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Cangelosi Dance presents its 10th holiday season tribute

Advocate staff photo by JOHN OUBRE -- The Cangelosi Dance Project dancers rehearse on Saturday for an upcoming Christman program.

Not every song in the Cangelosi Dance Project’s Holiday Mix has a holiday theme, but they all connect to the spirit of the season. Sometimes it’s a favorite Christmas carol, other times a song about family and friendship. Then there’s the moment when mermaids spin seasonal magic. It’s all part of… Continue reading →

Pam’s Party Line for Dec. 17, 2014

Photo provided by TIM ELDER --- 'hOLLIday Party' --- At the Lagniappe Chapter of OLLI at LSU's 'hOLLIday Party' Dec. 3 at the Main Library are, seated from left, Karen Link and Jeanette Marino; and, standing, Karen Egedy, Delores Dyer, Camilla Stevenson, Brenda LeBoeuf, Linda Gray, Frances Billeaud and Connie Smith. Members and guests were entertained by a bell choir directed by Kay Hawthorn and a men's quartet under the direction of Randy Gurie, of University Baptist Church.

Looking for some fun holiday experiences to share with friends and family? Check out The Advocate’s new app, BR 24/7, and start a new tradition. Follow Pam on Twitter @pamspartyline. Items for Pam’s Party Line must be received by 9 a.m. the Monday preceding the run date. High-resolution digital… Continue reading →

Common Ground: How’s your Web IQ measure up?

I wrote my last old-fashioned letter on a Hewlett-Packard typewriter about 25 years ago. That machine is now tucked away in the attic along with its dinosaur cartridges and accessories. Today, we use sleek laptops, wireless printers and handheld tablets stocked with apps, photo wizards, WiFi and all kinds of stuff that can make shopping,… Continue reading →

BR lawyer Rubin debuts his first novel, ‘Cottoncrest Curse’

Baton Rouge attorney Michael Rubin's debut novel, 'The Cottoncrest Curse'

Lawyer, adjunct law professor, nationally known legal ethicist, humorist, author, musician — those are just a few of the adjectives that describe Michael Rubin, managing partner at McGlinchey Stafford. “The most important, though, are husband, father and grandfather,” says the 64-year-old, smiling. It’s his role as author that’s put him in the… Continue reading →

‘Flip My Food’ visits Darrow


“Flip My Food” host chef Jeff Henderson visits Houmas House Plantation and Gardens in Darrow on Wednesday’s episode. Henderson, whose syndicated cooking series focuses on making favorite dishes healthier, will be in the kitchen with Houmas House chef Jeremy Langlois to flip some of his Creole and Cajun recipes. Henderson also will tour the antebellum… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: Ring-a-ling

Jeigh Stipe, Sister Betty Lyons, Elizabeth Arnold, Darlene Lovas

It’s Christmastime in the city. The Palmetto Club hosted Silver Bell Soiree 2014, complete with Champagne and sleigh bells at the door. The annual fundraiser benefits the Lafayette Community Health Care Clinic and proceeds go to provide much-needed services for the working uninsured. Doing their share: Terry and Jan Cromwell, Sangeeta and Anil Shah, Elizabeth Abdalla, Jeigh Stipe, Sister… Continue reading →

Routh family puts its own Cajun spin on the holiday cards

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- The Routh family started making Christmas cards in 1994, and its Denham Springs business, The Routh Collection Greeting Card Co., has grown to include the whole family, plus one. In their workshop next to framed prints of their work and garden flags are, from left, Andrew Routh, Tracey McFearin, Brandon Routh, parents Leslie Routh and husband Craig Routh andCraig's parents Stan Routh and Lee Routh.

Way down here in Louisiana, with no snow, ice or reindeer, Christmas looks a little different. For 20 years, the Cajun version of Christmas cheer has been spread by Denham Springs’ Routh family, who craft Louisiana holiday cards with bayou-touched whimsy — gators pulling Santa’s sleigh, crawdads wearing Santa hats… Continue reading →

Wearable activity trackers are among the hottest presents for fitness-minded

Photo provided by Fitbit-- Activity trackers can track how much you move, allowing you to easily monitor your energy expenditure and decide how much exercise you need to lose weight or maintain a healthy size.

