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A&E Feature

What to Know Before You Go



Of Montreal
8 p.m. Thu., Nov. 1
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 310-4999;

A graduate-level creative writing course could be based solely on Of Montreal's serpentine track titles. Some special selections from the Athens, Ga., band's latest not-to-be-missed pop syllabus (aka January release Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?): "Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse," a hyperactive sonnet about singer/songwriter Kevin Barnes' chemical imbalance; "A Sentence of Sorts in Kongsvinger," a summery recounting of a wintertime Scandinavia breakdown; and "We Were Born the Mutants Again With Leafling," the irrepressible record's striking, melancholy-stippled closer. Elsewhere, there's "The Past Is a Grotesque Animal," a decidedly more direct statement. The 12-minute vent — seven longer than Fauna's next-longest song — is a spoken-word piece in which Barnes spews out every last stream of vile consciousness about an embittered relationship, all while trudging on a beat-powered treadmill ratcheting up the tension with each new dirty-laundry verse. It's the musical equivalent of eavesdropping on a fireworks therapy session: unbearable if it wasn't so explosively listenable. Brooklyn dance breakouts MGMT and Pittsburgh slapstick rappers Grand Buffet open. Tickets $15. — Noah Bonaparte Pais




African Footprint
8:30 p.m. Thu.-Sat., Nov. 1-3; 6:30 p.m. Sun., Nov. 4
CAC, 900 Camp St., 528-3800; or

While some of the world was panicking about Y2K, Richard Loring was planning a grand debut for the new millennium. The director, performer and U.K. native had adopted South Africa as a home, and in 1998, he put together a troupe of dancers and performers from disadvantaged areas of Soweto. The group created the initial incarnation of African Footprint to mark the arrival of the new era and performed it on Robben Island (near Cape Town), where Nelson Mandela had been held for the first 18 of his 27 years of imprisonment. The show was broadcast around the world, became the longest running show in South Africa and eventually launched an international tour. After seven years and trips to Australia, Asia, the Middle East and Europe, African Footprint arrives in New Orleans. The production traces the history of South Africa using everything from traditional African music and dance to modern jazz. The performance is part of the New Orleans - South Africa Connection's "Making the Connection" week. Tickets TBA. — Coviello




Swamp Fest at Audubon Zoo
10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sat-Sun., Nov 3-4
Audubon Zoo, 6500 Magazine St., 581-4629;

The Audubon Zoo goes wild Cajun style at Swamp Fest. The weekend event highlights the Louisiana Swamp Exhibit and features three stages of live music, Cajun food and crafts. Musical headliners include Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet, Dwayne Dopsie & the Zydeco Hellraisers, the Bruce Daigrepont Cajun Band, the Pine Leaf Boys and others on Saturday. Sunday brings Amanda Shaw & the Cute Guys, Rockin' Dopsie & the Zydeco Twisters, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, Jeff & Vida and others. Fest goers can watch wood-carving, basket weaving and silversmithing demonstrations. The Swamp Exhibit has extra animal encounters, a dramatic presentation of "Animal Super Heroes" talking about conservation, and the last alligator feeding of the season. Human fest-food options range from oysters and soft-shell crab po-boys, seafood corn macque choux and chicken and andouille gumbo to fried eggplant with crawfish cream, red beans and burgers and hot dogs. Swamp Fest is free with regular admission. Adults $12, children $7, seniors $9. — Coviello




Waiting for Godot in New Orleans
7 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Nov.2-3
Intersection of Forstall and N. Roman streets

7 p.m. Fri.-Sat., Nov. 9-10
Intersection of Pratt Drive and Robert E. Lee Blvd.

At the beginning of hurricane season in 2006, the Classical Theatre of Harlem staged Waiting for Godot set in Katrina-flooded New Orleans. There was the play's signature lone tree, but the actors performed on a roof set in water and sometimes characters entered and exited via raft. Perhaps Beckett would have enjoyed the cryptic notion of waiting for FEMA, but he rarely encouraged speculation about greater meanings in his work. His dry wit and humor do an admirable job of keeping the play focused on the more pedestrian act of waiting, passing time and biding hope, though that hasn't stopped directors from adapting the play to all sorts of real and tragic contexts. Paul Chan, Creative Time and the Classical Theatre's director Christopher McElroen have brought the production to New Orleans with its two principle actors to engage a post-Katrina context of empty flooded neighborhoods. Both productions are outdoors in neighborhoods still waiting for recovery to begin in full force. New Orleans native Wendell Pierce (pictured right) and J. Kyle Manzay (left) reprise their roles as Vladimir and Estragon. As part of the development of the New Orleans version, the producers have met with groups of New Orleanians to discuss the project. Chan has been teaching classes on contemporary art at Xavier and UNO as well. A matching fund will raise money to use in the rebuilding of neighborhoods where the production is being staged. Free admission. — Coviello

  • Tuyen Nguyen

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