Ricky Graham: "I'm Still Here, Me"

Tuesday November 15, 05
by Dalt Wonk, Gambit Weekly

Necessity is the mother of invention -- hurricane necessity, in this case. Pre-Katrina, Ricky Graham was artistic director of NORD Theater. Post-Katrina, he was one of 3,000 city employees without a job. Luckily, Barbara Motley, owner of Le Chat Noir, took Graham with her to New York City last month to perform in a hurricane-victim-benefit cabaret show. Backstage, Graham and Motley talked about bringing theater back in the Big Easy. The result: a new one-man musical. "It's a solo show," says Graham, pictured at right opposite accompanist Jefferson Turner. "But I play a bunch of characters, like Bitsy Chardonnay, the Uptown girl. Of course, I'm working in stuff about Katrina. For instance, Mr. Otto, the Ninth Ward guy, is staying over by his mama's house, because he's got nowhere else. And the meter maid is coming back to work." If laughter is the best revenge, here's your chance.