina Quintana’s debut play has New Yorker Zelia facing the loss of her Cuban-born mother and struggling to center herself. A world premiere.

“Flowers for Halie” (May 8-26).  Written by and starring New Orleans’ own Troi Bechet, this new celebration of the Queen of Gospel, Mahalia Jackson, illuminates the struggles and triumphs of an American icon, from her early days in a shotgun shack in New Orleans to her international success as a singer and civil rights leader.

The New Play Development program called 4D brings dramatists, directors and dramaturgs together to create three new full-length plays every season.

Upcoming “Lagniappe” offerings include:

• “Care for Creatives” series, which offers practice in the art of being well and includes such sessions as “Metamodern Psychodrama” (Sundays, March 10-April 14).
•  “Paint with passion” (Mondays, March 11-April 15).
• “Queer Identities” (Sundays, May 19-June 23).
• Yoga and Ritual for the Creative Soul (March 12).
• Autogenic hypnosis relaxation training (March 19).
• Tai Chi (March 26).

In April, look for Tuesday sessions on mindfulness, roles in relationships; slow yoga and meditation. Space is limited, so please register for each event by logging on to the website and clicking on “Care for Creatives.”


On Stage: Front & Center


Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

325 Minor St., Kenner


From Broadway musicals and comedy classics to new local works, artistic directors Gary Rucker and Kelly Fouchi keep the high-energy entertainment coming.



“Into the Woods” (March 15-31).  The Brothers Grimm hit the stage in an epic fairytale about wishes, family and hard choices we make. See what happens to your favorite, yet tragically flawed, fairytale characters, both before and after the words “happily ever after.” Gary Rucker directs this visually enchanting show.

“Me & My Girl” (May 3-19).  This award-winning show whisks you back to the glittering 1930s, with rousing  song-and-dance production numbers that complement the side-splitting comedy.

“Mamma Mia!” (July 11-21).  The hugely popular show brings along ABBA’s hits to help tell the story of a young woman’s search for her birth father in a Greek island paradise.

“9 to 5” (Sept. 13-29).  With music and lyrics by Dolly Parton, it’s the musical based on the seminal hit movie. In this hilarious 1970s story of friendship, three female coworkers concoct a plan to get even with the sexist, egotistical, lying, hypocritical bigot they call their boss. Hey, a girl can scheme, can’t she?

“November” (Oct. 25-Nov. 10).  Meet the SOB who runs the USA! Written in 2008 and originally starring Nathan Lane, November is a manically funny political comedy by David Mamet. Whether you lean right or left as a voter, you’ll have a great time watching this one.

“Scrooge in Rouge” (Nov. 29.-Dec. 15).  Local favorites Ricky Graham, Varla Jean Merman, Yvette Hargis and Jefferson Turner star in the hugely popular musical that they created.


On Stage: Front & Center


Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré    

616 St. Peter St., New Orleans
Box office: 504-522-2081


In offering a full season of contemporary and classic dramas, comedies, musicals, and children’s productions, as well as master classes and special events, Le Petit embraces the work of the city’s professional artists, both onstage and backstage. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Maxwell Williams and Executive Director Don-Scott Cooper, the theatre aims to entertain and educate the region’s diverse populace.



“Baby Doll” (March 15-31).  With the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, Le Petit presents a regional premiere based on one of Williams’ one-act plays. The dark comedy is set amid the desires, desperation and prejudices of two rival Mississippi cotton gin owners. Directed by Maxwell Williams.

“The Pianist of Willesden Lane” (May 10-26).  Grammy-nominated piano virtuoso Mona Golabek presents a show based on the true story of her mother’s journey and life as a young musician in London during the Blitz in World War II. Golabek performs music from Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and Rachmaninoff.  

Ivan Neville: Piano Sessions (May 2).   An intimate evening celebrating a Neville brother’s 60th birthday. Ivan will present his Songbook, a journey through his musical history in words, songs, sounds and stories told through a performance with very special guests.

Le Petit Theatre has a long tradition of welcoming children. Student matinees provide a unique, personal experience of the productions for hundreds of students. Each student matinee is followed by a talk-back during which the cast interacts with students during a brief Q&A session. Upcoming matinees are scheduled on March 22 and May 10.


On Stage: Front & Center


The NOLA Project

900 Camp St., New Orleans


A vigorous troupe that has carved a must-see niche for itself during 15 seasons, the NOLA Project’s mission is to present works that “inspire and ignite the human imagination.” Check the website for up-to-date details of the dates and locations of productions.



