New Orleans' Guide To Performing Arts
FRONT & CENTER
NOLA Project says ‘Book it now’
Now in their 14th year of presenting fresh and original works, members of the NOLA Project are expanding efforts to bring next-generation dramatists into the fold. The company recently kicked off the second round of its educational “Oskar” series of plays designed for children in grades K-5.
“The Oskar plays are always funny, interactive, engaging and smart,” says A.J. Allegra, NOLA Project’s artistic director. This year’s production, “Oskar and the Big Bully Battle,” tells the story of a schoolyard scuffle and how three students deal with and learn from the experience.
Not only is the series tailored for the younger set, but NOLA Project makes it easily accessible by bringing the show to kids at no charge. “Our Oskar tour could be coming to your school soon,” Allegra says.
Schools can book a free Oskar performance in their own venue, whether it’s a classroom, library, cafeteria, gym or, of course, a theater. NOLA Project’s Theatre for Young Audiences tour is made possible by a grant from the Keller Family Foundation. See nolaproject.com for details.
All about kids
Aspiring middle- and high-school students with a flair for drama flocked to Jefferson Performing Arts Center recently in hopes of landing roles on a bigger stage. The JPAS Theatre Kids program held auditions to choose students for a local team that next year will head for a national theater competition in Orlando, Fla.
JPAS Theatre Kids Competition Team is an intensive program that trains youngsters in teamwork and the ins and outs of performing in a live musical. It prepares young actors to compete as a team at a National Junior Theatre Festival, sponsored by Music Theatre International and Disney Musicals.
In 2011, the first time a JPAS kids’ team attended the Junior Musical Theatre Festival, 5 JPAS students were cast for the international competition. Since that first year of competition, the JPAS kids’ teams have continued to shine. For information on the program, contact program director Lynne Bordelon at email@example.com.
Oldest theater courts youngsters
Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carré has a tradition of welcoming children through its doors through most of its 103-year history, and under the guidance of Artistic Director Maxwell Williams the theater hopes to attract even more kids. “Not only will we grow our student matinee program to bring in more students without access to theater, but we will commit to having young people onstage, backstage and fully integrated into the artistic process,” he says.
Free matinee performances of the theater’s mainstage productions are available throughout the season for local students and educators. In addition, the Young Conservatory program at Le Petit gives students from 8 to 18 the opportunity to develop their talents, perform in professional productions and gain the confidence to succeed, all in a comfortable and fun environment.
Young Conservatory students take classes in voice and diction, clowning and movement, stagecraft, stage presence and ensemble building. Classes are led by theater professionals who have a passion for working with young people. The Young Conservatory program is fee-based, but Le Petit offers scholarships to ensure that all qualifying students have access to this training.
Le Petit also trains students in the technical aspects of stage performance. The four-day Theatrical Workforce Development workshop is open to high school students and recent graduates, with preference given to students who have a demonstrated interest in theater and the performing arts. Participating students get an introduction to such areas as scene painting, carpentry, lighting, audio, projection and costumes.
To learn more about any of Le Petit’s education programs, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
New at Ashé
A new leader soon will take the helm of Ashé Cultural Arts Center, the organization whose mission is to nurture African and African-derived culture, art, and culture bearers, particularly in the Central City area where the center is located. Asali DeVan Ecclesiastes will assume the post of executive director on Jan. 1, following the retirement of founding director Carol Bebelle.
Ecclesiastes, a graduate of McMain Magnet High School and Vanderbilt University, has worked with the organizations behind Congo Square musical events, Essence Music Festival Empowerment Seminars and several neighborhood arts and cultural festivals. She has taught in local public schools, area universities and prisons, and currently is director of strategic neighborhood development for the New Orleans Business Alliance. In 2018 The Times-Picayune recognized her as one of the 300 most influential citizens in New Orleans during its 300-year history.
Since its founding 20 years ago, Ashé CAC has become a force in helping to revitalize the Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard corridor. The organization played an important role in the city’s cultural recovery following the 2005 Hurricane Katrina-related disaster.
Southern Rep goes all in
“We’re thrilled to be back for another exciting season in our permanent home on Bayou Road,” says Aimée Hayes, the producing artistic director of Southern Repertory Theatre.
Arguably the most respected professional theater in New Orleans, Southern Rep last year settled into permanent quarters in renovated space at a former church. Since then the organization has beefed up its offerings of dramatic productions and supportive activities for members of the surrounding community.
