OPINION | Barry Richard: New Bedford Biz Leader Disrupts “Z” Performance
Three cheers to the wonderful traveling cast and crew of The Million Dollar Quartet, which lit up the Zeiterion Theater on Wednesday night.
The Tony Award-winning play is packed with fabulous old-time rock and roll and tells the true story of the night that Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis came together in the recording studio at Sun Records in Memphis. It was December 4, 1956, a day that will live in rock and roll infamy.
The "Z's" production of Quartet was inspiring. If you closed your eyes for a moment, you could almost believe you were in that studio so many years ago, watching the birth of the rock and roll era unfold before you. By the end of the evening, the audience was roaring its approval, and everyone young and old was on their feet dancing at their seats.
That is, except for one man.
Tom Davis, known to many for his years of leadership at the New Bedford Industrial Park, wasn't content to dance at his seat. He decided to make his way up the stairs to the stage and join the cast for the finale, dancing his way around the stage and all around the performers.
His presence there was not expected, nor was it appreciated. He was quickly ushered away and out of the theater by "Z" security.
Mr. Davis is a prominent member of the community and should know better. Not only did his selfish behavior ruin the finale for some spectators, but it created a danger for the performers in a high-energy and choreographed production number. Someone who was not expecting Mr. Davis to suddenly appear on stage might have been hurt as a result.
The Zeiterion Theater is a cultural jewel for New Bedford and has come a long way in attracting national touring companies. The beautifully restored Zeiterion and the warm, welcoming audiences have made playing the "Z" a rewarding experience for many a performer. Let's not ruin a good thing.
Mr. Davis owes the arts community an apology.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.