This weekend in New Orleans is one of contrast. You’ll find ExhibitBE closing ceremonies in Algiers and a hotel and bar grand opening in the CBD, plus a brass band blowout and a piano legend playing the very same night. Two popular musicals are sure to command (or divide) attention: Jesus Christ Superstar at Le Petit Theatre and Mamma Mia! at the Saenger. A benefit for The Roots of Music is also worth your time – proceeds put instruments, mentors and academic tutors within reach for local children in need.
1. The Camel Toe Lady Steppers Annual Roots of Music Benefit – The all-female marching krewe brings burlesque, a silent auction, and more to Freret Street Publiq House at 8 p.m. (doors at 7:30). Proceeds benefit The Roots of Music, the youth organization founded by Rebirth Brass Band member Derrick Tabb. Purchase tickets online for $15 or at the door for $20.
2. The Dinerral Shavers Education Fund’s 7th Annual Brass Band Blowout – Head to Howlin’ Wolf for the vibrant sounds of live brass from artists like Free Agents, TBC, T.Cherelle, and Hot 8 (the foundation is named for and in memory of one of Hot 8’s founding members). The finale performance features Hot 8 and Mardi Gras Indians together on stage. Tickets are $15 online for this 18-and-up show.
3. Mamma Mia! – The disco sounds of ABBA will pulse through the Saenger Theatre all weekend. Telling the story of a bride-to-be searching for her father to walk her down the aisle, this jukebox musical runs twice daily through Sunday. Tickets start at $35, though their website notes that few are available for the matinee shows.
4. ExhibitBE Grand Closing Celebration – Jan. 19 is the last day to view ExhibitBE, open daily from noon until 4 p.m and hosting a grand closing celebration on Saturday, Sunday and Monday. This five-story exhibition features the work of dozens of street artists, led by Brandan “bmike” Odums.
5. Q&C Hotel + Bar Reopening – Formerly the Queen and Crescent, this Camp Street spot in the CBD is unveiling the fruits of its renovation for the first time this weekend. Cocktails and absinthe — they’ve got six kinds available — will flow.
Ellis Marsalis Quintet at Snug Harbor – The premier modern jazz pianist and patriarch of “The First Family of Jazz,” Ellis Marsalis brings his quintet to Snug Harbor for performances at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Tickets are $40.
Jesus Christ Superstar – Andrew Lloyd Webber’s biblical rock opera kicks off Friday at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre with shows running through Jan. 30. Most shows are at 7:30 p.m., the exception being a 3 p.m. on Jan. 25. Purchase tickets from $35 online.
Marvel Universe LIVE! – If you prefer superheroes to superstars, Marvel’s live-action arena tour stops at the Smoothie King Center for shows on Thursday through Sunday. More than 25 Marvel characters come together in one epic quest: the battle of the Cosmic Cube. Tickets start as low as $15 online.