Mardi Gras at Proctors!

GE Theatre and Robb Alley at Proctors will become Tipitina’s and Bourbon Street 

Laissez les bons temps rouler! It’s Mardi Gras time!

Friday, Feb. 5, The GE Theatre and Robb Alley at Proctors will become Tipitina’s and Bourbon Street rolled into one. Who cares if it’s Friday? In Schenectady, it’s Fat Tuesday all the time.

The long-awaited return of Mardi Gras Festival to Proctors means authentic Cajun cuisine, French Quarter Hurricanes, crazy cocktails, strolling street music, a drag queen parade, a life-sized New Orleans voodoo doll and, of course, beads, beads, beads.

The party starts at 6 p.m. and, really, it never ends (although Proctors will close the building at some reasonable point). Big music starts at 8 p.m., with two of Louisiana’s finest exports rocking the GE Theatre.

Hailing from Evangeline Parish, Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys are one of the Pelican State’s premier hard-driving dance bands. Riley holds a button-box that squeezes like an accordion, but shouts hallelujah like a big brass band. The fiddle cracks wise and warm, the guitar falls off the edge of the earth and the rhythm section purrs like a sharkfin Coupe DeVille. It all flows as a liquid-smooth groove, topped with three heartfelt voices harmonizing in 17th-century French from the steamy sub-tropics.

Cedric Watson & Bijou Creole resurrect the ancient sounds of the French and Spanish contra dance and bourré alongside the spiritual rhythms of the Congo tribes of West Africa. Bandleader Watson, born on the Brazos River in tiny San Felipe, Tex., is a four-time Grammy-nominated fiddler, singer, accordionist and songwriter with seemingly unlimited potential and bayou cred to spare.

Bring your own bad self to Proctors for a Mardi Gras meltdown as sweet as any the Big Easy has to offer.

6 p.m. Party/8 p.m. Music
Friday, Feb. 5
GE Theatre and Robb Alley at Proctors
432 State Street, Schenectady