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Holiday events make Baton Rouge sparkle and shine

Photo provided by Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre -- The Land of Sweets Tea is 2 p.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at Boudreaux's, 2647 Government St., in Baton Rouge.

We’ve given thanks and survived Black Friday. The Christmas season can officially begin. To say there’s a lot to do in the area between now and the end of the year would be an understatement. Teas and trees, music and markets, symphonies and skating, Nativity scenes and Nutcrackers galore. Take your pick, and soak in the… Continue reading →

Saints dinners set the table for team unity

Associated Press photo by Duane Burleson -- Saints quarterback Drew Brees (center) said weekly dinners with his offensive line, including tackle Zach Strief (left) and guard Jahri Evans, help build camaraderie that can make a difference on the field.

It has all the makings of a classic guys’ night out — the tight-knit group of colleagues who faithfully set aside time during a high-pressure work week to share a meal and relax together off the clock. And so what if their gatherings tend to turn heads and ignite a giddy buzz across the evening’s dining… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area calendar for Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2014

Photo provided by the LSU School of Music -- The LSU Wind Ensemble will present a concert Tuesday in the LSU Union Theater. Titled 'Metamorphosis,' the concert will offer music that transforms sound and musical landscape. The concert will be conducted by Damon Talley.

The Baton Rouge area calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2014. It covers plays, shows, parties, family-oriented entertainment and everything in between. Continue reading →

SLU’s marching band heads to Texas to cheer team to playoff victory

SLU Public Information Office photo by Randy Bergeron -- Southeastern Louisiana University's 'Spirit of the Southland' Marching Band marches to Strawberry Stadium before a home football game. The band will make the trip to Huntsville, Texas, on Saturday for Southeastern's playoff game against Sam Houston State University.

Put a “reserved” sign on that spot in front of the band. That’s where the key player of the game will conduct the Spirit of the Southland in the school’s fight song after the Lions’ victory over the Bearkats on Saturday. Oh, this isn’t meant to jinx the game’s outcome.… Continue reading →

Melissa Etheridge lands back in New Orleans

Photo by JOHN TSIAVIS -- Melissa Etheridge

Melissa Etheridge — the two-time Grammy winner and Oscar winner whose 1993 album, “Yes I Am,” sold 6 million copies — hasn’t played in New Orleans since Hurricane Katrina. She’s making a belated return Monday for a show at the Saenger Theatre. Etheridge, the singer whose gritty, passionate hits include “Bring Me Some Water,” “I’m the… Continue reading →

‘Frozen’ star Idina Menzel to perform at New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre in July

Photo by ROBIN WONG -- Idina Menzel

Singer and actress Idina Menzel, the voice of Elsa in the animated Disney hit “Frozen,” will perform at the Saenger Theatre on July 30. Menzel’s recording of “Let It Go,” the Oscar-winning song from “Frozen,” was a Top 10 hit and a million-seller. “Frozen” has also become the highest-grossing animated movie in history.… Continue reading →

Professor Longhair film reaches halfway mark

File photo -- Professor Longhair

“Tipitina,” “Big Chief,” “Mardi Gras in New Orleans.” Those and other songs by Professor Longhair, not to mention his brilliantly original piano playing, are part of the New Orleans soundtrack. The Bach of rock, as Allen Toussaint calls the late Henry Roeland Byrd, is now the subject of a documentary film.… Continue reading →

Outlying areas calendar for Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2014

Photo by RICK OLIVIER -- New Orleans funk & soul legends, The Jon Cleary Trio, will perform for La Fete du festival: Thursday at Acadiana Center for the Arts in Lafayette.

2ND ANNUAL EVERYBODY’S BIRTHDAY ZYDECO CELEBRATION: 9 p.m., St. Peter Claver Hall, 252 Church St., Grand Coteau. $10, advance; $12, door. LOUISIANA RENAISSANCE FESTIVAL: Go back in time and see kings, queens and knights in shining armor. Food, drink, and merry-making. Seven stages, 100 merchants, and a cast… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2014

Photo provided by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge -- Delfeayo Marsalis -- Delfeayo Marsalis, the trombone-playing member of New Orleans' musical Marsalis family, leads the Uptown Jazz Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, at the Manship Theatre's Hartley/Vey Studio Theatre.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

‘Call of Duty’ multiplayer tops rote story

Photo provided by Activision -- 'Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare' offers levels built with polish and detail, but too often feel like they’re simply ticking boxes required for a modern first-person shooter.

