“Get ready to jump & jive like a demon possessed, the devil’s in the music, the music is blessed”, as Genesius Theatre raises the roof with the hot, hot, hot Rhythm & Blues musical comedy, Memphis, which opens August 10th and runs thru August 19th at the 10th and Walnut theater. Memphis is winner of four 2010 Tony Awards including, Best Musical, Best Book and Best Original Score.
Escape 2018 and travel back to the late 1950’s, in Memphis, Tennessee! Set during the early days of rock and roll and the underground dance clubs, Memphis is an exhilarating tale of love and fame, filled with high-energy music and explosive dancing. Inspired by actual events, Memphis is about a Huey Calhoun, a white radio DJ, who wants to change the world by playing “race music” on a popular white radio station, and Felicia, a black club singer, who is ready for her big break in world that is totally closed up to African American’s in a “white-washed” world. Come along on their incredible journey to the ends of the airwaves – filled with laughter, soaring emotion and roof-raising rock ‘n’ roll!
The humorous, yet poignant story, is craftily written by Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change and All Shook Up) and set to an original score by Bon Jovi’s David Bryan, that evokes the powerhouse funk of James Brown, the hot guitar riffs of Chuck Berry, the smooth harmonies of the Temptations, and the silken, bouncy pop of the era’s great girl groups.
The Genesius production is directed by Genesius Artistic Director, L J Fecho, music directed by Kevin Cooper, choreographed by Jennifer Parker Scott, with a set design by Zack Spadaccia, light design by Spencer Moss Fecho, costume design by Dara Hunes, hair/makeup design by, Carmen Painter of Tina’s Salon and Say Spa, sound design by Albert Garcia of Eko Entertainment, LLC. The set is constructed by Jeffrey Jones, Mike Maiers and Betty Gerstner, with scenic art by Marjory Ewald, Kaitlyn Reber and Jessica Reber. The show is assistant directed by Anthony Disla and stage managed by our teen stage manager, Ben Jupina.
The Genesius production features Joey Moray, as the DJ Huey Calhoun, Yesenia Mora, as Felicia Farrell, Michael Roman as Bobby, James Barksdale as Gator, DeShaun Williams as Delray Farrell, Emily Rhinehart as Gladys Calhoun, and Apollo Loose as Simmons.
The musical features the extraordinary dance talents of the WE ARE READING DANCERS, who rocked the Pulitzer Prize Winning playwright, Lynn Nottage’s, spectacular multi-media and live performance THIS IS READING art installation, last summer, in downtown Reading’s Franklin Street Station. Three of the main dancers from WAR are Caliph Shabazz, Theresa Gonzales and Stephanie Seda. Memphis also features a hugely diverse ensemble of African Americans, Latinos, and white singers and dancers!