rou lafayette ball
Volume 20/Issue 4/2002

Bright Lights, Big City
by Brad Benedict

Nineteen years ago, the Lafayette Royal Order of Unicorn came into being. It was a vision of Fred Acosta to give a creative outlet for men and women of all walks of life. Now under the exceptional leadership of Kenny Hebert, president of R.O.U., the tradition of excellence continues.

Hebert, along with co-captain Christy Theriot, issued in a magnificent production of "Bright Lights, Big City." It was their Bal Masque XVIII and it was a fitting tribute to all the hard work and outstanding services this krewe provides the community. The one thing that impresses me the most about this group is the way they have fun and work together so well. It shows, and it rubs off on the audience as they get into the festive spirit of the occasion.

With the lighting of the crest and the presentation of the members, the show got under way with a bevy of beauties and gorgeous hunks. The first three to appear were Mr. R.O.U. 2001-2002 (Gil Lujan), Ms. R.O.U. 2001-2002 (Maria Freia), and Miss R.O.U. 2001-2002 (Shawn Carter aka Shania Scarlett). Mistress of Ceremonies was 2000-2001 Miss Gay USofA at Large, Kofi.

The presentation of King XVII (Emile Lege) and Queen XVII (Racyine Ross) followed, and they returned in all the grandeur as when they originally accepted their crowns last year. It was really a spectacular appearance. After several production numbers (which were quite entertaining), the main show got under way.

Bal Masque Captain Kenny Hebert was the Tour Guide, and this costume reached mammoth proportions. It carried symbols of most of the cities (costumes) to follow. As I understand it, my beautiful Abshire child put his foot down and said no more, so I assume he must have helped with this one. And I do have to thank this youngster for allowing me to sit at his table right at the runway so I could take all the pictures. I've always known he was a rather classy kind of guy.

The tour guide then took his place of honor on the stage, and Jackson MS appeared in the form of the Potato Queen, followed by a very beautiful India. Salem, MA was also a good one incorporating all the spells and potions that must have been a part of this period of history.

Milan, Italy was a great costume too, and all the famous designers made up the backpiece for this one. Then came a lively Las Vegas, NE dude struttin' his stuff. You were great, Earl, and Emile says you're great too. Cairo, Egypt was one of the less elaborate costumes but one of the most effective in creating this historical period. San Francisco, CA was really a nice one, and the Golden Gate Bridge stretched across the runway completely. The use of red feathers really set this one apart from the rest. I also thought Athens, Greece was an effective adaptation of this city too. Miss Linda did her homework well, and it showed. I guess I was re-loading my camera because I didn't come up with a picture of Waikiki Beach, HI. My apology for that.

Rome, Italy was also a nice addition to this program, and the New Orleans number was great even though the shoulder brace broke, and it had to be placed at the edge of the curtains while Fred did his dance number down the runway. When something like this happens, it's devastating to the person because of all the work that has gone into the creation.

Co-captain Christy did a wonderful New York costume, and that gigantic top hat looked like something out of a Baton Rouge Krewe of Apollo creation. This one was a standout, and, goodness, gracious, this lovely lass has a gorgeous set of legs on her. It was a great ending to the tableau, and then it was time for the introduction of the new King and Queen R.O.U. XVIII, Ted Gallagher and Ken LeBlanc.

This krewe is one of the nicest ones around, and it's one I wouldn't miss for anything. Of course, with Kenny in charge, who could ask for anything more?

Congratulations to everyone for a wonderful and entertaining night of bright lights and big cities.


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