Shubert Theatre, (10/19/2009 - 8/05/2012)

First Preview: Sep 23, 2009
Opening Date: Oct 19, 2009
Closing Date: Aug 05, 2012
Total Previews: 30
Total Performances: 1165

Category: Musical, Original, Broadway
Setting: The smoky halls and underground clubs of the segregated 1950s

Opening Night Production Staff

Theatre Owned / Operated by The Shubert Organization (Philip J. Smith: Chairman; Robert E. Wankel: President)

Produced by Junkyard Dog Productions, Barbara and Buddy Freitag, Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff, Latitude Link, Jim and Susan Blair, Demos Bizar Entertainment, Land Line Productions, Apples and Oranges Productions, Dave Copley, Dancap Productions, Inc., Alex and Katya Lukianov, Tony Ponturo, 2 Guys Productions and Richard Winkler; Produced in association with Lauren Doll, Eric and Marsi Gardiner, Linda and Bill Potter, Broadway Across America, Jocko Productions, Patty Baker, Dan Frishwasser, Bob Bartner/Scott and Kaylin Union, Loraine Boyle/Chase Mishkin, Remmel T. Dickinson/Memphis Orpheum Group and ShadowCatcher Entertainment/Vijay and Sita Vashee; Associate Producer: Emily and Aaron Alhadeff, Alison and Andi Alhadeff, Ken Clay, Joseph Craig, Ron and Marjorie Danz, Cyrena Esposito, Bruce and Joanne Glant and Matt Murphy

Originally produced by La Jolla Playhouse (Christopher Ashley: Artistic Director; Michael S. Rosenberg: Managing Director) and The 5th Avenue Theatre (David Armstrong, Producing Artistic Director; Marilynn Sheldon, Managing Director)

Book by Joe DiPietro; Music by David Bryan; Lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan; Based on a concept by George W. George; Musical Director: Kenny Seymour; Music orchestrated by Daryl Waters and David Bryan; Dance arrangements by August Eriksmoen

Directed by Christopher Ashley; Choreographed by Sergio Trujillo; Associate Director: Beatrice Terry; Associate Choreographer: Edgar Godineaux and Kelly Devine

Scenic Design by David Gallo; Costume Design by Paul Tazewell; Lighting Design by Howell Binkley; Sound Design by Ken Travis; Projection Design by David Gallo and Shawn Sagady; Hair and Wig Design by Charles G. LaPointe; Make-Up Design by Angelina Avallone; Associate Scenic Design: Steven C. Kemp; Associate Costume Design: Rory Powers; Associate Lighting Design: Mark T. Simpson; Associate Hair Design: Leah Loukas; Moving Light Programmer: David Arch

General Manager: Alchemy Production Group LLC; Company Manager: Jim Brandeberry; Associate Co. Mgr: Tegan Meyer

Production Stage Manager: Arturo E. Porazzi; Production Manager: Juniper Street Productions; Stage Manager: Gary Mickelson

Conducted by Kenny Seymour; Associate Conductor: Shelton Becton; Keyboard 1: Kenny Seymour; Keyboard 2: Shelton Becton; Guitars: Michael Aarons; Bass: George Farmer; Drums: Clayton Craddock; Trumpet: Nicholas Marchione; Trombone: Mike Davis; Reeds: Tom Murray and Ken Hitchcock; Music Contractor: Michael Keller; Music Producer/Music Supervisor: Christopher Jahnke

Fight direction by Steve Rankin; Advertising: SPOTCo, Inc.; Marketing: Type A Marketing and Anne Rippey; Casting: Bernard Telsey Casting, Inc.; General Press Representative: The Hartman Group; Photographer: Joan Marcus

