Eyes on Society: Dramas focus on issues, conflicts
‘GOAT’ MAKES ITS OWN ROAD _______
An “outside” production that turned heads at UNO’s Robert E. Nims Theatre recently was “Foreign to Myself,” by Goat in the Road Productions. The work explores the difficulty of reintegration into American society for two returning war veterans, and it won praise from Auditorium Magazine for the players’ “masterful control” and the troupe’s “celebratory collaboration between talented individuals.”
A performance ensemble focused on original works of theatre, dance, performance art and educational programming, Goat in the Road has taken its works around the country. Up next, Goat presents “The Stranger Disease,” an immersive show about Reconstruction and Yellow Fever in New Orleans, created in collaboration with the Louisiana State Museum and Friends of the Cabildo. The troupe will perform the work at Madame John’s Legacy, 632 Dumaine St., March 23-April 15.
Soon, Goat will also present its FORGE Festival, showcasing the talents of the ensemble’s 18 members. This year’s festival (May 11-20) highlights include hilarious performances by Darci Fulcher and Dylan Hunter.
Also during May, Goat’s play-write showcase offers 10 student plays produced and performed by local professional dance and theatre companies. The programs operate in five New Orleans schools, reaching hundreds of middle-school through high school students.
See facebook.com/goatintheroad for details of all educational and upcoming performance events.
WHERE RELEVANCE RULES _______
The always socially sensitive and inventive theatre company Cripple Creek Theatre capped its latest season with “Treemonisha,” a “fully realized” opera by Scott Joplin, who never saw the work produced during his lifetime. Before presenting “Treemonisha,” the company offered up Joplin’s “Ragtime,” and last August performed Albert Camus’ challenging play “Caligula.”
By its own description, Cripple Creek is “a professional, non-equity organization dedicated to producing dramatic works of cultural, historical and political relevance in order to provoke the general public into social action.” See cripplecreektheatre.org for more information.
UNO FEEDS TALENT POOL _______
Numerous stars of local theatre owe a debt to the training and mentoring they received from faculty in the theatre department at University of New Orleans. Led by theatre veteran David Hoover, the department recently wrapped its production of “The Royale,” a challenging work about an African American boxer who hoped to become a champion in a racially segregated society.
Coming in April at UNO is Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” a bold take on the classic feminist tale that pushes against convention and explores “a woman’s place” in a man’s world. Also in April, UNO will offer Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler,” a chilling portrait of a disenchanted newlywed.
In May, don’t miss the annual UNO Film Festival, a weekend of juried independent films in a showcase that offers the best of both student-produced and independent producers’ works. For details of all events, see theatre.uno.edu or call 504-280-7469.
LE PETIT MARKS BIG DATES _______
Theatre has played a role in urging societal change throughout the history of staged drama, and last fall Le Petit Theatre took a step toward improving public health with a tour stop by famed actor Ed Asner, who brought his one-man show “A Man and His Prostate” to the local stage. The show took a comedic look at dealing with a serious and increasingly common malady, prostate cancer. Asner performed the work in December.
In January, Le Petit presented the “burlesque opera” entitled “Tabasco,” celebrating the theatre’s 75th anniversary and the city’s tricentennial. And next up (March 9-25) is the Tennessee Williams classic, “A Streetcar Named Desire,” in conjunction with the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival.
Completing the theatre’s current season, Le Petit will present “An Act of God” in May, followed by “Crowns” in June. See lepetittheatre.com for details.
AN ISLAND TRADITION _______
All about developing and nurturing talent, Art Klub’s upcoming workshops focus on works from the island of Bali, with leadership by artist in residence Marije Nie. On March 11, Art Klub dives into the ancient tradition of Balinese kecak, which interweaves rhythmic and harmonic patterns and voices. Originally the kecak was a trance ritual in Bali, but today it is commonly a part of musical and theater performance. See artklub.org for details of this and other upcoming workshops and performances.
Life is good at Southern
Though the theatre business can be tough, the leading professional theatre in New Orleans is finding many reasons for optimism after a long stint of surviving as an itinerant company.
Southern Repertory Theatre is a critically acclaimed regional theatre company that produces world premieres, Broadway and off-Broadway, and classic plays under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Aimée Hayes. Through its mainstage season, lagniappe series/new play development and “School to Stage Pipeline” of arts education and professional development programs, Southern Rep offers accessible, high-quality productions that entertain and engage audiences.
