Thousand NYC Public School Students Take Part in Memphis Finale

News   Thousand NYC Public School Students Take Part in Memphis Finale
More than 1,000 underserved New York City public school students saw their first Broadway show, the Tony Award-winning musical Memphis, Feb. 3 as part of the "Inspire Change" initiative launched by the show's producers.

The students surprised the cast at the special performance by joining in the finale, "Steal Your Rock 'N' Roll," complete with lyrics and choreography they had been practicing for weeks, on the stage and in the aisles of the Shubert Theatre.

The "Inspire Change" initiative was co-hosted by Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, the Tony Awards, and watchmaker Audemars Piguet, and also featured in-school workshops and a talk-back with the cast and producers of Memphis and Tony Awards representatives.

Video of the performance will be available online later this month.

“The cast flipped out when they saw the whole audience stand up and dance!” producer Sue Frost said in a statement. “It was absolutely incredible. I wish it could happen every night! We’re so grateful to Audemars Piguet, BC/EFA and the Tony Awards for joining Memphis in our effort to inspire change.”

Tom Viola, BC/EFA’s executive director, added, “The stories of personal courage in Memphis reflect the challenges these kids face each day. To see their lives portrayed on stage creates self-esteem that encourages young people to make healthy choices outside the classroom.” Memphis, the story of a white DJ and a black singer who fall in love and make music just as rock 'n' roll is taking off in 1950s Memphis, features music by David Bryan and lyrics by Bryan and Joe DiPietro; the latter also wrote the show's book. Christopher Ashley directs, and Sergio Trujillo choreographs.

For more information about Memphis and Inspire Change, visit

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