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New Orleans Christmas events: Creole Queen, Nutcracker, Bonfires, Photos

Written by  // Tuesday, 18 December 2012 11:42 //

 margaritaDarlings,

 

 

You can tell when the Saints are victorious. There an air of optimism that breathes through all of us.

 

 

My prayers have been in unison with the nation regarding the horrendous Connecticut school massacre attack on those innocent children and adults. I wish to express our deepest sympathies to all of the families of those lost, to the survivors and their families, and to the others impacted by the senseless and unthinkable tragedy that unfolded at Sandy Hook Elementary School. I strongly believe that need we more programs to help the mentally unstable and greater arms control. May the young souls rest in peace. You could sign a national sympathy card: http://www.causes.com/actions/1715318?recruiter_id=125377796&utm_campaign=invite&utm_medium=wall&utm_source=fb

I am still recovering from my very persistent cold but I managed to attend to participate in the Celebrity Bash Bartender to benefit LASPCA at Dijon, 1379 Annunciation Street. My darling friend, the fun-loving “Social Diva of New Orleans,” Sheri Bleuler McKee, photographer for www.nola.com , unfortunately had a car accident that prevented her from attending. We missed her, but the place was packed because the Young Professionals scheduled their monthly social that night at Dijon. It was great and I had to practice my bartender skills.I became an expert making delicious Chocolate Martinis!

 

On Wednesday, I attended the fabulous Ladies Leukemia League's annual FÊTE DE NÖEL luncheon and fashion show at the Hilton. I am glad I went because the international fashion show was superb and I could see myself in almost every one of the beautiful fashions presented there. It was wonderful to see the children who have conquered the disease as they served as young models. BRAVO!

 

That night, I was invited to attend one of the delicious WYES Season of Good Tastes Dinners at one of my favorite restaurants, Redemption, at 3835 Iberville, formerly a church and later Christian’s Restaurant. My darling friend, Executive Chef Greg Picolo, formerly of The Bistro at Maison De Ville, and the owner Maria Delaune, prepared a fabulous five-course menu. It was paired with delicious wines provided by Uncorked Fine Wines, Sprits and Brew and Community Coffee who have always been major sponsors.

 

On Thursday evening I attended the wonderful “Baroque Christmas” concert at the First Baptist Church, featuring the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Symphony Chorus of New Orleans singing Bach’s “Christmas Oratorio” and Handel’s “Messiah.” Backstage, after the performance, I got to meet choral director Steven Edwards and the LPO’s guest conductor, Maestro Glenn Langdon and his lovely wife Laurie Volny Langdon. A New Orleans area native, Laurie recently came in from New York where she is the lead dancer in the Broadway production of “Phantom of the Opera.” I am happy to report that the Langdons will soon be moving back to the New Orleans area, seven years after losing their house in Broadmoor.

 

On Saturday, after working all day at Vincent Art gallery, I attended, along with my brother Lorenzo Bergen, a few exquisite holiday soirees. (Check the photos)

 

This week is going to be another social marathon since I am going to start it by attending, on Tuesday, the opening of Disney's Mary Poppins which will be playing at Mahalia Jackson Theater, from December 18-23 as part of the Broadway in New Orleans series. The highlight of my week is going to be on Wednesday, December 19 - as every December - the festive Round Table Luncheon at the Grand Ballroom of the Royal Sonesta Hotel. The luncheon will feature guest speakers, live entertainment, and a special holiday menu with plenty of champagne, Darlings. Festive attire is encouraged!

 

The holiday luncheon will began with a Champagne Tasting courtesy of Lisa Tull of Republic Beverage. Reason enough not to miss it! Featured speakers include the Honorable John Young, Jr., Jefferson Parish President; Ronal Serpas, Superintendent of NOPD, and Food Goddess extraordinaire, author Lorin Gaudin, who will share the latest news on all things culinary and talk about her new book. . Our special guests this month will be members of the New Orleans Fire Department who will be autographing copies of their “Hot” 2013 Firefighters Calendar. Returning by popular demand is cabaret singer Suzaune Yee McKamey. She will be the featured performer accompanied by Jim Walpole on the piano.

