THURSDAY-SUNDAY / Yard smart: Sure, you know about P.2. But what about Yat.1? Only this weekend’s Fringe Festival (read Allison Fensterstock’s explanation of the wacky 70-performance fest here) would put yard art on public tour. From a front door for kitty cats to 30-foot garden sculptures, YAT-1 offers a self-guided tour of weird and wacky yard art in Marigny and Bywater. Click here for the map. For more normal (is there a normal with this event?) Fringe Fest best bets, read Fenstertock’s picks here.
FRIDAY / Word wars: Another artful invasion of a sort hits New Orleans this weekend courtesy of PANK, a literary moniker that supports online and print periodicals. Every now and then, when the whim hits, its editors muster up its national network of writers and friends to stage “invasions” in select cities. The first New Orleans PANK INVASION will take place at 7 p.m. Friday at Antenna Gallery, 3161 Burgundy St., with a dozen scribes, including a sex worker writing her memoir, a poetess with pretty eyes and even a few New Orleanians who, presumably, are trying to explain us in poetry and prose. Read all about it on Facebook here.
FRIDAY & SUNDAY / A Ball and all: Giuseppe Verdi’s ‘A Masked Ball’ originally was set in Boston, because of a to-do from Italian censors, which Sharon Litwin explains in a NolaVie story here. Meanwhile, the New Orleans Opera Association has gone one better by moving the tragic doings (jealous husband; love triangle) to the Big Easy (not a stretch – I mean, read the title). Paul Groves returns to New Orleans to sing the lead in this luscious tale, performing at 8 p.m. Friday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. Click here for ticket and seat availability, or call 529-3000.
SATURDAY-SUNDAY / Collection detection: For another kind of self-guided art tour – this one upscale and indoors – consider Art Home New Orleans, taking you into homes belonging to local art collectors. This third annual home tour, sponsored by Creative Alliance of New Orleans, takes place from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The idea is to educate participants about collecting art, and inspire them to dive into the connoisseurs’ world by buying pieces themselves. To that end, CANO has paired with emerging artists to stage popup exhibitions at some of the homes. Tickets are $15 per day or $25 for the weekend; buy online at cano-la.org or call 218-4807. Tickets can be purchased on the day of the event at the House on Bayou Road at 2275 Bayou Road.
SATURDAY-SUNDAY / Dance fever: The Bantu word gomela means “go back” or “return,” and that’s just what the Kumbuka African Drum & Dance Collective will do in Gomela, a retrospective of the group’s entire repertoire. Performances, presented by Junebug Productions and the Contemporary Arts Center, take place at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday at the CAC, 900 Camp Street. Tickets are $20 ($15 students/seniors/members). A highlight will be the troupe’s signature ballet, “Dance de Calinda,” rooted in traditions of Congo Square.
SATURDAY / Play house: It’s a house. It’s a musical instrument. It’s an installation piece by the artist Swoon. Whatever else it is, The Music Box Shantytown Sound Laboratory, at 1027 Piety Street, will be sponsoring a pair of sets conducted by Quintron and featuring a dozen musicians, including Mannie Fresh, Rusty Lazer and more. Doors open at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. We don’t entirely get it, but judging by the long lines at the opening concert in October, lots of people do. Tickets (suggested donation is $10) are available at the Piety Street address during hours of noon to 5 p.m. on Friday.