At the conclusion of this year's Big Easy Theatre Awards, Margot Dubos, the grande dame of Gambit Magazine, which sponsors the foundation responsible for the program, announced that a new category would be set up for cabaret. This is welcome news to the main cabaret club in the area, Le Chat Noir, named in honor of the very first Parisian cabaret that started it all. Le Chat Noir is run by Barbara Motley, a woman who so loved cabaret that she opened her own New Orleans venue over a decade ago. Motley, a charming tall glass of water is vivacious and gracious. She is generous with her time and friends and makes all who enter her doors feel welcome and at home. Her girl Friday is Su Gonczy, a brilliant lighting technician, who occassionally accompanies acts with her voice. It is my favorite bar in the city and I love the space which is typically devoted to either small plays or genuine cabaret fare. Starting this weekend and continuing through next weekend is Amanda McBroom, the well-known and talented New York actress and cabaret star. She is a terrific talent and typical of the caliber of performer that Le Chat Noir will book. While the Big Easy Awards committee only considers local acts for nominations, it is important for us to encourage people to go to Le Chat and experience what truly exceptional cabaret is all about. For more information on Amanda McBroom, call Le Chat Noir at 504-581-5812.