by Kevin Allman
If you watched last night's episode of Treme (written by former Times-Picayune scribe Lolis Elie), you saw actor Tim Reid in a brief role as a judge -- a sort of homage to the man who co-created and starred in the 1987 TV show Frank's Place, one of the best representations of New Orleans ever put on film. Despite its critical acclaim, however, Frank's Place has never been issued on DVD (a state of affairs we explained in a 2008 cover story about the show) and seeing it has been nearly impossible.
During the 1987-1988 television season, Tim Reid and Hugh Wilson brought CBS viewers as close to New Orleans as any television series had ever done. In the first episode Frank Parrish, a reluctant restaurateur, plans to sell Chez Louisiane, the family restaurant he inherited. But soon he finds himself elbow deep in food, family debt and eccentric characters. The show is not available for home viewing. But through special arrangements with the shows creators, HBOs Treme will present two episodes of this New Orleans classic, along with a panel discussion featuring Reid, Wilson, Treme writer Lolis Eric Elie and moderated by Gambit Weekly editor Kevin Allman.
Tickets are $20 and can be purchased here until they're all gone. See you at Frank's Place May 24 -- open again 23 years for one night only.