HAMMOND � A beloved musical, art exhibit openings and a lecture about Harry Potter and other literary characters are just some of the events providing the opening flourish for the 27th season of Fanfare, Southeastern Louisiana University's annual October arts festival. This year Fanfare is sponsored exclusively by the Southeastern Student Government Association.
On Sept. 27 and 28 at 7:30 p.m. in Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, Southeastern Opera/Theatre Workshop will present Adam Guettel's, "The Light in the Piazza."
Nominated for 11 Tony awards in 2011 and winner of six, including Best Original Score for composer/lyricist Adam Guettel, "The Light in the Piazza" opened at Lincoln Center in 2005 and ran for over a year. It is considered one of the most original musicals to open on Broadway in many years, said Chuck Efler, director of Southeastern's Opera Music/Theatre Workshop.
Set in Florence, Italy, in 1953, the story follows an American woman, Margaret, and her daughter, Clara, on their vacation. While Clara meets an Italian boy, Fabrizio Naccarelli, and falls in love, her mother must embark on a personal journey that is both painful and poignant.
Ticket are $21 for adults; $16 for seniors, Southeastern faculty/staff and non-Southeastern students; and $8 for children twelve and younger. Southeastern students are admitted free of charge with their ID.
On Oct. 3 the Department of History and Political Science's "Then and Now Lecture Series" officially kicks off its 12th presentation. The free series is dedicated to Randy Moffett, former president of Southeastern who recently retired from his post as president of the University of Louisiana System after a 41-year career in education.
Southeastern English Instructor Rebecca Murry will present the first lecture in the series, "Why Harry Potter and Others Like Him Matter," at 1 p.m. in Pottle Auditorium. Murry, who teaches a popular course on the Harry Potter books as literature, will discuss why Harry, Percy Jackson, the characters in the "Hunger Games," "The Lord of the Rings," and others like them deserve to be studied alongside the literary classics.
October 4 marks the opening of several free art exhibits that will run concurrently in Southeastern's Contemporary Art Gallery. "A Room of Her Own," paintings by Karen Ann Myers; "Technically Intimate," the photography of Evan Baden; alumni exhibition special guest artist Elizabeth Ann Chase; and the work of Maya Erdelyi-Perez, a video animation artist, will be highlighted in the gallery. Artwork will be on display through Nov. 2. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday.
On October 5, "Earthscapes," the latest installment of "Seldom Seen," which features old and new artwork from area private collections, will officially open in the Hammond Regional Arts Center, located at 217 E. Thomas Street, with a reception at 5 p.m. The artwork will remain on display through Nov. 2.
Fanfare tickets are on sale at the Columbia/Fanfare box office, 220 E. Thomas Street, 985-543-4371. The box office is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and one hour prior to Columbia performances. For a complete schedule, contact the Columbia/Fanfare office at 985-543-4366 or visit columbiatheatre.org.