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Comment Archives: Stories: Theater

Re: “A Memory of Charles Billings

Thank you for this. "Charles Billings was fully human and he was entirely divine. He'll be missed. He already is. "

Posted by Becky Kelly on 09/20/2017 at 11:35 PM

Re: “A Memory of Charles Billings

Good piece. Thanks for this.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mark Pergolizzi on 09/20/2017 at 10:00 PM

Re: “A Memory of Charles Billings

Charles was a blessing. He was so generous and he always loved house sitting for me, becuase I discovered later he absolutely loved practice on my Baldwin piano that seemed to resonate perfectly in the room it was in. His gentle talking voice was a blanket of support and comfort every time I heard it. You will be missed big Daddy.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael Guthrie on 09/20/2017 at 8:05 PM

Re: “A Memory of Charles Billings

I was at WKNO TV in the early '80's and will always remember Charles running with bone phones draped around his neck in between FM on air moments. He was such an incredible, like-able, bigger than life character. He will be very missed.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike B on 09/20/2017 at 6:45 PM

Re: “A Memory of Charles Billings

I graduated with Charlie in 1973...i will never forget the times with Ms Hedgeman and all of the cotton carnivals and talent shows. Thanks for sharing my friend. May heaven be blessed by your arrival. PAUL Ferguson

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michael Ferguson on 09/20/2017 at 6:17 PM

Re: “A Memory of Charles Billings

So well written, Chris. Thank you.


4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Shane Beeson on 09/20/2017 at 3:44 PM

Re: “A Memory of Charles Billings

I recall many moons ago when Sue of P & H fame got married in that very establishment, Charles was on hand to sing "Somewhere There's a Place For Us." He made a special occasion that much more special.

RIP Charles, Sue & Wanda

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Carol Penn-Romine on 09/20/2017 at 3:40 PM

Re: “A Memory of Charles Billings

You are in that pic! There are so few production shots from that show, but many pictures of us in rehearsal practicing period-style bowing. Betty. Ruffin.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Davis on 09/20/2017 at 3:29 PM

Re: “A Memory of Charles Billings

I was also close with La Billings.
He was one of a kind, and he was ours.
Rest In Peace, Charles.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Brian Mott on 09/20/2017 at 3:06 PM

Re: “A Memory of Charles Billings


7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Brian Mott on 09/20/2017 at 3:05 PM

Re: “A Memory of Charles Billings

I had the pleasure of working a Memphis Theater Awards with Charles (the emcee) in the mid-Nineties. Don't remember much about the winners that night (all talented artists). But I remember smiling the entire evening, before/during/after. And feeling like Charles and I had known each other my whole life. We'd met that night. Wonderful, large (by measures beyond physical) human being. I miss him, and am grateful for knowing him my whole life.

8 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Frank Murtaugh 1 on 09/20/2017 at 2:12 PM

Re: “Tennessee Shakespeare Company Purchases Former Ballet Memphis Property

Fantastic! Congratulations Tennessee Shakes! Fantastic work, Dan McCleary!

Posted by Michele Somers Cullen on 09/01/2017 at 1:43 PM

Re: “2017 Ostranders — Picks, Pans and WHO GOT ROBBED!?!?

No such thing as a small part? Clearly you've not taken a good look at our President.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Chris Davis on 08/18/2017 at 2:00 PM

Re: “2017 Ostranders — Picks, Pans and WHO GOT ROBBED!?!?

"You wanna know my secret? I'm a liar. A flat out liar." - Mercy "Haint" (via me, via playwright Justin Asher)

Kudos to all the nominees, and huge props to everyone in the Memphis theatre community not nominated - in print. Not nominated in print. Without you, the nominees would not be nominees. This stuff is a team sport, and guess what: There really is no such thing as a small part.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Michele Somers Cullen on 08/18/2017 at 1:47 PM

Re: “Jamie Farr, George Burns, Snow White: Halloran Centre Launches 3-Show Stage Series

I actually saw Jamie Farr play George Burns in the show once...weird. I also saw him play Oscar opposite William Christopher's Felix. I think he was one of the Nathan Detroit's that I saw in a Guys and Dolls tour once. Dude gets work.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by John M Hemphill on 08/15/2017 at 2:04 PM

Re: “Irene Crist Honored with Eugart Yerian Award for Lifetime Achievement in Memphis Theatre

Don't you just love, Irene? I am so glad that the Women's Theatre Festival of Memphis honored her on last year! Congratualations to a well-deserving lady for her years of GIVING to theatre.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ruby O' Gray on 08/07/2017 at 11:52 AM

Re: “Ostrander Award Nominees, 2017 — Community Division.

