by Dalt Wonk, 2002
Spiritual Gifts offers a startling and unconventional look at life in the French Quarter by a writer who has been a long-time resident. It’s set in a piano bar on lower Bourbon Street — the kind of place tourists peek into, but then avoid.
Brenda Saenz holds court there at her piano. She is a wry pompous eccentric, who carries herself with the hauteur of a White Russian exile.
And who works at the bar? A once-famous Black chanteuse is the cleaning woman. A caustic, rootless young New Yorker is the waitress. Lost souls, the dregs of society — and yet, your feelings about them change, once you get to know them.
Gradually, we realize that Brenda is desperately trying to escape from heart break — the suicide of her only child, the son she cherished and devoted her life to.
Spiritual Gifts had a successful run at le Chat Noir Cabaret Theater.