News Release

Fanfare/Columbia season features Hodding Carter III, Elisa Monte's 'Zydeco'

Contact: Christina Chapple


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(1) Elisa Monte Dance (2) Hodding Carter III (3) Robert Cray (4) Max & Ruby (Pajamas & Play) (5) To Kill a Mockingbird


(6) Kathy Mattea (7) Marty Stuart

Fanfare 2008/Columbia 2008-2009 Calendar of Events

Captions …

(1) ELISA MONTE PRESENTS “ZYDECO” – The acclaimed Elisa Monte Dance company’s Fanfare 2008 performance at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts on Oct. 20 wil include “Zydeco,” an innovative new piece commissioned by the Performing Arts Society of Acadiana.


(2) STATESMAN AND JOURNALIST – Statesman and journalist Hodding Carter III, whose family has strong roots in the Hammond area, will be the special guest of Southeastern Louisiana University’s 23rd season of Fanfare on Oct. 16 at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.


(3) GRAMMY GUEST – Five-time Grammy Award winner Robert Cray will be one of the highlights of Fanfare, Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual arts festival, performing at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts on Oct. 24.


(4) “LIVE” BEDTIME STORIES – “Pajamas & Play,” a Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts program specially tailored for children that debuted last year, returns with a musical based on the popular “Max & Ruby” books and television show, on January 29 at 7 p.m.


(5) HARPER LEE’S CLASSIC ON STAGE – The 2008-2009 season of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts will include the Montana Repertory Theatre’s dramatic adaptation of Harper Lee’s unforgettable award-winning novel, “To Kill a Mockingbird” on March 19.


(6 & 7) POWERHOUSE SINGING DUO – Two Grammy Award winners, Kathy Mattea and Marty Stuart, will blend country and bluegrass into a sound and style of their own in the finale of the Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts’ 2008-2009 on June 6.

     HAMMOND – A homecoming for a national statesman and journalist with Hammond roots and the performance of a new dance work inspired by the uniquely Louisiana sounds of Zydeco are among the highlights of the 2008-09 season of Southeastern Louisiana University’s Fanfare and the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.

     “We are very excited to have Hodding Carter III as special guest lecturer through the generosity of the Ford Family Foundation and the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies,” said Fanfare/Columbia Director Donna Gay Anderson. “And we’re also looking forward to showcasing ‘Zydeco,’ an innovative new piece commissioned by the Performing Arts Society of Acadiana and performed by the acclaimed Elisa Monte Dance.”

     Carter will present the Judge Leon Ford III Lecture in History Oct. 16 at the Columbia. Best known for his role as Jimmy Carter’s assistant secretary of state, he grew up in Greenville, Miss., where his father, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and Hammond native Hodding Carter, moved his family after operating the anti-Huey Long ‘Hammond Daily Courier.’ Carter’s grandfather, Will Carter, was instrumental in the founding of Southeastern as a junior college in 1925.

     After graduating from Princeton University, Hodding Carter III returned to his family’s ‘Greenville Delta Democrat-Times’ where for 17 years he was a prize-winning reporter, managing editor and editor/associate publisher. Active in racial and political reform, he served in the Johnson and Carter campaigns and was named Carter’s assistant secretary of state for public affairs and State Department spokesman. He is now a professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

     Inspired by the folk music of African American and Creole descendants of southern Louisiana slaves, “Zydeco,” will be part of Elisa Monte Dance’s Oct. 20 program featuring a mixed repertoire of contemporary dance at the Columbia. Monte, former principal dancer with Martha Graham Dance Company and Pilobolus, choreographed Zydeco to a musical score by Jonno Frishberg. It merges zydeco’s syncopated sound and movement with Monte’s unmatched choreography. Her company has been widely recognized for its athletic and sensual style, technical and physical acuity, and exploration of a multitude of themes.

     Highlights of Fanfare 2008 also include:

     ▪ Sunday afternoon concerts by husband and wife pianists Kenneth Boulton and JoAnne Barry, the Centenary College Choir, organist Collin Anthony Richardson, and an “Old Time Gospel Hour” at the Tangipahoa Parish African American Heritage Museum.

     ▪ The return of a perennial Fanfare favorite, the Missoula Children’s Theatre, presenting “Robinson Crusoe,” starring local children.

