It’s all about wonderful contrasts this week at the Acadiana Center for the Arts as another stellar season of live performances take stage in the James D. Moncus Theater.

szo_startseite_homepage_klOn Wednesday the Saarlandisches Zupforchester, AKA the Saarland Mandolin Orchestra — yes, it’s an orchestra with a bunch of mandolins — will bring a rare-in-these-parts European tradition to melodious life. The Saarland Mandolin Orchestra has been one of Europe’s leading string orchestras for a half century, highlighted since 1988 by renowned guitarist Reiner Stutz as artistic director. Such orchestras, comprising more than two dozen virtuoso guitarists, mandolin players and bassists, are popular across the Pond. This is the first such performance by a mandolin orchestra, as best we can recall, in Acadiana.RMay_121023_7804

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Tickets to the 7:30 p.m. performance range from $15 to $30 ($10 for students).

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On Thursday and Friday a granddaddy of New Orleans rhythm and blues, the illustrious Allen allentroussaintToussaint, takes the Moncus stage with his fabulous band as the launch for the Louisiana Crossroads concert series. The Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame inductee, whose jazz-inspired singing and piano playing long ago came to define the “New Orleans sound” and influenced generations of Crescent City performers after him, made a cameo last year with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. This year we get Toussaint all to ourselves.

The Grammy nominee’s performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Tickets range from $40-$60. For information on either show, call the AcA at 233-7060 or log onto to their website here.

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