Bill Bugg has some talented friends.
So talented, in fact, that for the past six years, he’s been sharing the stage with them. The fifth installment of “Bill Bugg and Friends” takes place Aug. 25-28 at Homewood Theatre.
“The format hasn’t changed much over the years, but hopefully we’ve gotten better with the execution,” says Bugg.
Bugg’s team of on-stage friends has basically remained the same: Jan Hunter, Kristi Tingle Higginbotham, Stan Nelson, Dana Porter and Clint Pridgen. (Amy Johnson stood in for Hunter one year).
“Bill Bugg and Friends” is an evening of songs from the American songbook.
A Memphis native, Bugg earned his BA in English at Furman University and a master’s in church music. While in seminary in Louisville, Kentucky, he sang seven seasons with Kentucky Opera and worked with Actors Theatre of Louisville. At one point, he had his own theater in Louisville called Theater a la Carte.
Bugg taught for a couple of years at Hanover College in Hanover and then, beginning in 1977, for 33 years at Samford University. Students over the years included Perry Stephen, Carrie Tillis and Katheryn Francisco.
Bugg has been a prolific performer in Birmingham, too.
“I love Tevye in ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ which I’ve done twice here in town, as well as Emile de Becque in ‘South Pacific,’” he says. “Fredrik in ‘A Little Night Music’ was a challenge, and ‘Camelot’ an ‘I Hate Hamlet,’ but being in the shows was wonderful.”
The “Bill Bugg and Friends” shows began in 2016 and, except for a break during the pandemic, they’ve continued regularly. But Bugg hints that he might be slowing down.
“I’m not doing any more theater, because I’m too old for that,” he says. “I also don’t know how many more of these concerts I’ll do, for the same reason. But they’ve been great fun.”
“Bill Bugg and Friends Part 5,” Aug. 25-28, Homewood Theatre, 1831 28th Ave. South at SoHo Square in Homewood. Buy tickets here.