Pascal, who has also been seen on Broadway in Aida and Cabaret, takes on the role of white DJ Huey Calhoun, who helps shape a new era in radio music during segregation. Pascal succeeds original Memphis leading actor, Tony nominee Chad Kimball, who departed the production Oct. 23.
Pascal and cast also celebrated his birthday with an onstage cake presentation and backstage reception.
Pascal joins Memphis Tony nominee Montego Glover, who stars as African-American singer Felicia Farrell. Glover has been with the production since its pre-Broadway engagements and earned a Tony nomination for her performance in Memphis. Representatives for the production told Playbill.com that Glover and Pascal are contracted with the musical for the next six months.
Pascal originated the role of musician Roger in the Off-Broadway and subsequent Broadway musical Rent, a role he reprised in the film. His stage appearances also include Aida, Cabaret and the London concert presentation of Chess. Memphis, which centers on the interracial love affair between a white DJ and black singer in the 1950s segregated South, has a score by Bon Jovi songwriter and band member David Bryan and Joe DiPietro. The musical 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 opened on Broadway Oct. 19, 2009, at the Shubert Theatre under the direction of Christopher Ashley. Broadway previews began Sept. 23, 2009. A national tour launched Oct. 14 in its namesake city.