Charlie Davis, who was born and raised in Oxford, will be performing “GUMP: With Your Pal, Charlie Davis,” his original comedy show and re-enactment of his favorite movie “Forrest Gump,” at 8 p.m. Wednesday on The Lyric Oxford’s stage.
“So basically ‘GUMP: With Your Pal, Charlie Davis’ is a one-person show where all I do is re-enact the entirety of the film ‘Forrest Gump,’ all by myself,” Davis said. “Every line, nuance and character. I do so with the help of a box of chocolates. Essentially, the show is different every single night.”
Charlie recalls becoming obsessed with the movie “Forrest Gump” early on in his childhood. He knew the movie was something special, and its message still resonates with him today.
“‘Forrest Gump’ is one of the first movies I can remember sitting all the way through as a child,” Davis said. “Even then I was drawn to how simple and kind the character of Forrest Gump is throughout the film. Forrest Gump is just a good dude who knows only nothing but to do the right thing and be honest about it.”
“Forrest Gump” was first released in summer 1994, and it quickly became a national phenomenon. People everywhere, including Davis, felt connected to the cast and sympathized with the main character, Forrest Gump.
Although the show is primarily improvisational and is based on the crowd’s choices, Davis can give people an idea of what to expect during a performance.
“So, with this show I have about an hour and fifteen minutes to re-enact all of the film ‘Forrest Gump,’ all by myself,” Davis said. “However, just like life being ‘like a box of chocolates,’ you never know what you are going to get with this show. I don’t know which scenes I will be doing before the show.”
The audience is the key factor in deciding which scenes will be re-enacted during “GUMP.”
“I have a box of chocolates, same kind as seen in the movie, and underneath the chocolate in that box is every single scene of Forrest Gump. Before every scene, I go into the audience and ask someone to pick a chocolate,” Davis said. “The audience member draws the chocolate. They read out the quoted line printed on the sheet of paper that is underneath the chocolate. The line could be anything from ‘Dear God, make me a bird’ to ‘Lieutenant Dan, you’ve got new legs.’ I will then do that entire scene, by myself.”
Because there are so many famous scenes in “Forrest Gump,” it’s hard for anyone to pick his or her favorite, and Davis is no exception.
“I like performing all [the scenes], but I would say [my favorite] is ‘Have you ever been with a woman, Forrest?’ the one where Forrest and Jenny are in Jenny’s college dorm room together, because it is a pretty cheeky scene and it’s so much fun to do. [It has] very middle school humor, that scene,” Davis said.
David was born in Oxford and attended high school in town before going to college at the University of Southern Mississippi. He said he is extra excited to be performing in his hometown, and though this will be Davis’ third time performing in Oxford, he is still nervous.
“Being that this is a hometown show, I am excited to see people I know. I tend to get more nervous, though, performing in front of the hometown crowd,” Davis said. “It is a lot easier to perform in front of strangers than it is people I’ve known my whole life.”Doors open at 7 p.m. Wednesday at The Lyric Oxford for “GUMP: With Your Pal, Charlie Davis.” Tickets can be purchased at the door for $10 or online on The Lyric Oxford’s website.