Spotlight Supper (March 28).  We are honored to invite you to an exclusive and intimate evening with The NOLA Project at our Spotlight Supper inside the majestically renovated and revived Felicity Church, which was built in 1850. Over the course of the evening, you will be served a five-act meal, while connecting with the company members through storytelling, preview vignettes from the upcoming 2019-2020 season, and capping the evening off with the announcement of our 15th season. Directed by The NOLA Project, at Felicity Church, 1220 Felicity St., New Orleans.

“The Henchman: A Shakespeare Story” (May 8-26).  Set 15 years after “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” Michael Aaron Santos’ exciting sequel reveals the true story of Jacob, the little changeling boy who Oberon and Titania quarreled over many years ago. In NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden.

Also watch for the return of NOLA Project’s “Rough Draughts,” a monthly play-reading series held at various locations where brews are consumed. Check the website for details.

The NOLA Project is an ensemble-driven theatre company that strives to challenge, entertain, and engage diverse New Orleans audiences through high-quality and innovative performances of relevant great works, the development and production of new plays, and comprehensive educational opportunities for aspiring theatre artists.


On Stage: Front & Center


Saenger Theatre

1111 Canal St., New Orleans


Broadway is alive in New Orleans at the majestic tower theatre on Canal Street. Between the big musical shows, see big-name concerts and solo entertainers. Check the website for the full lineup.



“Hamilton” (March 12-31).  Come see what all the excitement is about. Alexander Hamilton was an immigrant from the West Indies who became George Washington’s right-hand man during the Revolutionary War and was the new nation’s first Treasury Secretary. Featuring a score that blends hip-hop, jazz, blues, rap, R&B, and Broadway, this is the story of America then, as told by America now.

“Cinderella” (April 12-14).  Rodgers and Hammerstein’s rendering of the classic fairytale is as enchanting as the story itself.

“Come from Away” (May 28-June 2).  A new musical about the remarkable true story of 7,000 stranded passengers and the small town in Newfoundland that welcomed them. Cultures clashed, but uneasiness turned into trust and music soared into the night.

“Kinky Boots” (June 14-16).  The hit musical brings Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein and Grammy-winning rock icon Cyndi Lauper together at the Saenger in a performance of the uplifting tale of a young man reluctantly taking over his family’s struggling shoe factory.

“Wicked” (Oct. 2-20).  The surprising and untold story of friendship between two women in the land of Oz. Meet the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good, long before Dorothy drops in.

“Dear Evan Hansen” (Nov. 5-10).  It’s the one everybody’s talking about. Evan Hansen is about to get the one thing he’s always wanted, a chance to finally fit in.


On Stage: Front & Center


New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane

6823 St. Charles Ave., 215 McWilliams Hall, New Orleans
Box office: 504-865-5106


Professional, classical theatre with a primary focus on the works of William Shakespeare shapes the mission of this festival, now in its 26th season. Under the direction of artistic director and lighting designer Martin Sachs, and Managing Director Clare Moncrief, the festival has recently begun casting for its summer shows. Summer main stage performances are held in the Lupin Theater, located in the Dixon Hall Annex.



“Much Ado About Nothing” (June 7-23).  The Bard’s five-act comedy takes an ancient theme – that of a woman falsely accused of infidelity – to comedic heights. Directed by Burton Tedesco.

“Hamlet” (July 12-28).  The tragic story of the Prince of Denmark remains one of the most powerful works in world literature. Directed by Clare Moncrief.

The festival has a history of outreach into area schools to support rising talent. In the spring, in collaboration with the New Orleans Chapter of The English Speaking Union, the festival hosts the National Shakespeare Competition, which awards the best presentation of a Shakespeare soliloquy and sonnet with an all-expense-paid trip to New York to compete in the national finals.

Throughout the school year, Shakespeare on the Road visits schools throughout greater New Orleans. Laced with humor and action from more than a dozen of Shakespeare’s works, this program exposes students to theatre in an exciting and powerful way.

Also, the Gavin Mahlie All Things Shakespeare Program offers future theatre artists a chance to spend their summers in intensive training, working under our professional artists and technicians.


On Stage: Front & Center


Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane University

104 Dixon Hall, Tulane University Campus, New Orleans
Box office: 504-865-5269


Now in its 51st season of producing high-quality musical entertainment, Summer Lyric Theatre exists to support and develop musicians, actors, singers, dancers, technical artists and most important, promising students. It employs the talents of paid and volunteer performers and behind-the-scenes specialists. Hundreds of individuals audition for an experience that many rank among the best theatrical opportunities in the Gulf South region.



