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New Orleans: Life in an Epic City launch party
5:30 p.m. Fri., March 24
Preservation Resource Center of New Orleans, 923 Tchoupitoulas St., 636-3040;

New Orleans: Life in an Epic City is a family photo album for the entire town. Instead of repeating the same clichéd images of New Orleans, the more than 125 photographs capture the lives that New Orleanians actually lead in 20 historic neighborhoods. An older gentleman walks through the CBD in a seersucker suit with white bucks on his feet; shoppers examine baskets of greens at the Crescent City Farmers Market; and crowds wave signs for their favorite candidates at the Zulu election (pictured). The book, assembled by the Preservation Resource Center, has been surrounded by tragedy. In the aftermath of 9/11, the Preservation Resource Center began collecting photos of familiar New Orleans places. Originally the collection was to be released in October of last year, but Katrina delayed the publication. The photographs were donated by amateur and professional photographers, including the frequent Gambit Weekly contributors Cheryl Gerber, Ian McNulty and, in full disclosure, Todd A. Price. Thanks to a grant from the Eugenie and Joseph Jones Family Foundation, all proceeds from the book's sale price benefit the Preservation Resource Center's rebuilding programs. Free admission. — Todd A. Price


Stevenson J. Palfi memorial celebration
3 p.m. Sat., March 25
Snug Harbor, 626 Frenchmen St., 949-0696;

Few New Orleanians spanned the media of music and film like documentarian Stevenson J. Palfi. He was our Robert Flaherty and our Martin Scorsese, probing the idiosyncracies and curiosities of our musical heritage that will never be forgotten. His 1982 documentary, Piano Players Rarely Ever Play Together Ñ featuring Allen Toussaint, Tuts Washington and Professor Longhair Ñ was an award-winning work. Palfi committed suicide at age 52 in the aftermath of Katrina, one of too many treasures lost forever. But he will be remembered fondly with this memorial celebration, which will include personal tributes, musical performances and a screening of his work in progress, Songwriter Uknown , about Toussaint. Guests can also contribute to the recently established Stevenson J. Palfi Fund for Independent Film & Video by the Arts Council of New Orleans. (Call 756-1785 if you'd like to pay tribute at this celebration.) — David Lee Simmons


"Bach Around the Clock"
7 p.m. Fri., March 24 to Midnight Sat., March 25
Trinity Episcopal Church, 1329 St. Charles Ave., 522-0276;

The ninth annual "Bach Around the Clock," organized by Trinity Artist Series Director Albinas Prizgintas (pictured) with the assistance of his wife, Manon, might just prove to be bigger and cooler than any previous year. That's because this year's 29-hour community festival will include musical performances of Pink Floyd (9 p.m. Saturday) and Elvis songs in addition to the classical Bach, Verdi, Grieg and Mozart selections. But music is just the tip of the iceberg. There will also be plenty of healing dance, theater, poetry, yoga and more. The festival begins with a performance by the Choir of Men and Boys of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in New York City. Other highlights include pianist Quinn Peeper, Baroque recorder player Eva Legene, clarinetist William E. Powell, Shakespearian director Orlin Correy, musician Michael Howard, the Xavier University Concert Choir, trumpeter Lionel Ferbos, Michaela Fiesta Flamenca dancers, yoga with Chesley Adler, dancer Nanette Ledet, guitarist John Rankin, actor Diana Shortes, the Yellow Dog Prophet Choir's community version of Verdi's Requiem and much, much more. Free admission. — Katie Walenter


The Barber of Seville
7:30 p.m. Thu., March 23; 8 p.m. Sat., March 25
Tulane University, McAlister Auditorium, 529-3000 or (800) 881-4459;
For its first mainstage production since the storm, the New Orleans Opera Association presents Gioachino Rossini's warmhearted classic The Barber of Seville. Rossini's comedy based on Pierre Beaumarchais' play gives us one of the most beloved characters in opera history Ñ none other than the mischievious barber, Figaro Ñ not to mention one of the most well known arias, "Largo el Factotum," with its "Figaro, Figaro, Figaro" chant, which is still being belted out by kids on bikes and, sadly, by cheesy actors in pasta sauce commericials alike. This operatic romp tells the story of a count who falls in love with a young maiden, but to make sure she loves him and not his money, he disguises himself as a poor boy. When the girl's bodyguard decides that he also wants to marry her, all sorts of mishaps ensue. New Orleans' David Morelock directs Bradley Williams in his role as Count Almaviva, Jane Redding as Rosina, Mel Ulrich as Figaro, Thomas Hammons as Bartolo, Dean Peterson as Basilio and Gwendolyn Jones as Berta. Robert Lyall conducts the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, which will accompany the New Orleans Opera Chorus. Tulane University generously offered the New Orleans Opera Association the use of its McAlister Auditorium while the Mahalia Jackson Performing Arts Center is repaired. The NOOA will also present Madama Butterfly at the auditorium on April 20 and 22, as the second and last production of its 2006 season. Morelock will present a "nuts-and-bolts" lecture about the production one hour prior to the performances. Tickets $35-$225. — Walenter

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click to enlarge arts_ent-feat-13075.jpeg


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