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What to Know Before You Go

MUSIC

McCoy Tyner at the CAC
7 p.m. & 9 p.m. Thu., June 1
Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St., 528-3800; www.cacno.org

More than forty years after breaking musical ground with the revolutionary John Coltrane Quartet, McCoy Tyner continues to push the envelope on stage. His solos are as complex and lusty as ever. As part of the National Endowment for the Arts' "Jazz Masters on Tour" series, Tyner makes a stop in New Orleans, performing with his longtime trio featuring Charnet Moffet on bass and Eric Kamau Gravatt on drums. All Music Guide has called Tyner "the most influential pianist in jazz of the past 50 years." Tyner continues to innovate and develop creative projects with other artists. In 2004, he recorded Illuminations with New Orleans' own Terence Blanchard on trumpet, which went on to win a Grammy for Best Jazz Instrumental Album. This is the first in a series of NEA Jazz Masters concerts that were originally scheduled for the fall, but cancelled due to Katrina. The show resulted from a partnership between the Contemporary Arts Center and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and Foundation. Tickets $25 general admission, $20 for CAC members/students. — Daniel Castro

STAGE

The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told
8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., June 2-3, 2 p.m. Sun., June 4; through June 18
The Marigny Theater, 1030 Marigny St., 361-8273; www.todoproductions.com

By now you may have heard that "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." In The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, playwright Paul Rudnick retraces the course of events if God had given Steve a try. The revisionist creation tale follows two same-sex couples, Jane and Mabel and Adam and Steve, as they travel through time examining faith throughout the ages. Their journey begins at the pyramids and ends in contemporary Manhattan, the land of discarded innocence. This farcical interpretation is the brainchild of Donald James and director Todd Blauvelt, the founders of ToDo Productions. The cast features a host of local talent including Karen Shields, Tony Fennelly, Cammie West, Jamie Temple and Paul Cowgill. The play opens on Friday with a wine and cheese reception at 7 p.m. and a meeting with the cast after the show. Tickets for the opening night gala are $25. All other performances are $15. — Vi Landry

MUSIC

The Starlight Mints
10 p.m. Fri., June 2
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361; www.oneeyedjacks.net

Like their namesake, the Starlight Mints have a sound as easy and familiar as the red and white striped candies sitting in a bowl by the register at a local diner. There's no denying that their music is sweet; it has the persistent indie-pop quality that forces you to move in time with the music. But it's the good kind of sweetÑmore clever and ironicÑand maybe more guarded than the saccharine lyrics set forth by 1960s pop stars. Perpetually compared to their fellow Oklahomans, the Flaming Lips, the Starlight Mints have a dreamy resonance equally suited to nighttime driving or a romantic rendezvous. Add the funky but smooth Dios Malos from Hawthorne, Cali., and the slightly less polished but just as fun Austin-based Octopus Project to the mix and you've got yourself a fine show. Tickets are $10. — Landry

DANCE

New Orleans Ballet Theatre
8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., June 2-3
Loyola University, Louis J. Roussel Hall ; www.nobt.org or www.cacno .org

In 2004, New Orleans Ballet Theatre (NOBT) won a Big Easy Award for Best Choreography. NOBT has continued to grow not only in spite of Katrina, which caused the cancellation of its October 2005 performance series, but also because of it. They expanded their performance schedule to include Baton Rouge and elsewhere in Louisiana. Now in residence at the Contemporary Arts Center, the company presents an evening of dance featuring the world premiere of a piece by NOBT's director Gregory Schramel. The evening will also include works by George Balanchine, Ben Stevenson and Marjorie Hardwick. Another highlight is the return of Aubrey Morgan, a New Orleans native formerly with the New York City Ballet. Morgan had come to a crossroads in her dancing career before Katrina inspired her return to the stage. NOBT was created by Schramel, a NOCCA graduate, and Hardwick, a NOCCA faculty member, in December 2002. The couple had been dancing as principals and soloists in Miami City Ballet, Atlanta Ballet and Dallas Ballet. Schramel's goal with NOBT is to maintain a professional company that fits New Orleans. The Big Easy Award was for the choreography in "Where Were You When They Dropped the Pill?" Tickets $30 general admission, $24 for CAC members, $15 for dance students ages 18-under. — Castro

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