The theater debuted its first mainstage production of the current season with the regional premiere of Tracy Letts’ “August: Osage County.” Directed by Jason Kirkpatrick, the limited engagement runs through Oct. 6 at 2541 Bayou Road, New Orleans.
“Not only does this play find the funny in the challenges of family, it also pulls at our hearts because of the truth it reflects about those we hold dear,” Hayes says. When the Weston family – including a vanished father, a pill-popping mother and three sisters harboring shady little secrets –unexpectedly reunites, their Oklahoma homestead explodes in a maelstrom of repressed truths and unsettling truths.
“August” is a major play that took Broadway by storm, won a Pulitzer Prize and went on to become an award-winning movie. The New York Times termed it a “turbo-charged tragicomedy” that is “fiercely funny and bitingly sad.” The large cast and intracacies of the plot make it a challenging work to stage, and Southern Rep has risen to the challenge.
Hayes says the “bang-up cast” succeeds in “unflinchingly and uproariously” exposing the dysfunctional dynamics of a Midwestern family. The play’s set also is built to impress. Scenic designer David Raphel transformed Southern Rep’s black box mainstage into the Weston family home, a functional three-story house complete with a thrust into the seating area.
Letts’ script, Kirkpatrick’s direction and an original score by Brendan Connelly make the production “a night of theatre not to be missed,” says Hayes, who joins the 13-member cast that features Ellen Barry, Ilyanette Bernabel, Thomas Francis Murphy, Lara Grice, Raina Houston, Robert Larriviere, Jenny Mercein, John Neisler, Lance Nichols, Troy Poplous, Nick Thompson, and Mandy Zirkenbach.
On the heels of the opener, Southern Rep’s season will continue with “Native Gardens,” a hilarious hot-button comedy that turns friendly neighbors into feuding enemies when a questionable fence line puts a garden in jeopardy.
December brings “Mandatory Merriment,’ an original holiday musical created by Leslie Castay and Ian Hoch. Filling out the mainstage season are an adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s classic “Mother Courage and Her Children;” “Reykjavik,” which unfolds beneath the Northern Lights in Iceland; and “Chemin du Bayou,” an innovative imagining of life over centuries along Bayou Road by local playwright Pamela Davis-Noland.
New-play development is a key feature of Southern Rep’s emphasis on original works, and the theater commissioned Davis-Noland to lead a team of artists, neighbors and vendors along historic Bayou Road to create an interactive play. “Chemin du Bayou” seeks to honor the rich community surrounding the theater’s home, the former St. Rose de Lima church.
Meanwhile, Southern Rep has begun its second year of innovative offerings for its neighborhood and the community at-large. Check the website for details of the “Care for Creatives” series, which offers practice in the art of being well; a new season of “Debauchery,” the city’s only live soap opera; and an array of Lagniappe Stage presentations.
Southern Rep also touts its program 4D, in which theater teams create three full-length plays leading to the Ruby Prize, a $10,000 award to a woman playwright of color. The prize is named in honor of civil rights activist Ruby Bridges.
In addition, Southern Rep’s calendar includes such innovative events as these:
• “The Long and Short of It,” an improv comedy show that’s a go-to option for every kind of improv one could imagine;
• “Live Girls,” a show that turns a normal Monday evening into a night of hilarious “crop-top comedy” by Emily Slazer and Manifesto;
• “Mondays are a Drag,” which brings drag artists to the Lagniappe stage to curate their heart’s desire.
As always, Southern Rep keeps in mind the needs of young, aspiring artists. After-school workshops in the fall and spring, as well as summer camps, aim to encourage and cultivate the artistry and imagination of New Orleans’ young talent. In separate workshops for students ages 4-7, 8-12 and 13-18, theater professionals give youngsters a safe space to take risks, learn, play, collaborate and create. Workshops are eight weeks long and meet twice a week, and auditions are not required. Each child performs at the end of the workshop, and thanks to sponsors of the program, Southern Rep is able to offer a limited number of need-based scholarships. Email email@example.com for information.
Goat leaps onto local issues
A theater company known for taking on contemporary New Orleans problems recently dived into the matter of sexual misconduct. For a new work called “Roleplay,” Goat in the Road Productions took inspiration from a Tulane University survey that showed 40 percent of female students and 19 percent of male students reported they were sexually assaulted during their time on campus. The ensemble members responded by collaborating with Tulane students to create a 90-minute show that followed 11 students through their sophomore year, shedding light on circumstances and personalities that can contribute to assault.
