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Poetry, Louisiana history and a bike-in

Thursday / Rhyme time: If you’ve been in a scholarly mood lately (and who isn’t these days?), then we’ve got just the event to quench your intellectual thirst: 17 Poets! kicks off a new season of the New Orleans literary series that features poets, writers and painters in performance every Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Gold Mine Saloon, 701 Dauphine St. The opener highlights the Crescent City’s contributions to arts and letters with an exhibition and discussion by local writers and poets. So be sure to brush up the difference between a troche and trope (good luck). You can also stick around for a poetry reading by Gina Ferrara and open mic.

Song and dance star Mark Nadler at the Stage Door Canteen

Friday-Saturday / Cabaret and comedy: One of New York’s favorite cabaret performers will be showcasing his musical stylings at the National World War II Museum at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Mark Nadler in a Nutshell features songs ranging from “outrageous comedy to classical ballads,” combined with the singer’s own patented musical-turned-comedy routine. To give you a taste of his trademark antics: Nadler has been known to line up 20 women from the audience for a hilarious can-can dance routine, which he joins in on. Kicks, indeed.

Sunday / Viva Decadence: If it’s Labor Day weekend, it means … Southern Decadence is here. The 40-year-old celebration  —  sometimes called “the gay Mardi Gras” – brings more than 110,000 LGBT visitors to the city. Epicenter for the action (as at Mardi Gras itself) is the corner of Bourbon and St. Ann streets. The 2011 theme is “Viva New Orleans: What Happens in New Orleans Stays in New Orleans” and the official colors are fuchsia pink, black and silver. The official song is Fireworks by Katy Perry. (Do we keep you informed, or what?) The annual Southern Decadence Parade starts at 2 p.m. Sunday in front of the Golden Lantern Bar, 1239 Royal Street, and rolls through the French Quarter.

Sunday / Plein air: You’ve heard of drive-in movies, but … a Bike-In Movie? Sure, why not? Ride your bike and get free popcorn at the 9 p.m. Sunday screening of B.I.K.E., taking place behind Zeitgeist Theater at 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd. The movie studies the Black Label Bike Club as it follows a path of anti-materialism and a belief that the impending apocalypse will render cars useless and leave bicycles in power. Talk about roll models.

Ongoing / Louisiana birthday: Catch a preview of next year’s bicentennial celebrations with an exhibit that opened this week at The Historic New Orleans Collection. The 18th Star: Treasures from 200 Years of Louisiana Statehood explores the stories that have defined our state since it entered the union in 1812. Items range from a  manuscript copy of the Louisiana Constitution written in French to a poster encouraging operators of small boats to assist the United States Coast Guard during World War II, and a can of drinking water distributed after Hurricane Katrina. Such “treasures” carry metaphoric meanings that illuminate Louisiana’s cultural, sociological, and historical roots.


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