"The Real Housewives of Atlanta" stars Kandi Burruss and Todd Tucker are taking their lives from reality TV to the stage.
The newlyweds, who met during the filming of "Real Housewives," have collaborated on a play called "A Mother's Love," which will be performed Sept. 6 at the Johnny Mercer Theatre in Savannah.
Burruss wrote and stars in the loosely autobiographical musical. She plays a rising singer and member of a girl group who struggles between honoring her relationship with her disapproving mother and making her own decisions about her career and love life.
The situation mirrors the family drama that unfolded around the former Xscape singer on reality TV, where Burruss' mother repeatedly criticized her choice to marry Tucker.
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"There's definitely a lot in there dealing with my and Kandi's relationship with Mama Joyce and her not feeling like I was the best person for Kandi," Tucker said. "There are a lot of elements of, 'Who's the new guy?' and 'Is he the best guy for you?' "
Tucker helped with the logistics of the play's production but does not star in the musical. His character is played by Q Parker, a platinum-selling and Grammy-nominated singer from rhythm and blues band 112.
The cast also includes Chandra Currelley-Young of Tyler Perry's "For Better Or Worse," former Danity Kane member D Woods and former NFL linebacker Olrick Johnson Jr.
"A Mother's Love" originally ran in Atlanta and will travel to 29 cities this fall.
The musical is a longtime dream of Burruss', Tucker said.
"She's always wanted to do a musical. I was a little against doing a play at first. That's not my thing, I'm into TV production, but I definitely wanted to help her and support her," he said. "I jumped in and helped with logistics and set-building, and we made it happen."
Before the play arrives in Savannah, Lowcountry Current spoke with Tucker about his relationship with Burruss, life as a newlywed and how he deals with a disapproving mother-in-law.
Question. What is the work dynamic like between you and Kandi?
Tucker. Basically, we do our best to try and stay in our own lanes. We definitely cross over at times. Kandi gives me a friendly reminder when I think I know a thing or two about vocals or music, and I do the same thing when she tries to tell me how the budget goes or what the schedule should be. The big thing is we respect each other.
Q. How is married life treating you both so far?
Tucker. Married life has been great. The funny thing is, we got married and then that very week I had to go to L.A. for a production that I'm working on. We're both really busy and travel a lot. I heard absence makes the heart grow fonder, and it's true. When we see each other, we're always smiling and happy to be in each other's presence.
Q. How have you dealt with disagreements with your mother-in-law, Mama Joyce? Do you have advice for other couples who have strained relationships with their in-laws?
Tucker. Dealing with Mama Joyce and all the stuff that we went through, I really took it one day at a time. I tried to put myself in her shoes, like what I'd say to my daughter when she thinks she's found the one. I think (Mama Joyce) was just being a protective mom. I understood where she was coming from, but I think her delivery is where things got out of control. You have to see the bigger picture. This was about me just trying to be with Kandi. At the end of the day, that's what I was focused on. As long as I loved her and wanted to be with her, her mother and no one else was going to stop us from doing what we wanted to do.
Q. What is it like working with such a star-studded cast in the play?
Tucker. Working with the cast has been amazing. It was really easy. We have a group of amazing talent and they're very professional. It was kind of like I was a groupie of sorts. I grew up on Q Parker and a lot of these guys' songs. I have fond memories of listening to their music, so it was great working with them. I think Q Parker plays the character that represents me very well. When he came in and auditioned, I said, "He's the guy."
Q. Will you be doing a meet and greet after the show in Savannah?
Tucker. I will be in the lobby meeting people as they walk in the door. I'm just excited to help my wife fulfill one of her dreams and to help make it a success. I just want to meet the people and hear what they think about it and answer any questions that they have.
Follow reporter Erin Shaw at twitter.com/IPBG_ErinShaw.