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With marble fountain, silk rugs, George Rodrigue art, this Edwin Edwards relative's home style eclectic

Advocate staff photo by BRAD BOWIE -- Penny Edwards' home in Le Triomphe retains its villa elements.

It’s a rare woman who can bring together East and West, but Penny Edwards does. Wife of the late Marion Edwards, her home in Le Triomphe is an homage to the globetrotting life they led during brother Edwin Edwards’ political reign and a testimony to her transition. Built in 1998 and purchased… Continue reading →

Pam’s Party Line: A full calendar

Photo provided DAVID VARDAMEN --- Faculty Appreciation --- Attending Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity's Faculty Appreciation Dinner March 31 at the LSU chapter house are, from left, LSU professor Doug Weimer, graduate assistant Emily Rose Jacobsen, SigEp President Christopher Dedo, LSU Provost Richard Koubek, chapter member Christian Vardaman, Assistant Dean of Students & Associate Director of Greek Life Jonathan Sanders and Vice President for Student Life & Enrollment Kurt Keppler.

Spring is a busy time here in Red Stick, evidenced by all the events on our calendars. Everyone wants to get together one last time before graduations, weddings and summer vacations. Be sure and check out Pam’s Party Calendar at under the Eat Play Live Pam’s Party Line banner to see what’s on the horizon.… Continue reading →

Friends of LPB will honor 6 Legends at annual gala

Photo proviided by LPB -- Charlie Cook

This year’s Louisiana Legends Gala and Auction, a fundraiser for Friends of Louisiana Public Broadcasting, will take place Thursday, May 5, at the Old State Capitol in Baton Rouge. Honorees are Hollis Conway, two-time Olympic medalist and National Track and Field Hall Of Fame inductee; Charlie Cook, political analyst and editor and publisher of the Cook… Continue reading →

Red Stick Hibiscus Show, Sale set for LSU campus

Photo provided by DAMON VEACH -- Hibiscus of all colors and sizes, like this Peppermint Parasol, can be seen and bought at the Red Stick Hibiscus Association's annual show and sale Sunday.

The Red Stick Hibiscus Association will hold its annual Show and Sale from 1-4 p.m. Sunday, May 1. “Honoring Dupont Nursery” is the theme for this year’s event, which will be held at the 4-H Mini Farm Building adjacent to the John M. Parker Coliseum on the LSU campus. Flowers from growers throughout the South will… 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 →

Baton Rouge man says he's better equipped at 68 to tackle challenging Great Divide Mountain Bike Route

Photo provided by DAVE TULLIER -- Dave Tullier, a 68-year-old Baton Rouge bike mechanic, will be riding the lower half of the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route this summer. Last summer, he started from Helena, Montana, and rode 988 miles of the trail's nothern route.

The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is one of America’s best big adventures, traversing thousands of miles of remote dirt roads and high-altitude trails through the Rocky Mountains. And 68-year-old Dave Tullier is tackling it alone. A Baton Rouge bicycle mechanic, Tullier rode 988 miles of the route’s northern half last summer and is training… Continue reading →

LSU professors pry open new world with Triple N Oyster Farm

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING --  LSU biology instructor  Steve Pollock checks the oysters growing in floating mesh bags in his family's Triple N Oyster Farm in Caminada Bay near Grand Isle.

With a 20 mph north wind whipping up whitecaps on Caminada Bay, it’s a Saturday where most small boat owners have second thoughts about venturing from shore. But not Steve Pollock. He has to check his oysters. If Pollock’s 19-foot pleasure craft seems an unconventional commercial fishing boat, he and his… 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 →

Fundraiser promises unique dining experience based on George Rodrigue painting 'Aioli Dinner'

"Aioli Dinner" by George Rodrigue (PP)

The George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts is hosting a one-night fundraising event on May 4 at Longview in Baton Rouge. The Aioli Dinner Supper Club, which is inspired by George Rodrigue’s famous painting “Aioli Dinner,” starts at 6 p.m. The five-course dining experience by chef Peter Sclafani, of Ruffino’s, with wine pairings by Moët… Continue reading →

Crowds celebrate in style

Advocate staff photo by PAM BORDELON --- 'On the Rocks' --- Serving on the committee for this year's Best Dressed Ball are, front from left, Jenny Murphy, Jamie Lewis, Shannon Rasbury, Lindsay Madatic, Chairwoman Katie Baron, Julio Melara, Marsha Baker, M'Elaine Jumonville, Tonya Toups and Mandy Samson; and, back, Michelle Lanoix, Mehann Tullos, Janay Giblin, Melissa Campbell, David Duggens, Brenda Phillips, Marcy Maurer, Heather Kleinpeter and Dave Roberts.

