Bud Not Buddy opens at Lakewood

Play follows African American boy’s search for his father

A young boy searches for his real father in Lakewood Theatre’s Bud, Not Buddy. Pictured (l to r): William Finley plays Bud, and Elliot Winston Robinson plays Herman Calloway.

A young boy searches for his real father in Lakewood Theatre’s Bud, Not Buddy. Pictured (l to r): William Finley plays Bud, and Elliot Winston Robinson plays Herman Calloway.

Bud, Not Buddy, a jazz-inspired play about an African American boy’s search for his father during the Great Depression, opens at the Lakewood Theatre Company Aug. 2 and runs through Aug. 18. Gather the kids for a heartwarming play full of humor and delightful characters.

The musical tells the fun and funny tale of 10-year-old Bud Caldwell (not Buddy, mind you), who sets off on his own in 1930s Michigan to find his father. Bud is an orphan on the run from abusive foster homes. Clues kept in a suitcase lead him to adventures where he finds community among a group of jazz musicians and, ultimately, an unexpected sense of home.

He encounters adventures and must fight off his fears—including a fear of vampires. Along his colorful journey, he meets up with some amazing characters and tells a wonderful story about always finding the best in life and in people.

Bud’s journey sets him on the trail of a jazz band known as Herman E. Calloway and the Dusky Devastators of the Depression. A flier for one of Calloway’s shows leads Bud to Grand Rapids and Calloway, the man he believes is his father. Bud gets into all sorts of trouble along the way, and his story is filled with uncanny wisdom, which offers a set of hilarious ‘Rules and Things’ designed to help our resilient young hero navigate a world of confusing expectations. The play sweeps us along, interweaving Bud’s touching and comic journey with the mottoes he concocts and the fond memories of his deceased mother—eventful enough to keep adolescents and adults intrigued. Rich with adventure and humor, Bud, Not Buddy is a coming-of-age tale for young and old alike.

Adapted by Reginald André Jackson from the award winning novel by Christopher Paul, Curtis, Bud, Not Buddy was honored with the Distinguished Play Award from the American Alliance for Theatre and Education in 2010. The novel won the 2000 Newbery Medal and The Coretta Scott King Award.

Brimming with large doses of humor, imagination, and heart, Bud, Not Buddy runs August 2-18. Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 pm; Sunday matinees are at 2:30 pm. Reserve through the theatre’s page online at TicketsNashville.com. A limited amount of phone reservations will be taken at 615-847-0934. Ticket prices are $14 for adults; $10 seniors/students; and veterans may use the $10 ‘senior price’ on the TicketsNashville page. Walk-ins are accepted according to seat availability. Bud, Not Buddy is suitable for the entire family.
Lakewood Theatre is located at 2211 Old Hickory Blvd., in historic Old Hickory, Tenn.