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Today in New Orleans: 6.16.12

Today, join the marathon reading of “Ulysses” for Bloomsday at The Irish House, drink all-day to benefit The Roots of Music in Charity Poker Crawl, sing your heart out at the start of the five-week Stage Door Idol competition, rock out at Punk Fest at Big Top Three Ring Circus, and gawk at the many burlesque troupes hitting the town tonight. On this day in history, trombonist Homer Eugene was born in New Orleans (1914), and two barges rammed the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway, killing six people (1964). Now back to today: 


Juneteenth Festival (Congo Square, All Day) - To celebrate the day the slaves officially gained their freedom, a festival gathers in Congo Square. But it's not without solemn moments, as panel discussions will talk about violence, fatherhood in the African-American community, and more. But don't worry, there's plenty of music and food, too.


Hamlet (Lupin Theatre - Tulane, 7:30 PM) Alas, Hamlet returns to the New Orleans stage thanks to the New Orleans Shakespeare Festival at Tulane. Tonight is opening night of the annual Shakespeare romp, which this year will also include Rosenkrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.


Bloomsday (Irish House, 8:00am-8:00pm) Bloomsday is based on one man's walk through Dublin in Irishman James Joyce's novel "Ulysses." For the Irish, this is the biggest literary event in the world. The Irish House will have a marathon book reading from 8am to 8pm in the Hibernia Room. Guests are welcomed to come in at anytime during the day to eat, drink and listen to the reading. t Finn McCool’s, where Inner Compass actors will perform the opening chapter of the novel at 5:00pm. The Irish House will host an all-day marathon reading of Ulysses, as Chef Matt Murphy serves up his locally-grown, gastropub cuisine.


At Finn McCool’s, Inner Compass actors will perform the opening chapter of Ulysses known as “Telemachus,” while Bloody Marys, Irish cocktails, Gorgonzola sandwiches, and brown bread sandwiches will be served. The event is presented by IN-NOLA (Pauline Patterson, owner of Finn McCool’s, is a founder of IN-NOLA), and starts at 5 p.m.


The Roots of Music’s Charity Poker Crawl (Starts at the Cabildo, Jackson Square, 9:45am-5:30pm) Drink all day to raise funds for The Roots of Music, a tuition-free music education program for kids 9-14 years of age. Start at the Cabildo and make your way to six bars: Erin Rose, Boondock Saint, Turtle Bay, Flanagan’s, Molly’s, and 13. You are handed a card at each bar. By the time everyone gets to 13, the best hand wins a prize, but so does the player with the worst. Early registration at


Stage Door Idol (Stage Door Canteen at WWII Museum, 10:00am-noon) Open auditions for the next Stage Door Idol. Singers compete in a 5-week competition to win $500 and headlining spot to perform at the museum. Songs must be a capaella and recorded or in the style of the 1940s. Selected contestants will compete in one of four preliminary rounds in July. Grande finale on August 14.


Punk Fest (Big Top Three Ring Circus, 1638 Clio St., 2:00pm-midnight) Presented by WTUL 91.5 FM, the all-day, all-ages punk and hardcore showcase shall be a crusty good time. Bands include Indian Givers, Pallbearers, Fat Stupid Ugly People, Disappointed Parents and more. Some of the proceeds will go to keeping WTUL alive.


Spring Awakening (The Shadowbox Theatre, 8:00pm) NU Theatre Troupe presents the classic 1892, controversial German play by Frank Wedekind. Themes of abortion, homosexuality, rape, child abuse and suicide.


Bourbon and Burlesque (Contemporary Arts Center, 8:00-11:00pm) The CAC’s annual benefit will feature Burlesque troupes Fleur de Tease, Queerlesque!, Reverend Spooky & Her Billion Dollar Babydolls, Slow Burn Burlesque, Southern Jezebelles, and Storyville Starlettes. Music by Kristina Morales’s Labyrinth and Romy Kaye & the Brent Walsh Jazz Trio. Aerial extravaganza by Niki Frisky and Sarah the Bobcat. Whiskey by Blanton’s, Buffalo Trace, Jack Daniel’s and Wild Turkey. Dickie Brennan’s Bourbon House provides grub. $80 at the door. For CAC members, $45 at the door.


Why Are We Building Such A Big Ship? (Allways Lounge, 8:00pm) Fundraiser for NOLA Printshop. Burlesque by Kitty Glitter. The band is full of horns, strings, percussion and singing.


George Porter Jr. & The Runnin Pardners (Blue Nile, 11:00pm) Bassist of The Meters brings his New Orleans jam band to Frenchmen St. Rock, funk and R&B. 

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