OnStage

New Orleans' Guide To Performing Arts
Onstage Cover
From “KindHumanKind” by Goat in the Road Productions | Photo by Josh Brasted

Front & Center

Front & Center

Mrburns Photobykateadairherophotography

“Mr. Burns” by the Radical Buffoons | Photo by Kate Adair, Hero Photography

Cue The Buffoons

If you’re among those who have enjoyed the evocative, provocative and hilarious productions offered by the Radical Buffoons in recent years, you likely will be intrigued by what the troupe has on tap this spring. The company that garnered awards last year with such shows as “Balloonacy,” “Stories without Words” and “Barbecue,” soon will return to the stage with Tom Stoppard’s “Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are Dead.” Described as a “physically absurd and philosophically illogical” investigation of existence, the play’s story is told from the perspective of two minor characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The Buffoons’ artistic director, Jon Greene, terms the production a “virtual reality, no-gravity, jazz-funk take on Stoppard’s classic-clown play.” It will be co-produced with Delgado Community College, April 15-21.

Look for another work from the Buffoons this summer, when they present “Dreams, Dreams, Dreams,” a new collaborative work premiering at Hotel Peter & Paul, June 11-29. See radicalbuffoons.com for details.

‘Don’t Start Me Talking’

In the world of theater organizations, a decades-long life span is impressive, and that makes the history of Junebug Productions worth celebrating. Ranking among the oldest theater organizations in New Orleans, Junebug this year marks the 40th anniversary of its founding and commitment to the Black Arts Movement.

Junebug is the organizational successor to the Free Southern Theater (FST), which was founded in 1963 in Mississippi as part of the emerging Black Theatre Movement. It was also closely allied with the civil rights movement. The founders’ aim was to create free theater that would give voice to social protest, and from the start the company presented plays by Langston Hughes, John O. Killens, James Baldwin and Ossie Davis.

In 1965, FST moved its base from Tougaloo College in Mississippi to New Orleans, where it continued to engage the local community through arts and provide arts training opportunities for local people. FST’s co-founder, John O’Neal, renamed the company Junebug Productions and in 1980 presented its first production. “Don’t Start Me to Talking or I’ll Tell Everything I Know” was a solo piece written and performed by O’Neal and featuring the character Junebug Jabbo Jones, who represented the wit and wisdom of common folk. 

Over the years Junebug toured dozens of solo pieces written and performed by O’Neal, who died in 2019. Currently, under the leadership of Executive Artistic Director Stephanie McKee-Anderson, the organization focuses on offerings such as the Homecoming Project, a storytelling performance series that explores the relationship between culture and progressive social change. See junebugproductions.org for more details about the organization and its works.

Drama on Bayou Road

Southern Repertory Theatre is best-known for offering some of the highest-quality professional dramatic stage presentations in the Gulf South, such as its recent production of Bertolt Brecht’s “Mother Courage and her Children.” But since moving into its permanent quarters on Bayou Road, the theater also has been expanding its reach into its surrounding community in a variety of ways. 

One example is Southern Rep’s upcoming production “Chemin du Bayou,” by New Orleans playwright Pamela Davis-Noland. The work is comprised of stories of the diverse people, “famous or forgotten, real or imagined,” who over the course of centuries frequented the area around Bayou Road. Many of these people made their way along the high ground near what later would be named the Mississippi River toward Lake Pontchartrain, carrying news of other regions and merchandise for sale to locals and people farther inland. 

The movement of people through the area and the settlement of diverse communities along the Bayou Road ridge gave rise to some of the stories that “Chemin du Bayou” will bring to life during its run at Southern Rep, May 13-31. See southernrep.com for details.

New Leadership at JPAS 

The dawn of 2020 brought a new leader to Jefferson Performing Arts Society as theater veteran Timothy Todd Simmons returned to the local area from Naples, Fla., to become executive director of JPAS. “It’s an opportunity that I just could not pass up,” he says of his decision to make the change.

Simmons served as executive director of Opera Naples for the past year after holding the same position with the New Orleans Opera Association. He says he is glad to be back and have the chance to add to “the long and rich history JPAS has had in the greater New Orleans region” under the leadership of Dennis G. Assaf, who co-founded the organization 42 years ago. Assaf, who has held the title of executive/artistic director, will assume the new title of general/artistic director.


 

Mission: Enlighten, Educate, Entertain

Goatintheroad Madamejohnslegacy

“Madame John’s Legacy,” Goat In The Road

After delighting audiences with its recent production of Sigrid Gilmer’s history-bending and hilarious “Harry and the Thief” at the Contemporary Arts Center, the NOLA Project is preparing its next production, to be staged in one of its favorite haunts. Join the troupe in May at the Besthoff Sculpture Garden at New Orleans Museum of Art, where they will stage their adaptation of “Treasure Island,” inspired by the characters created by Robert Louis Stevenson.  

Ensemble members A.J. Allegra, James Bartelle and Alex Martinez Wallace developed this comic version of the classic pirate-adventure tale, and audiences can follow Long John Silver and his crew to Skull Island in the sculpture garden’s beautiful waterfront amphitheater. See nolaproject.com for details.

Audiences can also voice their opinions on new plays during NOLA Project’s monthly play-reading series called Rough Draughts, held on the final Monday of most months at NOLA Brewing Company, 3001 Tchoupitoulas St. In these gatherings, the troupe presents readings from new plays that they are considering for production. 

This summer, the company will step up its educational efforts through its High School Intensive, a theater training program for students age 12-16. A combination of classes and production, this fast-paced three-week program aims to stimulate the creative spirit of its participants. With a focus on the ensemble style, students will learn a variety of theatre techniques and put them to use as they rehearse for a session-ending major production running July 25-27 in Lusher School’s Lions Gate Theater. Details and applications are available on the website.

The NOLA Project invites any and all who believe in quality local theater to attend its annual fundraising event, the Spotlight Supper, on March 26 at Felicity Church in the Garden District. During an entertaining evening of food and theatre, guests will enjoy a “five-act” meal while connecting with NOLA Project ensemble members through storytelling and scenes from recent productions. The troupe will also use the occasion to announce details of their upcoming season. 

Now in its 15th year, the NOLA Project is an ensemble theatre company that aims to challenge, entertain and engage diverse New Orleans audiences through innovative performances of great works, development and production of new plays and the offering of comprehensive theatre education opportunities.

True Stories in Real Homes 

Nolaproject Harryandthethief

“Harry and the Thief,” NOLA Project

The current show being staged by Goat in the Road Productions is an unusual theater experience in several respects. The play (through March 21) not only depicts a real-life incident in the lives of family members of architect James Gallier Jr, but it sets the story in the French Quarter house where the family lived in 1874.

The racially charged incident that occurred in that year involved a street mob fighting right outside the Gallier house against the integration of a nearby school. Guests at the immersive show at 1132 Royal St. follow the play’s characters into various rooms of the house as the drama unfolds, giving the audience an intimate look at how the conflict affected the family.

Goat in the Road, meanwhile, continues its 1850 House Soundscape presentation, which visitors can hear when they enter the house at 523 St. Ann St. Written and directed by Chris Kaminstein, the audio production presents a day in the life of the Cammack family, who lived in the home during the 1850s.

Looking ahead, Goat in the Road is partnering with Aurora Nealand in a remount of KindHumanKind, which won acclaim during its initial run in 2019. A solo project and music album by Nealand, who says she fleshed the work out during a few years “in the cracks between births and deaths, love and loss,” reflects what she calls the “co-existing contradictory truths” that run through life. The work will showcase her storytelling and musical talents in the blackbox theater at Contemporary Arts Center, April 8-17. 

An established bandleader, composer, performer and improviser, Nealand is most recognized for being at the forefront of the revival of New Orleans traditional jazz among the younger generation of the city’s musicians. See details of her upcoming show at cacno.org.

Goat in the Road Productions is a New Orleans-based performance ensemble dedicated to the production of original and new works of theatre, dance, performance art and educational programming. Run by three staff members – Kaminstein, Shannon Flaherty and Mary Guiteras – the company boasts a 19-member ensemble and a 12-person board. See goatintheroadproductions.org for more.


 

Summer Brings Lyrical Delights

42ndstreetattulanessummerlyrictheatre

“42nd Street,” Tulane’s Summer Lyric Theatre

The musical treats that many local theater-goers anticipate at this time of year are set to kick off at Tulane University in May. Tulane’s Summer Lyric Theatre is readying three popular productions for presentation on the local stage. “Follies in Concert” is first up at the end of May, followed by “Legally Blonde” in June and the Broadway blockbuster “Evita” in July.  

