Offbeat L.A.: It’s A New Orleans Thing- Allen Toussaint Gives Goosebumps at voila!’s Lyric Theatre

Allen Toussaint hypnotizes the audience (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Allen Toussaint hypnotizes the audience (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Allen Toussaint brings a little New Orleans to Los Angeles (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

Allen Toussaint with some N’awlins lagniappe (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

It was a magical night for the first ever voila! Session, a newly created concert series taking place at The Lyric Theatre in West Hollywood. New Orleans legendary music man Allen Toussaint took to the stage in an intimate and spellbinding performance, his piano notes and captivating presence intoxicating the fortunate audience. It was just Toussaint on a Steinway along with a bass player and a drummer, but oh, what a ride… From a medley of rhythm & blues classics he penned for other musicians, A Certain Girl/Mother-in-Law/Fortune Teller/Get Out of My Life Woman to a soulful instrumental rendition of the traditional St. James Infirmary and hits written by him such as Yes, I Can Can and Southern Nights, this inaugural show at voila! was a goose bump giver, a memorable inspiration maker.

The Green Room at The Lyric THeatre (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

The green room at The Lyric Theatre (photo by Nikki Kreuzer)

The Lyric Theatre has been redesigned by visionary voila! gallery owner Katrien Van der Schueren into an eclectic space with a surrealistic bend. The traditional green room that was always there upon entering has been transformed into just that, a GREEN room. Here the outdoors come inside with the walls, floors and ceiling covered in a kelly colored fake lawn. It is just a mere extension of the beautiful witchcraft happening in the voila! gallery two doors south on La Brea- silver mannequins with lamps for heads, repurposed metallic hands that make a magical chandelier, a collage of alarm clocks to form a surreal wall piece, molds of mannequin faces to form a dividing wall.

The author meets a legend

The author meets a legend

 

Meanwhile, Toussaint turned on the charm during the show, telling witty anecdotes about performers he’s written for and worked with. When talking about the oversized ego on New Orleans Mother-in-Law and A Certain Girl singer Ernie K Doe, Toussaint sniped, “He was going to be rich or end up in jail. Either way I’d go visit him.” During a meet & greet after the show Toussaint answered questions for audience members and professed a  secret love for heavy metal music, particularly Iron Maiden and Metallica. Look out for future events from the folks at voila! They promise this is only the beginning of much more magic to come…

The Lyric Theatre: 520 N La Brea Ave, L.A., CA 90036. voila! Gallery: 518 N La Brea Ave, L.A., CA 90036; (323) 954-0418.  http://voilagallery.com

Nikki Kreuzer

About Nikki Kreuzer

Nikki Kreuzer has been a Los Angeles resident for over 30 years. When not working her day job in the film & TV industry, she spends her time over many obsessions, mainly music, art and exploring & photographing the oddities of the city she adores. So far she has written 110 Offbeat L.A. articles, published at the Los Angeles Beat. As a journalist she contributes regularly to LA Weekly, Blurred Culture and has also been published by Oddee.com, Twist Magazine, Strobe and Not For Hire. Nikki is also a mosaic artist, radio DJ and published photographer. Her photography has been featured in exhibit at the Museum of Neon Art, in print at the LA Weekly and in exhibit at the Neutra Museum in Los Angeles. She has recorded with the band Nikki & Candy as bassist, vocalist and songwriter, directing and appearing in the 'Sunshine Sunshine Santa Claus' music video for the band. She co-hosted the monthly radio show Bubblegum & Other Delights on Dublab.com for over two years. Her acting credits include a recent role in the ABC-TV show 'For The People', 'Incident at Guilt Ridge', 'Two and a Half Men', the film 'Minority Report' and 'Offbeat L.A.', a web series, written and hosted by Nikki Kreuzer. Her writing, radio and video portfolio can be found at OffbeatLA.com, her photography work @Lunabeat on Instagram and her music history posts @NikkiKreuzer on Twitter. Find Nikki & Candy music on iTunes, Amazon or at NikkiandCandy.com.
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