Events » Art Review



Alanis Morissette
8 p.m. Tuesday, June 28
Saenger Theatre, 143 N. Rampart St., 525-1052;

Has it really been 10 years since the release of Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill ? She's here to remind you of the splash it made when it first arrived, touring behind Jagged Little Pill Acoustic (Maverick). In ways, "You Oughta Know" was an unfortunate way to introduce Morissette to a larger audience because it established a persona she would never be again — a raging, dangerous vocalist singing a lyrically precise song. For the rest of the album and for much of her subsequent career, it has cast a long shadow, obscuring the charming, playful folkie she really is. Not surprisingly, much of the album easily survives being played acoustically. "Ironic," for example, is virtually untouched, except for the touches that added unnecessary soar to an already-triumphant vocal. "You Oughta Know" is slower here, as if Morissette is singing it to herself thinking about the guy from a distance, whereas the more famous version sounded like a furious confrontation in a crowded bar. Tickets $35-$50. — Alex Rawls


The Wiz
8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, July 1-2; through July 16

Skyfire Theatre, 332 N. New Hampshire St., Covington, (985) 875-7577;

They just don't make 'em like Geoffrey Holder anymore. A true force of nature, Geoffrey was the driving force behind Charlie Smalls' bold musical-theater adaptation of 1975's The Wizard of Oz , featuring an all-black cast and a completely revamped musical score. (William F. Brown provided the book.) But it was Holder who shaped The Wiz into the Broadway smash that it was, earning Tony Awards not just for his direction but also for his costume design. (Holder is known by more mainstream audiences for his '70s appearances in the 7-Up commercials, with his bald head and basso profundo "Ha, ha, ha!" laugh, and for the New Orleans-shot 1973 James Bond flick, Live and Let Die .) Good luck trying to decide which version is more memorable: the 1939 film version of "We're Off to See the Wizard" or the funkier "Ease on Down the Road." Skyfire presents this version, with Rita Stockstill directing a cast featuring Idella Johnson (left), Landon Chapman (middle), Stephen Kaup (right) and Jonathan Arnold. Tickets $25 adults, $20 seniors/students. There will be a matinee performance 3 p.m. Sunday, July 10. — David Lee Simmons


Heartless Bastards
10 p.m. Friday, July 1

One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361;

Vocalist Erika Wennerstrom is an awfully small vessel for such a huge voice, and her Ohio-based three-piece band rallies around the overwhelming, rock-goddess force of her deep, raw blues holler. The plaintive, sloppy Janis Joplin quality of her voice might be one reason for their great reception at Bonnaroo earlier this month. Their debut album, Stairs and Elevators (Fat Possum), is a solid collection of good, earnest, heavily blues-inflected rock 'n' roll, including a wailing, take-no-prisoners cover of Junior Kimbrough's "Done Got Old." The rough-around-the-edges quality of Kevin Vaughn's enthusiastic garage-rock drumming and Mike Lamping's thudding bass might not be so compelling without the cohesive effect of Wennerstrom's vocals, but as a gang, they're a force to be reckoned with. Their name, incidentally, came from a trivia game's possible answer to the question, "What was the name of Tom Petty's backing band?" Deadboy and the Elephantmen open. Tickets $10. — Alison Fensterstock


Go 4th on the River
5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Monday, July 4
Riverfront, 581-4629 or (800) 774-7394;

I had basically 48 hours to find a place to live during a trip to New Orleans seven years ago — over the Fourth of July weekend, which I realized was not the most ideal time to apartment shop. But the shotgun was secured on a late, muggy Saturday afternoon, and my Faubourg Marigny neighbors-to-be had only one logical option to celebrate both my new house and new city: Go forth, they said, on the river. There are few summer events that truly unite this sweating, hibernating community, but Go 4th on the River has to be one of them. The Audubon Institute sponsors this celebration with local music and the traditional fireworks display that arrives when the skies darken (right around 9 p.m.). Music this year will come from the Nicholas Sanders Trio (5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.) and the New Orleans Concert Band (7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.). The Nicholas Sanders Trio features Mr. Sanders on piano backed up by NOCCA students Joey Peebles on drums and Max Moran on bass. The group has played all over, including a prestige gig with the one and only Chick Corea. The New Orleans Concert Band performs a range of material including Broadway, contemporary and classical music. If beating the heat is preferable, the Aquarium of the Americas' doors will be open for visitors, who can view the 15,000 animals from 560 different species. Oh, and there's air conditioning there, as well as the Entergy IMAX theater and its current lineup: Sharks 3D , Wild Safari 3D and Ocean Wonderland 3D . The music and fireworks at Go 4th are free of charge; visit the Audubon Web site for admission and showtime information for the Aquarium and Entergy IMAX offerings. — Simmons


NBA Draft Party
5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 28
New Orleans Arena, 1501 Girod St., 301-4100;

Believe it or not, Tuesday's NBA draft could be the most important day in Hornets franchise history since the day the team pulled up stakes and moved to the Big Easy. With the fourth and 33rd picks in the draft, the Hornets will take the first of (we hope) at least two steps — the second one being a major free-agent signing? — toward climbing out of the NBA gutter. After coming up just short in the lottery drawing, the Hornets appear out of drafting range of Utah power forward Andrew Bogut, Wake Forest point guard Chris Paul or North Carolina forward Marvin Williams. But that leaves several interesting options for the Hornets at No. 4: Illinois point guard Deron Williams, Houston prep swingman Gerald Green, power forwards Tiago Splitter or Channing Frye, or maybe New Mexico swingman Danny Granger. (That No. 33 pick is more valuable than you think.) The Hornets have myriad needs, and these guys all could help. The draft party will feature face painters, balloon artists, caricature artists, the Honeybees and drawings. Free admission. — Simmons



Classical Yoga Demonstration/Film
6 p.m. Thursday, June 30
New Orleans Museum of Art, 1 Collins Diboll Circle, City Park, 488-2631;

There are few people in the world who understand the concept and practice of classical yoga as well as 86-year-old BKS Iyengar. Over the past four decades, the Pune, India, native has taught the practice to Western audiences, more recently in the United States. The author of Light on Yoga will explain the Iyengar tradition, which is practiced locally by Sharon Conroy, who has taught yoga for more than 15 years. This is quite the coup for NOMA, which will host Iyengar's appearance at the scenic Sidney & Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. Following the demonstration, the 2004 film, Yoga Unveiled, The Evolution and Essence of a Spiritual Tradition , will be screened in the Stern Auditorium — all as part of NOMA's "NOMA Nights — It's Art After Dark" series that also features Henri Schindler's Classic Film Series. NOMA deserves lots of credit for trying to broaden its programming, and this is an excellent example. Free admission. — Simmons


The Band That Fell to Earth
9 p.m. Thursday, June 30
Tipitina's, 501 Napoleon Ave., 895-TIPS;

Local indie rocker the Band That Fell to Earth takes the stage this week to spread its surprisingly refreshing throwback to late-1980s alternative rock as it pontificates on the trials of modern suburban America (or at least Veterans Memorial Boulevard). The band's independently released 2004 EP, Greetings From the Land of Carbon , showcases the band pumping out no-nonsense rock 'n' roll backing up often political but always melodic lyrics to create a solid indie package reminiscent of the early Seattle scene. Lead singer and South Carolina native Dave Baker's current gig is a far cry from his former role as a member of the Afterbirth Brass Band, but his vocal presence is undeniable — a melodic offset to the band's guitar-heavy sound that suggests a strong pop influence. With new drummer James "Fluid" Broussard on board, the Band That Fell to Earth has found the right personnel to try to make a name for itself in New Orleans. This Homegrown Night lineup also features Louisiana Code Blue, Bleeding Purple and Absinthe Minded. No cover. — Nick Pope


Throwback: A Hip-Hop Jam
11 p.m. Friday, July 1
Shiloh, 4529 Tchoupitoulas St., 895-1456;

For the past couple weeks, DJ Soul Sister has been a soul lost in the wilderness. The neighbors surrounding Mimi's in the Marigny decided they'd had enough of the WWOZ DJ's floor-shaking, deep funk and rare groove parties there, forcing that particular party to take a hiatus. (Though that little tryout at the newly opened Handsome Willie's near the medical complex was certainly an intriguing experiment.) Now everyone's favorite Sister is trying something different, at a very comfy home for turntablists: Shiloh. The first Friday of each month will announce a return to the days of Yo! MTV Raps , break-dancing (perhaps the most unfortunately maligned pop-culture phenomenon of the past quarter-century) and a whole mess of Run-DMC with "Throwback: A Hip-Hop Jam." It's a logical progression from Soul Power, her Saturday-night show on 'OZ, and her raucous house parties, considering how much the funk of the late 1960s and '70s influenced hip-hop, both in samples and temperament. The Roots' drummer ?questlove's recent spinning gig at Shiloh a few weeks ago proved just how potent a place this venue can be for DJs and booty-shakers alike. No cover. — Simmons

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