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Defender Picks



April 30th

Jazz Fest

Fair Grounds, all day

Final day of weekend one



Bayou Beer Garden, 9AM

The most important meal of the year


Movie Screening: The Invisible Man

Prytania Theatre, 10AM

1933 sci-fi horror classic



Saenger Theatre, 3PM

YouTube superstar comes to town


Sunday Musical Meditation

Marigny Opera House, 5PM

Feat. guitarist and composer David Sigler


One Tease to Rule Them All

Eiffel Society, 7PM

Lord of the Rings burlesque


Joe Krown Trio

Maple Leaf Bar, 7PM

Feat. Walter "Wolfman" Washington and Russell Batiste, plus a crawfish boil


Blato Zlato

Bar Redux, 9PM

NOLA-based Balkan band


What is a Motico? 

Zeitgeist Arts Center, 9PM

Helen Gillet presents Belgian avant garde films


May 1st

May Day Strike and March

Louis Armstrong Park, 1PM

A protest for freedom, jobs, justice, and sanctuary for all


Movie Screening: Soundtracks: Songs That Defined History

Peoples Health Jazz Market, 6:30PM

CNN presents event, with post-screening conversation with anchor Brooke Baldwin


WWOZ Piano Night

House of Blues, 7PM
Back to the roots


Ooh Poo Pah Doo Monday Blues

Carver Club, 8PM

Treme club shifts its weekly show to the historic Carver Theatre


Poetry on Poets

Cafe Istanbul, 9:15PM

Evening of poetry with Chuck Perkins, plus live music



Blue Nile, 11PM

Famed brass all-stars play Frenchmen 




May 2nd


Ernest N. Morial Cenvention Center 

Kick off day of tech conference


United Bakery Records Revue

Marigny Recording Studio, 3PM

First annual showcase of the label's artists


GiveNOLA Fest

Greater New Orleans Foundation, 4:30PM

Music from Irma Thomas, Big Sam's Funky Nation, Rebirth Brass Band


Tasting Tuesdays

343 Baronne St., 6:30PM

Chardonnay vs. Pinot Noir



House of Blues, 7PM

Grammy-nominated French heavy metal 


Little Freddie King

Little Gem Saloon, 7:30PM

Stick around for Honey Island Swamp Band at 11PM


Neil Diamond

Smoothie King Center, 8PM

50th anniversary tour


The Mike Dillon Band

Siberia, 9PM

Feat. Rory Danger and the Danger Dangers


May 3rd

Book Reading: Michael Fry

Octavia Books, 4:30PM

From "How to Be A Supervillain" 


Flower Crown Workshop

Freda, 6PM

Hosted by Pistil & Stamen Flower Farm and Studio


Pete Fountain Tribute

Music at the Mint, 7PM

Feat. Tim Laughlin


Erica Falls

The Sanctuary, 8PM

CD release show


Piano Summit

Snug Harbor, 8PM

Feat. Marcia Ball, Joe Krown, and Tom McDermott


The New Pornographers

Tipitina's, 8PM

In support of newest album 'Whiteout Conditions'



Saenger Theatre, 8:30PM

Alt-rock icons


Piano Sessions Vol. 7

Blue Nile, 9PM

Feat. Ivan Neville


Twin Peaks

Gasa Gasa, 9PM

Feat. Chrome Pony and Post Animal in support


New Breed Brass Band

Blue Nile, 11:55PM

Next generation NOLA brass


Tribute to Lee Dorsey

Pres Hall, 12AM

With Jon Cleary, Benny Bloom, & Friends


May 4th

Jazz Fest

Fair Grounds, all day

Weekend two kicks off


May the 4th Be With You

Tubby & Coo's, 4PM

Star Wars party


Jazz in the Park
Armstrong Park, 4PM

Russell Batiste and friends


Yoga Social Club

Crescent Park, 5:45PM

Get sweaty and centered 


Cuba to Congo Square Throwdown

Ashé Cac, 6PM

Live music, DJs, and dance


Mike Dillon

The Music Box Village, 6:30PM

Punk rock percussion


Herbs & Rituals

Rosalie Apothecary, 7PM

Class for women's health


Shorty Fest

House of Blues, 7:30PM

Benefit concert for his namesake foundation


AllNight Show 

The Historic Carver Theater, 8PM

Feat. Ian Neville, Nikki Glaspie, SSHH feat. Zak Starkey of The Who


Jurassic 5

The Howlin Wolf, 9PM

Feat. Blackalicious


Foundation of Funk

Republic NOLA, 9PM

Feat. George Porter Jr., Zigaboo Modeliste


Jazz: In and Out

Music at the Mint, 9PM

Live music to benefit the Louis Armstrong Jazz Camp

Ten Out of Ten-nessee

NoDef's Guide to The Tennessee Williams Festival

Playwright Tennessee Williams had a long love affair with New Orleans. So goes a bon mot Williams once said, “America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.” No offense to the rest of the country, but New Orleanians take great pride in being revered as decidedly not-Cleveland by the late playwright. This week, the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival returns for its 31st annual celebration. The five-day fest kicks off this Wednesday, all culminating on Williams’s 106th birthday on Sunday (3.26). 


