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Ballet Hysell, Delta Festival Ballet each stage a classic holiday ‘Nutcracker’

Photo by GK Photography -- A scene from the Delta Festival Ballet production of 'The Nutcracker.'

Although Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s inaugural performance of “The Nutcracker” ballet on Dec. 18, 1892, was not hailed as a success, it has since become the most widely performed dance production of all time. In New Orleans and Baton Rouge alone, in 2014, at least 10 productions of this holiday classic are being presented this year. This… Continue reading →

New Orleans arts listings, Dec. 18-25, 2014

OFFSTAGE GALLERY ARTISANS’ EMPORIUM: Through Sunday. Slidell Little Theatre, 2024 Nellie Drive, Slidell. Original art in a variety of media for purchase. (404) 784-6880. www.OTACenter.com. MIRRORFUGUE: Through Saturday, Laura Simon Nelson Galleries, The Historic New Orleans Collection, 400 Chartres St., New Orleans. Installation by Xiao Xiao. (504) 523-4662. www.thnoc.org. BLACK AND WHITE FANTASY: 7 p.m., opening reception today, through… Continue reading →

What’s on stage in New Orleans, Dec. 18-25, 2014

THE BOOK OF NIGHTMARES: 8 p.m. Thursday, Lost Love Lounge, 2529 Dauphine St., New Orleans. The Great American Poetry and Theatre Company’s staged adaptation of poet Galway Kinnell’s book-length work. (504) 949-2009. www.lostlovelounge.com. COMEDY AND MUSIC NIGHT: 8 p.m., Saturday, Castle Theatre, 501 Williams Blvd., Kenner. Becky Allen and Jodi Borrello will be the laughs and Linda Wright will… Continue reading →

‘Dean of N.O. artists’ Paul Ninas gets a show at LeMieux

Photo courtesy Lemieux Galleries -- Paul Ninas, Untitled (Horse Woman and Mirror) ca. 1955 oil on canvas 34

This month, a show of mostly never-before-seen works by Paul Ninas at LeMieux Galleries on Julia Street is a reminder of his stature in some circles as the “dean of New Orleans artists” — even if he might be better known in others for rather different reasons. Born in Missouri in 1903,… Continue reading →

Broadway Series’ ‘Dirty Dancing’ opens at the Saenger

Photo Matthew Murphy -- Samuel Pergande and Jenny Winton in a number from 'Dirty Dancing.'

It was the summer of 1963 and they were having “the time of their lives,” according to the Bill Medley/Jennifer Warnes song written for the occasion. The occasion was the blossoming romance between a 17-year-old girl and a handsome, virile dance instructor at a resort hotel in New York’s Catskill Mountains. The semi-autobiographical… Continue reading →

‘Nightmare Before Christmas’ is a burlesque dream

Photo by Kriss Hoffmann -- Perse Fanny plays Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween, who wants to be Santa Claus in 'The Nightmare Before Christmas.'

Composer and lyricist Danny Elfman’s opening lyric to the now-classic “The Nightmare Before Christmas” might be the best way to explain what burlesque dancer and producer Remy Dee has in mind. “Boys and girls of every age, wouldn’t you like to see something strange?” A New Orleans area native, Dee believes the beloved, off-kilter seasonal show… Continue reading →

New Orleans art listings, Dec. 11-18, 2014

OFFSTAGE GALLERY ARTISANS’ EMPORIUM: Through Sunday. Slidell Little Theatre, 2024 Nellie Drive, Slidell. Original art in a variety of media for purchase. (404) 784-6880. www.OTACenter.com. MIRRORFUGUE: Through Dec. 20. Laura Simon Nelson Galleries, The Historic New Orleans Collection, 400 Chartres St., New Orleans. Installation by Xiao Xiao. (504) 523-4662. www.thnoc.org. BLACK AND WHITE FANTASY: 7… Continue reading →

On stage in New Orleans, Dec. 11-18, 2014

A CHRISTMASSACRE STORY: 8 p.m. Thursday; 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 3 p.m. Sunday. Shadowbox Theatre, 2400 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans. Mashup of “A Christmas Story,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Silence of the Lambs.” $15. (504) 298-8676. www.theshadowboxtheatre.com. AFRICA UMOJA: 7:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday; and 2… Continue reading →

International photo celebration PhotoNOLA returns to New Orleans

Photo courtesy Boyd-Satellite Gallery & PhotoNOLA -- Andres Serrano, 'Study for Our Lady of the Thorns 1'

Despite whatever you’ve been led to believe over the past couple of weeks, there’s more than one multivenue, international art exhibition going on in New Orleans this fall. Now in its ninth year, PhotoNOLA will be taking place in museums, galleries and other art spaces over the entire month of December. If you’re still… Continue reading →

Mardi Gras Indian queens spotlighted at McKenna show

Photo by Dr. Jeffrey Ehrenreich -- Baby Princess Kenya DeArmas -- Young Guardians of the Flame. Mardi Gras Indian Queens exhibit, PhotoNOLA

In conjunction with the citywide PhotoNOLA festival, “Queens Rule!”, an exhibit of images of Mardi Gras Indian queens with photographs by more than 20 photographers, opens Saturday at 6 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 6, at the McKenna Museum of African American Art, 2003 Carondelet St. The exhibit will feature over 40 archival photographs,… Continue reading →

Acrobats and symphony team up for Cirque de Noel

Photo provided -- Aloysia Gavre of 'Cirque de Noel' says the production is about the Christmas season. 'We all have a vision of what this musicality means to us,' she says. The show is at the Saenger Theatre Saturday.