     ▪ The good-time, uptown, low-down blues of five-time Grammy Award winner Robert Cray and his band.

     ▪ The United States Air Force Concert Band and Singing Sergeants, the Air Force’s premiere wind symphony and chorus.

     ▪ A guest lecture about steamboats, rivers, and the American public policy that affected them by LSU’s Paul Paskoff at the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum in Madisonville.

     ▪ Acclaimed violinist Michael Antonello, performing on his rare 1720 Stradivarious.

     ▪ The premiere of “American Crisis, American Shame: The National Consequences of Coastal Erosion,” a documentary film by the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies and the Southeastern Channel.

     ▪ “Even More Evans,” a look at the late jazz pianist Bill Evans’ days as a Southeastern student by retired Southeastern music professor and KSLU General Manager Ron Nethercutt.     

     ▪ American Place Theatre’s adaptation of the award-winning novel “The Kite Runner.”

     ▪ The “north shore premiere” of the New Orleans Opera Association’s “Opera on Tap,” with young local and regional singers performing opera, Broadway and more.

     ▪ Cajun singers/songwriters/musicians Roy LeBlanc and Rodney Thibodeaux at the Livingston Parish Literacy and Technology Center in Walker.

     ▪ A special Halloween Eve showing of Alfred Hitchock’s classic thriller, “Psycho.”

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

     ▪ An exhibit/reception at the Hammond home of community activist and art supporter Guy Recotta in celebration of the non-profit Friends of the Art Station.

     ▪ “Radiant Joy!,” a concert by the popular Southeastern Wind Symphony, featuring internationally renowned marimba player Kevin Bobo.

     ▪ The Opera-Music Theatre Workshop’s production of the “Rodgers and Hart: A Celebration” featuring the unparalleled composer/lyricist duo’s best musical classics, and Southeastern Theatre’s staging of Tennessee Williams’ American classic “The Glass Menagerie.”

     ▪ The “Then and Now” history and politics lecture series, featuring the wit and wisdom of Southeastern’s history and political science faculty. 

     ▪ 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, and Saturday morning programs for children at the Hammond library.

    As Fanfare ends, more entertainment will be just around the corner as the Columbia 2008-2009 season gets underway in November. Highlights include:

     ▪ “The Wonder Bread Years,” a fast-paced, hilarious cross between stand-up comedy and theater by Seinfeld writer Pat Hazel that looks back on adventures of growing up in the 60s.

     ▪ The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, presenting its always-popular Holiday Concert, conducted by Rebecca Miller, and a spring performance conducted by Music Director Carlos Prieto.

     ▪ Moscow Cats Theatre, a unique family-entertainment spectacle featuring the non-stop action of 35 cats, a dog, and five clowns, plus death-defying balancing acts, dancing, and acrobatics.

     ▪ The return of “Pajamas and Play,” the Columbia’s special series for its youngest fans, with a new musical based on the popular “Max and Ruby” books and television show and the Hudson Vagabond Puppets in “Mammoth Follies.”

     ▪ WAR, one of the most popular and eclectic funk groups of the 1970s.

     ▪ Two Grammy Award winners -- Kathy Mattea (making an encore visit to the Columbia) and Marty Stuart -- blending country and bluegrass into a sound and style of their own.

     ▪ Singer/pianist Marcia Ball with her infectious brand of Southern boogie, roadhouse blues and heartfelt ballads.

     ▪ The ever-popular Broadway hit musical “Bye Bye Birdie” and a dramatic adaptation of Harper Lee’s American classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

     ▪ As part of the annual Bill Evans Festival, a guest performance by a trio of jazz legends -- bassist and composer Chuck Israels, New Orleans great Ellis Marsalis on piano and Troy Davis on drums.

     ▪ Ricky Graham’s “Renew Revue,” a musical comedy review that takes a satirical look at the flailing recovery efforts in New Orleans.

     Columbia season tickets for new subscribers will be available Aug. 11-29. Individual event tickets (including Fanfare tickets) go on sale beginning Sept. 3. Tickets can be purchased at the Columbia/Fanfare box office, 220 E. Thomas Street, 985-543-4371, from noon to 5 p.m., weekdays or at

     For complete Fanfare and Columbia schedules, contact the Columbia/Fanfare office at 985-543-4366 or visit 

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