 

Executive Chef Peter Page and his talented culinary team have planned a three-course gourmet feast with wine pairings. The luncheon is $45 inclusive with advance reservations or $50 at the door. Parking will be validated. For reservations, please contact Noel Scallan at 504-553-2220 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  We are expecting more than 200 people so make sure you can get in! .

 

I hope I have the strength to attend all the soirees that been scheduled for this week. I know that on Friday, I will stop briefly during lunch hour for a glass of champagne at Galatoire's. People paid a lot of money to sit and drink on the Friday before Christmas for a great cause. I do not know how much they raised on December 3 since I was in NYC, but usually it is around $50,000 that goes to the Galatoire's Foundation and other charities. I will keep you informed. I understand that the auction for the tables for the Friday before Mardi Gras is going to be January 14. Not to be missed.

 

The most spirited event of the holiday season, Tales of the Toddy, returns to New Orleans December 20 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm with its annual homage to yuletide drinks and the holiday spirits. Being held once again at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, the city’s best mixologists will be shaking up hot and cold holiday cocktails while chefs from the city’s most renowned restaurants serve up their own brand of holiday cheer. Those that are a little behind on their holiday shopping will also have the opportunity to browse unique gifts from several local vendors. Visit TalesoftheCocktail.com or call 504-948-0511.(SOLD OUT)

 

Darlings, I am happy to report that Southern Rep Theatre is extending its hit production of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol: a play with music adapted by Doris Baizley from December 20 to December 23, when it will have its final performance. I saw it and I loved it. The entire cast was superb.

 

Due to overwhelming response, The Creole Queen Paddlewheeler has added an additional date (Sunday, December 23) for their  unique children’s Cajun Holiday Tea with Papa Noel. Saturday December, 15 and 22 are sold out. Children will delight in holiday storytelling, fun activities, a magician elf, face painting, jolly characters, photos with Papa Noel and the opportunity to hold a live alligator all while cruising the mighty Mississippi River. That definitely sounds like fun!

 

On Friday, December 21 at 7:30 p.m., the Old U.S. Mint is presenting, for one night only, New Orleans-born Ashley Renée Watkins in an evening of old French carols; the art songs of Debussy and Fauré and today's Christmas classics. Ashley Renée will brighten your holidays with her full lyric soprano voice and wide selection of songs. Admission: $20.


That night I have invited to attend the annual Home for the Holidays - a Concert for the Daniel Price Foundation for Aspiring Artists at the House of Blues. The patron party will start at 6 p.m. with performances by NOCCA Jazz Band and Theresa Andersson. The general admission starts at 7:30 p.m. and will include performance by Rebirth Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins & Amanda Shaw, Chuck Perkins and Spy Boy Honey, Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs, Paul Sanchez, Eric Lindell, Jonathan Batiste, Stanton Moore Trio, Herlin Riley, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, James Andrews, and Rockin' Dopsie Jr. Last year I had a ball and for a great cause.

 

In case you did not know, Daniel Price was a talented artist and a loving husband, brother, son, and friend. A native of New Orleans, Daniel was tragically murdered at the age of 28 in San Francisco while trying to protect his wife from a would-be assailant. The Daniel Price Memorial Fund for Aspiring Artists was established to give exceptional fine arts graduates of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA) an opportunity to pursue higher educational studies in a fine arts discipline. The scholarship will enable future generations of young, talented artists like Daniel Price to follow their artistic passion while obtaining a college degree.For more information about Daniel's life, please visit the About Daniel page. I understand like last yearDrew Bress and his lovely wife Brittany will be present during the Patron Party. Not to be nissed!

