Thursday

Get Fired Up For Kingsley House with Kermit Ruffins

Join the famous horn player from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Kingsley House for an evening of music, food, beverages and a silent auction with Ruffins at the grill, joined by VooDoo BBQ. Admission is one business card and a donation. 1600 Constance St., New Orleans. (504) 523-6221 ext. 127. www.kingsleyhouse.org.

Lewis Black

The Grammy Award-winner brings his unique and hilarious take on contemporary life to New Orleans, making a joyful evening out of anger and disillusionment. 8 p.m. Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts, 1419 Basin St., New Orleans. $39.74 and up. (800) 745-3000. www.lewisblack.com.

Prospect.3 Art Director Franklin Sirmans

Contemporary Arts Center’s Andrea Andersson, Ph.D., moderates a conversation with the who conceived the biennial that includes local and international artists. Sirmans shares his concepts and themes that guided his selections for Prospect.3: Notes for Now. $10. 7 p.m., Contemporary Arts Center, 900 Camp St., New Orleans. (504) 528-3805. cacno.org.

Friday and Saturday

New Orleans Book Festival

The two-day literary event begins with a concert under the stars Friday and a packed day of activities at City Park on Saturday, with authors, music, food and free books. The concert features the Greater New Orleans Youth Orchestra at 6:30 p.m. at the Latter Library, 5120 St. Charles Ave. The festival is 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Big Lake at City Park. www.nolabookfest.org.

Saturday

Central City Festival

The annual fête features Big Freedia and an attempt to set a new Guinness World Record for “most people twerking simultaneously.” There will be more music, dance, food with cooking demonstrations, children’s activities and vendors. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., 1600 and 1700 block of Oretha Castle Haley Boulevard, New Orleans. (504) 528-1806. www.ochaleyblvd.org.

Monday through Wednesday

“William Shakespeare’s Star Wars: The Empire Striketh Back”

Based on Star Wars Chapter 5 (considered by many to be the best of the original trilogy), the George Lucas film gets a Shakespearean twist in this staged reading. 7:30 p.m., Opens Nov. 17-19. Mid-City Theatre, 3540 Toulouse St., New Orleans. (504) 488-1460. www.midcitytheatre.com.

Wednesday through Nov. 23

Cirque Du Soleil: Varekai

The international contemporary performing ensemble brings to life “a captivating forest inhabited by whimsical and enchanted creatures.” 7:30 p.m. through Nov. 22, with an additional performance at 4 p.m. Nov. 22, and performances at 1:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. Nov. 23, Smoothie King Center, New Orleans. (800) 745-3000. www.cirquedusoleil.com.