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.
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.
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.