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Opening Night Cast

Montego GloverFelicia
Chad KimballHuey
(Sep 23, 2009 - Oct 23, 2011)
Jennifer AllenEnsemble
Clara
Derrick BaskinGator
Brad BassEnsemble
Perry Como
Tracee BeazerEnsemble
J. Bernard CallowayDelray
(Sep 23, 2009 - Jan 22, 2012)
Kevin CovertEnsemble
Buck Wiley
Martin Holton
Hillary ElkEnsemble
Bryan FenkartEnsemble
Dionne FigginsEnsemble
Rhett G. GeorgeEnsemble
Black DJ
James Monroe IglehartBobby
John JellisonEnsemble
White DJ
Mr. Collins
Gordon Grant
Michael McGrathMr. Simmons
(Sep 23, 2009 - Mar 13, 2011)
Cass MorganMama
(Sep 23, 2009 - Mar 14, 2011)
Vivian NixonEnsemble
John Eric ParkerEnsemble
Wailin' Joe
Reverend Hobson
LaQuet SharnellEnsemble
Ethel
Ephraim M. SykesEnsemble
Cary TedderEnsemble
Danny TidwellEnsemble
Daniel J. WattsEnsemble
Katie WebberEnsemble
Charlie WilliamsEnsemble
Dan'yelle WilliamsonEnsemble

Swings: Sydney Morton and Jermaine R. Rembert

Understudies: Jennifer Allen (Mama), Brad Bass (Frank Dryer, Huey), Tracee Beazer (Felicia), Bryan Fenkart (Huey), Rhett G. George (Bobby, Delray), John Jellison (Mr. Simmons), John Eric Parker (Bobby, Delray), Jermaine R. Rembert (Gator), Ephraim M. Sykes (Gator) and Dan'yelle Williamson (Felicia)

Awards and Nominations

Tony Award®

winner 2010 Best Musical [winner] 

Produced by Junkyard Dog Productions, Barbara and Buddy Freitag, Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff, Latitude Link, Jim and Susan Blair, Demos Bizar Entertainment, Land Line Productions, Apples and Oranges Productions, Dave Copley, Dancap Productions, Inc., Alex and Katya Lukianov, Tony Ponturo, 2 Guys Productions and Richard Winkler; Produced in association with Lauren Doll, Eric and Marsi Gardiner, Linda and Bill Potter, Broadway Across America, Jocko Productions, Patty Baker, Dan Frishwasser, Bob Bartner/Scott and Kaylin Union, Loraine Boyle/Chase Mishkin, Remmel T. Dickinson/Memphis Orpheum Group and ShadowCatcher Entertainment/Vijay and Sita Vashee

winner 2010 Best Book of a Musical [winner] 

Book by Joe DiPietro

winner 2010 Best Original Score Written for the Theatre [winner] 

Music by David Bryan; Lyrics by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro

 2010 Best Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Chad Kimball

 2010 Best Actress in a Musical [nominee] 

Montego Glover

 2010 Best Direction of a Musical [nominee] 

Christopher Ashley

winner 2010 Best Orchestrations [winner] 

Daryl Waters

winner 2010 Best Orchestrations [winner] 

David Bryan

 2010 Best Costume Design of a Musical [nominee] 

Paul Tazewell

Drama Desk Award

winner 2010 Outstanding Musical [winner] 

Produced by Junkyard Dog Productions, Barbara and Buddy Freitag, Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff, Latitude Link, Jim and Susan Blair, Demos Bizar Entertainment, Land Line Productions, Apples and Oranges Productions, Dave Copley, Dancap Productions, Inc., Alex and Katya Lukianov, Tony Ponturo, 2 Guys Productions and Richard Winkler; Produced in association with Lauren Doll, Eric and Marsi Gardiner, Linda and Bill Potter, Broadway Across America, Jocko Productions, Patty Baker, Dan Frishwasser, Bob Bartner/Scott and Kaylin Union, Loraine Boyle/Chase Mishkin, Remmel T. Dickinson/Memphis Orpheum Group and ShadowCatcher Entertainment/Vijay and Sita Vashee

 2010 Outstanding Book of a Musical [nominee] 

Book by Joe DiPietro

 2010 Outstanding Actor in a Musical [nominee] 

Chad Kimball

winner 2010 Outstanding Actress in a Musical [winner] 

Montego Glover

 2010 Outstanding Choreography [nominee] 

Sergio Trujillo

winner 2010 Outstanding Orchestrations [winner] 

Daryl Waters

winner 2010 Outstanding Orchestrations [winner] 

David Bryan

winner 2010 Outstanding Music [winner] 