Meanwhile Goat’s members also went to work on their Gallier House project, in which they teamed up with Hermann Grima and Gallier Historic houses to create an immersive play based on the history and inhabitants of the iconic French Quarter homes. The production is slated for a January performance. Check the website – goatintheroadproductions.org – for details.
Another French Quarter site is the beneficiary of an ongoing Goat-produced “soundscape” that brings local history to life. The 1850 House audio production, created with the Louisiana State Museum and Friends of the Cabildo, re-creates a day in the life of the Cammack family in 1853. Written and directed by co-artistic director Chris Kamminstein, with sound design by Peter Bowling, Soundscape is included with the price of admission to the 1850 House museum, located at 523 St. Ann St.
Goat members also focus on the future of local theater with training and outreach in schools. Goat in the Schools is the company’s youth theater program and the only touring show in New Orleans featuring plays written by kids and performed by professional actors. Each year Goat chooses four 30-minute plays by middle-school students in its Play/Write program and stages the works on request for local schools and other organizations. Contact Mary@goatintheroadproductions.org to book a show.
For adults who would like to polish their acting chops, Goat offers summer training programs. This year’s lineup included three separate courses covering various aspects of performing. Information about summer 2020 training will be available soon at goatintheroadproductions.org.
To meet Goat’s ensemble and production team while supporting future works, consider joining the fun on Bingo Night on Nov. 15. Stop by at 609 Saint Ferdinand St. to help celebrate Goat’s 11th season with food, drink and bingo. Check the website for ticket information.
Where buffoonery rules
The performance troupe that wowed audiences last spring with its production of Robert O’Hara’s “Barbeque” soon will raise the curtain on its third season. The Radical Buffoons, a 10-member nonprofit theater collective, touts its dedication “to making work that is outsize in scope or idea, physically evocative, socially provocative, and couched in humor as a vehicle for storytelling.” Works such as “Barbeque,” which was subtitled “A F#&ked Up Family Comedy,” confirm the mission.
“We support the radical representation of all diverse communities that call New Orleans home,” the Buffoons declare on their website. Consider their season opener: “Rap Unzel,’ a play by Jeremy Rashad Brown, portrays a charmingly joyful young man, Reginald “Rap” Unzel, whose mother seeks to protect him from the despoiling forces of the outside world by keeping him confined to his room. As the plot unfolds through rap music and artistic movement, we see that this modern spin on the old fairytale actually is delving into the question: What does it take to preserve joy?
In the spring, the Buffoons will present their mainstage production of “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead” by Tom Stoppard. Billed as a “virtual reality, no gravity, jazz funk spin” on Stoppard’s original, the work will be co-produced with Delgado Community College.
Finally, in June the Buffoons will bring a new work of “devised theater” to the stage in “Dreams,” wherein the troupe presents works based upon actual, sleeping dreams reported by well-known New Orleans residents. “Each dream will become a theater experience,” says Jon Greene, Buffoons artistic director. “Each of five theater makers will be responsible for directing and acting in a dream.” The concept, he says, is about finding “what it is that unites us when our imaginations are in dream state.”
Leadership of the Radical Buffoons, in addition to Greene, includes Associate Artistic Director Torey Hayward. The productions are staged in an intimate black box theatre called the Fortress of Lushington, at 2215 Burgundy St. in the Marigny.
Southern Repertory Theatre
2541 Bayou Road, New Orleans
Box office: 504.522.6545
At home in a renovated former church, Southern Rep offers main-stage performances 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.
“August: Osage County” (Sept. 11-Oct. 6) A vanished father, a pill-popping mother and three sisters harboring shady little secrets. When the Weston family unexpectedly reunites after Dad disappears, their Oklahoma homestead explodes with repressed truths. Regional premiere of the Tracy Letts play, featuring a cast of luminaries.
“Native Gardens” (Oct. 30-Nov. 17) A brilliant new comedy by Karen Zacarias proves the painful reality that you can’t choose your neighbors. More problems than a mere fence line dispute are at work here. A regional premiere directed by Helen Jaksch.
“Mandatory Merriment” (Dec. 4-29) A New Orleans holiday musical created by Leslie Castay and Ian Hoch is back with a revamp for a new year. Festive songs, comedy and holiday cocktails.
