On Tuesday, January 18, 2011, I had the fortunate experience of attending the Tony Award Winning musical "Memphis" once again! Almost a year to the day of my last "Memphis" attending, I am proud to say the show is still fantastically SIZZLING HOT with energy, excitement, and fun. The principal cast members are still the original (Chad Kimball, Derrick Baskin, James Monroe Iglehart, Montego Glover, J. Bernard Calloway, Michael McGrath, and Cass Morgan) and still have the best chemistry together! I have been fortunate enough to interview Chad Kimball, Derrick Baskin, and James Monroe Iglehart...so I'm thrilled that they continue entertaining audiences night after night! I'm not just raving about "Memphis" because I interviewed them, but because I truly love this show and as a result of this love, I asked each of them to be part of "Adaumbelle's Quest" and they were kind of enough to participate.
With a book by Joe DiPietro and direction by Christopher Ashley, "Memphis" tells the story of a white DJ in 1950s Memphis who tries to get an African-American singer on the radio, but along the way falls in love. The success, hardships, and issues they face together is what keeps bringing audience members back over and over again. The music (by Bon Jovi's David Bryan) is memorable and catchy with such hit songs as "Change Don't Come Easy," "Colored Women," "Everybody Wants To Be Black On A Saturday Night," "Memphis Lives In Me," "The Music Of My Soul," "Say A Prayer," "Someday," "Stand Up," and "Steal Your Rock 'n Roll," while the choreography (by Sergio Trujillo) is energetic, mesmerizing, and electrifying!
Chad still has the vocals to score big in "Hello, My Name Is Huey," "Crazy Little Huey," "The Music Of My Soul," "Stand Up," "Memphis Lives In Me," and "Steal Your Rock 'n Roll." Derrick sends a hush over the audience every night with his spellbinding vocals on "Say A Prayer," which then turns into rousing applause from the audience! James Monroe Iglehart tears up the stage not only with his astounding dance moves, but powerful, powerful vocals on "Big Love!" Cass Morgan lets it rip on "Change Don't Come Easy," letting the light shine brightly on her. J. Bernard Calloway lets it go in "She's My Sister," "Stand Up," and "Change Don't Come Easy," always getting a cheer from the audience. Montego proves many times she's got the vocals and talent in such songs as "The Music Of My Soul," "Colored Women," "Someday," "Stand Up," and "Steal Your Rock 'n Roll." The ensemble has a host of talent, but the one member that gets my attention every time I've seen this show is Hillary Elk. Between her terrific dance moves and skilled, big, and powerful vocals fill the house, even when singing amongst the entire company, Hillary will not be a chorus girl forever!
"Memphis" has lasted because the show still feels as fresh as when it first arrived on Broadway in September 2009 and it is continuing to shine ever so brightly and audiences are feeling it! The applause and cheers that came from the crowd were loud enough to raise the roof! If you have not seen this fantastical Tony Award Winning musical yet, then I highly suggest you "Stand Up" and make your way down to the Shubert Theatre (225 West 44th Street between Broadway & 8th Avenue) in New York City and get your tickets to "Memphis," one of the most fantastical shows on Broadway!