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Botanical Garden, 10AM
Art exhibit and sale en plein air
Alex Beard Studio, 5PM
Drinks, food, painting to celebrate the artist's studio opening
Maison Dupuy Hotel, 5PM
Fancy foods, music by jazz great Tim Laughlin, and event raffle
Benachi House & Gardens, 6PM
Southern Rep's fundraising dinner and party
New Canal Lighthouse, 6PM
Coastal scientist discusses his work
Smoothie King Center, 7PM
The Birds and the Mavs go head to head
Allways Lounge, 7PM
Last game planned in the Allways's popular performance & game night
2314 Iberville St., 7:30PM
Cocktails for a cause
Saenger Theatre, 8PM
The Beach Boy presents "Pet Sounds"
Catahoula Hotel, 8PM
Free drinks if you can do his dance. Vote for Pedro!
BJs in the Bywater, 8PM
Poetry with Clare Welsh and Todd Cirillo
Bar Redux, 9PM
NOLA's Horror Films Fest screens shorts
Howlin Wolf, 10PM
Bronx hip hop comes south
Bywater Art Lofts, 6PM
Live art in the air
Ogden Museum, 6PM
Feat. Mia Borders
New Orleans Jazz Museum, 6PM
Exhibit opening on the late Pete Fountain
Mardi Gras Museum of Costumes and Culture, 6PM
Unveiling of Big Freedia's 2018 Krew du Viewux costume
Langston Hughes Academy, 7PM
8th annual dinner party in the Dreamkeeper Garden
The Republlic, 7PM
Immersive pop-up gallery, boutique, and stage show
Euphorbia Kava Bar, 7PM
DIY rock, pop, punk show
Saenger Theatre, 7:30PM
Joy Theater, 8PM
The Carver, 9PM
NOLA brass all-stars
Gasa Gasa, 9PM
Feat. Burn Like Fire and I'm Fine in support
Allways Lounge, 10:30PM
Feat. Creep Cuts and Rory Danger & the Danger Dangers
One Eyed Jacks, 10:30PM
80s dance party
Alice Among the Sculptures: NOLA Project Opens 'Adventures in Wonderland'
In the NOLA Project's latest outdoor, theatrical romp, the NOMA Sculpture Garden is woven into Wonderland and the audience decides on their play. Then, there are the fart noises. Adventures in Wonderland, which opens Wednesday (May 7), seeks to pull the scenery and the crowd into the production for an immersive twilight journey through the land first dreamed up by Lewis Carroll in 1865.
For the NOLA Project, strict interpretations of Carroll's work and the unwritten rules of theatre are not in the cards. British accents remain intact, but company playwright Pete McElligott and director Andrew Larimer added some new faces and tinkered with story lines for the fresh adaptation designed to accommodate the space under the oaks, and the 2014 theatre-goer.
In McElligott's version, Alice gains a pair of sisters. Along with providing some added narrative thrust at the show's opening and closing, the siblings form the basis for the production's interactive slant from the outset.
Immediately upon passing from City Park to the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden, audiences are given a choice to follow Alice (Molly Ruben Long) on a fast track through the grounds (her costume includes running shoes to prove she's ready), or her sister Esther (Kyle June Williams) on a more moderately-paced walking path. For those who don't like their actors telling them where to go, pulling up a lawn chair to the Mad Hatter's tea party is also an option.
The separate, roving tales give the company a chance to incorporate a wider breadth of art into the production than in past collaborations with NOMA. In turn, the sculptures repay the favor by providing fresh ways to look at some of Carroll's famed characters.
For instance, a stop on Alice's jaunt includes the Garden's much-loved giant Spider. Housing the Carroll concocted caterpillar, Louise Bourgeois' work communicates the scale of the shrunken Alice, and the ominous nature of her predicament. Later, the Mock Turtle teaches George Segal's figures on benches, and the White Rabbit was spotted talking to a separate, hand-rendered turtle. Whether the sculptures are props or characters remains a mystery. But, like the disappearance of the queen's tarts, their mere presence only adds opportunities for wordplay and whimsy.
While time is always a little elusive in Wonderland, the approach of sundown during the second half of the show allows for an even more transporting feeling. The Cheshire Cat, played with cartoonish pluck by both Dylan Hunter and Ross Britz, gains a light on his colorful costume and suddenly becomes a little more sneaky when hiding in the bushes. Meanwhile, the illuminated sculptures provide the glow of a stage, with the added benefit of Spanish Moss swaying overhead. Providing further dimension, the characters maintain their poses even when they don't have an audience.
The room to roam and a constant silliness that would have been out of place in previous Shakespearean productions gives Wonderland a bristling energy that's made to reach beyond seasoned theatre-goers.With pleasing moments inserted for the whole family and three different viewings possible, the NOLA Project is undoubtedly hoping that New Orleanians fall down the rabbit hole more than once.
NOLA Project's Adventures in Wonderland runs May 7-25 at the New Orleans Museum of Art Sculpture Garden. Tickets are $18 for Adults, and $12 for NOMA Members, University Students, and Children (7 to 17).
Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Andrew Smith
Michael Weber, B.A.
B. E. Mintz