 

On December 22 and 23 is Ballet Hysell’s production of “The Nutcracker” at the Jefferson Performing Arts Center in Metairie. The JPAS Symphony Orchestra conducted by Maestro Dennis G. Assaf presents this holiday classic composed by Tchaikovsky and created by the late award-winning Ballet Master, Harvey Hysell. The production stars two principal dancers from the Montgomery Ballet who are originally from the New Orleans area: wife and husband team Eleanor Bernard as “The Snow Queen” and Ian Carney as her “Prince.” They were recently seen on “America’s Got Talent” as part of the Lightwire Theatre.

 

And how can I mention one “Nutcracker” without mentioning the other major one in this area: the annual production by Delta Festival Ballet. They are giving three performances this weekend, Dec. 21-23, at Dixon Hall on the campus of Tulane University. Lead dancer, Janie Taylor, received her early training under DFB founders, Joseph and Maria Giacobbe, and she is now a principal dancer with the prestigious New York City Ballet.

 

On December 24 is the Christmas Eve Bonfire Adventure Tour. Celebrate a time-honored Louisiana tradition - the lighting of the bonfires on the banks of the Mississippi River! The Bonfire Adventure Tour includes round-trip narrated motor coach transportation and a guided tour of the San Francisco Plantation, the most opulent plantation house in the South. Come see the "feux de joie" (fires of joy) Visit www.graylineneworleans.com.

 

Darlings, do not forget that the Cathedral Christmas Concerts at St. Louis Cathedral are continuing , as well as Royal Sonesta's Teddy Bear Tea,  the Chef's Holiday Cooking Demonstrations, the Celebrations in the Oaks, the Reveillon dinners , and many other wonderful events. Visit http://www.neworleansonline.com/holiday/

Have a wonderful holiday!

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 Click here to see all of Margarita's great photos.for this week.

 

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December 18-23

Disney's Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins is bringing its own brand of Broadway magic to theaters across the country. Featuring the irresistible story and unforgettable songs from one of the most popular Disney films of all time, plus brand-new breathtaking dancenumbers and spectacular stage-craft it is everything you could ever want in a hit Broadway show! Mahalia Jackson Theater,1419 Basin Street. :1-800-745-3000

 
Tuesday, December 18

 Pianoman EntertainerARMAND ST. MARTIN

performs SOLO PIANO and will SING his Louisiana upbeat originals and classic New Orleans covers and will cover a wide range of

tunes in his repertoire at DOS JEFES 5535 Tchoupitoulas,9:30 pm - 12:30 am (past midnight),Dos Jefes: 504 891 8500
 

December 19

 Holiday Round Table Luncheon

The popular Round Table Luncheon hosted by yours truly will be at the Ballroom of the Royal Sonesta Hotel at noon.

The holiday luncheon will began with a Champagne Tasting courtesy of Lisa Tull of Republic Beverage. Reason enough not to miss it!Featured speakers include the Honorable John Young, Jr., Jefferson Parish President; Ronal Serpas, Superintendent of NOPD, and Food Goddess extraordinaire, author Lorin Gaudin, who will share the latest news on all things culinary and talk about her new book. . Our special guests this month will be members of the New Orleans Fire Department who will be autographing copies of their “Hot” 2013 Firefighters Calendar.Returning by popular demand is cabaret singer Suzaune Yee McKamey. She will be the featured performer accompanied by Jim Walpole on the piano. Bring your camera!

Executive Chef Peter Page and his talented culinary team have planned a three-course gourmet feast with wine pairings. The luncheon is $45 inclusive with advance reservations or $50 at the door. Parking will be validated. For reservations, please contact Noel Scallan at 504-553-2220 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

 December 20 -23

Teddy Bear Tea

The Royal Sonesta Hotel brings the return of a favorite family tradition held annually in the sparkling Grand  Ballroom - with two seatings 11 a.m.- 1 p.m. and 2;30 - 4:30 p.m.  For reservation call 504-553-2328

Friday, December 21

 Home for the Holidays - a Concert for the Daniel Price Foundation for Aspiring Artists at the House of Blues.

