An exciting stage production with several familiar faces will make its way to Indianapolis.
Entitled “Love Me or Leave!” the production will be presented on Friday, July 10 at 6 p.m. at the historic Madame Walker Theatre.
Primary characters will be portrayed by a few individuals who are already well known in the music, comedy and reality TV arenas: Singer Shirley Murdock, actor Reginald Ballard and model Chandra “Deelishis” Davis.
Most critics describe the musical play as a powerful and inspirational production that will have viewers laughing one minute, crying the next and then cheering when they see that faith and love really does conquer all.
Written and produced by Chicago playwright John L. Ruffin, “Love Me or Leave Me!” tells the story of Cynthia Wyatt, a troubled teen who abandons her fraternal twin infants, leaving her own mother Annie Ruth Wyatt to raise them. After 25 years Cynthia, now a high-powered attorney, decides to reconnect with the children she once abandoned.
Along the way viewers also witness how characters respond to issues related to forgiveness, adulterous temptation, homosexuality and the mistrust that can exist even among people who are close to each other.
“Really, the production is about relationships and how they can sometimes be good and bad at the same time. It’s dealing with all the emotions and manipulations of relationships,” Ruffin said recently. “We also show how deliverance can be made out of a bad situation. So this play is going to make you smile, make you cry and make you think. But at the end of it all you’re going to rejoice.”
Ruffin said he was inspired to create “Love Me or Leave Me!” after witnessing people experience various complications from relationships, whether they involve love interests, family members or friends.
Murdock is a vocalist best known for the Top 10 R&B classics she released between 1986 and 1991, most notably “As We Lay,” “Can’t Go On Without You” and “Husband.”
Since 2002 she has performed as a gospel singer, and her latest project, 2007’s “Soulfood” was released by the Indianapolis-based Tyscot records label. This year Murdock is collaborating with Teena Marie on “Soldier,” a track from “Congo Square,” Marie’s new album.
Davis, who is known as both Deelishis and London Charles, was the winning contestant on the second season of the VH1 hit reality show “Flavor of Love,” when she was chosen by rapper Flavor Flav over Tiffany “New York” Pollard.
Davis has always built a legion of fans with her seductive photos as a model for Eye Candy, as well as her appearances in music videos for Paul Wall and Lil’ Wayne. She is also a recording artists who recently released the upbeat song “Groove With You” and “The Movement,” which was inspired by the historic election of President Barack Obama.
Ballard, a stand up comedian who tours nationally, is best remembered as “Brother Man from the Fifth Floor,” a character on the Martin Lawrence Show who always made himself at home (uninvited) in Martin’s apartment.
More recently, Ballarad had recurring roles in the television sitcoms the Bernie Mac Show and Crumbs.
Murdock says she has enjoyed appearing in “Love Me or Leave Me!,” and believes that viewers will enjoy it as well.
“It addresses real life situations being experienced by many people,” she said. “It’s really wonderful and we know that everyone will have a great time seeing it.”
ABOUT THE WRITER
Chicago based writer John Ruffin, 38, is in line to follow the footsteps of popular contemporary stage producers such as Tyler Perry. He has been involved with theater since age 12, when he directed plays in school. He took theater courses in college and in 1993 released his first play “Choose Ye This Day!” Since then he has released other well-received productions such as “I Won’t Go Back,” “It’s Too Good to Be True” and “We’re Dreaming of You.”
‘Love Me or Leave Me!’
Madame Walker Theatre Center, 617 Indiana Ave.
Friday, July 10 at 6 p.m.
Chandra “Deelishis” Davis and Reginald Ballard.
For more information,
call (317) 236-2099