Georgetown native Bill Oberst Jr. is returning to his hometown next week to relive a portion of his childhood.
That is what the Hollywood actor says about a new stage show titled “Bill Oberst Jr.’s Weird Tales” which will debut at the Strand Theater on Front Street on Saturday, Jan. 12.
The production and the venue are both dear to Oberst’s teenage years, he said.
The show is a series of one-man performances of short stories from Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and the late Ray Bradbury, described by Oberst as his “favorite writer of all.”
He wrote “fantastic stories of fantasy,” Oberst said. He recalls spending hours at a time as a teenager in his bedroom reading the works of the authors he now portrays.
“I want people to come out and be 14-years-old with me again,” he said of the new production.
Oberst, who moved from Georgetown to Los Angeles about four years ago, said he is using the words of the authors themselves, using their exact texts.
“That’s important to me. I fell in love with language at an early age. I’d be so happy if one young person was taken enough with hearing these words to read more of these authors, or if one adult was inspired to go back and re-read them. That would be enough for me,” he said.
He says he was also inspired by the speaking and performance tours of actor Vincent Price in creating the new one-man show.
“Price had great fun playing on his dark screen image and performing classic literature like Poe’s ‘The Raven’” says Oberst. “I wanted to do something in the same style, something fun and literate that I could take out on the road on weekends when I am not filming.”
Not all of the tales that will be presented are scary but they all are “wonderfully strange,” Oberst said.
Oberst said he also has fond memories of the Strand Theater. He said he spent untold childhood hours happily watching matinee movies at the Strand and dreaming of the career he has now.
“I’m humbled and a little nervous to be previewing this show in my hometown but I’ve loved the Strand Theater since I was a kid. Besides, it’s sort of a good luck charm for me,” Oberst said. “I previewed ‘An Evening With Lewis Grizzard’ at the Strand in 1999 and it went on to run for a dozen years and 2,000 performances on tour. I’m happy that my home folks are willing to have me there.”
“Bill Oberst Jr.’s Weird Tales” will be presented at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. Jan. 12. Tickets are $15 and are available by reservation from the Strand Theater box office at 710 Front Street and by calling 843-527-2924.
Career taking off
Oberst said he is now finally starting to see his career improve. After struggling in Hollywood, he is starting to make a name for himself which he hopes will result in more lucrative roles in 2013.
While he has been featured in a variety of roles, it is the horror-film genre that has landed him the most parts. Oberst was named ‘The King Of Indie Horror’ by the U.K. horror fan site Erebus Horror in March.
To date, he has more than 80 film and TV roles and has been called “the best actor you’ve never heard of” by The Hallmark Channel.
He was also called “an emerging horror icon” in a CNN profile earlier this year.
He also won a Golden Cobb Award from the National B-Movie Celebration Festival as Best Rising B-Movie Actor.
In a competition that included nominees such as Tom Sizemore and Martin Sheen’s brother Joe Esteves, Oberst won a Best Actor Award at Hollywood’s Shockfest Film Festival for his lead role in the film ‘Children Of Sorrow.’
Oberst told the Georgetown Times he feels he is now recognized in Hollywood to the point he hopes to see more mainstream roles come his way in the next year.
“I love horror, don’t get me wrong. But I hope to do more theatrical releases,” he said.
He said his biggest roles to date are the Shunning — a 2011 film shown on the Hallmark Channel; Sherman’s March — which was shown on the History Channel in 2009; and Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies which was released this year on video and DVD.
By Scott Harper
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