The schedule marks the 53rd season of the summer theater company that is known throughout the Gulf South for its polished and professional performances. The season coincides with Stephen Sondheim’s 90th birthday, which is what prompted the presentation of one of his greatest works, “Follies.” The festival will present a concert version of the show featuring the talents of local stage stars Leslie Castay, Elizabeth Argus, Christopher Carey and Sean Patterson. Summer Lyric veterans, Ricky Graham and Beverly Trask will direct and choreograph the production.

To continue the season, SLT has chosen the Broadway sensation “Legally Blonde.” Based on the hit film by the same title, the show follows homecoming queen Elle Woods as she leaves the sunny shores of southern California for Harvard Law School in pursuit of her soulmate. Once she arrives on campus, those hallowed halls will never be the same. “Legally Blonde” offers a fun-filled evening with colorful characters and impressive production numbers. Diane Lala will direct and choreograph.

Summer Lyric shaped this season’s lineup in part by polling its audience’s preferences, in an effort to appeal to a range of ages and musical tastes. One of their top picks was “Evita,” the unforgettable story of a poor Argentinian girl who grows up and becomes the wife of Argentine President Juan Peron. Eva Peron went on to captivate the world and become the “spiritual leader” of the nation. With music and lyrics by one of musical theatre’s most heralded teams, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, “Evita” features such iconic songs as “You Must Love Me” and “Don’t Cry for Me Argentina.” This rock musical classic will be directed by Michael E. McKelvey and choreographed by Jaune Buisson.

Summer Lyric Theatre will conclude its season with the regional premiere of “Once,” a musical based on the indie film of the same name. It portrays the story of a Dublin street musician who is on the verge of giving up his music when he encounters a beautiful woman who takes an interest in his haunting love songs. Featuring an ensemble cast comprised of actor-musicians, “Once” is a captivating theatrical event that shows the power of music to connect people to one another. McKelvey and Buisson will direct and choreograph.

Along with this stellar lineup for adult audiences, Summer Lyric offers summer entertainment and education for kids. This season’s shows will include “Aladdin Jr.” (June 28-29) and “Shrek Jr.” (July 26-27), at Dixon Annex Recital Hall. In addition, the Story Road Project will present “The Reluctant Dragon,” an original musical, June 14-22, for children as young as 5. 

The organization’s training programs in musical theater include Little Lyric, Junior Lyric and a High School Musical Theater Intensive. Call 504-862-3214 for details and application information on all these programs.

Theater Of Dance

Neworleansballettheater Springcollectionatlepetit

New Orleans Ballet Theater Spring Collection at Le Petit

Interested in seeing impressive displays of physical strength and stamina that have nothing to do with professional sports? New Orleans Ballet Theatre has your ticket. Led by acclaimed ballet veterans Gregory and Marjorie Schramel, the organization exists to offer quality concert dance and dance education to New Orleans residents across all ages and backgrounds. The Schramels will showcase the talent they are helping to develop in their upcoming “Spring Collection” of dance performances. 

Up first in the collection will be “7 Mose Pieces,” a program that premiered at the Civic Theater in New Orleans in 2015 and was choreographed by Marjorie Schramel as a tribute to NOBT’s founding board president, Alyssa Allison, the daughter of jazz musician Mose Allison. Next is “Under the Olive Tree,” a dance choreographed by Tara Lee and heralded after its 2016 premiere as a “stark, striking and sensual” performance. Lee’s fluid choreography draws on mythical inspiration such as the divine and human duality of Greek gods and goddesses. 

The final piece in the collection is the world premiere of a work by longtime collaborator and local choreographer Diogo De Lima. Spring Collection will be performed at Le Petit Theatre, March 27-28. See neworleansballettheatre.com for ticket information.


 

PROFILES

Southernrep

Southern Repertory Theatre

2541 Bayou Road, New Orleans
Box office: 504.522.6545
www.southernrep.com

Continuing a thought-provoking season, Southern Rep offers stimulating and entertaining works on its Main Stage, along with a host of Lagniappe presentations and community-involvement activities. Check the website for details.

