What better multi-talented actor to play the part of bad boy ‘Silk’ in this Fall’s touring revival of “Why Do Good Girls Like Bad Boyz?” than the actor we have come to know as simply Leon?
By STACY STEWART
Many of us can relate to the coinciding attraction and disdain of the “Bad Boy.”
He’s that guy that our mothers and girlfriends warned us about, that somehow managed to keep catching our attention. He’s that guy who offers up a swag-filled sex-appeal, matched with a challenged street vernacular that would make any English teacher cringe.
But, his voice becomes music to our ears.
He’s charismatic enough to win the hearts of women who should know better but he’s smooth enough to make his apologies seem sincere. He’s ruff around the edges with a hidden magnetic charm and he’s pleasing to the eye. And, without saying one word, his presence speaks for him and he needs no last name.
From the “Five Heartbeats” to “The Temptations” then in his portrayal of Little Richard, his characters have allowed us an up close and personal experience of not only the “player” mentality but also that of addiction and life’s disappointments. And, as we’ve watched his performances over the years, we’ve come to expect that he will be the one many women will want and many men will secretly want to be.
Through numerous on screen, action packed roles, he has amassed notable acting credits and continues to add to his resume as in Angela Dunlap and Lizzie Berry’s stage play, “Why Do Good Girls Like Bad Boyz?” begins a five city tour this fall with Cleveland, Ohio being the first stop, beginning Friday, Sept. 16 and ending Sunday Sept. 18, at the Palace Theater.
“Why Do Good Girls Like Bad Boyz?” is an age old question that has yet to be answered and, with Leon playing the lead, as the slick talking, swag wagging character ‘Silk,’ we may not be any closer to finding a resolve.
“If my daughter saw this play, I would want her to know to stick to her roots and to her faith,” Leon said, during a recent phone interview, as he thinks about the overall message of the play and his eleven-year old daughter, Noelle.
“With this being a family play, I would want her and everyone else to know ‘not’ to get too excited about flash. That’s a lot of people’s downfall,” he stated, reflecting on the behavior of his character and what makes him so appealing.
“Silk is a street hustler. He got game but this time it’s a little different cause he just might be the one that gets caught up,” he said in true Leon fashion.
With “Why Do Good Girls Like Bad Boyz?” being rejuvenated after a fifteen-year hiatus, when asked what is new about the play, Leon said, “Me, the cast and an updated presentation of a well-known life situation.”
Audiences can look forward to seeing the live performances from Tony Grant, Clifton Powell, Drew Sidora, Terrelle Carter, Angela Blocker, Tasha Page-Lockhart and Teisha Lott-Brown as they join Leon in this highly anticipated, family oriented, gospel stage play.
The production is noted for delivering timely, spiritual messages, as well as offering a bit of humor to situations familiar to many households.
With a full schedule of tour dates set for this fall, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to ask if there would be any other opportunities for us to be entertained by Leon’s talents and the answer is, “Yes.”
Leon will grace the big screen yet again as he has managed to also complete two movies.
“‘Ex-Free’ [a romantic comedy] is due out in February 2012 and ‘Soul Ties’ will also be out soon. I think you’ll enjoy both,” he stated.
Not only is Leon on tour with the play and preparing for two new movies, he is also staying active with his innate love, that being his music.
“My band, ‘Leon and the Peoples’ have a single coming out this fall entitled ‘Love Is A Beautiful Thing’…reggae music is my passion.”
With so much to do and so many projects on deck, just as suave and charismatic as many of the characters he plays, Leon is managing to handle it all and make it look easy.
“I’ve done a lot in my career,” he stated, “but I’m most proud of just being Noelle’s father. From this play, I want her and every other young woman to have faith in herself and to know her own worth.”
Maybe, he’s not such a ‘bad boy’ after all.