The hit musical, which was filmed live on Broadway for theatrical release and launched its U.S. national tour (Oct. 14), was developed at the North Shore Music Theatre in 2003, prior to pre-Broadway engagements at the La Jolla Playhouse and the 5th Avenue Theatre in 2009.
Memphis began previews Sept. 23, 2009, and officially opened on Broadway Oct. 19, 2009. As of the 8 PM performance Oct. 19, the musical has played 832 performances.
Tony nominee Christopher Ashley (Xanadu) directed the musical that has Tony Award-winning book and lyrics by DiPietro (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change) and a Tony-winning score and lyrics by Bryan of Bon Jovi fame. The two also collaborated on the musical The Toxic Avenger.
The musical currently boasts its original Tony-nominated stars Chad Kimball (Into the Woods, Lennon, The Civil War, My Life with Albertine) and Montego Glover (The Color Purple, Ragtime, Aida), both of whom have been with the musical since its developmental stages. Kimball will depart the production Oct. 23. Adam Pascal (Rent) will succeed Kimball Oct. 25.
Memphis, which centers on the interracial love affair between a white DJ and black singer in the 1950s segregated South, 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, Demos Bizar Entertainment, Land Line Productions, Apples and Oranges Productions, Dave Copley, Dancap Productions, Inc., Alex and Katya Lukianov, Tony Ponturo, 2 Guys Productions, and Richard Winkler in association with Lauren Doll, Eric and Marsi Gardiner, Linda and Bill Potter, Broadway Across America, Jocko Productions, Patty Baker, Dan Frishwasser, Bob Bartner/Scott and Kaylin Union, Loraine Boyle/Chase Mishkin, Remmel T. Dickinson/Memphis Orpheum Group and ShadowCatcher Entertainment/Vijay and Sita Vashee.