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A&E Feature 

What to Know Before You Go

MUSIC

Billy Stritch
8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., July 12-14; 6 p.m. Sun., July 15
Le Chat Noir, 715 St. Charles Ave., 581-5812; www.cabaretlechatnoir.com

Billy Stritch has an impressive resume, including a Grammy, a role in the Tony-award winning revival of 42nd Street and a stint as musical director for Liza Minnelli's Broadway show Minnelli on Minnelli. But Le Chat regulars may remember him from a previous local engagement. When Karen Mason lost her voice in 2004 before two scheduled Le Chat Noir performances, Stritch, who had been scheduled as her accompanist, filled in with only a few hours notice. He returns for a planned headliner's slot, reprising a show he debuted in April 2006 in New York, "The Mel Torme Songbook," which pays homage to one of his favorite musicians. The program features a musical journey through Torme's career, including early compositions like "Born to Be Blue" and "Stranger in Town" as well as his arrangements of songs from Gershwin, Cole Porter and others. Stritch kicks off Le Chat's July Piano Men series, which also includes performances by Rich Look and Steve Ross. Tickets $39 (includes $5 bar credit). Ñ Lauren LaBorde

STAGE

The Titanic Adventures of the Love Boat Poseidon
7 p.m. Fri.-Sat., July 13-14; through August 4
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 606-9903; www.norunningwithscissors.com

Running With Scissors goes overboard with a campy cruise through the '70s, this time taking it to the high seas in The Titanic Adventures of the Love Boat Poseidon . It's not exactly the ship of dreams for Captain Stubing and his motley crew, niece Vicki, Julie the cruise director, Love Boat Poseidon owner Calvin Love and his new young wife Rose, the unsinkable Brooklynites Mandy and Molly Brownstein and some guy named Jack. As melodramas, love stories and sitcom plots hatch onboard, the ship sails the stormy seas and encounters a litany of disasters including, somehow, icebergs off the coast of Mexico. Bob Edes joins Running With Scissors' usual suspects including Brian Peterson, Jack Long, Lisa Picone, Dorian Rush, Brian Peterson and Brad Caldwell. The opening night performance is a fundraiser for the Mystic Krewe of Satyricon (Call 525-4498 for tickets to that show only). Tickets $20. — LaBorde

EVENT

Bastille Day Body Art Bash
9 p.m. Sat., July 14
One-Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St. 949-4009; www.bodyartbash.com

Bastille Day may not have been about this type of artistic freedom, but what better way to celebrate the holiday of French liberation than with French-themed naked painted people and a petit DJ dressed as Napoleon? At the Bastille Day Body Art Bash, guests can revel in a variety of loosely associated revolutionary activities. There will be a costume contest, French pastries and champagne as well as a tableau revue of painted models by celebrity painters, all accompanied by music from DJ Napoleon Short Dawg. And the fun doesn't end when the French theme runs out. Mikko emcees an evening including an Eminem look-alike, live music and strolling face painters, all to help commemorate the storming of the Bastille, American style. The event is sponsored by Fifi Mahoney's, One-Eyed Jacks, Okereda and Carl Mack Presents. Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door. — Emily Hohenwarter

MUSIC

Free Foundation Series presents Tab Benoit, Monk Boudreaux and Jumpin' Johnny Sansone
10 p.m. Fri., July 13
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS; www.tipitinas.com

Roots troubadour Tab Benoit has been making plenty of noise so far this year Ñ both with the countrified, soulful blues he laid down on his 2006 release Brother to the Blues , which snagged a Grammy nomination, and with the education and advocacy efforts of his Voice of the Wetlands project. Here, he takes the stage with two Voice of the Wetlands All-Stars alumni, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and Jumpin' Johnny Sansone, as part of Tipitina's free weekly concert series. Last month, Benoit released the resonantly named Power of the Pontchartrain , which was produced, oddly enough, by former Paisley Park staff engineer David Z, who also spun knobs for Prince. Benoit is backed up by the veteran Louisiana roots-pop band Leroux, for more of the trademark swampy guitar and roadhouse stomp that garnered him four Blues Music Association awards in 2007. Amanda Shaw and the Cute Guys, recently signed to Rounder Records, open. No cover. — Alison Fensterstock

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