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Cangelosi Dance Project’s latest is a program of celebratory dance

Advocate staff photo by ROBIN MILLER -- The Cangelosi Project's Company Show will close out the season on Friday, May 27, in the Manship Theatre with a program of celebratory dances.

There will be jazz and tap and ballet and contemporary dance when the Cangelosi Dance Project stages its company show Friday. “It’s a variety program, and though we don’t have an official title for it, it’s a program of celebratory dance,” says artistic director Kris Cangelosi of the show at the Manship Theatre. Dancers from… Continue reading →

No wrong notes: ‘The Piano Lesson’ teaches black history and the strength to move forward

Photo provided by New Venture Theatre -- Brandon Lewis plays Boy Willie  in New Venture Theatre's production of August Wilson's 'The Piano Lesson.' The play is set in Pittsburgh during the Great Depression and explores the troubled relationship of siblings. The show is rated PG-13 and will be performed Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday at 3 p.m. in the LSU Shaver Theatre in Baton Rouge. Tickets are $27. For information, visit

August Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson” is concentrated in one family, yet it encompasses the black experience in the United States. “To me, this is one of his most brilliant works,” says Greg Williams, artistic director of New Venture Theatre, which opens the play on Friday. “I look at August Wilson as sort of a prophet with his… Continue reading →

Nuns 'who look like little angels' with 'faces of mercy' key part of new Baton Rouge-area home for victims of human trafficking

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --Sabrina Whitaker, left, executive assistant to State Sen. Ronnie Johns, R-Lake Charles, greets Sisters Anna Maria Mathew, Alexandrine Rasoanirina and Norma Nunez, three of the Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy nuns who will live on-site at Metanoia Manor, to teach and minister to the residents. Sen. Johns was a primary carrier of the legislation that made the project possible.

When the Rev. Jeff Bayhi’s vision of a home for underage victims of human trafficking turned toward reality, he spoke with Sister Eugenia Bonetti, who oversees several such facilities in Italy. One part of his plan was non-negotiable. “I told her, ‘I’ve got the money, but I’m not doing it without nuns,’” Bayhi said. Now,… Continue reading →

The World Goes ’Round: Manship Theatre production mines Kander and Ebb songbook

Photo by JORDAN HEFLER -- Ashley Fabre is part of the enemble cast in the Manship Theatre's production of 'The World Goes 'Round.'

You know their music, but you probably don’t know their names. John Kander and the late Fred Ebb were the songwriting team that fueled the music behind such hit Broadway musicals as “Chicago,” “Cabaret” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman.” “They also wrote music for movie soundtracks like ‘Funny Lady’ and ‘New York, New York,’” says… Continue reading →

Gilbert and Sullivan play ‘The Pirates of Penzance’ fun for the whole family

Photo by DENNIS DEMCHECK -- Brad Baron, Savannah Scott and Alexander Henderson, from left, bring Opéra Louisiane's 'The Pirates of Penzance' to the Manship Theatre stage May 14-15.

Gilbert and Sullivan’s most popular operetta, “The Pirates of Penzance,” comes to the Manship Theatre this weekend, a show sure to make Baton Rouge music lovers happy. It makes Opéra Louisiane’s music director happy, too. “I’m a huge Gilbert and Sullivan fan,” says Michael Borowitz. “They didn’t consider their work to be operettas but operas.… Continue reading →

Want to see Elmer Fudd, Bugs Bunny and other favorite Warner Bros characters in Baton Rouge? Here's your chance...

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Bugs Bunny in in the spotlight in this cel from 'Slick Hare,' 1947.

What’s up, Doc? Why not ask the Louisiana Art & Science Museum, where Elmer Fudd will ask you to be vewy, vewy quiet, because he’s hunting wabbits. The 1940 cartoon, “A Wild Hare,” greets visitors to the Louisiana Art & Science Museum’s summer exhibit, “The Art of Warner Bros. Cartoons,” which runs through… Continue reading →

Channeling Chekhov: Theatre Baton Rouge to present Christopher Durang’s Tony winner on sibling rivalry

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Kathy Sevin, Mike Katchmer and Blanche Bienvenu, from left, play siblings Sonia, Vanya and Masha in Theatre Baton Rouge's production of 'Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike.' The Tony-winner starts Friday at 7:30 p.m. Additional performances start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday and Thursday, May 12, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $25. Student tickets are $20. The play is rated R. For information, visit

. Sonia believes life has passed her by and resents it. Vanya has chosen not to think about it. But the middle-aged sister and brother join forces when their little sister, Masha, announces she’s going to sell their house and its nine cherry trees. After all, she’s the one who made a name for herself by making the “Sexy Killer”… Continue reading →

Southeastern dance company plans auditions

Southeastern Louisiana University’s resident student dance company, Dance Performance Project, will hold auditions for Southeastern students and community dancers on May 6-7 for an upcoming dance concert. Auditions for high school juniors and seniors are scheduled 10-11 a.m. Saturday, May 7, in the dance studio in the Kinesiology and Health Studies Building. The fall event… Continue reading →

Spring Open Exhibition planned in Hammond

Photo provided by the Hammond Regional Arts Center -- Nancy Lowentritt's "White Fleet at Sunset" will be featured in the exhibit at the Hammond Regional Arts Center.

