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New Orleans musicians take on pregame National Anthem with reverence and a touch of nerves

Advocate Photo by KYLE ENCAR --Grammy award winner, Irma Thomas, performed her hits during Mother's Day at Audubon Zoo on Sunday May 11, 2014. Thomas returned for her 31st performance.

Jimi Hendrix’s psychedelic “The Star Spangled Banner” at Woodstock in 1969. Marvin Gaye’s slow jam on “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the NBA All-Star Game in 1983. Whitney Houston’s deeply felt performance at the 1991 Super Bowl. Remarkable versions of the national anthem can be counted on one hand, while entire web pages are dedicated to… Continue reading →

Tickets go on sale Sept. 26 for ‘Mamma Mia’ at Saenger

Audiences in New Orleans will once again have the chance to hear the music of ABBA and a big, fat Greek wedding when the touring company of “Mamma Mia” returns to the Saenger Theater. Tickets go on sale Friday, Sept. 26, at 10 a.m. for the show that will run in January. One of the longest-running… Continue reading →

Review: Neeson in action again in ‘Tombstones’

Photo by Atsushi Nishijima -- Writer/director Scott Frank works on the set of 'A Walk Among the Tombstones.'

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It’s not for nothing that the names of Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe are reverentially referenced in writer-director Scott Frank’s adaptation of the 10th novel in Lawrence Block’s long-running, best-selling series featuring unlicensed private eye Matthew Scudder. Distinctly and proudly old-fashioned in its retro, film noir vibe, “A Walk Among the Tombstones” is notable… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Maze Runner’ doesn’t find its own path

In this image released by 20th Century Fox, Dylan O'Brien, foreground, appears in a scene from

If you see one film about walled-in males this fall, it should be the savage and powerful British prison drama “Starred Up,” a superlatively acted father-son story played out behind bars and starring up-and-coming Jack O’Connell. Not many are likely to make that choice, though, as “The Maze Runner,” based on the James Dashner 2009 fantasy novel,… Continue reading →

Review: A-list cast can’t save sappy ‘Leave You’

Photo provided by Warner Bros. Pictures -- From left, Tina Fey, Corey Stoll, Jane Fonda, Jason Bateman and Adam Driver are shown in a scene from 'This Is Where I Leave You.'

Somebody dies. Family gathers to mourn. Everybody’s stuck in one house, with all their quirks and foibles and enough emotional baggage to fill an aircraft carrier. What could go wrong? Ha ha. What couldn’t? This scenario could be a drama or a comedy — or, in the case of “This Is Where I Leave You,” both: a… Continue reading →

Review: ‘The Zero Theorem’s’ story can’t hang on for the wild ride

Photo provided by Amplify Releasing -- Christoph Waltz and Mélanie Thierry star in Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem.'

Director Terry Gilliam’s madcap visual style vibrates through “The Zero Theorem.” His penchant for outsider characters is there, too. The missing ingredient in Gilliam’s and screenwriter Pat Rushin’s nightmarish vision of the present is a tale that’s strong and coherent enough to keep the spectator on board for this crazy trip. The new project from Gilliam… Continue reading →

DJ Maseo to play at Soul Sister’s Birthday Jam at Tip’s Friday

Photo by Dave -- DJ Maseo, or Vincent Mason, is one third of the hip-hop legends De La Soul.

Soul Sister has parlayed years spinning funk and R&B records on WWOZ into a way to meet her heroes. When The Roots’ Questlove was scheduled to play a gig in New Orleans, he called her to check it out. When anybody from the Parliament-Funkadelic mob plays New Orleans, she is the opening act of choice. For… Continue reading →

Alex Rawls: Hootie front man Darius Rucker crosses genres

AP file photo -- Darius Rucker

Friday Darius Rucker 7 p.m. Bold Square Music at Champions Square, 1 Lasalle St. (504) 587-3663, BoldSphereMusicSeries.com Darius Rucker made his name fronting the acoustic rock band Hootie and the Blowfish, then went country. Listen again to Hootie’s hits or last year’s “True Believers” album and… Continue reading →

The good, the bad and the risque: Three theater reviews

Photo provided by Liz Gore Photography -- Chris Marroy and Elm Artistic Director Garrett Prejean in 'A Lie of the Mind' at the Elm.

A risqué whodunit, a misfire production of a great American play and an uneven but strong beginning for a company in its 10th season were among the productions that opened on stages across New Orleans over the past two weeks. One is a monthly affair, another is just beginning its run, and the last is in its final… Continue reading →

Zachary Quinto rules out role in ‘Heroes Reborn’

In this June 10, 2014, file photo, Zachary Quinto attends amfARs fifth annual Inspiration Gala in New York. Quinto will mentor two first-time filmmakers on the unscripted series The Chair, which airs Saturdays on the Starz network.  (Photo by Charles Sykes/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Zachary Quinto got his big acting break on NBC’s “Heroes,” but he’s ruling out any role in the “Heroes Reborn” miniseries due to air on the network next year. The 37-year-old actor, who’s best known for his role as Spock on the 2009 J.J. Abrams’ “Star Trek” reboot, says timing is part of… Continue reading →

Ballet Hysell to stage fall concert

Photo by John B. Barrois -- ToniAnn Chetta, a principal dancer with Ballet Hysell.

