Lewis Grizzard In His Own Words Tribute Show Is Jan. 26 At Tivoli

Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Bill Oberst Jr. as Lewis Grizzard in a one-man tribute show will be at the Tivoli Jan. 26.
Bill Oberst Jr. as Lewis Grizzard in a one-man tribute show will be at the Tivoli Jan. 26.

Veteran stage and screen actor Bill Oberst, Jr. commemorates Southern writer and humorist Lewis Grizzard in this one-man tribute show. Like Mark Twain before him, Grizzard used the scenes of his youth to weave tales that told the truth, even if they weren’t always fact. 

Actor Bill Oberst's portrayal of Lewis Grizzard is authorized by the late humorist's family and is the closest thing to seeing the late great spokesman of the south onstage again since Grizzard's death at age 47. Lewis Grizzard: in His Own Words has toured to 14 states in over 700 sold-out performances across the south. The show is presented in two acts and runs 90 minutes.  

Mr. Grizzard’s widow Dedra still remembers the moment she first saw Bill Oberst, Jr. as her late husband. “When he looked down over those glasses and the audience laughed, it really was like seeing a ghost.” she says. Yet Mrs. Grizzard was skeptical. A tribute show with an actor playing Mr. Grizzard had not been her idea, but hers was the final word. “After the show so many people came up and thanked me. So I decided that maybe we could do this in a way that honored Lewis’s memory, which was the most important thing to me. I told Bill ‘Let’s just try it and see what happens.” Twelve hundred performances later, the show is still going strong.

Lewis Grizzard: In His Own Words, with Oberst in the role he originated, will play Chattanooga’s Tivoli Theatre for one performance only, on Saturday, Jan. 26. Show time is 7 p.m.  Mr. Grizzard played the Tivoli several times before his death in 1994, and he recorded two of his three hit comedy albums there: On The Road With Lewis Grizzard, Addicted To Love and Don't Believe Ida Told That.

This two-act performance features Mr. Grizzard’s best-loved stories and jokes, along with some poignant and funny readings from his books and newspaper columns. Mr. Grizzard was the most widely syndicated columnist in America for 15 years until his death at age 47 in 1994, appearing in 450 daily newspapers. He famously refused to use a computer and wrote on a manual typewriter, saying, “I like to by-God hear some noise when I type.”

 Mr. Grizzard wrote early each morning at his Atlanta breakfast table, agonizing over each word and going through countless drafts and cigarettes before calling his secretary at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to dictate the finished result. He once turned in an entire manuscript to Random House with no ‘e’s in it because his ancient Royal typewriter’s ‘e’ key had snapped off. Mr. Gizzard told the publisher, “Wherever you see a blank space, just put an ‘e’ in there.”

Mr. Grizzard’s 18 best-selling books include five Number One bestsellers on the New York Times’ bestseller list: Elvis Is Dead And I Don’t Feel So Good Myself, My Daddy Was A Pistol And I’m A Son-Of-A-Gun, Shoot Low Boys - They’re Riding Shetland Ponies, When My Love Returns From The Ladies Room Will I Be Too Old To Care? and Don’t Bend Over In The Garden Granny - You Know Them Taters Got Eyes.

Mr. Oberst Jr. lives in Los Angeles these days doing film and TV work. On stage the actor wears Mr. Gizzard’s own Gucci loafers and his favorite golf shirt. “Over 1,200 shows and I can count on my fingers the number of those that weren’t sold out,” says Mr. Oberst, “It has nothing to do with me and everything to do with Lewis. The whole experience has been one of the greatest blessings of my life. I just hope when I get to heaven he’s not mad at me for wearing his shoes.”

All seats are reserved at $26.50 plus convenience fees. $21 for groups of 10+. Tickets are available now at Memorial Auditorium box office, online at ChattanoogaOnStage.com, and by phone at 642-8497.


Chattanooga Film Festival Announces Cine-Rama Summer Series

The Chattanooga Film Festival is hosting a Cine-Rama Summer Series with a collection of six classic films.  From samurais, to alien landscapes, to an unforgettable installment from the sultan of sleaze, John Waters, each week in July and August, CFF’s own Cine-Rama will present an eclectic mix of movie masterpieces, many of which appear in newly restored versions.  ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Roland Dixon & Sparkle Motion

Teen Shot Multiple Times On 4th Avenue; 2nd Youth Shot Twice On Pinewood Avenue; Woman Shot Twice On 25th Street

A teen was shot multiple times on 4th Avenue on Monday night. The victim was 19-year-old JaMarcus Davis. A second teen, 18-year-old Jaylain Ballard, was shot twice early Tuesday morning on Pinewood Avenue. Marion Heard, 45, was shot twice early Tuesday morning on 25th Street. In the first incident, Chattanooga Police responded at 7:20 p.m. to the area of the 2600 block ... (click for more)

Volkswagen To Spend Up To $14.7 Billion To Settle Allegations Of Cheating Emissions Tests And Deceiving Customers On 2.0 Liter Diesel Vehicles

In two related settlements, one with the United States and the State of California, and one with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, German automaker Volkswagen AG and related entities have agreed to spend up to $14.7 billion to settle allegations of cheating emissions tests and deceiving customers. Volkswagen will offer consumers a buyback and lease termination for nearly 500,000 ... (click for more)

General Bell: Chattanooga Needs The Coolidge Medal Of Honor Heritage Center - And Response (4)

I'm pleased and indeed compelled to let you know a bit more about the exciting and most honorable "Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center" planned for Coolidge Park.     Here's what the Heritage Center will be:  It will be a fitting capstone for Chattanooga's Coolidge Park on Northshore in downtown Chattanooga.  While this exceptional Chattanooga ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Pat Summitt’s Dash

In 1996 a woman named Linda Ellis wrote one of life’s most beautiful poems. Called “The Dash,” its first two verses read like this: “I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend. He referred to the dates on the tombstone from the beginning…to the end. “He noted that first came the date of birth and spoke the following date with tears, but he said what ... (click for more)