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March at the Mahalia means music magic

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March is second-lining its way to New Orleans theatres Mahalia Jackson and Saenger with a medley of musical magic. Here's what's happening:

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The Steve Miller Band – A 1967 rock band from San Francisco hits the stage March 6. It formed amidst the psychedelic scene, of which influenced several of the group's earlier songs. With a mass appeal across generations, the Steve Miller Band has headlined and collaborated a range of music that includes working with country star Kenny Chesney. Over 30 million records across a 40-year career places the Steve Miller Band among top artists in classic rock. The show is set for 8pm on Thursday, March 6, at the Saenger Theatre. Tickets and information are available here.

Memphis the Musical – The latest production from BroadwayInNewOrleans hits the stage March 11-16. The show reveals a radio DJ whose desire is to change the world, and a club singer wanting her big break. Based on actual events, the 2010 Tony Award Best Musical is complete with “explosive dancing, irresistible songs, and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love” (MemphisTheMusical). Tickets and showtime information can be found here. It all happens at the Saenger.

Shostakovich “Leningrad” SymphonyLouisiana Philharmonic Orchestra's latest program highlights Symphony No. 7 from Dmitri Shostakovich. Nicknamed “Leningrad,” the composition was initially dedicated to Vladimir Lennin, however Shostakovich changed his mind upon completion of the piece, and switched its dedication to the city of Leningrad. To date, it remains among his most well-know works. Also included in the night's program is Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 15. The performance is set for 7:30pm on March 20 at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre. Tickets can be found online, or at the theatre box office.

Pan-America Life Fiesta Sinfonica – LPO returns that Friday (March 22) with guest clarinetist/saxophonist Paquito D'Rivera for a fun-filled Caribbean/Latin concert. D'Rivera has received nine Grammy awards, and has recorded over 30 solo albums among many other compilations. Born in Havana, D'Rivera studied at the Havana Conservatory of Music and was a featured soloist with the Cuban National Symphony at the age of 17. His music is wide and non-classifiable, as his background includes Jazz, Bebop, Latina, and many classical contributions. More information and tickets are available online. The concert is set for 7:30pm at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre.

The Joffrey Ballet – March ends with the New Orleans Ballet Association's return of the Joffrey Ballet. The performance will feature rare works by legendary American dance and Broadway experts Jerome Robbins and Twyla Tharp. The program is pegged as “ballroom meets Broadway,” and features costumes from Oscar de la Renta. It happens March 29 at 8pm at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre. Tickets available here.

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