We're winding up the month of February and we're also heading into the Lent season (plus, it's a Leap Year). Which means...yep, Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, party time. Now, San Diego is about as far away from New Orleans as you can get, but geography doesn't prevent San Diegans from co-opting an event - any excuse to throw a party, right? Here are my Best Bets for the week of February 23-29.
The beads get tossin' and the revelry lasts all night in this 9th addition of Mardi Gras in the Gaslamp. Several blocks of the Gaslamp are cordoned off for this 21-and-up party ($15 per person), with a parade, Zydeco and Cajun music, circus performers, beads and lots of drinking. Oh yeah, and all the bars and restaurants will be doing their New Orleans thing as well.
More for the curiosity factor than anything else, to see Elvis' only progeny, who, late in life, decided to follow in her father's musical footsteps. It remains to be seen whether he passed along any of his genes other than the droopy eyelids and snarling lip. On top of that, she used to be married to Michael Jackson. That lone is worth the price of admission. $30
Now, if you want to hear a vocal powerhouse, this is the lady you want to see. Shemekia Copeland is a young blues singer in the old school sense - she's one of the few young black artists who is carrying on the tradition of blues. And boy, can she belt them like no one since Etta James! She's sure to set the Belly Up on fire and it's only $13.
Speaking of the blues, another talented black performer taking up the blues mantle is Keb' Mo. Steeped in the traditional acoustic, Delta-styled sounds with a contemporary twist, Keb' Mo delivers the blues in an ingratiating and appealing way. $45
You may not have heard of Rufus Wainwright, and if you have, he is an acquired taste for most. But he is an interesting artist with a distinctive vocal delivery. More Tin Pan Alley and Gershwin (with a little Cabaret thrown in) than modern pop, Wainwright makes lush, emotional music that is impressive for its craft. He harkens back to a more creative day than the present. $22
A musical based on the book by Ludwig Bemelmans. When Madeline is rescued from the River Seine by the courageous dog, Genevieve, Lord Cucuface ousts the new pet from the old house in Paris that was covered with vines. Madeline vows vengeance, and the twelve little girls in two straight lines scour the Paris streets in search of their pup in this heart-warming, musical story. A San Diego Junior Theatre premiere. Through March 14