On Nov. 28, 1966, writer Truman Capote hosted the legendary “Black and White Ball” in the Plaza Hotel in New York City. For the soirée, ladies wore white or black dresses, and accessorized with white masks, diamonds and fans. Gentlemen arrived in black-tie attire and adorned masks. And it was this legendarily chic event that acted as the inspiration for the New Orleans version held Nov. 28 at the Hotel Monteleone (where it is rumored that Capote was born). The party, hosted by the Louisiana Writers Foundation and Habitat for Humanity, honored Louisiana writers who have made outstanding contributions to the literary arts in 2006: Louisiana poet laureate Brenda Marie Osbey, writer and NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu, poet Dave Brinks, Times-Picayune columnist Chris Rose and novelist Ernest Gaines.
The more than 100 guests who attended wore formal black or white attire and elaborate masks. Angela Hill of WWL-TV/Channel 4 served as the master of
ceremonies, and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra Brass Ensemble performed,
as did the Troi Bechet trio and singer Jesse Moore, who sang “Louisiana 1927” and “It’s Gonna be Okay.” A silent auction featured a wide selection of art with a Truman Capote theme—participating artists included Dr. Bob, Joe Fontana and Bedonna.
At 10 p.m., revelers unmasked and continued to party—there was even a late-night buffet featuring dishes from Capote’s party menu, such as chicken hash, spaghetti Bolognese, scrambled eggs, breakfast sausages, pastries and coffee. Partygoers also sipped on libations and Taittinger champagne.
The party benefits the Louisiana Writers Foundation and affordable housing for local writers and poets through New Orleans Habitat for Humanity and the Writers Housing Outreach. Spirits were high and the evening was a wonderful tribute to Truman Capote and the modern day writers of our city.
Robert Smallwood and Angela Hill
Eric Hess, Gerri Jumonville, Michelle Knoll and Gia and Gene Sausse
Dressed as “characters”: Bradley Kensington, Grace Balmoral, Lizzy Savant and Sir Brett Sterling
Laura and Andrei Codrescu
Jesse Moore and Brenda Marie Osbey
Megan Burns and David Brinks