Memphis — Broadway

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Memphis Musical Show YouTube Video Preview.

What: Memphis Show

How Long:
2hrs, 30mins.
(1 Intermission)
Average Weekly Schedule

Memphis is a Musical Show by David Bryan (music and lyrics) and Joe DiPietro (lyrics and book). It is loosely based on Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s. It was staged during the 2003-04 season at both the North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts and TheatreWorks in Mountain View, California and opened on Broadway on October 19, 2009. It won the Tony Award for Best Musical, along with three other Tony Awards, at the 2010 Tony Awards.
It has currently played over 500 performances on Broadway as of December 29, 2010.

Memphis Musical Show is Directed by Christopher Ashley and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo, the Memphis Musical Show Broadway production began previews at the Shubert Theatre on September 23, 2009 and officially opened on October 19. The Memphis Musical Show cast included many of the cast members from the pre-Broadway productions, including Chad Kimball as Huey Calhoun and Montego Glover as Felicia Farrell. The creative Memphis Musical Show team included costume designer Paul Tazewell, scenic designer David Gallo, and lighting designer Howell Binkley. The Memphis Musical Show Broadway production won Best Musical in the Live Theatre division of the Golden Icon Awards, as well as the 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical. The Memphis Musical Show will be filmed for nationwide distribution in U.S. cinemas spring 2011.

Memphis Musical Show Act 1
There's a party at Delray's, an African-American underground Rock and Roll bar in 1950's Memphis ("Underground"). Huey Calhoun, a white man, arrives on the scene. The regulars begin to leave, but Huey convinces them to stay, claiming he is there for the music. ("Music of my Soul") Later, Huey is about to be fired from his job as a stock boy at a local mall, but he makes a deal with the owner, if he can sell 5 albums by playing them over the speakers, he can have a sales job. Huey plays a Rock and Roll hit ("Scratch my Itch"). He sells 29 albums in a matter of minutes, but the store owner fires him anyway, incensed at the type of music being played. Huey returns to Delray's club, and begins flirting with Felicia, Delray's talented sister, and promises to get her on the radio. ("Ain't Nothin' but a Kiss"). Huey then proceeds to apply for DJ jobs at various local white radio stations. One of the owners, Mr. Simmons, invites him in, saying he'll show him what a 'real' Dj looks like. Huey hijacks the mic, and plays another African-American rock song ("Everybody Wants to be Black on Saturday Night"). Mr. Simmons, is about to have Huey thrown out, but then dozens of teenagers start calling in demanding more of Huey and his music. Mr. Simmons agrees to give him a two week trial, and if he's successful he'll get hired full time. After a few days Huey is told to read an advertisement for beer, but he cannot read. Huey asks Bobby, a friend of Delray's with a janitor position, to tell him what it says. He forgets the exact words almost immediately and begins to improvise, ending with the phrase "Hockadoo!". Mr. Simmons again almost fires Huey, until the manager of the store advertised calls in saying that he wants Huey to do all of his advertisements, seeing as his stock sold out in minutes. Huey's station gains immediate popularity, as does his new catch phrase, even though no one understands what it means. (Including Huey). While on the radio, Huey encourages white people to go down to black churches ("Make Me Stronger"), and they begin to. Meanwhile, Delray has saved enough money to put Felicia's voice on the record, and she travels to Huey's house to tell him this. He is overjoyed and promises to play it the next day. Huey's mother, however, breaks the record, which leaves Felicia heartbroken, but Huey tells her to come down to the radio station anyway. ("Colored Women"). The next day, Huey brings in a band and back-up singers to play for Felicia live. Despite her reservations, Felicia sings and becomes an instant sensation.("Someday") Felicia and Huey's relationship begins to grow, and Delray is becoming more and more infuriated with Huey. He warns him of the danger of what he is doing, threatening to harm Huey if anything happens to Felicia. ("She's my Sister"). Huey's radio popularity grows more and more as white teens and black teens begin to accept each other ("Radio"). Huey and Felicia have been carrying on a secret relationship since the day she sang live on the radio. Two years later Huey proposes to Felicia on the way to a party at Delray's. She says no because of laws and prejudice, but admits that without those obstacles she would accept. As the two share a kiss, a gang of white men pass by, spotting this. They hold Huey down as they beat Felicia with a bat. Huey manages to carry her into the club, crying out for help. Delray tries to go after Huey, but Gator, a friend who has not spoken since he saw his father lynched as a child, calms him and sends out a prayer for change as Huey stays by Felicia's side. ("Say a Prayer").

Memphis Musical Show Act 2
Time has passed, and Huey is about to open his new TV show, a Rock and Roll variety show featuring all African American dancers. ("Crazy Little Huey"). Felicia is supposed to be his first guest, but she backs out at the last minute, fearing that people will think her and Huey to be in a relationship. Huey informs Bobby that he will fill in, and after getting over some jitters, Bobby brings the house down. ("Big Love"). Felicia's popularity is also beginning to grow around Memphis, as does her relationship with Huey. Felicia tells Huey that if they went to New York they wouldn't have to sneak around all the time, but Huey insists that they are happy the way they are and don't need to leave ("Love Will Stand When All Else Falls"). She has been discovered by a talent agency in New York, as has Huey's TV show. The agency wants them both to come up to New York, although Huey has to compete with Dick Clark for the national show. They ponder the decision ("Stand Up"), and are even supported by Huey's mother, who has changed her racist ways after seeing an African American church choir ("Change Don't Come Easy"). Huey is told he has won the TV position, if he decides not to use African American dancers. Huey refuses, and proceeds to strip out of his suit on the air ("Tear Down the House"). Felicia tells Huey that she plans to go anyway, as it is her dream. In a desperate attempt to keep her, he kisses her on the air, and says he loves her. The feed is cut, and Huey is fired on the grounds that no one would watch his show if they knew about him and Felicia, and that he wasn't the only white person to play black music anymore. Felicia is taken away by Delray in an attempt to save her career. Now unemployed, Huey leaves the station and ponders his relationship with Memphis, realizing he couldn't leave for any reason ("Memphis Lives in Me"). Four years later, Huey is a DJ on a station with exactly one listener. Felicia walks in, about to start a national tour. She tells Huey that she is engaged to a man named Bill, but that she wants him to join her on stage one last time. He refuses, afraid that no one will remember him. She begins her performance, and halfway through the song Huey walks on stage, and finishes the song with her to a thunderous applause, and proclaims "The name is Huey Calhoun. Goodnight and HOCKADOO!" ("Steal Your Rock and Roll")

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

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