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THE

Defender Picks

 

Vendredi

December 19th

WWOZ 34 Birthday Party

Tipitina’s, 9p.m.

Davell Crawford, Ivan Neville, DJ Soul Sister

 

Kermit Ruffins Big 50th Bash

House of Blues, 9p.m.

Celebrate Kermit’s birthday w/ The Barbeque Swingers, Nayo Jones and Neisha Ruffins Band

 

Bounce Holiday Edition

Republic, 10p.mm.

Big Freedia, DJ Jubilee, Walt Wiggady and more! $5

 

Grenadine McGunkle’s Double-Wide Christmas

Mid-City Theater, 8p.m.

A holiday play complete with speed dating and snuggies

 

Kool and the Gang, Cheap Trick

Champions Square, 7p.m.

Music with legends to kick off 2014 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl

 

Shotgun Cinema Turns One

Freeport Auditorium at the CAC, 7p.m.

Screenings of Night Moves & Monsieur Hulot's Holiday; $7 each

 

Samedi

December 20th

Little Maker presents Last Waltz

One Eyed Jacks, 9p.m.

A tribute to The Last Waltz - Part II

 

Pelicans vs. Trail Blazers

Smoothie King Center, 6p.m.

The world of Portlandia blazes down South

 

Nutcracker Ballet

Tulane’s Dixon Hall, 2p.m.

Its not Christmas without the Nutcracker

 

Irvin Mayfield’s Birthday Celebration

Royal Sonesta, 8p.m.

Trumpet Mafia, Jonathan Batiste & Special Guests

 

Pine Leaf Boys

d.b.a., 11p.m.

Local grammy nominees take the stage

 

Dimanche

December 21st

Caroling in the Square

Jackson Square, 6:30p.m.

Join in the tradition of communal holiday song by candlelight in front of the Cathedral

 

Saints vs. Falcons

da Dome, 12p.m.

Who dat rivals migrate to the Crescent City for some action

 

Nutcracker Ballet

Tulane’s Dixon Hall, 2p.m.

Its not Christmas without the Nutcracker (final show)

 

Creole Christmas

Preservation Hall, 2:30p.m.

Holday jams with Lars Edegran and Big Al Carson

 

Lundi

December 22nd

NOCCA Presents Home for the Holidays

House of Blues, 6p.m.

A concert for Daniel Price foundation ft. Trombone Shorty, Rebirth Brass Band, TYSSON

Mardi

December 23rd

Lightwire Theater

The Joy Theater, 3p.m. & 7:30p.m.

A glow in the dark dancing light show

 

Blackout, Euphoria Highlight LPO's Presentation of Mahler's Symphony No. 3


by Joe Shriner

On Thursday evening, as the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra thundered into the final ominous seconds of the third movement of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3, the lights at First Baptist Church, New Orleans began to fade. One by one, the lights then died. By the time the New Orleans Children's Chorus had gathered themselves onto the stage to participate in the second half, there was a complete blackout in the Lakeview church.

 

A brief lull ensued, as audiences in the darkened pews pondered whether this was done intentionally. After all, the following movement, which is unsettling in any light, would begin with the soloist imploring: “O Man! Take heed! What says the deep midnight?”

 

Never a group for such gimmicks, the orchestra appeared to be just as confounded as the crowd. As the seconds progressed, the lights of cell phones and a growing murmur dappled and rippled through the pitch-black church. After a minute, the familiar voice of conductor Carlos Miguel Prieto pierced through the crowd’s speculations. “Ladies and gentlemen,” he announced in his distinct Mexican accent, “we are phoning Entergy. This only seems to happen during the Super Bowl and Mahler.”

 

The audience erupted in laughter and ovations, and an impromptu 30-minute intermission began.

 

Despite the setback, there was a genuine feeling of goodwill and conviviality among patrons and musicians, who exchanged small talk and snapped photographs of one another, gleefully sauntering about the moonlit church. This was to be anticipated. The LPO’s performance of the first three movements of Mahler’s capricious and celestial third symphony was so breathtaking that it was hard to not feel as though one was taking part in an event that was larger than the individual. To paraphrase one voice overheard in the darkness: “It’s like the orchestra isn’t even playing the music—the music seems to be playing them.”

 

The opening movement, accented by a storm of tympanis and roaring violas and bass, forms a cauldron in which an abundance of life is spawned. This movement, longer than entire symphonies, captivates the listener's full attention. Listeners audibly gasped as the LPO drew the movement to a close, with many fighting back the desire to applaud, as tradition prohibits.

 

The following movements were bright and playful, with horns and woodwinds heightening the performances of the strings. A horn solo, performed offstage in the third, took listeners out of the church and into another realm.

 

When the lights came back on to howling cheers, it appeared the delay only dampened the enthusiasm of a handful of the crowd, who apparently went home. The remaining majority sidled closer to the stage for the final three movements of the concert, welcoming mezzo-soprano Marietta Simpson to the stage. Her sobering interpretation of Nietzsche’s words of humankind’s pain and desire for eternal redemption was robust and assured.

 

The fifth movement, which featured an all-female contingent of the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans and members of the New Orleans Children's Chorus, was remarkably optimistic and shining, spotlighting gorgeous melodies on viola and glockenspiel, with the children's choir imitating bells. Ms. Simpson filled the room with her rich voice, accompanied by the female chorus.

 

The final movement, with its many nuances, swirling emotion, and colorful melodies, is so complex that it takes audiences on the edge of euphoria. A fitting end to the LPO’s final concert this season, Maestro Prieto’s interpretation evoked images of a long, spectacular sunset, marking the conclusion of an exciting year, and propelling enthusiasm for the next.

 

The LPO will be presenting this program again, and most likely without interruption, at 7:30 tonight at First Baptist Church, New Orleans. Tickets start at $20. For more details, visit the LPO website or call (504) 523-6530.




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Contributors:

Dead Huey Long, Emma Boyce, Elizabeth Davas, Ian Hoch, Lindsay Mack, Anna Gaca, Jason Raymond, Lee Matalone, Phil Yiannopoulos, Joe Shriner, Chris Staudinger, Chef Anthony Scanio, Tierney Monaghan, Stacy Coco, Rob Ingraham,

Staff Writers

Cheryl Castjohn, Sam Nelson

Art Listings

Cheryl Castjohn

Photographers

Brandon Roberts, Rachel June, Daniel Paschall

Film Critic

Jason Raymond

Puzzler

Paolo Roy

Art Director:

Michael Weber, B.A.

Editor:

B. E. Mintz

Published Daily by

Minced Media, Inc.

Editor Emeritus



Stephen Babcock