 The patron party will start at 6 p.m. with performances by NOCCA Jazz Band and Theresa Andersson. The general admission starts at 7:30 p.m. and will include performance by Rebirth Brass Band, Kermit Ruffins & Amanda Shaw, Chuck Perkins and Spy Boy Honey, Shamarr Allen and the Underdawgs, Paul Sanchez, Eric Lindell, Jonathan Batiste, Stanton Moore Trio, Herlin Riley, Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue, James Andrews, and Rockin' Dopsie Jr.

Bayoubuzz videos: Louisiana Tax Incentives and Film Industry

 

Friday, December 21

Ashley Renée Watkins- Christmas Concert - One Night Only
8 p.m. at the  The Old U.S. Mint

Featuring old French carols, the art songs of Debussy and Fauré and today's Christmas classics, New Orleans-born Ashley Renée Watkins will brighten your holidays with her full lyric soprano voice and wide selection of songs.Admission: $20. For more information and advance purchase call: 504.558.0493
 Visit: www.thelmf.org/music-at-the-mint

December 22 and 23

BALLET HYSELL’S  THE NUTCRACKER 

The JPAS Symphony Orchestra with Maestro Dennis G. Assaf, Conductor  presents this holiday classic created by award winning Ballet Master, Harvey Hysell, and starring two principal dancers from the Montgomery Ballet, while having been most recently seen on “America’s Got Talent” as part of the Lightwire Theatre: Eleanor Bernard as “The Snow Queen” and Ian Carney as her “Prince”. Join us for an evening of dance magic and rich, live orchestral music with the award winning NUTCRACKER- everyone’s holiday favorite! Jefferson Performing Arts Center (400 Phlox St., Metairie, La) 7:30pm Adult $30, Senior (65+)/Military $27, Student (with valid ID) $20 Child (12 & under) $15  www.jpas.org

 

 

December 23

 Cajun Holiday Tea with Papa Noel

The Creole Queen Paddlewheeler has added an additional date (Sunday, December 23) for their a unique children’s Cajun Holiday Tea with Papa Noel. Saturday December, 15 and 22 are sold out. Children will delight in holiday storytelling, fun activities, a magician elf, face painting, jolly characters, photos with Papa Noel and the opportunity to hold a live alligator all while cruising the mighty Mississippi River. The fun-filled, family festivity will also feature a classic tea with tasty hors d’oeuvres for all ages, scrumptious desserts and a bountiful candy buffet. Additionally, each child will receive a stuffed gator to take home. Guests board (at the foot of Poydras Street at Riverwalk) the Creole Queen at 1:30pm and cruise from 2-3:30pm. Cost is $49 for adults, $34 for children under 12 years of age and free for children 2 and under. Reservations are required in advance by calling 504.529.4567 or at creolequeen.com.

December 24

Christmas Eve Bonfire Adventure Tour

Celebrate a time honored Louisiana tradition - the lighting of the bonfires on the banks of the Mississippi River! The Bonfire Adventure Tour includes round-trip narrated motor coach transportation and a guided tour of the San Francisco Plantation, the most opulent plantation house in North Come see the "feux de joie" (fires of joy) Visit www.graylineneworleans.com

December 24

Christmas Eve  on the Steamboat Natchez

Celebrate in a Victorian -decorated dining room on the last steamboat on the Mississippi River. 6 :30 to 9:30 p.m. at Toulouse Street and the Mississippi River. 504-569-1401.

 

Continuing :

December 18,19,20,21

Enjoy your week!

Cocktailly yours
Margarita Bergen,M.Ed.
Society Editor - New Orleans Living Magazine
Hostess of the Royal Sonesta's Round Table Luncheon
Social/Cultural Columnist - www.bayoubuzz.com
811 Marigny Street, Unit C
New Orleans, Louisiana 70117
Tel/ Cell
504-495-9181

 

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