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A&E Feature

What to Know Before You Go



Capote screening with director Bennett Miller
7 p.m. Saturday, June 10
NOCCA/Riverfront, 2800 Chartres St., 940-2900 or 940-2787;

It seems no coincidence that Bennett Miller directed a film about the behind-the-scenes research and writing Truman Capote did for his nonfiction novel, In Cold Blood. Miller's 1998 directorial debut is a little-known — although critically acclaimed — picture called The Cruise, a documentary that follows an eccentric New York tour-bus driver around on his guided trips. Capote virtually invented the book form of documentary with Blood. The viewer can guess from watching Capote that Miller's inclination is to follow his curiosity to the ends of the earth, just as Capote followed his, in a search for the philosophy and circumstances behind people's motives and lives. In fact, rather than a particular story, it seems to be individuals or characters that interest Miller. Capote needed his story, certainly, but he also enjoyed getting lost in his portraits of people, and as this film reveals, lost in the person who was Perry Smith. Bennett Miller will host a screening of Capote at the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts/Riverfront. A discussion with author and National Public Radio contributor Sarah Vowell will follow. Tickets $15. — Katie Walenter


Little Bit
8 p.m., Fri.-Sat., June 9-10; 3 p.m. June 11; through July 2
Anthony Bean Community Theater 1333 S. Carrolton Ave. 862-PLAY;

Little Bit is the story of an embittered public school teacher who — against his better judgment — decides to become involved in the home life of a troubled student. The riveting tale is an original work by John Grimsley of Dog and Pony Theatre Company. The production features Anthony Bean, founder of the Community Theater and Acting School, and one of its premier students, Cherie Teamer. The piece is a collaboration between veteran local director Grimsley, Bean and the community theater, which has become a proving ground for budding local talent, and an exciting young cast. The theater's first project following Katrina was a production of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone and starred Oliver Thomas. Tickets $16 general admission, $14 students/seniors.— Vi Landry


The Twilight Singers
10 p.m. Wed., June 7
One Eyed Jacks, 615 Toulouse St., 569-8361;

Former Afghan Whigs frontman (and frequent New Orleans visitor) Greg Dulli's new gang, the Twilight Singers, offers more of the same cathartic indie-punk reminiscent of the band that shot the famously grumpy Dulli to fame in the '90s, with — perhaps tempered with age — a touch more self-awareness, intimacy and pathos. On their latest album, Powder Burns (One Little Indian, 2006), most of which was recorded in New Orleans, deeply personal lyrics mesh with faint echoes of punk rock angst to create a lush, ghostly sound rich with strings and shimmering keyboards. Former Screaming Trees member Mark Lanegan joins the Twilight Singers for the show. The sound of his recent Bubblegum (Beggars Banquet, 2004) reaches into the heart of blues and soul (the track "Like Little Willie John" is a gorgeous cry in the dark), surrounded by walls of grinding, bitter guitars. Tickets $15. — Alison Fensterstock


Raising the Spirit: Self-Portraits Performed
5:30 p.m. Thu.-Fri., June 8-9
AshŽ Cultural Arts Center, 1712 Oretha Castle-Haley Blvd., 304-7855;

Seven men sit in a semi-circle. While one man tells his story, five others are snapping or clapping. Across the room, another man's movements are inspired by the words. Each performance of Raising the Spirit: Self-Portraits Performed is both a unique event and the latest chapter in the ongoing collaboration between Tyrone Collier, Hilrie Cooper, Brother Royal Duhorn, Brother Woodrow Jackson, Gerard Jackson and Dariel Price. All participants in the Living Witness Social Services Program, they have created the performance to explore their trials and tribulations as they attempt to reinvent themselves following a history of incarceration and drug addiction. Director Jose Torres Tama, who conceptualized the show, is a veteran local performance artist who now considers the AshŽ Cultural Center his home. He met the six men in Raising the Spirit at AshŽ. His work has often dealt with the issues of race and media. Filmmaker William Sabourin O'Reilly filmed a documentary that will premier along with this weekend's program. A question-and-answer session with performers will follow the show. Donations accepted at the door. — Landry


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