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Musical comedy ‘Company’ tells timeless tale of marriage

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS --Dana Todd-Lux, Jason Dowies and Chip Davis, left to right in a scene from Theatre Baton Rouge's  upcoming production of Stephen Sondheim's musical, 'Company.'

Even though “Company” is all about marriage, at the center of Stephen Sondheim’s musical comedy is Robert, a single guy celebrating his 35th birthday. What better way for Robert to explore the possibilities of marriage than by observing the married couples who are throwing his surprise party? There are five of them, all with a different… Continue reading →

‘Madame Butterfly’: Opéra Louisiane brings Puccini’s grand opera back to Baton Rouge

Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- Gwendolyn Jones, left, plays Butterfly's maid, Suzuki, in the Opera Louisiane production of 'Madama Butterfly.' Travis Richter, center, plays Goro, and Chauncey Parker, right, plays Pinkerton.

For the first time in 25 years, Giacomo Puccini’s grand opera “Madama Butterfly” will be staged in Baton Rouge. Opéra Louisiane will stage the performance Sunday, March 8, in the Baton Rouge River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts. The production, performed in Italian with English subtitles, will be the company’s first grand opera since… Continue reading →

LSU theater group to perform ‘Carrie the Musical’, yes... that ‘Carrie’

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Playing high school students in 'Carrie, the Musical' are, from left, Sarah Fruge, Jacob Voisin, Alexander Adams and Emily Heck, with Haley Schroeck, who plays Carrie's mother,  and Abigail Tatum as Carrie in the LSU Department of Theatre's production.

Get ready for Carrie. Yes, that Carrie — the one whose high school prom climaxes with a bloody finale. She’ll take the Reilly Theatre stage Wednesday, March 4, to begin LSU Theatre’s Main Stage run of “Carrie the Musical.” That’s right. Carrie White’s story will be told through music. And there will be blood.… Continue reading →

Famous African works on display at Southern

Photo by Robin Miller -- Benny Andrews' piece, 'Turtle Dove,' is part of the Irvin Jones Collection of African American Art in Southern University's Visual Arts Gallery.

Benny Andrews’ painting, “Turtle Dove,” reminds Randell Henry of a trip to Africa. Henry was on his way to Africa and Andrews was at home in New York, where Henry had to change planes before flying overseas. Henry brought along a few photos he’d taken of Andrews at an exhibit of his work at the Ogden Museum… Continue reading →

Arts calendar for March 1, 2015

HERE’S WHAT’S GOING ON IN THE AREA ARTS AND CULTURAL SCENE: Tickets are on sale for the LSU Museum of Art’s Masquerade on the Mississippi, set for 7-10 p.m. Thursday, March 26, at the museum in the Shaw Center of the Arts, 100 Lafayette St. The event celebrates the museum’s 10th anniversary at the… Continue reading →

Sousa-style concert set at The Bayou Church

Nostalgia reigns at 3:30 p.m. Sunday when the Lafayette Concert Band stages a concert in the style of John Philip Sousa, the most influential band leader of the early 20th century, in The Bayou Church, 2234 Kaliste Saloom Road, Lafayette. “Known as ‘The March King,’ Sousa possessed a larger-than-life persona,” conductor Gerald Guilbeaux says. “His charisma, musicianship… Continue reading →

Port Hudson museum gets model of Civil War-era gunboat

Photo provided by Office of State Parks -- A scale model of the Union gunboat USS Essex is being added to the Port Hudson State Historic Site museum. It's inaugural sail will be 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 28, during a program at the historic site, which is on U.S. 61 near Zachary.

Port Hudson State Historic Site is adding a 1:32 scale model of the Union gunboat USS Essex that served during the Civil War to its exhibits collection. The model was created and donated by Robert Seal, of American Battlesite Productions, and Baton Rouge-area artist Bill Toups and is on display in the… Continue reading →

Eric Holowacz out as CEO of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge

Eric Holowacz

Eric Holowacz is no longer president and CEO of the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. Brian Haymon, chairman of the arts council’s board of directors, said Holowacz resigned. However, Moffitt Aycock, former interim director of the Community Fund for the Arts Campaign, said Haymon announced Friday that Holowacz had been fired. “Brian… Continue reading →

Society meets scandal: UpStage Theatre invites all to ‘Nacirema Society’

Photo provided by Maddgame Entertainment -- Crystal Jefferson plays Marie Dunbar, Mercedes Wilson plays Janet Logan and Myesha McGarner plays Catherine Green in UpStage Theatre's production of Pearl Cleage's 'The Nacirema Society.'