In the battle against the couch, wristbands and clip-on computers that track your activity have become popular weapons. Among the hottest Christmas gifts for two years running, these wearable activity trackers can monitor how many steps you take, how many calories you burn and even how well you sleep. Bracelets and small,… Continue reading →

Health Calendar for Dec. 15, 2014

WHAT: Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group meeting WHEN: 1 p.m. Monday, Dec. 15 WHERE: Jones Creek Regional Branch, 6222 Jones Creek Road, Baton Rouge DETAILS: Dianne Miller will lead an information-sharing meeting with caregivers of those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. Alzheimer’s Services of the Capital Area sponsors this free and public program.… Continue reading →

BRBT brings Tchaikovsky down the bayou with La. flavored take on ‘The Nutcracker’

Photo provided by the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre --  Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre's annual production, 'The Nutcracker -- A Tale from the Bayou,' presents the classic Tchaikovsky ballet with a Louisiana theme.

A real warmth comes into Alison Stroming’s voice. She’s just finished performing the part of the Sugar Plum Fairy for the first time with the New Jersey Ballet Company in Newark, New Jersey, and she feels like royalty. “It made me feel so beautiful,” she says. “I really do feel like a queen.”… Continue reading →

Danny Heitman’s “At Random”: A dog’s view of Christmas

From beneath a quilt on these dark December nights, I occasionally sense what sounds like sleigh bells, the music of Christmas faintly guiding me to sleep. But what I’m really hearing is what I hear throughout the year — the jingle, from the next room, of my terrier’s vaccination tag as he rolls over in his… Continue reading →

Christmas ‘do-it-meself’ gone awry

I love having a flocked Christmas tree. In 1978, I went to several tree lots looking for just the right one. They were pretty but cost more than my budget could handle. While attending an early Christmas party, my friend Faye said she had flocked her own tree. I… Continue reading →

About Town for Dec. 14, 2014

WHAT: Baton Rouge Concert Band concert WHEN: 6 p.m. and 7:15 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 20 WHERE: Perkins Rowe shopping center, Baton Rouge INFORMATION: WHAT: Toy collections for U.S. Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots program WHEN: Through Saturday, Dec. 20 WHERE: CC’s Coffee House locations… Continue reading →

Pam's Party Line for Dec. 14, 2014

. The holidays are a time of tradition for many. Several of my holiday traditions took place last week, putting me in the Christmas spirit. Christmas Tea The holidays means it’s time for my annual trek across the river for the Plaquemine Garden Club’s annual Christmas Tea, which I did Dec. 5. This year marked my 21st visit with this talented… Continue reading →

Manning’s ‘Batman’ details crusader’s development

'Batman: A Visual History' by Matthew K. Manning

“Batman: A Visual History” by Matthew K. Manning. DK Publishing, 2014. $50. Batman fans, rejoice! The visual history of the caped crusader is here! A foreword by Frank Miller, “The Dark Knight Returns,” is a fitting opening for a book that takes you from Batman’s humble beginning… Continue reading →

Book Events for Dec. 14, 2014

Book events HONEYKY HANUKAH STORYTIME: 11 a.m., Barnes & Noble Perkins Rowe, 10156 Perkins Rowe, Suite 150. A fun-filled story celebrating Hanukah with an accompanying CD. ANNUAL HOLIDAY FAMILY STORYTIME: 7 p.m., Jones Creek Regional Library, 6222 Jones Creek Road. Christmas books, stories songs… Continue reading →

Manship Marquee Award to be presented to Scherer

The 2014 Manship Marquee Award will be presented to Katherine Scherer at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday before the “Cool Winter Nights and Hot Jazz” performance in the Manship Theatre in the Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette St. The award is presented each year to one person for extraordinary service to the Baton Rouge community through the… Continue reading →

Arts Calendar for Dec. 14, 2014

Here’s what’s going on this week in the area arts and cultural scene: The Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge’s final Holiday Arts Market will be 8 a.m.-noon Saturday, Dec. 20, at Fifth Street near Main Street, downtown Baton Rouge. Admission is free. For more information, call (225) 344-8558. The Baton… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: Announcing 2014’s ‘Naughty List’

Society has always been my favorite crime, and 2014 was a very good year. Like the foreign gentleman who approached my daughter at a local restaurant. In our society, women may venture out alone and this does not spell loose. They are often waiting to have lunch with their American mothers, who make D-Day look like a… Continue reading →

Christmas kettle bells work hard to meet needs

Advocate photo by Mark H. Hunter -- This sign explains how donations to the Salvation Army help the needy.

