News Release

Glowing marquee symbolizes shining new season for Fanfare and Columbia

Contact: Christina Chapple


(1) Aquila Theatre Company - Romeo and Juliet (2) Break! The Urban Funk Spectacular (3) Ronnie Kole

(4) Missoula Children's Theatre -- Snow White (5) John Barry (6) Maureen McGovern (7) Eric Burdon (8) Columbia marquee

Fanfare/Columbia calendar of events


Captions ...
(1) AQUILA RETURNS TO FANFARE – The Aquila Theatre Company will present “Romeo and Juliet” on October 12 during the Southeastern Louisiana University’s Fanfare arts festival. The acclaimed company’s stylistic adaptation of Shakespeare’s masterpiece will be staged at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.


(2) BREAK! THE URBAN FUNK SPECTACULAR – Talented break dance specialists combine athletic ability with graceful choreography in a thrilling tribute to an urban street phenomenon turned high energy art form in “Break! The Urban Funk Spectacular,” one of the featured events of Southeastern Louisiana University’s Fanfare 2006 season. The show is scheduled for October 3 at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.


(3) FANFARE SALUTES “LOUISIANA ROOTS” – Fanfare, Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual October arts festival will pay tribute to Louisiana art, literature and history during its 2006 season. The “Louisiana Roots” Fanfare series will include an October 18 performance by legendary entertainer Ronnie Kole at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.


(4) FANFARE FAVORITE – The Missoula Children’s Theatre, which stars local children in musical versions of fairytales, is a long-time favorite of Fanfare, Southeastern Louisiana University’s October arts festival. For Fanfare 2006, Missoula will stage “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts on October 21.


(5) “RISING TIDE” AUTHOR AT FANFARE – John M. Barry, prize-winning and New York Times best-selling author of five books including “The Great Influenza” and “Rising Tide,” will be the headline guest lecturer for Fanfare, Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual October arts festival. Barry will appear October 9 at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.


(6) MAUREEN MCGOVERN AT THE COLUMBIA – The 2006-2007 season of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, which opens in October with Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual Fanfare arts festival, will include a January 26 concert by singing legend Maureen McGovern.


(7) ROCKIN’ AT THE COLUMBIA – The final performer of Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts 2006-07 season will Eric Burdon and the Animals. The rock legends will appear June 29, 2007 at the university’s downtown Hammond theater.


(8) GLOWING MARQUEE -- A new neon marquee on the corner of Southeastern Louisiana University's Columbia Theatre of the Arts will help promote the historic downtown theater's 2006-07 season, which begins in October with the Columbia's anchor festival, Fanfare. Season tickets will be on sale Aug. 10-31, while individual Fanfare and Columbia tickets will be available beginning Sept. 6 at the theater, 220 E. Thomas St., 985-543-4371.


     HAMMOND -- The new marquee on the northeast corner of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, Southeastern Louisiana University’s historic downtown Hammond theater, spells out  “C-O-L-U-M-B-I-A” coming and going in glowing blue, pink, green and yellow neon. Flanked by electronic message panels, the classy high tech sign has arrived just in time to shine a festive light on the Fanfare 2006 and Columbia’s 2006-07 seasons.

     The new marquee gives a “Look at me now!” flair to what was once an abandoned movie house but is now the premiere performing arts complex on the north shore, home to a stellar year-long entertainment season anchored by Southeastern’s two-decade-old arts festival, Fanfare.

     Fanfare's wealth of music, dance, theater, lectures, films, exhibits and children's events will be the "opening act" for the Columbia 2006-07 season. The year-long Columbia season will include L.A. Theatre Works’ “The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial,” a dramatization of Herman Wouk’s classic war novel; direct from New York, the musicals “Urban Cowboy” and “Children’s Letters to God”; holiday, pops and family concerts by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, including Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf” narrated by WDSU-TV meteorologist Margaret Orr; the stunning Russian American Kids Circus; “The Winter Dance Party,” the nationally acclaimed tribute concert to rock and roll legends Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper; acclaimed vocal star Maureen McGovern; and rock legends Eric Burdon and the Animals.

