Your monthly guide to NOLA'S foods, drinks, music and more.
Please enter a valid email address

The Arts in May
May 2017

The following content has expired and is available for viewing as an archived piece of editorial. Please note that the content is not being maintained and may be out of date!

As the cultural season in New Orleans goes into its final month, there is still plenty of great live entertainment coming up. Catch classical concerts, stage productions and Broadway musicals, dance performances and more. The action never lets up in “America's First City of Culture.”

Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill
Through May 21, 2017

Venue: Pontchartrain Landing
Sponsoring Organizations: The Racine Foundation and Voices in the Dark, Inc.
Tickets: Pontchartrain Landing

Produced and directed by Tommye Myrick, Lady Day at Emerson's Bar & Grill will feature New Orleans chanteuse Sharon Martin singing many of the songs made famous by Billie Holiday during the height of her career from the 1930s through the 1950s. The setting is at Emerson's Bar & Grill, a Philadelphia jazz landmark, and Martin will be accompanied by a trio that includes a piano player, a drummer and a bass player. She will also narrate events in Holiday's life in the first person.

An optional buffet dinner theater package is available for an extra charge. Show times are 7:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 6:00 p.m. Sundays. Seating for the buffet is an hour before the show.

A Night in Vienna
May 1-2, 2017

Venue: St. Charles Avenue Presbyterian Church (May 1), Deutsches Haus, 1023 Ridgewood Drive (May 2)
Sponsoring Organization: Musaica Chamber Ensemble
Tickets: None. Event is free; donations welcomed

Musaica, a nine-member chamber music ensemble consisting of strings, winds and a horn, presents its final series of concerts of the 2016-17 cultural season. The evening will feature music by some of the best-known Austrian composers including Joseph Weigl's “Concertino for Harp, Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, and Bassoon,” Johannes Brahms' “Sonata in F minor for Viola and Piano,” and Franz Schubert's “Quintet in C major for Two Violins, Viola, and Two Cellos.”

The May 1 concert starts at 7:30 p.m. and the the May 2 concert starts at 7:00 p.m. Both are free to the public with a recommended donation of $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. Donations will go to Deutsches Haus, a German cultural center that has been present in the New Orleans area for more than a century. A reception will follow each performance, giving the audience a chance to meet the musicians. 

Information about this concert is on Musaica's website,, or by calling (504) 304-8608.

May 3-5, 2017

Venue: Valiant Theatre, 6621 St. Claude Avenue, Arabi, LA 
Sponsoring Organization: Clove Productions
Tickets: Valiant Theatre and Brown Paper Tickets

Richard Wilbur's verse translation is given an anything-goes spin to Moliere's comedy of upper-class manners, and hypocrisy.

Now re-set during the 1970s at the Fire Island (NY) vacation home of Orgon, his young wife Elmire, and his rebellious children Damis and Marianne - with pulsating disco wafting from the “other side” of the Dunes - the laughs ignite at once.

All shows at 8:00 p.m. The Valiant Theatre is located in Arabi, St. Bernard Parish, just outside New Orleans on the other side of the Jackson Barracks National Guard complex.

Bye Bye Birdie
May 5-21, 2017

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

Before Beatlemania and other teen music icons of later years, there was hip-swingin' teen idol Conrad Birdie (loosely based on Elvis), who, to the dismay of his adoring fans, is about to be drafted into the army by Uncle Sam.

In Bye Bye Birdie, the 1950s rock-n-roll musical comedy, Birdie's agent and his secretary/girlfriend cook up a plan to send him off in style. They must write Birdie a new hit song and have him bestow “one last kiss” on a lucky fan, live on the Ed Sullivan Show. A town full of colorful characters including crazed teenagers, a jealous boyfriend, and a spotlight stealing father make for a rollicking good time. In this Tony Award-winning Best Musical you'll hear such Broadway musical standards as “Put on A Happy Face,” “Kids,” “The Telephone Hour” and “A Lot of Living To Do.”

Friday and Saturday performances at 8:00 p.m.; and Sunday matinees at 2:00.

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.

Ain't Misbehavin'
May 5-June 25, 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

Early jazz and the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s come together in the three-time Tony Award-winning musical revue Ain't Misbehavin'. Five performers take you on a journey through the timeless music of Thomas “Fats” Waller.

