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A&E Feature 


The Fringe (NYC)
Benefit for Texpatriate Productions 9 p.m. Tuesday, July 26
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361

With A Different Woman: A True Story of a Texas Childhood , Veronica Russell (pictured) joins the ranks of such award-winning local actresses as Kathy Randels (Tennessee Williams) and Diana Shortes (Anne Sexton) in bravely adapting a compelling life story into a one-woman show. Russell's Texpatriate Productions work-shopped A Different Woman , culled from the controversial 1925 memoir by fellow Texan Gertrude Beasley, at this past DramaRama and was recently invited to perform next month at the prestigious New York International Fringe Festival. But her company needs a little boost, hence this benefit featuring music by Clint Maedgen, belly-dancing by Sisters of Salome's Ahmae and Amanda, aerial feats by Miss Raven, spinning by DJ Butterfoot, and of course fabulous prizes. Russell will also provide a benefit performance of her show Wednesday at Le Chat Noir. Tickets to the One Eyed Jacks benefit $7; Le Chat Noir benefit $20 general admission (includes bar credit), $10 actors (doesn't include bar credit). – David Lee Simmons


Debbie Davis with Tom Hook
7 p.m. Thursday, July 28
Gypsy's Cafe, 709 St. Charles Ave., 528-9008

Debbie Davis is old school, with a voice that is comfortable in various contexts. Her time in the band All That gave her funk and R&B chops, and her solo work in Running With Scissors' Grenadine McGunkle's Double-Wide Christmas has been one of the highlights of that production. She is part of twisted non-sisters that give '40s female vocal harmonies a funny and new take as a member of the Pfister Sisters. On this gig, Davis will sing standards by Fats Waller, George Gershwin and Duke Ellington, among others, as well as lesser-known compositions by songwriters such as Lou Reed, Randy Newman and New Orleans' own Alex McMurray. Besides her singing, Davis is a great entertainer, quick with a joke and rewritten lyric, like her descriptions of certain local figures sung to the tune of Cole Porter's "Let's Do It." All in all, she's what a cabaret singer should be. She will be accompanied by Tom Hook, an excellent pianist who rarely plays a show he's not enthused about. No cover. – David Kunian


New Orleans Ballet Theatre
8 p.m., Thursday-Saturday, July 28-30; 2 p.m., Sunday, July 31
NOCCA/Riverfront, Freda Lupin Hall, 2800 Chartres. St., 835-6002

The New Orleans Ballet Theatre will continue its Summer of Love series Thursday with three performances. The company, founded by husband and wife Gregory Schramel and Marjorie Hardwick, will perform Apollo by George Balanchine. The Ballet Theatre will restore the piece, the renowned choreographer's first great work, to its full length, including the rarely seen "Birth of Apollo" sequence. The company will also perform two numbers designed by the founders themselves, Between 4 and 6 by Hardwick, and a world premiere choreographed by and starring both Schramel and Hardwick. Tickets $30. – Colin Schoenberger


Electrelane, opening for Le Tigre
8 p.m. Saturday, July 30
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 529-BLUE;

Electrelane's hypnotic Axes (Too Pure) comes off as a contemporary extension of Rough Trade-era post punk renegades like Young Marble Giants and the Raincoats – a fine thing indeed. The band's songs use krautrock's Motorik pulse as a launching pad, but the tempos often slowly increase into a fevered rush. Electrelane's frequent use of repetitive structures often earns the band unfair comparisons to Stereolab. In fact, Electrelane has more affinity with passionate, political groups such as feminist agitprop tourmates, Le Tigre, whose new This Island (Strummer/Universal) merges punk and electropop. "We feel we have more in common politically than musically, but we go about it a different way," Electrelane drummer Emma Gaze says. In the lengthy instrumental sections, that means challenging musical conventions and the tyranny of virtuosity. The members of the British quartet live in different countries, which would chill most band relationships. It just intensifies the time they do spend together, Gaze says. "It's freed us up a bit more as individuals." Tickets $15-$17.50. – Rob Cambre


Carole King
7:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 26
Saenger Theatre, 143 N. Rampart St., 525-1052;

Legendary songwriter Carole King has provided, literally, the soundtrack to a huge chunk of the latter part of the 20th century. With her partner Gerry Goffin, she penned pop hits in New York's Brill Building song factory through the '60s – the two were responsible for, among others, masterpieces of pop songcraft like "One Fine Day" and "Will You Love Me Tomorrow." In the late '60s and '70s, the music industry remade itself to focus on more thoughtful and complex songwriting and the writer as performer. King emerged in 1971 as a formidable artist in her own right with the folky, soft-rock classic Tapestry (A&M), which won multiple Grammys and sold more than 25 million copies. Lending an extra layer of depth to her craftsmanship with her own vocals and piano, King's understated version of her own "Natural Woman" rivals Aretha Franklin's soul powerhouse take on the tune. Through the '70s, the prolific singer churned out almost an album a year, including the children's classic Really Rosie .

King was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame as a songwriter in 1990, and her current tour marks her return to large venues after more than a decade of sticking primarily to fundraisers for various environmental and peace-related organizations. The recently released two-CD set Living Room Tour (Rockingale), recorded during the tour's first leg last year, is a journey through her 40-plus-year career, reminding audiences how effective and intimate King's work is when performed by King herself. Tickets $51.25-$100. – Alison Fensterstock

click to enlarge ae_feat-12104.jpeg
click to enlarge TARA DARBY
  • Tara Darby
click to enlarge CAROLINE GREYSHOCK
  • Caroline Greyshock


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