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A&E Feature 

What to Know Before You Go


For Better
8 p.m. April 2-5; 2 p.m. Sun., April 6; through April 27
Southern Repertory Theatre, The Shops at Canal Place, 333 Canal St., third floor, 522-6545;

With online dating, evites and registering online, every part of traditional social engagements is going digital. But just try giving a virtual wedding ring to your long-distance fiancée. The rock on Karen's finger will be real throughout the run of For Better , but the rest of the relationship is a bit more remote. Whether Karen and Max and the rest of her family can get along in real time remains to be seen. The romantic comedy about love, e-lationships and marriage is a new play by Eric Coble ( Bright Ideas , The Dead Guy ) and is enjoying a three-part "rolling world premiere" via the National New Play Network (with other recent productions in Florida and Denver). Gary Rucker directs Leon Contavesprie, Aimee Hayes, Ashley Ricord, Sean Patterson, Veronica Russell and George Sanchez. Tickets $18 for previews (Wed.& Fri.), $23 Thursday, $30 Saturday (opening night), $20-$24 Sunday. — Will Coviello




Dragons of Zynth with Saul Williams
9 p.m. Thu., April 3
The Parish at the House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

The futuristic, psychedelic sartorial sense of the New York band Dragons of Zynth makes it look like the members shop at the same space-mall as Parliament Funkadelic, though its textured, crackling synth-driven prog-rock owes more to its Brooklyn neighbors and mentors TV on the Radio. The melodies at the core are often simply classic soul, orbited by such a dense cloud of ethereal effects — creating something that sounds like Captain Beefheart directing a gospel choir — on Alpha Centauri. Dragons of Zynth share the bill with the underground hip-hop poet Saul Williams, whose recent sludge-rock-meets-hip-hop concept album The Inevitable Rise and Liberation of Niggy Tardust was produced by former New Orleanian Trent Reznor. The record got as much ink for its pay-what-you-wish, download-only distribution platform (a la Radiohead's In Rainbows ) as for its militant meditations on race, racism and identity. Tickets $13.50. — Alison Fensterstock



EVENT and Dirty Coast present a benefit for the New Orleans Musicians Clinic
10 p.m. Fri., April 4
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361;
11 a.m. Sat., April 5
Circle Bar, 1032 St. Charles Ave., 588-2616

New Orleans' diverse indie-rock community comes together for two marathon shows to benefit the New Orleans Musicians Clinic. Presented by the concert-review Web site and Dirty Coast, the most recent arrival to the locally themed T-shirt industry, the event kicks off Friday night at One Eyed Jacks with the howling glam-punk of the Bad Off (pictured) performing alongside local indie-rockers Big Blue Marble and Metronome the City. Also on the bill are burlesque performances from Fleur de Tease and DJ Mike Mayfield spinning between sets. Saturday morning brings a daylong slate of performances at the Circle Bar featuring electronic tricksters the bALLY who?, Good Guys and White Bitch, plus the estrogen-infused metal edge of Manwitch with the expansive improvisations of I, Octopus and the grimly witty singer-songwriter Steve Eck. Tickets $10 at One Eyed Jacks, $5 at Circle Bar. — Fensterstock




B.B. King
8 p.m. Thu., April 3
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

The chance to see a legend of the blues perform is comparatively rare, and with each passing year becomes rarer. This gig is one such chance. As others have fallen by the wayside, the regal picker B.B. King has shown that even as his career passes the six-decade mark, the thrill isn't yet gone, as he continues to tour and record. Fifty-nine years ago, a pre-Sun Records Sam Phillips produced King's first single. Last month, the bluesman released a new live CD and DVD recording, and last week, the 82-year-old purchased a jukejoint in his hometown of Indianola, Miss. His influence on rock 'n' roll is nearly unparalleled, and his many black Gibson semi-hollow-bodies — all named Lucille — are probably the most famous guitars in the history of American music. Plus, there's the coincidence of the venue — how many of the bluesmen and women whose profiles line the walls of the House of Blues' restaurant in bas-relief have actually graced its stage? Walter "Wolfman" Washington opens. Ticket purchase includes access to the open bar. Tickets $130. — Fensterstock

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