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The Arts in April
April 2014

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The Cultural Season in New Orleans blooms into full flower during the lovely month of April, with outstanding opera performances, stellar classical music concerts, live comedy and musicals and more. Something for all cultural tastes.

The New Orleans Opera Association wraps up its season with "La Boheme," one of the greatest operas of all time, while Bon Operatit! and Opera on Tap do their part to promote the genre with lively performances of their own. Tennessee Williams' "Night of the Iguana" continues its extended run beyond the literary festival named for America's most famous playwright.

Comedy is on the boards at Mid-City Theatre with the "back-by-popular-demand" return of "The Golden Girls" by New Orleans theatergoers' favorite female impersonators. World-renowned violinist Philippe Quint returns to the stage with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra for a solo performance, and Trinity Episcopal Church opens its doors for its annual 29-hour "Bach Around the Clock" musical and entertainment marathon.

It all happens here in New Orleans, "America's First City of Culture," in April. Read below to see what's happening where and when this month:

The Night of the Iguana
Through April 6, 2014

Venue: Art Klub (519 Elysian Fields Avenue)
Sponsoring Organizations: Southern Rep Theatre
Tickets: Southern Rep Theatre

In conjunction with the Tennessee Williams Literary Festival, Southern Rep presents what is considered to be Williams' last significant play. In this "confession drama" set in Mexico, a disgraced minister seeks refuge in alcohol and carnality, while a woman of extraordinary grace feels forlorn and abandoned. Together their troubled souls navigate faith, sex and sin in an attempt to save one another before they reach the end of their rope.

On stage together for the first time since their award-winning 2012 performance in "A Streetcar Named Desire" are Mike Harkins and Southern Rep Producing Artistic Director Aimée Hayes in the lead roles. Phil Karnell is the director. Show times vary.

La Boheme
April 4 & 6, 2014

Venue: Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts
Sponsoring Organizations: New Orleans Opera Association
Tickets: New Orleans Opera Association
and Ticketmaster

It starts out funny and ends sadly, but Puccini's immortal masterpiece, "La Boheme," is a microcosm of the cycle of life itself. In this operatic classic, the lives of four bohemians and their women in 1830s Paris are all inextricably bound up together in a struggle for survival and redemption.

One of the most popular and frequently performed operas in the standard repertoire, "La Boheme" will be sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.

Leading roles in the opera go to Noah Stewart (Rodolfo), Norah Amsellem (Mimi), Liam Bonner (Marcello), Schaunard (Steven LaBrie) and New Orleanians Sarah Jane McMahon (Musetta) and Alfred Walker (Colline). New Orleans Opera General and Artistic Director Robert Lyall conducts the 70-member Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

For a full synopsis of the opera's plot and to view YouTube videos of selected arias from "La Boheme," go to www.neworleansopera.org/2013-2014-season/la-boheme/.

Bach Around the Clock
April 4-5, 2014

Venue: Trinity Episcopal Church
Presenting Organization: Trinity Episcopal Church
Tickets: Free and open to the public

Trinity Episcopal Church, a Gothic landmark in the city's Garden District, will be hosting its
17th Annual "Bach Around The Clock" Festival, a musical and entertainment marathon that goes on for 29 straight hours.

The event starts at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 4 and runs through midnight, Saturday, April 5. It will feature music from the Baroque period of the 17th century through the 20th century, plus dance, yoga, poetry readings and even a few surprises.

The church is located just a few blocks from the St. Charles Avenue Streetcar line's Jackson Avenue stop. Check back with the Trinity website for a full lineup as the date gets closer.

The Golden Girls Return
April 4-19, 2014

Venue: Mid-City Theatre
Sponsoring Organizations:Mid-City Theatre
Tickets:
Mid-City Theatre

Back by popular demand, following a succession of sold-out performances in January, everybody's favorite female impersonators are back at it again with their hilariously slapstick reprise on the once-popular TV show – "The Golden Girls."

Starring Varla Jean Merman, Ricky Graham, Brooklyn Shaffer (aka Brian Peterson) and Brian Johnston - with special guest star Becky Allen - "The Golden Girls" takes you back to the days of Dorothy, Rose, Sophia and the man-hungry Southern belle, Blanche Devereaux. The quartet performs skits from the show, which ran from 1985-1992, and they lead several sing-alongs as well. You'll be laughing along with these ultra-talented performers as they reenact the South Florida milieu of the original TV series.

Pinkalicious the Musical
April 4-13, 2014

Venue: Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts
Presenting Organization: Theatre 13
Tickets: Theatre 13

Based on the popular book by Victoria and Elizabeth Kann, this is the story of Pinkalicious, an impetuous young girl who can't control her urge to devour pink cupcakes, despite warnings from her parents. Her passion for pink and her overindulgence on pink sweets results in a case of Pinkitis, an affliction that turns her skin completely pink. At first she's overjoyed but, when her hue gets too far gone, only Pinkalicious can figure out a way out of her predicament.

