Up & Coming Weekly

May 07, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 13 of 36

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM MAY 8-14, 2019 UCW 13 STEPHANIE CRIDER, Associate Publisher. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly. com. 910-484-6200. Cape Fear Regional Theatre presents musical 'Memphis' by STEPHANIE CRIDER EVENT In the 1950s, Memphis, Ten- nessee, was subject to Jim Crow laws and segregation. R&B and rock 'n' roll played to two dis- tinctly different crowds — until DJ Dewy Philips changed things. Take a journey with Cape Fear Regional eatre to "Memphis," where rock 'n' roll was born. e show runs May 9-26. "Memphis" is inspired by real- life events and people. Accord- ing to director Suzanne Agins, the central character is a white DJ, named Huey Calhoun in the play, who makes it his mission to expose his white audience to the blues. He is played by Matthew Mucha and is based on real-life DJ Dewy Philips. e story is about his drive to expand people's minds about music and his relationship with African American blues singer Felicia Farrell, a character who is not based on a real-life counterpart. "It is all this great R&B and early rock 'n' roll coming from the African American com- munity, and this guy who made it his life's work to get it out to whites," said Agins. When she started thinking about how to tell the sto- ry best, Agins, who also directed "Dreamgirls" at CFRT in 2017, reached back to her previous experience in Fayetteville. "I was here for 'Dreamgirls,' and it was an amazing thing to be surround by amazing women," she said. Agins noticed that Felicia, played by Shonica Gooden, didn't have strong female characters to relate to in the story. "I thought about the main character and wondered why she didn't have a friend to talk to," said Agins. "I looked at (the character of ) her brother and thought there is noth- ing about this (character) that is inherently male. It is a human who cares deeply for his sister. "We asked the licensing com- pany if we could change this to a female character and made our case. … We cast an amazing actress, and she is killing it." e script didn't change, just the gen- der of one character. Gooden didn't know the role of her character's brother was going to change to that of a sister, but she's embraced it. "I think it has made it better," she said. "We brought that sisterly bond into the story, making it that much more authentic onstage." CFRT Marketing Director Ashley Owen noted that the story covers an important topic — race. "It delves into the relationship between white and black people in that time," she said. "e message is one of loving people when you come together and experience something special. It is an important story to tell, and we work hard to do it well, if for no other reason than for people to be able to talk about the message." David Robbins plays Bobby Dupree, Huey's best friend. For him, the music adds to an already meaty performance. "'Memphis' won best score for the year it came out," he said. "You will be leaving the theater humming the tunes." Ricardo Morgan is a Fayetteville native and no stranger to the CFRT stage. "Member of the Wed- ding," "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Sweeney Todd" and "Trip to Bountiful" are a few of the shows he's performed in. Morgan is in the ensemble. "Given the theme of the show and climate of our nation, this is another opportunity for the arts to help heal," he said. "And in doing so, we talk about preconcep- tions. You will leave singing, but you will also leave having asked yourself questions. Questions we ask daily come to life onstage — it is about a sense of community and supporting each other." Due to the content, the show is rated PG-13. e play runs May 9-26. Visit www.cfrt.org for tickets and information. Look for theme nights and special events, including Red Carpet Ready, Open- ing Night Dance Party, Mimosa Brunch and Military Night, on the website. Derby Run honors Justin Lopes by DR. SHANESSA FENNER Justin Lopes was captain of the soccer team his senior year of high school. He was a mem- ber of Honor Society, Key Club and Lafayette Baptist Church. Justin loved to play baseball and soccer. He was family-oriented and loyal to those he loved. In 2014, he died unexpect- edly, at the age of 21. He was a rising senior at the University of South Carolina majoring in finance. In honor of Justin, the Derby Run was established. is year's Derby Run takes place Saturday, May 18, starting at Terry Sanford High School. e 10K run will begin at 8:15 a.m. and the 5K run/walk will begin at 8:30 a.m. ey are both timed events. "David and Andrea Phillips started the Derby Run in 2016 and thought it would be a good way to remember and honor Justin's life," said Donna Lopes, Justin's mom. "It has continued to grow each year. It started as a fun run the first year, and basically people got together and we walked." ey have added a 10K run this year in hopes the event will continue to grow. e goal is to have between 200-300 runners. "e proceeds from the event will go to local charities to benefit children," said Lopes. "e charities are e Child Advocacy Center, the Justin Richard Lopes Memorial Scholarship of Cumberland Community Foundation, and Cy's World Foundation." Each runner will receive a T-shirt and a sports bag filled with coupons from local vendors. e top three overall male and female winners will receive trophies and gift certificates from Fleet Feet. Awards will be given to the top three male and female winners in each age category, for best derby-themed costume, best derby-themed hat, best derby-themed stroller, first dog to finish, first stroller to finish and largest team. Bunker, the mascot for the Fayetteville Woodpeckers baseball team, will be on site, along with Kidsvile News! celebrity Truman the dragon and Sweet Frog's mascot. ere will be face-painting for the children. "In the three years that we have done this run, we have been able to donate over $25,000 to charities that benefit children in Justin's memory, because of our gener- ous sponsors and Derby participants," said Donna. "The Derby Run is a way for us to help others in his memory." e cost of the 5K for ages 12 and under is $20, and for ages 13 and over, it is $30. e cost of the 10K for all ages is $35. Teams with four or more participants for either race will receive a $5 discount for each runner. Pets are allowed but must be on a leash. Packets can be picked up Friday, May 17, at Orangetheory Fitness from 5-7 p.m. Registration is at 7 a.m. for participants who did not preregister. For more information or to register, visit its-go-time.com/the-derby-run. DR. SHANESSA FENNER, Prin- cipal, WT Brown Elementary School. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Matthew Mucha as Huey Calhoun (left) and Shonica Gooden as Felicia Farrell (right)

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