Rocker Gregg Allman headlines Fanfare 2007 -- Columbia 2007-08
Contact: Christina Chapple
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(1) FANFARE SPECIAL GUEST -- Gregg Allman, the soulful singer/songwriter and keyboardist of The Allman Brothers Band, will be the special guest of Southeastern Louisiana University’s Fanfare 2007. Allman will perform on Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.
(2) AMERICAN SOPRANO -- A 2004 graduate of The Julliard School, young American soprano Hanan Alattar has been described as “a singer of obvious promise” with “a resounding voice and a sense of drama to match.” She will appear on Oct. 18 at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts during Fanfare 2007.
(3) AMAZING PILOBOLUS -- Featured at the 2007 Academy Awards, the avant-garde dance troupe Pilobolus has been twisting and contorting their way through the dance world for more than 30 years. The internationally recognized dance troupe will be the guest of Southeastern Louisiana University’s Fanfare arts festival on Oct. 15.
(4) FANFARE FAVORITE -- The Capitol Steps, a Fanfare favorite, will return to Southeastern Louisiana University's Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts on Oct. 11. "The only group in Washington that attempts to be funnier than Congress," the Capitol Steps digs into the headlines and hot topics of the day to create new lyrics for familiar tunes, skewering everyone, left, right or center.
(5) ILLUSIONIST MIKE SUPER -- Illusionist Mike Super has pioneered a new form of magic with his own unmatched style and personality. He will appear at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts on Jan. 5.
(6) “LIVE” BEDTIME STORIES – “Pajamas & Play is a new feature of the 2007-08 season of Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts tailored specially for children. The Hudson Vagabond Puppets will present “Jeremiah Puddle Duck” on Jan. 29.
(7) A WEDDING YOU CAN’T MISS – The 2007-2008 season of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, which opens in October with Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual Fanfare arts festival, will include performances March 13-15 at Twelve Oaks of the hilarious “Tony ‘N Tina’s Wedding.”
HAMMOND – Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Famer Gregg Allman will headline the 22nd season of Fanfare, Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual celebration of the arts, humanities and social sciences.
Allman, who is both a founding member of the still-active and thriving Allman Brothers Band and a critically acclaimed solo talent, will perform at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. His concert will be one of the many films, recitals, plays, musicals, dance concerts, lectures and community events offered during the arts festival, which in turn is the “opening act” for the year-long entertainment season of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.
It has been a long-standing tradition to open Fanfare with music and socializing at Cate Square, the small park in the heart of Hammond and a few blocks south of campus.
Last year, however, Fanfare’s usual “brown bag” lunchtime concert was on hiatus as the city redesigned the historic park, and Fanfare launched the new entertainment season by dedicating the performance hall of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts to the late Sen. John J. Hainkel Jr., who helped make the restoration of the university’s downtown theater possible.
However, the park’s brand new look is now complete, so Fanfare will return to Cate Square not just to kick off the October-long festival but also to help Hammond’s Downtown Development District throw a gala community picnic to dedicate the refurbished park.
Fanfare/Columbia Director Donna Gay Anderson said the dedication, with a nod to the park’s history, will have an old-fashioned theme and plenty of family-style entertainment.
From 2-4 p.m. on Sept. 30, one and all are invited to enjoy tunes by the Southeastern Jazz Combos and a barbershop quartet and treats such as cotton candy and lemonade (available at the turn-of-the-century price of a nickel). Children can play games that never grow old, such as musical chairs and pin-the-tail-on-the-donkey.
Additional Fanfare highlights include:
Barrage, a “high-octane fiddle-fest,” offering a diverse fusion of cultures, musical styles and incredible performance vitality.
The return of two Fanfare favorites, the incomparable political satire troupe The Capitol Steps, and the Missoula Children’s Theatre, starring local children in “Jack and the Bean Stalk.”
A night of antics by the comedians of famed Second City improv troupe in “One Nation Under Blog.”
Soprano Hanan Alattar, a young Julliard graduate who is taking the opera world by storm.
Pianist Alexander Bonduriansky, founding member of the acclaimed Moscow Piano Trio and provost of Tchaikovsky’s Moscow State Conservatory, who will be joined by pianist David Evenson, head of the Department of Music and Dramatic Arts.
