The arts are truly alive and well in New Orleans. In fact, we are home to the Mahalia Jackson Theater, managed by Arts Center Enterprises. As the center for the performing arts here in the Crescent City, this theater provides a venue for some fantastic shows, including theatrical (on- and off-Broadway names), artistic, comedic, and musical. Why don’t you consider catching a show when you stay with Avenue Inn for your Louisiana coast getaway?
Mahalia Jackson was both a gospel singer (known as ‘The Queen of Gospel’), and an equal rights activist and pioneer. Featured on 30 albums, she was also awarded with 12 gold records (meaning the record sold 1 million copies or more). In fact, her song Move On Up a Little Higher sold over 8 million copies worldwide and has been honored in the Grammy Hall of Fame; and her recording of Silent Night, Holy Night caused a sensation in Norway, prompting more than 20,000 requests for copies of the recording. Eventually, her songs would raise money and awareness for the civil rights movement, and she ended up traveling with Martin Luther King, Jr. to all of his speaking destinations. She also sang at his funeral.
One year after her death in January 1972, New Orleans opened the Mahalia Jackson Theater, home to the New Orleans Ballet Association, New Orleans Opera Association, and hosted the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra for nearly 10 years. Hurricane Katrina bestowed her wrath on the Theater with 14-feet of water, causing a massive repair and upgrade effort the the theater at the tune of $27 million. Today, the Louisiana Philharmonic is back, and the Ballet Association and Opera Association still reside here. The theater also welcomes touring productions from Broadway Across America, among others.
While this is far from a complete listing, some of the more notable upcoming performances include:
- The Barber of Seville: Friday, November 16 and Sunday, November 18, 2012. What happens when a murderous barber teams up with a desperate chef? The New Orleans Opera Association will show you during this wildly popular musical production!
- NOLA Pay It Forward Concert: Tuesday, November 20. Because we understand (and can empathize), the city joins in to assist those affected by Hurricane Sandy. Featuring more than a dozen local performers, proceeds will be sent to Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. This is a great chance to both assist those affected by the storm’s devastation while enjoying classic sounds of our city.
- Ballet Hispanico and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra: Saturday, December 8, 2012. Enjoy all styles of dance with a Latin twist, accompanied by music from award-winning orchestral sounds.
- Mary Poppins: December 18-23, 2012. This touring production of a family favorite will amaze you with innovative effects and performances, and make you sing and dance along in your seat!
- One Vision – The Music of Queen: Saturday, January 5, 2013. The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra pays a rocking tribute to Freddie Mercury and Queen.
- Jersey Boys: January 8-27, 2013. The Tony Award-winning story of the members of The Four Seasons and their rise to the top with great music from the 1960s.
- Flashdance: February 26 – March 3, 2013: Get your 80’s on with this story of a young girl who dreams of a much bigger life than what she has in Steel Town, PA (Pittsburgh). The story, music, and dance will make you want to turn your own dreams into reality!
- Million Dollar Quartet: April 16-21, 2013: What happens with four monster rock icons of the 1950’s get together to record? Find out for yourself during this Broadway Musical.
- Wicked: May 8 – June 2, 2012: While the musical may be a youngster, it became an instant Broadway Blockbuster after its introduction in 2003. Follow the story of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch long before their iconic parts in The Wizard of Oz.
A full schedule of theater events is available online. Tickets can be purchased in advance for any of the shows, making it easy to plan an evening at the theater during your stay at our Garden District inn. The theater, located in Louis Armstrong Park, is just a 20 minute taxi ride from the Avenue Inn for under $15, or you may want to have dinner in the French Quarter and then catch a quick taxi ride to the theater for about $8.