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Early review: Taylor Swift plays first stadium show of her ‘1989’ world tour in Baton Rouge

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Taylor Swift performs as part of her 1989 World Tour, Friday, May 22, 2015, at LSU's Tiger Stadium in Baton Rouge, La.

Friday night in Baton Rouge, Taylor Swift played the second show of her “1989” world tour at Tiger Stadium. Following the singing star’s Wednesday arena show at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, Friday’s concert was also the first stadium concert of the tour. Swift concentrated on songs from her latest album, the four-time… Continue reading →

Rush Wins: Art-rock band wins hearts, minds, air guitar followers

Photo by RANDY JOHNSON -- Rush

When Foo Fighter Dave Grohl inducted Rush into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2013, he said, “They did it from the ground up. No hype, no bulls***, without any help from the mainstream press — cough — Rolling Stone!” Early on, the Canadian art-rock band Rush was dismissed as another Led Zeppelin,… Continue reading →

A scavenger hunt for art, with clues in social media - #NOFreeArt is a unique experience

Photo provided by #NOFreeArt -- A mobile made by artist Craig Budovitch was displayed in Audubon Park.

This spring and summer, art is yours for the taking all over New Orleans — if you know where to find it. Described as a “social experiment” combining online interaction with real world experiences, #NOFreeArt is based on a simple premise: Artists “hide” their work in various places around the city, and the first person… Continue reading →

Welcome to the neighborhood bar: Verret’s in Central City

Advocate photo by J.T. BLATTY -- Bartender Wayne Jolla mixes a drink at Verret's Lounge. 'It’s a melting pot,' he says. 'Everyone comes in here.'

Wherever you’re from, whether New Orleans or elsewhere, chances are there was a bar in your neighborhood like Verret’s Lounge — before the neighborhood got too expensive for a bar like Verret’s. Even before stepping into this under-the-radar, Central City drinking spot, the Verret’s vintage tilted martini glass marquee exudes a sense of instant familiarity.… Continue reading →

With youth programs, spoken word and a list of unorthodox venues, Birdfoot is a different kind of chamber music festival

Photo provided by Birdfoot Festival -- Clara Kim, violin

The annual Birdfoot Festival of chamber music is back for a fourth year, with musicians setting up their music stands in a cafe and art galleries, a university and a tourism center. Fresh composition and classics alike are on the playbill. From Monday through May 30, the festival will stage nearly a dozen events, ending with… Continue reading →

New Orleans Music Calendar for May 21-27, 2015

BOOGIEMEN SWING BAND: 5 p.m., Pavilion of the Two Sisters, New Orleans Botanical Garden City Park, One Palm Drive. NOWFE ROYAL STREET STROLL FEATURINGLEROY JONES QUINTET: 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., 400 block of Royal Street between Conti and St. Louis streets. HAPPY HOUR WITH PHIL DEGRUY: 6 p.m., Chickie Wah Wah, 2828… Continue reading →

New Orleans Events Calendar for May 21-27, 2015

Salute! From grand tastings to strolls along Royal Street, the fruit of the vine and the culinary labors of love will be to the fore in buckets of happenings and tons of taste for the New Orleans Wine and Food Experience. There’s lots to tickle the taste buds. Tickets can be purchased separately or in packages, with events starting at $99.

AVP NEW ORLEANS OPEN: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., also 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. Sunday; Coconut Beach, 5050 Williams Blvd., Kenner. Professional beach volleyball returns to the area, featuring Olympic stars and local standouts. Free general admission, seating packages available. HOLLYGROVE MARKET AND FARM: 10 a.m.… Continue reading →

New Orleans Arts Calendar for May 21-27, 2015

Photograph courtesy of Keith and Millie Marshall -- This ink and watercolor image of Huey Long; ca. 1932, by John McCrady is part of the Historic New Orleans Collection's exhibit 'From Winnfield to Washington — The Life And Career Of Huey P. Long.' Coinciding with the 80th anniversary of the former governor’s death, the collection includes more than 140 documents, maps, objects and photographs. Through Oct. 11, Williams Gallery, 533 Royal St., New Orleans. (504) 523-4662.

