Is playing at the Sam S. Shubert Theatre located at 225 West 44th Street. It runs two hours twenty minutes with one intermission. The musical opened on October 19, 2009 and will close on August 5, 2012. It will have done thirty previews and 1,166 regular performances.
Memphis won the 2010 Tony Awards for Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical (Joe DiPietro), Best Original Score (David Bryan & Joe DiPietro) and Best Orchestration (Daryl Waters & David Bryan). It also won several Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Actress (Montego Glover), Outstanding Music (David Bryan) and Outstanding Orchestration (Daryl Waters & David Bryan).
Then musical takes place in the 1950's Memphis, Tennessee.
It opens at a African American rock and roll bar. Huey Calhoun (Adam Pascal) a white man goes into the establishment. He's not welcome but some how convinces the patrons he's there to hear the music not cause trouble. He visits often and falls for the owner Delray (J. Benard Callaway) sister Felicia (Montego Glover). Felicia sings at the bar. Delray is not happy about their romance.
Hugo finds his niche at a radio station playing African American rock songs. At the time no stations were doing it especially in Memphis.
The story revolves around Huey's rise to fame and decline and Felicia ascent to fame when she moves to New York City.
This a heart wrenching love story of it's time. Which was doomed from the start.
Most of the cast have been in the show since it started on Broadway. Adam Pascal is the newest member. Like vintage wine they have gotten better in time. I saw the show when it first opened. It's just as good if not better then the first time I saw it.
Adam Pascal, Montego Glover and J. Bernard Calloway can belt out song that takes your breath away. Wow are they good. Not only does James Monroe Iglehurt sing great but he sure can dance up a storm. He's amazing. You really have to see him. It is really worth it. Nancy Opel plays Huey mother. She is meek in the beginning but come on strong in her last scene. She rocked the audience. Derrick Baskin as Gator is immense as the man who is afraid to talk. His facial expressions and body movements are so convincing.
When Memphis first opened it was struggling to stay opened. I said to the cast before Tony nominations you all deserve a Tony Award. "J. Bernard said to me from your lips to God's ears".
If you haven't seen it and even if you have don't miss out seeing this colossal musical. You have until August fifth to see it.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.