Music by David Bryan

Songs

music by David Bryan; lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan

ACT 1 Sung By
Underground
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Delray, Felicia and Company
The Music of My Soul
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Huey, Felicia and Company
Scratch My Itch
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Wailin' Joe and Company
Ain't Nothin' But a Kiss
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Felicia and Huey
Hello, My Name is Huey
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Huey
Everybody Wants to Be Black on a Saturday Night
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Company
Make Me Stronger
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Huey, Mama, Felicia and Company
Colored Woman
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Felicia
Someday
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Felicia and Company
She's My Sister
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Delray and Huey
Radio
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Huey and Company
Say a Prayer
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Gator and Company
ACT 2 Sung By
Crazy Little Huey
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Huey and Company
Big Love
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Bobby
Love Will Stand When All Else Falls
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Felicia and Company
Stand Up
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Delray, Felicia, Huey, Gator, Bobby and Company
Change Don't Come Easy
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Mama, Delray, Gator and Bobby
Tear the House Down
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Huey and Company
Love Will Stand/Ain't Nothin' But a Kiss (Reprise)
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Felicia and Huey
Memphis Lives in Me
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Huey and Company
Steal Your Rock 'n' Roll
(lyrics by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan)
Huey, Felicia and Company

Reviews


AP: "Memphis exuberantly chronicles the rise of RB"

The sensuous, soulful sound of rhythm 'n' blues hits the audience right from the start of "Memphis," the exhilarating new musical now shaking Broadway's Shubert Theatre. Take a deep breath as the curtain rises because the exuberance doesn't stop.

But the show, which opened Monday, is as ambitious as it is entertaining, informative in a quasi-historical way as well as emotionally affecting in its parade of thoroughly engaging characters.

The time is the early 1950s when singers such as Perry Como and Patti Page ruled mainstream radio but in the black nightspots on Beale Street a different kind of song, so-called "race" music, rocked the house.

Into one such juke joint tumbles Huey Calhoun, a poor but street-smart white boy with the heart of a hustler and a love for this music. It's a passion that eventually will power him into a job as the most important disc jockey in Memphis — the man who brought black music to a white audience.

Hugh's rise to pop-music prominence coincides with a more personal tale: his affair with a black club singer named Felicia, definitely a problem during a time when interracial marriage was illegal in many states.

Book writer Joe DiPietro skillfully intertwines these stories. And with composer David Bryan (they co-wrote the lyrics), the two have managed to create a dandy original score that is as tuneful as it is theatrical, the very essence of what a Broadway musical should be. Bryan, keyboard player for Bon Jovi, has a gift for effortless melody and the orchestrations, which he co-wrote with Daryl Waters, makes the music — check out those horns — sound as if it could have first been heard in the '50s.

But then it helps also that "Memphis" has been expertly cast and is superbly sung, particularly by its two leads, Chad Kimball as the brash, irrepressible Huey and a striking Montego Glover as Felicia. Kimball has a deceptive baby-face charm that masks a gritty, soul-tinged voice and the hard edge of Huey's stubborn personality that is not entirely likable.

Glover is quite a revelation, too, as the ambitious Felicia, a singer who sees a chance for a recording contract as her way out of Memphis and into the big time. The actress has a commanding stage presence and can curl her voice around a song, whether it is the rockin' "Underground," which opens the show, or a cry of pain called "Colored Woman."

Director Christopher Ashley has surrounded his stars with a talented, distinctive supporting cast: J. Bernard Calloway as Felicia's protective brother; Derrick Baskin as a loyal if silent club employee; James Monroe Iglehart as a large, late-blooming singer; Cass Morgan as Huey's initially unsupportive mother; and Michael McGrath as a hard-boiled radio station owner.

"Memphis" is a big show with a large cast (more than two dozen actors) and David Gallo's multiple sets ranging from that Beale Street dive to radio and television studios. But Ashley makes it all move with surprising speed.

Even Gallo's settings swirl effortlessly, but then the musical has an innate energy, much of it supplied by Sergio Trujillo's propulsive choreography. There's a sinuous, sexy quality to the dancing that perfectly matches the music, and the dancers are among the hottest in town.

A bit of "Dreamgirls" and maybe even "Hairspray" can be found in the show's show-biz and race relations roots. But make no mistake, "Memphis" is its own musical, a potent reminder of what can happen when fine song and dance combine with a compelling story.


AP
10/19/2009

Replacement/Transfer Info


The following people are credited as replacements or additions if they were not credited on opening night.


Shubert Theatre

(10/19/2009 - 8/5/2012)
Assistant Stage Mgr: Janet Takami, Alexis Shorter.

Guitars: John Putnam.

