By Errol Castens
OXFORD – The Elvis tribute artist once accused and later cleared of sending poison-laced letters sent to government officials will perform in a concert to support the film about his ordeal.
Velvet Ditch Productions will host “Kevin Curtis: F.B.I.O.U., A Ricin Roll Concert,” at 8 p.m. May 15 at The Lyric Theater to support production of the film “I Didn’t Do It.” Both the film and the concert will feature Curtis, for whom the Oxford event will be his first performance since last year’s arrest. Admission is free; a $5 donation is suggested.
Curtis will perform both original music and tribute artist work ranging from Johnny Cash to Prince to Elvis. The documentary crew of “I Didn’t Do It” will film the concert as part of the movie’s storyline.
“We’re excited to showcase the talented performer we know Kevin to be,” said Melanie Addington of Oxford, the film’s director. “We think this will be a terrific evening of entertainment and a great opportunity for our friends and the community to support Mississippi film.”
Curtis was arrested at his Corinth home in April 2013 after ricin-tainted letters signed with a phrase he often used were sent to President Barack Obama, U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker and Lee County Justice Court Judge Sadie Holland. He was eventually released, and a longtime antagonist – J. Everett Dutschke of Tupelo – eventually pled guilty to related charges.
Addington said Curtis’ story was a compelling one early on.
“At the time I was working for a newspaper and saw Kevin at his arraignment,” she said. “He didn’t seem capable of this kind of crime. He didn’t strike me as someone out to kill the president.”
Addington and Hudson Hickman, a New Albany native now in Hollywood, decided the events deserved to be documented.
“‘I Didn’t Do It’ is not just a compelling story filled with quirky, colorful Southern characters where truth is stranger than fiction,” Hickman said. “‘I Didn’t Do It’ is a cautionary tale for all Americans. … You’ll realize what happened to Kevin Curtis could happen to any of us.”