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Guide to Theater in New Orleans Spring 2020

Fiddler on the Roof
The Cast of Fiddler on the Roof (Photo by Joan Marcus)

*Editor’s Note: While there are no travel restrictions to New Orleans due to the Covid-19, out of an abundance of caution and consideration for staff, vendors, performers, and guests, effective immediately, all performances at these various theaters are cancelled or postponed until further notice. Please check the event websites below for details and updated information. 

Spring in New Orleans is the perfect time to head outdoors to festivals, host a crawfish boil, or visit a snowball stand. But, it’s also prime time for live performances. Whether you want to catch a musical straight from Broadway, a new local production at a smaller theater, or a classical masterpiece featuring guest artists, New Orleans has it all. Here’s our guide to theater, dance, and classical music this spring in New Orleans.

Jon Hacker, Eric Chambliss, Corey Greenan and Michael Milton in Jersey Boys (Photo credit: Joan Marcus)

Theater

Jersey Boys

Saenger Theatre, March 6-8

Jersey Boys tells the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and spent 11 years on Broadway. Laden with hits, you won’t be able to resist singing along to “Oh What A Night,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” and others. Tickets start at $30.

August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson

Le Petit Theatre, March 6-22

August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson is a 1987 play that tells the story of one family’s legacy as they grapple with the past and look toward the future. This intimate story is one you won’t want to miss. Tickets start at $15.

Danielle Wade (Cady Heron), Megan Masako Haley (Gretchen Wieners), Mariah Rose Faith(Regina George), Jonalyn Saxer(Karen Smith), Mary Kate Morrissey (Janis Sarkisian), and the National Touring Company of Mean Girls (Photo Credit: © 2019 Joan Marcus)

Mean Girls

Saenger Theatre, March 17-22

Based on the movie of the same name, Mean Girls follows Cady Heron on her journey through the ups and downs of high school after being raised in the African savanna during the formative years of her life. Look forward to hearing classic lines from the movie as well as new songs created just for the musical. Tickets start at $65.

Aurora Nealand and Goat in the Road present KindHumanKind (Photo Credit: Josh Brasted)

AURORA NEALAND: KindHumanKind

Contemporary Arts Center, April 8-17

After a well-received debut, the CAC will partner once again with Aurora Nealand and Goat in the Road to reprise KindHumanKind. This live performance presents a visual world that showcases Ms. Nealand’s unique talents as a storyteller and musician, and brings to life her virtuosic, heartbreaking musical soundscape. Tickets are $25

Angels in America: Millennium Approaches

Le Petit Theatre, April 10-May 3

In part one of Tony Kushner’s Pulitzer-Prize and Tony-Award winning play, this story examines American relationships in the face of the AIDS crisis in 1980s New York City. Tickets start at $15.

Lila Coogan (Anya) and the company of the National Tour of ANASTASIA (Photo by Evan Zimmerman, MurphyMade)

Anastasia

Saenger Theatre, April 14-19

Anastasia is set in the twilight of the Russian Empire and the euphoria of Paris in the 1920s, where a brave young woman sets out to discover the mystery of her past. Pursued by a ruthless Soviet officer determined to silence her, Anya enlists the aid of a dashing conman and a lovable ex-aristocrat. Together, they embark on an epic adventure to help her find home, love, and family. Tickets start at $65.

Treasure Island

NOMA’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden, May 6-24

This classic pirate adventure tale is brought to life in the New Orleans Museum of Art’s Besthoff Sculpture Garden. This world-premiere comic adaptation, penned by NOLA Project founders Allegra, Bartelle, and Wallace – and inspired by the garden’s beautiful waterfront amphitheater – will blend story with sea shanties as we follow Long John Silver and his crew to Skull Island on a search for the notorious Captain Flint’s buried treasure. Food trucks and a fully-stocked bar add to the interactive experience. Tickets start at $20.

Yehezkel Lazarov, Jonathan Von Mering & the Cast of Fiddler on the Roof (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Fiddler on the Roof

Saenger Theatre, May 12-17

Set in Imperial Russia in 1905, Fiddler on the Roof centers on Tevye and his five daughters in a heartwarming tale of life and laughter. This Broadway classic, which won the Tony Award for Best Musical in 1965, continues to delight audiences everywhere today. Tickets start at $30

Chemin Du Bayou

Southern Rep Theatre, May 13-31

Bayou Road, over 300 years old, in New Orleans is the road that leads to all else: Tremé, downtown, the French Quarter, etc. In New Orleans playwright Pamela Davis-Noland’s bold new imagining, the story of Bayou Road stretches over 1000 years, illuminating the stories of the extraordinary peoples–famous or forgotten, real or imagined–who made their way along the old high ground from the Mississippi River toward Lake Pontchartrain, bringing news, plying wares, and settling into remarkably diverse communities along the ridge. Ticket prices TBD

Follies in Concert

Dixon Hall at Tulane University, May 30-31

The first in the Tulane Summer Lyric Theater 2020 season, Follies in Concert is based on a Sondheim musical focused on the lives of two couples amidst a reunion in a crumbling Broadway theater. Ticket prices TBD