“Mother Courage and Her Children” (Jan. 22-Feb. 2) Poet-playwright Ntozake Shange adapted the Bertolt Brecht classic drama, moving it from Europe during the Thirty Years War to the American Southwest after the Civil War. A regional premiere directed by Chivas Michael.
“Reykjavik” (March 18-April 5) Aimée Hayes directs a rolling world premiere of Steve Yockey’s play featuring tourists mixing with the sometimes-supernatural Icelandic locals beneath the glow of the Northern Lights.
“Chemin du Bayou” (May 13-31) A world premiere of Pamela Davis-Noland’s bold new play that spans centuries along Bayou Road in New Orleans, featuring song, dance and oral histories.
Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
325 Minor St., Kenner
Now in its seventh season, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts continues to win praise as a local gem that presents Broadway-caliber professional theater, from award-winning musicals and locally penned theatrical works, to children’s theater.
“November” (Oct. 25-Nov. 10) Sean Patterson directs David Mamet’s maniacally funny political comedy that introduces audiences to the SOB who runs the USA. Written in 2008 and originally starring Nathan Lane, the play delivers a great good time no matter how you vote.
“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.
“Oliver” (Jan. 10-26) Kelly Fouchi directs this timeless musical based on Charles Dickens’ “Oliver Twist,” bringing unforgettable characters to life in a heel-kicking tale of an innocent orphan thrown among double-dealing con men in 19th-century London.
“Peter and the Starcatcher” (March 6-22) This hilarious and innovative retelling about an orphan boy is a grown-up’s prequel to “Peter Pan.” Ricky Graham directs the show that turns the legend upside down with marauding pirates, singing mermaids and a trip to a Neverland you never knew.
“The Drowsy Chaperone” (May 1-17) Gary Rucker directs one of the best shows you may not be familiar with but will never forget.
“Cinderella” (July 9-19) Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical has a surprisingly contemporary take on the classic tale in a lush production that continues to wow audiences. It’s a hilarious and romantic adventure directed by Ricky Graham.
Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré
616 St. Peter St., New Orleans
Box office: 504-522-2081
Offering contemporary and classic dramas, comedies, musicals and children’s productions, Le Petit embraces the work of the city’s professional artists. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Maxwell Williams, the theatre aims to entertain and educate the region’s diverse populace.
“Noises Off” (Oct. 5-20) A joyfully out-of-control British farce about the auspiciously titled play-within-a-play, “Nothing On.” Meet the under-rehearsed and over-worked cast with a penchant for drama more personal than professional.
“A Christmas Carol” (Dec. 6-23) Holiday performances for the family.
“Something Rotten! A Very New Musical” (Jan. 17-Feb. 2) Set in 1595, this hilarious show tells the story of two brothers desperate to write a hit play. When a soothsayer foretells that future theater will involve singing, dancing and acting at the same time, they set out to write the world’s first musical.
“The Piano Lesson” (March 6-22) Berniece Charles wants to give her family’s antique piano to her daughter, but her brother wants to sell the heirloom to buy the land their family once worked as slaves. In this intimate story, brother and sister struggle over how to claim their family’s legacy.
“Angels in America” (April 10-May 3) Part One of Tony Kushner’s “Gay Fantasia on National Themes” is considered one of the best plays of the 20th century.
“A Night with Janis Joplin” (June 5-21) Fueled by the singer’s unforgettable hits and a remarkable cast, this musical celebrates Janis and her biggest musical influences.
The NOLA Project
900 Camp St., New Orleans
The 20-member troupe’s 15th anniversary season teems with adventure, from corrupt politicians to headless horsemen, time traveling thieves and swashbuckling pirates. Just off a successful run of “Measure for Measure,” presented with PlayOn Shakespeare, Nola Project will continue its fall season in various locations. Check the website for up-to-date details.
“The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” (Oct. 16-Nov. 10) Written by NOLA Project veteran Pete McElligott, this spooky, immersive production of the story of Ichabod Crane features many unusual and unforeseen twists. The horrifically hilarious Halloween-season show is part American classic and part “The Play That Goes Wrong.” In NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden.
“Harry and the Thief” (Jan. 16-26) Science fiction, historical drama and comedic farce bubble up in Sigrid Gilmer’s provocative new play about a man with a physics degree and a brand-new time machine. He plans to send Mimi, a professional thief, back to 1863 to alter history. Presented at the Contemporary Arts Center.