The Hammond Art Guild is celebrating its 54th annual Spring Open Exhibition beginning with a public reception at 5 p.m. May 6. This show will feature work chosen as part of a judged exhibition with several different mediums. Selected entries will be on display through May 27 in the Hammond Regional Arts Center, 217 E. Thomas St.,… Continue reading →

Young actors sink their teeth into Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night'

Photos provided by Playmakers of Baton Rouge -- Jarrett Labonne,left, and Sierra Moran will be among the young actors staging 'Twelfth Night' at the industrial space at 19th Street Studios.

As some Playmakers actors grow into their teens, they want to sink their theatrical teeth into something more serious, classical — something Shakespearian. “So, we’ve added ‘Twelfth Night’ to our season,” says Colt Neidhardt, artistic director of the young acting troupe. “This wasn’t something that was planned, and we’re not just giving the kids… Continue reading →

LSU to hold ‘Robert Grayson Tribute Gala’

Advocate file photo -- Robert Grayson

The LSU College of Music and Dramatic Arts will commemorate Robert Grayson’s longtime voice career with the “Robert Grayson Tribute Gala” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29, in the LSU Union Theatre, Raphael Semmes Drive. The event recognizes Grayson’s 45-year career as a professional opera tenor, 40-year teaching career and 30 years teaching voice, directing… Continue reading →

World-renowned violinist Ilya kaler to perform at SLU

CUTLINE slu_kaler.jpg RENOWNED VIOLINIST TO PERFORM  Performances by internationally-recognized violinist Ilya Kaler will highlight the Southeastern Louisiana Universitys Chamber Orchestra spring concert scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Monday, April 25. The concert will be held at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts.

The Southeastern Louisiana University Chamber Orchestra’s Spring Concert on Monday, April 25, will feature world-renowned violinist Ilya Kaler, a three-time gold medal winner at international competitions. The concert will start at 7:30 p.m. in the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, 220 E. Thomas St., Hammond. General admission tickets are $12; $8 for faculty, staff and seniors;… Continue reading →

“Harlequin in the Ghetto.”: LSU brings history to the stage

Advocate staff photo by CHARLES CHAMPAGNE    Erin Sheets and Scott Anthony Don Bosco Mitchel, right, rehearse for 'Harlequin in the Ghetto,' coming to LSU's Studio Theatre April 26-27.

They were Jews who had been forced into an overcrowded ghetto that would become more crowded as time passed. Some would be forced on a train, maybe even the day after a harrowing performance of “Harlequin in the Ghetto.” And they never knew where that train was going. So, they chose rehearsals and performances over worrying,… Continue reading →

‘Le Papillon’ celebrates Cajun life

Photo provided by CARROL SPELL -- Dancer Emily Faciane rehearses for 'Le Papillon: Celebrating Floyd Sonnier's Acadiana,' which Ballet Acadiana will perform May 13-15 in Crowley's Grand Opera House of the South.

Floyd Sonnier’s book, “From Small Bits of Charcoal,” was written by the artist three weeks before his death and published posthumously by his widow. Autobiographical in nature, its 24 short stories — in both English and French — comprise a genuine narrative of growing up Cajun. It’s about to become a genuine ballet, courtesy of Ballet… Continue reading →

Room with a dark ‘Vieux’: Swine Palace brightens Tennessee Williams play

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --John Fletcher, top, with Glenn Aucoin, bottom, in a scene from Swine Palace's production of Tennessee Williams' "Vieux Carre." The show opens April 13 and runs through April 24 at LSU's  Reilly Theatre.

If “Vieux Carré” were any less cheerful, it would make “A Streetcar Named Desire” look like it was produced by the New Orleans Chamber of Commerce. But if the Crescent City that Tennessee Williams experienced was only half so gritty, there’s no wonder it left such a deep impression on him. Written late in his life, Williams’… Continue reading →

Feeling the tunes: Baton rouge Symphony concert features scenes from Pixar films

The Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra will perform PIXAR in concert on Saturday, April 23.