Ballet Hysell will present works choreographed by the late Harvey Hysell at a special fall concert Sunday, Oct. 12, at the Louis J. Roussel Performance Hall at Loyola University, 6363 St. Charles Ave. Ballet Hysell is a company of 25 local dancers, many of whom were students developed through the Ballet Hysell School. The program includes… Continue reading →

Music films spotlighted at N.O. Film Fest

Legendary musician Fats Domino is named

The New Orleans Film Festival, Oct. 16-Oct. 23, will include a programming sidebar featuring eight films about music and musicians. The festival’s keeping{SCORE} series is inspired by the city’s music history and local audiences’ interest in films about music. This year’s music films include “The Big Beat,” the new documentary about Fats… Continue reading →

Louisiana fairs and festivals, Sept. 19-Dec. 24, 2014

Advocate file photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- A Ferris wheel gleams at the Greater Baton Rouge State Fair. The annual event kicks off Oct. 23 at the Baton Rouge Fairgrounds.

After a long, hot summer, cooler weather means it’s time to celebrate, and almost every town in Louisiana is ready to join the fun. Local fairs and festivals crowd the calendar from now through Christmas, spotlighting every kind of food from omelets to tamales to seafood, pies and spices, sugar cane and… Continue reading →

Festival brings dancers, wannabes to N.O. stages

Photo by Monty LemanJo 'Boobs' Weldon, headmistress of the New York School of Burlesque, performs in a costume by Maddog Swing.

Think of it as a convention of tassels, pasties and feather fans. Boasting five distinctive burlesque shows, nine workshops and a host of parties, the sixth annual New Orleans Burlesque Festival opens Thursday, Sept. 18, and it brings some the art form’s leading local, national and international talent to stages and clubs across the French Quarter.… Continue reading →

Found scraps in gilded frames are artist’s medium

Photo provided by Foundation Gallery -- 'Under the Southern Sky' by Lee Morais, made from a postcard from Galatoire's. 'Of all the work I've ever done, this is the most optimistic.'

In the early 1940s, Lee Morais was just a boy, but he was an artist nonetheless. He was so engrossed by drawing at the time that his business-focused family worried about his preoccupation with crayons and took him to a psychologist. Luckily, the psychologist understood and prescribed nothing more than for Morais’ parents to set him… Continue reading →

New Movies for Sept. 18-24, 2014

Photo provided by Warner Bros. PicturesFrom left, Tina Fey as Wendy Altman, Corey Stoll as Paul Altman, Jane Fonda as Hilary Altman, Jason Bateman as Judd Altman and Adam Driver as Phillip Altman are featured in a scene from Warner Bros. Pictures' dramatic comedy 'This is Where I Leave You,' opening Sept. 19.

“A WALK AMONG THE TOMBSTONES”: Liam Neeson plays Matt Scudder, an ex-NYPD cop who works as an unlicensed private investigator. Scudder agrees, reluctantly, to help a heroin trafficker (Dan Stevens) find the men who kidnapped and murdered his wife. Based on the Lawrence Block mystery novels. “THIS IS WHERE I LEAVE YOU”: Mixing… Continue reading →

LPO celebrates the home stretch in return to Orpheum with a ‘Strauss Odyssey’

Photo by Cheryl Gerber -- The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra is led by conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto.

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra opens its 2014-15 season Friday, Sept. 19, at the Mahalia Jackson Theater with an all-Strauss program titled “2014: A Strauss Odyssey.” Four compositions by Richard Strauss will be performed, including “Also Sprach Zarathustra” (Thus Spoke Zarathustra). With its three-note opening trumpet sequence, its sweeping orchestration and its thundering timpani,… Continue reading →

Partnership brings concerts back to Newman Bandstand

Photo courtesy of the Historic New Orleans Collection -- The Newman bandstand in Audubon Park, 1941.

A swan glides by as saxophone notes dance across the water. Clusters of people gather under the sprawling live oaks — an impressive natural canopy surrounding the bandstand where an 18-piece jazz band plays. The tranquil scene greeted the first concert in a series of four held at the Newman Bandstand in Audubon Park. It’s… Continue reading →

Behind a modern, savvy design, Louisiana flavors resonate at this new Marigny restaurant

Advocate staff photo by RUSTY COSTANZA -- The bar is a dominant feature at the Franklin, where small nooks and a communal table invite upscale casual dining.

The Franklin is a new restaurant in a historic neighborhood with a very modern look built around old bones. Against all probability, the food reflects this mix, taking familiar Louisiana flavors in unconventional directions. There’s plenty of opportunity for friction between all these moving parts, as when the expectations of fine dining clash with no reservations,… Continue reading →

Don’t Miss New Orleans area events for Sept. 18-25, 2014

AP file photo -- Darius Rucker

Thursday through Sunday New Orleans Burlesque Festival This sixth annual salute to the art of the tease is busting out all over with events in and around the French Quarter, including the opening shows, workshops, a “Queen of Burlesque” competition and a Queen’s ball. The opening event is “It’s Burlesque.” 9 p.m. Sept. 18. The Parish at House… Continue reading →

New Orleans area stages calendar, Sept. 18-25

A LIE OF THE MIND: Mid-City Theatre, 3540 Toulouse St., New Orleans. Set in the gritty American West, the story alternates between two families after a severe incident of spousal abuse. 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., Thursdays-Saturdays through Oct. 4. $15 to $20. (504) 488-1460 or MidCityTheatre.com. ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO’S NEST: Nims Theater… Continue reading →

New Orleans area events, Sept. 18-25, 2014

BICYCLE TOUR: 9 a.m., Sophie Wright Park, 1941 Magazine St., New Orleans. Tour and bicycle, $37; tour, $25. GARDEN DISTRICT WALKING TOUR: 1 p.m., Outside The Defend New Orleans Store, 1101 First St., New Orleans. $25. BESH STEAK SEPTEMBER WINE & DINE: 7 p.m., Besh Steak, 228 Poydras St., New Orleans. Four… Continue reading →