2017 will feature 145 speakers including celebrated talk show host Dick Cavett, playwright Lisa D’Amour, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Rick Bragg, and best-selling authors Dorothy Allison, Patricia Bosworth, Winston Groom, and Wally Lamb, among many more. On the celebrity front, Hollywood husband-and-wife duo Robert Wagner and Jill St. John will be on hand to discuss their 1970s staging of "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" in addition to taking part in the fest’s "Tennessee Williams and the Eternal City" tribute reading.


Williams’s position as one of the foremost playwrights of the 20th century is celebrated with plenty of theatrical stagings of his work. Southern Rep will present their much-anticipated production of “Sweet Bird of Youth,” while the Tennessee Williams Theatre Company of New Orleans is putting on “The Milk Train Doesn’t Stop Here Anymore.” The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) will perform "Loneliness and Desire," a collection of three scenes by Williams. More obscure works like the playwright's one-act work “Now the Cats with Jewelled Claws” are also on the lineup. 


Read on for NoDef’s round-up of can’t-miss events. 


Where Sex and Sin Were the Specialties: An Evening of Storyville Memories (3.22)

The fest's opening night is an exploration of New Orleans’s Red Light District, Storyville. Coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the neighborhood’s closing, the Brook Hanemann-directed event will showcase the intersection of history, literature, theater, live music, and period dance in the infamous Storyville. Lucky VIPs can attend a pre-performance cocktail party at the apartment where Tennessee Williams lived when he wrote "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré, 616 St. Peter St., 7:30PM


Soul Searching: A Victorian-Style Séance (3.23)

Spiritual medium Juliet Pazera and historian Melissa Daggett team up for an inside look at the supernatural rituals popular among 19th century Creoles in the city. Daggett, the author of Spiritualism in New Orleans, will offer insight into the antebellum-era séance fan club known as Le Circle Harmonique, while Pazera will lead attendees through a Victorian-style séance ceremony. 

Hermann-Grima House, 820 St. Louis St., 3:30PM


Sweet Bird of Youth (3.23)

Tennessee Williams excelled at writing about the boozed up and overheated dynamics of people in the Deep South. The Southern Rep Theatre stages from one of the playwright's most iconic plays, "Sweet Bird of Youth," with a multi-night run at Loyola’s Marquette Theatre. "Youth" tells the story of an aging movie star who puts herself in the care of a drifter gigolo with less than honorable intentions. Cue slow-burning Southern melodrama. 

Loyola University Marquette Theatre, 6363 St. Charles Ave. Tickets at: or 504-522-6545. 


Williams and the Female Persona (3.24)

Friday marks a series of panel discussions themed around everything from the eternal influence of Tennessee Williams, to more thematically specific discussions like Williams’s treatment of mental and physical disorders in his writing. One of the most compelling panels is the look at Williams's female creations, examining the psychological complexities of the women like Blanche DuBois, Amanda Wingfield, and Maggie the Cat. Panelists include Annette Saddik, Lisa D’Amour, Bess Rowen, and moderator Katherine Weiss. 

Williams Research Center, 410 Chartres St., 11AM


’Stella!’ Shouting Contest (3.26)

Consistently one of the most popular events at the annual fest is the Shouting Contest, which will take place this year on the final day of the festival. Celebrity judges will choose the top Stanley (or Stella) Kowalski among contestants reenacting the iconic scene from "A Streetcar Named Desire."

Jackson Square, 4:15PM


Saints and Sinners LGBT Literary Festival (3.24-3.26)

Founded in 2003, Saints and Sinners runs in tandem with the Tennessee Williams Festival, and brings together the top LGBT writers, publishers, and readers for a three-day literary festival at Hotel Monteleone. Standout events include the panel discussion “New Orleans Gay History: An LGBTQ Mecca” featuring writers Clayton Delery-Edwards, Alecia Long, and Frank Perez, as well as the annual closing Hall of Fame ceremony. A French Quarter Walking Tour (3.23 at 2PM, 3.24 at 10:30AM) taps Perez as a guide, and will highlight the neighborhood’s queer history and rich literary heritage. 

Hotel Monteleone, all-day 


New Orleans Writing Marathon (3.23, 3.25, 3.26)

The marathon's founder Richard Louth will host the event, with participants making their way across the French Quarter on an epic literary odyssey. Writers will drop by bars, bookstores, coffee shops and more to find their local inspiration. Poetry, essay, fiction, memoir — all literary styles are accepted, as long as they reflect the unique atmosphere of the Big Easy. 

Hotel Monteleone Queen Anne Ballroom, 9AM


Read more about the Tennessee Williams / New Orleans Literary Festival here. 

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Erin Rose
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Renard Boissiere, Linzi Falk, Evan Z.E. Hammond, Dead Huey, Wilson Koewing, J.A. Lloyd, Joseph Santiago, Andrew Smith, Cynthia Via


Art Director

Michael Weber, B.A.


Alexis Manrodt

Editor Emeritus

B. E. Mintz

Editor Emeritus

Stephen Babcock

Published Daily