Shared from the 2017-09-14 American Press eEdition


Part two of our look at the upcoming arts and cultural season is packed with plenty of picks


Special to the American Press

“Moscow Nights & Golden Gates” will offer a glimpse into old Russia in March as part of the The McNeese Banners Cultural Season.



The 2018 Banners series will include “Artrageous,” featuring a troupe of artists, musicians, singers and dancers who will pay tribute to a variety of art forms, pop icons and musical genres.


Left: The Lake Charles Civic Ballet will present its spring performance May 20 in the Rosa Hart Theater. Admission to the event is free.

Special to the American Press


Special to the American Press

McNeese Theatre will present “The Crucible” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27-30 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 1.


Christian Youth Theatre-Lake Charles will present “Elf the Musical Jr.” in December.


Danny Barker’s “A Life in Jazz” will be Sept. 25.

Editor’s note: Here’s what’s on tap for the 2018 McNeese Banners series, the McNeese SAGE series, Christian Youth Theater, Lake Charles Civic Ballet, Sulphur Mines Theater and McNeese Theatre.

Banners at McNeese State University will present two fall performances for students before embarking on its regular spring season in March.

The first performance will be Bill Blagg’s interactive magic show, where students will learn magic tricks using the scientific method.

“It’s magic; no child doesn’t want to see that,” said Banners Director Patricia Prudhomme. “In addition, he does really interesting outreach about magic and how it works.”

The event is set for 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, in the Lake Charles Civic Center’s Rosa Hart Theater.

Prudhomme said the second show will be “Page Turner Adventures,” featuring Riley Roam as storyteller Page Turner, as well as former Ringling Bros.’ circus clown Kenny Mikey.

It’s set for 6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 6, in McNeese State University’s Bulber Auditorium.

Prudhomme said the spring series will include a variety of lectures, musical performances, readings and film showings.

She said one notable program will be “Artrageous,” set for 7 p.m. Thursday, March 8, in Bulber Auditorium. A band of artists, musicians and dancers will pay homage to various art forms, resulting in a gallery of finished paintings.

Another, Prudhomme said, will be a lecture by meteorologist Reed Timmer, who has intercepted over 1,000 tornadoes and a dozen hurricanes over the last 20 years.

Prudhomme said the lecture would be particularly relevant because of this year’s active hurricane season.

“I think folks’ interest is going to be really high on that,” she said.

It’s set for 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 11, in the Tritico Theatre.

The opening concert, “One Night in Memphis: Presley, Perkins, Lewis & Cash,” will take residents back to Dec. 4, 1956, when four of the biggest names in rock ’n’ roll played together. A 5:30 p.m. reception will precede the 7 p.m. concert Friday, March 2, at Isle of Capri.

Residents will also get a glimpse into old Russia through the musical performance “Moscow Nights & Golden Gates” at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 15, in Bulber Auditorium.

For more information or to buy tickets, visit or call 475-5123.

LCCB to present ‘Peter Pan,’ holiday season


The Lake Charles Civic Ballet has several performances lined up for the holiday season and into next year, including one that features the story of Peter Pan.

The holiday-themed performance, “’Twas the Night Before Christmas and Other Holiday Treats,” is set for Dec. 7-9 in the Lake Charles Civic Center’s Rosa Hart Theater.

Lady Holly Hathaway, the civic ballet’s artistic director, said the performance will feature just over 200 young performers from the Lake Area.

Hathaway said the performance will include a Christmas card that comes to life and a holiday hoedown.

Hathaway said the ballet dancers began rehearsing for the show during the summer.

She said the last performance of “’Twas the Night Before Christmas” was done in 2010.

“We’ve set the bar very high for ourselves, but I think we’re up for the challenge,” Hathaway said.

Along with the performers, Hathaway said about 100 volunteers help bring the show together, including costumes and other backstage assistance.

The ballet’s next performance, Assemblé 2018, will be at 7 p.m. March 17 and 3 p.m. March 18 in the Rosa Hart Theater. Hathaway said the production will tell the story of Peter Pan.

She said the civic ballet’s last and only performance of “Peter Pan” was in 1977.

“It’s been a long time coming to put this back together,” Hathaway said. “We are trying to push the boundaries for ourselves and step up the creativity for the Lake Area.”

Hathaway said the updated performance differs from the 1977 show in that it has no narration and adds the element of flight, with help from a professional flight group.

“We will choreograph the flight scenes with them,” she said.

“The (1977) performance was much more similar to the play. For this performance, we will tell the story through movement.”

The civic ballet’s spring performance is set for 3-5 p.m. May 20 in the Rosa Hart Theater.

Hathaway said it showcases select works from civic ballet dancers and students of the Lady Leah Lafargue School of the Dance. Dancers will range from ages 3 to adults.



McNeese Theatre

opens with Arthur Miller’s ‘The Crucible’

By Chrissy Stephens

McNeese Theatre will kick off its 78th season with performances of “The Crucible” at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 27-30 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 1 in the Tritico Theatre at the Shearman Fine Arts Complex.

“This year’s theme features a season of classics and originals,” said Charles McNeely, theater coordinator.

McNeese’s production of “The Crucible,” a classic play written by Arthur Miller, will be directed by Brook Hanemann.