The Christmas season is probably the most challenging time of the year for many families trying to pay the bills and feed the children and still put some gifts under the tree. That’s why the Salvation Army rings bells and collects donations in red kettles all across America to help. Capt. Brett R.… Continue reading →

Faith Matters: Walking with God through challenges

Stephanie and Phillip Robinson

Stephanie Robinson never expected her husband to die before her. Born with a hole in her heart 62 years ago, she wasn’t expected to live past age 36 and even today requires an oxygen supplement 24 hours a day to breathe. Her husband, Phillip, was a bodybuilder and plant worker who took yearly physicals and had no… Continue reading →

Religion Bulletins for Dec. 13, 2014

The Chancel Choir of University United Methodist Church will perform a Service of Lessons and Carols with orchestra accompaniment at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18. The concert, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the church sanctuary, 3350 Dalrymple Drive, Baton Rouge. Complimentary childcare will be provided.For more information, visit or call (225) 344-0343.

A NIGHT OF INTERCESSION & WORSHIP ... THE EXPERIENCE!: Shepherd’s Gate International Ministries, 6867 Van Gogh Ave. “THE ONLY CHRISTMAS PAGEANT IN TOWN”: 3 p.m., Jefferson Baptist Church, 9135 Jefferson Highway. An original holiday production by Jefferson Baptist. Free. DETERMINED OF BATON ROUGE MUSICAL: 6 p.m.,… Continue reading →

French-Creole cottage in Brusly shares roots with family way back to 1835

Advocate staff photo by ANGELA MAJOR --The Hebert House, the Brusly home of Walter and Lucy Landry, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Lucy Landry knew she lived in one of the oldest homes in Brusly, but it was only after abstractor Drew Gaudet researched the origins of the home did she discover that her roots to it go back more than 200 years. The home, known as the Hebert House, was built about 1835 facing… Continue reading →

Garden News: Treat Christmas trees as cut flowers

Photo by RICK BOGREN  Many Christmas trees are cut well in advance and shipped in, so choose carefully when shopping for a tree.

When you look around, you’ll find Christmas trees for sale in a variety of places — on lots, in nurseries and at big box stores. With so much emphasis on the Christmas tree as the centerpiece of holiday decorations, choosing the right tree is important. Fraser firs are quite popular these days. They have blunt needles… Continue reading →

Community column for Dec. 12, 2014

Photo provided by MELVIN KELLY -- Twilight Lodge -- Twilight Lodge 166 of Prince Hall Masons donated food to the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank on Nov. 24. Shown are, from left, Past Worshipful Master Percy Jackson, Johnny Turner, Secretary Melvin Kelly, Worshipful Master Derian Demery, Henry Allen, J.B. Jackson and Treasurer Andrew Spears.

Franklin graduates from Army basic training Army Pvt. Davonne D. Franklin has graduated from basic combat training at Fort Jackson, Columbia, South Carolina. Franklin is the son of Takita Franklin and grandson of David Franklin, of Baton Rouge, and is a 2014 graduate of McKinley Senior High School. Rucker graduates… Continue reading →

Volunteer column for Dec. 12, 2014

To learn more about these volunteer opportunities provided by Volunteer! United at Capital Area United Way, contact the listed agency directly. HOST A BIRTHDAY PARTY, Volunteers of America — Greta Patterson, (225) 408-3781: Make someone feel special by engaging with the residents of our senior facility for a birthday… Continue reading →

Side Dish: Give the gift of cookbooks

Photo provided  --  Book jacket of Southern Living's 'Christmas All Through the South.'

