Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Maupin Masterminds Mischief in Modern Merrymaker

Posted by Bruce Miller (liberally quoting B C Maupin)
With Becky's New Car, we're glad to welcome Billy Christopher Maupin back into the driver's seat at Hanover Tavern. B C has to be among the most turbocharged theatre artists working in Virginia today. As his German friends opine, he is mit turboaufladung. (Sorry. Sometimes these amazing things pop up in a word search and I can't help myself.)

Billy Christopher starred at the Tavern as the Reverend Mervin Oglethorpe in all three musicals in the Smoke on the Mountain trilogy. Back in 2010, he directed our heartwarming Hanover hit, Butterflies are Free.

More recently, B C earned great acclaim for his staging of Dog Sees God and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown at the Firehouse.

Billy Christopher was honored last spring by STYLE Weekly as one of Richmond's "Top 40 Under 40." In the recent build-up to the Richmond Theatre Critics Circle Awards, he is a Best Actor nom for his work in Something Intangible, also at the Firehouse. When not involved in evening rehearsals, he spends his daytime hours as Marketing Manager here at Barksdale/Theatre IV.

Billy Christopher was the one who introduced me to Becky's New Car. His director's notes indicate that when he encountered this new comedy, the attraction was immediate.

"My first professional job in the theatre was in 2000 in a production of Bram Stoker's Dracula adapted by Steve Dietz. Thus began my love affair with Dietz' work. A master of dramatic tension, zany plots, tender moments, and incredibly natural dialogue, Dietz is a rare treasure of the American theatre.

When his newest play, Becky's New Car, was published last year, it jumped to the top of my list of plays to read. And when I did, I fell in love before it was even over. I remember finishing the first act and immediately calling Melissa (Johnston Price) and saying, 'I think you might need to look at this play that I just started reading.' As soon as I finished it, I called her back: 'Melissa, you need to read this play.'

I feel so fortunate to be able to be a part of creating theatre in a community that is so rich in artists. It is such a thrill to be able to explore this wonderfully funny and beautiful play with such an incredibly talented cast, crew and design team.

I hope you enjoy the ride.

Billy Christopher Maupin"

If you're a fan of Billy Christopher's work, I hope you'll join him and his stellar cast as they put the pedal to the metal beginning September 23. You'll be glad you did.

--Bruce Miller

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