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Comics, empowerment speakers round out Essence

FILE - In this Jan. 11, 2015, file photo, presenter Kevin Hart poses in the press room at the 72nd annual Golden Globe Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, Calif. Hart and Nicki Minaj will headline the events leading to the BET Awards, the network announced Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015. The 2015 BET Awards will take place June 28 at the Staples Center, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File) ORG XMIT: NY114

For a mostly music festival, the Essence Festival sure has some great non-musical talent on display. This year features probably the hottest name in comedy right now, Kevin Hart, as well as comedians Luenell and Nephew Tommy, and holistic medicine guru Deepak Chopra. The fest runs from Thursday to Sunday at the Morial Convention Center… Continue reading →

Music, empowerment: the Essence of it

Photo provided by  Erika Goldring   -- Usher performs at the Smoothie King Center on December 6, 2014, in New Orleans, LA. (Erika Goldring Photo)

The Essence Festival returns to New Orleans for the July Fourth weekend with four nights of evening concerts in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome and three days of the Empowerment Experience at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. Among the nation’s largest events, the Essence Festival is expected to draw more than… Continue reading →

From playing with Prince to debut in N.O., new album, Andy Allo spreads wings

Photo provided by Captivate Management Group -- Andy Allo

This weekend, Andy Allo, the 25-year-old singer, guitarist and songwriter who spent two years in Prince’s New Power Generation band, will simultaneously make her Essence Festival and New Orleans debuts. Allo left New Power Generation in 2013, which means she wasn’t in Prince’s band when he headlined the Essence Festival last year. This year she’s… Continue reading →

Restaurants roll out dining deals, during hot summer months

Photo provided by Dickie Brennan & Co. -- Prices for the temperature lunch special at Palace Cafe are pegged to high temperature of the previous. This recent example paired Gulf shrimp with black drum over arugula salad and cauliflower sauce.

As the temperatures rise, one seasonal consolation for New Orleanians arrives from top-notch restaurants serving meals for much lower prices than you may expect. Many eateries around town offer creative dining deals during the hot summer season, while others are revealing special menus that showcase seasonal ingredients to lure locals to their doors. Most of the… Continue reading →

‘Orfeo’ to launch Season 2 at Marigny Opera Ballet

Photo provided by Marigny Opera Ballet -- The Marigny Opera House, a renovated 19th-century church, is home to the Opera Ballet.

After an inaugural season of sellout performances and critical acclaim, Marigny Opera Ballet has announced the lineup for its second season. The newly formed resident dance company, whose home base is the Marigny Opera House in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood, will be staging four productions between October and May. All of the dancers, choreographers, designers… Continue reading →

New Orleans Events Calendar July 2-8, 2015

Photo by Peter Nakhid -- Maafa participants pause at the site of slave executions during their 2013 walk in the French Quarter.

THURSDAY ESSENCE FESTIVAL: today through Sunday, various and locations throughout the city, New Orleans. Empowerment seminars, A-list entertainment and a calendar packed with events are the hallmark of this annual superfest that celebrates in Crescent City on Independence Day weekend. Tickets are available for any combination of events, days and programs. RANGERS’ CHOICE TALK: 2… Continue reading →

Don’t miss events in New Orleans July 3-5, 2015

Advocate staff photo by ELIOT KAMENITZ -- Krewe of Kolossos takes to the streets and the water as their Third Annual July 4th Flotilla boat parade makes its way along Bayou St. John from Dumaine Street to the Magnolia Bridge and back in New Orleans, La. Friday, July 4, 2014.

uncle sam jam Friday The Al Copeland Meadow Concert stage will be the hot spot in Jefferson Parish when Uncle Sam Jam fills the park with music, food, fireworks and fun in celebration of the nation’s birthday. Music runs throughout the day and the fireworks light up the night at 8 p.m. Food… Continue reading →

New Orleans Arts Calendar, July 2-8, 2015

Courtesy of the New Orleans Museum of Art. Photo by Roman Alokhin. The parlor at Butler Greenwood Plantation in St. Francisville will be featured in New Orleans Museum of Art's 'A Louisiana Parlor: Antebellum Taste and Context' exhibition in its entirety and component parts, showing its setting and the taste for revival styles in furniture and decorative arts prevalent in the mid-19th century South. Through Oct. 14. 1 Collins Diboll Circle, City Park, New Orleans. (504) 658-4100.

