The new year starts off with a bang with a variety of shows opening on Crescent City stages, from classic Shakespeare to Broadway blockbusters and local productions.
Let's hear it boys
In a city known for its love of music and unique style, it's no wonder that a show celebrates the musical heritage and vibrant spirit that makes toes tick and hearts beat to the rhythm of any what a drummer.
“The Big Easy Beat: A Celebration of Classic New Orleans R&B” features the Boys and Babes in a show that explores the influences of New Orleans' unique musical landscape, from jazz and blues to funk and Zydeco. It's the Crescent City's ultimate musical jukebox. Expect to hear tracks from iconic music makers Fats Domino, Irma Thomas, the Dixie Cups, Professor Longhair, Frankie Ford, Allen Toussaint, Mahalia Jackson, Dr. John, Louis Prima and more. The show will take place at Rivertown Theaters for the Performing Arts in Kenner.
The group has performed a variety of shows on local stages as well as hot spots across the Gulf Coast. Rivertown was a great venue for the male quartet and female trio to expand their vocal range to the delight of a sold-out audience.
The current incarnation of the musical menagerie includes Michael Taravella, Jonathan Drury, Deiveon Martinsen, Pat Smith, Whitney Mixon, Idella Johnson and Stephanie Toups Abry.
The show is directed and choreographed by Rich Arnold.
Performances will take place January 12-28 at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and January 25 at 2 p.m. Sundays at the theater at 325 Minor St. Tickets start at $39. rivertowntheatres.com.
The acclaimed production of “Romeo and Juliet,” staged last summer by the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane, returns next weekend for a single performance.
The performance will take place on January 12 at 7:30 p.m. at Dixon Concert Hall on the university's Uptown campus.
The play, presented as part of the festival's Performance for the Schools series, will be seen by more than 5,500 students from 90 schools across the Gulf South.
Remounted from the 2023 production, the cast includes many veterans, including Edward Montoya as Romeo and Alexandria Miles as Juliet. Burton Tedesco returns as director and fight choreographer and staged the show in Verona in the late 1860s, after the Italian War of Independence.
Tickets start at $12 for students and $25 for general admission. Visit neworleansshakespeare.org.
Opening this week
“THE COLOR PURPLE”: Open at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays until January 27; Cutting Edge Theater, 767 Robert Blvd., Slidell. Based on Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, the musical tells the story of Celie, a black woman living in the South in the first half of the last century. Despite her early years of trauma, tragedy, and hardship, “Miss Celie” ultimately triumphs as the master of her own destiny and that of those close to her. Tickets start at $32. www.cutingedgetheater.com.
“AN EVENING WITH BROADWAY’S MEGAN HILTY”: Opening 7:30 p.m. Saturday; Lafon Performing Arts Center, 275 Judge E. Dufresne Drive, Luling. Hilty brings her talents and style to a one-night-only performance. She is best known for her starring role on the television show “Smash” as Broadway veteran Ivy Lynn, and has appeared on the Great White Way as Glinda in “Wicked”, Doralee Rhodes in ” 9 to 5 The Musical” and Brooke in “Noises cut.” Tickets start at $45. lanfoncenter.org.
“MY BEAUTIFUL LADY”: Opening at 7:30 p.m. from Tuesday to January 11, at 8 p.m. on January 12 and 13, at 2 p.m. on January 13, at 1 p.m. on January 14; Saenger Theater, 1111 Canal St., New Orleans. The tour from Lincoln Center to Broadway in New York is full of classic compositions from the American stage in the story of a haughty British professor and his friend who decide to transform a “common” flower girl into a vision of a princess capable of passing with the royal class. . Tickets start at $34. saengernola.com.