Be sure to watch the X Factor when it premiers to see what New Orleans had to offer. While many contestants weren’t local, one local group was passed. And it’s probably the first group of its kind for any such singing competition. Raw NOLA’s Kaleidoscope showcase was indeed as colorful as its namesake. You can catch the action again with their show Elevation at Eiffel Society on July 11th at 7 p.m. This week’s events range from cultured and sophisticated to downright thrilling and dirty.
The new historical musical play Upstairs premiers on Thursday night at Cafe Istanbul in the Healing Center. The musical tells the true story of a gay club that was deliberately set on fire, killing numerous patrons. The show will play every day during the weekend and tickets are $30.
On Friday night, the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra will pay homage to the master musician Ellis Marsalis, composer Harold Batiste, and the late James Black. The Joy Theater will host the New Orleans Jazz Institute Master Series sponsored by the Louisiana Campaign for Tobacco-Free Living will begin at 8 p.m. And painter George Rodrigue has created a special Blue Dog Piano and will be on hand to unveil the masterpiece. Visit TheNOJO.com for more information. If you’re still up for some late night live tunes, the indie synth-pop band Small Black performs at the Hi Ho Lounge at 10 p.m. Just a few doors down, Shawn Whitaker, Demonic Destruction, and more take over Siberia at 10 p.m. for $7.
Prepare a designated driver for Saturday because you’ll want to attend the annual WYES International Beer Tasting which is being held at a new location: Mardi Gras World. Tickets are $30 for three hours (6 p.m.-9 p.m.) of uninhibited consumption of local beers, brews from around the world, and even some home-brewed varieties that are otherwise unavailable to the average consumer. My favorite beer last year was from a homebrewer that infused his ale with rosemary. Go up the street, Canal Street, to see Webb Wilder and Tom Comet perform at Chickie Wah Wah at 10 p.m.
The soon-to-be blockbuster hit World War Z premieres on Friday, but you can live out the exhilarating terror for yourself! There’s a few spots left to survive the zombie apocalypse on Sunday. The Zombie Run is invading City Park. You will have the chance to run for your life from live, flesh-hungry zombies in a movie-set style 5K course. Learn more about the race or where to go to be a spectator at Thezombierun.com. The race begins early in the morning, so if you attend the WYES Beer Tasting the night before, try and control yourself. If you survive the undead hordes, you can enjoy Queensryche at Tipitina’s at 8 p.m.