Don’t panic — yet — if you haven’t decided on gifts for everyone on your holiday gift list. If one (or more) of those names on that list belongs to an enthusiastic home cook or someone who likes to read cookbooks, you’re in luck. A wide variety of outstanding cookbooks and coffee table books featuring recipes are available this… Continue reading →

Wind Ensemble, choirs gather for Southern University holiday concert

Advocate staff  photo by JOHN OUBRE -- The Southern University Concert Chori will perform in the university's fourth annual

Everyone has their favorite Christmas tune, and for Southern University’s director of bands, it’s the Donny Hathaway classic “This Christmas.” Nathan Haymer so loves the song, he’s added it to the program for the Southern University Wind Ensemble’s fourth annual “Yuletide Gift of the Spirit” concert at 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13.… Continue reading →

Pam’s Party Line for Dec. 10, 2014

There are 14 shopping days until Christmas and only 21 days left in the year. That means folks are starting to plan events for 2015. To make it easier to avoid conflicts, be sure and check out Pam’s Party Calendar online at Once you get your event date chosen, be… Continue reading →

Chef John Folse’s new series “Hooks, Lie & Alibis” previewed in LPB’s Winterfest campaign

Photo provided by Don Perdue/WNET -- Luciano Pavarotti performs at Madison Square Garden.

Louisiana Public Broadcasting’s Winterfest 2014 membership campaign continues through Sunday. Special programming this week includes a preview of chef John Folse’s new “Taste of Louisiana” series titled “Hooks, Lie & Alibis” at 7 p.m. Thursday. The well-known Cajun and Creole chef will be in the LPB studios for the preview. Based… Continue reading →

Common Ground: Pecans are Louisiana’s giving tree

Photo provided -- The Rev. Frank Collins III and his wife Sandy pick pecans by the bucket in their yard during the harvest season.

Grosse Tete resident Rev. Frank Collins III is loyal to his backyard duo of pecan trees he planted as a young boy. The trees have become a source of business for his roadside store where he sells vegetables, pork skins and the pecans that he and his wife, Sandy, pick to make his creamy, nutty pecan… Continue reading →

Patricia Gannon: Holiday tea

Jeanne Lantier, Cindy Robichaux, Pat Olson

The Petroleum Club ushered in the holidays with some festive red and green — tea that is. Barbara Judice and Kelli Hanna of Indulge riffed on the topic while the guests made merry with the results. “If you can’t connect with someone over a cup of tea and dessert, it’s a sad day,” said Judice. Connecting were Fran Kellner,… Continue reading →

Making it ‘Snow’: Playmakers strips Disney rewrites from ‘Frozen’ inspiration ‘The Snow Queen

Advocate staff photo by PATRICK DENNIS -- Spencer Smith,as Derick the Elf, left, Sarah Fruge, as Gerda, center and Wil Thomas, as Erick, right, inspect presents and trim the Christmas tree in a scene from Playmakers of Baton Rouge's upcoming production, 'The Snow Queen' at LSU's Reilly Theatre.

If you’re expecting someone to sing “Let It Go,” you’ll be disappointed. But if you’re ready to experience the story that inspired Disney’s 2013 animated hit “Frozen,” you’re in luck. Playmakers of Baton Rouge will stage “The Snow Queen, or When Christmas Freezes Over” beginning Thursday, Dec. 11, in the Reilly Theatre. Jessica… Continue reading →

Community news, Dec. 9, 2014

Photo provided by JUDY NIELSON -- Ikebana International -- Diane Saye and Sylvia Blanchard led a workshop on using pine branches in tall containers when Ikebana International Chapter 42 met Nov. 18 at Grace Baptist Church. Participants learned to construct a crossbar to secure the pine branches and flowers in the containers. Lunch hostesses were Karen Zobrist and Aleta Lester. Shown are, from left, seated, Kay Callander, Zobrist, Melanie Busquet, Blanchard, Lester; standing, Dawn Muscarello, Diane Williams, Judy Nielson, Larry Jonas, Saye, Joyce Siegel, June Smythe, Ruth Pace, Denise Akers and Madeline Breidenbach.

The Odell S. Williams Now and Then African-American History Museum held its Veterans Day celebration Nov. 11. Bryan Babin and retired Army Lt. Col. Harry Johnson provided music. Rabbi Barry Weinstein gave the opening prayer and Marjorie Green welcomed the guests. The Rev. Constance Saizon was mistress of ceremony. Kim… Continue reading →

Getting baby-friendly: New Ochsner program promotes benefits of breast-feeding


New mothers who give birth at Ochsner Hospital and breast-feed their babies know they have a cheering squad behind them. “Starting from the first visit, we talk about birth preferences and bring up breast-feeding,” said Bethanie Genre, a nurse and midwife at Ochsner. The subject is brought up again when the woman is 28 weeks… Continue reading →

