By KEVIN CHIRI
Slidell news bureau
SLIDELL — The flood waters from Hurricane Katrina were a blessing in disguise to many Slidellians.
Brian Fontenot feels the same way about the small flood he encountered at his Cutting Edge Theater last week.
Fontenot has been a Slidell hair stylist for many years, and four years ago, added his passion for theater to his professional work by changing his salon into a theater at night, and producing theater shows at the “Cutting Edge Theater,” located at 747 Robert Blvd.
He admitted it was a tight squeeze, but Fontenot made it work for several years and had a growing, and very successful, small theater in Slidell that produced a variety of shows.
Last week when he walked into his salon late Tuesday afternoon, after his usual Sunday through Tuesday closing days, he heard a sound he wasn’t accustomed to.
“Squish, squish,” he said this week, now laughing about it. “I could tell there was water everywhere.”
The salon at 747, in one of the older Slidell strip malls, had apparently experienced a plumbing leak and water had been seeping into his salon, and theater, for over two days.
“Everything was ruined, a total mess,” he said.
But Fontenot also sees it as a blessing in disguise.
He had talked about purchasing the office space next door and making the theater a bigger setting, but now he won’t have to, thanks to some insurance money and his own investment.
“We are totally remodeling the salon and theater and doing everything we had dreamed about. It’s going to be a fantastic theater set now with a lot of extras,” he said.
The new theater will be unveiled on June 1, with a performance of Aladdin, which will have the “Junior Performers” putting on the show through June 3. The “Senior Performers” will act in Aladdin from June 8-10.
Fontenot started with his salon in 1997, then four years ago opened the theater and has performed approximately 20 plays there. The new theater will have a much larger open space in the back of the salon for the shows, and even feature handicap-accessible restrooms, which the office space never previously had.
Fontenot said the water leak came from an old plumbing fixture in the walls.
Tickets and show times are available by calling 649-3727.