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A&E Feature

What to Know Before You Go

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STAGE

The Marriage of Figaro
8 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Oct. 6-7
Tulane University, McAlister Auditorium, 529-3000; www.neworleansopera.org

It's been a while since opera packed the sort of punch that would get it banned, but Mozart's Marriage of Figaro did when it debuted in Vienna and mocked the aristocracy. This is the sequel to Barber of Seville , and in it the Count's valet Figero is to wed Susanna (Nikki Einfeld, pictured). But the Count also has become enamored of Susanna, and the Countess isn't happy about that at all. Court intrigue ensues through many twists and turns before the Count is put in his place at the end of the day. "This is really a comedy and a love story," says director Laura Alley, who has taken a traditional approach to staging the piece, "Mozart is probably the genius of opera. His pieces are jewels musically. The libretto is sheer genius." The Marriage of Figero is one of the most frequently staged operas and was slated for last season before Katrina disrupted the New Orleans Opera Association's schedule. Beautiful sets have been created for the stage at McAlister Auditorium. The extra year allows the production to coincide with the year of Mozart's 250th birthday. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra performs the music. Tickets $35-$120. — Will Coviello

 

 

EVENTS

Art for Arts Sake
6 p.m.-9 p.m. Sat., Oct. 7
Openings at art galleries and museums
8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 7
Contemporary Arts Center after party, 900 Camp St., 528-3805; www.cacno.org

Art for Art's Sake is a party by collage, with galleries and museums from the French Quarter to the Warehouse District to Magazine Street opening a wide array of exhibits including fine art, fine craft and fun shows. The Ogden Museum of Southern Art unveils landscapes by Mississippi native William Dunlap and the circus images of self-taught artist Arnold Mesches. Meanwhile, Arthur Roger Gallery hosts a show of filmmaker John Waters' offbeat photographs. Magazine Street shows include fine art, a new jewelry design by Mignon Faget and a collection of post-Katrina love-themed works at House of Lounge. Barrister's Gallery in Central City features a group show by artists struggling with mental illness titled Altered Perspectives III . And Sizeler Thompson Brown Architects puts up a show looking at art in architecture. The Contemporary Arts Center presents the latest installment of the juried Louisiana Biennial group shows (work by Chris Jahncke pictured) and the Art for Art's Sake after party, this year built around the theme of percussion. Bamboula 2000, Moyuba and Big Chief Bo Dollis and the Wild Magnolias perform. See art listings (page 57) for a list of new shows. Free admission to gallery shows. CAC tickets $10. — Coviello

MUSIC

Tipitina's First Annual Loop Magoo with the Uptown Allstars
10 p.m. Sat., Oct. 7
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS; www.tipitinas.com

Tip's first annual "Loop Magoo" music blowout is a celebration of the life of John McGee, a longtime New Orleans music fan and Jazz Fest regular who died last fall. In his memory, Ivan Neville and his formidable original Uptown Allstars — Neville on piano, with bassist Nick Daniels, drummer Mean Willie Green and guitarist Renard Poche, all elder statesmen of NOLA funk — will bring the force of their time-tested groove to Tip's. The Allstars are supported by the powerful, genre-defining brass funk of Uptown's favorite institution, the Rebirth Brass Band (although the Frazier brothers et al. hail from Treme, their Tuesday night Maple Leaf gig is as much an institution as Monday red beans and rice.) Also on the bill is the Burnside Exploration, made up of Cedric and Garry Burnside, grandson and youngest son of the late and legendarily irascible bluesman R.L. Burnside. Patriarch Burnside's bawdy, rough-and-ready North Mississippi blues style defined the raw sound of the maverick alt-blues label Fat Possum. Cedric, who drummed on his father's many Fat Possum releases, and Garry, who's been playing guitar and bass in juke joints since he could walk, carry on his hard-edged, electrified hill country sound with aplomb. Tickets $15. — Alison Fensterstock

MUSIC

Rotary Downs CD Release Party
10 p.m. Fri., Oct. 6
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361; www.oneeyedjacks.net

Local space-rockers Rotary Downs have been together since 1999, and as one of the driving stalwarts in the under-praised genre of experimental New Orleans indie-pop, the band has been a consistent favorite of the WTUL set and those who hung out at the dearly departed Mermaid Lounge. After three wildly eclectic self-released offerings, they've emerged from their Katrina experience with a new lineup and a new 14-song opus, Chained To The Chariot, that's pretty much aces. Drummer Zack Smith and bassist Jason Rhein joined founding members James Marler (vocals, guitar) and Chris Colombo (guitar and pedal steel) before Katrina, when most of the project was written and partly recorded — the band reconvened and wrapped the album in Lafayette after the storm. The addition of more drums, more assertive basslines and especially the presence of the other newcomer, Matthew Aguiluz on keyboards and trumpet, gives their formerly soft fuzz-guitar and pedal-steel-driven sound an extra dose of texture; the rich layers of sound also make it great with the headphones. "g-7 hit!" is a sunny, sloppy, psychedelic march that's the gold-star track for the album. Mahler's laconic vocals and Smith's upbeat drumming on "A Feast in Squalor" evoke Brendan Benson's warm power-pop. The stormy Western ballad "Body of an Outlaw" is a black cosmic gunfight with a dash of creepy circus music. It's a diverse album that ricochets from roots-tinged psychedelia to edgier synth-pop to excursions along the spaceways, but with a sure hand on the wheel. DJ Art Damage Opens. Tickets $5. — Fensterstock

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