Even Grace Dubose Dunbar’s name matches the role of doyenne. It’s elegant yet regal. Most of all, it’s flush with status, because Grace’s name is part of a legacy founded in 100 years of the Nacirema Society. Her grandmother founded the organization in Montgomery, Alabama, alongside Catherine Green’s grandmother. Now it’s their responsibility… Continue reading →

LSU Library showcase set on La. black history

In recognition of Black History Month, the LSU Libraries’ Special Collections’ next “Afternoon in the Archives” will feature a sampling of publications, documents and photographs that span more than 200 years of African-American history. The event, which will be from 3:30 p.m to 5 p.m. Tuesday in Hill Memorial Library, is free. On display will be… Continue reading →

Arts calendar for Feb. 22, 2015

Here’s what’s happening this week in the area arts and cultural scene: Baton Rouge Community College, 201 Community College Drive, has scheduled several events in celebration of Black History Month: “An Evening with Dr. Calvin Mackie,” 1 p.m. Tuesday, Feb 24, Magnolia Performing Arts Pavilion; a jazz workshop with Stephanie Jordan and Eric Baskin, 1… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge’s New Venture Theatre presents ‘Sophisticated Ladies,’ a show that even surprised the dancers

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND -- Tanesha Craig and Christian Jones, who plays Duke Ellington, rehearse a flirty scene for New Venture Theatre's 'Sophisticated Ladies,' which opens Feb. 19 at the Manship Theatre.

The dancers’ mix of surprise and awe were priceless, so much that Greg Williams Jr. can’t help laughing about it now. “They didn’t know that all the dances they’re doing today originated with the Lindy Hop, the dance their grandparents were doing back then,” says Williams, New Venture Theatre’s founding artistic director. “They thought they would be… Continue reading →

Program lets children build their ideal city

The American Institute of Architects Baton Rouge will host “Building Blocks: If Kids Ruled the City” from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, at Capitol Park Museum, 660 N. Fourth St., Baton Rouge. Admission is free. The program is an interactive experience where youngsters ages 7-11, their parents and siblings, aided by architects and… Continue reading →

Contemporary exhibit winding down

Photo provided by the Louisiana Art & Science Museum -- Edward Pramuk's painting,

This is the final week to visit the Louisiana Art & Science Museum’s Capital City Contemporary exhibit, a show that features the talents of local and regional artists. A part of Baton Rouge Prospect.3’s lineup of exhibits, the show is an extension of the international contemporary art biennial Prospect.3 New Orleans. The exhibit closes on Sunday,… Continue reading →

LSU exhibit looks at Whistler’s impact

Photo provided by the LSU Museum of Art -- Whistler inspired other artists, like James McBey, to come to Venice. McBey''s 1925 etching on laid paper, 'Venetian Nights,' is on loan from Syracuse University Art Galleries and is part of the LSU Museum of Art's exhibit, 'An American in Venice: James McNeill Whistler and His Legacy.'

Venice was James McNeill Whistler’s to discover, and he didn’t want to waste time with the logistics of preliminary sketches for his etchings. He had to capture the city in the moment, so he carried prepared plates into the streets and etched the images directly into them. That was in 1879. Some artists… Continue reading →

LSU Theatre’s Lab Season presents Mee’s ‘Big Love’

LSU Theatre’s Lab Season presents a production of Charles Mee’s “Big Love,” with performances slated for Tuesday through Sunday, Feb. 10-15, in the Studio Theater, located in the LSU Music and Dramatic Arts Building on Dalrymple Drive. Fifty brides flee their 50 grooms and seek refuge in a villa on the coast of Italy in this… Continue reading →

