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A&E Feature

What to Know Before You Go

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WORDS

Sarah K. Inman
5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1
Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St., 895-2266

For her debut novel, Finishing Skills (Livingston Press), Sarah K. Inman decided to kick a little ass. The author of such frank and funny witticisms as the short story "Does it Have a Blowjob?" has come out swinging in her story about the world of women's professional boxing. Centered on Heidi Whitehill, who has traded in her MBA for well-padded leather gloves, Finishing Skills takes the protagonist from the cold Northeast to a sweaty New Orleans gym where she trains to dance in her grandfather's footsteps and learn the fight game. Inman herself practiced the sweet science when she fought a professional bout back in 1999. The novel was released Oct. 25, with the city still in the throes of The Aftermath (OK, it still is), but here's a chance for those otherwise distracted to step into the ring with Inman and hear her read from and sign copies of this promising work. We're laying our bets down on a knockout. — David Lee Simmons


STAGE

Cinderella
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2; through Dec. 18
Rivertown Repertory Theatre, 325 Minor St., Kenner 468-

7221; www.rivertownkenner.com/theatre.com Will Prince Charming come out of the closet? I don't think so. Not if Rivertown Rep sticks to the script. However, it should be noted that the evil stepsisters in this Cinderella are none other than Gary Rucker (left) and Sean Patterson (right). So, if the glass slipper fits their delicate little size 12D feet, things could get pretty weird in Fairytale Land. Just kidding. Parents, be sure to bring your little ones to this show; the guys in drag are there strictly for the comic effect. And there is every reason to believe director Wayne Daigrepont will pull together a winning piece of family entertainment. He has so many times in the past. This is Walt Disney's Cinderella , by the way, with such magical tunes as "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes" and "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo." Courtney Andersen (center) plays the loveable, mistreated girl who wins the heart of the Prince. Tickets $25 adults, $12 children. — Dalt Wonk

 


MUSIC

Rebirth Brass Band
10 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS; ww.tipitinas.com

The Rebirth Brass Band last played New Orleans the Saturday before Halloween, and the group was so excited to be home that it played three gigs in one day. The band started the day with an early set at the Voodoo Music Experience, then played in the afternoon at the reopening of the Cabildo, and that night played a marathon set at Tipitina's. Not bad for guys who make their music with lung and lip power. "It felt great," tuba player Philip Frazier said later. "It felt like we'd been on tour for five years and all the sudden we came back home. It was phenomenal. The spirit was there, the energy was there, so we played two-and-a-half hours straight." Like so many musicians in the city, Rebirth was hit hard by the hurricane, with many members losing houses. Though much of the band is in Texas and particularly Houston, it's resisted taking steady gigs there even though they've been offered. "I want my Maple Leaf back," Frazier says. "I want my Rock 'n' Bowl, I want my Tipitina's, I want my Howlin' Wolf. I want my New Orleans gigs back. That's my home base." That sort of passion animated its October gig, and it's likely to fire this one, too. Cover $10. — Alex Rawls


STAGE

Grenadine McGunkle's Double-Wide Christmas
8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2; through Dec. 30
One-Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St. 606-9903; www.norunningwithscissors.com

Grenadine McGunkle, overstressed housewife, is at it again. But this time we'll find out how she got her start at the Everlasting Arms Motor Park. Over the years, Running With Scissors has offered a hilarious ongoing series of musical gender-bender comedies about this trailer-trashery. You can be sure that some of your favorite characters will be back and that you'll be in for some surprises. Director Richard Read got a jolt himself, when longtime Scissor sister and the titular Grenadine, Dorian Rush (pictured), showed up at the first rehearsal with a rewrite of Read's original script — which each year got polished up by Read and co-founder Flynn De Marco. Read liked the unasked-for new version better! That kind of give-and-take is what makes the Scissors such cutting-edge fun. Their offbeat camaraderie adds to the liveliness. And if we ever needed liveliness and laughter, we certainly do now. With some of the gang either displaced or relocated post-Katrina, Read has dipped into New Orleans' still-deep talent pool and plucked Ashley Ricord, Lisa Picone, Adam Hawkins, Brad Caldwell, Rebecca Frank and "Wild Bill" Dykes to go along with Scissors alums Rush, Jim Jeske, Elizabeth Pearce and newcomer Rod Lemaire. Hurray for Grenadine and her Yuletide disasters. Tickets $15; $10 for theater folk and military. — Wonk

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