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Cultural Arts in October
October

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This is the month of the superstars and quite possibly the most anxiously awaited month in the New Orleans cultural season in many years. One of the greatest living tenors, Placido Domingo, returns for a special concert sponsored by the New Orleans Opera Association, and stellar cellist Yo-Yo Ma performs with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

In addition, the New Orleans Ballet Association kicks off its season with an amazing performance of world-renowned Pilobolus. Broadway in New Orleans begins its official season with a stirring production of Les Miserables, and the region's other cultural presenters contribute to the local action with productions of their own.

Here's how October is shaping up on the Crescent City cultural scene:

The Full Monty
Thru October 7, 2012

Venue: Jefferson Performing Arts Center
Presenting Organization: Jefferson Performing Arts Society
Tickets: Jefferson Performing Arts Society

Celebrating its 35th season as Jefferson Parish's premiere performing arts organization, JPAS annually stages a mix of live theatre (usually musicals), dance, classical music and an occasional grand opera or operetta. It operates out of two theaters, one in Metairie on the East Bank of Jefferson Parish and the other in Westwego on the West Bank.

In The Full Monty, six unemployed steelworkers of all sizes, colors, personality types and sexual persuasions come up with a bold way to make some quick cash after seeing how much their wives enjoy watching male strippers during their "Girls' Night Out." In the process they find renewed self-esteem, the importance of male camaraderie and the ability to have fun.

Approximate run time is two hours with one 15-minute intermission. Show times vary. For more information visit the JPAS website at www.jpas.org.

Beethoven Symphony No. 8
October 5, 2012

Venue: First Baptist Church
Presenting Organization: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Tickets: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

Though not as widely familiar as his 5th and 9th symphonies, Beethoven's Symphony No. 8 stands out for characteristics of its own. Composed by Beethoven in 1812 during the height of his most creative period, it is generally more lighthearted and cheerful than those for which he is better known. Even the great composer himself was said to have preferred it over his more popular compositions.

Beethoven's 8th will be performed on the same bill as Rossini's Overture to La scala di seta
and Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 3. Venezuelan-born conductor, Maestro Carlos Riazuelo, conducts the LPO for this performance and violinist Joseph Meyer is the featured artist for the Mozart piece.

The performance opens at 7:30 p.m. For more detailed information, including ticket availability, call 523-6350 or visit www.lpomusic.com.

Driving Miss Daisy
October 5-14, 2012

Venue: Jefferson Performing Arts Center
Presenting Organization: Jefferson Performing Arts Society
Tickets: Jefferson Performing Arts Society

Winner of the 1988 Pulitzer Prize and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Play and later, an Academy Award-winning film, this is a warm-hearted, humorous and deeply moving study of the unlikely relationship between an aging, crotchety, white Southern lady and a proud, soft-spoken black man. The production stars widely known local actress Janet Shea as Daisy Werthan and "Treme" star Lance Nichols as her put-upon but broad-shouldered chauffeur.

The show runs for approximately two hours with a 15-minute intermission. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and 2 p.m. for Sunday matinees.

Here to Stay: The Gershwin Experience
October 6, 2012

Venue: Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts
Presenting Organization: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Tickets: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

The music of the Gershwin Brothers, George and Ira, is the evening's feature at this special concert given by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Titled "Here to Stay" after one of their most famous songs, this is a new multimedia concert celebrating the greatest team of collaborators in the history of American music. With a top notch touring party, including pianist Kevin Cole, the leading Gershwin interpreter, and Grammy Award-winning soprano Sylvia McNair, this event provides an unprecedented insider view into the legendary duo, complete with photos from the Gershwin family archives, rare video clips, and elegant, state-of-the-art visual elements that provide a distinctive experience never before seen in a Gershwin show.

Glenn Langdon is the guest conductor for this performance. Show time is 8 p.m. at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. For more detailed information, including ticket availability, call 523-6350 or visit www.lpomusic.com.

Beer, Bach and Bon Operatit!
September 10, 2012

Venue: Four Points by Sheraton
Sponsoring Organizations: Four Points by Sheraton and Bon Operatit!
Tickets: FREE and Open to the Public; $5.00 Valet Parking Rate Available for Attendees

Bon Operatit!

Come join Bon Operatit!, a talented trio of classically trained singers, as they offer up a wide selection of popular opera selections and Broadway show tunes. This free performance will last from 7:00-9:00 p.m. at Four Points by Sheraton (formerly The Inn on Bourbon) in the heart of New Orleans' French Quarter, and the public is invited.

Valet parking is available for a nominal $5 charge.

Placido Domingo in Concert
October 12, 2012

Venue: Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts
Presenting Organization: New Orleans Opera Association
Tickets: New Orleans Opera Association

Les Miserables

In the mid-1960s, before he became a household name in the opera world, Placido Domingo was called in as a last-minute replacement for world-renowned tenor Franco Corelli in the title role of a New Orleans Opera production of Andrea Chenier. His performance in the role was so astounding he erased any doubts about his abilities and went on to international acclaim shortly afterward in his New York Metropolitan Opera debut.

After half a century of singing lead tenor in scores of productions and thousands of individual performances in dozens of countries on every continent, Domingo reigns as one of the greatest male opera singers of all time. One of the crowning achievements of a stellar career was singing with Luciano Pavarotti and Jose Carreras as one of The Three Tenors. Now, as a renowned conductor as well as a singer, Domingo returns to the city where his rise to fame began. His performance at the Mahalia Jackson Theater on October 12, on a stage named for him, will be his third trip to New Orleans in the past six years.

Domingo will be accompanied by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Maestro Robert Lyall, with guest emcees New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and Academy Award nominee Patricia Clarkson. Other singers appearing onstage with him include Stephanie Blythe, Ana María Martínez, David Lomeli and New Orleans favorite Sarah Jane McMahon. They will be joined by the 80-voice New Orleans Opera Chorus.

This event is not included in season subscriptions. Tickets must be purchased separately by contacting the Opera Box Office directly at 504-529-300.

Tickets are available at all levels. Premium tickets include a gourmet dinner with Domingo at the recently-renovated historic Roosevelt Hotel in downtown New Orleans.

Debauchery
October 17, 2012

Venue: Mid-City Theatre
Sponsoring Organizations: Southern Repertory Theater
Tickets: Mid-City Theatre and Southern Repertory Theater

Pat Bourgeois brings you Debauchery! The Soap Opera about a wealthy, eccentric family just trying to find love, family, and infamy in New Orleans. Will Buff tell Cartier that he is really Nick – long lost husband of her sister, Chanel? Will Chanel continue her marriage to dull, predictable Larsen, or will she consummate her coitus-interuptus honeymoon with Nick, who is now Buff? And, if Buff was impotent during his marriage to Cartier, who fathered the twins?

Come join the fun and find out! Performances start at 7:30 p.m.

The Lily's Revenge: A Flowergory Manifold
October 18-21, 2012

Venue: Den of Muses (Architect Street at St. Ferdinand)
Sponsoring Organizations: Southern Repertory Theater
Tickets: Mid-City Theatre and Southern Repertory Theater

In this five-act, epic tale told in Music, Dance, Film and Verse, Lily's journey to become a man and win his true love's hand features wild desires and vivid theatricality as told by a 45+ cast of local performers. Billed as a "hedonistic ride not for the faint of heart," it is recommended for ages 16 and above. Contains sexual themes, nudity, and strong language.

Pilobolus
October 20, 2012

Venue: Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts
Sponsoring Organization: New Orleans Ballet Association
Tickets: New Orleans Ballet Association

Opening its 2012-2013 Season, appropriately titled "American Moves" in grand style, the New Orleans Ballet Association presents Pilobolus, last seen here in New Orleans a decade ago.

