A New Orleans vibe in Beverly

John Fletcher’s “School’s Out” is part of a new exhibit in Salem.
John Fletcher’s “School’s Out” is part of a new exhibit in Salem.

NEW ORLEANS STATE OF MIND: For the second year, Mardi Gras is being celebrated on stage at the Larcom Theatre in Beverly.

Henri Smith and his band, along with Grammy Award-winners Charles Neville and Amadee Castenell, perform New Orleans jazz, blues, and Creole and Cajun music Friday and next Sunday.

Last year, the group played to a sold-out crowd.


“The tremendously warm reception to this joyous music inspired us to bring them back this year,” said Peter Van Ness of Gloucester, who with his wife, Vicki , owns the production and promotion company gimmeLive.

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Smith is a singer, recording artist, and bandleader, whose career began in his hometown of New Orleans. He frequently performed and served as master of ceremonies for the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

After losing his home in Hurricane Katrina, Smith moved to Massachusetts. He since has been performing with his band, New Orleans Friends and Flavours, locally, throughout the country, and in Europe.

Saxophonist Neville is known as one of the Neville Brothers. But his experience on saxophone also includes rhythm and blues, funk, jazz, be-bop, popular, and even American Indian music.

Castenell is a tenor saxophonist and flautist who has played for 30 years as part of the multi-layered musical scene in New Orleans.


He also has been an important member of the Allen Toussaint Orchestra. When not touring, he is an in-demand studio musician.

The Mardi Gras concerts are at 8 p.m. Friday and 3 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets start at $19. Call 978-525-9093 or visit gimmeLive.TV.

A MUSICAL MYSTERY: Stoneham Theatre presents the musical mystery comedy “Something’s Afoot” through March 23.

The show is a spoof of whodunits like Agatha Christie’s “And Then There Were None” and “The Mousetrap.”


Nine strangers gather in a remote mansion on a stormy night. The power goes out, the bridge is flooded, the butler is killed in a freak explosion, and the other guests start to die in mysterious ways.

Director Caitlin Lowans has assembled a cast familiar to Stoneham Theatre audiences, as well as audiences around Greater Boston.

“We didn’t start off with the idea of casting ‘Something’s Afoot’ with Stoneham Theatre favorites,” Lowans explained. “But it slowly became evident that all these favorites would make the perfect cast.”

The cast includes Margaret Ann Brady, John Davin, Russell Garrett, Kathy St. George, Stephanie Granade, Mark Linehan, Andrew Oberstein, Nick Sulfaro, and Ceit Zweil.

Performances are 7:30 p.m. Thursdays; 8 p.m. Fridays; 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays; and 2 p.m. Sundays.

There is a post-show talkback after this Sunday’s performance.

For tickets, call 781-279-2200, or visit

AUTHOR’S CORNER: Author and cultural activist Raquel Cepeda discusses her memoir “Bird of Paradise: How I Became a Latina,” 8:45 a.m. Thursday at Lawrence High School. The event, which is part of the White Fund Series of lectures in collaboration with Northern Essex Community College, is open to the public and free. Cepeda, who was born in Harlem to Dominican parents, talks about her coming of age in New York City and Santo Domingo, as well as the process of uncovering and exploring her ancestry and what it means to be Latino today.

IN LOCAL GALLERIES: The Greater Lynn Photographic Association celebrates its 126th anniversary with an exhibit of work by about 25 of its members at the Gallery at Grosvenor Park Nursing Center in Salem through April 3. An opening reception is 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The photos are of local scenes, as well as far-flung areas, and include landscapes, street scenes, nature subjects, and more. . . . “Papercutting,” an exhibit of work by Dylan Metrano, is at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport through March 23. A reception with the artist is 4 to 6 p.m. Saturday. For more than 10 years, Metrano has been cutting likenesses of friends, animals, and architecture from colorful origami paper. He grew up in Newburyport and continues to be part of its visual arts community, although he lives most of the year in Maine.

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