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PASA announces its "comeback" line-up

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Posted at 2:27 PM, Jul 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-19 23:50:08-04

PASA is leaving your casa and headed back to it's own home: the stage at the Heymann Performing Arts Center.

Now officially the Performing Arts Serving Acadiana, the revamp of an organization that brought internationally acclaimed performances to Lafayette for more than 30 years has announced its first season. Over the past year, performances were offered virtually as part of the "PASA in your Casa" series.

But today, standing on the stage at the Heymann, PASA Board President Dr. Daniel Wiltz announced that Acadiana can now again experience the special magic that's only possible from a live performance in a darkened theater.

Among the performances planned for the season that begins in September are the inventive modern dance company Momix; the New Orleans Jazz Orchestra; Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox, and the theatrical hit Black Angels Over Tuskegee. All performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the Heymann Performing Arts Center in Lafayette, LA.

Momix, celebrating its 40th anniversary, brings its fantastical production of Alice to Lafayette on September 20. This Alice takes the audience on a fun adventure with Lewis Carroll’s most beloved lead character from the classic novel Alice in Wonderland, as well as the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts and the Caterpillar. Famed artistic director Moses Pendleton leads this wildly creative company, which is recognized worldwide as a maverick of creativity and invention.

“Every ride is an incredible, unforgettable journey,” said the New York Times of Momix performances.

Alice was to make its first U.S. Tour in the fall of 2020, then came the lockdown. The production is now set for a performance in Dallas, TX, and then here at the Heymann before it heads to Paris, France for a three-week run at the Folies Bergere.

“Momix’s Alice is a chance for everyone of all ages to see some of the best dance in the world. We are thrilled to present this extraordinary work and talented dance company as we stage our comeback,” says PASA executive director Jacqueline Lyle, “It’s exciting to think that our presentation will be only the second time that Alice will have been seen in the United States."

Past PASA audiences have seen Momix here at the Heymann Center in its beautiful Botanica.

The Grammy Award-winning New Orleans Jazz Orchestra (NOJO) hits the stage October 21. Under new leadership from its artistic director and drummer Adonis Rose, the NOJO takes the sonic power and stylistic versatility of a big band, adds a New Orleans emphasis on groove, and swings with great ballads and jazz hits. NOJO’s Lafayette show will feature the music of the acclaimed musical genius Allen Toussaint. Toussaint’s songbook includes the 60’s hit Mother-In-Law; tunes recorded by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, and Southern Nights.

"October 21 will be a real celebration of the music of Louisiana, performed by some of our state's finest jazz musicians," Lyle says.

Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox (PMJ), the time-twisting musical collective known for putting “pop music in a time machine,” is set for December 1. Audiences around the globe are set to see Postmodern Jukebox on The Grand Reopening Tour, which will bring PMJ back to thrill music-starved audiences in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and Europe, performing some of modern music’s biggest hits in the classic styles of bygone eras.

“We were so lucky to have gotten an alert about this tour,” says Lyle. “We acted quickly and were able to secure this Postmodern Jukebox date, which will be so much fun for our ticket buyers!”

As always with PMJ’s dazzling live shows, The Grand Reopening Tour will feature an ensemble of multi-talented singers and musicians, who will perform Bradlee’s generation-spanning arrangements. The core ensemble is often joined by surprise guests that make each concert unique and unpredictable.

The acclaimed drama Black Angels Over Tuskegee by Layon Gray arrives in Lafayette for one performance on January 20, 2022. One of the longest-running Off-Broadway productions, this award-winning, historical docudrama is a narrative of six men embarking on a journey to become the first Black aviators in the United States Army Air Forces, during a tumultuous era of racial segregation and Jim Crow idealism. Inspired by true events, Black Angels Over Tuskegee movingly illustrates how the men unite in brotherhood to achieve a communal vision.

“Some plays teach, others celebrate, and a few simply entertain. Black Angels Over Tuskegee manages to do all three and one thing more: It inspires,” says NYTheatre.com about this important drama.

The board of directors of the new version of PASA has worked diligently to create a new, nimble model that provides the most effective way to make great shows available to local audiences.

All shows are on sale now and no subscription is required - pick the shows you want to see, which for many performance lovers will be all of them. While ticket prices vary from performance to performance, almost every event has a Family & Friends 4-Pack for $100, which is available in every seating area, from the first row to the last. Additional ticket fees and other charges will apply and will vary, based on the method of purchase.

“We’re like a basketball team that’s switching from a zone defense to a one-on-one,” explains Lyle. "Our world has changed, and so must PASA."

Lyle is dedicated to PASA’s successful comeback and works without compensation. She says the organization’s overhead is minuscule.

"While I do donate money to our organization, I know I can boost the bottom line much more by working without compensation," says Lyle. "We are preparing for a financial future that allows us to build a sustainable staffing model, which we will need as we increase our community impact."

Tickets are available now for every event through TicketMaster. Links to tickets for each event and more information about the performances are available at www.pasaonline.org. Tickets are also available at the Heymann Performing Arts Center box office (337) 291-555 and other TicketMaster outlets, as well as ticketmaster.com and by phone at TicketMaster’s 24-hour line (337) 262-7597.