Billy Christopher Maupin offers two nights of cabaret charm with ‘This Fish Needs a Bicycle’ at The Camel
Award-winning actor and director Billy Christopher Maupin enters the local coffee shop with a small rain-soaked backpack and index cards in tow.
He is busying himself with preparations for an upcoming cabaret even as he sits down with me to chat for a few minutes. He’s also working tech crew in Virginia Rep’s sensational Dream Girls and about to start rehearsals for Quill Theatre’s Dracula.
Maupin will make his debut at The Camel with his new cabaret This Fish Needs a Bicycle for a two-night performance. In collaboration with music director/pianist Josh Wortham (director of the Richmond Men’s Chorus) and guitarist Tristan Dougherty (of Richmond’s gypsy-folk band Fools Errand), Maupin hopes to tell some stories and share an experience with the Richmond audience he loves.
International songwriter/recording artist Psalm Swarr will make a special guest appearance with the world premiere of a song written just for her friend Maupin.
When Maupin began writing the script for the cabaret, he wasn’t sure what it was about. After writing the end of the show first – and picking the penultimate, final and encore song for the performance – Maupin realized that This Fish is about living life and not getting bogged down in the doldrums. After a self-admittedly rough year, Maupin wants to focus on what comes next.
“The show is about me embracing myself as an artist . . . not wasting my life . . . and focusing on the future,” he said.
Maupin will “share stories of his adventures in love, in the theatre, and a few things in between.”
Maupin’s enthusiasm for this project is catching (pun intended).
The show’s title, This Fish Needs a Bicycle, is an homage to the catchphrase “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle,” coined by Australian writer/social activist Irina Dunn.
Richmond has been good to Maupin. He’s been featured in Richmond Magazine, honored as one of Style Weekly’s Top 40 Under 40, and nominated numerous times by the Richmond Theatre Critics Circlefor RTCC awards, most recently earning Best Director of a Musical for Carrie the Musical.
He moved around the country after college “taking acting gigs where I could get them.” He describes the experience as “pretty awesome.” He made an audition tape of two songs and two monologues and shopped them around to professional theatre companies he found through research on the Internet. Richmond Shakespeare offered him a handful of roles in Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. He moved to Richmond and had two days of rehearsal before his first performance. He left Richmond briefly for New York City before coming back to take a job with Virginia Rep (Theatre IV at the time). He’s been in Richmond since.
A fish may not need a bicycle but the Richmond theatre community needs Maupin.
Audiences are in for a treat.
Performances will be held August 8 and 22 at 8 p.m. at The Camel, 1621 W. Broad Street. Doors open at 6:30 for dinner. General admission tickets are $15; a limited number of reserved tables are available ($15 for GA, $40 for a front row, two-person pub table; $75 for a four-person table) and can be purchased by visiting www.thecamel.org.
Julie Harthill Clayton is an out and proud bisexual with a passion for reading, writing . . . and NOT arithmetic. Her work has appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, the Internet Review of Books, Curve Magazine, Lambda Literary and more. She is working on her first novel - Two Tickets to Freedom - a semi-autobiographical queer coming-of-age tale. A paralegal by day, Julie spends her free time knitting, writing, and reading anything she can get her hands on. She lives in Richmond with her partner, local artist David Turner, and their mischievous and loving hunting dog, Max.
Rumor has it that the birthday boy himself may sing a song or two.September 21, 2015
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