For many years, Broadway veteran and New Orleans native Batt had made the southern city his home, opening Hazelnut, a gift and home furnishings shop on Magazine Street, with his partner Tom Cianfichi. Hazelnut, like most businesses in the city, is currently closed and working toward reopening. In the meantime, Batt is doing his part to provide relief to the other victims of the storm through the sale of a Christmas ornament designed by his friend, Christopher Radko. Prior to the hurricane, the two men were working to create an ornament called "A New Orleans Christmas." It was to have been released for the holiday season. Now, Batt, Cianfichi and Radko have decided that the proceeds from the retail sales of the ornament will go directly to "Second Harvest of Greater New Orleans, disaster relief and charities dedicated to the rebuilding of New Orleans."
To view the ornament, consult www.hazelnutneworleans.com. Batt is also selling the New Orleans Toile fabric by the yard and the various toile products on the website while he works to reopen the store. A percentage of proceeds of the sales of all toile products will also go to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina.
Batt's many Broadway credits include the recent revival of La Cage aux Folles, The Scarlet Pimpernel, Seussical and Saturday Night Fever, as well as the Off-Broadway premiere of Jeffrey.