Kevin Spacey can’t save “Call of Duty” from itself. But perhaps an Iron Man-like “exoskeleton” can. Spacey plays the egomaniacal leader of a private military corporation in the single-player story mode of “Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare” (Activision, for the PC, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One, $59.99). Despite often choppy animation of… Continue reading →

New Orleans calendar for Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2014

Advocate photo by VERONICA DOMINACH -- Byron Perkins, 8, adds his flag to the globe during last year's Draw-a-thon at  Marigny Opera House in New Orleans. This year's event is Saturday

The New Orleans calendar is a listing of events taking place in New Orleans and surround areas from Nov. 28-Dec. 4, 2014. It covers music, plays, shows, parties, family-oriented entertainment and everything in between. Continue reading →

‘The Congress’ is chaotic feast of ideas

Photo provided by Drafthouse Films -- Robin Wright plays a version of herself in 'The Congress.'

A movie that’s largely hallucination translated into film and animation, “The Congress” presents questions and observations in childlike, otherworldly ways. It’s a drama, it’s a cartoon, playful and sad, satirical and moving. All these things and a chaotic visual feast as well. “The Congress” is about many things. It takes vicious aim at Hollywood and… Continue reading →

Cosby testimony describes accuser’s spiked story

Bill Cosby

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Bill Cosby testified under oath in 2005 that he gave the National Enquirer an exclusive interview about looming sexual-assault accusations by a Canadian woman against him in exchange for the tabloid spiking a second accuser’s story. Excerpts released Wednesday of Cosby’s deposition from a civil lawsuit filed by Andrea Constand quote Cosby as saying… Continue reading →

Documentary revisits death of Huey P. Long

Associated Press file photo -- Sen. Huey P. Long addresses students at LSU in Baton Rouge on Nov. 12, 1934.

In “61 Bullets,” Austin filmmakers David Modigliani and Lucy Kreutz revisit the assassination of populist Louisiana politician Huey P. Long. On Sept. 8, 1935, the former governor and then U.S. senator was shot in a marble hallway of the Louisiana State Capitol. Instantly, the senator’s bodyguards fired 60 bullets into Dr. Carl Weiss, the… Continue reading →

‘Duck Dynasty’ star makes ‘Dancing’ finals

ABC photo by Adam Taylor -- Sadie Robertson and Mark Ballas react to the judges' scores on Monday night's 'Dancing with the Stars.'

Louisiana contestant Sadie Robertson has made it to Tuesday’s finale of ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars.” The “Duck Dynasty” reality show personality and her professional dance partner Mark Ballas wowed the judges Monday night with a repeat of the samba they performed Oct. 6, dancing to Pharrell’s “Hunter.” The couple scored 38/40 with the… Continue reading →

Aretha Franklin blasts author of unauthorized bio

FILE - In this Oct. 1, 2014 file photo, Aretha Franklin attends the 92Y Presents Aretha Franklin and Clive Davis In Conversation at the 92nd St. Y in New York. Franklin, in a statement to the Associated Press on Tuesday, called David Ritzs unauthorized biography, Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin, a trashy book. Ritz has written a number of biographies, ranging from Etta James to Rick James to Ray Charles. He has won the Ralph Gleason Music Book Award four times, and last year he received the ASCAP Timothy White Award for outstanding musical biography for the Buddy Guy book, When I Left Home. (Photo by Brad Barket/Invision/AP, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — The Queen of Soul says don’t waste your money — or soul — on the recently released unauthorized biography about her. In a statement, Aretha Franklin called David Ritz’s “Respect: The Life of Aretha Franklin,” a “trashy book.” The two have a history of collaborating: Franklin and award-winning Ritz worked together on… Continue reading →

’Wizard of Oz’ Cowardly Lion costume fetches $3 million

This Nov. 21, 2014 photo shows Bert Lahr's Cowardly Lion costume and a three-sheet poster from

NEW YORK (AP) — Bert Lahr’s Cowardly Lion costume from the classic film “The Wizard of Oz” has sold for more than $3 million at an auction in New York City. The big cat outfit had been authenticated as the one Lahr wore in the 1939 film. Its face is a sculpted likeness of the late actor.… Continue reading →

‘Frozen’ star Idina Menzel to perform at New Orleans’ Saenger Theatre in July

Photo by ROBIN WONG -- Idina Menzel

Singer and actress Idina Menzel, the voice of Elsa in the animated Disney hit “Frozen,” will perform at the Saenger Theatre on July 30. Menzel’s recording of “Let It Go,” the Oscar-winning song from “Frozen,” was a Top 10 hit and a million-seller. “Frozen” has also become the highest-grossing animated movie in history. The… Continue reading →

‘Pitch’ trailer features several BR spots

Advocate file photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Crews work to film 'Pitch Perfect 2' in June at BREC's Highland Road Community Park in Baton Rouge.

