Krewe du Vieux revels in Carnival satire for the Trump era

The parade returns Feb. 11
There's nothing funnier than the absurd nightmare of the present. Even President Donald Trump's Press Secretary Sean Spicer unironically retweeted The Onion, describing Spicer's "role in the Trump administration will be to provide the American public with robust and clearly articulated misinformation."

An Avatar-inspired Cirque du Soleil show comes to New Orleans

Toruk — The First Flight runs at the Smoothie King Center Feb. 1-5
In James Cameron's Avatar, 22nd-century humans invade the lush ecosphere of the distant moon Pandora, seeking to extract a rare mineral necessary to sustain life back on Earth. The mission threatens to destroy the lives and home of the indigenous, blue-skinned Na'vi people, and a battle ensues, leaving emissaries from each side caught between the two species.

The Bluegrass Pickin’ Party celebrates 10th anniversary

Musicians perform every Monday at Hi-Ho Lounge
Like many a good time passed in New Orleans, the weekly Monday night Bluegrass Pickin' Party at the  Hi-Ho Lounge tends to start early and end late.   As one recent all-acoustic jam started, roughly a dozen musicians with guitars, fiddles, mandolins, banjos and an upright bass took seats in a circle of chairs arranged on the club's dance floor.

Rashaad Newsome brings vogue performances to the Contemporary Arts Center

A homecoming for the New Orleans artist
New Orleans native and artist Rashaad Newsome's work always has been marked by vivid presentations, including collages and video combining European heraldry and hip-hop bling. In Shade Compositions, he conducted an orchestra of black women making gestures and expressions, mostly of disapproval.

RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Jinkx Monsoon goes vaudeville

The Vaudevillians runs at NOCCA Jan. 14
Jinkx Monsoon, aka Jerick Hoffer, won season five of RuPaul's Drag Race largely by virtue of comedic and theatrical talents. That was a surprise to some fans given the show's emphasis on glamour, fashion runways and lip syncing.

Pop culture and the wizarding world of Comic Con

Wizard World Comic Con returns to New Orleans Jan. 6-8
2016 underlined pop culture as a dominant communication tool, played out in memes, reaction GIFs and countless essays comparing one fictional universe of good and evil to the very real one as a substitute for smart cultural criticism. The highest-grossing films of the year were largely from the massive Disney triumvirate: Marvel, Pixar, Star Wars.

Your guide to New Year’s Eve in New Orleans

Kiss 2016 goodbye at these concerts
Many New Orleanians celebrate the beginning of the New Year at Jackson Square, where there are fireworks and the ceremonial countdown to midnight with the descent of a 6-foot tall, lighted fleur-de-lis at Jackson Brewery. This year, the spectacle will be viewed by many more people, as the French Quarter is the Central Time Zone's scene for Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest, broadcast from New York and other remote locations.

A very Harry Christmas: Harry Shearer and Judith Owen present a Christmas Without Tears

The duo performs Dec. 22-23 at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre
One of the first collaborative musical performances by Welsh-born singer Judith Owen and her husband Harry Shearer, voice of more than 20 characters on The Simpsons and co-creator of This Is Spinal Tap, was a Spinal Tap tune: "Christmas with the Devil." (The song starts, "The elves are wearing leather/ and the angels are in chains/The sugar plums are rancid/ And the stockings are in flames ...").

Le Petit Theatre stages the all-ages holiday show The Musicians of Bremen

The holiday panto runs Dec. 14-21.
"If you see something, say something," isn't usually a guideline for audiences at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, and they don't typically yell back at characters on stage. But during The Musicians of Bremen: A Holiday Panto, viewers are welcome to boo and hiss when the bad guy comes on stage, and they're encouraged to warn characters who might not see the villain lurking in the shadows.

The Mermaid Lounge, revisited: “reunion” festival celebrates the New Orleans venue

A two-day festival features bands and artists from the dive bar’s past
Anthony DelRosario booked more than 400 shows at the Mermaid Lounge, the dive bar and music venue on the edge of the Warehouse District that closed in 2004. For more than a decade, the venue — a century-old former po-boy shop on the narrow John Churchill Chase Street, now occupied by The Rusty Nail — served as an alternative concert hall, squeezing in crowds around the bar with bare stage spaces in the corners.

Steel Poinsettias spices up the holidays at Rivertown Theaters

Ricky Graham and Varla Jean Merman star in holiday comedy
Santa Claus' annual midnight journey to leave gifts for children around the globe seems like a wonderful act of generosity. But if all those kids aren't really other people's children, Santa sneaking around at night is a different story.

Joe DeRosa and Billy Wayne Davis bring standup to AllWays Lounge

The comics perform Nov. 22 and Nov. 26
New Orleans' burgeoning comedy scene has expanded in the past few years, and this week two well-known comics perform at the AllWays Lounge. Joe DeRosa (Better Call Saul, Inside Amy Schumer and Comedy Central) takes the stage Tuesday and Billy Wayne Davis (Last Comic Standing, WTF With Marc Maron) appears Saturday.


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