EXCLUSIVE: Memphis Will Share the Music of Its Soul on U.S. Tour

News   EXCLUSIVE: Memphis Will Share the Music of Its Soul on U.S. Tour
The David Bryan-Joe DiPietro rock musical Memphis, about interracial lovers in the segregated South joined by the power of music, is planning to embark on a U.S. national tour.

Memphis director Christopher Ashley told Playbill.com that a tour is in the works to launch in fall 2011. Prior to Broadway, the musical played the La Jolla Playhouse (where Ashley serves as artistic director) and Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre. The rock tuner opened on Broadway Oct. 19, 2009, at the Shubert Theatre.

Memphis co-author DiPietro had previously hinted at the tour possibility in the official blog for the musical.

Ashley also spoke of Memphis' high-profile March 21 guests: First Lady Michelle Obama, mother Marian Robinson and young daughters Malia and Sasha. The family attended the matinee while President Obama was at work in Washington, D.C. hammering out the new healthcare bill.

"I started to actually cry a little bit," Ashley said when he learned of their visit. "It was the day all the health care stuff was going on." He was told that "the entire audience started to shout-out 'healthcare!' and applaud. I was so pleased that, on that day, they were at Memphis. It doesn't get any better than that. It's fantastic."

Memphis features book and lyrics by DiPietro (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change) and a score and lyrics by Bon Jovi's Bryan. The team also collaborated on the Off-Broadway musical The Toxic Avenger. Chad Kimball (Into the Woods, Lennon, The Civil War, My Life with Albertine) and Montego Glover (The Color Purple, Ragtime, Aida) star as DJ Huey Calhoun, and his muse, Felicia Farrell, respectively.

"In the smoky halls and underground clubs of the segregated '50s," press notes state, "a young white DJ named Huey Calhoun fell in love with everything he shouldn't: rock and roll and an electrifying black singer. Memphis is an original story about the cultural revolution that erupted when his vision met her voice, and the music changed forever."

For tickets, ranging $41.50-$126.50, phone (212) 239-6200 or visit Telecharge. The Shubert Theatre is located at 225 West 44th Street.

Visit MemphistheMusical.

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