You'll be jumpin' and jivin' with such memorable songs such as “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Black and Blue,” “This Joint is Jumpin'”, “I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling” and, of course, the show's title track. One of the most popular, well-crafted revues of all time, Ain't Misbehavin' is a sassy, sultry musical celebration of the Fats Waller legend.

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

New Orleans Civic Symphony
May 8, 2017

Venue: Performing Arts Center, University of New Orleans Lakefront
Presenting Organization: New Orleans Civic Symphony
Tickets: None. Free and open to the public

The New Orleans Civic Symphony is presenting a program consisting of Tchaikovsky's Fifth Symphony, Edvard Grieg's Opus 56 “Sigurd Jorsalfar,” and Richard Wagner's “Der Fliegende Hollander” (The Flying Dutchman).

Dr. Charles Taylor, professor and chairman of the Department of Music at UNO, will conduct. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m.

Finding Neverland
May 9-14, 2017

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

The Bodyguard
Finding Neverland

Broadway's biggest new hit and the winner of's Audience Choice Award for Best Musical, this breathtaking smash “captures the kid-at-heart,” according to TIME magazine.

Directed by visionary Tony-winner Diane Paulus and based on the critically-acclaimed Academy Award-winning film, Finding Neverland tells the incredible story behind one of the world's most beloved characters: Peter Pan. Playwright J.M. Barrie struggles to find inspiration until he meets four young brothers and their beautiful widowed mother. Spellbound by the boys' enchanting make-believe adventures, he sets out to write a play that will capture the magic of childhood and, in so doing, he pens a classic for all ages.

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

"Leading Ladies" with Bon Operatit!
May 10, 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

The Bodyguard
Mary Penick Akin of Bon Operatit!

The musically gifted quartet of singers in Bon Operatit! celebrate Mother's Day with music by the great women from the operatic and musical theatre stages.

The performance 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 ocassionally includes guest artists. Learn more about the ensemble and this event on their website,

The Spider Queen
May 10-28, 2017

Venue: Besthoff Sculpture Garden, New Orleans Museum of Art
Sponsoring Organizations: The NOLA Project
Tickets: The NOLA Project

The Bodyguard
Besthoff Sculpture Garden

In the world premiere of this fantastical new story, a rebellious teenager on a mission to discover the truth about her father's death and a squeamish park ranger who just wants to maintain some order find themselves accidentally thrust into a hidden fantasy realm full of exotic creatures, nefarious villains and a giant spider who rules the land.

The show will dazzle audiences with large- scale puppets, vivid masquerade and extravagant costuming. It will be unlike any garden show seen before.

ADVISORIES: This is an outdoor event, open to weather conditions. If a production is called off due to inclement weather, attendees will be notified no later than 5:00 p.m. that day via email, with instructions on selecting another date or requesting a refund.

Also, all seating at this production is “Bring-Your-Own” chairs or blankets. Doors open at 6:15 p.m. for a 7:00 start time. Children under 5 are not permitted.

Fidelity's Concerts in the Park: "Swing in the Park"
May 11, 2017

Venue: Lafreniere Park, Downs Blvd., Metairie
Sponsoring Organization: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Tickets: None. Event is free and open to the public.

Guest conductor Ankush Bahl leads the LPO in Fidelity's annual Concerts in the Park series at Lafreniere Park in suburban Metairie.

Concertgoers are invited to bring their lawn chairs, refreshments and the entire family for this annual celebration of popular musical favorites from the past and present. Arrive early to enjoy a performance by the New Orleans Concert Band at 6:30 p.m., one hour prior to the LPO concert.

Program selections to be announced; check local listings or the LPO website for details. Lafreniere Park is conveniently located just off the Veterans Boulevard exit of I-10 West. Google or MapQuest for exact directions. (Rain Date: Friday, May 12, 6:30 p.m.)

Jessica Lang Dance
May 13, 2017

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

The Bodyguard

Last seen in New Orleans in 2013, Jessica Lang's stunning company returns to the main stage with artfully crafted works, including “The Calling,” a solo masterpiece in a majestic white dress, and the poignant “Thousand Yard Stare,” honoring veterans and those touched by the aftermath of war. The show-stopping finale, “Tesseracts of Time,” is Lang's brilliant collaboration with famed architect Steven Holl.

Performance time is 8:00 p.m.

Opera on Tap
May 17, 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.

