Now in its 63rd season, Shreveport Opera delights theatergoers with classic operas rendered in sumptuous visual and euphonic hues. As one of theater history’s most highly praised and produced pieces, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly continually entrances worldwide audiences with its tragic tale of the dark side of devotion. Set in Nagasaki in the dawn of the 1900s, Madama Butterfly’s journey begins when pious U.S. Naval officer Pinkerton seduces an innocent Japanese girl named Butterfly, marries her out of convenience, and then abandons her to fetch an American wife. When her estranged beau finally returns to Nagasaki with his new wife, an ending both brutal and heartbreaking unfolds. Although the opera is sung in Italian with English supertitles projected above the stage, Puccini’s powerhouse score of sweeping arias, romantic duets, and devastating choruses packs an emotional wallop that defies translation.
Open Friday and Saturday from 9 p.m. to 6 a.m., Phoenix Underground is an upscale dance club where dressy clubbers gather to bump, grind, and stomp their way through the night. Wobble your head and hips to throbbing Top 40 beats in the Main Room, where a VIP area provides a private table for splitting a bottle of bubbly with up to three friends. In the lounge-like Paragon Room, house DJs spin progressive hits for shimmying martini-sippers until the sun's done sleeping off its hangover from the day before. Once the partying peters out, the masses totter out to claim their cars from the free valet service.
Named after the famed 22nd president, Bilbo Baggins Billiards and Pub dispenses frosty beverages in a warm, lively atmosphere. Thirsty tavernistas can whet parched whistles with chilled pitchers of draft beer ($8), refreshing bottles of imported brews ($3.50+), or a full-bodied well drink ($3.50). Between rounds, pool sharks and land sharks can settle interspecies squabbles over two rousing games of billiards. From 11 a.m.–7 p.m., Bilbo Baggins's tests the theory of relativity, stretching one happy hour into a Chronos-defying 480 minutes, and keeping wallets well-fed with $6 pitchers, $2 domestics, $2.75 imports, and $2.50 well drinks.
A renowned hot spot for imbibers of all stripes, Cub Lounge's rustic watering hole has greased gullets for more than 70 years. The Cub's outdoor grill unveils itself only on Wednesday afternoons in the summer, grilling premium ground-chuck burgers to perfection under the adoring gaze of ravenous diners. Guests can adorn sizzling patties with a fresh assortment of fixings, including lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise, and side orders of beans and potato chips accompany each burger. Frosty sodas refreshingly irrigate food canals as guests indulge on the Cub's outdoor patio or retreat to its checked-floored interior for a tranquil game of pool or human chess.
Led by tattooed frontman Josh Todd, Buckcherry busts out hard-rocking anthems and soaring paeans to partying. After disbanding in the early aughts, the band came back with a vengeance with its album 15, earning a Billboard Top 10 spot for the introspective "Sorry." Black Butterfly in 2008 brought further fame with the ode to hedonistic dissipation and melancholy reflection on empty water bottles, "Too Drunk." Todd's laid-back vocals often slide swiftly into a volcanic yowl, backed by a double helping of power chords and fist-pumping arpeggios courtesy of guitar duo Keith Nelson and Stevie D. After placing fourth on the 10th season of American Idol, up-and-comer James Durbin joins the evening with music that spices his voice's octave-hopping technical mastery with raw, churning guitar and a single bay leaf, hidden somewhere onstage.
The kitchen at Abby Singer's Bistro serves up mouthwatering platters of American pub fare, with an upscale twist, on the second floor of the nonprofit Robinson Film Center. Midday noshing can begin with one of the lunch menu's southern-style favorites such as chicken and waffles drizzled with maple syrup ($9.50) or sautéed shrimp and fried green tomatoes that inhabit a pool of rémoulade sauce ($11). Limber rigid chomping muscles for an evening meal from the dinner menu by warming up with appetizers such as crabmeat-stuffed avocado ($12) or cheeseboard, which touts a mighty triumvirate of gourmet cheeses accompanied by an entourage of crackers and seasonal fruit ($14). Silence boisterous stomachs with a seared duck breast sidled up to a serving of veggies and a choice of sweet or regular mashed potatoes, or goat cheese new potatoes ($22). Or, pair an 8-ounce turkey burger stuffed into a sourdough bun ($11) with a glass of Chilean malbec ($8), which, like professional soccer, was imported to the United States from South America in 2008.