New brochures have just been mailed. They are also available at all public libraries and at the Southwest Louisiana Convention and Visitors Center, or by calling the Banners Series office at 337-475-5123. Detailed information about the performances and videos of the artists are available on the Banners Series website at www.banners.org.
A basic membership to the Banners Series includes two tickets to all events for $150, plus invitations to exclusive meet-the-artist receptions. People can join by calling the Banners office or visiting the Banners website.
"It's still the best deal in town," says Mary Richardson, Banners director. "You save $340 over buying the tickets individually." Tickets to individual performances are $20 for adults and $5 for children or students. McNeese and Sowela students are admitted free with IDs. The series also includes eight lectures that are free to the public.
Richardson noted that a scheduling conflict has moved the lecture date by Astronaut Story Musgrave to April 17.
Events in this year's series include:
"Bombay Bellywood" by the Bellywood Superstars: Sunday, Feb. 26, Rosa Hart Theatre, Lake Charles Civic Center
The show merges traditional and tribal belly dancing with Indian dance styles for an extravaganza rich in costuming with exciting, infectious music.
9th McLeod Lecture Series: "The Speaker of the House Wields a Heavy Gavel," Thursday, March 1, Ralph Squires Auditorium, 7 p.m.
The ninth annual McLeod Lecture will explore the pivotal role the Speaker of the House plays in Louisiana politics. The panel discussion will be televised by Louisiana Public Broadcasting and will air at a later date.
mozART GROUP: Sunday, March 4, F.G. Bulber Auditorium, 3 p.m.
The group's concerts evoke the spirit of Victor Borge. In the group's own words: "We treat our muse with a humorous irony, and we're sure she will have nothing against it!"
A Far Cry Chamber Orchestra: Friday, March 9, F.G. Bulber Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
These 17 young musicians are bent on making music according to their own rule and are a far cry away from ordinary chamber orchestras. Everything is up for interpretation. The concert will include music by Schmelzer, Respighi, Beethoven and Britten. www.afarcry.org
"When Religion Becomes Lethal," a lecture by Dr. Charles A. Kimball: Tuesday, March 13, Parra Ballroom, 7 p.m.
Dr. Charles Kimball will give his third lecture for the Banners Series. He has continued to work on issues related to Islam, the Middle East and Jewish-Christian-Muslim relations, and has just published his follow-up book, "When Religion Becomes Lethal: The Explosive Mix of Politics and Religion in Judaism, Christianity and Islam." He is the head of the religious studies program at the University of Oklahoma.
"Tradition and Creativity: From Louisiana Creole Expressive Culture to 'American Routes,'" a lecture by Nick Spitzer, Friday, March 16, Stokes Auditorium, Juliet Hardtner Hall, 7 p.m., free
Nick Spitzer, host of the popular public radio show, "American Routes," will talk about what he learned doing field work in the Creole communities of southwestern Louisiana and how that knowledge influenced the creation of "American Routes" and its eclectic balance of tradition and improvisation.
Rhythmic Circus in "Feet Don't Fail Me Now": Saturday, March 17, F.G. Bulber Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
Rhythmic Circus is back for a command performance after giving the all-time favorite performance in 19 years of Banners Series history last spring. See the dance troupe that has become an underground percussive-dance phenomenon, backed by a funky seven-piece band. www.rhythmiccircus.com.
"Will Chile Be Capitalism's Achilles Heel?"- a lecture by Josh Rushing: Tuesday, March 20, Shearman Fine Arts Theatre, 7 p.m.
The streets of Chile are erupting in violent clashes between students and police and the main conflagration is over the threat of wealth consolidation. Josh Rushing, who recently returned from weeks of reporting on the front lines of Chile's conflict, will discuss the forces that have led Chile to this turbulent place and what it bodes for the future of America.
Samite: A Trio with the Soul of Africa: Saturday, March 24, Shearman Fine Arts Theatre, 7:30 p.m.
A refugee from Uganda, Samite sings about his difficult and inspiring tale with grace, warmth and wit. He sings in a bright, sweet tenor often accompanied by thumb pianos (kalimba), flute, guitar, marimba and percussion instruments.
Mnozil Brass: Tuesday, March 27, F.G. Bulber Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
Each of the seven masters of brass-and-song has a lot of actor in him, and every piece is precisely choreographed so that each person is constantly fooling around on stage and doing impossibly funny things- yet somehow still has enough breath to make a mighty and powerful sound. www.mnozilbrass.at
25th Annual National Works on Paper: Thursday, March 29, Shearman Fine Arts Grand Gallery, 6-8 p.m., and gallery talk, 7 p.m. Presented by the Department of Visual Arts
Juror for the exhibition is Lynn Gumpert, director of New York University's Grey Art Gallery. The show will be on view until May 5. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday.