Foundation seeks entries for Art Contest

The deadline is Monday, Feb. 16, for entries in the sixth annual Art Contest sponsored by the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts in partnership with the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Foundation. This year’s contest theme is “Louisiana’s Music.” Applications are being accepted at The contest is open to all Louisiana juniors and… Continue reading →

Arts Calendar for Feb. 8, 2015

Here’s what’s going on in the area arts and cultural scene: Artist Michael Triegel will speak in the Paula G. Manship Endowed Lecture at 5 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, in the auditorium of the LSU College of Art & Design Building on campus. An artist’s reception will follow at 6 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at… Continue reading →

Exhibit of stroke-inspired art might be final showing for Baton Rouge artist Ed Pramuk

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  In Ed Pramuk's studio, the paintings in his 'Illuminations' series are infused with the warmth he felt after having a stroke. The exhibit will be at the Gallery at the Manship Theatre.

Ed Pramuk recalls only peace in the warmth of a golden light, the same warmth that emanates from the gold paintings in his studio. Maybe it’s in the way he’s arranged them. The large canvases form three walls, and a viewer in the center can almost see Pramuk’s vision when a stroke rendered… Continue reading →

Louisiana’s Native Guard: WBR Museum remembers the Civil War sacrifice of a group of free men of color

The bayonet would have been attached to a Springfield Model 1861 rifle, the only weapon issued to a regiment of black men for defense against Confederate cannon fire.
It wouldn’t have been as rusty as it is now in the glass case in the West Baton Rouge Museum’s Brick Gallery. And, the shooter was probably felled before getting a… Continue reading →

Classic ‘All My Sons’ coming to LSU; Jane Page: ‘I jumped at the chance to direct this play’

Advocate staff photo by HEATHER MCCLELLAND --  Joe and Kate Keller, played by Terry Layman and Kate Skinner, will star in Swine Palace's production of 'All My Sons.'

Jane Page is crossing “All My Sons” off her bucket list. It’s a story she’s always loved but never directed until Swine Palace invited her to head its production of Arthur Miller’s Tony Award-winning 1947 drama, which opens this week in LSU’s Studio Theatre. Page heads the directing program in the University of California Irvine’s Department… Continue reading →

Manship Theatre will screen ‘As It Is in Heaven’

The Manship Theatre in the Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette St., will host a screening of the film “As It Is in Heaven” at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 5. The film is directed by Joshua Overbay, LSU Theatre assistant professor of television and film. The critically acclaimed film has played at several film festivals throughout… Continue reading →

Amite restaurant, theater to present ‘Love Letters’

The Amite Little Theatre and The Boston Restaurant are combining forces to present a performance of the romantic comedy “Love Letters.” The performance is at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 6, at the restaurant, 100 Northeast Central Ave., Amite. Tickets are $40, or $65 for couples and include a dinner of tossed salad, chicken alfredo, stir-fry mixed… Continue reading →

Lafayette theater to host ‘Inherit the Wind’

Wanderlust Theatre Co., will perform Jerome Lawrence’s and Robert Edwin Lee’s “Inherit the Wind” on Feb. 5-8 and Feb. 12-14 in Theatre 810, 810 Jefferson St., Lafayette. Sunday matinees begin at 3 p.m. All other performances are set for 7:30 p.m. In a fresh, modern, multimedia retelling of a small-town courtroom with the eyes of the… Continue reading →

‘Other People’s Money’: TBR production examines morality while rooting for all evil

Photo provided by KENNETH MAYFIELD -- Kevin Harger, center, plays Lawrence Garfinkle, a corporate raider, while Brian Hales, right, is the CEO of the company he wants to take over in 'Other People's Money' at Theatre Baton Rouge. Robert Gautreau, left, portrays the company's president.

When the entertainment industry jerked its collective knee in outrage at corporate raiders and financial shenanigans in the late 1980s, Michael Douglas’ portrayal of Gordon Gekko in “Wall Street” created a poster boy for all that was perceived as wrong with high-stakes stock players. For the next two weeks, Kevin Harger is a portlier but compelling… Continue reading →

Getting their kicks: Get ready to smile at Of Moving Color’s ‘Kick it Out’ show

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Marlon Grigsby, left, and Rebecca Sawyer practice their steps -- the smiles comes naturally -- to 'A Wink and a Smile' for Of Moving Colors' upcoming 'Kick It Out.'

