For weeks, New Orleans cabaret performer Vinsantos was looking forward to welcoming performer Kitten on the Keys to New Orleans for their “BACK2BACK” show Wednesday (Feb. 3) at the AllWays Lounge in a thrilling double-bill show.
And then came a very blue Monday, as a fire swept through Priestess Miriam’s Voodoo Spiritual Temple, next door to his apartment on the 800 block of north Rampart Street. The fire headed straight up and into an upstairs closet that held all the costumes and other belongings of friend and drag performer Hannibelle Spector.
“We live in a very special compound on north Rampart Street that consists of the Temple, Deity Arts, our home as well as the homes of five residents,” Vinsantos said. “Now that the dust has settled, it’s time to put the pieces of these people’s live back together, The Voodoo Temple suffered a huge amount of fire, smoke and water damage and will not be reopening in its long-standing location.
“Both Hannibelle and the tenant adjacent to her have lost their homes. This is painful to us as we had the best neighbors that we could ask for. This isn’t something that can be fixed with a little drywall and some paint. This mixed-use building will be out of commission for a long while.”
To help out, Vinsantos is turning the “BACK2BACK” show at the AllWays Lounge into a fundraiser to help support the Hannibelle, who will emcee Tuesday’s “RATSH*T” show at the AllWays Lounge as well.
A GoFundMe campaign titled “Starting Over from Scratch” also has been started.
All proceeds from the shows will go toward Hannibelle Spector and housemates, said Vinsantos, who added a that a third fundraiser, “Rampart Is Burning,” has been scheduled for Feb. 13 at the Voodoo Lounge, organized by Akrum Salem and Daniel Ford.
“It’s really hard to put a price on loosing everything and having to find a new home and start all over from scratch,” Vinsantos said. “Thank all of you for getting involved, spreading the word, making donations, and coming out to these shows and helping us raise the money the old fashioned way.”
Here’s some bio info on Kitten on the Keys:
Suzanne Ramsey aka Kitten on the Keys is a world class burlesque legend and piano chanteuse. She’s toured the U.S. and Canada with Devotchka and Catherine D’Lish, opened for legendary punk band The Damned on the Twisted Cabaret Tour UK 2007, toured with the Teaseorama Roadshow, performed sold out shows in France, Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Edinburgh Scotland, Switzerland, played piano for Jazz Legend Little Jimmy Scott in Las Vegas, MC’d for Exotic World and the Burlesque Hall of Fame, played the Spigeltent at Outside Lands Fest in San Francisco, sang her original songs with a jazz band. Currently she is working with her latest band with none other than Dead Kennedy’s drummer Bruce Slesinger. Kitten on the Keys staked her claim in Europe co starring with Cabaret New Burlesque in the French film “Tournee” with award winning actor and director Mattieu Almaric (2010). The film was an official entry at the 63rd Annual Cannes Film Festival where it won a best director Palme D’or for Mattieu Amalric’s Directing and the Foreign Press Award. Kitten was pleased as punch to walk the red carpet with Mi Mi le Meaux, Evie Lovelle, Dirty Martini, Julie Atlas Muz, Roky Roulette and Mattieu Amalric and the rest of the cast.”