“The grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love and something to hope for.” The words of Joseph Addison sum it up for New Orleanians now in the wake of Katrina. But we are here, we are doing the best we can, we love the city and we certainly have something to hope for… her safe return. And so it goes…
The lovely and talented Robin Strasser of One Life to Live was in our fair city recently to visit and showcase her new CD, One Life, Many Voices for Hurricane Relief. The CD features the voices of 26 ABC-TV One Life to Live soap opera stars, including Strasser, and is available at www.onelifemanyvoices.com. You will definitely want to order this beautiful compilation by the cast. Strasser, president of the One Life Many Voices Foundation, says 100 percent of net proceeds will go to hurricane relief efforts.
In from New York, the daytime television soap actress was seen making the scene at Le Chat Noir, La Cote Brasserie and checking out the velvet voice of chanteuse Anais Patterson at Republic, located at 828 South Peters. She was whisked about town compliments of Carey Signature Livery. Who else? Strasser was recognized by many of her fans here, including Dr. Quinn Peepers, who was absolutely floored to meet his longtime favorite soap star at Republic. And Strasser, dear girl that she is, came back for Mardi Gras, and yes, you guessed it, with the same 25 ABC-TV stars in tow! She absolutely loves New Orleans and promises to visit regularly.
Speaking of Le Chat Noir, Broadway theater star and the owner of Magazine Street’s Hazelnut gift shop, Bryan Batt, wowed Strasser with his one-man cabaret show featuring songs from his Broadway repertoire and those reminiscent of New Orleans. They elicited joy, laughter and tears, all in the name of the Contemporary Arts Center Artists’ Hurricane Relief Fund and the NO/AIDS Task Force Relief Fund. By the way, this particular one-man, one-night-only spectacular has just had its third one-night only performance! Spotted in the sold out audience were bon vivant Betty Guillaud, grand dame Mickey Easterling, lawyer-producer Patrick Lee, Dallas (the fabulous hair stylist everyone is talking about), hotelier Michael Valentino, mother Mary Ann and sister Ann Fuslier and scores more.
Also, kudos to Dr. Hal Stokes, famed surgeon renowned for his prowess in hand reconstruction, who is the new chief of staff of East Jefferson General Hospital.
Congratulations to all of you!
Parties around town included a soirée at Windsor Court hosted by general manager Ashish Verma honoring former general manager Tony McHale, now with Ceswick Hall Resort in Charlottesville, Virginia. A recent party in the Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom of the Monteleone Hotel was graciously hosted by Ron and Anne Simms Pincus for the release of My New Orleans: Ballads to the Big Easy By Her Sons, Daughters and Lovers. The anthology was edited by Faulkner Society co-founder Rosemary James. Various authors read essays from the work and songbird Leah Chase enraptured the audience with her blues and jazz renditions. What a coup!
I can’t be everywhere at once, so keep me informed of your comings and goings and what’s hot, hot, hot! If you know of an event I need to attend, e-mail me at: Jude@southernwomanonline.com.
Be part of the rebuilding of our great city. Your voice is needed. Visit www.citizensfor1greaterneworleans.com.