What a fun week! Some of my favorite events filled last week’s calendar, and two of them had record-breaking crowds. The city’s most fashionable were in the spotlight at the annual Best Dressed Ball April 16 at the River Center. Strutting… Continue reading →

French-language kids programming offered on LPB2

Photo provided by LPB -- Beth Courtney

Young viewers will be able to watch, discover, and learn en français at home via 14 hours a week of French-language kids programming launched last week on LPB2 (cable Channel 122). Louisiana Public Broadcasting, CODOFIL (Council for the Development of French in Louisiana) and Groupe Média TFO (Télévision française de l’Ontario), the leader in French educational… Continue reading →

Brontë biography as compelling as author’s own tales

“Charlotte Brontë: A Fiery Heart” by Claire Harman, Knopf, $30, 480 pages, hardcover April marks the bicentennial of Charlotte Brontë’s birth, and Claire Harman’s new biography offers a compelling look at the famed novelist. One of six children of a Methodist minister and his wife,… Continue reading →

Mütter inspired a revolution in medicine

“Dr. Mütter’s Marvels” by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz, Gotham, 371 pages, h ardcover What comes to mind when you think of having surgery? Perhaps a kindly doctor sitting down to explain your condition and the surgery. A sterile operating room, and likely a mask to deliver anesthesia. And being… Continue reading →

Characters take readers through culture

"Kitchens of the Great Midwest" by J. Ryan Stradal

“Kitchens of the Great Midwest” by J. Ryan Stradal. Viking, 2015. $25 Before I start this review, you should know: I love food. I love making it, eating it, reading about it … you get the idea. I pretty much picked up “Kitchens of the Great Midwest” for… Continue reading →

Review: ‘Pretty Girls’ a not-so-pretty thriller

“Pretty Girls” by Karin Slaughter, William Morrow, 394 pages, $29.99 hardcover Yikes. This is not a book for the faint of heart. It is rife with graphic descriptions of violence, torture and sexual sadism. However, I felt the author handled the material with respect, and… Continue reading →

Strong heroine, historical tidbits make for fun read

‘Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante’ by Susan Elia MacNeal, Bantam Dell/Random House, $15, paperback “Mrs. Roosevelt’s Confidante” is the fifth book in Susan Elia MacNeal’s series about Maggie Hope, a special agent for England. In this story, she travels with Winston Churchill across the pond as he negotiates wartime business with Franklin… Continue reading →

‘Fallen Land’ has something of a ‘Cold Mountain’ feel

“Fallen Land” by Taylor Brown, Macmillan, 288 pages, $25.99, hardcover During the last year of the Civil War, Callum and Ava, a young teenage couple brought together under unusual and dire circumstances, are running from a group of nefarious bounty hunters through the land of Sherman’s March in its aftermath.… Continue reading →

Nyad’s book proves you’re never too old

“Find a Way” by Diana Nyad, Alfred A Knopf, 308 pages, 26.95, hardcover Many people 60 or older are doing things not attempted by past generations. Meds, exercise and a new attitude are helping to accomplish no small feats. Ever thought about swimming from Cuba to Florida? “Find A… Continue reading →

First-time novelist shows promise tackling new genre

“The Improbability of Love” by Hannah Rothschild, Alfred A. Knopf, $27.95, hardcover First-time novel writing takes a herculean effort in order to be successful. Many novelists bomb on their first try. Hannah Rothschild’s book is better than most ambitiously written inceptional novels, but it still shows signs that it is a first-time… Continue reading →

‘High Mountains’ waits until last of 3 stories to hit high point

“The High Mountains of Portugal” by Yann Martel, Random House, 352 pages, $27, hardcover This book is confounding, and I cannot figure out if I should recommend it or not. I love Yann Martel’s writing — it’s precise and beautiful; almost meditative. He chooses his words carefully and his… Continue reading →

Take ‘short’ break from your cleaning

“A Manual for Cleaning Women: Selected Stories” by Lucia Berlin, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 432 pages, $26, hardcover I’ve only recently become a reader of short stories. In our hectic lives, reading for pleasure sometimes only comes in short bursts of time, but I’ve discovered that a short… Continue reading →

Human Condition: One dog’s life in the country

For my very first job after graduation, I relocated to New England. Having always lived in the city, my wife and I thought that moving to the countryside would provide an interesting change. We settled on a house with small acreage, essentially farmland, our nearest neighbor being some 600 yards away. This, we thought, was the ideal… Continue reading →

Book events BOOK CLUB: 4:30 p.m., EBR Fairwood Branch Library, 12910 Old Hammond Highway. The FAB (Fairwood Awesome Bookworms) Club is setting out to solve “The Mystery in Venice” by Geronimo Stilton, playing bocce ball, singing silly Italian songs and matching pictures of food and… Continue reading →

‘Rescue’ of Magnolia Mound Plantation to be celebrated

Advocate staff photo by TRAVIS SPRADLING -- A May Fair to celebrate the 'rescue' of the Magnolia Mound Plantation site 50 years ago will be held Sunday, May 1.

In celebration of the “rescue” of the Magnolia Mound Plantation site 50 years ago, a May Fair will be held May 1. The 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. event, which is free and open to the public, will be held on the plantation grounds at 2161 Nicholson Drive in Baton Rouge and will feature musicians, singers… 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 →

Facets of Faith: Each new translation delivers Bible to millions

In the U.S., it seems a new English Bible translation or format comes out every year, and many people own multiple Bibles. So it can seem incomprehensible that there are language groups that don’t even have one Bible translated for its people. An update from and United Bible Societies ( proclaiming 50 new translations finished… Continue reading →

New Salem Baptist celebrates 115 years

New Salem Missionary Baptist Church will celebrate its 115th church anniversary at its 11 a.m. services Sunday. The Rev. Manley Metoyer, assistant pastor of Greater Mount Gideon Baptist Church, will be the guest speaker for the grand occasion. The church has been in the same location at 318 Eddie Robinson Jr. Drive for all of… Continue reading →