‘Just down the road’

New Orleans Broadway theater and free opera events could be just the ticket you’re looking for

Just 20 minutes east of St. Charles Parish, a theatrical revolution is taking place in New Orleans with the triumphant return of Broadway Across America.

After a four-year absence from the Big Easy, the entertainment group has announced that their touring theater will return to the city in October.

“To date, the response has been overwhelming,” said David Skinner, general manager for Arts Center Enterprises. “We are expecting more than 100,000 patrons to attend these Broadway performances in this ‘re-inaugural’ 2009-2010 season.”

The scheduled shows, five to be exact, will all take the stage at the newly-renovated Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts in Armstrong Park.

The season kicks off with a special engagement of “Cats” Oct. 27 through Nov. 1 followed by “The Color Purple” Dec. 1 through 6.

“Momma Mia” is scheduled for Feb. 2, 2010 with “Wicked” premiering March 24, 2010 and “Avenue Q” rounding out the season June 8, 2010.

“Broadway’s return to New Orleans is the result of strong community support,” added Skinner.

As the presenter of Broadway Across America both pre-Katrina and now, the New Orleans Theater Association is a pivotal player in the performing arts in New Orleans.

“We are proud to strengthen our role with the performing arts,” said Michael Mitchell, president of NOTA.

“Whether your home is in New Orleans or just down the road, this is the perfect opportunity for theater lovers to enjoy the hospitality and attractions of the big easy.

For more information on showtimes, and ticket prices and specials, visit MahaliaJacksonTheater.com or call the box office at 504-287-0351.

‘Opera on Tap’ at two new venues

The New Orleans Opera announces today that its popular free program, Opera on Tap – New Orleans, is expanding.

After two successful years at the Rusty Nail in the Central Business District, opera will be heard once again in the French Quarter.

The Inn on Bourbon is partnering with the opera throughout the year with an array of exciting events.

It is a homecoming of sorts for the opera company as the Inn on Bourbon is located in the footprint of The French Opera House, which served as the cultural center of New Orleans Creole society for 60 years until it was lost to fire in 1919.

Another goal is being meet with this program which is regional outreach for the company. Opera on Tap – New Orleans is heading across the lake and can be seen three times this season at the Abita Brew Pub. This program is sponsored by WWNO.

In October 2007 the Big Easy partnered with the Big Apple, making New Orleans the first official Opera on Tap franchise.

Twelve times this season, the New Orleans Opera presents the finest young local and regional singers in casual, 90-minute concerts of opera, Broadway and more.

Alex V. Cook, author, critic and journalist with Country Roads Magazine says, “Seeing the singers congregate and flit around the bar was like having a backstage pass, while the immediacy of the small stage was akin to having season ticket holder seats.”

All shows are free and run from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The Rusty Nail is located at 1100 Constance St. in New Orleans. Shows are Sept. 30, Nov. 11, Jan. 3, 2010 and March 10, 2010.

The Inn on Bourbon is located at 541 Bourbon St. in New Orleans. Shows are Sept. 23, Nov. 4, Jan. 2, 1020 and March 3, 2010.

Abita Brew Pub is located at 72011 Holly St. in Abita Springs.

Shows are Sept. 6, Oct. 28, and Feb. 24, 2010.

For more information visit NewOrleansOpera.com.


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