"Pinkalicious the Musical" is an object lesson in learning the power of self-control and the importance of moderation.

"Bernstein on Bourbon" with Bon Operatit!
April 9, 2014

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!

Paying tribute to one of the greatest American composers of all time, Bon Operatit! will
present "Bernstein on Bourbon" at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in the heart of the French Quarter.

For two hours, listeners will hear many of their favorites from the songbook of Leonard Bernstein, including selections from "West Side Story," "Candide," and others. The performance will last from 7:00-9:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

The Bon Operatit! ensemble members, consisting of Jesse Nolan (tenor), Mary Penick Akin (mezzo-soprano) and Lauren Mouney Gisclair (soprano), have been performing together since 2009 in and around New Orleans. They have recorded two critically acclaimed CDs, the most recent of which, Sensatiable, was released earlier this year.

Guest artists may also be singing with the trio, and all performances are accompanied by a pianist.

The hotel is located at the corner of Bourbon and Toulouse streets. Valet parking is available for a nominal $5 charge.

The hotel stands on the site of the former French Opera House, which stood from 1859 to 1919 when it was destroyed by a fire. During the sixty years of its existence, the French Opera House was the hub of cultural life and entertainment in New Orleans. Visitors can read more about the history of the French Opera House from the bronze plaque on the outside of the building facing Bourbon Street.

For more information about Bon Operatit! visit their website at www.bonoperatit.com. Copies of their CDs will be on sale at the event. The trio is also available for private parties and other bookings.

Debauchery
April 9, 2014

Venue: Mid-City Theatre
Sponsoring Organizations:Southern Rep Theatre
Tickets: Southern Rep Theatre and
Mid-City Theatre

Sometimes, the name says it all. Certainly in this case it does. Playwright Pat Bourgeois presents "Debauchery! The Soap Opera" about a wealthy, eccentric family just trying to find love, family, and infamy in New Orleans.

Now in its third year, this interactive monthly soap opera keeps the tension building on its sassiest, sauciest season yet! Join in on the drama as sisters Chanel and Cartier flounce and fight their way through a maze of outrageous exploits. The performance starts at 7:30 p.m.

Philippe Quint and West Side Story
April 11, 2014

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

World-renowned French violinist Philippe Quint joins the LPO for a concert featuring works by American composers who were inspired by and contributed to the vibrant world of film music, including Erich Wolfgang Korngold, John Corigliano, Leroy Anderson and Leonard Bernstein.

Selections will include Anderson's "Celebration," Korngold's "Violin Concerto," Corigliano's Chaconne for Violin from "The Red Violin" and Bernstein's Symphonic Dances from "West Side Story." Quint will be playing a 1723 Antonio Stradivari "Ex-Keisewetter" violin. LPO Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto conducts the performance.

Swing in the Oaks
April 22, 2014

Venue: City Park
Presenting Organization: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Tickets: Free and open to the public

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra hosts its annual Fidelity's Concerts in the Park: Swing in the Oaks. Admission is free and the outdoor concert under centuries-old oak trees is open to the public. Bring your own chairs, blankets, etc. The concert starts at 7:00 p.m.

The concert will feature traditional classic and modern favorites that will please any and all generations of listeners. Stuart Chafetz is the conductor. Rain date is April 23 at 7:00 p.m.

6x6
April 23, 2014

Venue: Mid-City Theatre
Sponsoring Organizations: Southern Rep Theatre
Tickets: Southern Rep Theatre and
Mid-City Theatre

6x6 translates to 6 ten-minute plays by 6 playwrights and 6 separate casts over the course the evening. These staged readings represent brand new ten-minute plays that 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 members of the 6x6 Writers Group, which includes 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 available at the door and, yes, there will be cocktails. Show time is 7:30 p.m.

Opera on Tap
April 30, 2014

Venue: Four Points by Sheraton
Sponsoring Organizations: New Orleans Opera Association
Tickets: None (FREE and Open to the Public
)

The New Orleans Opera Association continues its highly popular, free, "Opera on Tap" program of light operatic and live stage fare at various watering holes around New Orleans. This month's appearance of the NOOA's offshoot troupe will be on the site of former French Opera House -the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel at Bourbon and Toulouse streets in the French Quarter.

Founded in 2007, Opera on Tap is part of an effort to "demystify" the operatic musical art form and make it more accessible and enjoyable to larger numbers of people. The troupe is enjoying ever-growing popularity, as evidenced by the increasing size of the audiences that come to hear them sing familiar (and not-so-familiar) opera arias and classic songs from hit musicals. The performance runs from 7:00 p.m. until 8:30 and is open to the public.
Valet parking is available for $5.00.

Several YouTube videos of the troupe have been posted online. Go to www.youtube.com and type Opera on Tap New Orleans into the subject line to view samples.

 
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