UPCOMING:

“Reykjavik” (March 18-April 5)  Producing Artistic Director 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. Eavesdrop on the private lives of lovers, hospitality workers and party goers, and glimpse a magical, dark world where everyone searches for love and joy.

“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. Commissioned by Southern Rep, the work portrays New Orleans in miniature, with help from neighbors and community members who helped move ideas from page to stage. 

“Debauchery!” (monthly)  Now in its ninth season, New Orleans’ only live, ongoing soap opera is more hilariously histrionic than ever. Writer and actor Pat Bourgeois and a talented cast deliver a new soap on a Wednesday evening each month– and always with cocktails! See the calendar for up-to-date details.

Just for Kids  Be sure to check into Southern Rep’s after-school workshops for kids ages 4-12, which use theater and performance to give youngsters a safe space to take risks, learn, be silly and create. All performers are welcome, without an audition.

 

Oliver 1186

Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts

325 Minor St., Kenner
504-461-9475
www.rivertowntheaters.com

This local gem, now in its seventh season, presents Broadway-caliber professional theater, from award-winning musicals and locally penned theatrical works to children’s theater.

UPCOMING:

“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. As a middle-aged, socially awkward musical theater fan plays the record of his favorite musical, the fictional 1928 hit “The Drowsy Chaperone,” the show comes to life onstage, as he wryly comments on the music, story and actors.

“Cinderella” (July 8-19)  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.

Check Rivertown’s summer musical theater camps for kids in third grade and up. Theater professionals lead campers through three weeks of training, ending with performances that use professional set pieces, props, costumes and special effects. The Broadway Baby camp, for grades K-2, has become a popular introduction for little ones to begin learning what it takes to perform in a show. Choose from two sessions, in June and July. See the website for details.

 

Lepetit

Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré

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

Offering contemporary and classic dramas, comedies, musicals and children’s productions, Le Petit embraces the city’s professional artists. On the heels of the recent production of “Something Rotten! A Very New Musical,” Le Petit continues its season of stimulating and memorable shows.

UPCOMING:

“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, including Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith.

Also gracing Le Petit’s stage, the New Orleans Ballet Theatre will present its Spring Collection (March 27-28), including a world premier choreographed by Diogo De Lima; “Under the Olive Tree” choreographed by Tara Lee; and “7 Mose Pieces” choreographed by Marjorie Schramel. Visit www.NOBT.org or call 504-522-2081 for more information.

Le Petit has a long history of introducing children to theater through its annual young conservatory (March-April), student matinee and workforce development programs. Check the website for details of upcoming educational opportunities for students ages 8-18.

 

Harryandthethief

The NOLA Project

900 Camp St., New Orleans
504-302-9117
nolaproject.com

Following the well-received engagement of “Harry and the Thief” at the Contemporary Arts Center, the 20-member troupe continues its 15th anniversary season with further adventures and frivolity. Check the website for up-to-date details.

UPCOMING:

“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. Enjoy the play and the setting in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden at New Orleans Museum of Art.

Rough Draughts (monthly)  The NOLA Project presents this 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 of upcoming readings – and brews.

More for kids  NOLA Project aims to bring educational and entertaining children’s theater into local classrooms. The acclaimed OSKAR play series, developed at TheatreWorks Silicon Valley and the Alley Theater in Houston, is designed to present engaging stories about topics like bullying, resiliency and empathy in fun ways that can have a significant impact on student behavior. The plays can be staged in large spaces such as gyms or libraries, or in a single classroom. 

Funding from the 610 Stompers and the Keller Family Foundation enables the presentation of the OSKAR plays free of charge. Contact Education Director Kristin Shoffner at kshoffner@nolaproject.com for details.

 

Saegner

Saenger Theatre

1111 Canal St., New Orleans
800-218-7469
www.saengernola.com

Broadway is alive in New Orleans at the majestic tower theatre on Canal Street. Check the website for updated details of the following musical shows, concerts and other live events.

UPCOMING:

“Dancing with the Stars Live Tour 2020” (March 5)  The all-new production will feature fan-favorite professional dancers wowing audiences with every type of dance style as seen on ABC’s hit show.

“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.

The Berty Boy Tour (March 12)  Reality show host Bert Kreischer brings his stand-up comedy tour to the stage.

‘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.