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. (504) 895-6201. BOYD|SATELLITE GALLERY: Pinkney Hebert artwork. 440 Julia St., New Orleans. (504) 581-2440. CONTEMPORARY ARTS CENTER: “En Mas –Carnival and Performance Art Of The Caribbean,” exploration of the influences of… Continue reading →

New Orleans Stages Calendar for May 21-27, 2015

Giselle Nakhid as Nettie and Asia Nelson as Celie perform in 'The Color Purple,' opening Friday, 8 p.m. at Anthony Bean Community Theater, 1333 S. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans. The musical, based on Alice Walker's book, runs Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, through June 15; 8 p.m. Sunday, June 7 only. $25. (504) 862-7529.

“DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS”: 8 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts, 325 Minor St., Kenner. $37; $35 seniors; $32 students and active military. (504) 461-9475. “THE ODD COUPLE”: Through Sunday, Playmakers Inc., 19106 Playmakers Road, Covington. The female version of Neil Simon’s classic comedy hits the stage. $15, $10 students. (985) 893-1671. Continue reading →

Don’t Miss Events in New Orleans for May 21-27, 2015

Giselle Nakhid as Nettie and Asia Nelson as Celie perform in 'The Color Purple,' opening Friday, 8 p.m. at Anthony Bean Community Theater, 1333 S. Carrollton Ave., New Orleans. The musical, based on Alice Walker's book, runs Fridays and Saturdays, 3 p.m. Sundays, through June 15; 8 p.m. Sunday, June 7 only. $25. (504) 862-7529.

volleyball tour Thursday through Sunday Attracting such Olympic stars as Kerri Walsh Jennings and Phil Dalhausser, the Association of Volleyball Professionals returns the Pro Beach Volleyball Tour to greater New Orleans with four days of digs and slams on the sands. General admission is free, with seating packages available. Action starts at 8 a.m. Thursday,… Continue reading →

Festival’s pop-up shop stocks everything you need to cook like a Greek

Photo by A.J. Sisco -- Diane Chronis shows off some of the food items available at the gourmet grocery during the Greek Festival.

Succulent slow-roasted lamb, seasoned with Greek spices. Grilled goat burgers. Gyros drizzled with tzatziki sauce. Fried calamari. It’s no secret that the New Orleans Greek Festival is a mecca for outstanding Mediterranean food. But you can enjoy the vibrant flavors of this festival throughout the year, in your own home, with a little help… Continue reading →

Storytelling, a good vibe move Scott Weiland

Scott Weiland and the Wildabouts -- photo by Jamie Weiland -- Left to right, Joey Castillo, Tommy Black, Nick Maybury and Scott Weiland

Scott Weiland is a rock star renewed. In March, Weiland and his band The Wildabouts released “Blaster.” The well-received album’s riff- and melody-imbued songs earn a place alongside Weiland’s work with the supergroup Velvet Revolver and mega-selling Stone Temple Pilots. Weiland and The Wildabouts — appearing Thursday, May 21, at Southport Hall — discussed… Continue reading →

Poet to speak out on Katrina at Birdfoot

Photo provided by Birdfoot Festival -- Kataalyst Alcindor will recite poetry to mark the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. 'Im trying to encompass some of what the locals feel and give them a little bit of a catharsis about it.'

we are greater than hurricanes we are not idle warships with punctured sails and windless lungs we are anchors standing on our toes when the tide comes rushing back to crack us in the chest -- Kataalyst Alcindor In a tribute to the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, the Birdfoot… Continue reading →

‘Deepwater Horizon’ film begins production in New Orleans; here's a 'first look' photo from the film

Photo by ENRIQUE CHEDIAK -- Lionsgate released a 'first look' image of Mark Wahlerg in 'Deepwater Horizon.'

“Deepwater Horizon,” the film based on the April 20, 2010, explosions and fire that took place on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico, started principal photography Monday in New Orleans. The screenplay is based on the December 2010 New York Times article, “Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hours,” by David Barstow, David… Continue reading →

Bette Midler: Still ‘divine’ at 69

Advocate photo by J.T. BLATTY-- Bette Midler brought her ‘Divine Intervention’ tour to the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans on Saturday, May 16, 2015.

