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The Arts in March
March 2017

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With Mardi Gras now just a recent, pleasant memory, the cultural season in New Orleans comes back from its two-week hiatus and resumes in full force for the next three months.. And, once again, culture lovers will be treated to some of the best live cultural events you will find in any city of comparable size. Grand opera productions, exciting dance performances, beautiful classical music concerts and innovative stage productions get the action blooming along with the azalea and magnolia blossoms in the Crescent City springtime.

Here is the best of what we've got coming up in "America's First City of Culture" in March:

The Vic-Tones
Through June 28, 2017

Venue: BB's Stage Door Canteen, National World War II Museum
Presenting Organization: National World War II Museum
Tickets: BB's Stage Door Canteen, National World War II Museum

The Vic-Tones, a dynamic male vocal trio with their own distinctive sound, are the newest addition to The National WWII Museum's entertainment roster. These talented singers celebrate the music of the 1940s each Wednesday through June 28.

Swing, big band, jazz, Latin and country music dominated and defined this decade, and the Vic-Tones bring it all to life in three-part harmony. You'll hear such ageless classics as "Chattanooga Choo Choo," "Way Down Yonder in New Orleans," "Pistol Packin' Mama," "The Way You Look Tonight," "I'll Be Seeing You" and many others.

A Matinee Buffet is offered, starting at 11:45. Call to make reservations.

Dvorak's New World Symphony
March 2, 2017

Venue: Jefferson Performing Arts Center
Sponsoring Organization: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Tickets: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

The LPO's "Beethoven and Blue Jeans" series in neighboring Jefferson Parish concludes with a concert of favorites by Beethoven, Brahms, and Dvorak led by guest conductor Robin Fountain.

The heroic trumpet calls of Beethoven's Leonore Overture No. 3 kick off the program, followed by Brahms' rousing Hungarian Dances No. 1 and 5. The concert concludes with Dvorak's Symphony No. 9, "From the New World," a work infused with melodies inspired by Native American music and African-American spirituals.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

A Musical Prelude to the Celebration of Easter
"Music of Hispanic Inspiration"
March 2, 2017

Venue: St. Mary's Catholic Church, 1100 Chartres Street, New Orleans
Sponsoring Organization: Archdiocese of New Orleans Bishop Perry Center
Tickets: None. Event is free. Donations encouraged

The Bishop Perry Center kicks off its annual musical series, "A Musical Prelude to the Celebration of Easter," at 6 p.m. on March 2, the day after Ash Wednesday. This year's concert series theme is "Music of Hispanic Inspiration," which recognizes the growing importance of the Hispanic community in the Greater New Orleans Area.

The 2017 series will feature Hispanic-inspired music ranging from baroque and classical to contemporary Latin Jazz. The performing artists will be renowned Cuban guitarist Javier Olondo and his popular AsheSon ensemble. The performance will be preceded by a brief talk by historian and music scholar Alfred E. Lemmon, who will discuss Spain's influence on the music of the Americas.

The concert is free and open to the public but donations are encouraged to help fund the Bishop Perry Center which aids disadvantaged members of the New Orleans community.

Oskar and the Countless Costume Changes
March 4-25, 2017

Venue: New Orleans Museum of Art Auditorium
Sponsoring Organization: The NOLA Project
Tickets: The NOLA Project

In this three-cast-member regional premiere, 10 year-old Oskar gets to fulfill a lifelong dream of writing and directing a play at his elementary school. But when classmates challenge his rigid ideas about the production's male and female characters - and who should play whom - everything starts falling apart.

This funny and fast-paced contemporary farce tackles gender stereotypes head-on. It also encourages audiences to understand the complexities of gender roles and practice empathy when encountering boys and girls facing similar dilemmas associated with gender identity.

The show is approximately one hour long and runs every Saturday in March at 1 p.m.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical
March 7-12, 2017

Venue: Saenger Theatre
Sponsoring Organization: Broadway in New Orleans
Tickets: Saenger Theatre and Ticketmaster

Bon Operatit!

Long before she was Carole King, chart-topping music legend, she was Carol Klein, a Brooklyn girl with passion. She fought her way into the record business as a teenager and, by the time she reached her twenties, she had the husband of her dreams and a flourishing career, writing hits for the biggest acts in rock ‘n' roll. But it wasn't until her personal life began to crack that she finally managed to find her true voice.

Beautiful: The Carole King Musical tells the inspiring true story of King's remarkable rise to stardom, from being part of a hit songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to becoming one of the most successful solo acts in popular music history. Along the way, she made more than beautiful music, she wrote the soundtrack to a generation.