After losing its lease in the Canal Place office complex some years ago, Southern Rep worked on stages all around the city. But Hayes is exuberant over the prospect of the theatre soon settling into permanent digs. “Southern Rep’s new home is happening,” she proclaimed recently, noting that renovations of a stately old church in the Treme area are underway to create stages, offices and work areas for a new performing arts complex. The location, expected to open this year, offers patrons easy access and gives Southern Rep a home in a “real” New Orleans neighborhood. The complex will include a 125-seat proscenium, a 65-seat Lagniappe Stage, an outdoor stage and rehearsal room.
The theater also is set to open its spring subscription series, encompassing three events, one of which is a Tennessee Williams double bill (March 21-April 1). “And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens” is a poignant and funny look at dilemmas and disappointments that face a drag queen during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. Directed by Ricky Graham, the work takes its audience inside struggles that arise in a part of society many are unfamiliar with.
Completing the double bill is “The Two-Character Play,” directed by Austin Pendleton in association with Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company. Fantasy and reality meld in this seldom-seen Williams play about a brother and sister who are touring actors and get left behind by their troupe. Williams deemed the work his “most beautiful” play since “A Streetcar Named Desire.” The production stars Irene Glezos and Joseph Rodriguez.
Following in April is the regional premiere of Danai Gurira’s “Eclipsed,” a gripping play about the captive wives of a Liberian rebel in a civil war-torn country, who find hope in the arrival of a new captive who can read. Next, in “All the Way,” coming in May, playwright Robert Schenkkan offers a vivid dramatization of Lyndon Baines Johnson’s first year in the Oval Office.
Hayes expects that the spring series will echo Southern Rep’s recent professional successes, such as its presentation of the poignant “Father Comes Home from the War” in 2017. “The moment in ‘Father’ when the cast measures the sky took my breath away every time I saw it,” she says.
Equally strong, she says, were productions of “Sweet Bird of Youth,” the tearful yet joyful “Fun Home,” and the “comic bounty” of “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberly.”
Hayes says Southern Rep’s community programs are expanding year by year, with “play dates, table talks, lagniappe performances, “Second Saturdays” and a Juneteenth celebration. Partnering with a host of local organizations and educational institutions has enriched the experience that Southern Rep can offer to local residents of all ages, she says.
See southernrep.com for details of all the theatre’s programs, including summer sessions for kids. Hayes notes that new Acting and Apprentice Companies launched last year by Southern Rep and will get fully underway in 2018.
Lara Grice becomes Violet Venable _____
She is the millionaire mother of a dead poet. Her son was everything to her, until he died in a violent incident last summer overseas. Who is this woman? Her name is Violet Venable, the great dame of Tennessee Williams’ classic “Suddenly Last Summer,” currently being staged at Bayou Playhouse in Lockport. Venable is played by Lara Grice, who has starred on stages across the region, including many productions at Southern Rep.
Grice brings a masterful rendition of Venable, a proud woman who is trying to silence her psychologically unhinged niece from publicly telling the hideous truth about her cousin’s death. How far will Venable go? Among other ideas, she attempts to bribe a surgeon to perform a lobotomy on the threatening niece.
Directed by local theatre and film veteran Dane Rhodes, the production runs through March 11. See bayouplayhouse.com for details.
Rivertown – where musical theatre thrives
“We are thrilled to be in our seventh season with the incredible support and response from our loyal and ever-growing patrons,” says co-artistic director Kelly Fouchi at Rivertown Theatres for the Performing Arts.
Sold-out houses have been common at the Kenner theatres this season, and Fouchi says she and co-artistic director Gary Rucker intend to keep it that way. “Our goal is to continue to present productions that are full of high entertainment value featuring some of the area’s most talented performers,” she says.
Local audiences are sure to be charmed by a favorite that’s now on stage. “Steel Magnolias (through March 18) is considered by some to be a rite of passage for lovers of musical theatre, and if you have already seen it, repeating the experience is almost mandatory. Six women come together in a small north Louisiana town, and at their center is Shelby, a newly married and pregnant young woman who is about to be confronted by a terrible decision. Ricky Graham directs a production filled with loads of hometown flavor.
Up next is “Mary Poppins Jr.” (April 6-15), a heartwarming and delightful story set in 1910 England. One of the most popular movies and musicals of all time, the work is a “practically perfect” Broadway Junior musical that kids and their parents will love.
The main stage series wraps up with one of the funniest and whackiest musicals of all time, “Little Shop of Horrors” (May 4-20). You can feed the need for musical hilarity with this sci-fi smash about a man-eating plant. It’s a deviously delicious Broadway and Hollywood musical that has devoured the hearts of theatre goers for decades.