“Treasure Island” (May 6-24) In a world-premiere comic adaptation of Robert Lewis Stevenson’s novel, the NOLA Project founders present their 21st-century update of the epic adventure. The NOMA sculpture garden waterside amphitheater is a perfect setting for a story featuring sea shanties, as Long John Silver and crew search for Captain Flint’s buried treasure. In NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden.
NOLA Project also presents Rough Draughts, a free monthly play-reading series held on the final Monday of most months at NOLA Brewing Company, 3001 Tchoupitoulas St. Check the website for details.
1111 Canal St., New Orleans
Broadway is alive in New Orleans at the majestic tower theatre on Canal Street. Check the website for updated details of these and other, non-musical shows.
“Wicked” (Oct. 2-20). The surprising story of friendship between the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good, long before Dorothy drops into Oz.
“We Will Rock You” (Oct. 29) The quirky and heartfelt Queen musical tells a story about social outcasts through the group’s hit songs.
“Dear Evan Hansen” (Nov. 5-10). A remarkable musical based on a lie never meant to be told. Be moved and inspired as a young man strives to fit in.
“A Christmas Story,” the musical (Dec. 17-22) This hilarious take on the classic movie is a joyous story for the family.
“Miss Saigon” (Jan. 21-26) The epic musical about a young Vietnamese woman who meets an American GI in an encounter that will change their lives.
“Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” (Feb. 11-16) Willy Wonka opens his marvelous chocolate factory to a select few, and young Charlie Bucket’s bland life is about to sweeten beyond his dreams.
“Jersey Boys” (March 6-8) They were just four guys from Jersey until they sang that first note. The story of Frankie Vallie and The Four Seasons.
‘Mean Girls” (March 17-22) Tina Fey’s hilarious musical presents the story of Cady Heron, whose childhood on an African savanna didn’t prepare her for her strange new home in suburban Illinois.
“Anastasia” (April 14-19)
“Fiddler on the Roof” (May 12-17)
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. A 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. In 2019 the Joy undertook a significant cosmetic renovation to its lobby, bars and concert hall. The venue is operated by Winter Circle Productions.
Greensky Bluegrass (Oct. 4) With the Michigan Rattlers. A Winter Circle Production.
LSDream & Shlump (Oct. 11) With Mystic Grizzly. Universal Wub Tour by BASSIK Presents.
Sofi Tukker (Oct. 19) With LP Giobbi in the R.I.P. Shame World Tour.
Summer Walker (Oct. 27) With special guest Melii.
GWAR (Nov. 3) With Sacred Reich, Toxic Holocaust and Against the Grain.
Mini Ladd and BigJigglyPanda (Nov. 9) Featured in the Demonetized Tour.
Girls Gotta Eat (Nov. 14) A Winter Circle Production.
Jimmy Herring and the 5 of 7 (Nov. 16) A Winter Circle Production.
Gryffin (Nov. 26) With The Knocks and Bunt, in the Gravity II Tour.
A$AP Ferg (Dec. 9) With Murda Beatz and Madein TYO.
Madeon (Dec. 10) The Good Faith Live Tour.
Jefferson Performing Arts Society
6400 Airline Drive, Metairie
box office: 504-885-2000.
Artistic Director Dennis Assaf presents a season of musical theater and comedy at Jefferson Performing Arts Center (JPAC), Westwego Performing Arts Theatre and Teatro Wego on the West Bank.
“The Rocky Horror Show” (through Oct. 13) The cult classic about sweethearts who stumble upon the eerie mansion of a transvestite scientist. At Westwego Performing Arts Theater.
“The Sound of Music” (Oct. 18-27) The timeless story of a young governess, a widowed naval captain and his children on the eve of World War II. At JPAC.
The Comedy Zone (Nov. 15-16) A weekend of standup comedy by nationally touring comics. At Teatro Wego!
Disney’s “Frozen Jr.” (Nov. 22-24) A production of JPAS Theatre Kids. At Westwego Performing Arts Theater.
“Annie” (Dec. 6-15) The charming little orphan continues her search for her parents. At JPAC.
“The Nutcracker” (Dec. 21-22) An all new production of the classic ballet. At JPAC.
“Viagra Falls” (Jan. 17-Feb. 9) Two old buddies, a call girl and a little blue pill feature in a story about long-term friendships. At Westwego Performing Arts Theater.
“The Mousetrap” (Jan. 31-Feb. 9) Agatha Christie’s murder mystery about strangers stranded in a boarding house during a snowstorm. At JPAC.