Elite cirque acrobats, aerial fliers, contortionists, dancers, jugglers and strongmen from all over the country are coming together to perform their jaw-dropping feats, above and around the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, in Cirque de la Symphonie’s Christmas-inspired “Cirque de Noel.” Guest conductor Robert Bernhardt will be leading the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra with the rare… Continue reading →

Anthony Bean, Southern Rep, Rivertown stage ‘Christmas Carol’

Photo provided by Southern Rep -- John 'Spud' McConnell is the miserly Ebenezer Scrooge in Southern Rep's

This weekend, Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmas come back to life in three different adaptations of Charles Dickens’ classic “A Christmas Carol,” teaching audiences what really matters in the holiday season. Local directors have produced theatrical performances that incorporate New Orleans culture, Broadway and a play within a play — maintaining a fresh approach… Continue reading →

Grenadine McGunkle is back with a tale of Christmas and speed-dating

Photo provided -- Starring local singer and actor Dorian Rush in the title role, this years 'Grenadine' installment tackles the twin problems of throwing a Christmas party and getting dates for a couple of sisters.

Like a campy “Christmas Carol” or a slightly demented “Nutcracker,” Grenadine McGunkle has become a holiday tradition in New Orleans. Launched in 2001 by the theatrical troupe Running with Scissors, “Grenadine McGunkle’s Double-Wide Christmas” returns with its 2014 edition Friday, Dec. 5, at the Mid-City Theatre and runs through Sunday, Dec. 21. Starring… Continue reading →

Sidra Bell Dance: ‘When you break it down it’s just about the human experience: loneliness and belonging.’

Photo by Jubal Battisti -- Sidra Bell: 'My inspiration behind this piece is my inner narrative but the way I depicted it came out in this very vaudevillian way.'

Limbs bend. Bodies stretch. Lights dim and brighten. Fabrics flutter. A dance performance promises all this, but Sidra Bell Dance New York, an experimental dance company performing at the Contemporary Arts Center Dec. 5 and 6 at 7:30 p.m., will offer these images and more. The company was founded in 2001 by the eponymous… Continue reading →

Edgy comedian Hannibal Buress tries out material in N.O.

Photo by Constance Kostrevski -- Stand-up comic Hannibal Buress made national headlines recently for his startling allegations about Bill Cosby.

If you’ve been a regular at recent open mics around the city, you may have come across him doing a set. Every few nights he’s popped up: at Carrollton Station, Hi-Ho Lounge, Lost Love Lounge or the House of Blues. Typically it’s called a “special surprise” by the host who welcomes him onstage, and the crowd grows quiet,… Continue reading →

New Orleans arts calendar, Dec. 4-111. 2014

PHOTO NOLA: Thursday through Sunday, various locations, New Orleans. PhotoNOLA is an annual festival of photography, coordinated by the New Orleans Photo Alliance in partnership with galleries, museums and photographers citywide. www.photonola.org. WATERCOLOR SHOWCASE: 6 p.m. Dec. 5. New Orleans Athletic Club, 222 N. Rampart St., New Orleans. Peter P. Briant celebrates a 40-year retrospective. (504)… Continue reading →

On stage in New Orleans, Dec. 4-11, 2014

IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: 7 p.m., Deutsches Haus, 1023 Ridgewood Drive, Metairie. Live production of the holiday classic by The NOLA Voice Talent Foundation to benefit greater New Orleans nonprofit performing arts organizations. $20. www.nolavoicetalent.org/iawl-2014. A CHRISTMASSACRE STORY: 8 p.m., also Dec. 11; Dec. 5, 6, 12, 13 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.; Dec. 7 at 5 p.m.;… Continue reading →

‘Catch 23’ a tale of learning and growing

Photo provided -- Cameron-Mitchell Ware's one-man show explores the experiences of an aspiring actor in New York City.