“Trevor Noah: Loud & Clear Tour” (March 28)

“RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles” (April 4)  Rain will bring the Fab Four’s greatest hits to life, including all your early favorites.

“Anastasia” (April 14-19)  A dazzling show that transports the audience from the twilight of the Russian empire to the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, as a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past.

Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue’s “Treme Threauxdown 2020” (April 25)  The nighttime concert Jazz Fest goers will be talking about.

George Lopez “Live in Concert” (May 8)

“Fiddler on the Roof” (May 12-17)

Jimmy Buffet’s “Escape to Margaritaville” (July 17-19)

 

Nosharespearetulane

New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane

6823 St. Charles Ave.

215 McWilliams Hall, New Orleans

Box office: 504-865-5106

neworleansshakespeare.org

Professional, classical theatre with a primary focus on the works of William Shakespeare. 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. 

UPCOMING:

“Twelfth Night” (June 12-28)  Jessica Podewell directs this production of the Bard’s beloved romantic comedy about twins who become separated in a shipwreck and their wild experiences that follow.

“Troilus and Cressida” (July 17-Aug. 2)  Considered one of Shakespeare’s most vexing and ambiguous plays, this tragedy from the early 17th century explores basic values such as hierarchy, honor and love. Directed by Burton Tedesco.

The festival has a history of outreach into area schools to support rising talent. In the spring, 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.

 

Summerlyrictheatretulane

Summer Lyric Theatre at Tulane University

104 Dixon Hall

Tulane University Campus, New Orleans

Box office: 504-865-5269

summerlyric.tulane.edu

Now launching its 53rd season of high-quality musical entertainment, Summer Lyric Theatre aims to develop musicians, actors, singers, dancers, technical artists and promising students. It employs the talents of paid and volunteer performers and behind-the-scenes specialists.

UPCOMING:

“Follies in Concert” (May 30-31)  The plot of Stephen Sondheim’s musical centers around a reunion of showgirls who appeared in an annual Follies extravaganza when it was staged between the wars. The show features showgirls performing numbers in the style of the period. 

“Legally Blonde” (June 18-21)  Like the Amanda Brown novel of the same name, the musical tells of a sorority girl who enrolls at Harvard Law School to win back her ex-boyfriend, and who manages to surprise doubters while staying true to herself. Music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Nell Benjamin, book by Heather Hach.

“Evita” (July 9-12)  Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical about the life of Argentine political leader Eva Peron remains as impressive and powerful as it was in 1978. 

“Once” (July 30-Aug. 2)  Based on the 2007 film of the same name, the Tony Award-winning musical follows an Irish singer-songwriter named Guy, who meets a muse in the person of a Czech immigrant. In the production, the cast also serves as the orchestra amid a minimalist set that features a working bar at center stage. 

Many local young people experience musical theatre on the Tulane campus through Summer Lyric’s educational program, Little Lyric. See the website for details.

 

Joy

The Joy Theater

1200 Canal St., New Orleans
504-528-9569
www.thejoytheater.com

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 and  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. The venue is operated by Winter Circle Productions.

UPCOMING:

Ross Mathews (March 5)

Jelly Roll (March 14)

Rodrigo Y Gabriela (March 24)

The Glitch Mob (March 30)  Drink The Sea 10th Anniversary Tour, supported by Iva Lab.

Thundercat (April 4)

Trey Kennedy (April 19)  Are You for Real Tour, presented by Premier Productions.

Criminal (April 22)  Presented by AEG.

Taj Mahal Quartet and North Mississippi Allstars (April 30)  Exploring a career defined by colorful twists and turns, unexpected whimsical ventures and a commitment to a muse that has long focused on freewheeling innovation.

Anders Osborne Birthday Bash (May 1)  “Fiery anthems and tumultuous confessional songs punctuated with raw, inspired guitar” (USA TODAY). With special guest Jackie Greene.

Turkuaz (May 2)  With Jerry Harrison and Adrian Belew: Remain in Light Turns 40. A Fest After Dark production presented by Winter Circle.

Royal Blood (May 6)

Fortune Feimster (May 9)  Presented by Outback.

Tycho (May 20)  Simulcast tour.

Small Town Murder (July 31)  Shut Up and Give into Murder tour.

