Cajun Fiction: Treme on HBO

If you are late to the HBO series Treme, have no fear that you will be at sea. You can jump into the second season, to commence this Sunday, without missing a beat. That's because the series, evocatively set in post-Katrina New Orleans, is so well conceived (David Simon and Eric Overmyer) with syncopated story lines focused on appealing characters, and the assurance that cherished memories of that port city's special place in American life with its music, food, unique language and sensibility have not washed away when those levees broke. Weighing in on the conversation about New Orleans -- Why rebuild it? What leadership? What funds? Have Wynton Marsalis and Harry Connick, Jr. sold out? -- the show also features sly humor, insider tidbits and some of the best jazz on television.

Two episodes premiered on Thursday night at MoMA; the second, directed by Tim Robbins whet everyone's appetite with Thanksgiving a la New Orleans. After the screening, giant tour buses took partiers 7 blocks to Rouge Tomate for a lavish feast of Louisiana style cuisine: braised short ribs, sea bass, chicken, collard greens, grits, pralines and beignets. No deep-fried turkey.

From the cast and crew, Tim Robbins, director of the Treme pilot, David Morse, Melissa Leo, Michiel Huisman, and Kim Dickens attended, as did Lucia Micarelli, a trained concert violinist. She is memorable performing in the band and in her scenes with Steve Zahn, winning over his family including a saucy aunt (Elizabeth Ashley). India Ennenga who plays Sofia Creighton, daughter to Melissa Leo's Toni Bernette, says she had to take time off school at Brooklyn's St. Ann's to shoot on location. Sofia perhaps of all Treme's characters displays the sadness that we might expect in those environs, acting out as her mother (Leo, recent Academy Award Best Actress for The Fighter) worries. Fans will be happy to know what a charming, cheerful girl India Ennenga truly is.

Meantime, Michael Stuhlbarg and Vincent Piazza took a break from the set of Boardwalk Empire; its second season will air in the fall.

This post also appears on Gossip Central.