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)

Originally published May 22, 2014 at The Los Angeles Beat

Allen Toussaint with some N'awlins lagniappe (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.

About Nikki Kreuzer

Nikki Kreuzer has been a Los Angeles resident for more than half of her life. When not working her day job in the film & TV industry, she spends her time over many obsessions, mainly music, art and exploring the oddities of the city she adores. So far she has written 100 Offbeat L.A. articles, which she started in 2013 while writing for The Los Angeles Beat. She has also been published in the LA Weekly, Oddee.com, Twist Magazine, Strobe and Not For Hire. Nikki is also is a mosaic artist, working actor and published photographer. As part of the band Nikki & Candy, she plays bass, sings and is co-writer. Find Nikki & Candy music on iTunes, Amazon, YouTube and other music sites. Nikki is currently working on her first novel. Please “like” the Offbeat L.A. Facebook page! For more Offbeat L.A. photos & adventures follow @Lunabeat on Instagram.

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