A good way to start the new year is to see an old friend, and Nashville will get to do just that Jan. 7-9 in Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Johnson Theater as Renaissance man Chambers Stevens returns to his native Middle Tennessee for three performances of his one-man show “It’s Who You Know.”
Stevens, 51, grew up in Hendersonville before coming to prominence in the Music City by co-founding the Nashville Shakespeare Festival and appearing in highly-regarded “Steve” public service ads for WSMV in the 1980s. He and equally über-talented wife Betsy Sullenger (whose work includes co-producing the feature “You Again” and serving as executive producer of Disney Channel’s “Liv and Maddie” that was recently renewed for a fourth season) moved to Los Angeles, and since then Stevens has been acting, writing, teaching (specifics would take too long to list here but the bio on this page offers a good start) and having the multitude of memorable encounters that provide great material for his present national tour and first appearance on a Nashville stage in more than 25 years.
How does “It’s Who You Know” work? It’s simple and quite effective: randomly selecting from hundreds of cards that each contain the name of an actor, musician, writer or other prominent personage Stevens tells a true story about his interaction with that person. The fast-paced format makes for a different 90-minute show each time, running the gamut of emotions and giving him a chance to display his very engaging acting skills as well. As noted in more than one report the inspiration for this show’s set-up comes from Spalding Gray’s “A Personal History of the American Theater” but the content is pure Chambers; as someone who’s known and worked with him I promise that translates to plenty of humor and heart from a true live-in-the-moment performer.
All shows start at 7:30 p.m. and tickets ($30) can be purchased online by clicking here. You can follow the show on Twitter and like it on Facebook to find out more about the tour and the man behind it.
*Photo of Chamber Stevens and show artwork courtesy Stevens and Maverick Entertainment Partners, LLC.