Rivertown’s directors recently announced their next season of shows, beginning in fall 2018. The lineup includes Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man’ in September, followed by a nutty and hilarious crowd-pleaser to celebrate New Orleans’ tricentennial, “Gone Pecans!”
Coming in December is a delightful musical tradition with “Let it Snow.”
Looking ahead to 2019, Rivertown will present “Greater Tuna” (where the Lions Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies!); “Into the Woods,” an epic fairytale from the Brothers Grimm; and “Me and My Girl,” a grand old musical comedy.
Rucker and Fouchi recognize how important it is to the future of musical theatre to bring youngsters into the fold and engage them in the creative process. Each summer Rivertown teams up with Encore Studio of Dance, Tumbling, Music and Theater to hold two camps.
Boys and girls entering the third grade can sign up for a camp running May 29-June 17 that will culminate in performances of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” that gives the kids a chance to show their stuff in a tuneful, high-energy production that mixes disco, rock ‘n’ roll, country, hip hop and more. University-trained theater professionals lead the camps and work one-on-one with students to keep them engaged and learning.
A second camp program, running July 9-29, focuses on boys and girls entering the sixth grade and will end with performances of “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” The production includes professional set pieces, props, costumes and special effects that will give kids a true taste of what it’s like to participate in a professional theatre production.
See rivertowntheaters.com for details of all educational programs and upcoming productions.
Rooted in New Orleans
Just how big is musical theatre in New Orleans? Consider the stage at the Saenger Theatre. National touring performances of “The Phantom of the Opera” and “RENT” are slated for runs during March and April as part of the grand theatre’s Broadway in New Orleans series. And in June the Saenger will present “Waitress,” a new work inspired by the film of the same name, and including a musical score by Sara Bareilles.
Local audiences continue to show their love for Broadway productions that bring the full scale and spectacle of their New York counterparts. Coming in the fall, the Saenger will present Disney’s “Aladdin,” “School of Rock” and “On Your Feet!” before launching into a 2019 series that will put several of the biggest of big musicals on the local stage. The lineup includes “Les Miserables,” “The Book of Mormon” and “Hamilton.”
Southern Repertory Theatre
Box office: 504.522.6545
This pillar of local theater soon will have a new home in a beautifully renovated church. Meanwhile, check the website for up-to-date details and locations for each upcoming performance.
Tennessee Williams Double Bill (March 21-April 1). Two rarely seen works paired in a limited engagement:
• “And Tell Sad Stories of the Death of Queens” Showcasing barely contained urges and desires that erupt during a fateful Mardi Gras holiday. Directed by Ricky Graham. At Loyola University, Marquette Theatre.
• “The Two Character Play” A Tennessee Williams play presented in association with Playhouse Creatures Theatre Company portrays a brother-sister team of actors abandoned by their troupe to face an unknown audience. Directed by Austin Pendleton.
“Eclipsed” (April 18-May 6). Regional premiere of Danai Gurira’s production about two women held captive during the Liberian civil war and how the arrival of a new girl who can read sparks their transformation. At Loyola University, Marquette Theatre.
“All the Way” (May 17-27). Regional premiere of Robert Schenkkan’s story of the unexpected presidency of Lyndon Baines Johnson. Directed by Aimée Hayes. At Loyola University, Marquette Theatre.
Check the website for details on Southern Rep’s summer theatre camps featuring sessions for ages 4-18. Kids 4-7 can participate in a production of “Peter Pan” or “Snow White”; ages 8-12 will join in “The Internet is Distract–Look a Kitten!”; and students 13-18 will perform “Shrek, the Musical Jr.”
Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
325 Minor St., Kenner
Artistic directors Gary Rucker and Kelly Fouchi mastermind the music and comedy-packed seasons at the lovely theaters near the Mississippi River in Kenner.
“Steel Magnolias” (through March 18). Bring friends to share in this beloved comedy that will make you cry. Six women come together in a heartwarming story of life, love and loss in a small North Louisiana parish.
“Mary Poppins Jr.” (April 6-15). Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s Mary Poppins Jr. combines an irresistible story with unforgettable songs and dance numbers. Based on one of the most popular Disney movies of all time.
“Little Shop of Horrors” (May 4-20). Musical hilarity fills this sci-fi smash about a man-eating plant. The deviously delicious hit has devoured the hearts of theatre goers for decades.