“Pirates of Penzance In Concert” (June 1-2).  A fresh take on one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular comic operas. Frederic, an apprentice pirate, wants to give up piracy and lead a blameless life. As he follows Frederic’s star-crossed journey, Gilbert manages to lampoon the army, the police and “respectability.”

“42nd Street” (June 20-23).  The ultimate show-biz musical celebrates Broadway, Times Square and the talent that is the foundation of musical theatre.

“She Loves Me” (July 11-14).  Memorable characters populate this story of romance with a twist.

“Matilda” (July 31-Aug. 4).  A modern fairytale mixes hilarious humor with a magical message.

For many years young people from throughout New Orleans have had the opportunity to experience musical theatre on the beautiful Tulane campus through Summer Lyric Theatre and its educational program, Little Lyric. This summer, SLT will expand its educational offerings to include Little Lyric (ages 8-12), Junior Lyric (ages 12-16) and High School Musical Theatre Intensive (ages 13-18). Summer shows will include “Aladdin Jr.” (June 28-29) and “Shrek Jr.” (July 26-27). See the website for registration information and program details.


On Stage: Front & Center


The Joy Theater

1200 Canal St., New Orleans


The grand art deco theater regularly hosts hot bands and popular comedians at a location on the Canal Street streetcar line in downtown New Orleans. An entirely renovated 10,000-square-foot multipurpose venue, the Joy features live music concerts, comedy shows, theatrical productions, and offers spaces to host private parties or corporate events. With fully re-purposed sound and lighting systems, the space holds up to 1,200 guests with a flexible seating plan that can be configured in a variety of ways.



Travis Greene (March 14).  “See the Light Tour”

Güd Vibrations (March 22-23).  Presented by Buku Late X Nghtmre & Slander.

New Orleans Grandslam Championship (March 28).  Presented by The Moth.

Puddles Pity Party (March 30).  A Winter Circle Production

San Holo (April 13).  The album1 Tour.

Phil Lesh and the Terrapin Family Band (April 25-26).  A Winter Circle Production

Iration – Live from Paradise! (April 30).  Summer tour with Pepper, Fortunate Youth and Katastro.

Rage!fest 2019 featuring Lettuce (May 2).  With special guest Oteil Burbridge, The Soul Rebels.

Mike Gordon (May 3).  A Winter Circle production.

Les Claypool’s Bastard Jazz (May 4).  Featuring Mike Dillon, Stanton Moore and Skerik.

Anders Osborne & Friends Birthday Bash (May 4).  Very special guests to be announced.

Jim James – Uniform Distortion (May 5).  With Amo Amo.

LANY (June 4).  Live Nation Presents.

RuFus du Sol (July 27).  Solace Tour 2019 presented by Alt 92.3 and WCP.


On Stage: Front & Center


Jefferson Performing Arts Society

6400 Airline Drive, Metairie
box office: 504-885-2000.


At home in the beautiful Jefferson Performing Arts Center, Artistic Director Dennis Assaf presents the center’s 41st season. Performances are also on tap at Westwego Performing Arts Theatre and Teatro Wego on the West Bank.



“Once on This Island Jr.” (March 15-17).  JPAS Theatre Kids! presents an adaptation of the celebrated Broadway musical, a Calypso-flavored tale that follows a small girl who finds love in a world of prejudice. Non-stop song and dance unfold at Westwego Performing Arts Theatre.
The Irish Tenors (March 16).  Since 1998, Finbar Wright, Anthony Kearns and Ronan Tynan have presented sold-out shows from New York to Sydney, Australia. Meet the tenors after the show at a champagne social. (See website for details.) At Jefferson Performing Arts Center.

“South Pacific” (April 5-14).   The exotic Rogers and Hammerstein musical remains as entertaining today as it was decades ago as it intertwines themes of romance, duty and prejudice to create a story that’s funny, heartbreaking and thought-provoking. At Jefferson Performing Arts Center.

“Coppelia” (May 17-19).  A comic ballet based on stories by E.T.A. Hoffmann centers around a young man who becomes infatuated with a life-size dancing doll.

“How to Kill a Diva, the Musical” (May 24-June 9).  An insufferable soprano nearing the end of her career battles a young rival, an old lover and the homicidal chorus of a financially failing opera house.

Watch for these productions by the JPAS Youth Musical Theatre Intensive: “The Little Mermaid Jr.” (June 3-23); “My Fair Lady, Student Edition” (July 8-28); and “Aladdin Jr.” (July 15-Aug. 4).


On Stage: Front & Center


Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

1010 Common Street and Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans
Box office: 504.523.6530


Under director and principal conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto, the LPO is at home in the grand Orpheum Theater, while continuing to perform concerts at other venues. Check the website for details of all events.



