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A&E Feature 

What to Know Before You Go

MUSIC

The Lee Boys
5 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Wed., May 14
YLC Wednesday at the Square, Lafayette Square, 602 Camp St., 585-1500; www.wednesdayatthesquare.com

On the second weekend of Jazz Fest, fans in the Blues Tent could easily have mistaken it for the Gospel Tent next door during the Lee Boys' incendiary set. The ferociously funky worship music the three Lee brothers grew up playing was little known outside their House of God church until the mid-'90s, when folklorist Robert Stone recorded a House of God service and gave the style the title "sacred steel." Artists like Robert Randolph and the Campbell Brothers, as well as the Lee Boys, quickly emerged from the archival corner of field recordings to become favorites on the jam-band circuit for the wildly spirited spontaneity of their music. Driven by electrified lap steel guitar, the sound is a roiling blend of funk, blues, hip-hop and gospel shouting with a hard-driving beat. The Hot 8 Brass Band opens. Free admission. — Alison Fensterstock

 

 

STAGE

Flight
8 p.m. Thu.-Sat., May 15-17; through June 1
North Rampart Community Center, 1130 N. Rampart St., 826-7783; www.artspotproductions.org or www.mondobizarro.org

Inspired by mankind's epic fascination with flying, sculptor and set designer Jeff Becker created this work where soaring imagination meets the clumsy contraptions man has constructed to conquer the air. The set is full of his improvised aircraft. The free-spirited artists of ArtSpot Productions and Mondo Bizarro collaborated to get the production off the ground with words, music, film and drama. The piece is a multifaceted exploration of the desire to fly, escapism, human limitations and all of their consequences. Becker and J Hammons direct Bruce France, Kathy Randels, Lisa Shattuck, Ashley Sparks and Nick Slie. Thursday performances are followed by talks with the cast. Sunday, May 18, is pay-what-you-can night. Tickets $15 general admission, $10 artists/students/seniors. — Will Coviello

 

 

STAGE

By Jeeves
8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., May 16-17; 2:30 p.m. Sun., May 18; through June 1
Rivertown Repertory Theatre, 325 Minor St., Kenner, 468-7221; www.rivertownkenner.com

By Jeeves is a comedy romp divined from a butler taking over a drama within the drama. Bertie Wooster is scheduled to play music in a local amateur show, but he loses his instrument. The show must go on, and his unflappable butler, Jeeves, gamely suggests that his employer fictionalize and stage one of his odd adventures as a Vaudevillian sketch. The scheme requires a bit of British humor, appreciation for the absurd and perpetual indulgence in the premise of the exchanged roles of lord and servant. The work features 13 songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Gary Rucker (pictured, front) plays Wooster and directs. The cast includes Vatican Lokey (Jeeves), Carrie Black, Keith Claverie, Karen Cox, Leslie Limberg and Edward R. Cox. There's an optional pre-show buffet served by Messina's ($20 adults, $12 children). Tickets $25 adults, $22 students/seniors, $12 children. — Coviello

 

 

MUSIC

Chef Menteur
10 p.m. Sat., May 17
Circle Bar, 1032 St. Charles Ave., 588-2616

The presence of local electronic outfit Chef Menteur runs kind of parallel to its sweeping, ambient soundscapes: whirring along at a low, almost-dormant hum punctuated by sporadic bursts of action. Right now, it's in one of the latter periods. The band has emerged in 2008, after a period of comparative inactivity, with a new album (January's The Answer's in Forgetting ) a Big Easy Award nomination and a couple of now-rare live gigs. Its deconstructed fuzz and hiss, constructed with organ, synthesizer, analog effects and electric strings, has always come across as more organic than machine-made, conjuring images of wind and water over robots and computers. Since the departure of bassist Jim Yonkus, the group has been joined by Mike Mayfield (late of the beep-and-twitter lo-fi dance duo the Buttons) on Moog synthesizer and Farfisa organ. Band members report that the live show will veer more toward psychedelic rock than the careful studio constructions on the record. Art-rockers Metronome the City opens. Tickets $5. — Fensterstock

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