It will last about two hours and will include a 15-minute intermission.

The season will feature the original production “The Teenage Project: Mythbusting Adolescence,” directed by Charles McNeely.

The script — written by McNeese faculty and students and members of the community — took nearly a year to develop, McNeely said.

The inspiration for the production, he said, came when his daughters entered their teenage years and he felt the need to “do something theatrical with it.”

The presentation will offer insight into adolescence and how to get through it. The show will last an hour and a half.

It will be at 7:30 p.m. March 21-24 and at 2 p.m. March 25 in the Tritico Theatre at Mc-Neese State University.

Tickets for the shows are $15 per adult, $10 for McNeese faculty/staff, senior citizens, and children. Admission is free for McNeese students with a current ID.

Season tickets are $45 for adults and $30 for McNeese faculty/staff, senior citizens

and youths. Tickets can be purchased at 475-5040.

Christian Youth Theatre: New face on

area arts scene

By Emily Fontenot

Christian Youth Theatre-Lake Charles, a faith-based theater group founded this fall, will present “Elf the Musical Jr.” in December.

As the largest youth theater program in the nation, Christian Youth Theatre trains thousands of students a year.

With the help of Hope Snider, co-pastor of Christian World Ministries, a group of local parents brought the program to Lake Charles.

Managing Director Cherie Benoit said she and other parents started preparing for the season in March.

“It’s very fast paced,” she said. “But we’re proud of ourselves for getting together and being able to provide a quality environment for our kids.”

She said she was motivated to start the program by her 15-year-old son, who loves acting and being on stage. She recalled growing emotional while watching him dance during the first day of classes.

The parents who started the group were looking for an after-school program for children who didn’t enjoy traditional sports, she said.

“Kids that don’t like sports, they need something to do, too,” Benoit said. “A lot of our kids are interested in theater, so we pursued it.”

She said she never dreamed that 90 students would register for classes, which began Sept.


The group begins every class with a 15-minute devotional. “It gives everybody a chance to try to calm down from the day,” she said.

Although the organization promotes Christian values, she said, it “caters to everybody.”

She said the board chose “Elf the Musical Jr.” because it accommodates a large cast, and they’re hoping everyone who auditions can perform.

“I think it will get everyone into the Christmas spirit,” she said.

Performances will be at Lake Charles-Boston Academy of Learning Dec. 1-3: 7 p.m. Friday; 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets for adults are $12 online and $14 at the door; tickets for children and seniors are $10. They can be purchased at or by calling 309-9266.

Another 10-week session will begin in January, followed by a spring performance. All classes are at Christian World; rehearsals will be at Trinity Baptist Church.

Up next at Sulphur

Mines Theater: It’s a murder mystery

By Lisa Addison

The current season of The Mines Theatre continues with the dinner theater production of “Murder at Moon Mansion,” slated for 6:30 p.m. performances on Saturday, Oct. 14, and Saturday, Oct. 28.

“If someone always wanted to be an investigative reporter, then this is the production for them,” said Robyn Settoon, executive director of The Mines Theatre.

“Once a patron buys his or her ticket, they will be sent an investigative reporter’s packet that will contain information that will help them as they begin trying to solve the cold case murder of character Minnie Moon.”

Settoon said the production will be interactive between actors and the audience and that audience members will be able to start looking for clues as they enter the “mansion,” or the performance area. “They may even encounter ghosts from the past as they work to find clues to the murder,” she said.

Proceeds from the event will benefit two organizations, Colors for a Cause and A Missing Piece, said Settoon. “We also have people from both of those groups who are performing in our production,” she said.

Other upcoming productions of The Mines Theatre:

l “A Christmas Story,”

which is a stage play set in the 1940s in which the character of Ralphie Parker is on a quest to get a BB gun for Christmas. Performances of the production are scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 24; 6 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 25; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 26.

l “Once Upon a Christmas,”

a dance production that will take place in collaboration with Kress Dance Revolution, and feature 60 dancers. The show is based on two little girls and the stories that are read to them by their grandfather. A performance is scheduled for 6 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 9, at W.W. Lewis auditorium. The other productions will be in The Mines Theatre, 121 E. Napoleon St., Sulphur. Patrons must be 21 or older to attend the production of “Murder at Moon Mansion.”


For tickets or more information, call 337-215-1602 or visit .

MSU SAGE Series announces fall cultural lineup

Special to the American Press

The fall season of McNeese State University’s SAGE Series will kick off with Danny Barker’s “A Life in Jazz,” by Molly Reid, at 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25. Barker was an early jazz musician, storyteller, songwriter and performer who spent more than 60 years as a working musician. Other events in the series:

l “Maude Reid, Queen of the Scrapbooks Saves Lake Charles History,” Monday, Oct.

9. l “Images of Depression-Era Louisiana,” by Maria Hebert-Leiter, Thursday, Oct. 26. l “Christmas Stories from Louisiana,” by Dorothy Robbins and Kenneth Robbins, Monday, Nov. 13. l “Adventures with Dr. Boudin and the Accidental Invention of the Boudin & Cracklin King Cake,” by Robert Carriker, Monday, Nov. 27.


To register for the series, which is $59 until Monday, Sept. 25, visit

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