Nemo, Buzz Lightyear, Sully and Lightning McQueen will share the screen through music on Saturday, April 23, when the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra performs “PIXAR in Concert” in the Baton Rouge River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts. “There are adults who are as excited about this concert as there are kids,” Associate Conductor… Continue reading →

‘Art Melt’ exhibit deadline set

The deadline is June 1 for entries to Forum 35’s “Art Melt,” the largest multimedia, juried art exhibit in the state. Now in its 13th year, Art Melt strives to promote professional artists throughout the state while providing an opportunity for the public to experience the best of local fine art, music and performing arts.… Continue reading →

Spring Dance Concert set for Saturday at LSU

The LSU School of Theatre presents the 2016 Spring Dance Concert at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23, in the Claude L. Shaver Theatre in the LSU Music and Dramatic Arts Building, Dalrymple Drive. The concert features choreography by Sandra Parks, head of dance, and student choreographers who have been mentored by Parks. This… Continue reading →

Southeastern Theatre to present ‘Oedipus’

The classic ancient Greek play “Oedipus,” as adapted by Irish writer Frank McGuinness, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. April 19-22 at Southeastern Louisiana University’s Vonnie Borden Theatre in Hammond. The play, written by the Greek playwright Sophocles about 430 B.C., is being presented by Southeastern Theatre. General admission tickets are $10; $5 for seniors and non-Southeastern… Continue reading →

Earth Day exhibit debuts nature-inspired art on paper

Photo provided by FW Gallery -- Andrea Pramuk's work will be featured in FW Gallerys Earth Day exhibit at the Shaw Center.

FW Gallery, 8501 Highland Road, will celebrate Louisiana Earth Day with a pop-up exhibit of works on paper from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette St. Highlighting the endurance of one of nature’s greatest gifts, artists have painted, printed, recycled and repurposed paper in a variety… Continue reading →

Drama ‘God of Carnage’ set at Independence Theatre

BREC’s Independence Park Theatre will present Yasima Reza’s drama “God of Carnage” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 15-16, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 17. The show is directed by Jason Breaux. Set in present-day New York City, “God of Carnage” is the story of two married couples who meet for the first time shortly after… Continue reading →

‘Two Trains’ runs toward opposite destinations

Photo provided by Maddgame Entertainment -- Sterling, Memphis and West, played by, from left, Johnnie Domino, Alexander Scott and Claude Sterling, star in UpStage Theatre's 'Two Trains Running,' which opens Friday.

August Wilson’s drama, “Two Trains Running,” is about life and death. Set in the Hill District, an African-American neighborhood in Pittsburgh, the action takes place in 1969, when the area is undergoing gentrification. UpStage Theatre brings the production to the stage Friday through Sunday. West, the local mortician,… Continue reading →

Theatre Baton Rouge to present slap-stick dinner comedy 'Don't Dress for Dinner'

Photos by BETH BORDELON -- Robert, played by Enrico Cannalla, is married but that hasn't stopped him from chasing Suzanne, played by Eileen Peterson,  in Theatre Baton Rouge's 'Don't Dress for Dinner.'

The characters are the same, but the story is different. But not too different because Marc Camoletti’s “Don’t Dress for Dinner” is a sequel to his “Boeing Boeing,” the 1950s-set comedy. Bernard’s wandering eye is still getting him into trouble when Theatre Baton Rouge opens its production on Friday. Last year, the theater staged Camoletti’s… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge Youth Coalition helps high school students achieve higher goals

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --  Outside the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition office, Lauren Robinson, right, director of junior programs at BRYC, gives a practice 'college tour'  for students preparing to tour several Texas universities.

Perfect grades and high test scores are no excuse for 17-year-old Javian Pierson to miss a tutoring session. Two afternoons each week, the Scotlandville Magnet High School junior gets help with her schoolwork and in preparing for college from the Baton Rouge Youth Coalition, an organization dedicated to helping high achievers like Pierson reach their potential.… Continue reading →

SLU sets ‘Riding Hood’ auditions

Paul Groves

Auditions for the Missoula Children’s Theatre production of “Red Riding Hood” are set for 3 p.m.-5 p.m. Monday at the Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts, 220 E. Thomas St. A nonprofit educational theater troupe, Missoula Children’s Theatre has been a hometown arts favorite since 1992, often as part of Fanfare, Southeastern Louisiana… Continue reading →

California trombonist brings unique sounds to SLU

Contemporary music trombonist Weston Olencki will perform at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Pottle Auditorium on the Southeastern Louisiana University campus in Hammond. The event, presented by SLU’s Department of Fine and Performing Arts, is free. Olencki is a San Francisco-based trombonist and multi-instrumentalist. For more information, call Schuessler at (985) 549-2184. Olencki… Continue reading →