|Anlami Shaw and Gary Ramsey|
Bum Phillips All-American Opera opens today at La MaMa in the New York City's East Village and runs through March 30. Tickets are available online. It then travels to Austin for performances at the Texas State History Museum.
Much like Anna Nicole, it mixes tragedy and comedy as it tells the story of the legendary coach with an oversized personality who led the now defunct Houston Oilers to a 55-35 record in the late 1970s, but never progressing beyond the AFC title game. Like Yogi Berra in baseball he was known for always delivering a memorable quote to the press, such as "There's two kinds of coaches, them that's fired and them that's gonna be fired."
The opera will star barihunk Gary Ramsey as Bum Phillips. Ramsey performs regularly with the DiCapo Opera in New York where he has performed in Hansel und Gretel, God Bless Us Everyone, Marriage of Figaro, Mr. Fantastic Fox, Turandot, La Centerentola and Carmen.
But what really caught our eye in a production that billed itself as not being the usual opera fare, was the aspiring baritone Anlami Shaw as running back Earl Campbell. A former pro track athlete who has done some modeling, he's been trying to develop a career in music. He's performed some musical theater, as well as appearing in the ensemble of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess.
We'd like to encourage him to continue his studies, as we'd love to see lots more of him in the future.