Keep track of Internal Matter, the upscale bistro (and occasional cabaret) at 35 Channel Center in Fort Point. It has some great mid-evening entertainment, as well as varied refreshments a le bistro. Recently, it presented excerpts from “Katrina Roadhouse,” a musical with a Zydeco-based score.
Last week, playwright and composer Ralph Tufo and director and producer Marc Miller of the Fort Point Theatre Channel combined their talents for a presentation of “Katrina Roadhouse” at Internal Matter bistro. They were joined by guitarist Larry Plitt, and a cast of actors that included Cristina Dones, Thomas Killgallen, Laura Edwards, Kendrick Terrell Evans and Sharon Squires.
“Katrina Roadhouse” is a musical written by Tufo that is based on Hurricane Katrina and its effects on New Orleans. “Katrina Roadhouse” is in fact a true musical, featuring New Orleans music that includes blues, spirituals, and most importantly, Zydeco itself.
Zydeco is an authentic, homegrown form of folk music with roots in Spanish, African, and Creole sources. A “squeezebox” accordion, a guitar, and a washboard are key Zydeco instruments. It is upbeat, highly rhythmic music, well suited for dancing. Zydeco is indigenous to southern Louisiana and the bayou country below Baton Rouge and New Orleans. (The word “zydeco” might be derived from a French Creole phrase that uses the word “haricots,” which means “beans.”)
The actors performed staged readings of various scenes from Tufo’s musical, accompanied by him and Plitt. The assembled crowd was very enthusiastic, in no small way because of the tuneful beat of the music.
You well may ask, “a Zydeco musical in South Boston’s Fort Point?!” Well, the answer is “yes,” if you are Brian Bresnahan, the photographer, impresario and owner of Internal Matter. If you visit Internal Matter’s website, and you’ll find that it also presented “A Brother and a Friend” a few evenings back – Nick Thorkelson (keyboard), his friend Larry Plitt (guitar), and Nick’s brother, Peter Tork – yes, that’s Peter Tork of the original Monkees.