Smiles are contagious in the studio on Sunday afternoons. That’s when the cast of 80 youngsters gathers in the Powell Moise School of Dance to rehearse for Of Moving Colors’ annual community show “Kick It Out.” The show opens on Friday, Jan. 30, in the Manship Theatre, and smiles are guaranteed.… Continue reading →

Tula Telfair LASM exhibit will show off her epic vistas

Photo provided by the Louisiana Art & Science Museum -- TulaTelfair will speak at the Louisiana Art & Science Museum on Jan. 29. Her exhibit, 'A World of Dreams: Landscapes by Tula Telfair,' runs througbh March 15 in the Main Gallery.

Tula Telfair always sees color, even now on her drive into New York from Middletown, Connecticut. She describes the scene over the telephone, the atmosphere forming blocks of color above the horizon line. Like the weather, it’s always different, offering surprises that find their way into her landscape paintings. She’ll travel to… Continue reading →

LSU concert highlights students

Photo provided by the LSU School of Music -- The LSU Trombone Choir will be among the many student ensembles featured in the LSU School of Music's annual nonstop concert, Concert Spectacular on Friday, Jan. 30, in the LSU Student Union Theater.

Audience members were few in the early days. Fans of the LSU School of Music’s Concert Spectacular might find this hard to believe, but Bill Grimes remembers. He produced the school’s first nonstop concert in collaboration with then Dean Ron Ross. The show featured a diverse program of musicians and genres within… Continue reading →

Arts Calendar for Jan. 25, 2015

Here’s what’s going in the local arts and cultural scene: “Brave Steps: The Louisiana Native Guard,” runs through March 22 at the West Baton Rouge Museum, 845 N. Jefferson Ave., Port Allen. The exhibit marks the last year of the U.S. Civil War Sesquicentennial. (225) 336-2422, Registration is open… Continue reading →

‘Picture Your Park’ exhibit seeking applicants

Baton Rouge Gallery, a BREC facility at 1515 Dalrymple Drive, is now accepting photography submissions for the juried exhibit “Picture Your Park.” Visitors to City-Brooks Park should capture a photographic image of the BREC park setting. Located on 154 acres in the southwestern part of East Baton Rouge Parish near LSU, City-Brooks Park encompasses a… Continue reading →

Values, worth emerge in ‘Other People’s Money’

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Value and worth are at the core of 'Other People's Money,' starring, from left, Robert Gautreau as William Coles; Courtney Murphy as Kate; Brian Hales as Andrew Jorgenson, and Nancy Litton as Bea in the Theatre Baton Rouge production that opens Friday, Jan. 23.

The story is all too familiar, especially in modern times. A locally owned company is built from the ground up. Those who work there think of it as a family, but sentiment doesn’t mean anything to the corporation looking in from the outside. It sees the company only in terms of stockholder shares, and the mere… Continue reading →

Sinfonietta to present family concert ‘Music for the Young at Heart’

Judy Constantinides

Without giving too much away, Judy Constantinides mentions “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice.” The characters are a little different, but it shares a story line with “Porridge,” the folktale she’s adapted for the Louisiana Sinfonietta’s annual family concert, “Music for the Young at Heart.” The performance, set for 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, in the LSU School… Continue reading →

BRSO’s 4th concert features renown cellist

Photo provided by the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra -- Cellist Bion Tsang

Internationally recognized cellist Bion Tsang will perform with the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, at the Baton Rouge River Center Theatre for the Performing Arts. In addition to Ludwig van Beethoven’s “Symphony No. 6, op. 68, F Major” and Tsang’s featured performance of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Variations on a Rococo Theme,”… Continue reading →

Volunteers to help paint pillars on ramp at I-10 Bridge

The Walls Project will join with Baton Rouge Mayor-President Kip Holden’s neighborhood revitalization initiative, “Love Your Block,” on Monday, Jan. 19 — the Martin Luther King Day of Service — for a community paint day to create art on the pillars holding up the I-10 Mississippi Bridge ramp. Volunteers are needed to help paint as… Continue reading →

Arts Calendar for Jan. 18, 2015

Here’s what’s going on in the area arts and cultural scene: Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre will host auditions for the American Ballet Theatre Summer Intensive Sunday, Jan. 18, at the Dancers’ Workshop, 10745 Linkwood Court. Registration is at 2 p.m. For more information, call (225) 766-8379 or visit The American Institute of… Continue reading →

Baton Rouge artist known for lively paintings of musicians has died

Photo provided by Christopher Turner -- Local artist Taufeeq Muhammad, known for his paintings of jazz and lbues musicians, died Jan. 9 at age 39. A memorial service is scheduled Thursday.

