Former children’s theater in Rivertown reopens as comedy club

Revamped facility part  of Rivertown

Kenner officials announced Thursday that the city’s former Children’s Castle Theater in Rivertown will re-open as a comedy club next month.

The city sent out a press release announcing a grand opening celebration for the venue March 3 that will feature free food and a tour of the revamped facility. Kenner is turning over operation of the facility, which formerly hosted plays for children, to a private group that will put on comedy shows, music, plays and classes for adults.

Comedian Jodi Borrello and promoter Louie Duet are heading up the changeover, and the theater’s new director will be Jason Kirkpatrick. Borrello said the goal is to not only provide quality entertainment but also offer people an opportunity to get into comedy or acting themselves if they are interested.

“Our goal is to promote not only a fun entertainment environment, but also a fun learning experience for those interested in pursuing comedy or acting,” Borrello said in the release.

The change is a continuation of an overhaul to Rivertown that is focused on allowing private groups to run facilities owned by the city. Kenner already turned over management of its performing art center to Theatre 13, which puts on plays and other productions at the facility.

Former Kenner Mayor Ed Muniz closed many of the dated museums in Rivertown after a city subsidy for the area ballooned to $500,000. The city then remodeled its Science Center and has changed other venues to appointment-only operation.

Mayor Michael Yenni has continued Muniz’s revamp and recently worked out a deal where a new Office of Motor Vehicles satellite office would open in Rivertown. Yenni’s administration has stressed the idea that the private sector should drive Rivertown’s growth in partnership with the city, instead of Kenner trying to manage the area.

“The Castle Theater’s reopening is an important part of Rivertown’s rebirth,” Yennis said in a release. “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to bring world-class comedy, music and live theater to Kenner and the entire New Orleans area.”