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Weekend Picks: Cirque de Soleil and More

During the weekend before Mardi Gras, you can attend a different kind of circus.

Gasa Gasa on Freret Street. (Photo: Rebecca Ratliff)

One weekend ahead of the Mardi Gras circus comes a different kind of spectacle: Cirque du Soleil’s Avatar-inspired performance dazzles the Smoothie King Center all weekend. Attend a tongue-in-cheek deb ball with the 610 Stompers, check out a traveling bar of historic significance at Cafe Adelaide, and donate to not one but two worthy causes at fundraising events. Details below.

A scene from Cirque de Soleil’s “Toruk.” (Courtesy photo)

All Weekend

1. Cirque du Soleil’s “Toruk” at Smoothie King Center Running through Sunday, Cirque de Soleil’s “Toruk” is an incredible, immersive interpretation of the world of Pandora. The show is filled with awe-inspiring makeup, costumes, set design, and acrobatics. Tickets vary.

The Traveller Bar inside Cafe Adelaide. (Courtesy photo)

Friday

2. 610 Stompers Debutante Ball The beloved group hosts its annual “Sweet 610” debutante ball from 8 p.m. until midnight at Mardi Gras World. Admission includes open bar, food, and, of course, a chance to watch the Stompers’ moves up close. General admission tickets from $55.

3. Upbeat Academy FundRAGER at Gasa Gasa Upbeat Academy, the nonprofit that helps teenagers learn music production and skills, hosts a fundraiser at 10 p.m. Friday. The event features several musical performances and two complimentary cocktails from NOLA Distilling Company plus silent raffles, artwork, food, and more. All proceeds from each $30 ticket benefit the Upbeat Academy Foundation.

4. Traveller Bar at Cafe Adelaide Head to the hidden wine room inside Cafe Adelaide to experience a pop-up bar that’s been traveling around the country. The bar, open from 7-10 p.m. (and every Friday thereafter through Feb. 24) includes a first-edition of the oldest cocktail recipe book ever, in addition to other rare and vintage cocktail recipe books. Browse the library digitally, and sip a classic cocktail — eight to choose from — while you’re at it.

Cafe Henri. (Photo: Paul Broussard)

Sunday

5. SPCA Fundraiser at Cafe Henri — Head to Cafe Henri on Super Bowl Sunday (or, perhaps you prefer the Puppy Bowl) for a dining fundraiser: 15% of proceeds benefit the Louisiana SPCA. Yes, they’ll be broadcasting the game. And the puppy bowl.

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