“Disney’s Beauty and the Beast” (July 12-22). The Academy Award-winning film comes to life in this romantic and beloved take on the classic fairytale. Step into the enchanted world of Broadway’s modern classic.
“The Music Man” (Sept. 4-30). Meet the famously fast-talking Harold Hill and a cast of colorful Iowans in the fall season opener, Meredith Willson’s classic.
“Gone Pecans!” (Nov. 2-18). Celebrate 300 nutty years of New Orleans with this original musical penned by and starring Ricky Graham, with Sean Patterson, Varla Jean Merman and Jefferson Turner, a singing-dancing ensemble and a swinging band.
“Let It Snow!” (Dec. 7-23).
Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré
616 St. Peter St., New Orleans
Box office: 504-522-2081
Artistic director Maxwell Williams continues to present favorite classics and challenging works that engage and entertain. Performances range from re-stagings of Broadway classic musicals to premieres of new works. The theatre also hosts seminars and stagings during the annual Tennessee Williams New Orleans Literary Festival.
All the performers at Le Petit are volunteers, in accordance with the charter designating it a community theatre, though many are performing arts professionals.
“A Streetcar Named Desire” (March 9-25). Presentation of this classic coincides with the annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival. The story of Blanche DuBois and her collision with her sensuous and brutal brother-in-law, Stanley Kowalski, is as dynamic and searing today as it as when it premiered in 1947.
“An Act of God” (May 11-27). After many millennia, God has arrived back on Earth to address some of our deepest questions, in this hit comedy by David Javerbaum.
“Crowns” (June 15-July 1). Told in a mix of gospel, jazz, blues, hip-hop and spoken word, this moving story is seen through the eyes of a young African American woman who comes to the South after her brother is killed and is introduced to her grandmother’s circle of hat queens. Each hat holds the story of a life struggle, and Yolanda comes to realize that these hats aren’t mere fashion statements, but hard-earned crowns.
1111 Canal St., New Orleans
The home of Broadway in New Orleans, the majestic Saenger Theatre regularly hosts performances by national touring musical companies. Between the big musical shows, the theatre presents musical concerts and solo entertainers. See the website for the full lineup.
“The Phantom of the Opera” (March 14-25). The production is bigger and better than ever, and promises to thrill audiences with its moving story and spectacular musical score.
“Disney Junior Dance Party on Tour” (March 30). An all new interactive live concert experience invites you to sing along to Disney Junior’s greatest hits with your favorite characters.
“John Cleese: Monty Python and the Holy Grail” (April 6). The comedy legend will tell stories of his life and career, and you just may finally find out the air-speed of an unladen swallow.
“Rent” (April 17-22). A re-imagining of Puccini’s “La Bohème,” RENT follows an unforgettable year in the lives of seven artists struggling to follow their dreams without selling out.
“Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue Treme Threauxdown” (April 28). A great way to celebrate the first weekend of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival.
“Waitress” (June 12-17). Inspired by Adrienne Shelly’s beloved film, the production tells the story of a waitress who dreams of a way out of her small town and loveless marriage. Brought to life by a groundbreaking all-female creative team and including original music and lyrics by six-time Grammy® nominee Sara Bareilles.
The Orpheum Theater
129 Roosevelt Way
The century-old Beaux Arts theater in downtown New Orleans found new life courtesy of owner Roland Von Kurnatowski. Once again, it has become the home of the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra (see separate highlights of LPO lineup) as well as other top-notch musical and comedy performers.
Bianca Del Rio Comedy Tour (March 3). The alter ego of seasoned comic Roy Haylock and a winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race, Bianca Del Rio is a self-proclaimed “clown in a gown.” The hilariously hateful comic is known for her foul mouth and unapologetic humor – sharp and funny.
Fleet Foxes (March 12). Their self-titled debut made a profound impact on the international musical landscape, earning them Uncut’s first ever Music Award Prize, and topping numerous “Best of ” lists, including Rolling Stone’s 100 Best Albums of the 2000’s and Pitchfork’s 50 Best Albums of 2008.
Pines of Rome and Béla Fleck (March 15, 17). Jose Luis Gomez conducts the LPO in a concert featuring pieces that incorporate traditional and folk melodies from around the world.
Simply Sinatra (March 24). Presented by the LPO, singer Steve Lippia has become one of the most prominent interpreters of “standards” and traditional pop music in the country.
Purple Rain and the Music of Prince (April 21). Dynamic orchestrations by the LPO combined with the music of the incomparable Prince, including a full rock band and lighting, create an experience not to be missed.