“The Complete History of Comedy (abridged)” (March 6-29) Discover comedy from high-brow to low-brow through the ages. At Teatro Wego!
“42nd Street” (April 9-19) Celebrating the people who make musical theater. At JPAC.
“An American in Paris” (May 8-17) A post-World War II musical that is beloved in the history of theater. At JPAC.
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.
“Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” (Oct. 12) A movie with orchestra, at Mahalia Jackson Theater.
Halloween Spooktacular (Oct. 20) A costumed concert with spooky tunes. At Roussel Hall.
Romantic German Masters (Oct. 24) Brahms and Haydn, featuring cellist Lynn Harrell.
Ancient Spirits (Oct. 31) Featuring Rachmaninov’s “The Isle of the Dead.”
The Music of David Bowie (Nov. 15) Relive his music with orchestral accompaniment. At Mahalia Jackson Theater.
Mozart Requiem (Nov. 21, 23) Courtney Bryan, commission.
Holiday Spectacular (Dec. 14) Celebrating with help from local artists. At Mahalia Jackson Theater.
Baroque Christmas (Dec. 19) Seasonal selections including excerpts from J.S. Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio.”
Beethoven’s “Eroica” (Jan. 9, 11) Featuring cellist Pablo Ferrandez. Also, Copland’s “Three Latin American Sketches.”
Folk Rhythms (Jan. 30) Roberto Sierra, Fandangos.
Nature’s Awakening (Feb. 27) Featuring Beethoven’s “Pastoral” and Ives’ Symphony No. 3.
The Music of John Williams (March 7-8) Soundtracks to some of the era’s best-known films.
Ferdinand the Bull (March 15) A story time family program, at Roussel Hall.
Quint Plays Korngold (March 19) Featuring violinist Phillip Quint and Korngold’s Violin Concerto.
Classical Contrasts (March 26) Bassoonist Jack Peña is featured in Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony Opus 25.
American Virtuosos (April 16) Barber’s “Medea’s Meditation and Dance of Vengeance.”
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.
Bizet’s “Carmen” (Oct. 4, 6) A mesmerizing gypsy loved and desired by many remains true only to herself. Experience the power and passion of this great music combined with impressive staging and rich orchestration.
Tchaikovsky’s “Joan of Arc” (Feb. 7, 9) After seeing visions of the Virgin Mary, a humble peasant teenager wins the confidence of a future king by revealing information that only a messenger from God could know. She eventually leads the French army through battle after battle, is captured, tried and executed.
Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” (May 1, 3) Young love is never easy, especially when your mom is trying to take over the world. This rich fairytale will be framed by a beautiful galaxy of Hubble Telescope photography for a delightful family experience.
Chamber “Detour” Series
“The Falling and the Rising” (Nov. 6) The new American opera highlights the sacrifices of American soldiers, through the eyes of one who is recovering from a roadside attack. Produced and performed by active-duty soldiers. At Jefferson Performing Arts Center.
Charlie Parker’s “Yardbird” (April 3-5) Composed by Daniel Schnyder and featuring Joshua Stewart in the lead role, this is the story of the jazz legend and his final quest to write a large-scale masterpiece as his life grows increasingly troubled. At the New Orleans Jazz Market.
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 offers main stage and educational programs featuring world-class dance companies and artists. Performances are at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for Performing Arts.
Trinity Irish Dance Company (Oct. 19) The Chicago company credited with introducing the progressive Irish dance movement blends virtuosity and rapid-fire Irish rhythms with contemporary American innovations. The troupe debuts a new show that sparkles with percussive power and aerial grace. Mark Howard, artistic director.
Pilobolus (Nov. 22) Known for its breathtaking physicality, the company brings its gravity-defying dancers back with the Louisiana premiere of “Shadowland, The New Adventure,” using mixed media, animation, dance and shadow theater. Renée Jaworski and Matt Kent, artistic directors
50th Anniversary Evening of Stars (Jan. 25) NOBA continues its golden anniversary celebration with a star-studded evening of dance by companies such as American Ballet Theatre and New York City Ballet. (Full program to be announced.)
Houston Ballet Also celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Houston Ballet returns for the first time in more than a decade with an exquisite program that shows off its elite artists in spectacular revivals and new premieres. Stanton Welch, artistic director.
Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (April 18) It may be the funniest night you’ll ever enjoy at the ballet. The lovable all-male company returns with hilarious and delightful parodies of classics. Superb technique and faultless timing make for an impressive ballet performance unlike any other.