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Katrina memories, college football and a mid-summer Mardi Gras

The V Side offers these offbeat entertainment options for the weekend from NolaVie:

Thursday / Katrina redux: In conjunction with the 6th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, playwright Jose Torres-Tama’s “The Cone of Uncertainty” will be remounted in full for the first time since it was shown in New Orleans in 2006. Tama escaped the city on a stolen school bus three days after the levees broke, and returned a month later, he says, to a city filled with thousands of Latino immigrants from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and as far away as Brazil. His multimedia show chronicles both his escape and the post-Katrina contributions and narratives of the Latino population. It also includes dramatic film footage by Afro-Cuban filmmaker William Sabourin O’Reilly, who began filming at 5 a.m. Monday morning as the storm was still passing through. “The Cone” opens a three-week run at 8 p.m. Thursday at The Shadowbox Theater. A post-performance opening-night panel will include members from The Congress of Day Laborers and PUENTES, two organizations that have been developing advocacy for the Latino community. Tickets are $10 at the door ($8 for students).

Thursday / Funky nation: George Porter Jr. and Runnin’ Pardners bring their love of funk home for a one-night stand Thursday evening with the Trio and Johnny V at the Maple Leaf. Catch a sample of what you’ll hear Oct. 1 when the band’s new album, tentatively labeled “You Can’t Beat the Funk,” is released.

Friday / Calling all bikers: It’s the last Friday of August, which means that it’s time for the monthly Nola Critical Mass Bike Ride. Cyclists meet in front of St. Louis Cathedral at Jackson Square at 6 p.m. for a 12-mile, two-hour group ride “into the beyond and back.”

Friday / Ready for some (college) football? Last week we had a Drunken Spelling Bee; this week, it’s a Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament. That’s just one event on the agenda when fans of Southeastern Conference football gather for their 10th annual salute to a new college season at the Crescent City SEC Kickoff Party, 8 p.m. Friday at 12 Bar on Fulton Street. Food, beer, drink specials, music by Band Camp and more are included in the $20 admission, with proceeds going to Playworks New Orleans. Hey, it’s not all about the Saints.

Saturday / Flashing for the homeless: Flash mobs – those spontaneous crowd gatherings and public performaces facilitated by text and tweet – are, by definition, unstructured. So we don’t quite know what to think about Flash Mob America, which touts itself as “the No. 1 flash mob company in the world.” Doesn’t that seem a little … corporate? If you don’t care who’s producing your spur-of-the-moment entertainment, you can register online to get the secret location of A Flash Mob to End Homelessness, planned at 6:30 p.m. Saturday. Music by Lisa Marie Presley will be featured, but that, really, is all we know.

Saturday / Dr. Lonnie Smith is a master of the Hammond B3 organ, and for half a century has created a world-wide fan base around his jazz organ music. He joins master drummer Herlin Riley for an evening of Jazz Journeys, presented by the Contemporary Arts Center and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival at 7 p.m. Saturday at the CAC. Admission is $20 ($15 for CAC members and students).

Saturday / Speaking of jazz … Norway’s preeminent free-jazz saxophonist Frode Gjerstad makes a rare return visit to New Orleans (his first since 2002) with his energetic trio featuring the stellar drumming of Paal Nilssen-Love. The fun starts at 8 p.m. Saturday at The Big Top, 1638 Clio Street. Admission is $12 ($10 students).

Saturday / Mid-summer night’s scheme: You’ve heard of Christmas in July … but Carnival in August? Only in New Orleans. The Krewe of OAK (which may or may not stand for Outrageous and Kinky) launches its annual Mid-Summer Mardi Gras Parade and Ball at 8 p.m. Saturday in front of the Maple Leaf Bar. Anyone can join in the pub craw/second line/parade – just fall in behind one of the outlandishly decorated golf carts, the Bearded Oysters Dance Troupe or a brass band or two. This year’s theme is reportedly “Pardon Our Royal Spill in Your Wetlands,” and stops include Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge and other (in)famous Carrollton watering holes. A ball, of course, follows at the Maple Leaf, but word is you have to know a krewe member for a ticket to that. The rest is free. Oh, and wear a costume if you don’t want to feel ridiculous.



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