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 dramatic festival, now in its 25th season. Summer main stage performances are held in the Lupin Theater, located in the Dixon Hall Annex (Building 69).
“All’s Well That Ends Well” (June 1-17). Helena loves Bertram, but he’s not so sure. After all, she’s a poor orphan and he’s a handsome gentleman. But all is fair in love and war, which makes for a dark comedy and wild ride. The festival presents this play for the first time in its history. Directed by Amy Holtcamp.
“Macbeth” (July 6-22). In a country torn by war, Macbeth and his steadfast wife execute a ruthless plan that launches a string of murders, in a world of witches and prophecy. Directed by Jessica Podewell.
“The Food of Love” (June 14). Broadway and screen veteran Leslie Castay will debut a brand new cabaret featuring songs from musicals and other works that pay homage to the Bard.
“King Lear,” a staged reading (July 11).
As he reckons with aging, King Lear divides his kingdom among his three daughters. But something nasty is brewing just below the surface.
“By Any Scenes Necessary – Julius Caesar” (July 18). In collaboration with The NOLA Project, actors and long-form improvisers will come together to portray the great tragedy using only their wits, wiles, and imagination.
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 some 200 paid and volunteer actors, singers, dancers, musicians, directors, choreographers, designers and technical artists. Hundreds of individuals audition to participate in an experience many rank among the best theatrical opportunities in the Gulf South region.
“Bernstein at 100” (June 2-3). Celebrating the music of the great Leonard Bernstein.
“My Fair Lady” (June 21-24).
“Ragtime” (July 12-15).
“Newsies” (Aug. 2-5).
“The Tortoise and the Hare” (June 7-16). This theatre-for-youth production features adults performing for children.
SLT also presents Summer Musical Theatre Workshops designed for all ages. Little Lyric, for ages 8-12, runs Mon through Friday, June 12 to July 1; Junior Lyric, for ages 12-16, runs July 10-29; and High School Intensive, for ages 15-18, runs June 5-10. Download registration info from the website.
This summer’s Junior and Little Lyric shows are “The LIttle Mermaid, Jr.” (June 30, July 1) and “Beauty and the Beast Jr.” (July 28-29).
Both performances will be in the Dixon Annex Recital Hall. Tickets will be available online and at the door and by calling the box office.
Also this summer, see Ronald Dahl’s “James and the Giant Peach” (June 22-July 1), at Rogers Memorial Chapel. Call the box office for details.
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.
Papa Roach (March 8). WCP & Buki Music + Art Project present “The Devel wears Prada.”
Above & Beyond (March 16). With special guest Spencer Brown. Their famed club mixes have resonated with the dance generation, and the songs behind them have touched fans of all ages.
Suicide Girls (March 20). Featuring “Blackheart Burlesque,” the sexiest, smartest, geekiest, and most fun definitive pop-culture burlesque show.
Cut Copy” (March 31). The group has headlined massive sold-out shows and been featured in prime slots of prestigious festivals worldwide.
Circa Survive (April 14). Music where huge ideas and unbridled imagination commingle with nuance and vulnerability. Also Foxing, and Hail the Sun.
St. Paul & the Broken Bones (April 26, 27). The band’s second full-length album marks a quantum leap in sound and style for the high-voltage Birmingham, Ala.-based band.
As the Crow Flies (April 28). Featuring the Once and Future Band.
Galactic (May 4). One of New Orleans’ favorite home-grown bands has consistently pushed artistic boundaries on the road and in the studio.
The New Mastersounds (May 5-6). Late night performances during Jazz Fest.
Ethan Bortnick (May 8). A concert benefiting Upbeat Academy.
Bobby Bones (May 12). The Red Hoodie Comedy Tour, with special guest Brandon Ray.
Jefferson Performing Arts Society
6400 Airline Drive, Metairie
box office: 504-885-2000.
At home in the beautiful Jefferson Performing Arts Center, the organization led by Artistic Director Dennis Assaf offers a line-up of shows sure to excite audiences from around the region. Performances also are on tap at Westwego Performing Arts Theatre and Teatro Wego on the West Bank.
“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” (through March 4). A lushly scored retelling of Victor Hugo’s epic story of love, acceptance and what it means to be a hero.
“The Marvelous Wonderettes” (March 9-25). The smash off-Broadway hit takes you to a 1958 high school prom to meet four girls with dreams as big as their crinoline skirts. Featuring dozens of 1950s and ‘60s hits. At Westwego Performing Arts Theatre.