Been sick, but Ok yawl- validation may be for the majority, and it's nice. The time, the place, the number of people who are utilized for such may vary, but to me- it's a personal satisfaction of doing what I want when I want since I know the larger ones won't accept it. Doing it well, teaching some of those who have gone on to win Memphis Theatre Awards that became the Ostranders. I think that what others want is something posted for them to know guidelines. Every theatre company has their own mission- don't get mad about it- some of us, including me- got awards way back from those very entities. What if we all got mad because there are ONLY male reviewers for all the shows in Memphis? Come up with your own, an addition; an alternative. It's legal! I do know that there have been some great Indies-I don't like all of them, and the same goes for some of the larger productions. That has to do with our personal tastes. There are newbys, who feel there is no place for them- so they make their own- and they, too, have to or need to learn how to do it better. At times I have not liked both,... but like TP, who is a billionaire- he found his audience and fed them what they wanted or needed- he did what he wanted. I was NOT the fan, but there are some on tape as movies that I did like. I don't have the time to get mad about such. Someone will come up with what the Indie sole artists need to be recognized; others, I would say, need to learn and "gleen" from those who have been doing it. Nothing will be wrong with that... look at it as not opposed to, but addition to whenEVER the other recognitions are created. Actually there is one, but I, like many, have never known the indie guidelines for Ostranders- kind of a well-kept secret, and I have asked and gotten passed on to others to find out- so I stopped. When you are in that BIG ballgame- sometimes you don't see the other games that are being played-JUST be patient. Some people who have never worked in Indie to see what it's like. I know it happened recently with me- but they may have discovered that they don't want to ever do that- again. That's okay, it won't deter us who know that that may be the way in this city for many reasons... somebody's got to. Be happy for those who got recognized, and to those who don't feel validated without that recognition- start taking more stock in yourselves and find alternate ways- Oh to those who think they bought the stage and paid for it and no one else can get on it but YOU- (I hope no one does) help somebody, it might be a nice project once a year to be benevolent to those who are trying. Getting mad is Too Much Wasted Energy.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ruby O' Gray on 08/07/2017 at 11:34 AM
Posted by Chris Davis on 08/04/2017 at 9:56 PM

Re: “Ostrander Award Nominees, 2017 — Community Division.

When we did Much Ado at BPACC and TM. It was always technically an independent production that Irene and I came up with. Sort of a Judy/Mickey "We have talented friends...and a barn...and Candy sews" Part of me wondered if Ostrander judges would have noticed had it been eligible but there was something quaint about just "doing it" without the concerns of a mainstream production. I am all for people doing their art. I mean to me that is art in it's purest form. I wonder though how non eligible independent companies could even be corralled. If Chris Davis wants to put up a production of such and such play people have to know about it and a governing voting committee must have a quorum to go and see it...and that still leaves out other productions that might not benefit from word of mouth or promotion. They would all still have to submit them for consideration. Someone smarter than me would need to figure out a system that would be fair...whatever that means. I'm all for it. So much talent in this town so any way that it can be brought to the forefront and garner appreciation is a good thing. Chris said...many people who do independent theatre just want to do the play and awards don't enter into the thought process deserving or not. It might have to be another organization like Independent films do. Ostranders are already up to the brim with eligible theatre companies and judges to go see their offerings.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by John M Hemphill on 08/04/2017 at 3:17 PM

Re: “Ostrander Award Nominees, 2017 — Community Division.

Exactly, Bill. It's great that we have a community that produces one-offs as strong as Krapp's Last Tape. But the Ostranders don't (and shouldn't be expected to) account for one-offs. Or even two-offs. And I don't think anybody produces Beckett in Memphis hoping for a prize. On the other hand, if Tony Isbell is a Eugart Yerian honoree some day, his work on indie projects like Krapp, Thais, and other labors of love will figure into that. But as far as I know, established troupes with announced seasons, able to make assurances about dates and judge access can apply for consideration.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Davis on 08/03/2017 at 10:36 PM

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