ANGELA KING GALLERY: 241 Royal St., New Orleans. (504) 524-8211. ARIODANTE CONTEMPORARY CRAFT GALLERY: 535 Julia St., New Orleans. (504) 524-3233. ASHÉ POWER HOUSE: 1731 Baronne St., New Orleans. (504) 569-9070. BERTA’S AND MINA’S ANTIQUITIES GALLERY: “Puppy Love With My Angels From Above,” paintings by Mina Lanzas and Nilo Lanzas. 4138 Magazine St., New Orleans.… Continue reading →

New Orleans Stages Calendar, July 2-8, 2015

Mid-City Theater photo. Heidi Melancon, Dr. Hector Ventura and Philip Melancon bring the music of Charles Aznavour to the stage for Encour Aznavour" at 8 p.m. July 13-14, Mid-City Theatre, 3540 Toulouse St., New Orleans. Celebrate Bastille Day with the music of Aznavour, with  $25 VIP reserved, $20 general admission. (504) 488-1460.

“THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES — BOB HOPE AND HIS ALL-STAR PACIFIC TOUR”: 6 p.m. dinner, 8 p.m. show, Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m. brunch, 1 p.m. show, Sundays, Stage Door Canteen, National World War II Museum, 945 Magazine St. $3 and up. (504) 528-1943. THE VICTORY BELLES PRESENT AMERICA’S WARTIME SWEETHEARTS: 11:45 a.m. Wednesdays, the Stage… Continue reading →

Dreaming big from ‘The Voice’ to Essence

NBC photo by PAUL DRINKWATER -- Tonya Boyd-Cannon

Soulful, eclectic New Orleans singer Tonya Boyd-Cannon got national exposure this year when she competed in the TV singing competition “The Voice.” In February, “The Voice” viewers watched Boyd-Cannon perform Pharrell’s “Happy” for her “blind audition,” as its called. She sang her final solo on the show in April, Elton John’s Continue reading →

New Orleans Music Calendar, July 2-8, 2015

ROCKY’S HOT FOX TROT ORCHESTRA: 5 p.m., Pavilion of Two Sisters, (504) 483-9488 ALEXANDRA SCOTT: 5 p.m., Little Gem Saloon, 445 S. Rampart St. (504) 267-4863. ASHLIN PARKER TRIO: 5 p.m., Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse, 300 Bourbon St. (504) 533-2299. ELLEN SMITH: 7 p.m., Richard Fiske’s Martini Bar and Restaurant, 301 Dauphine St.… Continue reading →

New Movies for the week of July 2-8, 2015

Paramount Pictures photo by MELINDA SUE GORDON -- Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the Terminator in 'Terminator Genisys,' which opened Wednesday.

“TERMINATOR GENISYS”: After John Connor (Jason Clarke) sends Kyle Reese (Jai Courtney) back in time to 1984 to protect Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), he finds that the past has unexpectedly changed. Arnold Schwarzenegger returns as the Guardian, facing new enemies and a new challenge. “MAGIC MIKE XXL”: Channing Tatum reprises his role… Continue reading →

Medical history, historical mystery fascinate

?The New York Times Book of Medicine:  More Than 150 years of Reporting on the Evolution of Medicine,? edited by Gina Kolata

“The New York Times Book of Medicine: More Than 150 years of Reporting on the Evolution of Medicine,” edited by Gina Kolata. Sterling, 2015. $24.95. Since its beginning in 1851, The New York Times has regularly reported on significant medical discoveries and advancements. This compilation of 120 carefully chosen… Continue reading →

New Orleans area book events for June 28 - July 24

“SCOTLANDVILLE”: 6 p.m., Maple Street Book Shop, 7523 Maple St. Drs. Rachel L. Emanuel, Ruby Jean Simmons, Charles Vincent and Mayor-President Melvin “Kip” Holden read and sign this story of the town in East Baton Rough Parish that is home to Southern University. (504) 866-4916. “SECESSIA”: 6 p.m., Octavia… Continue reading →

Review: No magic in ‘Manglehorn’

Photo by RYAN GREEN -- Al Pacino, left, plays A.J. Manglehorn and Holly Hunter plays Dawn in ‘Manglehorn.’

Al Pacino broods through “Manglehorn,” an intimate drama about a lonely locksmith who lives, if you can call it that, in a small Texas town. As title character A.J. Manglehorn, Pacino is on screen in nearly every scene. When he’s not on a locksmith call, Manglehorn is often the only character shown. He exists in… Continue reading →

Review: Overstuffed plot spoils irreverent, silly ‘Ted 2’

Photo provided by Universal Pictures -- Mark Wahlberg , from left, the character Ted, voiced by Seth MacFarlane, and Amanda Seyfried share a scene in 'Ted 2.'

“Ted 2” asks a question that we never needed, or particularly wanted, to know the answer to: Is Ted, the magical, foul-mouthed, pot-smoking teddy bear, a person in the eyes of the law? While it’s unfair to judge a comedy simply for a ridiculous premise, here, it also happens to be the unlikely killer of… Continue reading →

‘Me and Earl’ just here to hang out with you

Photo by ANNE MARIE FOX -- Olivia Cooke as Rachel, Thomas Mann as Greg and R.J. Cyler as Earl in 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.'

