This week's episode of "Treme" shines a positive light on Galatoire's.
This week's episode started with an illustration of just how accommodating Galatoire's staff can be, and those were real Galatoire's waiters working the floor on the show. When OffBeat shot its cover photo of Antoinette K-Doe with the Ernie K-Doe statue dining at Galatoire's in 2006, the waiter who brought Toni Bernette (Melissa Leo) a chair is in the shot. We hadn't planned to involve him; photographer Romney was just going to get Antoinette and K-Doe, but he was so helpful that Romney kept shooting when he brought out food that the kitchen kindly sent out for the shot.
In the background of our shot is a waiter pouring champagne for a woman who'd celebrated a birthday at Galatoire's once and asked Antoinette to bring the Ernie statue. Antoinette thought we knew about that, and that we were recreating that moment with our shot (we weren't). She invited the woman and her husband to join her for the cover shoot, which gave us more people than we could easily frame in a photo. It was around 10:30 a.m. and the restaurant was just setting up, so we asked the couple to sit behind the K-Does to create the appearance of an active restaurant. When their waiter asked them if they needed anything, they ordered a bottle of champagne and he obliged. And the kitchen sent out food for them as well. In short, two of Galatoire's waiters stopped their efforts to get ready for the day to go far beyond the call of duty on behalf of our shot. Fortunately, the results were spectacular, and would have been far less impressive without them.
- We saw Antoine (Wendell Pierce) escorting the Elie Marching Band in a Mardi Gras parade. The show's timeline put the parade in the second weekend of Mardi Gras, but it was shot with the band marching and performing in the Krewe of Carrollton last year. Carrollton required the fictional band to parade the whole route. I asked Pierce about it this spring:
“I’ve been in a parade before, but to be with those kids -” Pierce says. “I’ve really grown close to the kids. They were so excited, but by the time they got to the last mile, they were ready to end the shoot. When they were finished, all the joy came back because ‘Wow, we marched in a parade.’”
Some fans along the route recognized Pierce and, typical of the meta-nature of show, called out “Antoine” not “Wendell.” One person walked out to tell Pierce how great it was that he was marching and that they should shoot it. “The realization that it was in the show came later, so the authenticity was there,” Pierce says.
The parade was shot so discreetly that when Rob Brown saw Pierce and the band parading, he blew a take.
“He ran in, ‘Whassup?’ Pierce says. “‘We’re shootin’, man.’”
- I'm going to stop going on about Annie's story because I say the same thing every week. This week, Annie (Lucia Micarelli) plays the Krewe of Louisianans Ball in Washington, D.C. with the Neville Brothers. Marvin (Michael Cerveris) must be a remarkable manager because it's improbable that a fledgling band would get such a high profile gig. That said, one of the things that has become clear is that fidelity is only one consideration for the production; the music itself is another. In this case, it created an opportunity for her to perform with Aaron Neville, which was beautiful.
When Annie's band played, they performed "The Promised Land," a Chuck Berry song that is also the signature song for Cajun artist Johnnie Allen.
- Meta-moment: Anthony Anderson, star of the not-beloved K-Ville, appearing in Treme essentially as Wendell Pierce. He can't escape post-Katrina New Orleans.
- It was great to see Cosimo Matassa and Dave Bartholomew in their scene as elder statesmen evaluating the R&B opera that Davis (Steve Zahn) wrote. At the same time, the scene was bittersweet because Matassa, the owner and engineer at J&M Studio, was a very funny, outgoing storyteller until he suffered a stroke in 2010 that has has affected his ability to speak.
- One of the things I admire about Treme is the complexity of the characters. I'm always entertained by how horny Janette (Kim Dickens) is, and I love that L.P. Everett (Chris Coy) is a sweaty drinker who likes extreme music.