Show times vary; call or visit website for more information.

"Celtic Sounds" with Bon Operatit!
March 8, 2017

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!
Mary Akin of Bon Operatit!
Photo by Rebecca Ratliff

"May the luck of the Irish be with you" as the musically gifted quartet of singers in Bon Operatit! celebrate St. Patrick's Day with everyone's favorite melodies from the Emerald Isle.

The performance is free and will run from 7:00-9:00 p.m.

The Bon Operatit! ensemble features Joseph Akin (tenor), Lauren Mouney Gisclair (soprano), Mary Penick Akin (mezzo-soprano) and Jacob Penick (bass), plus a piano accompanist and various guest artists. The group was founded in 2009 and they have recorded two critically acclaimed CDs, each containing 14 tracks which may be sampled and ordered from their website, www.bonoperatit.com.

Alfred Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps"
March 10-26, 2017

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

Directed by Ricky Graham, this two-time Tony Award-winner is currently enjoying a second run on Broadway. The 39 Steps is a comedic spoof of the classic 1935 Hitchcock film, with only four actors portraying more than 150 characters.

The comedy thriller follows dashing hero, Richard Hannay, as he races to solve the mystery of "The 39 Steps," all the while trying to clear his name. This "whodunit, part espionage thriller and part slapstick comedy," is great fun for everyone.

Shows are at 8:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2:00 p.m. Sunday.

Augustin Hadelich Plays Bartok
March 10, 2017

Venue: Orpheum Theatre
Sponsoring Organization: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Tickets: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Orpheum Theatre

Superstar violinist Augustin Hadelich joins the LPO for a Fantastic Journey to Eastern Europe! Bartok's Transylvanian Dances for Orchestra begins the adventure, punctuated by Hadelich's performance of Bartok's Violin Concerto No. 2, a work that has become the violinist's claim to fame. Finally, the LPO visits Hungary and the Czech Republic with rousing performances of Kodaly's Hary Janos Suite and Janacek's Sinfonietta, a brassy work that calls for no less than 12 trumpets!

Carlos Miguel Prieto conducts. Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and there will be a pre-concert talk one hour prior to this performance.

Pictures at an Exhibition
March 10, 2017

Venue: St. Charles Avenue Baptist Church, 7100 St. Charles Avenue, New Orleans
Sponsoring Organization: New Orleans Volunteer Orchestra
Tickets: New Orleans Opera Volunteer Orchestra

Featuring the full orchestra, choir and an art silent auction, NOVO presents Pictures at an Exhibition, arranged by Maurice Ravel from Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky's piano composition. Ten short movements based on Viktor Hartmann's sketches and pictures bring the pictures to life. The concert will also feature pieces from favorite musicals, including If I Were a Rich Man.

Concert runs from 7:30-9:30 p.m.

Polymnia Quartet
March 12, 2017

Venue: Marigny Opera House
Sponsoring Organization: Marigny Opera House
Tickets: Event is free; suggested donation $20

The acclaimed Polymnia Quartet, founded by professional New Orleans musicians in 2015, will perform the Shostakovich Quartet No. 4 in D, Op. 83 and the Beethoven Quartet Op. 95 ("Serioso").

The members of the quartet are Kate Withrow and Benjamin Hart (violins), Amelia Clingman (viola) and Philip von Maltzahn (cello). The concert is part of the Marigny Opera House's ongoing Sunday Musical Meditation series.

Concert time is 5:00 p.m.

Great Scott! Joplin in the Quarter
March 12, 2017

Venue: Le Petit Theatre 
Sponsoring Organization: Le Petit Theatre

Tickets: Le Petit Theatre 

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the King of Ragtime's death in 1917, American pianist and former New Orleans International Piano Competition Gold Medalist, Richard Dowling, performs a selection of Scott Joplin's best-known and most beloved piano masterpieces in a one-time-only matinee recital. 

Performance time is 3:00 p.m.

Debauchery
March 15, 2017

Venue: The Theatre at St. Claude
Sponsoring Organization: Southern Rep Theatre
Tickets: Southern Rep Theatre and The Theatre at St. Claude

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

Now in its seventh season, New Orleans' only live, ongoing soap opera is more hilariously histrionic than ever!  

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook at www.facebook.com/WeloveDEBAUCHERY.

Opera on Tap
March 15, 2017

Venue: Four Points by Sheraton
Sponsoring Organization: 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 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.

Admission is free. The performance runs from 7:00-8:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

Valet parking is available for $5.00.

Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5
March 16, 2017

Venue: Orpheum Theatre
Sponsoring Organization: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Tickets: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Orpheum Theatre

Bon Operatit!

Jesus Castro-Balbi joins the LPO tackling Witold Lutoslawski's groundbreaking Cello Concerto in a program featuring works from across Europe.

To begin the program, LPO Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto leads the orchestra in Isaac Albeniz's Iberia Suite, a colorful musical portrait of Spain, before concluding with Tchaikovsky's triumphant Symphony No. 5 in E-minor.

Concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and there will be a pre-concert talk one hour prior to this performance.

Louis Moreau Institute Concert: American Extremes
March 17, 2017

Venue: Marigny Opera House
Sponsoring Organization: The Louis Moreau Institute
Tickets: Marigny Opera House

The Louis Moreau Institute Presents American Extremes: An Evening of Contemporary Chamber Music for String Quartet, Horn, and Piano.

Pieces to be featured include Steve Reich's Grammy Award-winning Different Trains, the New Orleans premiere of Mario Davidovsky's Quartetto, Esa-Pekka Salonen's Concert Etude for Horn in F and an improvisation based on a NOLA favorite tune.

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. For ticket prices or more information, visit www.louismoreauinstitute.org or call the Marigny Opera House.

Tarzan the Musical
March 17-26, 2017

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

Washed up on the shores of West Africa, an infant boy is taken in and raised by gorillas who name him Tarzan. Apart from striving for acceptance from his ape father, Tarzan's life is mostly "monkey business" until a human expedition treks into his tribe's territory. Tarzan struggles to navigate an emotional jungle as he discovers that his animal upbringing clashes with his human instincts.

Performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; Sundays at 2:00 p.m.

Okra
March 17, 2017

Venue: Castle Theatre, 501 Williams Blvd., Kenner, LA
Presenting Organization: Castle Theatre
Tickets: Castle Theatre

For those who don't already know, okra is a slimy green vegetable that is the main ingredient in Cajun gumbo soups, as well as in other Cajun dishes.

So what happens when Lillian Bourgeois smothers her daughters with vinegar and love? They cook up hilarious dreams and schemes to stop their mama from throwing their inheritance away in the video poker machines.

One show only at 8:00 p.m.

Stars of American Ballet Encore!
March 18, 2017

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

Hand-picked and directed by New York City Ballet Artistic Director Daniel Ulbricht, "Stars of American Ballet" returns for a special Encore! with a performance of classical masterpieces.

Hailed by Dance Magazine as "one of the best male ballet dancers," Ulbricht joins an elite, all-star ensemble of artists from New York City Ballet and beyond for a glamorous evening with works by Ulysses Dove, George Balanchine, Christopher Wheeldon and other celebrated choreographers. 

Performance time is 8:00 p.m.

Circus Parade
March 19, 2017

Venue: Roussel Performance Hall, Loyola University
Sponsoring Organization: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Tickets: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

The LPO goes under the Big Top for its final Family Concert this season. This one is a carnival-themed musical adventure featuring both familiar and new circus tunes.

Be sure to arrive 45 minutes prior to the concert to interact with the musicians and their instruments. The concert starts at 2:30 p.m. LPO Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto conducts.

Admission to LPO Family Concerts is FREE for children age 15 and under.

Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin
(Berlin Academy for Early Music)
March 20, 2017

Venue: Dixon Hall, Tulane University
Presenting Organization: New Orleans Friends of Music
Tickets: New Orleans Friends of Music

Founded in Berlin, Germany in 1982 and recognized today as one of the world's leading chamber orchestras, the Akademie fur Alte Musik Berlin, or Akamus, enjoys an impressive history of success worldwide.

This ensemble, in which some of its members play medieval and Renaissance-era instruments, will be performing concertos by Antonio Vivaldi, Georg Telemann, Carlo Farlna, Jan Zelenka, Alessandro Marcello and Francesco Geminiani.

The concert starts at 8:00 p.m.

Sweet Bird of Youth
March 22-April 16, 2017

Venue: Loyola University Marquette Theatre
Sponsoring Organization: Southern Rep Theatre
Tickets: Southern Rep and Loyola University

Presented in partnership with the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, Southern Rep is staging one of Williams' greatest plays. Opening on Broadway in 1959 and starring Paul Newman and Geraldine Page, Sweet Bird of Youth was nominated for four Tony Awards that year, including Best Actress for Page.