The Fantastical Imagination (March 14).  Violinist Vladim Gluzman performs “The Infant Minstrel and His Peculiar Menagerie.”

St. John Passion (March 28).  Bach is center stage, featuring tenor Frank Kelly, soprano Sarah Shafer, Mezzo-soprano Abigaile Nims and others.

Adventures in Space (March 31).  A family concert featuring Planets by Holst and Star Wars. Bring your light saber.

Cirque Musica, Heroes & Villains (April 6).  Featuring the story about a boy and avid comic fan who becomes lost in a fantasy world of superheroes and villains. His world comes to life through the incredible displays of circus and acrobatic talent from the Cirque Musica and great superhero and classical music.

Beethoven Symphony No. 7 (April 11, 13).  Cellist Julian Steckel in his first performance with the LPO shines in Prokofiev’s Sinfonia Concertante for Cello and Orchestra, as well as Beethoven’s seventh.

Swing in the Oaks (April 16).  Fidelity’s Concert in the Park unfolds on the Goldring Woldenberg Great Lawn in City Park.

Prieto Conducts (May 9).  The maestro presents Carlos Chavez’s Symphony No. 2, “Sinfonia India,” featuring Alexandra Soumm in a Leonard Bernstein composition. Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 6 ends the program with a blaze.

The Rite of Spring (May 16, 18).  Pianist Joyce Yang brings dazzling musicality to Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3, followed by Stravinsky’s revolutionary masterwork.


On Stage: Front & Center


New Orleans Opera Association

935 Gravier St., Suite 1940, New Orleans
Box office: 504.529.3000, 800.881.4459


Artistic Director Robert Lyall leads the opera in a 75th anniversary season filled with drama, grandeur and thrilling voices, performed in the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts.



Lera Auerbach’s “The Blind” (April 4-7).  A unique 12-voice acapella opera is based on a haunting play of Flemish Symbolist writer Maurice Maeterlinck. An “immersive theater” production in which a group of 12 blind patients have been led into the forest by their priest, who guided them there to enjoy the last rays of sun before the winter. This fascinating opera holds more questions than answers. At Marigny Opera House.

Verdi’s “Rigoletto” (April 26, 28).  The Duke of Mantua is the personification of the axiom that “absolute power corrupts absolutely.” The fast-paced drama leads us to a grimly tragic conclusion as it commands attention with the power of its drama and the richness of its music. At Mahalia Jackson Theater.

Opéra Nouvelle concerts feature interactive experiences, live music from upcoming operas and free-flowing dialogue with the audience. Watch for these upcoming performances:

Innovative Explorations (March 29).  An evening of multimedia and sensory experiences at the Jazz Museum.

Renaissance Revelry (April 18).  At the Ogden Museum Patrick Taylor Library.

Keep an eye out for the ever-popular Opera on Tap, with cast members of upcoming operas in casual performances at such locales as the Rusty Nail and the 4 Points Sheraton. Check the website for details of spring performances.


On Stage: Front & Center


New Orleans Ballet Association

Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts
New Orleans
Box office: 504.522.0996


The central Gulf region’s premiere presenting organization dedicated to dance, the association offers a season of main stage and educational programs featuring world-class dance companies and artists.



Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater (March 22-23).  Returning for the first time in almost a decade, the dancers celebrate 60 years of bringing the African American experience and dance traditions to the world’s stages. Directed by the charismatic choreographer Robert Battle, the dancers set the stage on fire. At Mahalia Jackson Theater.

Bodytraffic (April 5-6).  The Los Angeles-based company has blazed onto the international dance scene with a 10-member ensemble performing high-energy, humorous, jazzy and boldly theatrical performances. Co-presented with The NOCCA Institute at Freda Lupin Memorial Hall, NOCCA.

NOBA supports the development of young talent through various annual programs, including a tuition-free Summer Intensive Program (by audition or invitation only) in June and July. Motivated students ages 8-18 receive opportunities to study with an exceptional faculty of visiting and local artists. Through the Pan-American Life Master Artist Series, NOBA will partner with premiere Latino dance organization Ballet Hispánico to offer a Celebration of Cuban Dance July 15–Aug. 2, 2019 which will include classes and choreography in Cuban ballet technique, Afro-Cuban and Salsa, culminating in an exciting concert. Multiple intensive sessions are also offered in June and July, with past guest artists representing top dance companies such as Dance Theatre of Harlem, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, The Joffrey Ballet and many more. The ballet also offers an Early Childhood Dance Program for children 3 to 5 years of age. Check the website for details about next year’s program.