Two celebratory streetcars will herald the arrival of Carnival season along St. Charles Avenue tonight. The Phunny Phorty Phellows has been taking its Twelfth Night ride since 1981, when its founders revived a historic Mardi Gras organization that took to the streets from 1878 through 1898. It will be followed by the Funky Uptown Krewe, which began its Twelfth Night streetcar ride in the 2019 Carnival season. At 6:30 p.m., the masked Phellows gather at the Willow Streetcar Barn, 8200 Willow St.
The NOLA Project will host a four-day workshop for students between the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. The Winter Intensive, for ages 12 to 17, will focus on acting, writing, and stage combat. Through courses led by NOLA Project ensemble members, students will have the opportunity to brush up on technique, as well as learn new skills, in preparation for their next semester. The NOLA Project describes the workshop as “a perfect way to keep the creative juices flowing, and work with fellow theatre students, during that odd time between Christmas and New Year’s.” The Winter Intensive runs from Thursday to Sunday, Dec. 26-29, noon to 4 p.m. each day, at Lusher Charter School, 5624 Freret St. Registration for The NOLA Project Winter Intensive is available here.
After the gift giving, feasting and family bonding – hopefully without a dose of politics over the dinner table – the stir crazy hours set in. To keep good tidings this holiday season, this list shows what is open and closed Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. It includes major attractions, movie theaters and events. Christmas Eve
Aububon Nature Institute (Audubon Zoo, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.; Aquarium of the Americas, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Theater last show, 3:40 p.m.; Butterfly Garden & Insectarium, 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.; and Nature Center, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m., trails 3:30 p .m.)
Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, 10 .m. – 3 p.m.
CLOSED: Contemporary Arts Center, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Louisiana Children’s Museum, Louisiana State Museums (Cabildo, Presbytere, 1850 House, Madame John’s Legacy), McKenna Museum of African Art, National World War II Museum, New Orleans African American Museum
Crescent City Farmers Market at Tulane University Square: 9 a.m to 1 p.m.
The Broad Theater: “Cats,” “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker,” “Frozen II,” “Queen & Slim” and “Parasite.”
Check schedule online for times.
On Thursday, Dec. 19, Gia Maione Prima Foundation and J.P. Morgan Chase presented “Tunes for Toys” at Tipitina’s. For the price of one unwrapped toy, fans could see the Trombone Shorty Academy band, New Breed Brass Band and Hot 8 Brass Band. All of the toys collected were donated to Trombone Shorty’s toy giveaway, Toys from Troy, at his alma mater, Warren Easton High School. The toys will be given away at Warren Easton today in an event hosted by Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews and featuring Santa Claus as well as the Trombone Shorty Academy players.
Most art is not supposed to be stepped on. But for LeLuna, this artist’s canvas is unexpectedly underfoot: Sewage & Water Board of New Orleans meter covers. The water meter covers are painted with short, often politically universal messages, such as “Make Art Not War,” “Erase Hate,” “Love Me Tender.” Others have a local focus, such as “Copper is Currency” with the tagline, “Strip copper, fight gentrification” or an image of the city’s unofficial mascot, the flying cockroach. If you haven’t seen the reimagined water meter covers already — LeLuna said there are now more than 800 — you’re not looking down at the sidewalk. The covers grace Uptown sidewalks from the Riverbend to the Lower Garden District and can also be trampled on in Bywater and Marigny, with a few in the French Quarter and Mid-City.
The Christmas classic “Nutcracker Suite” will grace the stage at Tulane University’s Dixon Hall with two performances on Sunday. New Orleans Ballet Association presents Tchaikovsky’s holiday adventure in a new one-hour production on Sunday, Dec. 8, at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m.
This magical journey — from enchanting parties, dramatic battles and dancing dolls to a whimsical visit in the Land of Sweets — is brought to life in a multi-generational performance by a diverse cast of more than 200 participants ages 6 to over 70. The cast includes students from the Broadmoor Arts and Wellness Center as well as NOBA’s nationally award-winning 28-year partnership with NORD. “This very special intergenerational production gives our community dance program participants, both youth and senior citizens, the opportunity to showcase their talents on stage together in a timeless classic that the whole family can enjoy,” said New Orleans Ballet Association Executive Director Jenny Hamilton.
YAYA Inc. will host their annual Just Say YAYA gala tonight (Nov. 15) to help support tuition-free arts and entrepreneurship training programs for local youth. The gala takes place from 6 to 10 p.m. at the YAYA Arts Center at 3322 LaSalle St. They will celebrate “ARTrepreneurs” and career development to benefit creative young people. Festivities begin with a patron party from 6 to 7 p.m., which includes an oyster bar by Superior Seafood, music by Amber Matthews, and a live glassblowing demonstration.
Among the Terrance Osbourne and Gustave Blanche III paintings that hang on the walls of Richard Colton Jr.’s home, there are a few empty hooks. The art that typically occupies the conspicuously blank spaces reveals some of the most intimate details of Colton’s life, and, this weekend, will be on public display. The paintings will hang in the Sacred Heart Academy auditorium that bears Colton’s name as he celebrates the release of his memoir, “No More. No Less.” The book tells the story of Colton’s nearly 20-year battle with squamous cell carcinoma and the unique path to he took to recovery. Like many, he did the chemotherapy and radiation, and, like many, he had surgery, four of them in fact, including one that removed part of his jaw and face.
The New Orleans Film Festival turned 30 this year, and their diversity in films and filmmakers is a point that they stress. This year, they screened “232 visionary, thought-provoking films that represent a wealth of perspectives,” 26% of which were Louisiana-made and 56% directed by people of color. One series based in Uptown New Orleans made its debut on the NOFF big screen and online simultaneously. “King Ester”—directed by Dui Jarrod and presented by Issa Rae’s ColorCreative production company—takes the viewer into the world of a black trans woman right before natural disaster. Filmed all over New Orleans and based in Pigeon Town (P-Town), the series is described as such:
“Ester is a trans woman struggling to find her path in New Orleans during the week before Hurricane Katrina. In the face of an evacuation order, she is forced to make a choice that will impact her future forever.”
Elbows lined bannisters and pews Thursday night at Temple Sinai as a packed audience leaned in to hear two of our nation’s most celebrated narrative craftsmen, Jesmyn Ward and Ta-Nehisi Coates, discuss how to reconstruct the story of the United States. The event hosted by Octavia Books was part of Coates’s nationwide tour promoting his new novel “The Water Dancer.”
The book is Coates’s first foray into fiction after gaining fame for his journalism at The Atlantic and his nonfiction book “Between the World and Me.”
For this discussion, Coates sat on the other side of the interview as Ward, a two-time National Book Award winner and Tulane University professor of creative writing, asked Coates about genesis of his latest book. Ward and Coates’ works live on common ground. Both are African-American writers whose publications center on accurately representing the black experience in the United States, pushing back against what Coates referred to as centuries of “obfuscation and annihilation” of black realities, minimizing the pain and flattening the individual identities. It is this systemic misrepresentation that inspired Coates to write “The Water Dancer.” As he explained to Ward, Coates wanted to write a story that showed the human experience of enslaved persons beyond what has become the common imagery of enslavement.