The Velvet Teddy Bear at One World Theatre…

With the snap of a switch a burst of lights flash on, illuminating the glossy surface of the stage.  The velvety curtains are extended to the floor, with a splash of turquoise, magenta and purple.  Production crew runs around, making sure every microphone is set in its proper place and all sound amplification is perfection.  The masses start to file in, buzzing with obvious excitement in anticipation for the show to begin.  With the announcement of the overhead speaker, the first taps on the stair tread can be heard.  A dark shadow comes into the light, as everyone jumps into a screaming applause for the one, the only, Ruben Studdard.

While he may be known as the “Velvet Teddy Bear,” Ruben Studdard is one force to be reckoned with.  Filled with soul and charisma, Studdard first amazed the American public with his pipes and bravado on the second season of American Idol as the underdog from Birmingham, Alabama.   While he started off from humble beginnings, Ruben blew everyone away week after week and ended up taking the crown championship of American Idol winner.

He has since followed the win with five successful albums of gospel and R & B music (produced by Babyface, Ne-Yo, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis to name a few), a grammy for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance, and many, many tours under his belt.  Studdard has also branched out into acting, appearing on TV shows such as 8 Simple Rules and being a part of the musical revival, Ain’t Misbehavin’.

On May 7th, Austin got a real treat when Ruben Studdard was featured at the One World Theatre.  Walking in with a cool confidence and a twinkle in his eye, this soulful artist got the crowd going with an array of songs, including some of his classic tracks, new music and even a few well-known covers like Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On.”  Like any seasoned artist, Ruben also connected with the audience, stopping to tell stories behind the music and tales of childhood and growing up in the South.  Throughout the set, his incredible voice and booming presence knocked patrons to their feet, while his joyful attitude and great sense of humor kept everyone laughing; a perfect combination for the evening.

It was absolutely mind-blowing that I, or any audience member for that matter, would be able to see this true and present star in such an up-close experience.  It was so personal, so superb that I actually forgot where I was, as all surroundings melted away and my eyes were only glued to Studdard and the glow from the spotlight above.  It was more than a treat to see this artist in a venue of only 300 seats, and actually feel his sound wash over you and infiltrate your ears like no large venue could ever provide.  Whether you want to see an incredible R & B talent like Ruben Studdard, Jazz, Country, Alternative or even stand-up, One World will always be able to provide that one-of-a-kind experience for any audience member and their favorite musical star.


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