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A&E Feature 

What to Know Before You Go

STAGE

Finding the Enemy
8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., March 22-24; 3 p.m. Sun., March 25; through April 1
Anthony Bean Community Theater, 1333 S. Carrollton Ave., 862-7529; www.anthonybeantheater.com

After playwright John Grimsley debuted the well-received drama Little Bit at Anthony Bean Community Theater last year, he's back with another new play. Grimsley is working on a trilogy titled Finding the Enemy , and this is the middle portion, also called Three Legged Race . The play is about race and representation as a white artist is commissioned to create a sculpture of Booker T. Washington. The committee that commissioned the piece gets involved in the process and causes him to chip away at his own ideas about racism and whether he's struggling with a social issue or personal biases. Grimsley has been participating in an ongoing project about race called Truth Be Told in conjunction with the Contemporary Arts Center and Ashé Cultural Arts Center. In this play, Grimsley directs Michael Martin, Raphaelle O'Neil, Kevin Hubble, Escalante Lundy, Ernest Pettigrew and Wilbert Williams. Tickets $18 general admission, $16 students/seniors. — Will Coviello

 

 

MUSIC

Rickie Lee Jones
10 p.m. Sat., March 24
Tipitinas, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS; www.tipitinas.com

In the '70s, Los Angeles was home to an elite group of artists — legendary Tropicana Motel residents like Tom Waits, Randy Newman and the superlative and generally under-praised Rickie Lee Jones herself — who found themselves, in a way, between the tail end of an old American vernacular culture but just a hair's breadth away from the nascence of a new one. Working with scraps of rock, country, folk, blues and jazz, Rickie Lee and her ilk prowled L.A.'s underbelly of archetypes, from hookers to bookies to card cheats to jazz musicians, captured them in poetry, and in doing so, honed and whittled hipness to a razor-sharp point. Jones' latest album, Sermon On Exposition Boulevard , has drawn deserving comparisons to intimidating figures like Patti Smith and the Velvet Underground. She's wandered a bit from the jazzy strut of her biggest hit, the playful "Chuck E.'s In Love" on this album. Her travels into this echoey, poetic dark alley, however, prove that in coolsville she remains at the very top of the guest list. Tickets $30. — Alison Fensterstock

MUSIC

Todd Snider
9 p.m. Sat., March 24
The Parish at the House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999; www.hob.com

Singer-songwriter Todd Snider hails from nowhere near Nashville. In fact, his place of birth and rearing is ultra-crunchy Portland, Ore. The fertile, verdant Pacific Northwest has raised its share of alt-country geniuses (see Neko Case), and all, thankfully, came out just a little twisted (see Neko Case). Snider, who is often compared to Tom Petty, records for John Prine's Oh Boy label, which is exactly appropriate. His work so far has managed the same kind of equilibrium of wry humor, sarcasm and understated romance that made Prine a country-folk legend in the '60s. An early cult hit that typifies Snider's style was the Woody Guthrie-esque "Talkin' Seattle Grunge Rock Blues." Snider counts icons of the Nashville songwriting golden age like Kris Kristofferson, Prine himself and Jerry Jeff Walker among his fans — all black-belt masters of the balance between poignant, funny and honest that can so easily go wrong. It's the perfect soundtrack for driving a pickup truck with a Kerry sticker on the bumper. New Orleans' own countrified chanteuse Shannon McNally opens. Also with Mike Ryan. Tickets $15. — Fensterstock

MUSIC

Bach Around The Clock
7:30 p.m. Fri., March 23 to midnight Sat., March 24
Trinity Episcopal Church, 1329 Jackson Ave., 522-0276

I think all good-hearted people can agree that "18th century German orchestral and choral composition" is pretty much synonymous with "slammin' all-night party." At least, that's the driving vision behind New Orleans' annual Bach Around the Clock concert marathon, currently in its 10th baroque year of celebrating the stately, bewigged Teutonic lion's March 21 birthday (making him an Aries, by the way). The tightly scheduled round-the-clock program, dedicated this year to the laudable ideal of stopping crime in New Orleans' streets, focuses on performances of Bach's choral compositions — as well as pieces from the work of Verdi, Handel, Mozart, Brahms, Rossini and others — by the Yellowdog Prophet Choir, a group of local arts supporters and music enthusiasts. Organizer Albinas Prizgintas has also prepared nearly a dozen arrangements of Bach's work in popular and jazz styles for professional ensembles and soloists. In addition to musical performances, attendees can enjoy and participate in poetry, dance, yoga and theater programs. NOPD will be on hand during the wee hours to ensure safe entry and egress for attendees at all points during the marathon. Free refreshments will also be served. The community event is known for drawing quite a crowd, proving once and for all that if it ain't baroque, don't fix it. Free admission. — Fensterstock

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click to enlarge SENOR MCGUIRE
  • Senor McGuire
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