Even the happily coupled can find much to dread about Valentine's Day. Between overcrowded restaurants, hurt feelings and the crushing weight of a society which values heteronormative romantic love as the be-all and end-all of human relationships, you may be tempted to chuck the fancy dinner out and hit the bars, with or without your sweetheart.
Need a destination? A short list of unconventional and anti-Valentine's Day events — including drag parties, cover band shows and more — is after the jump.
As New Orleans kicks off 2017's NBA All-Star weekend, comedians Hannibal Buress, Michael Che and Joe Mande will host a basketball-inspired comedy show to benefit the Rock On Foundation and hosted by Bleacher Report.
Joining Buress (no stranger to the city) are Saturday Night Live's "Weekend Update" co-anchor Che and stand-up and writer (Parks & Recreation, The Good Place) Mande, with music from New Orleans Pelicans announcer Rob Nice.
Bleacher Report's All-Star Comedy Jam is 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 17 at The Howlin' Wolf. Tickets $40.
Comedian Louis C.K. will headline two nights at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts, his first shows in New Orleans since his stellar streak of performances in the city in 2014. He performs 8 p.m. Wednesday-Thursday, Feb. 1-2.
C.K. dropped into local shows and picked up several New Orleans comics to open his shows at The Joy Theater in 2014 while in town shooting Trumbo. He also performed to a sold-out crowd at the Mahalia in 2011 on a tour that included his fourth stand-up special Live at the Beacon Theater.
The prolific comic also created the FX series Louie and 2016's self-released "sad Cheers" series Horace and Pete, among several projects he's written, produced or directed, including 2016's acclaimed Baskets and Better Things.
As a presidential administration widely feared to be hostile to reproductive rights takes office, women's health care observers make note of a significant date: Jan. 22, the 44th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision that guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion services. To mark the occasion, Paul Oswell's Thursday night comedy show Jan. 19 becomes "Night Church v. Roe v. Wade," a benefit for New Orleans Abortion Fund (NOAF).
Bill Maher, comedian and host of HBO's weekly political talk show Real Time, will perform Saturday, March 18 at the Saenger Theatre. Maher — whose controversial show and its Politically Incorrect predecessor skewered the right, religion and the media — has performed stand-up since the late '70s and released more than a dozen hour-long specials, including 2014's Emmy-nominated 2014’s Live from DC. In 2016, Maher live streamed his #WhinyLittleBitch, aset dedicated to Donald Trump.
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, Jan. 20 via Ticketmaster, the Saenger box office (1111 Canal St.) or by calling (800) 745-3000.
Waters was on the cover of Gambit in 2010 and spoke to us again in 2015, describing the time he lived in New Orleans and his love for the city's institutions, like Tennessee Williams, A Confederacy of Dunces, the "bus named Desire" and the Corner Pocket.
Comedians in 20 American cities plan to salute President-elect Donald Trump during his inauguration weekend with "What a Joke Fest," a series of performances to benefit the American Civil Liberties Union.
Comedian Amy Schumer, who was scheduled to perform at Smoothie King Center on Dec. 31, will now be performing at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for Performing Arts instead.
The Smoothie King Center can accommodate more than 17,000 people; the Mahalia seats fewer than 2,300. Schumer's last appearance in New Orleans was in May 2015 at the Saenger Theater, which seats approximately 2,600 people.
Saturday Night Live's Sasheer Zamata will tape a stand-up special in New Orleans at the Civic Theatre this month. Zamata performs at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec 20. The special, her first, will air on the comedy-geared streaming service Seeso.
Zamata joined the cast of SNL as a featured player in 2014 and became a repertory player in 2015. She performed at the Publiq House in 2015 with a set covering race, relationships and her upbringing and Star Trek-obsessed parents. "I overheard people in my classes saying they wanted to try standup but it scared them," she told Gambit. "So then I was like, 'I like doing scary things.' I went to some open mics and didn't tell anyone. I didn't die. It wasn't awful. Then I caught the bug and kept wanting to get up there."
Update: Ticket sales have been postponed to Wednesday, Dec. 21.
Another update: The comics announced a second and third show on Thursday, Feb. 16 and Friday, Feb. 17.
Final update, apparently: They added a fourth show. They'll close out the New Orleans run on Saturday, Feb. 18.
Comedians Dave Chappelle and Chris Tucker willheadline the Saenger Theatre in 2017. The stand-up comics perform four nights at the theater from Wednesday, Feb. 15 through Saturday, Feb. 18.
Chappelle made his Saturday Night Live debut on the series' first episode following the 2016 presidential election, opening with a stellar, cathartic 10-minute monologue, revisiting some of his characters from his groundbreaking Comedy Central sketch series Chappelle's Show, and reintroducing himself to a massive audience with an acclaimed, versatile performance. Chappelle also recently signed with Netflix to release three stand-up comedy specials through the streaming service in 2017.
Chappelle had been largely on hiatus for a decade until 2014. That year, he performed two shows at the Saenger following a sort of last-minute announcement amid his "return" tour, which included 10 shows at Radio City Music Hall. He paced the stage, smoked, hilariously blasted people in the crowd for shooting video on their phones, and delivered a relaxed, brilliant, devastatingly funny set spanning politics, ISIS, sex, racism and police violence, admitting he had been assaulted by police in New Orleans early in his career. It was his first show in New Orleans in more than a decade; his 2004 show at the UNO Lakefront Arena landed before his departure from Chappelle's Show.
Tucker, meanwhile, was off the stand-up circuit for several years, but he made his return to his high-energy comedy and screen stardom in 2011, appearing in the Academy Award-nominated Silver Linings Playbook in 2012, his first role following the Rush Hour franchise and hit films like The Fifth Element and Friday. Tickets are $59.75-$99.75.