|JAZZ, ROCK, LECTURES HIGHLIGHT FANFARE 2002'S FIRST WEEK
HAMMOND -- A lunchtime jazz picnic, spirited Irish rockers, a salute to blues songstresses, and the debut of lecture and film series provide the introductory flourish for the 17th season of Southeastern Louisiana University’s annual festival of the arts.
Fanfare’s October-long offering of theater, art, music, films, dance, lectures and community events begins Friday, Sept. 27, with the Brown Bag Concert at noon in downtown Hammond’s Cate Square. The festival kickoff will star the Southeastern Jazz Lions, directed by new conductor Allan Zurcher.
That evening, music will remain in the spotlight when Fanfare joins Hammond radio station KAJUN 107.1 as the station hosts the local edition of the world's biggest country music talent showcase, the Colgate/True Value Country Showdown. The event, which will take place in the downtown parking mall on NW Railroad Ave., will begin with a country music street dance at 7 p.m. At 8 p.m., country acts will compete for the local Showdown title, a cash prize, and the chance to advance to state and national finals.
During Fanfare’s first week, guest speakers will usher in two free lecture series. On Monday, Sept. 30, Julian Brazier, Member of Parliament for Canterbury, will be the first of three lectures in the “Far and Near” series. At 7:30 p.m. at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, Brazier will examine the international forces that gave birth to the tragic events of September 11 in “Clash of Civilizations or New Great Game? Our Challenge in Central Asia and the Middle East.”
The first of seven speakers in the “Then and Now” lecture series takes the stage on Wednesday, Oct. 2, at Pottle Music Building Auditorium. William Cooper, Boyd Professor of History and former dean of the Graduate School at Louisiana State University, will take an in-
depth look at “Jefferson Davis and States’ Rights in the Confederacy.”
At 11 a.m. on Friday, Oct. 4, in the Student Union Theatre, “Then and Now” continues with Ron Gomez. A broadcast journalist who was elected to the Louisiana House of Representatives, Gomez takes a unique, insightful and colorful look at Louisiana's storied political gumbo in “My Name is Ron, and I’m a Recovering Legislator.”
On Tuesday, Oct. 1, Sue Parrill, head of the Southeastern English Department, will introduce Fanfare’s Jane Austen Film Fest, featuring four acclaimed films based on Jane Austen’s classic novels. Parrill’s free talk, “Bum Rolls and Curricles: Jane Austen’s World on Film,” is scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Student Union Theatre. The films – “Sense and Sensibility,” “Emma,” “Persuasion,” and “Mansfield Park,” will be shown on Mondays at 7 p.m. at the East Gate Café & Cinema, 1006 N. Oak.
At 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 1, the Columbia Theatre will host New Orleans Big Easy Award nominated actress and singer Troi Bechet in “Divas.” Bechet’s classy, sassy and romantic musical tribute to the great women vocalists combines theatre, music, and song to highlight legendary songstresses such as Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughn, Nina Simone, and Dinah Washington. Tickets for the event are $10 for adults, $8 for senior citizens, Southeastern faculty, staff and alumni, and $5 for all students.
Earlier in the day, a reception at Clark Hall Gallery will open a special Fanfare exhibition of prints by Caroline Durieux, a nationally renowned printmaker and painter of social satire. The collection from the Louisiana State Library chronicles the career of one of Louisiana’s most important artists. The reception is scheduled for 4-6 p.m. in the gallery, and the artwork will be on display throughout the month. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., weekdays.
Sims Memorial Library is also hosting a Fanfare showing from Oct. 1-31 of oils and watercolors by members of the National League of American Pen Women.
Fanfare Artistic Director Donna Gay Anderson has issued a tongue-in-cheek warning that the Thursday, Oct. 3, performance of the Celtic ensemble “Ceili Rain” may not be what audiences are used to seeing during Fanfare.
“This is not your typical Fanfare show,” Anderson said. “This is ‘Fanfare rocks’!”
The seven-piece group blends rock guitar with traditional Celtic instruments, such as the
button accordion, tin whistle, fiddle and bagpipe, to create what critics have described as “Celtic
music for a pop-rock palate.”
Tickets for the performance, scheduled for the Columbia Theatre, are $12 for adults; $10 for senior citizens, Southeastern faculty, staff and alumni, and $5 for all students.
On Friday, Oct. 4, budding violinists can attend a free master class by Ilya Kaler, who will appear as guest soloist on Monday, Oct. 7, with the Southeastern Chamber Orchestra. The award-winning violinist will share his expertise from 10 a.m. to noon in the Pottle Music Building Auditorium.
At 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5, at the Tangipahoa Parish Library, Hammond Branch, 314 E. Thomas, Karen Plauche, children’s services coordinator, will make books come alive for area children through a free program of stories, songs and films.
Also on Saturday, two community events join Fanfare – and close out its first week.
The festivities of the Hungarian Harvest Celebration will be centered at the Hungarian Settlement American Legion Hall on Hwy. 43 near Springfield. The celebration will include a traditional Hungarian lunch from noon to 2 p.m.; food, pastry booths and demonstrations; and Hungarian music and dancing with the Eletfa Folk Ensemble from noon to 5 p.m. The Baton Rouge International Folk Dancers will perform at 7:30 p.m. and the Hungarian Harvest Dance gets underway at 8 p.m.
Tickets for the dinner are $7. Harvest Dance admission is $10 in advance and $15 at the door for ages 13 and older. For more information, contact Jim King at 225-567-9670.
Fanfare travels to Covington Saturday evening, Oct. 5, to join the city in presenting “Shakespeare at the Landing,” featuring the Dog and Pony Theatre Company’s performance of “The Merchant of Venice.” The free outdoor performance is scheduled for 8 p.m. in the scenic setting of Covington’s Columbus Street Landing.
For a Fanfare brochure and ticket order form or for additional information about Fanfare events, contact the Public Information Office, 985-549-2341, email@example.com, or Fanfare, 985-543-4366, firstname.lastname@example.org. Fanfare information is also available online at www.selu.edu/fanfare.   ;
Fanfare tickets are available at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts box office, 220 East Thomas St., Hammond, 985-543-4371. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.ticketweb.com. Box office hours are noon to 5 p.m., weekdays. The box office is open until performance time for events at the Columbia Theatre.