Fanfare celebrates silver anniversary
Contact: Tonya Lowentritt
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(1) FANFARE PRESENTS LT. GEN. RUSSEL HONORE’ – The U.S. Army commander and Louisiana native who led the task force charged with the New Orleans and Gulf coast recovery in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore’ is Fanfare’s featured speaker. Honore’ will have plenty to say about the state of our recovery on Oct. 20 at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre.
(2) FANFARE TO FEATURE LOUISIANA – Fanfare celebrates Louisiana through a series of readings by the English Department creative writing faculty called “The Louisiana Connection: Readings in Poetry and Prose.” The series will take place in the Contemporary Art Gallery on Southeastern’s campus throughout the month. Poet Alison Pelegrin will present her reading on Oct. 26.
(3) FANFARE PRESENTS HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR – The Amite Arts Council presents Holocaust Survivor Irving Roth as the special guest of Southeastern Louisiana University’s 25th season of Fanfare on Oct. 12 at the First United Methodist Church in Amite. Irving will present “Eyewitness Testimony to the Holocaust and Its Implications for Today” at 6:30 p.m.
(4) GRAMMY GUESTS – Four-time Grammy Award winners Boyz II Men will kick off the Southeastern Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre main stage events on Sept. 24. The one-night only concert begins at the downtown Hammond theatre at 7:30 p.m.
(5) “LIVE” BEDTIME STORIES – “Pajamas & Play,” a Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts program specially tailored for children, returns with a musical loosely based on the popular children’s book “Jungle Book” on April 14 at 6:30 p.m.
(6) ILLUSIONIST RETURNS TO COLUMBIA – The 2010-2011 season of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts will include the return of illusionist Mike Super, with some new tricks up his sleeve, on April 8.
(7) ZYDECO WONDER – Famed, local Zydeco musician Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. will take the Columbia Stage by storm with his band the Zydeco Twisters on June 4. Critics hail Dopsie as one of zydeco’s most cherished symbols.
HAMMOND – Southeastern Louisiana University’s renowned annual Fanfare program will mark its silver anniversary this year by going back to its roots of featuring a strong schedule of faculty and student entertainment and education.
In addition to the highly anticipated October showcase of music, dance, theater, lectures, films, children’s events and exhibits, Fanfare 2010 will also highlight Louisiana in three special events: an original play on a segment of Louisiana history, readings by Southeastern-based writers on their Louisiana connections, and a special presentation by Louisiana native Lt. Gen. Russel Honore’ (Ret.).
On Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, an original play by Assistant Professor of Theatre Jim Winter will be staged in Vonnie Borden Theatre. Southeastern Theatre and the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies are collaborating to present Only in Louisiana: The Not-Quite-True Story of the West Florida Revolt to commemorate the bicentennial of the West Florida Parishes Revolt.
Designed to appeal to a broad audience, the play mixes modern humor with history of the revolt. The idea, Winter said, is to get people interested in learning more about this very important part of the region’s history.
“As the title suggests, this is not be your average history play,” Winter said. “It is more along the lines of ‘Back to the Future’ or ‘Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ meets famous characters and events in Louisiana history.”
The basic premise is that a mysterious trapper from the swamp decides to play a magical trick to settle an old score, and two young, modern day students end up in 1810 as leaders of the now-famous revolt, Winter explained. Meanwhile, rebellion leader General Philemon Thomas somehow finds himself trapped in a 2010 classroom. Both the present and past will be altered forever if the accidental time travelers don’t “play their roles,” Winter said.
Louisiana also will be featured in a series of readings by the English department creative writing faculty called “The Louisiana Connection: Readings in Poetry and Prose.” Readings will be held throughout the month in the Contemporary Art Gallery and the Student Union Theatre. Southeastern faculty members featured include writer-in-residence Tim Gautreaux, Jack Bedell, Bev Marshall, Alison Pelegrin, and Norman German.
The U.S. Army commander and Louisiana native who led the task force charged with the New Orleans and Gulf coast recovery in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Honore’ is Fanfare’s featured speaker. In the lecture, made possible by the Leon Ford Family Foundation in cooperation with the Center for Southeast Louisiana Studies, Honore’ will have plenty to say about the state of Louisiana’s recovery.
This year’s Fanfare also includes a presentation by holocaust survivor Irving Roth, who grew up in Czechoslovakia and survived both Auschwitz and Buchenwald. Sponsored by the Amite City Arts Council, Irving will present “Eyewitness Testimony to the Holocaust and Its Implications for Today” at the First United Methodist Church in Amite.
Also on the Fanfare menu are art exhibits at Southeastern’s Contemporary Art Gallery, the Art Station, and Oak Street Gallery, and a musical concert by dramatic tenor Tyler Smith and tenor soloist Cedric Bridges.
For die-hard musical buffs, the Opera/Music Theatre Workshop will present one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s most popular shows, South Pacific October 18-22 in Pottle Music Building Auditorium.
“The original Broadway production won nine Tony Awards and, although well known for its extraordinary score that includes ‘Some Enchanted Evening,’ ‘Younger than Springtime,’ ‘Bali Ha’i,’ ‘There Ain’t Nothin’ Like a Dame,’ and ‘A Wonderful Guy,’ South Pacific is also a deeply felt drama,” said Charles Effler, workshop director. “Its portrayal of Americans stationed in an alien culture in wartime is as relevant today as when it first thrilled audiences in 1949.”
For complete details, dates and ticket prices for Fanfare 2010 and the Columbia Theatre Mainstage season, contact the Fanfare office at 985-543-4366. Some additional Fanfare highlights include:
▪ The History and Political Science Department’s ever popular “Then and Now” lecture series;
▪ Concerts from Southeastern’s own Chamber Orchestra and Wind Symphony;
▪ The “Sunday with the Arts” series of concerts at area churches and other venues, featuring an encore performance of Jazzical; and
▪ The annual Fanfare’s Foreign Film Series showing a sample of the best Spanish, French, German and Italian flicks.
Many Fanfare events are free. Individual tickets for Fanfare and Columbia Theatre Mainstage events will go on sale Sept. 8 at the Columbia/Fanfare box office, 220 E. Thomas Street, 985-543-4371. Columbia Mainstage season tickets will be available to new subscribers Aug. 10-27.
Although the stage of the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts officially opens Sept. 26 with the iconic R&B group Boyz II Men, as October ends, the downtown theatre main stage kicks into high gear, offering non-stop entertainment through summer 2011.
This year’s lineup includes two classic holiday treats – a concert by the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Hammond Ballet Company’s “Nutcracker,” as well as the Broadway classic “Music Man;” famed illusionist Mike Super, winner of the 2007 hit NBC-TV show “Phenomenon;” the Eagles tribute band Hotel California; and a concert by Rockin’ Dopsie, Jr. and the Zydeco Twisters.
Pajamas and Play, the Columbia’s special series for its youngest fans, has been a hit during its last three seasons. This year, the just-for-children performances include a musical adaptation of the classic “Jungle Book,” and “Seussical.”
For complete details, dates and ticket prices for Fanfare 2010 and the Columbia Theatre main stage season, call the box office at 985-543-4371.
The box office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday, 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.