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A&E Feature 

What to Know Before You Go

STAGE

Macbeth at the Gates
8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Jan. 4-5; 2 p.m. Sun., Jan. 6; through Jan. 20
Southern Rep, The Shops at Canal Place, 333 Canal St., third floor, 522-6545; www.southernrep.com

Macbeth at the Gates is neither a sequel nor epilogue to Shakespeare's tragedy. Rather, it's a new (and stand-alone) work taking up the personal consequences of Lord and Lady Macbeth's failed plot. After a thousand years in purgatory, the two are set to face each other for a final resolution, or dissolution, of their union. Cat Greymalkin (Dane Rhodes) is the inquisitor who will hear both accounts of their quest for power and its murderous results. One will be admitted to heaven, and one will be cast into hell. Irish playwright Michael Lovett wrote the script. A veteran of British television and stage, including performances as Shakespeare's Macbeth, Roy Marsden (pictured) directs David Lumsden (Macbeth) and Lara Grice (Lady Macbeth). The play previewed at Southern Rep in October 2006. Now it's back for a full run. Tickets $30. — Will Coviello

 

 

MUSIC

Pine Leaf Boys
10 p.m. Fri., Jan. 4
d.b.a., 618 Frenchmen St., 942-3731; www.drinkgoodstuff.com

Though mostly still under 30, the members of Lafayette-based Pine Leaf Boys play the kind of bayou dancehall Cajun stomp that sounds like something a young Clifton Chenier might have heard on the radio. Each member — swamp natives all — sounds as if he cut his teeth on sinker cypress and flossed with Spanish moss. Accordion and fiddle player Wilson Savoy is the progeny of Cajun musicians Marc and Ann Savoy. (He plays an accordion carved from the wood of a sassafras tree that was planted the day his grandfather was born; he was drafted into the Savoy Family Band at age 18.) Don't mistake the authenticity of the Boys' sound for staidness, though. The band's raucous zydeco throwdowns are made all the more kinetic by their habit of trading off instruments in mid-set. The Arhoolie Records release Blues du Musicien (2007) was nominated for a Grammy Award in the newly created Cajun/Zydeco category. Tickets $5. — Alison Fensterstock

 

 

EVENT

Allstate BCS National Championship Game Fan Fest
Noon-6 p.m. Sat.-Sun., Jan. 5-6; noon-7 p.m. Mon., Jan. 7
Jax Brewery parking lot; www.allstatesugarbowl.org

The French Quarter is sure to be a weekend hub for LSU and Ohio State fans. The excitement will be on the family friendly side at the Allstate BCS National Championship Game Fan Fest in the parking lot of Jax Brewery. The daytime mini-festival will include all sorts of games and activities for kids to test their football skills. There will be prizes, food from the Hard Rock Café, pep rallies, visits by both schools' marching bands, mascots, cheerleaders, special guests and more. Special events include a flag football game and autograph signing by 10 Heisman trophy winners (Eddie George, Billy Sims, Charlie Ward, Danny Wuerffel), a concert by Lifehouse (5 p.m. Sun.), and live broadcasts and a pregame show by ESPN Radio. See the Web site for full schedule and other pregame events. Free admission. — Coviello

 

 

MUSIC

Willie Nelson
8 p.m. Thu.-Fri., Jan. 3-4
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999; www.hob.com

Having outlived his running partners Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson still proudly keeps the outlaw tradition alive. Somewhat literally, in fact; local fans may remember the pigtailed country singer's well-publicized marijuana bust in St. Martinville early last year, just before the first weekend of Jazz Fest. (The lone surviving Highwayman got off with a misdemeanor charge and a fine, and made it to the Crescent City to play a free show on Frenchmen Street.) Through a 40-year career of doing it his way (Columbia records famously asked him to "finish" the bare-bones 1975 masterpiece Red Headed Stranger ), Willie's consistently proven himself to be one of the finest talents in country music, as a songwriter and a performer. To drive that home, his 2007 collaboration with fellow country legends Ray Price and Merle Haggard — Last of the Breed — got a well-deserved Grammy nod in a Country category overrun with dull pop imitators. If there's any justice, he'll kick Faith Hill's butt. 40 Points opens. Tickets $50. — Fensterstock

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