Elvis Presley Tribute Artist: Travis Powell Returns . . .

Jessica Cuevas

. . .  lights, camera, and action . . .

Returning to the Old Town Theatre in downtown Huntsville is the best Elvis tribute artist in America: Travis Powell, accompanied by the four talented ladies in Shake, Rattle, and Roll.

Many would say that I was “wowed” by his past performance and attribute it to the reason why I decided to see him again. Although it is a show that I would encourage everyone to attend, I was accompanying former LEAP Ambassador Victoria McClendon-Leggett with a hidden agenda to ensure that she got the full experience . . . and little did she know.

On Sunday, November 6th, the Old Town Theatre was the place to be and sure enough, both Victoria and I had tickets to see the Elvis Tribute show. Beginning with the performance of Shake, Rattle, and Roll to help set the tone and mood of the night . . .

We were in for a surprise when Steve, Travis Powell’s manager, “jumped” on the stage and announced that there would be a surprise performance by a young man whom he found on the Walmart parking lot with sideburns, what a small town! Before we knew it there was another man dressed as Elvis, or maybe Roy Orbison, in the theatre. His name was Colin Dexter, and he performed a couple of songs, one of them being Pretty Woman, while playing the guitar, in preparation for an audition at the Voice.

Stealing the thunder of the night, was Travis Powell, as he came out and performed in his all-black leather suit for the first half of the show. . .  performing crowd favorites, including Suspicious Minds, Jailhouse Rock, and Can’t Help Falling in Love with You.

There was a moment during one of these songs where he asked ladies to join him on the steps of the stage, and of course, I took the opportunity to have Victoria join him . . . but she would only go if I did.

Soon after intermission, he was dressed in an all-white suit with sequins and handing out scarfs to the women in the crowd who came rushing up to him, including Victoria, and the occasional men. Stealing our hearts was the moment when he gave one to the young girl whom he had previously danced with as he retreated from the stage and walked around the theatre getting to know his fans.

As he prepared to wrap up the show, he extended an invitation to the audience to see him at the lobby after the show and to join him at 7 Leguas for dinner. Victoria and I waited in line to get a selfie with him and have him sign her scarf and other fun items!

Thank you to the Old Town Theatre for putting on amazing shows for the community and for all your hard work. For those of you who missed Travis Powell’s show in the Spring and Sundays, he will be coming back in Summer ’23 on July 9th (Be sure to buy your tickets early!).

Beyond Bars: Prosecution & Courts

October 11, 2022

The second step in our journey through the incarceration process involves the prosecution and courts! We had an excellent opportunity to have a Walker County Courthouse tour, one led by County Court at Law Judge Tracy Sorensen. To discuss the prosecution side of things was Jennifer Jenkins, Senior Felony Prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office. Every participant walked into the courthouse excited to hear the inner workings of a court from a judge’s and prosecutor’s perspectives.

Starting with the County Court at Law courtroom, Judge Sorensen explained her defense attorney days, as well as her two terms as Judge.

She oversees and handles cases involving juveniles, probates, child custody, and adult misdemeanors in the County Court at Law. Judge Sorensen has a trial jury of six total jurors in the issues that make it to trial.

We were even being taught scenarios about some instances that Judge Sorensen could hear and Prosecutor Jenkins might prosecute. For example, one of the students in Beyond Bars, Rachel Hill, was kind enough to let Professor Yawn use her as an example of a college student caught with less than a gram of marijuana.

Judge Sorensen and Jenkins mentioned they could probably reach a deal, one that might allow for a deferred adjudication, allowing Ms. Hill to keep this incident off her record. This made Ms. Hill very happy.

It was interesting to hear how the process works, while also getting advice from both Ms. Jenkins and Judge Sorenson.

Making our way up to the other side of the courts is the District Court, where Judge Hal Ridley and Judge David Moorman preside when in Walker County. These courts are physically larger, with space for a larger audience and 12 jurors. Portraits of prior judges are hung in the room, along with a portrait of Sam Houston.

While in this room, we shared our experiences of being a juror.

One of our participants, Steve Covington, discussed the time when he was selected to be on a jury hearing a pornography charge. As a juror, he was “forced” to watch hours of pornography in the jury room (with a jury consisting mostly of older women) to determine whether the content was criminal.

Ms. Jenkins and Judge Sorensen were kind enough to join us for dinner at Sam’s Table, where we all had a variety of Sam’s Table’s special menu items such as the Caprese Panini, Sams’s Secret Burger, and the Casado. Everyone enjoyed their meal while they had the opportunity to ask more questions about what it is to be a prosecutor and judge.

We took in new information from the tour and dinner; for that, we would like to thank Judge Sorensen and Ms. Jennifer Jenkins! It was fantastic getting to know more about the prosecutions and courts.