A Night with Janis Joplin

Le Petit Theatre, June 5-21

Jam out to Janis Joplin’s greatest hits in this limited-engagement production. A Night with Janis Joplin is a musical journey celebrating Janis and her biggest musical influences: icons like Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Odetta, Nina Simone and Bessie Smith, who inspired one of rock & roll’s greatest legends. Ticket prices TBD

Legally Blonde

Dixon Hall at Tulane University, June 18-21

Based on the movie of the same name, this spunky musical follows Elle Woods on her journey to and through law school – first to chase after her ex-boyfriend, and then to follow her own passion. Ticket prices TBD

Dance

Marigny Opera Ballet’s Follies of 1915 

Marigny Opera House, March 27-29

Returning in March 2020, the sold-out hit of the 2018 Marigny Opera Ballet season is back.  Follies of 1915 is a full-length comedy of errors. A brother and sister are separated during a storm at sea, resurfacing at the elegant Palm Court, a haven for gigolos, foxtrots, and intrigue. The show will be accompanied live by the New Leviathan Oriental Foxtrot Orchestra. Tickets start at $30.

NOBT Spring Collection

Le Petit Theatre, March 27-28

New Orleans Ballet Theatre presents Spring Collection, featuring a world premiere from award-winning choreographer Diogo De Lima in addition to “Under the Olive Tree,” choreographed by Tara Lee and “7 Mose Pieces,” choreographed by Marjorie Schramel. You won’t want to miss this gorgeous local company at Le Petit Theatre. Tickets start at $35.

Houston Ballet in Jorma Elo’s ONEendONE. Photo by Amitava Sarkar (2014).

Houston Ballet

The Mahalia Jackson Theater, March 28

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Houston Ballet returns to New Orleans for the first time in over a decade with a beautiful performance that spotlights the company’s legacy. Looking to the future and honoring the past, this exquisite company of elite artists presents an evening of ballets that have all been created especially for Houston Ballet, including spectacular revivals and brand new premieres. Tickets start at $35.

Dance for Social Change Festival 

Contemporary Arts Center, March 28-29

Dancing Grounds youth present a multidisciplinary performance about their experience with gentrification and displacement in New Orleans at the Dance for Social Change Festival. Their original work combines hip hop, contemporary bounce, and African diasporic dances with poetry and music. Tickets start at $30.

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo (Photo by Zoran Jelenic)

Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo

The Mahalia Jackson Theater, April 18

Affectionately called The Trocks, this lovable all-male ballet company performs delightful parodies of great ballet classics from Swan Lake, Giselle, and the Dying Swan to the dances of George Balanchine and Martha Graham. This company of technically proficient male ballerinas on pointe and in tutus is a worldwide dance phenomenon. Tickets start at $35.

Abraham.In.Motion 

Contemporary Arts Center, May 8-9

Award-winning dancer/choreographer Kyle Abraham brings his company, Abraham.In.Motion, to the CAC for two performances only this May. Presenting an interdisciplinary body of work, fans of dance won’t want to miss this fresh production. Tickets are $25 

NOBT Classical Production 

Orpheum Theater, May 22-23

Catch the New Orleans Ballet Theatre in their annual spring classical production at the Orpheum Theater. Past performances have included Giselle and Cinderella. Ticket prices TBD

Classical Music

The Music of John Williams

Orpheum Theater, March 7-8

Hear the theme from Jurassic Park, The Rebellion is Reborn from Star Wars: The Last Jedi, various pieces from the Harry Potter movies, and more of John Williams’ classic film scores as performed by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra. Tickets start at $10.

Schnyder’s Charlie Parker’s Yardbird

New Orleans Jazz Market, April 3-4

Composed by Daniel Schnyder and performed by the New Orleans Opera, Charlie Parker’s Yardbird tells the jazz titan’s story as he’s revisited by the ghosts of his illustrious past: wives, celebrated colleagues, his mother, and intimate friends, all who join to retell their dramatic incidents of the legendary saxophonist. Tickets start at $40.

RAIN: A Tribute to the Beatles

Saenger Theatre, April 4

In celebration of the anniversary of the release of Abbey Road, RAIN will bring the greatest Beatles hits to life. It’s the ultimate sing-a-long experience. Tickets start at $40. 

American Virtuosos

Orpheum Theater, April 16

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra presents: American Virtuosos. This concert will feature Debussy’s “Nocturnes,” Violin Concerto by Higdon, and Prokofiev’s Symphony No. 5. Tickets start at $20.  

The Magic Flute (Image courtesy of The New Orleans Opera Association)

The Magic Flute

The Mahalia Jackson Theater, May 1 and 3 

Exploring good vs. evil, The Magic Flute is an opera fairytale written by Mozart. This production from the New Orleans Opera will be framed by a galaxy of Hubble Telescope photography, adding an expanded universe to this timeless tale. Tickets start at $30. 

Testimony and Triumph with Shostakovich Symphony No. 5

Orpheum Theater, May 14 and 16

The program will open with Leonore Overture No. 3 in celebration of Beethoven’s birth 250 years ago. Jorge Federico Osorio will join the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra in performing R. Schumann’s Piano Concerto. Tickets start at $20.

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