“Honk! Jr.” (March 16-18). Based on Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Ugly Duckling,” a heartwarming celebration of being different that sparkles with wit and a memorable score. At Jefferson Performing Arts Center.
“Catch Me if You Can” (April 13-22). The high-flying musical comedy about chasing your dreams and not getting caught. Based on the hit film and the incredible true story of a precocious teenager who runs away from home to begin an unforgettable adventure.
“Alice in Wonderland” (May 18-20). A storybook ballet in two acts retells the classic Lewis Carroll story in dance. Enter into the majestic setting of the classic tale and see the familiar story come to life in an all-new way!
Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
1010 Common Street, 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.
Pines of Rome and Béla Fleck (March 17). Performing Carreno: Margariteña, Fleck’s New Banjoy Concerto, and Respighi’s Pines of Rome.
Music of the City (March 21). In collaboration with the Historic New Orleans Collection, a free annual concert highlighting the cultural heritage of Louisiana.
Simply Sinatra (March 24). Enjoy some of your favorite Sinatra hits, featuring Steve Lippia and the LPO.
Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” (April 6). With Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 10.
A Fiddler’s Tale (April 8). A chamber music program composed by Wynton Marsalis and featuring violinist Nigel Armstrong, at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center
Bach Easter Oratorio (April 12). Music of Hovhaness, Harbison and Bach.
A Musical Menagerie (April 15). A family concert at Roussell Hall on the Loyola University campus.
The Music of Prince (April 21). A pops special and symphonic tribute to an iconic performer.
Swing in the Oaks (April 24). Fidelity’s Concerts in the Park series, in New Orleans City Park. Bring lawn chairs and refreshments.
Beethoven’s Beginning (May 11). Symphony no. 1, along with Brahms’ Tragic Overture and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 17. Featuring pianist Ingrid Fliter.
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.
“Cavalleria Rusticana” and “Pagliacci” (Oct. 6-8)
“Champion, An Opera in Jazz” (March 9, 11). Nationally acclaimed New Orleans trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard presents his poignant and riveting opera concerning the life of gay boxer Emile Griffith, who accidentally killed his rival, Benny “The Kid” Paret, and his struggle to survive poor odds on all sides, through love. Enjoy a champagne brunch before the Sunday, March 11 matinée. The March 2 location is New Orleans Museum of Art (NOMA) and the event will begin at 7:00 p.m. The March 8 location is the Lusher School Theatre and the start time is 7:00 p.m.
75th Anniversary Celebration (April 20, 22). Celebrating 75 years of glorious singing with the great voices of New Orleans.
“The Medium” (June 1, 3). Gian Carlo Menotti’s tale of tarot and deceit is part of the opera’s Chamber Series.
Opera A La Carte The opera offers educational programs at local schools by arrangement, with bookings dependent on artists’ availability. In “Opera a la Carte,” two singer/actors invite students to join them onstage during a lively 40-minute journey through opera’s “greatest hits.” Using famous excerpts from “The Barber of Seville,” “Carmen,” “Hansel and Gretel,” “Il Trovatore” and “The Magic Flute,” explore the history of opera.
New Orleans Ballet Association
Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts
Box office: 504.522.0996
The central Gulf region’s premiere presenting organization dedicated solely to dance, the association offers another season of main stage and educational programs featuring world-class dance companies and artists.
The latest season included fabulous performances by some of the finest ensembles in the world. Ballet Hispanico and the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet presented sleek and stylish programs in the fall. And January brought the blazing-hot Tango Fire dancers, followed by Le Ballets de Monte Carlo.
Hubbard Street Dance Chicago (April 7). Celebrating 40 years as a driving force of American contemporary dance, the company returns with a special anniversary program that spotlights master works from its illustrious history. From Resident Choreographer Alejandro Cerrudo’s newest creation and trail-blazing first hit by the brilliant Nacho Duato to the poetic dances of Crystal Pite and a jazzy swing classic by founding Artistic Director Lou Conte, this versatile and virtuosic ensemble will take your breath away.
Summer program (July 11-31). An intensive summer session gives motivated students opportunities to study with an exceptional faculty of visiting and local artists. Open by audition to ages 12-18. This summer will bring guest faculty and artists from the legendary Dance Theatre of Harlem.
The association also offers after-school dance classes for kids, early childhood development dance program, a senior dance fitness program and open community classes for adults and teens. Details are available on the website.