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A&E Feature 

What to Know Before You Go


Ziggy Marley
8 p.m. Tue., Nov. 28
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

Reggae's first son has been carrying the family torch for years, performing with his legendary Melody Makers (who split in the late '90s) as well as occasionally with his brothers Stephen, Julian and Damian. This year, Marley released a second solo album, Love is My Religion (Tuff Gong International), and he might have been feeling like there was something to prove: his youngest brother Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley just had blowout success with his politically intense and musically hybrid release Welcome to Jamrock . But the intense, potent tracks on Love is My Religion — tinged with ska and African beats — prove that the No. 1 son is still very capable of praising the Lion of Zion. Word has it that on the solo tour, he's also been liberally sprinkling the set list with Melody Makers classics as well as some of his dad's best. Skye, the original vocalist for Morcheeba, opens. Tickets $29.50. — Alison Fensterstock


The SantaLand Diaries
7:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat. Nov. 30-Dec.2; 2:30 p.m. Sun. Dec 3.; through Dec. 16
Actor's Theatre of New Orleans, WTIX-FM Building, 4539 I-10 Service Road, Metairie, 456-4111

When he was an aspiring writer in New York City, David Sedaris took all sorts of odd jobs, one of which was working as an elf in SantaLand at Macy's during the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas. First serialized and broadcast on National Public Radio, his essays, The SantaLand Diaries, were to holiday lights and cheer what Spinal Tap is to rock 'n' roll. Sedaris recounted the banal cheer of punching the clock in the faux snowy wonderland, the bizarre labor pool of Santa's helpers and less-than-cheery confrontations with New Yorkers in line to meet Santa. Sedaris published the essays in Barrel Fever and went on to write critically acclaimed essays and novels and become a regular contributor to National Public Radio. Eventually the Diaries were adapted as a one-man show. This is a satirical and raw version of the holidays that any Grinch would thoroughly enjoy. David Glasser stars as the underemployed man in an elf suit. Some of the material may be a bit too colorful for young audiences. Tickets $16 general admission, $14 students/seniors. — Will Coviello


New Orleans R&B Revue Photo by Celeste Marshall
9 p.m. Fri., Dec. 1
Ernie K-Doe's Mother-In-Law Lounge, 1500 N. Claiborne Ave., 947-1078

Since Katrina, the newly-formed New Orleans Musicians Hurricane Relief Fund has been kicking butt and taking names in terms of getting local musicians help with health care and housing. Lately, it's taken on the task of getting them sustainable work. That is good for them and good for the community at large, which gets the treat of seeing legendary local artists doing what they do best. The fund has teamed up with local roots-music wizards the Mystic Knights of the Mau Mau to put on a monthly series of classic New Orleans R&B shows, and after two high-profile gigs at Preservation Hall and the Voodoo Music Experience, they're bringing the sound back into neighborhood clubs like the Mother-In-Law. This show features an instrumental set from legendary bandleader and producer Wardell Quezerque (pictured), whose magic touch can be heard on hits like Jean Knight's "Mr. Big Stuff," playing with his all-star band. Blues mistress Marva Wright, who recently moved back to New Orleans, will also perform a homecoming set. Free admission. — Fensterstock


Artistic Ancestry: ArtSpot Productions 10th Anniversary
Thu.-Mon. Nov. 30-Dec. 1; through Dec. 10
Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St. 822-7387;

Photo by Zack Smith When performance artist Kathy Randels returned to New Orleans in 1996, she started using the production company name ArtSpot Productions for performances of her one-woman show Rage in/Rage Out , a piece about the real life experiences of women in prison and the crimes and circumstances that got them there. A decade later, ArtSpot has produced countless shows and collaborative works both in New Orleans and internationally. She's performed Rage In/Rage Out everywhere from New Zealand to Europe. She and partner and musician Sean LaRocca are still the core of ArtSpot, but they have worked with more than 25 other individuals and production and performance companies over the years. Their alternative theater productions have at times pushed the boundaries of non-linear narratives and incorporated other mediums, especially dance, but all with a mission to open up artistic and cultural dialogue. "Artspot is the place in your body or on your soul that is hit when you experience a great work of art," Randels says. The group's upcoming 10-day anniversary celebration includes some of their most popular works from past years, including Chekhov's Wild Ride (pictured), and performances by artistic collaborators like Belgrade's Dah Teatar, a group Randels has worked with over the course of the past decade. See the Web site ( for a list of performances, discussion groups and workshops. Most events take place at the Contemporary Arts Center. Prices vary. — Coviello

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click to enlarge CELESTE MARSHALL
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