Comedian and Emmy nominated actor Chambers Stevens has a file full of anecdotes from 40 years in show business and will premiere his latest one-man show, “Close Encounters of the Celebrity Kind,” at the Logon Café in Beaumont on Oct. 18 and 19. Tickets are $15 and available online at www.outsidetheboxbeaumont.com .
“I grew up just down the street from Johnny Cash,” said Stevens, a Nashville native. “Barbara Mandrell lived next door to me just before she was really famous. Johnny Cash sponsored my Little League baseball team, and Faith Hill was in the first acting class I taught.”
The run-ins with the rich and famous escalated when Stevens married Betsy Sullenger, executive producer of Disney Channel television show “Liv and Maddie,” in his early 20s and moved to Los Angeles, where his wife worked on the TV show “Cheers.”
Stevens said the first day he spent in L.A., shortly after Julia Roberts became popular following her performance in “Pretty Woman,” he spotted Roberts walking out of a bagel shop.
After trading pleasantries with Roberts, Stevens said he began walking through the hills of Los Angeles, eating his bagel and planning his day, stopping for a break on the front steps of a house to finish his breakfast.
“The door behind me opens, and it’s Julia Roberts,” Stevens said. “I’ve accidentally walked half a mile to her house.”
Roberts recognized Stevens as the same guy she saw at the bagel shop and closes her door, thinking he is a stalker.
“I wanted to tell her, ‘I’m not stalking you. This is totally an accident,’” Stevens said.
But it was too late. Stevens heard sirens and began running back to his home for fear Roberts had called the police.
He hurried inside his house, threw on some different clothes and stayed indoors, out of sight.
“I spent the rest of the day thinking, ‘L.A. is going to be a lot harder than I thought,” he said.
This story is merely one in over a hundred personal, hilarious, sad or angry experiences with celebrities Stevens could choose to share with Logon Café audiences.
In the show, Stevens shuffles a deck of 100 cards, each with the name of a celebrity. He pulls out a name and his natural talent for storytelling kicks in. No two shows are the same.
Stevens said he has performed his show in several “secret” theatres in Los Angeles for invited audiences only, but chose to premiere in Beaumont.
“‘Close Encounters of the Celebrity Kind’ is due to open in Los Angeles in 2014, and Chambers wanted to try it out somewhere,” said Ramona Young, OTB artistic director. “When I suggested he bring it here first, he jumped at the opportunity.” An Emmy-nominated author and playwright, Stevens has been lauded for his previous shows, winning the Back Stage Garland Award for his one-man show, “Desperate for Magic.”
Young said the show is the latest in Outside the Box’s mission to bring different shows to Southeast Texas audiences. “It is so exciting to be part of a real theatrical renaissance in the area,” she said. “The Logon is a great place to do shows, and the Reader’s Theater we held there in August was a sell out. It proved that audiences are hungry for new, exciting and unconventional theater.
Logon Café is at 3805 Calder Avenue in Beaumont. For more on Chambers Stevens, visit www.chambersstevens.com . Visit Outside the Box Productions on Facebook.