In “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl,” Pittsburgh high school senior Greg thinks he’s got it all figured out. He glides by all of the social groups — or, as he calls them, the nations — that populate his school. Simultaneously, he’s a member of none of these groups. Greg prides himself on keeping his distance.… Continue reading →

Now a full weekend, Kenner’s Hispanic Summer Fest pulling bigger names

Photos courtesy of Sergio Cabrera of -- Crowds hear Latin beats at the Hispanic Festival in Kenner in 2014

Get ready to rumba! The Kenner Hispanic Summer Fest returns to Laketown in Kenner this weekend for the fifth year with Latin rhythms, flavors and family fun. The event was established by Tulio Murillo, of Gala Music, in collaboration with Rafael Saddy, of Celebración Hispaña de Kenner, as a way to give thanks to the local… Continue reading →

Classical music is the inspiration for fire-proofed paintings at Ogden

Advocate staff photo by SHERRI MILLER -- Artist Betsy Eby buffs one of her pieces in preparation for the opening of 'Betsy Eby: Painting with Fire,' at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

It would be an understatement to say classical music informs the 22 works in the Ogden Museum of Southern Art’s exhibit of Betsy Eby’s paintings. Indeed, one could go so far as to say the artist’s works are visual interpretations or “tone poems” of specific musical compositions. A classically trained pianist, Eby has… Continue reading →

Theater project highlights Latino contributions to New Orleans

Photo by Craig Morse -- Jose Torres-Tama in 'Aliens, Immigrants, and Other Evil Doers.'

For new arrivals to the United States, the immigrant experience can be a challenge. Throughout our nation’s history, the most recent groups to arrive on our shores have often had to contend with hostility. And despite the fact that New Orleans was once part of Spain’s vast colonial empire in the New World and people of… Continue reading →

New Orleans Events Calendar, June 25-July 1, 2015

Photo provided by Casa Samba -- Casa Samba brings its world-music beat to New Orleans.

IKEBANA CLASS: 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2011 Magazine St., New Orleans. Learn the art of Japanese floral arranging from Alison Scott. $22. (504) 235-1558. RANGERS’ CHOICE TALK: 2 p.m., Barataria Preserve of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park, 6588 Barataria Blvd., Marrero. Wednesdays through Sundays. (504) 689-3690, ext. 10. YAPPY HOUR: 4 p.m. to 8… Continue reading →

New Orleans Arts Calendar, June 25-July 1, 2015

Photo provided -- 'House Cats,' an acrylic on board painting by Cathy Hegman, is on exhibit through July 28 at Carol Robinson Gallery, 840 Napoleon Ave., New Orleans.

ANGELA KING GALLERY: Charles Thysell paintings. Through Sunday. 241 Royal St., New Orleans. (504) 524-8211. ARIODANTE CONTEMPORARY CRAFT GALLERY: Art and jewelry by Herb Roe, Louise Guidry, Tim Maher, Suzanne and Angelique Juneau, and Annie Lousteau. Through June 30. 535 Julia St., New Orleans. (504) 524-3233. ASHÉ POWER HOUSE: “Remembering Jeffrey Cook” exhibit. Through June 30. 1731… Continue reading →

New Orleans Stages Calendar, June 25-July 1, 2015

Photo by John Barrois. Cast members of "Cymbeline" are, from left, Khiry Armstead, Silas Cooper, Christopher Kelly and David Sellers. The show is the first in the summer's New Orleans Shakespeare Festival productions and continues at 7:30 p.m. today (Thursday) to Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the Lupin Theater, Dixon Hall Annex, Tulane University, 6823 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. Tickets are $15 and up. (504) 865-5106.

“CYMBELINE”: 7:30 p.m. Thursday to Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Saturday; Lupin Theater, Dixon Hall Annex, Tulane University, 6823 St. Charles Ave., New Orleans. $15 and up. (504) 865-5106. “HAIRSPRAY JR.”: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 3 p.m. Sunday; East Jefferson Auditorium, 400 Phlox St., Metairie. Jefferson Performing Arts Society Summer Youth Musical Theatre production of the John Waters… Continue reading →

Don’t Miss events in New Orleans, June 25-July 2, 2015

Advocate staff photo by A.J. SISCO  --  New Orleans rhythm and blues musician Deacon John attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Southern Food and Beverage Museum on O.C.  Haley Boulevard in New Orleans Monday, Sept. 29, 2014.

The Symphony Chorus of New Orleans celebrates “New Orleans in Song” as part of the weekly Thursdays at Twilight Garden Concert Series in the Pavilion of the Two Sisters. The all-volunteer ensemble brings its vocal talents to this summerfest of melodies. $10. 6 p.m., Pavilion of the Two Sisters, Botanical Gardens,… Continue reading →