Cast

Darius Barnes
Member of the Be Black Trio
role named after opening
Ensemble
Brad Bass
Frank Dryer
Tracee Beazer
Someday Backup Singer
role named after opening
Tanya Birl
Ensemble
Ethel
Ashley Blanchet
Ensemble
Someday Backup Singer
role named after opening
Carmen Shavone Borders
Ensemble
James Brown III
Ensemble
Angela Brydon
Double Dutch Girl
role named after opening
Ensemble
Sam J. Cahn
Member of the Be Black Trio
role named after opening
Ensemble
J. Bernard Calloway
Delray (Feb 28, 2012 - ?)
Erica Dorfler
Someday Backup Singer
role named after opening
(Jul 27, 2010 - Aug 8, 2010)
Ensemble (Mar 27, 2012 - ?)
Someday Backup Singer
role named after opening
(Mar 27, 2012 - ?)
Preston W. Dugger III
Ensemble
Member of the Be Black Trio
role named after opening
Hillary Elk
Teenager
role named after opening
Dionne Figgins
Double Dutch Girl
role named after opening
Someday Backup Singer
role named after opening
Allen Fitzpatrick
Mr. Simmons (Jul 13, 2010 - Sep 5, 2010)
Mike Gallagher
Opened the show with special expanded part written by book writer Joe DiPietro
Cameo Appearance (Sep 6, 2011 - Sep 11, 2011)
Rhett G. George
Member of the Be Black Trio
role named after opening
Todrick D. Hall
Ensemble (Aug 16, 2010 - Jan 24, 2011)
Gregory Haney
Ensemble
Member of the Be Black Trio
role named after opening
Robert Hartwell
Ensemble
Reverend Hobson
Wailin' Joe
Tiffany Janene Howard
Double Dutch Girl
role named after opening
Ensemble
Someday Backup Singer
role named after opening
Christopher Jackson
Delray (Jan 24, 2012 - Feb 27, 2012)
Lauren Lim Jackson
Double Dutch Girl
role named after opening
Ensemble
Someday Backup Singer
role named after opening
John Jellison
Mr. Simmons (Mar 15, 2011 - ?)
Bryan Langlitz
Ensemble
Kyle Leland
Ensemble
Member of the Be Black Trio
role named after opening
Will Mann
Bobby (May 27, 2011 - Jul 31, 2011)
Kevin Massey
Ensemble
David McDonald
Ensemble
Gordon Grant
Mr. Collins
White DJ
White Father
Paul McGill
Ensemble
Monette McKay
Ensemble
Ethel
Andy Mills
Ensemble
Cass Morgan
Mama (Dec 15, 2011 - Feb 12, 2012)
Nancy Opel
Mama (Mar 15, 2011 - Dec 11, 2011)
Mama (Feb 14, 2012 - ?)
Adam Pascal
Huey (Oct 25, 2011 - Aug 5, 2012)
Justin Patterson
Buck Wiley
Ensemble
Martin Holton
Ken Robinson
Black DJ
Ensemble
Bahiyah Sayyed Gaines
Ensemble
Jamison Scott
Ensemble
Frank Dryer
Perry Como
Antoine L. Smith
Black DJ
Ensemble
Reverend Hobson
Wailin' Joe
Monique Smith
Double Dutch Girl
role named after opening
Ensemble
Someday Backup Singer
role named after opening
Betsy Struxness
Double Dutch Girl
role named after opening
Ensemble
Double Dutch Girl
role named after opening
(Jun 26, 2012 - ?)
Ensemble (Jun 26, 2012 - ?)
Elizabeth Ward Land
Clara
Ensemble
White Mother
Cody Williams
Ensemble
Dan'yelle Williamson
Someday Backup Singer
role named after opening



Understudies: Darius Barnes (Gator), Ashley Blanchet (Felicia), Felicia Boswell (Felicia), Angela Brydon (Mama), Kevin Covert (Mr. Simmons), Erica Dorfler (Felicia), Rhett G. George (Gator), Todrick D. Hall (Gator), Robert Hartwell (Bobby, Delray, Gator), Kevin Massey (Huey), David McDonald (Mr. Simmons), Justin Patterson (Huey, Mr. Simmons), Ken Robinson (Bobby, Delray), Antoine L. Smith (Bobby, Delray, Gator), Betsy Struxness (Mama), Elizabeth Ward Land (Mama).


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