Literacy Council’s Musicale Rocks Central School
Being that we are the Lake Area’s premiere source for local happenings, it should come as no surprise that we managed to pull of some front and center VIP Tickets to last night’s Musicale. Yeah, well, maybe we did have to beg and grovel the Van C. Seneca Law Firm to let us sit with them, but it was totally worth the humiliation.
To start off, we have to brag on how they setup central school for this event. Concessions on the basement level included hot, fresh tamales from Agave, as well as a craft beer sampling table from Southwest Beverage. Upstairs, VIP Guests were served Crawfish Etouffe, Shrimp, and Jalapeno cornbread prepared by THE Nic Hunter of Hunter’s Harlequin.
The auditorium was setup “Oscar Style” with VIP tables at the front and reserved and general admission toward the back; tables were setup at the back and in the hallway for folks to eat and drink. It was a really nice event that allowed easy movement between mingling and watching the show.
The night was opened by KPLC’s Britney Glaser as the MC for the evening. We were introduced, by Britney, to women whose lives have been changed by the work the Literacy Council is doing. One, a current Sowela Student, named Angel, who received her GED with the help of the Literacy Council and is now Sowela’s sole female student in the Automotive program. Her goal is to open a service shop in the area that caters to women, who are often marginalized by a predominately male industry.
After the introductions and great dinner, Lake Charles’ own Wendy Colonna took the stage. For those of you that have not heard Wendy, we suggest you hop on over to Louisiana Indie Radio and give her a listen. Wendy played about 5 or 6 tunes to open and was joined on stage by the headliner, Marcia Ball, for several tunes.
As Ball took the stage with Colonna, she explained, “Someone handed me one of her [Wendy’s] records and I gave it a listen. After that, I was looking for her!” If you want to see Wendy live, come out to Luna on October 25th for the release of her new album.
Next, came an eclectic dance piece from the Lake Charles Dance Academy. Accompanied by Mason LeMieux playing the 1928 classic “Big Rock Candy Mountain,” the girls from the Dance Academy really charmed the audience and it was a really nice break that went well with the nostalgic feel of the evening.
After a brief intermission, to refresh our drinks of course, Marcia Ball took the stage and TORE-IT-UP! In addition to all of the classic New Orleans style tunes that she is famous for, she also treated us to her version of a tune by Holly Beach resident and Abbeville native, Bobby Charles.
Ball’s style of entertainment is fantastic. Throughout the show, and even during the songs, she carries on a dialog with the audience and often time appears to be lost in thought as she plays even the most intricate of piano solos. It’s as if she is reminiscing about old times or fond memories as she sits cross legged at the her piano and her stories and comments are both funny and heart warming. One might just as easily imagine her sitting on a front porch sipping a glass of wine as opposed to being on stage burning up the keyboard.
Before playing her Grammy nominated hit Live! Down the Road, she talks about the old days in Lake Charles at places like Scarlett O’s and other legendary venues. She then goes on to say, “that was back in the old days when the Baptists would come over from Texas and act like Catholics.”
Toward the end of the performance, Colonna returned to the stage to sing a few duets with Ball and the two received a standing ovation from the audience for their performance of Randy Newman’s Louisiana 1927, the story of the great Mississippi Flood of 1927 that left 700,000 people homeless in Louisiana and Mississippi.
During the 90 minute show, fans were moved to both tears and laughter by Ball and, with incredible accompaniment by Mike Shermer on guitar and Thad Scott on Saxophone, there were frequent outbursts of whoots and applause as the two took turns with Marcia tearing up the breaks and bridges.
What a show and what a night! We have the deepest gratitude to the Literacy Council for the evening and strong suggest that you go ahead and mark your calendars for next years event. You won’t want to miss it!