There’s the LSU Quad, BREC’s Highland Road Community Park and the LSU Union Theater. Those are just a few of the local sites which pop up on the just-released trailer for the feature film “Pitch Pefect 2.” The film was shot over the summer in Baton Rouge and is a sequel to 2012’s “Pitch Perfect,” also… Continue reading →

More Cosby shows canceled as women allege assault

In this Nov. 6, 2014, file photo, Entertainer Bill Cosby gestures during an interview about the upcoming exhibit, Conversations: African and African-American Artworks in Dialogue, at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art in Washington.  Cosby's appearance at Tuscons Desert Diamond Casino has been canceled. No reason was given by the casino for the canceled date, which had been scheduled for Feb. 15. In the past week, numerous allegations of sexual abuse by Cosby from a number of women have led to canceled interviews and NBC and Netflix projects. The Cosby Show also was pulled off the air on TV Land. Cosby issued a statement Sunday discrediting decades-old accusations and his attorney has denied four of the allegations. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

NEW YORK (AP) — Stage performances by Bill Cosby in Las Vegas, Illinois, Arizona and South Carolina have been canceled as more women come forward accusing the entertainer of sexually assaulting them many years ago. Officials at the Treasure Island hotel and casino on the Las Vegas strip said Friday they mutually agreed with the comedian to… Continue reading →

Review: Jennifer Lawrence shines in ‘Mockingjay’

Photo by MURRAY CLOSE -- Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen in 'The Hunger Gamers: Mockingjay -- Part 1.'

“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1” bides its time. In doing so, the film diminishes the impact of its heroine, Katniss Everdeen, and mutes the urgency in Suzanne Collins’ futuristic “Hunger Games” novels. Breaking book No. 3 of the “Hunger Games” trilogy into two movies, the filmmakers responsible for “Mockingjay — Part 1” deliver… Continue reading →

Red’s best bets for holiday movie season

Photo by MARK POKOMY -- Ian McKellen, left, and Orlando Bloom reprise their roles in the final installment of the Hobbit series, 'The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies.'

The holiday movie season starts Friday with surefire hit “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay — Part 1. Like the book series-based “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” movie franchises that preceded the likewise lucrative “Hunger Games” movies, the “Mockingjay” filmmakers are stretching their box office receipts by dividing one book into two movies. Let’s hope they don’t save all of the best… Continue reading →

Making music is a family affair for Parmalee

Photo by BBR Music Group -- Parmalee

After grinding hard in the music business for a decade, country-rock band Parmalee’s efforts paid big rewards this year. Two of the North Carolina group’s songs went Top 10. “Carolina” became the band’s first No. 1 hit and “Close Your Eyes” recently became the group’s second Top 10 hit. Both songs are from… Continue reading →

LSU brings ‘Dido and Aeneas’ opera to stage for two performances

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --   Aeneas, played by Jame Turcotte, lifts up Dido, played by Chelsey Geeting, in a scene from LSU Opera's 'Dido and Aeneas.'

Aeneas is the perfect guy — strong yet gentle, protective and attentive, not to mention good-looking. He’s also a Trojan hero. Maybe he’s too perfect, which is reason enough for Dido’s mistrust. For when something seems too good to be true, it usually is, and Aeneas will deceive her before all is said and done, thereby… Continue reading →

Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro hits the mark from start to finish

Photo by Tim Arnold -- The fig cobbler with brandy sauce at Jolie's Louisiana Bistro was outstanding.

Sometimes eating out is about sustenance, and sometimes it’s the night’s main event. Our party enjoyed the latter recently at Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro in Lafayette. Elegant yet relaxed, we enjoyed good food and good conversation with charming service. The doors of the spacious dining area open up to the view of a beautiful dark… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge area calendar for Nov. 21-27, 2014

Photo provided by Feline Features LLC -- 'PEG + CAT + HOLIDAYS,' a new one-hour special including three holiday-themed stories, will premiere Dec. 17 on PBS Kids.Young fans can see a screening of the special and meet Peg + Cat at an event Monday at the LPB Studios.

The Baton Rouge calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surround areas from Nov. 21-27, 2014. It covers music, plays, shows, parties, family-oriented entertainment and everything in between. Continue reading →

Foo Fighters’ documentary brings them back to N.O.

Photo by ANDREW STUART -- Dave Grohl joins Preservation Hall Jazz Band players Ben Jaffe, Clint Maedgen, Rickie Monie, Mark Braud, Ronell Johnson and Freddie Lonzo in New Orleans in May.

London’s massive Wembley Stadium and New Orleans’ tiny Preservation Hall. The Foo Fighters, the American rock band led by singer, guitarist and former Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl, performed in the vastly different concert spaces with equal delight. In May, the Foo Fighters turned Preservation Hall into their recording studio. The traditional jazz venue at 726 St.… Continue reading →

Shows to Watch for Nov. 21-27, 2014

Photo by SHELBY DUNCAN -- A.J. Croce --A.J. Croce, the singer, songwriter and recording artist son of Jim Croce, performs Friday at the Red Dragon Listening Room, 2401 Florida St. Patrick Sylvest opens the show at 8 p.m. Croce recorded his latest album, 'Twelve Tales,' in various cities throughout the country. Those cities include New Orleans, where Croce worked with local musicians and songwriter, producer and pianist Allen Toussaint.

The Shows to Watch calendar is a listing of events taking place in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas from Nov. 21-27, 2014. It covers rock, reggae, jazz, country and everything in between. Continue reading →

Outlying areas calendar for Nov. 21-27, 2014

Advocate file photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- The Hammond Farmers Market is open 8 a.m.-noon Saturday in downtown  Hammond.

JAMBALAYA LUNCH PLATE FUNDRAISER: 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Crossroads Church, 1006 N. Oak St., Hammond. Jambalaya, white beans, bread and dessert plates, $8. To benefit SOAR (Strengthening Outcomes with Autism Resources). (985) 792-7627 or info@soarwithautism.org… Continue reading →

One Direction’s ‘Four’ teen dream in song

One Direction has done the almost impossible for a boy band: The English-Irish quintet has held the fickle attentions of teenage girls the world over for three years — the equivalent of 30 in tween years — and the band’s new album, “Four,” isn’t likely to diminish the group’s stronghold.… Continue reading →

LSU Theatre presents Fall Dance Concert

The LSU Department of Theatre will present its 2014 Fall Dance Concert at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Reilly Theater, Tower Drive on campus. The concert features the LSU Dance Ensemble with choreography by Sandra Parks, head of dance, along with LSU dance instructors Blair Buras, Christine Chrest and Susan Perlis. The… Continue reading →

Fairs & festivals for Nov. 21-27, 2014

Photo provided by JOE MILAM -- The Louisiana Indian Heritage Association's 2014 Princess is Jaclyn Wagers. Its fall powwow takes place Saturday and Sunday in Gonzales.

41ST ANNUAL BROADMOOR HIGH ARTS & CRAFTS FESTIVAL: 4 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Broadmoor High School, 10100 Goodwood Blvd. There will be hand-crafted items including paintings, toys, jewelry and more from more than 200 artists. Santa will be the special guest. $3, parking $2. (225) 926-1420 or Continue reading →

The next course at Arnaud’s? A new one.

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--The sister and brother team of Katy and Archie Casbarian run Arnaud's Restaurant together and are beginning to put their own stamp on the menu.

The black drum Mitchell was arrayed at a jaunty angle, its bright, light-tasting sauce was a reduction of bouillabaisse broth and it rested over a cool, crunchy tangle of mirliton slaw. It was nothing revolutionary, but it did feel contemporary and since it was served at Arnaud’s Restaurant, the dish was definitely a signal.… Continue reading →

‘Civilization’ shoots for the stars

Photo provided by 2K Games -- A scene unfolds in the new video game, 'Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth.'

Our planet isn’t in very good shape. The good news, according to “Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth” (2K Games, for the PC, $49.99), is that we’ll be able to hang around for another 500 years or so. The bad news: After that, we’d better start looking for a new home. It’s not the freshest sci-fi premise… Continue reading →

New Orleans calendar for Nov. 21-27, 2014

Rick Bragg will sign copies of his recent book, 'Jerry Lee Lewis: His Own Story,' at 6 p.m. Friday at Octavia Books in New Orleans.

