This weekend Shirley Murdock, Christopher Williams, Clifton Powell, Chrystale Wilson and Carl Payne star in a play at the Byham Theater Downtown April 24-25. Murdock and Powell share their thoughts about why seeing this play is so important and how it could change someone’s life.
SHIRLEY MURDOCK and CLIFTON POWELL
“I have known Derrick and Celeste Brinkley for years,” said singer/actress Murdock. “Both of our sons are 18 years of age and we have known each other since our children were about nine years of age. I’ve toured with many of their plays in the past. ‘A Women’s Revenge’ and ‘Guilty Until Proven Innocent’ were some of the plays I’ve done in the past with them. The main thing about ‘I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You’ is it’s about a family and the choices that we make. Sometimes people makes permanent choices based on a temporary situation. Decisions that we make does not just affect you, but it affects everyone that you are attached to. If a husband makes a bad decision it is good for the family because even though it seems good for him, the wife and marriage suffers and the children too. It’s like a domino effect.
“People will definitely be able to identify with the play because the Brinkleys tell a real story. It’s a play that everyone will be able to relate to. It reflects everyday life and real solutions and that is what is so awesome about this gospel play. It’s definitely a ministry to the soul. Not ministry in a stuff-it-down-your-throat type of play, but a ministry in the sense of reality. Gospel is nothing but good music. We have to have balance because we are body, soul and spirit. When people walk away from this play, it will help them in their everyday life.”
Murdock is still singing, preaching, doing concerts and getting ready to do an Indie film. The film will start shooting next month and it’s called “Stand.” She is also working on a new project with singer Kelly Price. She calls it gospel plus because the message she has is not just for the four walls of the church. The good news is for everybody. The message that she preaches is that God is not mad at you. It is about reconciliation and restoration. She is happy about this project with Kelly and Chuck Crawford. Price and Murdock are both Christians and come from mainstream music. They also have a charge to take their message back to the mainstream through their ministry.
“I had to get to a point in my life where I am comfortable in my own skin, uniqueness and originality. My son is getting ready to graduate from high school and he is number two in his class,” said Murdock
Actor Clifton Powell also opens up about the play and why everyone needs to come out and see this event. Powell, most noted for is role in “Ray,” is probably the busiest actor in Hollywood, appearing in numerous roles.
“The Brinkleys are great friends of mine and I had a lot of respect for the work they do. With this play, I expect people to take away a lesson of redemption. It’s a message about a guy who goes on a journey and when he comes out of the journey he is a changed man. With the way things are going on in the world today such as people not having enough money and other bad things, we need a good message right now and a good messenger. This is a wonderful play and it’s funny. The message is really about life and redemption. I think I’m a fairly spiritual person, but the main thing is that I like doing things for African-Americans. I enjoy bringing wonderful pieces out to the public. I do read the scripts and if the message is not right, I will sit with the director and the writer and try to get it right,” said Powell.
“The movies I really enjoyed so far that I’ve been a part of is “Ray” starring Jamie Foxx who was phenomenal. I also enjoyed playing Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I just try to do good work and if you get the chance to play King, then you are really doing something. When his daughter Yolanda, who passed away, came to me and said, “You really captured the essence of my dad”, that was the highlight of my life. I want people to remember me being a decent guy and that I’ve worked hard and love my Black people. I love everyone, but really my Black people. I try to give my best and I’m so grateful that Black, Latinos and everyone have supported over the years. Sometimes people support you for a few years and then drop you, but Black people have supported me since the early eighties and I’m truly grateful. Come out and see this play because it’s a great stories and the cast is phenomenal”, said Powell.