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When Dolly is not exactly Dolly

Every city has their own troop of local actors, and New Orleans is not devoid in that category at all. Varla Jean Merman, the "spawn" of Ethel Merman and Ernest Borgnine, was one of the stars in a cleverly scripted play called 5 to 9 which astute readers can figure out is a take on the hit movie from 1980 starring Dolly Parton, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda. Varla used her full figure form to play a slightly more colorful version of Dora Lee, the Dolly Parton character. Yes, you will probably disagree with me on how anyone can be more colorful than Dolly.

Cafe Istanbul was the host location. Istanbul is a combination full bar and stage venue comfortably tucked away in the Bywater section of town. It is one of the only remaining venues where patrons can grab a nice cocktail and enjoy a good production in a comfortable relaxed environment. The cocktail part is why we enjoy attending productions at this site.

The show was of course fantastically funny with the storyline following the current Oval Office instead of the Dabney Coleman character in a large corporation. Since we are a drinking site and not a play critic site, we'll just let you know that a fantastic twist in the plot occurred when Melania revealed she was truly in charge of the White House and would cut off someone's small hands if he did not get into line. We finished off the night with a wonderful picture of Varla in all her glorious packaging.

Cafe Istanbul

2372 St. Claude Avenue


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