Bette Midler named her current 22-city North American tour the “Divine Intervention” tour. The singing star and actress has used the word “divine” throughout her career. As every fan knows, her 1972 debut album was titled “The Divine Miss M.” Tours called “Divine Madness,” “Experience the Divine,” “The Divine Miss Millennium Tour” and more followed.… Continue reading →

New Orleans book events for May 17 - June 9

'Dollbaby' by Laura McNeal

ew Orleans area Book events “ALLEN THE ALLIGATOR COUNTS THROUGH NEW ORLEANS”: 2 p.m., Octavia Books, 513 Octavia St. Author Megan Braden-Perry and illustrator Lyn Vicknair read and sign their children’s book. (504) 899-7323. “The Book that Every Black Christian Should Read” and “How… Continue reading →

Review: 'Far From the Madding Crowd' is masterpiece cinema

Photo by ALEX BAILEY -- Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel and Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba in FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD.

A mostly British cast, a Danish director and a classic novel by Thomas Hardy form the winning ingredients in “Far From the Madding Crowd.” As adaptations of literary classics go, director Thomas Vinterberg’s and screenwriter David Nicholls’ interpretation of Hardy’s Victorian drama is a fine one. It’s beautifully acted, grandly romantic cinema that nevertheless doesn’t lose… Continue reading →

Review: Dazzling ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ a can’t miss thrill

This photo provided by Warner Bros. Pictures shows Tom Hardy, center, as Max Rockatansky and Charlize Theron, right, as Imperator Furiosa in Warner Bros. Picturesí and Village Roadshow Picturesí action adventure film, ìMad Max:Fury Road," a Warner Bros. Pictures release. (Jasin Boland/Warner Bros. Pictures via AP) ORG XMIT: CAET483

The silences in “Mad Max: Fury Road” are unsettling. The moments are few and infrequent, but it’s not until the fiery roar of the engines and the thrashing of the guitars are suddenly stripped away that you can fully feel how deeply the film has flooded your being. The theater — and your heart — pulsates with… Continue reading →

'King of the Blues' legend B.B. King, who played New Orleans Jazz Fest and in Baton Rouge in 2013, dead in Las Vegas

FILE - In this Feb. 16, 2007 file photo, B.B. King performs at the Wicomico Youth and Civic Center, in Salisbury, Md.  King died Thursday, May 14, 2015, peacefully in his sleep at his Las Vegas home at age 89, his lawyer said. (Matthew S. Gunby/The Daily Times via AP) NO SALES

LAS VEGAS (AP) — B.B. King, whose scorching guitar licks and heartfelt vocals made him the idol of generations of musicians and fans while earning him the nickname King of the Blues, died late Thursday at home in Las Vegas. He was 89. His attorney, Brent Bryson, told The Associated Press that King died peacefully in his… Continue reading →

Burlesque, sideshow, cirque and song: ‘Immersive cabaret’ ‘Storyville Rising’ returns

Photo by JonGunnar Gylfasson -- Dante and Jesse Parce with an audience member in 'Storyville Rising'

“Storyville Rising,” a fusion of classic burlesque with spoken word and improvisational theater, returns to New Orleans Saturday at Cafe Istanbul for a limited engagement. The show, a creation of performing artist Kali von Wunderkammer and directed by Armitage Shanks, an acclaimed cabaret performer, first hit the stage last October. That run was a success and… Continue reading →

D’oh! Is ‘The Simpsons’ parting company with Harry Shearer?

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2015 file photo, Harry Shearer appears at the 30th annual TEC Awards during the 2015 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show in Anaheim, Calif. An escalating contract dispute suggests that Harry Shearer may exit "The Simpsons," where he has voiced several of its characters since the Fox cartoon series debuted in 1989. In Twitter posts on Thursday, May 14, 2015, Shearer said re-upping with the series would have denied him "what we've always had: the freedom to do other work." In a tweet hours later, "Simpsons" executive producer Al Jean resolved to recast if Harry does not return. (Photo by Paul A. Hebert/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — An escalating contract dispute suggests that Harry Shearer, a part-time resident of New Orleans, may exit “The Simpsons,” where he has voiced several of its characters since the Fox cartoon series debuted in 1989. In Twitter posts on Thursday, Shearer said re-upping with the series would have denied him “what we’ve always had:… Continue reading →