Shared from the 2/28/2019 American Press eEdition



Puddles Pity Party l April 1 7 p.m. Rosa Hart Theatre


Josephine: A Burlesque Cabaret Dream Play l March 8 7 p.m. Tritico Theatre


Special to the American Press

Peter Gros from the original “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” will speak at F.G Bulber Auditorium Friday, March 29.

Brook Hanemann said she is excited about overseeing the 2019 McNeese State University Banners program.

Hanemann, who took the helm as director of the program just before the 2018 season kicked off, said last year’s season attracted 15,000 attendees.

This year, she’s hoping for even more.

Hanemann said this season will be staged in downtown Lake Charles, as it is every third year, to promote foot traffic for areas businesses.

She said organizers of the 2019 Banners Cultural season have worked to make sure the program’s offerings appeal to all demographics.

“This year succeeds in being very diverse,” she said.

March 8

The season opens to the general public with Josephine: A Burlesque Cabaret Dream Play, beginning at 7 p.m., Friday, March 8, in the Tritico Theatre in the Shearmen Fine Arts Annex on the McNeese campus. The one-woman biographical musical combines cabaret, theatre and dance to tell the story of Josephine Baker, the first African-American international superstar. The event is for those 18 and older.

March 9

Billy Strings kicks off at 7 p.m. in F.G. Bulber Auditorium on the McNeese campus. Strings is a bluegrass prodigy known to break several strings per song. His songs are about the hard lives he saw growing up in the abandoned rural communities of America.

March 12

Ilse N. Bulhof Lecture: The Tree Between Heaven and Earth will begin at 7 p.m. in the Stokes Auditorium in Hartdner Hall on the McNeese campus. Bulhof was an internationally acclaimed academic, philosopher and author. Her son, McNeese professor Johannes Bulhof, presents the lecture about her life and works. Admission is free and no ticket is required to attend.

March 16

Leif Pedersen’s Jazz N’ Bossa kicks off at 7 p.m. in F.G. Bulber Auditorium. The performance features jazz clarinet player Ken Pepelowski, Chuck Redd on Vibes, vocalist Leif Pedersen (previously of the Tommy Dorsey Band), pianist John Mahoney, bassist Ed Wise and special guest Brazilian jazz guitar sensation Diego Figueiredo.

March 17

A Celtic Pilgramage with John O’Donohue begins at 3 p.m. in Stokes Auditorium on the McNeese campus. This documentary featuring the Irish poet, philosopher and theologian John O’Donohue will be introduced with personal anecdotes and will be followed by a question-and-answer session.

March 24

Freedom Brass will begin at 3 p.m. in F.G. Bulber Auditorium. The brass ensemble of the U.S. Air Force Band of the West is comprised of two trumpets, French horn, trombone, tuba and percussion performing a repertoire spanning music over five centuries.

March 26

The Red Hot Chili Pipers will begin at 7 p.m. in Bulber Auditorium. The performance is being promoted as “Bagpipes with attitude, drums with a Scottish accent, and a show so hot it carries its own health warning.”The band fuses traditional Scottish music with rock/pop anthems that they call “bagrock.”

March 29

Peter Gros from the original Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom will present a free performance for schools at 10 a.m. in Bulber Auditorium and a regular performance at 7 p.m. He has spent nearly 30 years working with wildlife.

March 31

Abdullah Ibrahim: A Struggle for Love documentary, begins at 3 p.m. in Bulber Auditorium. Touted as the “spiritual and reallife successor of Duke Ellington, Ibrahim is considered to be the greatest living jazz musician. The Cape Town native was born Adolph Johannes Brand in 1934 and his music conveys African, British, Chinese, Indian, Islamic and American music influences. He met Duke Ellington in Switzerland in 1962 and returned to his home country in 1990 after the release from prison of Nelson Mandela and his conversion to Islam.

April 6

Jazz Master Abdullah Ibrahim will perform at 7 p.m. in Bulber Auditorium.

April 9

Unthinkable: Inside Criminal Minds with William Aprill will begin at 7 p.m. in Stokes Auditorium. Aprill, a career mental health provider and former decorated law enforcement agent, will lead a lecture delving into what turns a normal human into a violent monster and how predators select their victim.

April 11

Former McNeese professor Robert Cooper will present his poetry and travel stories, beginning at 7 p.m., at the 1911 Historic City Hall at 1001 Ryan St. The event is free to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. No ticket is required.

April 15

The Americans kick off at 6 p.m. in Bulber Auditorium. The lecture/performance will feature acoustics and a deep knowledge of the pre-war recording era.

April 17

Chase Padgett: 6 Guitars will begin at 7 p.m. in Tritico Theatre in the Shearman Fine Arts Annex. 6 Guitars is a blend of music, comedy, and characters featuring blues, jazz, rock, classical, folk and country musical styles.

April 28

The animated movie “Sing” will be presented beginning at 3 p.m. in Stokes Auditorium in Hartdner Hall. The movie features humanoid animals vying for a $100,000 singing contest award.

April 30

A Digital History of Engagement begins at 7 p.m. in Stokes Auditorium. Louisiana-based multimedia Maestro Jarret Loftstead, using material from the Banners season, will discuss the process of creating highlights and lead a talk-back discussing the integration and elevation of the digital work and local contributors.

Arts education

Banners is “not just entertainment,” Hanemann said. “I’ve seen the need for arts and communication in this community.”

Hanemann said she previously worked in an “artsrelated way” in a Lake Charles school in a low-income community.

“To say that the school was under-served or that the children came from backgrounds where they didn’t have a lot of resources would be the most gross understatement,” Hanemann said. “There is no way for me to articulate what these children do not have.”

Throughout the year, Banners brings art into local schools. Last year, Banners presented a South African steel drum performance at schools. This year, former area resident Damien Thibodeaux, who has been teaching kindergarten students music and dance in China, is going to do a cultural exchange in the schools.

Hanemann said he will bring video of his Chinese students performing a song and dance they learned in his class. He’ll teach local students a song a dance to be filmed and shown to Thibodeaux’s students in China.

The 2019 Banners membership drive is underway now.

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