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|‘VARIETY’ MARKS COLUMBIA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS’
HAMMOND -- From its earliest
days as a vaudeville theater and movie house, “variety” has been
a hallmark of the Columbia Theatre. Now restored as a premier performing
arts facility and launching its second season in downtown Hammond, Southeastern
Louisiana University’s Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts is staying
true to its tradition.
A popular New Orleans pop-rock
trio; the energetic dazzle of percussion dance; gospel, folk and bluegrass
legends; a symphonic salute to Louisiana history; a unique pianist; funny
and flamboyant musical comedy – the Columbia’s 2003 season has something
"Our second season is sure
to be as exciting as our first, and even more diverse. The 2003 season
is so diverse in tastes that we’re calling it ‘Variety!’,” said Columbia
Artistic Director Donna Gay Anderson. “The season is not diverse in quality,
however. Every event we are presenting is of the highest caliber in its
genre. We are excited about the well rounded flavor of offerings which
are sure to draw loyal arts patrons as well as those who have never set
foot in a theatre."
Anderson said season tickets
for the 2003 season will be on sale December 16-20 at the Columbia Theatre
box office, located in the theater’s lobby at 220 E. Thomas Street.
Individual event tickets will
be available beginning January 13 at the box office and on line through
The box office will be open from noon to 5 p.m. five days before
each performance. Season tickets are not available online.
Anderson said the 2003 “Variety!” season
boasts a special “extra.” The popular band Better Than Ezra plans a concert
at 7:30 p.m. on January 30. Columbia patrons can choose to purchase season
tickets with or without the concert, Anderson said.
Season tickets without the Better Than
Ezra concert are $260, Orchestra 1; $235, Orchestra 2; $260, Loge; $235,
Balcony 1; $200, Balcony 2.. With the concert, the ticket package is $288,
Orchestra 1; $260, Orchestra 2; $288, Loge; $260, Balcony 1; $220, Balcony
In a decade together lead singer
Kevin Griffin, bass player Tom Drummond and drummer Travis McNabb have
made songs such as "Good," "Rosalia" and "Desperately Wanting" irresistible
radio staples. Better Than Ezra’s latest ventures have included the release
of the trio’s fourth album, “Closer,” and a series of tongue-in-cheek advertisements
for ESPN’s “College Game Day.”
Tickets for the Better Than Ezra “Columbia
Extra!” concert are $28, Orchestra 1; $25, Orchestra 2; $28, Loge; $25,
Balcony 1; $20, Balcony 2.
The curtain will go up on the Columbia
Theatre’s second season with the January 19 performance by the Louisiana
Philharmonic Orchestra, the first of three LPO Columbia concerts.
LPO will present a newly commissioned
piece for the orchestra and an 80-voice chorus celebrating the anniversary
of the Louisiana Purchase. American composer Robert Kapilow will conduct
the LPO in the world premiere of his composition “‘03: This New, Immense,
After debuting in Baton Rouge the night
before, the Columbia performance will be the piece’s first stop on a six-city
tour. Kapilow traveled across the state to create the piece, inviting citizens
to participate in his musical and cultural outreach. His inspiration was
the passionate congressional debate surrounding the Louisiana Purchase.
Kapilow has engaged in similar lively discussions with Louisiana citizens,
giving him insight into the historic event itself.
The LPO will make two additional stops
at the Columbia during the 2003 season. On May 16, the orchestra will present
“Fantastic Finale!”, a program of light classical fare. The LPO will
also close out the season with its popular holiday concert on December
Tickets for LPO concerts are $30, Orchestra
1; $25, Orchestra 2; $30, Loge; $25, Balcony 1 $20, Balcony 2. The “‘03:
This New, Immense, Unbound World” concert is scheduled for 3 p.m., while
the concerts in May and December will begin at 7:30 p.m.
Grammy Award winning pianist George
Winston is up next in the 2003 season. Winston will bring his special blend
of jazz, rhythm & blues, folk, stride and classical music to the Columbia
on February 20. His unique sound and mix of original compositions, traditional
folk melodies and contemporary and classic pop songs have made him one
of the best known and most loved pianists of our time.
Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. concert are
$30, Orchestra 1; $25, Orchestra 2; $30, Loge; $25, Balcony 1; $20, Balcony
Barry Manilow's hit song, “Copacabana”
is the inspiration for the 2003 season’s next offering -- an exciting and
passionate musical by the same name. Scheduled for 7:30 p.m., March 6,
“Copacabana” is a tale of love and romance set at the heart of the 1940s
swinging nightclub scene. Flamboyantly fun and rioting with color, “Copacabana”
has been described as a loving tribute to the Technicolor movies of Hollywood's
early days, complete with beautiful costumes, beautiful people and beautiful
Tickets are $33, Orchestra 1;
$30, Orchestra 2; $33, Loge; $30, Balcony 1; $27, Balcony 2.
On March 20, the New Orleans Tennessee
Williams Literary Festival will collaborate with Southeastern to present
“Vieux Carré,” Tennessee Williams’s most faithful recreation of
the atmosphere and decadent charm of the French Quarter. “Vieux Carré”
dramatizes the famed playwright’s experiences as a newcomer to New Orleans
in 1938, when he lived in a Toulouse Street boarding house and reveled
in the “exotic wonderland” he found in the Crescent City.
Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. performance
are $22, Orchestra 1; $20, Orchestra 1; $22, Loge; $20, Balcony 1; $18,
Following the Thursday public performance,
“Vieux Carré” will also be offered to area schools on Friday, March
21 through the Columbia’s extensive education outreach program.
Still running as a smash hit in New
York, the musical “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” comes to the
Columbia on April 1. The show, which will be performed at 7:30 p.m., has
been described as “Seinfeld set to music.” The musical joyride through
the jungle of the modern day mating game celebrates “everything you’ve
secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives
and in-laws, but were afraid to admit.”
Tickets for “I Love You, You're Perfect,
Now Change” are $33, Orchestra1; $30, Orchestra 2; $33, Loge; $30, Balcony
1; $27, Balcony 2.
The Columbia’s education outreach program
will treat area school children to a performance of the Cleveland Signstage
Theatre’s production of “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” on April 4.
Schools can sign up for the performance on a first come-first serve basis
by calling Columbia assistant director Keiron Couret at 985-543-4366.
Since their origins at the Alabama Institute
for the Negro Blind in 1939, the Blind Boys of Alabama have kept alive
the spirit and energy of pure soul gospel music. And at ages when most
men have retired from life's spotlight, they are appearing on the David
Letterman Show and opening for the U.S. tour of rocker Peter Gabriel.
The Blind Boys’ Columbia performance
is set for April 29 and tickets are $25, Orchestra 1; $23, Orchestra 2;
$25, Loge; $23, Balcony 1; $20, Balcony 2.
Bluegrass music legend Del McCoury and
his band will perform at the Columbia on July 11. Over the past decade
McCoury has been credited with making bluegrass hip again, exposing a new
generation to the “high lonesome” sound of this distinctly American music.
Recently named Entertainer of the Year for the sixth time by the International
Bluegrass Music Association, the group’s stringent rhythm guitar and piercing
lead vocals have made it a cornerstone of traditional bluegrass music.
Del McCoury Band tickets are $23, Orchestra
1; $20, Orchestra 2; $23, Loge; $20, Balcony 1; $18, Balcony 2.
The Columbia stage will resound with
the rhythm of “Dancing On Common,” a percussion dance ensemble that resonates
with the thundering rhythms of “Riverdance,” the hard-charging percussive
tap of “Tap Dogs” and the energy of “Stomp.” “Dancing on Common Ground”
is a very “uncommon” combination of energy, precision and dancing artistry.
Clicking, tapping and kicking their way through 25 smashing numbers, the
ensemble of world champion Irish step-dancers, country cloggers and quick-footed
tappers exuberantly celebrates the immensely popular art form of percussion
Tickets are $25, Orchestra 1; $23, Orchestra
2; $25, Loge; $23, Balcony 1; $20, Balcony 2.
On October 14, award-winning, velvet-voiced
country singer Kathy Mattea will step into the Columbia spotlight. Mattea
has twice been honored as the Country Music Association’s female vocalist
of the year and has garnered two Grammy Awards. Now, she is following a
more gentle, sophisticated musical path, entering into the world
of folk music with a style she describes as “contemporary folk with a Celtic
Kathy Mattea tickets are $32, Orchestra
1; $30, Orchestra 2; $32, Loge; $30, Balcony 1; $27, Balcony 2.
For additional information, call the
Columbia/Fanfare office, 220 E. Thomas St., 985-543-4366. Information is
also available online at
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