     Columbia season tickets will be available August 10-31. Individual event tickets (including Fanfare tickets) go on sale beginning September 6. Tickets can be purchased at or at the Columbia/Fanfare box office, 220 E. Thomas Street, 985-543-4371. Box office hours are noon to 5 p.m., weekdays.

     Fanfare’s 21st season will kick off on September 28 with a special event – the dedication of the Columbia’s performance hall to the late Sen. John J. Hainkel Jr., whose perseverance and dedication played a key role in the historic theater’s renovation.

     Fanfare-Columbia Director Donna Gay Anderson said a highlight of Fanfare 2006 will be “Louisiana Roots,” which she described as “a series of Louisiana performers, subjects and personalities.”

     The Louisiana Roots series includes a trio of guest lecturers with unique insights into Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath – “Rising Tide” author John Barry; Pulitzer Prize nominated “Times-Picayune” columnist Chris Rose; and Rice University historian John Boles. Also paying musical tribute to Louisiana will be the authentic New Orleans jazz ensemble the Last Straws and incomparable pianist-entertainer Ronnie Kole. Actor-author Roberts Batson will salute the Crescent History with his one-man show “Amazing Place, This New Orleans.”

     Other highlights include:

     ▪ A series of Sunday afternoon community performances at area churches with guests such as soprano Valerie Francis, the Centenary Choir, and the flute-piano duo of Henry Jones and Elena Cecconi.

     ▪ Eclectic art exhibits at Southeastern’s Contemporary Art Gallery and Video Gallery, in the Columbia Theatre lobby, and at the Hammond Regional Arts Center.

     ▪ “Break! The Urban Funk Spectacular,” hot street dancing honed to a razor sharp art form.

     ▪ “Soiree Edith Piaf,” a nostalgic evening with the famous French chanteuse, brought to life by songstress/actress M.I. Scoggins.

     ▪ Acclaimed young Metropolitan Opera soprano Nicole Cabell.

     ▪ The return of two Fanfare favorites – the Missoula Children’s Theatre Company presenting “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” and Aquila Theatre Company’s production of “Romeo and Juliet.”

     ▪ The acclaimed, high-energy Zagreb Saxophone Quartet featuring internationally known classical saxophonist Eugene Rousseau.

     Southeastern’s Fanfare contributions include:

     ▪ The Southeastern Chamber Orchestra with a trio of soloists and a pops-classics program, and the Southeastern Wind Symphony featuring renowned prize-winning euphonium virtuoso Adam Frey.

     ▪ Southeastern Theatre’s production of the Noel Coward classic comedy “Blythe Spirit” and the Opera-Music Theatre Workshops’ production of the Broadway hit “Songs for a New World.”

     ▪ The premier of the new films “The Firefly Club” and “Presence Patrol” by the award-winning producer/writer pair Martie Fellom and Alan Marsh; and “Soaring,” a concert of ballet, modern dance and jazz choreographed and performed by Southeastern faculty and student dancers.

     ▪ The Then & Now history and politics lecture series, featuring the wit and wisdom of Southeastern’s history and political science faculty, and “Louisiana Writers Reading the South” showcasing the award-winning authors of the English Department. 

     ▪ The annual Fanfare Foreign Film Series featuring a sample of the most acclaimed Spanish, French, German and Italian flicks.

     Contributions from the community include:

     ▪ A concert by the “Soul Queen of New Orleans” Irma Thomas, sponsored by the Amite Arts Council.

     ▪ The Hungarian Cultural Celebration, an annual Livingston Parish event exhibiting the rich tradition and customs of the Hungarian culture. 

     ▪ Sweet Home Folklife Days, a celebration of the Kentwood area’s African-American heritage.

     ▪ Saturday morning programs at the Hammond library designed to connect children with books.

     ▪ A day devoted to the art of quilting in historic downtown Ponchatoula, La.

     For more information, contact the Fanfare office at 985-543-4366 or visit

More News...