There’s something about this time of year that gets the creative juices flowing. Maybe it’s that the leaves are starting to change colors, or that the promise of cooler air has us excited for a night out on the town.
This is also the time when local arts organizations really get into overdrive, staging productions and performances that are at once moving, exciting, entertaining and challenging. Now’s the time to see Baton Rouge’s artistic side in action.
BATON ROUGE BALLET THEATRE
Oct. 20: Contemporary ballet company BalletX travels from Philadelphia for two performances presented by Baton Rouge Ballet.
Dec. 14-15:The local tradition of Nutcracker: A Tale from the Bayou is once again staged at its temporary home at the Raising Cane’s River Center arena.
BATON ROUGE SYMPHONY
Sept. 26: Conductor Timothy Muffitt and violinist Ilyer Kaler lead the orchestra through four pieces in the show, “Tchaikovsky and Pines of Rome.”
Oct. 24: The orchestra cycles through five fall-themed pieces in “Bachtoberfest” at the Capitol Park Museum.
Nov. 21: David Torns conducts in “Sci-Fi – Music of the Final Frontier,” showcasing some John Williams classics from E.T. and Star Wars.
December: The orchestra celebrates the holidays with favorites “Home for the Holidays” Dec. 8, “Holiday Brass” Dec. 19, and the special concert “A Houmas Holiday” at Houmas House& Gardens Dec. 22.
CANGELOSI DANCE PROJECT
Nov. 10: Get the holiday season started early with a preview of the dance company’s Nutcracker performance with Holiday Nutcracker Land of the Sweets at Manship Theatre.
Dec. 7-8: The Holiday Nutcracker production takes the Manship Theatre stage, featuring dancers of all ages for three performances.
CHRISTIAN YOUTH THEATRE – BATON ROUGE
Oct. 17-20: A youth production of Tarzan: The Stage Musical—based on the Disney film—takes the stage.
LSU UNION THEATER
Nov. 15: Besides an entire fall season of LSU orchestra performances at the Union Theater, the big holiday tradition of the Great Russian Nutcracker by the Moscow Ballet returns. Baton Rouge dance students will perform alongside touring dancers in this version of the classic.
Sept. 18: Performer Suzanne O. Davis and a full band recreate Carole King’s legendary music in “Tapestry, The Carole King Songbook.”
Sept. 28: The incredible acrobatic talents of Circus Louisiana present Dark Circus, about two youngsters who sneak off to see the show under the big top—only to discover the ringmaster’s sinister secrets behind the curtain.
Oct. 8: With “Harlem 100,” a nine-piece band and three dancers recreate the electric music scene of the Harlem Renaissance 100 years ago, when the likes of Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes and Billie Holiday altered American music and culture.
Oct. 27-28: The classic tale of The Ugly Duckling is brought to life in a very modern way with puppetry, electroluminescent technology and dance.
NEW VENTURE THEATRE
Sept. 5-8: Pipeline follows an inner-city public high school teacher whose son is caught up in an altercation at the upper-class high school she worked so hard to send him to.
Dec. 13-15: Black Nativity is Langston Hughes’ retelling of the biblical Nativity story from an African American perspective, complete with rousing gospel numbers and dance performed by a large ensemble cast.
COLLABORATIVE SHOW: OF MOVING COLORS AND OPERA LOUISIANE
Sept. 13: The dance theater company and four world-class opera singers—as well as Opera Louisiane artistic director Michael Borowitz—launch both of their seasons with the unique collaboration “Opening Night: Music and Movement.” ofmovingcolors.org
Nov. 2: The beloved fairy tale Cinderella springs to life in a family-friendly operatic performance.
December*: The organization brings back its holiday story Amahl and the Night Visitors, depicting a young boy visited by the Three Magi.
*Date not available at press time.
PLAYMAKERS OF BATON ROUGE
Until Sept. 1: The Little Prince, based on Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s famous novella, tells the story of a young boy who leaves his home planet and journeys to Earth.
Dec. 6-15: The wildly popular animated Disney film about a fearless princess who sets off to find her estranged sister with special, icy powers comes to life in Frozen Jr.
RAISING CANE’S RIVER CENTER
Nov. 22: Rock music, video projection, a laser light show and choreography merge in the 13th season of the touring holiday musical production “The Prophecy: Music of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.”
RED MAGNOLIA THEATRE CO.
Nov. 14-17, 21-24: The fledgling theater company performs Steel Magnolias. Fun fact: The much-loved film about a group of Louisiana women actually had its start as an off-Broadway play in 1987.
RIVER CITY JAZZ MASTERS SERIES
Oct. 16: The Eddie Palmieri Quintet brings its mix of salsa and Latin jazz to the Manship Theatre, with Palmieri at the ivories.
Nov. 19: The Eric Alexander Quartet offers up a night of jazz at Manship Theatre with Alexander playing the tenor saxophone.
Nov. 6-17: In Gloria, Manhattan magazine staffers go about their banal desk jobs—until a traumatic event exposes some ugly truths about themselves and modern culture.
THEATRE BATON ROUGE
Sept. 12-15: Join its young actors program for Shakespeare’s timeless romantic drama, Romeo and Juliet.
Sept. 20-Oct. 6: Managing artistic director Jenny Ballard takes on the role of Elizabeth Proctor in The Crucible, Arthur Miller’s classic dramatization of the frenzied accusations of witchcraft in old Salem.
Oct. 17-26: The raucous musical about a couple seeking refuge from a storm at a mad transvestite scientist’s home returns in The Rocky Horror Show.
Nov. 1-17: A black sheep decides to take down the eight other heirs in the way of family fortune in the musical comedy A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder.
Dec. 6-15: A Christmas Carol has become another TBR tradition, telling the story of Ebenezer Scrooge and the three ghosts who teach him lessons on being a kinder man.
This article was originally published in the September 2019 issue of 225 Magazine.