LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - The 29th McNeese State University Banners season kicks off in March of 2020 with a diverse line up of folk music, blues, award-winning theatrical productions, documentaries, and lectures.
To purchase tickets to any of the events or to purchase a membership to see all the shows you can visit the Banners website or call the Banners office at 337-475-5123.
“The Healing Power of Music” lecture: The lecture will be at 7 p.m. at the 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center in Downtown Lake Charles.
As one of America’s most beloved pianists and composers, Robin Spielberg will be offering a lecture on the transformative power of music as featured on her TEDx Talk.
Robin Spielberg performance: The performance starts at 7 p.m. in the F.G. Bulber Auditorium at McNeese State University.
With a prolific composing career having 16 recordings to her credit and appearances on over 40 compilations around the world, Spielberg has performed in many prestigious environments such as Carnegie Hall, the Seoul Arts Center, and the Mao Livehouse in Shanghai.
“Beuys” lecture and film: The Lecture will start at 2 p.m. at the Tritico Theatre, in the Shearman Fine Arts building at McNeese State University.
Art historian and curator Christa-Maria Lerm-Hayes is currently a professor of modern art history at the University of Amsterdam and will be giving a lecture on Joseph Beuys, one of the most influential German sculptors of the post-World War II era. Following the lecture will be a showing of the 2017 documentary film, “Beuys.”
“Wit & Wrath: The Life & Times of Dorothy Parker" performance: The performance starts at 7 p.m. in the Tritico Theatre, in the Shearman Fine Arts building at McNeese State University.
In “Wit & Wrath,” Claudia Baumgarten, as Dorothy Parker, skewers, with martini in hand, her fellow writers at the Round Table, the Jazz Age, her tumultuous love and sex life and the cultural desert of Hollywood. “Wit & Wrath” is an edgy, fleshy, literary homage to Parker, the most widely read and quoted woman of the 1920s.
Leyla McCalla Quartet: The performance starts at 7 p.m. at the F.G. Bulber Auditorium.
Deeply influenced by traditional Creole, Cajun and Haitian music, as well as by American jazz and folk, Leyla McCalla’s music is at once earthy, elegant, soulful and witty. She rose to fame during her two years as cellist of the Grammy award-winning African-American string band, the Carolina Chocolate Drops.
“Solo From the Pit” by Elias Faingersh: The performance begins at 7 p.m. at the Tritico Theatre, in the Shearman Fine Arts building at McNeese State University.
Sweden’s Elias Faingersh, “the golden trombone” of Europe, brings his award-winning, Off Broadway hit to Southwest Louisiana. Connecting stories from his life to the operas in which he performed, Faingersh guides the audience through a comedic crash course in finding operatic (and personal) meaning, as he recounts his decision to leave a coveted position at the Metropolitan Opera. This story is about the choices faced by most people — whether to pursue comfort and security or follow their dreams.
Jeff Boyer’s Big Bubble Bonanza: The show begins at 7 p.m. at the F.G. Bulber Auditorium.
World-famous Guinness Book of World Records-holding master bubble wrangler Jeff Boyer takes bubbles to the max with big bubble flair! Mixing comedy, music and interactive bubble magic, Boyer engages and delights audiences of all ages. You can also contact Banners to reserve student seats for the 10 a.m. school show.
The Flying Balalaika Brothers: The show begins at 7 p.m. at the F.G. Bulber Auditorium.
For nearly 20 years, this feisty group has entranced audiences with its unique blend of electric rock n’ roll with Russian, Ukrainian and Croatian folk music. The band’s eye-catching interactive performances feature instruments like the contra-bass balalaika, a triangle-shaped behemoth of a stringed instrument. The Flying Balalaika Brothers’ high-energy shows feel more like a block party than a performance.
“American Epic” documentary: The screening begins at 3 p.m. at the Stokes Auditorium in Hardtner Hall at McNeese State University.
Join Banners for a special screening of this fantastic doc produced by Robert Redford, Jack White and T-Bone Burnett, featuring Banners Series alumni The Americans, Lost Bayou Ramblers and Pokey Lafarge, as well as blues legend Taj Mahal, who will perform on May 1 as part of the 2020 Banners Series. Admission to the screening is free and seating is limited.
Pokes in the Oaks outdoor concert: The show begins at 4:30 p.m. on the lawn of the F.G. Bulber Auditorium.
Pokes in the Oaks is a family, friendly fete on the McNeese campus. This free outdoor concert will feature live music, libations and scrumptious food truck fare. Kick back on the beautiful oak-lined lawn in front of the historic F.G. Bulber Auditorium and celebrate our Southwest Louisiana community. Bands and food truck lineups coming soon.
JunNk: The performance begins at 7 p.m. at the F.G. Bulber Auditorium.
JunNk is a music and comedy group that uses various items commonly found in a junkyard to create a unique world of pure entertainment. From bottles as panpipes, watering cans as trumpets, PVC didgeridoos and flip flops used to play well-known tunes, as well as mesmerizing break-dancing and gymnastics, and all with a sprinkling of clever humor and boundless energy, the JunNk show consistently delights audiences of all ages and nationalities. You can also contact Banners to reserve student seats for the 10 a.m. school show.
“Hands Across the Great Divide” a McLeod Lecture: The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in the 1911 Historic City Hall Arts & Cultural Center.
The McLeod Lecture Series, founded in honor of Bill McLeod, former legislator, judge and community leader, is dedicated to presenting timely as well as historical aspects of Louisiana politics and efforts to promote a climate of good government. This year’s participants, distinguished Louisiana academics, journalists and political figures, pool their collective decades of experience, expertise and finely honed observations to assess our current communicative dysfunction, discussing potential solutions to our inability to discuss our differences and building strategies to regain temperate discourse and unifying policies.
“90 Lies an Hour” by Paul Strickland: The performance begins at 7 p.m. at the Benjamin Mount Theatre at the Central School Arts & Humanities Center.
Multi-award-winning storyteller Paul Strickland brings to the Lake Area his original one-man show, "90 Lies an Hour,” a hilarious and heartfelt collection of stories never heard outside of the trailer park until now. Strickland’s Ain’t True and Uncle False live in Big-Fib Trailer-Park cul-de-sac, which is a trailer park in the shape of a cul-de-sac in a town called Big-Fib. It’s a small community way down south... just off the coast of “factual.” In fact, if you leave “factual” and head due south you’ll pass “Big-Fib” on your way to “Bald-Faced.” Obviously, if you get to “Bald-Faced” ... you’ve gone too far.
Orchestre Les Mangelepa: The performance begins at 7 p.m. at the F.G. Bulber Auditorium.
Originally from the Swahili speaking Eastern Congo, Les Mangelepa was formed 40 years ago in Kenya. The group has released more than 13 albums and penned some of East Africa’s best-loved songs. At its peak the orchestra kept fans busy producing hit after hit; from Zambia to Uganda and from Kenya to Tanzania, the group’s brilliant arrangements and superbly crafted songs kept East Africa marching to the beat.
“Inside the Creative Mind” by Rus Blackwell: The lecture begins at 7 p.m. in the Squires Recital Hall in the Sherarman Fine Arts building at McNeese State University.
Join acclaimed stage and screen actor/director/educator/producer Rus Blackwell as he gives an intimate insider glimpse of the passions, challenges and journeys of the creative soul. With over 80 film and television credits, Blackwell’s body of work includes the Cinemax series “Banshee,” “The Walking Dead,” “Monster” with Charlize Theron, “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” and HBO’s “Recount.”
Taj Mahal performance: The performance starts at 7 p.m. at the F.G. Bulber Auditorium.
A brilliant artist with a musicologist’s mind, blues legend Taj Mahal has pursued and elevated the roots of beloved sounds with boundless devotion and skill. A 2017 Grammy win for the album “TajMo,” his collaboration with Keb’ Mo’, brought his Grammy tally to three wins and 14 nominations and underscored his undiminished relevance more than 50 years after his solo debut. Using traditional country blues as a starting place, Taj Mahal perfumes the pot by mixing a spicy concoction of Afrocentric roots music, a blues gumbo kissed by reggae, Latin, R&B, Cajun, Caribbean rhythms, gospel, West African folk, jazz, calypso and Hawaiian slack key.