The Southern Rep production, directed by Mel Cook and featuring Broadway veteran Leslie Castay, faithfully retells Williams' story, set in Mississippi where Castay, as Alexandra del Lago, is a silver screen legend on the run following a humiliating comeback. She wakes up, disoriented and hung-over, in a grand hotel on the Gulf Coast with Chance, a local boy-turned-actor-turned-gigolo who is plotting a comeback of his own.

Performance times vary; call for details.

Opera on Tap
March 22, 2017

Venue: The Rusty Nail
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 first appearance of the NOOA's offshoot troupe will be at The Rusty Nail, a rustic neighborhood bar in the Warehouse Arts District.

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 6:00-7:30 p.m. and is open to the public.

Biloxi Blues
March 23-April 22, 2017

Venue: BB's Stage Door Canteen, National World War II Museum
 Presenting Organization: National World War II Museum
Tickets: BB's Stage Door Canteen, National World War II Museum

Neil Simon's award-winning comedy Biloxi Blues is the story of a young army recruit, Eugene Morris Jerome, during World War II. At basic training in Biloxi, Mississippi, Eugene is determined to use his army experiences to help his writing career, and he keeps detailed memoirs. Along the way, Eugene learns about authority, danger, sex, bigotry, homosexuality, and love.

Brunch and dinner show packages are offered. Call or visit website for details and to make reservations.

Classical Mystery Tour: Music of The Beatles
A Salute to Sgt. Pepper
March 23-24, 2017

Venue: Orpheum Theatre
Sponsoring Organization: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Tickets: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and Orpheum Theatre

Bon Operatit!

The Beatles tribute band, Classical Mystery Tour, will be performing more than 30 Beatles tunes sung, played, and performed in symphonic glory, exactly as they were written. Guest conducted by Martin Herman, the concert's first half celebrates the 50th anniversary of the release of The Beatles' groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album.

The program's second half features some of the other greatest hits of the Fab Four. Both shows start at 7:30 p.m.

The Milk Train Doesn't Stop Here Anymore
March 23-April 2, 2017

Venue: Sanctuary Cultural Arts Center, 2525 Burgundy Street, New Orleans
Sponsoring Organization: Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans
Tickets: Tennessee Williams Theatre Company and Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival

In this gripping drama, retired film star Flora Goforth finds herself facing death in a house on fire. Tennessee Williams explores glory, death, letting go, Eastern serenity, Western decadence and the complexities of the human spirit. Produced by the Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans in conjunction with the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, the production stars multi-award-winning New Orleans actress Janet Shea.

Show times vary; call or visit the festival website for details.

Bach Around the Clock
March 24-25, 2017

Venue: Trinity Episcopal Church 
Sponsoring Organization: Trinity Artist Series

Tickets: None. Event is free. Donations accepted

"Bach Around the Clock," a 24-hour musical and cultural marathon, returns to Trinity Church with a wide range of free, open-to-the-public offerings. Begun over 20 years ago by Trinity resident organist Albinas Prizgintas and his wife, Manon, the event was originally conceived as a celebration of the birthday of 18th century German composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

Over the years the celebration has expanded its reach beyond classical music to also include jazz, gospel, blues, folk and the many styles of indigenous New Orleans music. As many as 300 artists and other participants – including yoga instructors – have taken part in past events.

This year's participants have not yet been announced. Check the church website as the date gets closer.

Dividing the Estate
March 24-April 15, 2017

Venue: Le Petit Theatre 
Sponsoring Organization: Le Petit Theatre

Tickets: Le Petit Theatre 

In this 2007 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play and two-time Tony Award-nominee, Stella Gordon is dead-set against parceling out her family's land, despite the financial woes brought on by the oil bust of the 1980s. Her three children, however, have another plan.

Old resentments and sibling rivalries rise to the surface as the members of this hilariously dysfunctional family go head-to-head to claim the biggest piece of the pie in this masterpiece by "America's Storyteller," Horton Foote.

Performances are Thursday-Saturday evenings at 7:30 and Sunday afternoons at 3:00. (There are no performances over the weekend of April 6-9 due to French Quarter Festival.)

Faust
March 31 & April 2, 2017

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

"The Devil made me do it!"

That's how the New Orleans Opera Association is billing its fourth and final main stage production of the 2016-17 season, Charles Gounod's Faust. In a story that has been told and retold throughout much of recorded history, the title character's fate is the price he pays for selling his soul to Satan in exchange for youth, happiness and love.

One of the masterpieces of French lyric opera, Faust is a profusion of celebrated arias and non-stop drama. With images that are delightful and provocative, it is easy to see why this work has become one of the most performed operas around the world.

Performances at 8:00 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

 
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