May 17, 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

Pepe Romero and "The Three Cornered Hat"
May 18 & May 20, 2017

Venue: Orpheum Theater
Sponsoring Organization: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra
Tickets: Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra

The Bodyguard

Music Director Carlos Miguel Prieto leads the orchestra and NOVA Masterworks Chorale south of the border with Salvador Contreras' Corridos. Next the vibrant dance culture of Spain is explored with Pepe Romero's performance of Joaquín Rodrigo's Fantasía para un gentilhombre (Fantasia for a Gentleman) and exuberant music from Manuel de Falla's popular ballet, El sombrero de tres picos (The Three Cornered Hat).

The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. There will be a pre-concert talk by Maestro Prieto, the conductor, one hour before the performance.

Foreign to Myself
May 18-21, 2017

Venue: Contemporary Arts Center
Sponsoring Organization: Goat in the Road Productions
Tickets: Contemporary Arts Center

Goat in the Road spent more than two years connecting with military veterans, families, and medical experts to construct this fast-moving, darkly funny play about the daily life of the returning vet. The play explores the many ways victims remember how to navigate the world, and the inherent difficulties of recovery.

Show times are 7:30 on Thursday through Sunday and a 2:30 matinee on Sunday the 21st.

La Flamenca
May 19-21, 2017

Venue: Marigny Opera House
Sponsoring Organization: Opera Creole
Tickets: Marigny Opera House

Set in 19th century Cuba, the opera tells the story of a Creole songstress, her troubled love for a Spanish military officer, and her dramatic struggles in the conflict for Cuba's independence.

La Flamenca was written in 1903 by Lucien Lambert, a composer of New Orleans Creole heritage, and a student of the celebrated French composer Jules Massenet. Produced to acclaim in Paris, the opera has never been performed in its entirety in America.

The performance starts at 7:00 p.m. Student and senior discounts available.

The Victory Belles
May 19, 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 Victory Belles are a delightful vocal trio performing the music of the 1940s, which brought hope and joy to our GIs and those on the Home Front alike. Their repertoire includes all the treasured gems of the WWII era plus patriotic classics including a musical salute to each branch of the US armed forces.

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

Dreams en Français
May 25, 2017

Venue: Marigny Opera House
Sponsoring Organization: New Orleans Chamber Orchestra
Tickets: Marigny Opera House

The New Orleans Chamber Orchestra opens its second summer season with an evening of “Dreams en Français” (Dreams in French).

Harpist Catherine Anderson is featured in Ravel's brilliant “Introduction and Allegro.” Soprano Amy Pfrimmer joins in with arias from Andre Ernest Gretry's Sylvain. The orchestra conductor Phillip Larroque presents Albert Roussel's Le Marchand de sable qui passe (The Sandman) and a world premiere from New Orleans composer Ben Stonaker completes the program.

Performance time is at 8:00 p.m.

May 26, 2017

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

Toonces is a fully immersive experience of music, dance and orchestral whims in which the audience will travel to various distant lands through the art of storytelling and song.

The audience will be immersed into the world of Tang Tang, a tender sea serpent who is searching for love.

The performance starts at 8:00 p.m. and runs for approximately one hour.

Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)
May 31-June 25, 2017

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

This regional premiere written by Suzan-Lori Parks is set in West Texas in 1863. A slave named Hero is promised his freedom in exchange for his service in the Civil War - on the Confederate side. He leaves behind his community, his father, and the woman he loves for what is likely an empty promise. What Hero finds on the front lines might make it impossible for him to return home the same man.

Performance times vary; call for details.

Newsletter Signup

Your monthly guide to NOLA's foods, drinks, music and more


View Gallery

See More

Sign Up
close button

Get the LOCAL Perspective!

Get travel tips, find hidden gems, and get insider information from the Official New Orleans Newsletter


close button

Thank You For Signing Up!

You are now subscribed to our New Orleans e-newsletter and we'll send you the news each month. You can unsubscribe at any time directly from any mailing.

Thanks again for your interest in New Orleans and best wishes for a memorable visit!

Things to See & Do | Travel Tools | Accommodations | Calendar | Media Relations | About NOTMC | Contact Us
Site Map | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Site Search | Meetings, Conventions & Group Sales | Doing Business in New Orleans

The Official Tourism Site of the City of New Orleans:
All contents © 1996-2018 New Orleans Tourism Marketing Corporation unless otherwise specified herein. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED