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Opening of “An Evening of Nellie Lutcher” a success!

by carolyn with no comments

Last night’s opening night of “An Evening of Nellie Lutcher” drew a larger crowd than expected. Reception to the 3-part evening warmed the hearts of these producers! The crowd plans to spread word that Leah Howard Robinson’s singing of the 11 Nellie songs to kick off the evening was a treat. What a good voice she has. Tony James accompanies Leah at the piano, and he is actually the other half of “Nellie”, as the real Nellie Lutcher played piano while singing.

The history talk given by Carolyn Woosley appeared to interest the audience. The play is getting better and better known. Leah has such a fine, winning, authentic stage presence that the playwright feels that, at times, Nellie Lutcher is being channelled onto our stage.

Eddie Lewis, our host at The Foundation House is loving being a part of things, and prepares food for purchase with each performance. For today’s 2:00pm Sunday Matinee, Eddie has sandwiches and po-boys in mind.

Tickets are $15/$10 students, and can be bought at the door. Address: The Foundation House, 720 Enterprise Blvd., two doors towards the I-10 from Broad St. Park on the side.

One Week, Two Events — “Roots Revival” then “An Evening of Nellie Lutcher”

by carolyn with 2 comments

Itinerant Theatre (IT) is busy! This very week, IT is involved with two productions.

I. IT co-sponsors the first ever (and hopefully annual) “Roots Revival”, a History of SWLA Music. Roots Revival is an Arts & Humanities Council SWLA event also co-sponsored by the City of Lake Charles.

II. IT closes its annual season with two weekends of “An Evening of Nellie Lutcher”, April 23-24 and 29-30 at The Foundation House.

Please see details below.

I. In two hours, “Roots Revival” celebrates the impressively varied musical roots of this region. First music genre is Zydeco (Bois Sec Ardoin, Queen Ida and Boozoo Chavis). Then is Western Swing/Cajun (Hackberry Rambers). Then, Swing Jazz (Nellie Lutcher). Next is Country Pop (Dolly Parton’s 1st recorded tune), followed by Swamp Pop (Bobby Charles, Cookie and the Cupcakes & Phil Phillips), followed by Garage Rock (Bad Roads), Texas blues & Louisiana Swamp Rock (Marcia Ball), and finally Americana Folk, Rock Blues (Lucinda Williams).

Local singers and groups — the Dog Hill Stompers, Jo-El Sonnier, Buz Clark, Leah Howard-Robinson, Andie Jo Dyer of Young Band Nation, Foxy Moon and Charles “Skeeter” Lyons. The house band is SWLA’s own Sinners, a country, soul rock-and-roll hybrid of Americana and Louisiana music. Pre-show First United Methodist Church’s Bell Choir greets attendees in the 2nd floor foyer of Central School

“Roots Revival” runs Thursday, April 21 7-9pm event at Central School’s Ben Mount Theatre, 809 Kirby St. Enter in the back. Tickets are $10 and are available at the door.

II. IT proudly brings to the Lake Area its final production of the 2016 season, “An Evening of Nellie Lutcher”, directed and produced by Joy Pace. This three-part evening includes 1. 20-30 minutes of Leah Howard Robinson singing Nellie Lutcher songs, accompanied by Tony James; 2. a short history talk on the era surrounding Nellie and her importance by Carolyn Woosley, and 3. the one-woman play “Nellie” by Carolyn Woosley from her 13-play cycle “Louisiana Women”, also performed by Leah Howard Robinson. Leah Howard Robinson is a Lake Charles resident who debuted as Lena Younger in LCLT’s 2009 production of “A Raisin in the Sun”. She dedicates her work to the drama team at Living Word Christian Center where she writes and performs one-act skits. She is at work on a gospel album. Tony James, also a Lake Charles resident, is a widely known actor, singer and pianist. He was “Judas” in IT’s 2013 production of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and “Tony Jackson” in IT’s 2015 reading of Carolyn Woosley’s “Man of a Thousand Songs”.

“An Evening of Nellie Lutcher” runs 7:00pm sharp, April 23, 29 & 30 and one Sunday matinee at 2:00pm April 24. Location: The Foundation House, 720 Enterprise Blvd. (near Broad St. in the newly established Nellie Lutcher Cultural District). Tickets are $15/$10 students and can be bought online at www.itineranttheatre.com, by reservation at 337-436-6275 or at the door.

See you at the shows!