Under Artistic Directors Robby Barnett and Michael Tracy, what began as an experiment in a Dartmouth College dance class in 1971 has turned into a beloved American dance sensation. For over 40 years, Pilobolus has tickled the imagination and entertained the world with its breathtaking physicality that defies what is humanly possible. Named after a sun-loving fungus and clad in colorful costumes, this playful ensemble of gravity-defying, shape-shifting dancers blends humor, mind-boggling movement and jaw-dropping athleticism to create a magical evening full of visual surprises. Pilobolus returns with an enchanting program for the entire family.

6 x 6
October 24, 2012

Venue: Mid-City Theatre
Sponsoring Organizations: Southern Repertory Theater
Tickets: Mid-City Theatre and Southern Repertory Theater

6x6 translates to 6 ten-minute plays by 6 playwrights. These six staged readings of six brand new ten-minute plays will explore themes close to the heart of New Orleans. An ensemble of actors and directors will interpret and present staged, script-in-hand readings of the six new short plays written by the 6x6 Writers Group: James Bartelle, Gamal Chasten, Michael Aaron Santos, Lisa Shattuck, Jared Gore, Jon Broder, Paul Werner, Mike Harkins, Andy Vaught, Brittain Valenti, Lucy Faust, Brian Sands, Kerry Cahill, Mandy Zirkenbach, Pat Bourgeois and Madison Curry.

Tickets are just $10 at the door and, yes, there will be cocktails.

Yo-Yo Ma in Concert with the Louisiana Philharmonic
October 26, 2012

Venue: Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts
Presenting Organization: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Tickets: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
and Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts

Les Miserables

With at least 75 albums to his credit, 15 of which were Grammy Award winners, plus countless prizes from prestigious presenters, Japanese-born cellist Yo-Yo Ma is perhaps the best-known classical performing artist in the world today. A child prodigy whose cellos date from the 1700s, Ma is both a graduate of Harvard University and New York's famous Juilliard School. Appointed a CultureConnect Ambassador by the United States Department of State in 2002, Ma has met with, trained, and mentored thousands of students worldwide in countries. He has performed for eight American presidents, most recently at the inauguration of President Obama.

In what will be his second appearance in New Orleans in the past three years, Ma will perform
Elgar's "Cello Concerto" at 8 p.m. in the Mahalia Jackson Theater. Maestro Carlos Miguel Prieto conducts. Other musical pieces on the bill that night are Reich's "Three Movements" and
Respighi's "The Pines of Rome."

Frost/Nixon
October 26-November 4, 2012

Venue: Jefferson Performing Arts Center
Presenting Organization: Jefferson Performing Arts Society
Tickets: Jefferson Performing Arts Society

In the years immediately following Richard Nixon's resignation from the presidency, he was determined to begin the process of restoring his disgraced reputation. Around the same time, talk show host David Frost began sensing that his career was on the decline and he was equally determined to resurrect his fading popularity. In a series of nationally televised interviews, both men contend for the audience's attention, each with their own agenda that conflicts with the other's, and the result actually benefits both of them.

The show runs for approximately two hours with a 15-minute intermission. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday nights and 2 p.m. for Sunday matinees.

Les Miserables
October 30-November 4

Venue: Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts
Presenting Organization: Broadway Across America
Tickets: Broadway Across America, Ticketmaster or Mahalia Jackson Theater

Les Miserables

Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, Les Miserables is a series of character studies during a turbulent time in the history of Paris and the Bourbon Restoration that followed the end of the Napoleonic era. Gripping in its depictions of the Parisian underclass, the story Jean Valjean's attempts at redemption and the persistence of police inspector Javert to bring him down was adapted for the stage in 1985 and has entertained an estimated 60 million people in 43 countries since then.

This is the official opening production of the 2012-2013 season by Broadway in New Orleans at the Mahalia Jackson Theater. Show times vary.

 
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