Valiant Theatre and Lounge to Open in Studio Arabi, Performance Lineup Announced

St. Bernard Parish, LA (August 8, 2016) — The Valiant Theatre and Lounge is slated to open in September within Studio Arabi, the newly established arts campus in St. Bernard Parish. A ribbon cutting ceremony will be held on October 8 at 5 p.m. Named in honor of a large crown that adorns a former pawn shop at 6621 St. Claude Ave., the Valiant Theatre will feature a full service, upscale bar and lounge in addition to a 120 seat theatre. 

“We are thrilled to welcome the Valiant Theatre and Lounge to St. Bernard. The new business will have an immediate economic impact and add to the newly opened Studio Arabi arts campus,” said Andrew Jacques, the executive director of the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation who helped the new business relocate to St. Bernard. “The Valiant Theatre will create eight new jobs and employ hundreds of artists and musicians. At full capacity, the theatre is expected to attract more than 1000 people weekly who will patronize local businesses.”

The Valiant Theatre is operated by Richard Mayer, who has a long record of success on stage and off bringing brilliant shows to audiences and providing opportunities to local artists. His former venue, Old Marquer Theatre, was the busiest live performance space in New Orleans. Over time, Old Marquer received national and international acclaim and was featured in Southern Living, the BBC’s Lonely Planet, the Hunt Guide, and even the official travel magazine of Singapore.

“We are very excited to be part of St. Bernard’s skyrocketing arts and culture scene,” said Mayer. “Audiences can expect to see the return of their favorite groups from Old Marquer, plus the larger space will allow for bigger, better shows.”

The Valiant will feature a variety of high-quality works, providing a home for artists of all kinds and a variety of audiences. Performances will include classic and contemporary plays, musicals, comedy shows, children's theatre, burlesque, poetry, independent films, and performance art. The theatre is expected to have shows up to five nights a week, with two shows on Friday and Saturday nights. The lounge will be open seven days a week, beginning at 4 p.m.

Mayer is partnering with Paul Chiriaco, owner of Mag’s bar on Elysian Fields, to operate the lounge, which will feature a rotating lineup of specialty cocktails, including show-specific drink specials. Live piano and acoustic music will be played most weekday nights from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monthly wine and liquor tastings are also scheduled, starting later in the fall.

Studio Arabi's Erica Larkin Gaudet, a metal sculptor, is designing the interior and furnishing of the lounge. 

For more information on The Valiant Theatre, the schedule, and hours of operation, please visit:

Studio Arabi is a creative placemaking project of the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation and Erica and Mitchell Gaudet. The Meraux Foundation has assembled the properties as a public interest project to accelerate the growth of the Old Arabi Cultural District. These properties are being leased to the Gaudet’s, who are operating the two block arts campus on St. Claude Avenue.

"We are thrilled with the success of Studio Arabi, and the Valiant Theatre is a fantastic new addition to the arts district," said Gaudet. "The theatre, along with more than a dozen artist galleries on the campus, will cement St. Bernard Parish as an arts destination."

“We are excited to welcome yet another arts business to St. Bernard Parish. The Valiant Theatre and Lounge will add to the allure of Studio Arabi and compliment the artist studios and galleries already operating there,” said Rita Gue, the president of the Meraux Foundation and board member of the St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation.  




Boom by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, presented by Rockfire Theatre

This dark comedy is about Jo and Jules, a man and a woman who meet for a ‘casual encounter’ internet date. Things go in an unexpected direction, however, when the apocalypse happens and they are the last two people left alive.


Toxic Avenger The Musical by Joe DiPietro, based on the movie by Lloyd Kaufman, presented by 'See 'Em On Stage: A Production Company LLC

Based on the cult classic film, this wild musical follows the adventures of a man who gains super powers after being dumped into toxic waste. Five actors play almost 100 characters in this unforgettable, award winning show.


Soon to be announced production by The Company, a St Bernard community theatre organization

This show, a beloved classic musical, will be announced at The Company’s season announcement in August.

Shows by local favorites are already in the works including The Bluestockings, May Hemmer, Remy Dee, and Persé Fanny

Valiant Theatre will also feature burlesque, with an emphasis towards upscale, classic burlesque, as well as pop-culture parody shows. At the end of November the three day NOLA Nerdlesque Festival will highlight the most creative and talented burlesque performers from around the country.


The Nightmare Before Christmas Burlesque Show

David Sedaris’ Santaland Diaries (December 16, 17, 18)

Charity Christmas tree auction


About St. Bernard Economic Development

St. Bernard Economic Development Foundation (SBEDF) is 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization founded in 2005 to retain and create jobs, build prosperity, and improve the quality of life in St. Bernard Parish. The Board of Directors consists of 28 voting members and 8 non-voting honorary members and public officials, all of which serve as volunteers to the organization. SBEDF’s work is made possible through the general support of its investors, St. Bernard Parish Government, St. Bernard Port, Harbor and Terminal District, the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation, Cox Communications, and Chalmette Refining at the Impact Champion Level, the Law Offices of Sidney Torres, III and Associated Terminals at the Pillars Level, and Palmisano Group and Meyer Engineers at the Community Leaders Level.

About the Arlene and Joseph Meraux Charitable Foundation

The Meraux Foundation is a private 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established by Arlene Meraux to benefit the community of St. Bernard Parish by leveraging its landholdings. Today, the Foundation’s board of directors is presided over by Arlene’s niece, Rita Gue, and members Floyd Gue, Bill Haines, Chris Haines, and Sidney Torres, III. Guided by Arlene’s vision, the Board is implementing an innovative strategy to create lasting change and build a better St. Bernard.