A series of opening night events kicked off “An Evening of Storyville Memories” at the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival.
Tennessee Williams’ apartment on St. Peter Street, home of Gray Coleman and Brian Theis, set the tone at the VIP Pre-Party. Laura Bellucci, bar chef at SoBou, provided a specialty cocktail called the Elan Vital. Catering was by chef Natasha Clement, winner of “All Star Academy” Season 2 on Food Network and owner of Sophisticated Southern Plates.
The performance at Le Petit Théâtre hosted 300 patrons, and began with members of the cast in costume and in character interacting with guests outside the theater. Once everyone was seated, Pamela Arceneaux, author of Guidebooks to Sin: The Blue Books of Storyville, New Orleans, introduced the crowd to the history of Storyville and some of the rare and fascinating information found in the blue books. Next, Tulane University’s Sally Asher, writer and photographer, accompanied by actors Kerry Cahill and Andrew Ward, introduced the audience to the year of 1917, the year Storyville closed. Finally, Nina Bozak of The Historic New Orleans Collection dazzled the crowd with period dances accompanied by Seva Venet’s jazz band. An appearance by the Black Stroyville Baby Dolls, masked in the Mardi Gras tradition of the Storyville era, added an authentic touch to the evening.
The VIP Post-Party followed at Dickie Brennan’s Tableau. The restaurant sponsored a champagne and dessert party for the 80 attendees.
EVENT AT A GLANCE
What: “An Evening of Storyville Memories” benefiting the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival
When: Wednesday, March 22
Where: Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré