EXCLUSIVE: Tony Nominee Chad Kimball Will Take Indefinite Leave from Memphis
By Andrew Gans
Chad Kimball, who received a 2010 Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical for his portrayal of DJ Huey Calhoun in the Tony-winning musical Memphis, will take an indefinite leave of absence from the musical this fall.
Kimball, who also was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for his work in the hit production, will depart the show Oct. 23, according to his manager, Tony Cloer.
"Chad suffered some nerve damage doing the show a few months ago," Cloer told Playbill.com. "Because of this, he has missed quite a few performances recently, and his body needs a real break with time to properly heal. The role, quite taxing as Chad has created it, just doesn't allow for this so he will be taking a leave." Memphis plays Broadway's Shubert Theatre; Kimball's successor has yet to be announced.
Prior to the Broadway run, Kimball played Huey Calhoun at both Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre and La Jolla Playhouse, for which he received the San Diego Critics Circle Award for Best Leading Male Performance in a Musical.
Kimball's other Broadway credits include Lennon, Into the Woods, The Civil War and Good Vibrations, and his Off-Broadway credits include Finian’s Rainbow, My Life with Albertine and Godspell.
Bon Jovi songwriter and band member David Bryan and Joe DiPietro penned the score to Memphis, which is flavored with gospel, R&B, rock and soul sounds. The rock musical about an interracial love affair in the 1950s segregated South stars Tony Award nominees Kimball and Montego Glover.
Memphis earned Tony Awards for Best Book, Best Score and Best Musical.
Songs in the production are "Underground," "The Music of My Soul," "Ain't Nothin' But a Kiss," "Everybody Wants to Be Black on a Saturday Night," "Make Me Stronger," "Colored Women," "Someday," "She's My Sister," "Radio," "Say a Prayer," "Big Love," "Love Will Stand When All Else Falls," "Stand Up," "Change Don't Come Easy," "Memphis Lives in Me" and "Steal Your Rock 'n' Roll."
Memphis is produced on Broadway by Junkyard Dog Productions, Barbara and Buddy Freitag and Kenny and Marleen Alhadeff with Latitude Link, Jim and Susan Blair, Land Line Productions, Demos Bizar Entertainment, Apples and Oranges Productions, Dave Copley, Dancap Productions, Inc., Tony Ponturo, 2 Guys Productions, and Richard Winkler in association with Linda and Bill Potter, Broadway Across America, Jocko Productions, Lauren Doll/Bob Bartner, Patty Baker, Dan Frishwasser, Loraine Boyle/Chase Mishkin, Remmel T. Dickinson/Memphis Orpheum Group and ShadowCatcher Entertainment/Vijay and Sita Vashee.
Memphis opened on Broadway Oct. 19, 2009, at the Shubert Theatre under the direction of Christopher Ashley. Broadway previews began Sept. 23, 2009.
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