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(1)Robert Gibson(2)Keith Finley(3)The Capitol Steps

A special opera/theatre workshop celebration, an astronaut and Capitol Steps highlight Fanfare's third week

Contact: Tonya Lowentritt


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(1) LEGENDARY PILOT – Astronaut Robert “Hoot” Gibson will give a lecture about his experiences piloting more than 108 types of flying machines and completing 36 and a half days in space at Southeastern’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts on Oct. 20, 7:30 p.m. as part of the university’s annual Fanfare arts celebration.

(2) DELAYING THE DREAM – Southeastern historian Keith Finley will present information about Southern senators and the fight against civil rights from 1938-1965 in a Fanfare “Then and Now” lecture at 1 p.m., Oct. 21, at the Pottle Music Building Auditorium.

(3) CAPITOL STEPS – The famed comedy troupe Capitol Steps headlines Fanfare’s third week, performing Friday, Oct. 23, 7:30 p.m., at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.

     HAMMOND –
A 75th anniversary gala, an amazing astronaut, a powerful mezzo-soprano and a Fanfare comedy favorite highlight the third week of Fanfare, Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual October-long arts festival.
     Fanfare’s third week begins with the Southeastern Opera/Music Theatre Workshop’s gala performance Oct. 19 at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts. In honor of the 75th anniversary of Southeastern’s Department of Music and Dramatic Arts, the 7:30 p.m. performance will feature students and faculty past and present and is dedicated to long-time workshop director Scharmal Schrock. 
     Eight current students will be joined by a host of alumni singers for a program of opera and Broadway solos and scenes, some “new” to area audiences, others reprising past successes such as “The Tender Land,” “Too Many Sopranos,” and “A Little Night Music.” A live orchestra will lead the way. 
     Returning alumni include San Francisco Opera mezzo-soprano Daveda Karanas, Eastman School of Music Opera Department Chair Steven Daigle, Southeastern voice faculty Joy Ratliff and Kay Schepker, and vocalists Amanda Tarver, Tyler Smith, Krassen Karagiozov, Jacqueline Brecheen, Sara Osterberger, Betty Turner, Christina Babin, Brian Martinez, and Jessica Davis Bryan, among others.
     Tickets, available at the Columbia Theatre box office, are Orch/Loge: $21 adults; $19 faculty/staff/alumni/children 12 and under; Balcony I: $19 adults; $17 faculty/staff/alumni/children 12 and under; and Balcony II: $17 adults; $15 faculty/staff/alumni/children 12 and under.
     One of Fanfare’s most popular events is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 23. The performance by the comedy troupe Capitol Steps this year is titled “Obama Mia.” 
     Celebrating the release of their 29th album “Obama Mia,” the Capitol Steps returns to Fanfare with a whole new presidential administration at its mercy. This talented ensemble, whose members have more than 62 collective years of experience as House and Senate staffers, adds its own hilarious spin to the blunders of national politicians and international events through musical skits that tell it like it is and leave audiences in hysterics.
     Availability of tickets for the 7:30 p.m. performance may be limited since Capitol Steps is also included in the 2009-10 Columbia season package. Tickets are $35, Orchestra; $39, Loge; and $31, Balcony. 
     From light piston aircraft and thundering World War II fighters to supersonic jets and the space shuttle, Robert “Hoot” Gibson has piloted 108 types of flying machines – so far. He is scheduled to give a free lecture about his experiences at the Columbia Theatre Tuesday, Oct. 20, at 7:30 p.m.
     A graduate of California Polytechnic State University with a degree from the Naval Fighter Weapons School, this “top gun” has won countless military awards, including the Distinguished Flying Cross. As a NASA astronaut, Gibson participated in five space flights, completed a total of 36 and a half days in space. He was recently featured on the cover of the Smithsonian’s “Air and Space” magazine.  
     Also during Fanfare’s third week:
 ▪ The Foreign Film Festival continues on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 5 p.m., with the French film “The Story of Adele H.” in the Student Union Theatre. The film tells the story of literary great Victor Hugo’s real-life daughter Adele, whose obsessive unrequited love for a naval officer led to her downfall. The 1975 film garnered a Best Actress nomination for star Isabelle Adjani. The free film is rated PG-13.
 ▪ The Then and Now Lectures features Southeastern historian Keith Finley who discusses his new book “Delaying the Dream: Southern Senators and the Fight Against Civil Rights, 1938-1965,” which explores gradations in the opposition to racial equality by examining how the South’s national spokesmen, its United States senators, addressed the civil rights question and developed a concerted plan to thwart civil rights advances. A book signing follows the free lecture.
 ▪ Soprano and 2003 Southeastern graduate Daveda Karanas will perform at the Pottle Music Building Auditorium Wednesday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. Winner of the 2008 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, Greek-American mezzo-soprano Karanas has been hailed for her “capacious power” and “lustrous and exciting” voice (San Francisco Chronicle). Karanas made her San Francisco Opera debut as Mamka in Boris Godunov as a first year Adler Fellow with the prestigious San Francisco Opera Center and will also participate in Verdi’s Requiem. Karanas was recently named Southeastern’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences’ 2009 Alumnus of the Year. Co-presented by the Department of Music and Dramatic Arts, the concert is free.
 ▪ Always a Fanfare crowd-pleaser, the Southeastern Wind Symphony will present “RIDE!” Thursday, Oct. 22, 7:30 p.m., at the Columbia Theatre. Under the direction of Southeastern’s Glen Hemberger, the symphony will take audiences on a thrilling ride of music by Samuel Hazo, Gustav Holst, Percy Grainger, Frank Ticheli, Eric Whitacre, and Hector Berlioz.
     Tickets are $6, adults; $4, senior citizens, Southeastern faculty, staff and alumni. The concert is free for all Southeastern students with university I.D.
 ▪ Youngsters will get a Fanfare treat on Saturday, Oct. 24, when the Hammond Library offers “Tricks and Treats.” Children can enjoy Halloween fun, stories, and crafts under the direction of children’s librarian Karen Plauche. The free program is scheduled for 10 a.m. at the library, 314 E. Thomas in Hammond. 
     Fanfare tickets are on sale at the Columbia/Fanfare box office, 220 E. Thomas Street, 985-543-4371. Some tickets may be purchased online at During October the box office is open each week day from 11 a.m. - 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

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