The Malone Brothers, featuring Tommy Malone of the subdudes and Dave Malone of The Radiators: Saturday, March 31, F.G. Bulber Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
Co-sponsored with Live in Louisiana and KRVS Public Radio Station.
The Malone Brothers' music embodies the soulful diversity of New Orleans sounds. From deeply felt ballads to raucous roots-rock, Tommy and Dave Malone and their legendary groups the subdudes and The Radiators have long defined different ends of Louisiana's roots-rock spectrum. Now, for the first time ever, the boys from Edgard have teamed up to create new work drawn from the wellsprings of their talent, influences and interwoven histories.
John Pizzarelli Jazz Quartet: Friday, April 13, F.G. Bulber Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
Jazz guitarist, vocalist and bandleader, John Pizzarelli is internationally known for classic standards, late-night ballads and the cool jazz flavor he brings to his performances and recordings. He is also among the prime contemporary interpreters of the great American songbook. www.johnpizzarelli.com
John Wood, a reading celebrating the 30th anniversary of the McNeese Master of Fine Arts Program. Saturday, April 14, Ralph Squires Auditorium, Shearman Fine Arts Building, 7 p.m.
John Wood, founder of McNeese's MFA Program in creative writing, is a well-known art and photographic critic whose books have won a variety of awards. He co-curated the 1995 Smithsonian Institution/National Museum of American Art exhibition "Secrets of the Dark Chamber." His most recent collection of poems is "The Fictions of History."
"25 Million Miles in Orbit - An Unforgettable Space Story," a lecture by Story Musgrave: Friday, April 17, F.G. Bulber Auditorium, 7 p.m. (Note change in date)
Pilot, surgeon, mechanic, poet and philosopher-Story Musgrave is the only person to have flown on all five space shuttles. He is one of NASA's most colorful, dedicated and passionate astronauts, plus he fixed the Hubble space telescope. He is also a speaker who weaves a thought-provoking program with stunning photos from space. He will leave you spellbound with possibilities. Co-sponsored with the Calcasieu Parish Police Jury.
"Circus Incognitus" with Jamie Adkins: Saturday, April 21, Rosa Hart Theatre, 7:30 p.m.
Jamie Adkins was a featured soloist at Cirque du Soleil for Montreal's Cirque E'loize. His clowning and acrobatic feats on the ground and on a slack wire bring life to the story of a man who has something to say, but can't quite get it out. Warning: the show involves fruit. It may get messy.
"Representations of the South in Popular Culture," a lecture by Dr. Karen Cox: Tuesday, April 24, Stokes Auditorium in Hardtner Hall, 7 p.m.
Was the Old South ever really draped in moonlight and magnolias and complete with mammies, beautiful belles, chivalrous planters, white-columned mansions or even bales of cotton? But what happened when journalists started covering the civil rights movement, protest and conflict in the South? Dr. Cox is the author of "Dreaming of Dixie: How the South Was Created in American Popular Culture."
"He Said - She Said," the blues of Peter Karp & Sue Foley: Friday, April 27, F.G. Bulber Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
"He Said - She Said" is blues at its best -- moving, literate, romantic, rocking and exciting! The project is based around letters Peter Karp and Sue Foley wrote to each other over the period of a year. As time went on the letters became more poignant and more revealing. The final result of "He Said - She Said" is just plain great music!
McNeese Jazz Festival with Tom Scott featuring the McNeese Alumni Big Band: Saturday, May 5, F.G. Bulber Auditorium, 7:30 p.m.
Saxophonist Tom Scott's 24 solo recordings have earned him three Grammy Awards and 14 nominations, and he has composed film scores for movies such as "Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" and "Soul Man." He also wrote the theme for "Starsky & Hutch" and numerous other television shows. Scott will be backed up by the Banners Big Band.
"Masked Marvels & Wondertales," with Michael Cooper: Saturday, May 12, Shearman Fine Arts Theatre, 7:30 p.m.
Michael Cooper makes breathtaking handcrafted masks and he uses them to tell original stories of courage and wonder. He combines these stories with outlandish stilt dancing and a physical repertoire that ranges from the madcap to the sublime. A mask workshop will precede the show at 11 a.m. in the lobby.