“An Inconvenient Truth,” a presentation on global warming by New York-based actor and activist Jens Rasmussen.
A series of Sunday afternoon community performances with artists such as violinist Arkady Yanivker, the Christ Episcopal Choral Ensemble, and the Southeastern Guitar Quartet.
Eclectic art exhibits at Southeastern’s Contemporary Art Gallery and Video Gallery, in the Columbia Theatre lobby, the Hammond Regional Arts Center, and Sims Memorial Library.
Performances by the Southeastern Chamber Orchestra and Southeastern Wind Symphony.
Southeastern Theatre’s production of the “Crimes of the Heart” and the Opera-Music Theatre Workshop’s production of the musical classic “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.”
The “Then and Now” history and politics lecture series, featuring the wit and wisdom of Southeastern’s history and political science faculty, and “High Noon Fiction,” showcasing the award-winning authors of the English Department.
The annual Fanfare’s Foreign Film Series showing a sample of the best Spanish, French, German and Italian flicks.
From the community, a day devoted to the art of quilting in historic downtown Ponchatoula, the Hungarian Cultural Celebration in Livingston Parish, Saturday morning programs for children at the Hammond library, and “A Night with Photographer Johnny Chauvin” at Ponchatoula’s new “The Art Station.”
When the Columbia season begins, patrons will be treated to two new entertainment concepts, one for children and the other for adults, Anderson said.
“Pajamas and Play,” she explained, is a fun new series designed to make theater performances especially accessible and appealing for children. Kids are invited to wear their pajamas, robes and slippers to the 60-minute, mid-week performances.
“We’ve chosen two great shows that youngsters will love – “Jemimah Puddle Duck” by the Hudson Vagabond Puppets (Jan. 29, 2008) and the dynamic juggling duo, the Gizmo Guys (March 6, 2008),” Anderson said. “All children love bedtime stories. That’s what this is – only live! We even plan to send the kids home with cookies and chocolate milk. Parents, all you’ll have to do is tuck them in.”
For adults, Columbia plans to make Valentine’s Day 2008 special with a benefit performance of the longest running musical review in the history of Broadway, “Smokey Joe's Café.” The Feb. 14 show will be filled with the premier rock and roll songs of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, such as "Kansas City," "Hound Dog," "Stand By Me," "Spanish Harlem," and "Jailhouse Rock." Proceeds from the performance will benefit future Columbia programming.
“The Columbia’s Deco Ball has been a very successful and well-attended fund-raiser for us in the past,” Anderson said, “but we wanted to offer a different venue for our generous patrons this year. We think ‘Smokey Joe’s Café’ will be a perfect Valentine’s Day treat for couples – a lovely evening out for a good cause.”
Anderson said the 2007-2008 season will also build on last year’s popular “Louisiana Roots” series, which spotlighted the state’s unique talent, humor and culture. Louisiana-style shows will include “Voices of Louisiana” (Oct. 4), a memorable presentation by a troupe of Katrina survivors of Louisiana history, humor and hardships; Jamie Wax’s one-man show “Goin’ to Jackson” (Jan. 25) about five wacky patients at “East Louisiana State Mental Hospital”; and “And the Ball and All,” a comedy showcasing New Orleans’ one-and-only Becky Allen – and Mardi Gras (June 6).
Also scheduled for Columbia 2007-08 are Pilobolus, the avant-garde dance troupe that was a hit at the 2007 Academy Awards (Oct. 15); three concerts by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra; Illusionist Mike Super, whose amazing magic transcends “trick” (Jan. 5); Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding, a unique show satirizing a “big, fat” Italian-American wedding (March 13-15); “1964: The Tribute,” hailed as the world’s most authentic Beatles tribute band (April 4); and vocal legends Roger McGuinn of The Byrds (May 9) and Melissa Manchester (June 27.)
Columbia season tickets will be available Aug. 13-31. Individual event tickets (including Fanfare tickets) go on sale beginning Sept. 5. Individual “Smokey Joe’s Café” tickets will be available beginning Oct. 1. Tickets can be purchased at columbiatheatre.org or at the Columbia/Fanfare box office, 220 E. Thomas Street, 985-543-4371. Box office hours are noon to 5 p.m., weekdays.
For a complete schedule, contact the Columbia/Fanfare office at 985-543-4366 or visit columbiatheatre.org