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A&E Feature 

What to Know Before You Go

FILM

The Notorious Bettie Page
7:30 p.m. Tue. July 18
The Shops At Canal Place, Canal Place Cinema, 333 Canal Place, 524-1254; www.neworleansfilmfest.com

Black and white photos of Bettie Page in lingerie or in bondage seem almost quaint now — hardly pornographic or even more than dress-up fun. But in the 1950s, the shots were scandalous enough for a senator from her native Tennessee to haul her before congressional hearings about the corruption of the nation's youth. In 1957, the always-smiling Page removed herself from the camera's eye. While the actual Bettie Page eventually began preaching Christianity and said little about her prior fame, her images reappeared starting in the late 1970s and a new persona was created for the born again pin-up girl. As a dominatrix and reclaimed femine icon, Page's signature hairdo and twinkling eyes have found an appeal well beyond the old prurient confines. With her own fetish for American popular culture, director Mary Herron (I Shot Any Warhol, American Psycho) follows Page from her religious upbringing in Nashville to the New York photography studios where Irving and Paula Klaw captured her in endless assortments of boots and heels and finally before congress. The New Orleans Film Society is sponsoring this one-time only showing of The Notorious Bettie Page. Tickets $7.50, $6.50 Film Fest members. — Will Coviello

 

MUSIC

Purge Your Soul
10 p.m. Thu., July 20
Howlin' Wolf, 907 S. Peters St., 522-WOLF

The new monthly Purge Your Soul series aims to create an intimate after-hours vibe in the new Howlin' Wolf by pairing acoustic sets from local rock musicians with stand-up comedians É all by candlelight. LiveNewOrleans.com impresario Jason Songe hopes the relaxed ambience will inspire a different kind of show from familiar rockers like Big Blue Marble's Dave Fera, who performs at the inaugural show, along with World Leader Pretend's Keith Ferguson. "This atmosphere really brings out a different side to the music," says Songe. The indie-rock-heavy booking assures that the show will be more MTV Unplugged than open-mic night at the coffeehouse. To add to the informal atmosphere, musicians will be paired up onstage to trade songs, hootenanny-style; Fera will be sharing the spotlight with Birdfinger's Tim LeBlanc, and Ferguson with Glasgow's Sam and Jack Craft. Local comedian Dave Gauthreaux will emcee, introducing sets from the Asshole Monologues' Redbean, Dane Faucheaux, Joshua Pinkston and Neal Stastny. The series is presented by LiveNewOrleans.com and StandUpNola. Tickets $8. — Alison Fensterstock

STAGE

Taming of the Shrew
8 p.m. Sun., July 23; through July 30
City Park, Pavilion of Two Sisters, 1 Palm Drive; www.neworleanscitypark.com

Of all the Shakespearian protagonists doomed and humbled by their own egos and ambitions, none is more pleasantly matched or justly rewarded than Petruchio in the comedy Taming of the Shrew. Faced with the fiery and indomitable Katherine, you'd think Petruchio would have been relieved to have faced Macbeth's or Lear's fate. Petruchio and Katherine make their peace at the end of their battle of the sexes but Shakespeare was way ahead of his time in concocting the couple's sparring courtship. John Grimsley directs this outdoor production of Shrew at the Pavilion of Two Sisters in the New Orleans Botanical Garden. Performed by lantern light and paired down to three players, the play focuses squarely on Petruchio and Katherine. The comedy is Dog and Pony Theater Company's 12th annual installment of Shakespeare in the Park and all proceeds benefit City Park. Diana E.H. Shortes stars as Katherine, Tony Molina plays Petruchio and Phillip Tracy is everybody else. Bring your own chairs or picnic blanket. $10 donation. — Coviello

EVENTS

Tales of the Cocktail
Wed.-Sun., July 19-23
Various downtown locations. (800) 299-0404; www.talesofthecocktails.com

Smoking is getting stamped out, but there are still some good vices left. Drinking is going strong, but maybe that's because the grand experiment of outlawing it didn't work. Though, if you hang around Tales of the Cocktail's upcoming seminars and parties, you may learn a few of the ways in which Prohibition improved the bar scene. For example, prior to Prohibition, women weren't allowed in saloons or bars unless they were working — usually as barmaids. (During Prohibition, speakeasies allowed women in because they wanted more customers; after Prohibition, that was accepted as the norm.) So social drinking is now in the hands of a far worse fate: respectability. Just like Americans have been rescued from cheap jug wine and flavorless beer, a legion of cocktail craftsmen are trying to improve the cocktail options with better ingredients and better drinks. Many of these experts are special guests and hosts at Tales of The Cocktail, including "King Cocktail" Dale DeGroff, who inaugurated today's martini menu craze more than 20 years ago at the Rainbow Room in New York City. Other bartending professionals and liquor experts and writers will share recipes and the history of mixed drinks, New Orleans cocktails, absinthe, finer distilled spirits and more. You can taste their favorite drinks at the Cocktail Hour (Hotel Monteleone, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, July 20, $20) See www.talesofthecocktail.com for a full list of events, parties and dinners. Prices vary. — Coviello

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