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MASSive instruments hit Morgan City auditorium stage



March 8



A touring band known as much for its architectural-minded instrumental breakthroughs as its music performs at the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium March 8.

Music, Architecture, Sonic and Sculpture inspire the MASS Ensemble acronym, and the name is more than a clever sales pitch. MASS brings with it the largest stringed instrument in the world, the Earth Harp, which stretches between 50 and 1,000 feet from the stage to its fastening point on the auditorium’s structure.



The harp received its name when its strings were stretched 1,000 feet across a valley, literally turning the earth into an instrument.



The set-up promises intimacy as the ensemble performs contemporary and classical music with the audience assembled beneath the featured instrument. A light show flashes in harmony with the music, the depth of which accented by electric guitars, violins and a drum orb.

Tickets are $45 adults, $10 students. (985) 385-2307.



Spring means festival fun



Throughout March

Competition, flavor, crafts, youth involvement and local music are whisked with south Lafourche culture and presented to the public March 16-18 at the Larose Regional Park and Civic Center’s Family Fun Festival.



Competitors should enjoy a fun run, softball tournament or pirogue race in Bayou Lafourche. The civic center maintains tradition with a children’s and queen’s pageant – and the subsequent auction of the crowns.



The festival is also the site of the civic center’s Spring Craft Show, and pay-one-price carnival rides are available for children. Admission are free.

Dream Junkies headlines Saturday’s music lineup with a performance from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m. Roland Cheramie and Friends, Ryan Foret and Foret Tradition, Amanda Shaw, Ruff n Ready and Reauxshambo also perform, with the first act beginning at 8:30 a.m.



Seabrook and Crossin Dixon play Friday, and Waylon Thibodeaux and Gary T perform on Sunday.



For more information, call (985) 693-7355.

In New Orleans, the 26th Annual Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival runs March 21-25 in the New Orleans French Quarter.



Piper Laurie and Amanda Plummer, who have graced Broadway, are among the featured participants. John Guare, 2011 Pulitzer Prize finalist for his play “A Free Man of Color,” and Victor Navasky, former editor of “The Nation,” are also participating.

In addition to panel discussions, the festival hosts theater productions, and offers eight master classes, which range from $5 to $100 in cost.



A festival panel pass costs $75 ($60 for students); a one-day pass is $30.

(504) 581-1144 or visit www.tennesseewilliams.net.

Irish-Italian parade returns

March 18

After a nine-year hiatus, Houma’s Irish-Italian Parade rolls again this month.

The parade departs La Casa del Sol Restaurant in west Houma at 1 p.m March 18, according to Celeste Landry, one of the organizers and a float captain.

At least 10 floats are scheduled to carry riders who throw cabbage, onions, bell peppers, potatoes and just about anything needed to make an Italian stew. Riders also throw beads and stuffed animals.

The parade is scheduled to turn on Hollywood Road, then Main Street and follow the traditional west Houma Mardi Gras route.

In addition to the floats, beauty pageants’ contestants, local musicians and local dance troops are scheduled to ride, Landry said.

The Terrebonne Parish Irish-Italian parade started in the 1990s and rolled through east Houma. It was cancelled nearly 10 years ago because of funding issues, Landry said.

“We’ve been organizing it and trying to get it going,” Landry says. “We’ve been working on it since last May.”

The parade uses floats owned by the Krewe of Hercules.

About 160 people had already registered this year, and the parade can accept up to 320 riders. Registration costs $200 and riders must purchase their own throws.

To register, call Landry at (985) 851-6012 or Marlene Jewell at (985) 804-4203.

MASS Ensemble’s featured attraction, the Earth Harp. The stringed instrument stretches 1,000 feet from the stage to its attachment on the venue’s structure. MASS Ensemble performs March 8 at the Morgan City Municipal Auditorium

COURTESY PHOTO

Riders enjoy a carnival ride at a local festival. The Larose Regional Park and Civic Center hosts its annual Family Fun Festival March 16-18.

SHELL ARMSTRONG