Sign up now for the French Quarter Business Association’s monthly summer drawing that includes hotel stays and gift certificates for dining, entertainment and more. This is the 5th year of the FQBA’s campaign “Get Away in the Vieux Carre” to promote the allure of the French Quarter to locals.  Much like the encouraging former campaign by the Visitor Bureau, “Be a Tourist in your own Hometown”.

You can sign up for the drawing at, as well as see a list of the participating businesses.  But don’t wait to win the drawing, get out and about in the Quarters now.  I never tire of a stop in Jackson Square to hear the brass band sounds, a mint Julep at Pat O’Brien’s back bar, or frozen Irish Coffee from Molly’s at the Market.

Currently, the most exciting changes to the old guard of the French Quarter is the reorganization of Le Petite Theater du Vieux Carre.  This off-broadway size theater in the heart of the FrenchQuarter (catty corner from Jackson Square) has been an integral part of the New Orleans night life for almost 100 years.

As one of the oldest community theaters in the country, the troupe started in 1916 performing in various drawing rooms in the district performing as The Drawing Room Players.  They then moved into its current digs and changed the name to Le Petite Theater du Vieux Carre.  They closed the curtain a couple years ago after some financial difficulties.  They reorganized.  These changes lead to the exciting new complex at the corner of Chartres Street and St. Peter Street.

As part of this re-organization, they sold off the corner building to the Dickie Brennan Group of the famed Brennan family.  Tableau, a contemporary Creole restaurant, opened in April with Chef Ben Thibodeaux formerly of Palace Cafe at the helm.

The restaurant shares space with the new and improved Le Petite Theater and enhances an evening at Le Petite by providing access to the main bar as well as a direct entrance from the balcony to the second floor bar at Tableau.

Le Petite has renovated their side of the building upgrading all the theatrical equipment, the dressing rooms, adding a second staircase to the balcony to ease flow upstairs.  They also reorganized their operations. The income from the sale of the corner building not only paid for renovations but has provided them with an endowment to help ensure the future of the theater.

NOW, the real exciting news.   Le Petite is presenting what they call Le Petite Lagniappe, a pre-season performance before the regular season opens in September.  July 19 – 28 they will be showcasing some of the areas best actresses in the off-Broadway hit Love, Loss and What I Wore, by Nora and Delia Ephron.

Even if you are not a theater goer, you will recognize many of the names in this premiere performance such as Carol Sutton, Lara Grice, and Nell Nolan.  The cast will change for each weekend, giving the Le Petite an opportunity to showcase the breadth of theatrical talent in the city – honoring their mission to employ local theatrical and production talent.

Veteran Local director Carl Walker also recruited native New Orleanian and  broadway star Mary Louise Wilson, a consummate supporter of the little theater. (note: Le Petite’s website calls her native New Orleanian, however, bio info I found notes she was born in New Haven, CT. Nonetheless, she will be here and she continues to support Le Petite.)

As always, see you out and about.

Every thing lovely,

Out and About is a weekly blog by Leslie Compton of Every Thing Lovely, a special event and creative consulting team, and is sponsored by Key to NOLA Properties, a full service real estate brokerage firm specializing in furnished rental properties in New Orleans. Key to NOLA Properties and Every Thing Lovely have joined forces to provide a full array of services for travelers’ (and locals’) personal and professional needs while in the Crescent City.