What to expect for this Columbia season


The Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts stages multiple productions such as last year’s opera/music theatre workshop. The theater invites groups from university ensembles to children performances to the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra and the Aquila Theatre.

Zachary Araki, A&E Editor

The Columbia Theatre for the Performing Arts invites the Hammond community to see the collection of performances scheduled for the stage this season.

“I strongly believe that the arts enrich a person’s life, and the earlier you’re exposed to the arts, the longer you’re gonna have to mature with that and enjoy that,” said Executive Director of the Columbia Theatre Roy Blackwood. “I try to book things that are a lot of fun for all ages.”

The Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra will visit the Columbia three times this season. The first performance will be “Beethoven and Blue Jeans: Beethoven’s Fifth” scheduled for Oct. 5 at 7:30 p.m. LPO will return with its annual holiday performance “Yuletide Celebration” scheduled for Dec. 14 at 7:30 p.m., and LPO’s “L’Amour” on March 8 at 7:30 p.m. will feature pieces such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Overture to “The Marriage of Figaro” and selections from Georges Bizet’s “Carmen.”

Fans of folk music can flock to the Columbia on Oct. 12 at 7:30 p.m. for “Lonesome Traveler: The Concert with Peter Yarrow.” This concert version of the off-Broadway musical honors artists such as Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan among others.

The Columbia will feature a tribute to songwriter Carole King with “Tapestry: The Carole King Songbook” on Oct. 25 at 7:30 p.m. According to the Carole King website bio, King’s solo album “Tapestry” sold more than 25 million units worldwide, making it the best-selling album by a female artist for a quarter of a century. In 1987, King made the Songwriters Hall of Fame, and in 1998, “Tapestry” made the GRAMMY Hall of Fame.

The Hammond Ballet Company will perform its annual holiday celebration “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 7-8 at 7 p.m.

The Aquila Theatre will return to the Columbia stage to perform “Frankenstein” on Feb. 23 at 7:30 p.m.

On April 6 at 7:30 p.m., “Artrageous” will take the Columbia stage. “Artrageous” is an interactive performance of artists, musicians and dancers. Blackwood described the show as being high energy with plenty of audience involvement.

“It’s gonna be a lot of fun,” said Blackwood. “This is one of the few shows where more than likely they’re gonna say, ‘OK, get out your cell phones’ because most of the time, they want you to put them away. That show, I think, will be completely different.”

For children, the Columbia will also host the Missoula Children Theatre’s production of “Alice in Wonderland” on Nov. 3 at 2 p.m. and a segment of Pajamas and Play called “Toying with Science” to entertain and educate children on April 13 at 2 p.m.

A schedule of the performance can be found on the Columbia’s website within the next month. 

Students can attend many performances during Fanfare in October and performances put on by university ensembles like the wind symphony for free. For several performances, the Columbia offers reduced prices to students with presentation of their student ID due to sponsorship from the Student Government Association.

“It’s a relatively inexpensive way to become acquainted with the arts and to see things you wouldn’t be able to see otherwise,” said Blackwood.