We’ve got your weekend: Immersive theater, history, film, exhibits, and Va-Jay-Jay Day

From Jubilee’s New Noise (photo by: Jubilee)

Wednesday, May 16/Catapult (609 St. Ferdinand Street): Wednesdays are perfect for immersion. Why? We’re not sure, but we’re going with it. And, Innovative New Orleans theater ensemble New Noise is putting on Jubilee, an immersive original performance that traverses a hundred years in the life of one family on Alabama’s Mobile Bay. And you aren’t just a regular audience member when you go to this performance; audiences join the actors for a family supper that seeks to untangle the knot of white Southern identity, unspooling threads of personal ancestry, Southern duality, and the ravages of systemic
white supremacy. Now THAT sounds like a Wednesday night. Tickets cost $25, which you can purchase here, and the show runs from May 16-26 with performances at 8:00 PM. For full information, check out their website

Wednesday, May 16/Mid-City Library (4140 Canal Street): Cassie Pruyn, author of Bayou St. John: A Brief History and all around historian extraordinaire, will trace the evolution of Bayou St. John from prehistory through the present day. In this swiftly-moving talk, Pruyn will cover the bayou’s role as crucial “back door route” for French colonial settlers, its life as a bustling commercial waterway, its stint as an unauthorized houseboat haven, its WPA-era “beautification,” and much more. The talk will culminate with discussion and audience Q&A. It all begins at 6:00 PM, and this event is free and open to the public. 

Thursday, May 17/Marigny Opera House (725 Saint Ferdinand): Shotgun Cinema’s next installment in their Science on Screen program is Theo Anthony’s uniquely immersive new documentary, Rat Film. Using the unpopular rodent as a means to examine segregation, classism, and public health in Baltimore, Rat Film demonstrates a keen eye for experimentation and thoughtful investigation of injustice. Sandra Serna, Associate Director of the Healthy Communities Portfolio at Louisiana Public Health Institute, will discuss our city’s own redlining maps and the larger context of how land use laws and policies have long term consequences on health and wealth/asset-building for communities. Their previous Science on Screen was absolutely fantastic and mind blowing, so we know this will be just as interesting! Doors open at 6:30 PM with the film starting at 7:00 PM, and the screening is free and open to the public.  

Thursday, May 17/Mexican Cultural Institute of New Orleans (901 Convention Center Boulevard): The Mexican Cultural Institute in New Orleans, Newman Arts and the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation have their opening of the exhibition Impressions by New Perspectives: Works of Newman Students Inspired by Latin-American Art. This exhibition assembles the works of Art of students from Early Childhood to 12th Grade who will now look at Hispanic Culture in a refreshing new way. As the result of a year-long close collaboration between the Consulate of Mexico and the Mexican Cultural Institute in New Orleans, Newman, and the New Orleans Hispanic Heritage Foundation, Newman students were able to identify, appreciate, and recognize Hispanic Culture. The opening begins at 5:30 PM and goes until 8:00 PM. It is free and open to the public. 

New exhibit at the Mexican Cultural Institute opening this Thursday (photo by: Mexican Cultural Institute)

Thursday, May 17/Glitter Box (1109 Royal Street): It is time for some mid-morning tarot readings! Valeria, better known as “The Mexican Witch,” (you can find her on Instagram The Mexican Witch) is a New Orleans based tarot reader and bruja. She is a proud queer feminist and healer as well as a reiki II practitioner. she uses tarot as energy coaching, and she is going to be at Glitter Box at 11:00 AM on Thursday for all your Tarot pleasure. Walk-ins are welcome, and you can also set up an appointment at glitterboxno@gmail.com. Valerie will be there until 6:00 PM, and you can find full details about the event here

Friday, May 18/Marigny Opera House (725 Saint Ferdinand): It’s double feature time! Shotgun is also hosting award-winning filmmaker Sky Hopinka to present a program of his work. Hopinka’s films are full of small surprises that raise deep questions about communication, identity, and the possibility of understanding. At the core, he is documenting indigenous communities and spaces, and his camera drifts patiently through them, observant, alighting on details that seem to expand our understanding. Doors open at 6:30 PM with the film beginning at 7:00 PM, and tickets will run you $8 for this one! Check out their event page here for more details. 

Sunday, May 20/The Tigermen Den (3113 Royal Street): Sassy Miss Waxy and Glitter Box N.O. are putting on Va-Jay-Jay Day. This is a sumptuous celebration of the fierce hearts and feminine parts. In their words, “they will be creating a generous and safe space in which to bare and care for the female sensuous self–an invitation to love and learn the deepest crevasses and quench thirst for sweet selfhood from the well of the wombs wisdom. Va-Jay-Jay Day, a reunion in youniversal love, for the benefit of all life!” How can you say no to that? For full details of the events, check out their event page. It all begins at 1:00 PM on Sunday and goes until 6:00 PM. 

Sunday, May 20/New Orleans Airlift (4557 N. Rampart): Art, education, and community are coming together again this Sunday. Ode to Nola: a Musical Collage is a collaborative community effort that portrays New Orleans through the eyes of young artists and will be performed by the Polymnia Quartet and students from the Homer A. Plessy Community School. The music is composed by Tucker Fuller, and the performance will incorporate the sounds of the Music Box Village, as well as feature artwork by the students. The doors open at 6:30 with performances beginning at 7:00 PM. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. For full details, check out their event page here

Monday, May 21/Marquette Theater (Loyola University): Southern Rep has their new performance ready! They will be performing All the Way by Robert Schenkkan (directed by Aimée Hayes). History and theater will come together. Here’s the setting: November, 1963. An assassin’s bullet catapults Lyndon Baines Johnson into the presidency. A Shakespearean figure of towering ambition and appetite, this charismatic, conflicted Texan hurls himself into the passage of the Civil Rights Act – a tinderbox issue emblematic of a divided America – even as he campaigns for re-election in his own right and the recognition he so desperately wants. Together with Martin Luther King Jr. and an incredible cast of historical figures, they changed America – and the world. The play runs from May 21 to June 2 (with a preview performance and reduced ticket prices on May 16 and May 23. For full details and for tickets, head to Southern Rep’s website

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