Rock Musical Memphis to Arrive on Broadway in Fall 2009

News   Rock Musical Memphis to Arrive on Broadway in Fall 2009 Memphis, the new rock 'n' roll musical penned by Joe DiPietro and David Bryan, will arrive on Broadway in the fall of 2009 at a theatre to be announced.
Chad Kimball and Montego Glover in a regional production of Memphis
Chad Kimball and Montego Glover in a regional production of Memphis Photo by Kevin Berne

Broadway has been the goal of the racially fueled musical, which has played regional engagements at the La Jolla Playhouse and Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre this past season. Memphis was presented in earlier incarnations at the North Shore Music Theatre and TheatreWorks.

Director Christopher Ashley (Xanadu) and choreographer Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys) will repeat their work for the Broadway production.

Based on a concept by George W. George, Memphis features book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change) and a score and lyrics by Bon Jovi's David Bryan. DiPietro and Bryan are also represented with the Off-Broadway musical The Toxic Avenger, which begins performances at New World Stages later this month.

Chad Kimball (Lennon, Good Vibrations, Into the Woods, My Life With Albertine) and Montego Glover (The Color Purple, Radiant Baby) starred in the recent engagements of the musical which, according to press notes, "follows the fictionalized life story of young, white radio disc jockey Huey Calhoon growing up in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1950’s. An unlikely hero with a great love of the music he hears in the black bars on Beale Street, Huey’s on-air antics and unstoppable enthusiasm for 'race records' creates a new white audience for African-American music. His personal life transcends the race line as well, when he falls in love with a beautiful black singer - with dramatic consequences."

Casting for the Broadway engagement will be announced shortly.

The Broadway creative team includes scenic designer David Gallo, costume designer Paul Tazewell and lighting designer Howell Binkley.

Memphis will be produced on Broadway by Junkyard Dog Productions and Barbara and Buddy Freitag in association with Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff, Demos Bizar Entertainment and Dancap Productions.

The cast of <i>Memphis.</i>
The cast of Memphis. Photo by Kevin Berne