Baton Rouge artist Taufeeq Muhammad loved music and wanted viewers to get a glimpse of that love by painting musicians in an animated style that made him well known in the arts community. “It’s almost like connecting the dots,” friend and fellow painter Christopher Turner said. “He painted what he loved, and the viewers could be… Continue reading →

Lafayette artist works to open minds through body painting

Photo by Spade -- 'Stopping Time'

Brittney Pelloquin’s art is meant to disappear. “It was so hard for me at first,” she says. “Paint, enjoy it for what it is, and then wash it away.” The Lafayette native, 27, who has a visual arts degree from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, pursues body painting, an ephemeral art form much… Continue reading →

LSU museum hoping art lovers will pony up to fund French exhibit

Photo provided by the LSU Museum of Art -- Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's color lithograph, 'The Troupe of Mile Eglantine,' will be among the 185 artworks in the LSU Museum of Art's exhibit, 'Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne: Paris 1880-1910.'

There are only two days left in the LSU Museum of Art’s Kickstarter campaign to bring Paris to Baton Rouge. That’s how museum curator Katie Pfohl sums up the exhibit, “Toulouse-Lautrec and La Vie Moderne: Paris 1880-1910,” set to open on Sept. 5. “Paris is the capitol of France, and Baton Rouge is the capitol of… Continue reading →

Exhibit’s pieces offer different ways of seeing things

Advocate photo by ROBIN MILLER -- A detail from 'America the Beautiful,' a museum mount on Fujiflex piece by Andrew Soria, of Miami

Sean Mulholland’s piece is an optical illusion in the simplest way. The artist from Talent, Oregon, didn’t incorporate holograms or computerized parts in his piece. He simply printed his picture on metal. “It looks different from different angles,” Jason Andreasen says. “It’s fun. The effect is also amazing.” Andreasen is executive director of Baton Rouge… Continue reading →

Rose awards projects on display

An exhibit showcasing the American Institute of Architects Baton Rouge’s award-winning projects will be open through Jan. 18 at the Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette St., Baton Rouge. The free exhibit, “Building Ideas: The Making of Architecture,” provides a glimpse into the inner workings of how architects do their job to make buildings become a… Continue reading →

Ballet troupe brings dance, nutrition info to schools

Photo provided by Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre -- Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre is taking reservations for its Ballet for Children's tour, of

Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre’s Ballet for Children is taking reservations for its spring tour, “Journey to the Emerald City: Healthy Stops and Healthy Swaps.” Directed by Michele Ball, a registered dietitian and professional dancer, Ballet for Children’s in-school performance introduces students to dance and nutrition through humorous dialogue woven between original choreography. “Journey to the… Continue reading →

Arts Calendar for Jan. 11, 2015

What’s happening this week in the area arts and cultural scene: Tickets are on sale for the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra’s Investar Bank Masterworks IV concert at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 22, honoring composer Stephen Paulus with a performance of his commissioned piece, “The Age of American Passions,” in the Baton Rouge River Center… Continue reading →

Sculpture creatures might cause a few yelps at Prospect.3+BR exhibit in Baton Rouge

Advocate photo by ROBIN MILLER -- 'My Life as a Mermaid' by Jennifer Carwile is a favorite of visitors to the Prospect.3+BR 'Notes Upriver' exhibit.

Every once in awhile, someone will let out a yelp, which is appropriate for the scary-cute “Voyeur.” That’s the name Jenni Lombardi and Ian Minich have given their bevy of surreal stoneware sculpture creatures for the Prospect.3+BR “Notes Upriver” exhibit, which runs through Sunday, Jan. 25. Their work is featured among that of… Continue reading →