The V Side: Heat and cool with bonfires and smooth jazz
FRIDAY / On a roll: The name says it all: Bounce, Rock, Roll, Skate, an adults-only adventure on wheels to benefit Hagar’s House, a local sanctuary for women and children. Admission is $10, which includes skates (while skating is not required, partying is mandatory, say organizers). The “roller rink discotheque funk throwdown party” takes place from 10:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Friday at Airline Skate Center, 6711 Airline Drive.
SATURDAY / Shaq treatment: Superman. Diesel. The Big Aristotle. Shaq Fu. The Big Shamrock. Shaq. Whatever you call him, Shaquille O’Neal is a larger-then-life legend who went from LSU to the NBA (where he racked up 28,596 career points) before tackling Hollywood and the rap world. He recounts it all in Shaq Uncut: My Story. The big guy himself will be on hand to sign copies of the book from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Garden District Book Shop, 2727 Prytania St.
SATURDAY-SUNDAY / Art scores: The artists of YAYA (Young Artists/Young Aspirations) present a one-weekend-only holiday rendition of children’s favorite Peter and the Wolf. The Prokofiev score, adapted for New Orleans, is directed by Helen Gillet, with local actress and singer Natasha Ramer narrating. Set pieces were originally commissioned by the Guggenheim Museum. Performances take place Saturday and Sunday at 1:30 and 3 p.m. in the Stern Auditorium at New Orleans Museum of Art. Tickets are $20 for adults, $10 for kids ($10/$5 for NOMA members).
SATURDAY / Let the bonfires begin: Hurricane Katrina rained on a lot of fun things, but few were missed like the annual Algiers Bonfire. The annual salute to Santa returned for the first time last year, and it’s on again this holiday season with festivities from 5 to 9 p.m. Saturday at Algiers Point on the riverfront. In addition to the traditional music (Wanda Rouzan, Glen David Andrews, among others), food and a riverboat parade with Jolly Old Nick, there will be a new twist to this one: Instead of lighting a house structure on fire, an art piece by Jana Napoli, called Floodwall and built of Katrina-damaged dresser drawers, will be set ablaze.
SATURDAY / Smart art: Local art types look forward to the first week of December for DesCours, a free 10-day event held by the AIA that invites architects and artists to New Orleans to create 10 installations in “hidden” locations around the city. It’s experimental, technological, forward-thinking and always unexpected. Click here for a map to the 2011 installations, which include a inBloom, a floating field of blossoms linked to hot spots triggered by the audience, a light show called bayou-luminescence, Starfield, a recreation of the constellation Draco, and much more. The event kicks off from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday with an opening at the AIA New Orleans Center for Design, 1000 St. Charles Ave., and an art walk of 20 galleries in the arts district. For a complete calendar of events, click here.
SATURDAY / Artists at work: Behold beauty emerge before your very eyes at ART-O-MATIC, an experience at which impassioned local artists create work onsite, from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday at L’Entrepot, 527 Julia Street. Enjoy music, cocktails, food and chatter while the artists create; as soon as each piece is completed, it goes up for sale. Bravo!
SATURDAY-SUNDAY / Just for kids: The Contemporary Arts Center launches a Children’s Theater Series with Memory Mambo by Chard Gonzalez Dance Theatre. The story is about Richard, infatuated with memory, and Mary, suffering from forgetfulness, who meet in dance class. Performances are at noon Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the CAC, 900 Camp Street. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for children 12 and under and CAC members.
SUNDAY / Wine and song: Meet clarinetist Evan Christopher, who pens “Riffing on Tradition” every Friday for NolaVie, at his latest PopUp Jazz Brunch, from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Clever Wine Bar, 3700 Orleans Ave. Featured musicians are Mike Pellera, Peter Harris and Ocie Davis. The brunch menu is by Edible Alchemy, and cocktails will be shaken by Lovely-Dee. The $20 admission includes your first cocktail. Seating is limited, so call for reservations at Cork and Bottle, 504.483.6314.
BONUS MUSIC PICK: Dragon Smoke at 10 p.m. Friday at Tipitina's. It's a rare chance to see this New Orleans supergroup outside of the 10-day Jazzfest window, advises music writer Wesley Hodges of Live Music Blog: NOLA.
The V Side features offbeat entertainment options for the weekend, from NolaVie.