POSTED Fri. Dec 20, 2013

It's pre-Christmas Time in the city...

It's pre-Christmas Time in the city...
Adam Karlin
Written by ADAM KARLIN
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The weekend before Christmas is awash with holiday parties and good fun. This Friday night in particular is so stacked we don’t know what to do with ourselves, so we’re going to our in-laws’ place in Florida. Hooray for family, but boo on missing some of the below…

1 Under Milk Wood

My pick for the weekend is Under Milk Wood, performed by the Cripple Creek Players, one of our fair city’s finest local theater companies. If you’re unfamiliar with the work, let us break it down: Under Milk Wood is a radio play by Welsh author Dylan Thomas that features upwards of 60 characters living life in the seaside village of Llareggub (“Bugger all” backwards). From that simple concept derives a drama that encompasses the range of human experience, from birth to lust to love to jealousy to loss to aging to death, accompanied by a musical score that fairly reeks of sea salt and some of the prettiest, lyrical writing set to paper and performed in the English language: It is spring, moonless night in the small town, starless and bible-black, the cobblestreets silent and the hunched, courters’-and-rabbits’ wood limping invisible down to the sloeblack, slow, black, crowblack, fishingboatbobbing sea.

I’m saying: it’s an experience.

And how much more of an experience to see Under Milk Wood at the Saturn Bar for $25, which gets you a three-course meal , all-you-can-drink ‘Buggerall’ cocktails (!) and music by the Valparaiso Men’s Chorus, a collection of local male singers who regularly rock out…sea shanties. Shit, we’ pay the $25 just for the sea shanties. Playing tonight (Dec 20) and Saturday (Dec 21) at 7pm, at the Saturn (3067 St Claude).

2 Caddywhompus rocks the 7th Ward

Local noise-pop-rockers-quirks-whatever-they-always-put-on-an-awesome-show Caddywhompus are playing at United Bakery (1325 St Bernard Ave) tonight (Dec 20) at 8pm. They’ll be joined by Designer and High In One Eye, two bands that also bring some rock in your face fire; this will be a good thrashy gig for the ages.

3 The Wolfman's birthday party

It’s the 70th birthday of Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington, one of our city’s most beloved musical sons, and the legendary bluesman is putting on a birthday gig of epic proportions. The show is going down tonight (Dec 20) at the Maple Leaf (8316 Oak) at 10:30pm; Anders Osborne, Ivan Neville, Cyril Neville and Stanton Moore will be on hand to celebrate. Above photo by Joseph Craciola.

4 Jackson Square Caroling

Looking for a dedicated holiday event? Join the city for the tradition of Christmas caroling in Jackson Square on Sunday (Dec 22) at 7pm. The event is sponsored by Patio Planters and it’s as twee and gingerbread as a veritable ocean of Eggnog – this is New Orleans at her holiday best. That said, it’s gonna be around 70 degrees Sunday evening, so don’t bundle up or anything. By the way, getting to type that last sentence is part of the reason I live here.

5 A teddy bear Christmas

Finally, one of our city’s odder, yet genuinely lovable in an eccentric, only-in-New-Orleans kinda way institutions has to be the Teddy Bear House at 1525 Duffosat. Whenever I watch Toy Story, where it is implied neglected toys exist in some sort of existential limbo/hell, I can make myself feel better knowing there are places like the Teddy Bear House, where literally over 10,000 stuffed animals (well, bears) have found a forever home that will either warm your heart of chill your soul (I’m a softie. I think it’s cute). Anyways, the holiday light bedecked house offers tours this weekend ($10/5 adult/child) on Saturday (Dec 21) and Sunday (Dec 22) from 11am-7pm.

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    The Arts Council of New Orleans

    The Arts Council of New Orleans is a private, non-profit organization designated as the City’s official arts agency. The Arts Council serves as one of eight regional distributing agencies for state arts funds and administers available municipal arts grants and the Percent For Art program for the City of New Orleans. The Arts Council works in partnership with the City of New Orleans, community groups, local, state, and national governmental agencies, and other nonprofit arts organizations to meet the arts and cultural needs of the New Orleans community through a diversity of initiatives and services.

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    WWOZ 90.7 FM is the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Station offering listener-supported, volunteer-programmed community radio. WWOZ covers many events live in and around the city and across the United States, and broadcasts live from the famed New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival annually. WWOZ’s mission is to be the worldwide voice, archive, and flag-bearer of New Orleans culture and musical heritage.

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    Preservation Resource Center (PRC) has been preserving, restoring, and revitalizing New Orleans’ historic architecture and neighborhoods since 1974. Throughout its history, PRC has acted as an advocacy agent on a local, regional, and national scale, spreading the word about the city’s rich architectural heritage and the economic importance of preserving this heritage. PRC also takes a hands-on approach to preservation, with a history of successfully restoring over 1,400 properties. The center strengthens and revitalizes New Orleans in a way that is forward-looking and sustainable, yet sensitive to the city’s past and its heritage.

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    Southern Food

    The Southern Food and Beverage Museum is a nonprofit living history organization dedicated to the discovery, understanding and celebration of the food, drink and the related culture of the South. While based in New Orleans, the Museum examines and celebrates all the cultures that have come together through the centuries to create the South’s unique culinary heritage. The Museum is also home to the collections of the Museum of the American Cocktail, the Galerie d’Absinthe, and a demonstration kitchen.

    Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing educational opportunities to all Louisianans.

    The Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities’ mission is to provide all Louisianans with access to and an appreciation of their own rich, shared and diverse historical, literary and cultural heritage through grant-supported outreach programs, family literacy and adult reading initiatives, teacher professional development institutes, publications, film and radio documentaries, museum exhibitions, cultural tourism, public lectures, library projects, and other public humanities programming.

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