How to handle ‘holiday humbug’: A little structure can help seasonal stress


Get decorations from attic. Check. Put ornaments on tree. Check. Bake cookies for neighbors. Check. Find perfect gift for best friend. Check. Clean house from top to bottom. (Still working on that one.) If you’re like most of us, the holiday season often presents an usually long list of “things to do.”… Continue reading →

BR chapter of The Links Inc. has aided the African-American community since 1964

Photo provided by SYLVIA WINDER --- Charter members of the Baton Rouge Chapter of the Links Inc., founded in 1964, are, seated from left, Marjorie Lawless, Jewel Thompson, Allene Rayford and Bessie Holland; and, standing, Julia B. Purnell, Eva Williams, Jean Butler, Lena Cooper, Thelma Perkins and Dorothea Yates.

For five decades now , a group of women has been connected by friendship and the desire to do good in their community. They are members of the Baton Rouge Chapter of The Links Inc., and on Dec. 13 they will celebrate the chapter’s 50th anniversary. The local chapter, chartered on Nov.… Continue reading →

Theatre Baton Rouge production updates Dickens’ holiday classic ‘A Christmas Carol’

Advocate staff photo by HILARY SCHEINUK -- Mourning the loss of Tiny Tim in Theatre Baton Rouge's production of 'A Christmas Carol,' are, clockwise from left, Mrs. Cratchit, played by Susannah Craig; Martha Cratchit, played by Claudia Suire; Bob Cratchit, played by Davis Hotard; Miranda Cratchit, played by Emma Grace Lambert; Peter Cratchit, played by John Thomas Hernandez; Gillian Cratchit, played by Brooke Bell, and Belinda Cratchit, played by Sadie Fontenot.

Even if you’ve seen Theatre Baton Rouge’s production of “Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol,” you’ve never seen it like this. When the show opens Friday, Dec. 12, Scrooge and the Ghost of Christmas Past will be following in the flight path of “Mary Poppins,” who soared through the theater in September. So why not incorporate that same… Continue reading →

At Random: Farmers are founders of our feast

My family started the holidays as we often do — by rising early on Thanksgiving, packing homemade pies as carefully as Faberg√© eggs, then driving west to see relatives in Acadiana, a part of Louisiana that boasts some of the richest farmland in the state. What I like best about the drive is the openness of it.… Continue reading →

Love and family history in a tarte à la bouille

While traveling through my family’s ancestral home of Vacherie, my brother and I recalled the stories of my grandparents’ home where cooking was a daily activity. I was fortunate to have my “Maw-Maw” live with me for a long time growing up, and have fond memories of her simple and delicious cooking. But Maw-Maw surprisingly admitted… Continue reading →

About Town for Dec. 7, 2014

WHAT: Christmas party and luncheon for the Greater Baton Rouge Area Military Officers Association of America WHEN: 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 9 WHERE: Drusilla Restaurant, 3482 Drusilla Lane, Baton Rouge INFORMATION: (225) 766-4900 DETAILS: Those attending are asked to bring an unwrapped toy for the U.S. Marine Corps Toys for Tots drive. Christmas music… Continue reading →

Pam's Party Line for Dec. 7, 2014

Girls in white dresses and pink starfish top this Sunday’s agenda. Fourteen senior members of Les Jeunes Amies were presented at the Baton Rouge Symphony League’s annual Bal de la Symphonie Nov. 29 at the Crowne Plaza. Welcoming guests and sponsors were Symphony League President Jenny Gray,… Continue reading →

Book examines how Russell Long blazed his own ‘Life in Politics’

'Russell Long: A Life in Politics' by Michael Martin

“Russell Long: A Life in Politics” by Michael S. Martin. University Press of Mississippi, 2014. $35. This is a thoroughly researched book that is a great combination of political history and biography of the son of Huey P. Long. Born into Louisiana’s most influential political family,… Continue reading →

Book Events for Dec. 7, 2014

Book events FICTION WRITERS WORKSHOP: 7 p.m. Greenwell Springs Regional Library, 11300 Greenwell Springs Road. Limited to 15. Call to register. (225) 274-4440. HISTORICAL SOCIETY BOOK CLUB: 7 p.m., Jones Creek Regional Branch, 6222 Jones Creek Road. “When Paris Went Dark:… Continue reading →