In New Orleans, that season is the cultural boom that happens every fall, and includes food – music – art – film – second-lines. It doesn’t sound much different than the rest of the year in New Orleans, however, in the fall it is much more focused on the cultural institutions than the festival scene that highlights those same joys the Crescent City abounds with.
A highlight of the season begins tomorrow night, Thursday October 16, 2014, with the kick-off of the 25th Annual New Orleans Film Festival. This years event is VERY impressive. The program book has grown from a couple pages in a now defunct weekly paper to a full color glossy magazine. The four pages of sponsors for parties and events will certainly ensure a good time is had by all.
Opening night is reserved for All-Access passholders only. For those whom are not such committed cinephiles, there are eight days of films, shorts, panels, and more to whet the appetite. The number one film / event on my radar is the closing night. It sounds like it’s hitting on all cylinders. Starting with a special screening of the music documentary The Big Beat. The screening takes place at the historic – newly renovated – Carver Theater located in the very colorful Treme neighborhood.
The film is a chronological history of the musical partnership between New Orleans music legends Fats Domino and Dave Bartholomew. Although some outside of the Big Easy may disagree with the following claim, no one here will: this is the story of the beginning of Rock n’ Roll, and how the music of Domino and Bartholomew contributed to racial integration. The film will take you from the Lower 9th Ward to their chart-topping success.
The closing night after party at the Degas House (as in the house where painter Edgar Degas lived with his cousins in 1872) is sure to be jumping as Ponderosa Stomp keeps the music alive. You never know what unsung rock n’ roll heroes the Stomp will present, just be certain to where you dancing shoes!!
Another major cultural happening this fall is the third international art biennial known as P.3, or Prospect.3 New Orleans. Although P.1 had a real post-Katrina focus, P.3 has committed to stepping away from the aftermath of Katrina. One of the parameters for P.3 is no repeat artists and it will be the first biennial inspired by a literary work, Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer.
Prospect New Orleans will open on October 25 through January 25. The exhibition is so grand that it is very hard to encapsulate here so I will give you a few hints on viewing the 58 artists located at 18 different venues. First I’ll say, take your time; you have three months to savor the modern art presented throughout the city with plenty of receptions, parties, and second-lines.
Opening day in Washington Square Park will be a classic New Orleans affair with food, music, people. Dooky Chase restaurant will be serving lunch, a second-line will ensue, and plenty of artists to mingle with. Two viewing options that caught my attention are P.3 Rides: Seeking in the Faubourg, which is a bike ride that takes you to several P.3 installations as well as a stop for lunch. The other is the partnership with Uber, where the rider will receive a free ride up to a $20.00 value. Historically, some of the Prospect New Orleans installations have been in some very unique and perhaps hard to find locations so let an expert take you there.
Also of note: the season has opened for all the major presenters of performance art…New Orleans Ballet Association begins their season with the vibrant, athletic style dance of Momix on Friday at the Mahalia Jackson Theater of Performing Arts. The Louisiana Philharmonic opens their jam packed season with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 at venues on both the north and south shore. Check out www.lpomusic.org for all the details.
The Broadway series at the Saenger Theater begins in November with Phantom of the Opera. However, I prefer the more intimate and local presentations at the recently renovated Le Petite Theater du Vieux Carre. Their second show of the season, Peter and the Starcatcher, begins next month. Dinner and a show has never been easier with the opening of Dickie Brennan’s Tableau that now shares a courtyard with Le Petite and offers a prix-fixe three course dinner. Tableau guarantees you will be out in time for the 7:30 PM curtain next door.
I would be remiss if I did not mention the burgeoning local theater scene at venues such as The Shadowbox Theatre, Mid-City Theatre, Ashe Cultural Center, Anthony Bean Theater, Allways Theatre, the Marigny Opera House, and more.
Lastly, it’s second-line season, which means you can catch a traditional second-line parade any Sunday at noon. WWOZ radio has an excellent resource in Action Jackson and his Take it to the Streets segments, with an accompanying page on the ‘oz website that has official times and route sheets.
So go out and get your fill of the abundance of art – music – film – food – dance in the Big Easy.
See you out and about.
Every thing lovely,
Out and About is a blog by Leslie Compton of Every Thing Lovely, a special event and creative consulting team, and is sponsored by Key to NOLA Properties, a full service real estate brokerage firm specializing in furnished rental properties in New Orleans, Key to NOLA Properties and Every Thing Lovely have joined forces to provide a full array of services for travelers’ ( and locals’) personal and professional needs while in the Crescent City.