The title of Joseph Heller’s bestselling 1961 book, “Catch 22,” has entered the American lexicon as a synonym for a no-win situation — damned if you do, damned if you don’t. So what is “Catch 23”? Cameron-Mitchell Ware answers that question with his one-man show this weekend at Mid-City Theatre. “As the title of my… Continue reading →

Draw-A-Thon’s ‘giant collaboration between strangers’ goes around the clock

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Byron Perkins, 8, adds his flag to the globe during last year's Draw-a-thon at  Marigny Opera House in New Orleans. This year's event is Saturday

Looking to make your mark this weekend? Press Street — a nonprofit literary and visual arts collective — is hosting its ninth annual 24-hour Draw-a-thon, this year at the Art Klub, 517 Elysian Fields Ave., from 6:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 29, to 6:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 30. (Formerly planned at the Marigny Opera House, where… Continue reading →

In the orbit of Prospect.3, there’s plenty more to see

Photo by John d'Addario -- Carl Joe Williams: '70s Thug gets Bitch Slapped by his Mama,' 2012

Confused about all those pink-and-white “P.3” and “P.3+” signs at the entrances to art venues in New Orleans this fall? You’re not alone. Basically, P.3-labeled venues feature works by the 58 artists selected by Franklin Sirmans for the central Prospect.3 exhibition. Think of it as a single, massive, thematically cohesive group show spread out all… Continue reading →

New Orleans arts events, Nov. 27-Dec. 4, 2014

OFFSTAGE GALLERY ARTISANS’ EMPORIUM: 5:30 p.m., opening reception Nov. 28, through Dec. 14. Slidell Little Theatre, 2024 Nellie Drive, Slidell. Original art in a variety of media for purchase. (404) 784-6880. EDNA CARR PROJECT: Monday through Dec. 31. Algiers Regional Library, 3014 Holiday Drive, Algiers. Photography by Akasha Rabut. (504) 529-7323. www.neworleanspubliclibrary.org. THE PERPETUAL INSTANT: 6 p.m. to 9… Continue reading →

Goat in the Road stages a history of anesthesiology in ‘Numb’

Photo by Rachel June Photography -- From left, the cast of 'Numb': Dylan Hunter, Ian Hoch, Todd D'Amour, Leslie Boles, Shannon Flaherty, and Francesca McKenzie.: The play tells the story of how a dentist from Hartford discovered the secret to pain-free surgery.

Intellectually demanding yet accessible, Goat in the Road’s production of “Numb” is an occasionally wobbly, but ultimately rewarding, evening based on the strength of its acting company and the directorial skill of creator Chris Kaminstein. As a history of anesthesiology, Kaminstein’s text is not always easy, and at times, it falls too deeply under its… Continue reading →

The 24/7 part of Prospect.3

Photo by John D'Addario -- 9 Wall Mural Project's 'IMPERMANENCE.'

This fall, some of the most interesting artworks in New Orleans are hiding in plain sight all over town. And while most of them have been branded as satellite projects of the Prospect.3 international art exhibition, you won’t have to worry about closing times or admission prices: They’re all in public spaces and viewable 24 hours a… Continue reading →

Exhibit Be: Up against the wall

Photo by John D'Addario -- Spectators gather to view the Prospect.3 project   in Algiers.

Exhibit Be: Up against the wall… Continue reading →

New Orleans area arts calendar, Nov. 20-27, 2014

LOWER ROYAL ARTS DISTRICT THIRD THURSDAY: 6 p.m., 700 to 1100 block of Royal Street, French Quarter, New Orleans. Variety of galleries open for art stroll, with music, food and art. www.facebook.com/events/1498464217066043. NUDES: Through Dec. 8. Loisel Vintage Modern, 2855 Magazine St., New Orleans. Large format laminated color photographs on aluminum panels. (504) 899-2444. www.loiselvintagemodern.com. NEW WORK BY RAYMOND… Continue reading →

On stage in New Orleans Nov. 20-27, 2014

NOW NOW OH NOW: 7:30 p.m., Thursday and Friday; 2:30 p.m. Saturday. Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St., New Orleans. Genre-defying theater company Rude Mechanicals merges themes of evolutionary biology, murder mystery theater, and gaming with an interactive puzzle of a piece that calls to the inner nerd in all. $35 in advance; $40 door. (504) 528-3805. www.cacno.org. CHRIS… Continue reading →

New-theater Fringe Festival marks a record 82 productions this year

Tragic Women - Emma Green - credit Scott Ross

Billing itself as “the festival of the wild, weird, fresh and original,” the seventh annual New Orleans Fringe Festival will take place from Nov. 19-23, mostly in Bywater and Faubourg Marigny. Performances will include drama, comedy, dance, improv, pantomime, musical theater, circus arts, puppetry, storytelling and spoken word. Productions are staged in small neighborhood… Continue reading →

Paintings go beyond the realism of photography

. ‘Citarella Fish Company’: Richard Estes’ painting of a busy street and its reflections underscore how much of life we don’t see.

Painting and photography have always had a complex relationship. Conceived as an adjunct to painting in the earliest years of its development in the first decades of the 19th century, when many painters discovered how useful photographs could be in composing their canvases, photography quickly assumed an artistic presence and legitimacy of its own (albeit one… Continue reading →