Necessity is the mother of invention -- hurricane necessity, in this
case. Pre-Katrina, Ricky Graham was artistic director of NORD Theater.
Post-Katrina, he was one of 3,000 city employees without a job.
Luckily, Barbara Motley, owner of Le Chat Noir, took Graham with her to
New York City last month to perform in a hurricane-victim-benefit
cabaret show. Backstage, Graham and Motley talked about bringing
theater back in the Big Easy. The result: a new one-man musical. "It's
a solo show," says Graham, pictured at right opposite accompanist
Jefferson Turner. "But I play a bunch of characters, like Bitsy
Chardonnay, the Uptown girl. Of course, I'm working in stuff about
Katrina. For instance, Mr. Otto, the Ninth Ward guy, is staying over by
his mama's house, because he's got nowhere else. And the meter maid is
coming back to work." If laughter is the best revenge, here's your