 

Jpas

Jefferson Performing Arts Society

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

Artistic Director Dennis Assaf presents the 42nd season of musical theater and comedy at Jefferson Performing Arts Center (JPAC), Westwego Performing Arts Theatre and Teatro Wego on the West Bank.

UPCOMING:

“The Complete History of Comedy (abridged)” (March 6-29)  Discover comedy from high-brow to low-brow through the ages, from Aristophanes,  Shakespeare and Molière to Vaudeville, Charlie Chaplin and The Daily Show. At Teatro Wego.

“Schoolhouse Rock Live! Jr.” (March 6-8)  A JPAS Theatre Kids! Production tells of a young schoolteacher who tries to calm his first-day nerves by watching TV, which provides inspiration on how to win over his students with music and imagination. At JPAC.

“42nd Street” (April 9-19)  The ultimate show-biz musical celebrates the people who make musical theater as an aspiring small-town chorus girl comes to the big city and gets an unexpected opportunity to step in for a leading lady. Will she rise to the challenge? At JPAC.

“The Comedy Zone” (April 24-25)  Enjoy a night of stand-up from the country’s largest comedy network. At Teatro Wego.

“An American in Paris” (May 8-17)  The post-World War II musical set in the French capital is beloved in the history of theater, and audiences will see why. Music and lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin. At JPAC.

“Sweet Potato Queens” (June 5-21)  A high-powered musical tells of friends who learn to grab life by the sequins, feathers and tiaras. At Westwego Performing Arts Theatre.

 

Lpo

Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

1010 Common Street and Orpheum Theatre, New Orleans
Box office: 504.523.6530
www.lpomusic.org

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. All concerts below at the Orpheum Theater. Check the website for details of all events.

UPCOMING:

The Music of John Williams (March 7-8)  Featuring the composer’s scores from some of the modern era’s best-known films.

Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (March 15)  An exploration of each part of the orchestra will be narrated by Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto. This program also feature works by favorite American composers, including Aaron Copland, John Williams and Louis Prima.

Quint Plays Korngold (March 19)  Featuring violinist Philipe 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.”

Cyril Neville and Special Guests (April 18-19)  Enjoy an acclaimed R&B musician in a one-of-a-kind performance with the LPO.

Swing in the Oaks (April 21)  Part of Fidelity’s Concerts in the Park, at New Orleans City Park on the Goldring Woldenberg Great Lawn. Bring your lawn chairs, food, and refreshments to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s life.

Testimony & Triumph (May 14, 16)  Featuring Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5, Beethoven’s Overture to Leonore No 3, and acclaimed pianist Jorge Federico Osorio performing Robert Schumann’s Piano Concerto.

 

Opera

New Orleans Opera Association

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

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.

UPCOMING:

Mainstage performances:

Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” (May 1, 3)  Young love is never easy, especially when your mom is trying to take over the world. A rich fairytale framed by a beautiful galaxy of Hubble Telescope photography.

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.

L’Opéra Nouvelle Series:

As part of its opera education programs, the organization offers presentations that offer insightful perspectives on upcoming operas.
March 1  Music to lift the spirit featuring American composers of opera influenced by jazz and musical theatre legends like Charlie Parker. At Temple Sinai.
April 7, 18  A continuation of the celebration of Mozart and Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) with stunning visual images from the Hubble Telescope in a spectacular feast for the senses. At Deutsches Haus (April 7) and NOMA’s Sculpture Garden (April 18).

 

Ballet

New Orleans Ballet Association

Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts New Orleans
Box office: 504.522.0996
www.nobadance.com

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.

UPCOMING:

Houston Ballet (March 28)  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 will ever have at the ballet. Don’t miss the long-awaited return of Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo in a hilarious new program. Affectionately called The Trocks, the lovable all-male company performs delightful parodies of great ballet classics from “Swan Lake,” “Giselle” and “The Dying Swan,” to the dances of George Balanchine and Martha Graham. The technically proficient male ballerinas on pointe and in tutus are a worldwide dance phenomenon and considered one of the great comic creations of the American stage.

Ballet Education  The opera offers many educational opportunities for young people from age 3 to 18. After-school dance classes offer instruction by award-winning artists free to local kids. The early childhood development program introduces little ones to the world of creative dance. And a pre-professional program offers a tuition-free program designed to motivate talented students with intensive instruction in ballet, pointe, modern, repertoire, conditioning and other dance forms.


 

 

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