It’s not jazzfest... yet. But there’s still plenty to do this weekend in New Orleans, even in The Fest’s (newly-paved) nearby Esplanade Ridge area.
So, whether you’re down on St Claude, from the Lower 9th, or attached to Mid-City, we've got your weekend:
9th Ward Opera Company (8 p.m.) — The 9th Ward Opera Company heads to the Marigny this weekend for two (very different) back-to-back high-fallutin’ performances. The 90-minute show kicks off with Robert Shumann’s Frauenliebe und leben (you know you know that Op. 42), followed by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s From Maid to Mistress. If you miss it Thursday, you can catch the final performance same time, same place on Sunday, April 21; $20 ($10 students and seniors).
FRIDAY, 4/19 :
American Routes 15th Anniversary Party (8 p.m.) — If anyone knows how to throw a party, it’s Nick Spitzer. He practically throws one every week, and close to a million people show up! This weekend, Spitzer and his crew set up shop at Rock 'n' Bowl and invite the Tremé Brass Band, the Lost Bayou Ramblers, Jon Cleary, Irma Thomas, Walter "Wolfman" Washington and Ivan Neville to celebrate the 15th birthday of his national NPR program. And expect surprise guests along with the aforementioned A-List roster. The evening will also include interviews with the guests and is all being recorded for a special broadcast on July 4. And the best part is, you’re invited too! #seeyouthere.
Crystal Castles (8 p.m.) — Some call it witch haze, some call it 8-bit, some call it math rock... whatever sub-genre you choose to identify these Canadian electroids, the DJ duet is playing at the House of Blues, and is sure to give the sound system a run for its money. Whether cranking their newest singles like "Baptism" and "Celestica" or giving the gift of old school with "Black Panther" and "1991" — prepare for a synthesized evening of lights 'n music.
Fortier Fest (4 p.m.) — It’s not everyday that Walter Wolfman Washington and Allen Toussaint play at the crossroads of Mystery St. and Esplanade Ave., especially when it’s not at the racetrack. Despite its inner beauty and hyperlocal charm, Fortier Park can be easy to miss, wedged in delta-style between Esplanade, Mystery and Grand Route St John. And while many folks in the neighborhood take advantage of this quaint green space on a regular basis, the annual Fortier Fest is the best excuse to head to the area before the real madness ensues. And don’t miss the bustling commercial strip that has become Ponce de Leon Street, with restaurants, book stores, wine shops and markets to peruse. Again, see you there.
Lot O’ Shakespeare (9 p.m) — What do you get when combining bingo, audience participation, 36 monologues, and a tee-shirt give-away? Lot O’ Shakespeare, of course! Or at least when Timothy Mooney’s in the picture, anyway. On tour and passing through this Thursday through Sunday, The Shadowbox Theater presents this performer at his best, reciting monologues in character that are chosen at random by the "Bingo Cage" ( you have to see it to believe it). The audience plays along to "name that soliloquy" and the first to name four gets a prize. For $10, you can’t make this stuff up.
See? No 4/20 jokes here.