Some Funny Things Happened in New Orleans Today

The Daily Double

Frau Schmitt and I went to the theater this afternoon.  A funny thing happened on our way to ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.’

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is currently playing atLe Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré in the French Quarter and your humble narrator and his missus had matinee tickets.  In case you don’t know, the play originally opened on Broadway in 1962 and, if my memory serves me correctly, it won seven Tony Awards during its first run.

Le Petit Théâtre is connected to Dickie Brennan’s Tableau, a pretty swanky restaurant where my mother likes to hang out for a mid-afternoon cocktail when she’s in town.  Frau Schmitt and I got to the bar in Tableau just as happy hour had started (2-6 daily) so we ordered French 75s for $5 apiece and a small cheese platter before the show.

The bartender complimented us for being sharp dressers, which, compared to the crowd that was in there at the time, I suppose we are.  I struck up a conversation with the bartender.  “Tell me if this story sounds familiar,” I said.

“During this past Mardi Gras I was here with my mother, who likes to pop in here when she’s in town.  Later that very same day, we were at Buffa’s on Esplanade Avenue and you sat right behind us.”

“I remember that,” the bartender said.

I added, “Then your roommate met you there and a couple from out of town wanted to watch the game on TV and they shared your table with you and he watched the game and she talked to you the whole time.”

“You’re right,” the bartender said, “aannnnd—you bought me a root beer!”  High five.  It was a bottle of Barq’s.

“That was sure was one night to remember,” I said and we all nodded and smiled wistfully off into the distance.

Our trip down memory lane was interrupted by the television.  Jeopardy was on the TV and you’ll never guess what the Daily Double was under the heading “Posh Hostelries.”

The Daily Double

I’m not going to lie to you and say that everyone in the room shouted out, “La Belle Esplanade!” in unison.  Only about half the locals in the room did and about three quarters of those didn’t phrase their response in the form of a question so they were disqualified.

Let’s just say we’re starting to get a reputation around town, and I don’t mean that in a bad way.  Quite the opposite.

After polishing off our cheese and libations, we watched the show.  It deserved every Tony.  Reading the program before the lights went down, I told Frau Schmitt, who, being German, is sometimes unfamiliar with The Great American Songbook, that we could look forward to two classic songs.  One was ‘Comedy Tonight.’  The other was ‘Everybody Ought to Have a Maid.’

It was a great rendition of Everybody Ought to Have a Maid.  I know all the words even though you’ll never hear me whistling the tune as I putter around the house, myself.

During the last chorus, the woman sitting next to me elbowed me in the ribs.  It wasn’t Frau Schmitt; it was the woman sitting on the other side of me, in seat 105.  “I bet this song makes you think of Tammie the Housekeeper, eh?” she whispered to me.

I was taken aback and I told her so.  “Tammie the Housekeeper is not our maid.  She’s the housekeeper, from a long line of housekeepers.  It’s an honorable profession and she’s darned good at it, too,” I said.

Tammie the Housekeeper

“I didn’t mean any offense,” the lady replied.

“None taken, then,” I answered and we shook hands in the dark.  With that out of the way, everyone proceeded to enjoy the rest of the show.

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum is playing at Le Petit Théâtre until June 5.  If you’re in town, we recommend you go see it.

There was also a second line parade, a music festival on Bayou St. John, and abicycle parade down Esplanade Avenue today.  That’s just what happened within a mile of our house.  I can’t speak for what was going on in the rest of the city.  When you live in New Orleans, you don’t have to travel far to find some culture.  Culture is all around us, thick as a termite swarm in May.  It is thick as Maw-Maw’s roux.  It is thick as the egg cream on top of a Ramos Gin Fizz.

Whether you are from Paris, France; New York, NY; West Terre Haute, IN; Wewoka, OK; Bumbleton, NH; Staffordshire, England; Milano, Italia; San Francisco, CA, or Ridgefield, CT, you’ll find something that will suit your fancy in New Orleans, LA.

Use your good intuition.  Stay at La Belle Esplanade.

À votre santé nous amis,
La Belle Esplanade
…where every morning is a curated New Orleans breakfast salon.