Events » New Orleans Event Previews

A&E Feature

What to Know Before You Go



MC Frontalot
8 p.m. Tue., May 23
The Republic, 828 S. Peters St., 528-8282;

Internet celebrity MC Frontalot — who claims to be the world's 579th-greatest rapper — rose to cyber-prominence on the strength of offering all his tracks absolutely free for download at It's possible that by now, being so dorky you're cool has evolved to the point that it, too, can be a self-conscious pose — but you can either ponder the philosophical and cultural Mobius strip that generates or you can just dig on his hilariously clever nerdcore rhymes that promote things like the coolness of Front's dog, Doggy Fresh. His one for the ages is a track called "Yellow Lasers," which details the process of his seduction by a fellow Star Wars convention attendee — "Sitting in her room upstairs / Watching her wind up the buns in her hair / I declared that I'd like to be Luke / Unless that's a little bit too perverted for you." Tickets $10. — Alison Fensterstock


Joffrey Ballet
7:30 p.m. Thu.-Fri., May 25-26
Tulane University, Dixon Hall, 522-0996;

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra joins the world-renowned Joffrey Ballet in the joyful second installment of the New Orleans Ballet Association's (NOBA) season of dance. NOBA has been relentlessly struggling to make this year's program happen during the indefinite closure of their regular venue, the Mahalia Jackson Theatre of the Performing Arts. Jennifer Hamilton, NOBA's executive director, says staging the spectacle was a "juggling match." Tulane's Dixon Hall had necessary open dates, but was too small for the production of Romeo and Juliet planned by the Joffrey Ballet, so the company graciously switched programs, deciding on one ironically suited to New Orleans. Jiri Kylian's "Return to a Strange Land" is a poetic mixture of ballet, modern dance and acrobatics set to music by Leo Jancek. "The Dream," another aptly titled composition, is a story ballet based on Shakespeare's tale of love and mischief and set to the music of Felix Mendelssohn. Though celebrating a half-century of dance, the Joffrey Ballet never ceases to surprise. Gerald Arpino's "Celebration" includes a pyrotechnic display against a background of Russian folk dance set to a score by Dimitri Shostakovich. Tickets range from $30-$77. — Vi Landry


Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo
11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sat., May 27
Bayou St. John, between Canal Street and Carrollton Avenue;

The first annual Mid-City Bayou Boogaloo will show New Orleans that the once-flooded neighborhood is back on the grid with an extravaganza including music, food and fun. Two stages will feature local and national bands of all flavors, including the All Star Quintet with Walter "Wolfman" Washington and James Andrews, Lynn Drury, and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux (pictured) with Delta Funk. At 1 p.m. Casa Samba will use its persuasive percussive beats to lead a parade along Bayou St. John. Fun for the little ones includes face painting and spacewalks, and kids of all ages can join in the pirogue or sack races. The Mid-City Art Market will provide a feast for the eyes, while a crawfish boil and food from neighborhood restaurants tempt the stomach. A fair for Realtors, contractors, schools and service providers will offer rebuilding resources for those who want to talk business during the weekend. Co-sponsored by the Mid-City Neighborhood Organization (MCNO) and the MotherShip Foundation, Boogaloo proceeds will benefit their various endeavors, including MCNO's gardens on Carrollton Avenue and Jefferson Davis Parkway and the John Dibert Charter School. MotherShip's president, Jared Zeller, says the event was inspired by the Mardi Gras Indians' Super Sunday. "People go to the bayou when they think it's going to take place, and whether it does or not, they stay." Free admission. — Landry


Audubon Aquarium of the Americas and Entergy IMAX Theater
reopening Noon Fri., May 26
Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, 1 Canal St., (800) 774-7394;

When the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas reopens this weekend, locals will recognize many of their old favorites: the sea otters and penguins returned last weekend on a cargo plane specially chartered by FedEx. Aquarium staffer Melissa Lee says the displays look fantastic, although exhibits will be "much the same," because right now, New Orleanians appreciate the familiar. But rebuilding the aquarium, which sustained roof damage during the storm, has also allowed for improvements. The "Gulf of Mexico" area now features about 100 synchronous Blue Runner fish. The school could never have been introduced before the storm because sharks prey on the dazed confusion of newcomers adjusting to the tank. But this time, aquarium staff introduced the fish before the sharks, giving both species the opportunity to live harmoniously in their new ecosystem. Many of the sharks are also newcomers to the aquarium, which has received donations from around the country. Orlando's Sea World provided 15 huge Stingrays that like to glide against the glass in the "Gulf" exhibit. In addition to donating new animals, the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago provided use of a research vessel, allowing Audubon Aquarium staffers to acquire new fish in the Bahamas. Also new is a film at the Entergy IMAX Theater, whose opening will coincide with the aquarium's screening of Coral Reef Adventure . The IMAX will also feature two 3D films screened before the storm: Sharks and Wild Safari . Both the IMAX theater and the Aquarium of the Americas will resume their previous hours of 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tues.-Sun. Admission $16 adults, $9.50 children, $13 seniors; free admission for members. (There will be a members-only sneak preview at 9 a.m.) — Landry


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