Theatre Tuscaloosa to present Rickey Powell in "Busy Day"


TUSCALOOSA, AL – Theatre Tuscaloosa’s Page to Stage program returns for the 2021-2022 season with Busy Day, a musical memoir about and performed by Rickey Powell, in the Bean-Brown Theatre on October 29 and 30 at Shelton State Community College (9500 Old Greensboro Rd).

Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame 2001 Inductee, Rickey Powell, takes the Bean-Brown stage in a musical narrative journey recounting his life and career. Rickey uses music and memory to transport audiences from his childhood during the heights of the Civil Rights Movement in Birmingham, to his performances on Broadway in New York City, to his tours of Europe, and finally to his need to come back home to Alabama.

Page to Stage is a program created by Theatre Tuscaloosa to celebrate Southern artists and storytellers with performance art. Previous participants include singer and songwriter Kate Campbell and noted historian, Dr. Wayne Flint. Now Rickey Powell joins the program with his musical biodrama Busy Day, the title of which was inspired by the song “Little Man, You’ve Had a Busy Day,” by Mabel Wayne, Al Hoffman, and Maurice Sigler.

“It is a rare opportunity to get to work with a talent the likes of Rickey Powell,” said director and co-contributor Tina Turley. “He has graced the stages of Theatre Tuscaloosa several times with his amazing talent and honored voice.”

Powell has previously appeared on the Bean-Brown stage as Mr. Mitchell in The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963 (2019), and he both directed and performed in Theatre Tuscaloosa’s 1999 production of Ain’t Misbehavin’.

Turley said, “I think what is special about this event is that Rickey gets to tell his own story. Rickey was a child that lived in “BombinHam” during the violent 1960’s. His stories help us see firsthand the words of the spiritual ‘We Shall Overcome.’ Rickey shares his love for music and how it got him through many busy days through the years. It is such an honor to work with him and the brilliant musician Lincoln Byron Morgan Thomas.”

This musical biodrama was conceived by Rickey Powell with contributions from AJ Edwards and Tina Turley and music arrangement by Lincoln Bryon Morgan Thomas. The production team includes lighting designer Lyndell McDonald, audio engineer Max Blevins, stage manager Ebony Wesley, and technical director Wheeler Kincaid.

Performances will be held on Friday, October 29, and Saturday, October 30, at 7:30 p.m. in the Bean-Brown Theatre. The show runs approximately an hour and a half with no intermission. Due to Shelton State’s COVID-19 health protocols, patrons will be required to wear a mask while inside the building.

Tickets are $19 for adults, $17 for seniors, members of the military, and Shelton State employees, and $14 for students and children. Special rates are available for Shelton State students and groups of ten or more if purchased in advance.

Busy Day is produced in cooperation with Shelton State Community College and with the generous support of The National Endowment for the Arts, the Alabama State Council on the Arts, and the City of Tuscaloosa, as well as the season’s signature sponsor, Claire Friday. Performances are held at the Bean-Brown Theatre on the Martin Campus of Shelton State Community College (9500 Old Greensboro Road).

Tickets and more information are available at www.theatretusc.com or 205.391.2277.

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Theatre Tuscaloosa is a 501c3 not-for-profit community theatre located on the Martin Campus of Shelton State Community College. Theatre Tuscaloosa has been enriching the greater Tuscaloosa community since 1971 through quality theatrical productions and educational outreach.