Great Performances: Memphis


Updated Sat, Dec 28, 2013 12:57 pm

Thursday, December 26 • 9 p.m.

Broadway’s smash hit musical Memphis, winner of four Tony Awards® including Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book and Best Orchestrations, comes to THIRTEEN’s Great Performances Thursday, December 26 at 9 p.m. Featuring the original Broadway cast, including Tony nominees Chad Kimball and Montego Glover, as well as Derrick Baskin, J. Bernard Calloway, James Monroe Iglehart, Michael McGrath and Cass Morgan. Memphis is the historic first Best Musical Tony Award winner to air on U.S. national television with its original principals while simultaneously continuing a successful Broadway run and national tour.

Charles Isherwood of The New York Times observed, “[Composer] David Bryan evokes the powerhouse funk of James Brown, the hot guitar riffs of Chuck Berry, the smooth harmonies of the Temptations, the silken, bouncy pop of the great girl groups of the period.” The New York Post raved “Of such thrills, Broadway is made.”  The Associated Press called Memphis “The very essence of what a Broadway musical should be.”

Memphis takes place in the smoky halls and underground clubs of the segregated 50's, where a young white DJ named Huey Calhoun (Kimball) falls in love with everything he shouldn't: rock and roll and an electrifying black singer Felicia Farrell (Glover). Memphis is an original story about the cultural revolution that erupted when his vision met her voice, and the music changed forever.

Filled with high-octane dancing, songs that perfectly capture the era, and an absorbing tale of fame and forbidden love, the show offers soaring emotion and roof-raising rock 'n' roll. The show’s Tony®-winning original score features music by Bon Jovi’s founding member and keyboardist David Bryan and lyrics by Bryan and Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change), who also pens the musical’s book.

The critically acclaimed production of Memphis won a total of four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Score (David Bryan and Joe DiPietro), Best Book (Joe DiPietro), and Best Orchestrations (David Bryan and Daryl Waters).  Memphis is currently in its 3rd smash year on Broadway, delighting audiences nightly at the Shubert Theatre (225 West 44th Street).