The New Orleans calendar is a listing of events taking place in New Orleans and surround areas from Nov. 21-27, 2014. It covers music, plays, shows, parties, family-oriented entertainment and everything in between. Continue reading →

O’Keefe painting sells for record $44.4 million in NYC

Artist Georgia O'Keefe, shown in an undated portrait by by Ralph Looney. (AP Photo/Ralph Looney, University Press of Colorado)

NEW YORK (AP) — A Georgia O’Keeffe painting of a simple white flower has sold for $44.4 million, more than triple the previous auction record for a work by a female artist. Sotheby’s New York says the 1932 painting, “Jimson Weed/White Flower No. 1,” sold Thursday during the auction house’s sale of American art. The painting… Continue reading →

Mike Nichols, crafter of films, plays, dies at 83

Journalist Diane Sawyer and director Mike Nichols arrive at the AFI Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring Mike Nichols, at Sony Pictures Studios in this June 10, 2010, file photo taken in Culver City, Calif. ABC News confirms director Mike Nichols and husband of Diane Sawyer died Wednesday evening Nov. 19, 2014. He was 83. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

NEW YORK (AP) — Mike Nichols, the director of matchless versatility who brought fierce wit, caustic social commentary and wicked absurdity to such film, TV and stage hits as “The Graduate,” “Angels in America” and “Monty Python’s Spamalot,” has died. He was 83. The death was confirmed by ABC News President James Goldston on Thursday. Nichols died… Continue reading →

Check out a sneak peek of Baton Rouge-shot movie ‘Pitch Perfect 2’

Advocate file photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Crews work to film 'Pitch Perfect 2' June 20 in Highland Road Park in Baton Rouge.

Audiences can get their first peek at the Baton Rouge-shot “Pitch Perfect 2” movie on the cover and inside this week’s EW magazine. The film was shot over the summer and is a sequel to 2012’s “Pitch Perfect,” also shot in the city, mostly on the LSU campus. According to the movie database IMDb,… Continue reading →

NBC scraps Cosby television project

Bill Cosby

NEW YORK (AP) — NBC says it has scrapped a Bill Cosby comedy that was under development, the second outlet within a day to put off or abandon a Cosby project as another sexual assault allegation against the comic has emerged. NBC spokeswoman Rebecca Marks said Wednesday the project “is no longer under development,” and had no… Continue reading →

Foo Fighters at House of Blues on Friday, just in time for HBO premiere

Photo by  STEVE GULLICK Foo Fighters perform at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

House of Blues announced on Tuesday that the Foo Fighters will perform at the Decatur Street music venue Friday, Nov. 21. Tickets must be purchased directly through Ticketmaster, www.ticketmaster.com or by calling 1-800-745-3000. Tickets go on sale at noon, Wednesday, Nov. 19. Price is $20. All tickets for the Foo Fighters’ House… Continue reading →

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas welcomes new sand tiger shark

Audubon Aquarium of the Americas has announced the addition of its newest resident to the Gulf of Mexico exhibit. Caroline, a 3-year-old sand tiger shark, arrived on Nov. 5 from the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher. The sand tiger shark is listed as vulnerable on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List and is… Continue reading →

Reality-based networks reaching into scripted TV

This image released by Bravo shows Paul Adelstein, from left, Conner Dwelly, Lisa Edelstein, and Dylan Schombing in a scene from

NEW YORK (AP) — Can a zebra change its stripes? Not likely. But these days numerous reality-based networks are sporting new stripes in the form of scripted fare as they move to stretch their brand and freshen their look. Consider: — TruTV last month added several scripted series to the mix, including the sketch-comedy show… Continue reading →

Stars hunger for more ‘Hunger Games’

Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth, the stars of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1,” speak about wanting to keep the franchise going forever at the movie’s Los Angeles premiere.… Continue reading →

Cosby clarifies denial as new allegations arise

Comedian Bill Cosby is still under fire -- and staying quiet about -- various sexual abuse allegations alleged to have taken place over the last four decades.… Continue reading →

Prague wall dedicated to John Lennon painted over

A woman walks past Prague's

PRAGUE, Czech Republic (AP) — Prague’s colorful wall dedicated to the memory of John Lennon has been painted over. The wall located at the heart of the Czech capital began to be painted with Lennon’s images and related graffiti after the Beatle’s assassination in 1980. Under the communist regime, it became a symbol of freedom and… Continue reading →