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.

Marigny Opera Ballet turns Giselle into a New Orleans story

Giselle Deslondes runs Nov. 18-20 at Marigny Opera House
Maya Taylor is a classically trained dancer. But to choreograph dance hall scenes in the Marigny Opera Ballet's new work, Giselle Deslondes, she watched videos of Josephine Baker and dancing at New York's Cotton Club.

Dan Savage and Hump porn: “how bad should I feel for watching this?"

The Hump! Film Festival comes to New Orleans Nov. 11-12
With all the pornography available on the internet, it wouldn't seem like a porn film festival would attract people to a theater. But the Hump!

Esperanza Spalding opens the 2016 Faux/Real Festival of Arts

A revamped performance, literary and culinary arts event returns Nov. 3
As a musically precocious teenager, Esperanza Spalding, 31, mastered several instruments and traipsed through genres with ease. She began teaching at the Berklee College of Music at 20 years old.

House calls: a home for The Music Box

The musical architecture village opens its permanent space in Bywater
On North Rampart Street near the Industrial Canal, in a not-so-former metal fabrication warehouse, artists turned thousands of square feet into a music workshop. The New Orleans Airlift's Music Box — the ambitious musical architecture and art and music project that sprouted from a lot in Bywater in 2011 and has popped up in New Orleans City Park and around the U.S. — will open its permanent home and workshop this month.

Sarah Silverman on Bernie and her “ridiculous” moment

The comedian performs at the Saenger Theatre on Oct. 16
At the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July, Sarah Silverman joined Minnesota senator and fellow former Saturday Night Live writer and cast member Al Franken at the podium. She had written a short speech about why as a prominent Bernie Sanders supporter, she now was supporting the party's nominee, Hillary Clinton.

Checking out: Southern Rep stages Lisa D’Amour’s Airline Highway

Down and out at UNO’s Nims Theatre
Cheap hotels on Airline Highway may not be the best places to spend the night. But in Lisa D'Amour's Airline Highway, which opens this week at UNO's Nims Theatre, many of the colorful residents of the Hummingbird Motel — a "shout-out" to the former Hummingbird Hotel on St. Charles Avenue — don't spend much of their nights there.

Shape notes: Zoe | Juniper opens Contemporary Art Center’s 40th season

The company premieres the Sacred Harp-inspired Clear & Sweet
Sacred Harp or shape note singing is a communal form of singing that arrived in the U.S. from England, became popular in the early 1800s and spread across the country largely in religious communities. It took root in some Baptist communities in the South, and though it has been practiced for quite some time, dancer Zoe Scofield had never heard it until she returned to her childhood home in Gainesville, Georgia a few years ago.

The devil you know: Ethan Brown and Murder in the Bayou

Who killed eight sex workers in Jefferson Davis Parish?
David "Bowlegs" Deshotel was a street hustler who spent a lot of time on the south side of Jennings, where drug use and prostitution were rampant. Deshotel limped because of a gunshot wound he received months before Ethan Brown met him on his first trip to Jennings in July 2011.

Southern Decadence "takes over the world" in 2016

The festival embraces marriage equality and the LGBT community
The Southern Decadence celebration has a theme, but it isn't the most obvious or necessary thing to revelers at what's become one of the nation's largest festivals for the LGBTQ community.   Chosen by the event's grand marshals — including Jeffrey Palmquist, Felicia Philips, Tony Leggio and Derek Penton-Robicheaux this year — the theme is for the Sunday afternoon drag and costume parade, a highlight of the 45-year-old Labor Day weekend event.

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