What is Memphis you ask? Memphis is a musical with music and lyrics by David Bryan, additionally lyrics and book by Joe DiPietro. The story is loosely based on a real life Memphis disc jockey named Dewey Phillips, who was one of the first white DJs to play black music back in the 1950s. Mr. Phillips falls in love with Felicia Farrell an African American Rock and Roll singer and the story falls their roller coaster relationship. It has big dance numbers, soulful gospel numbers, and marvelous costumes and set's that make you feel like your are really in the hear of Memphis.
Overall I would have to say "I liked it but I did not LOVE it". The dancing and talent of all the actors on stage was nothing a showcase of Broadway's best and featured name of the original cast members such as Chad Kimball as Huey Calhoun, Montego Glover as Felicia Farrell and Derrick Baskin as Gator. But I had a problem the overall story lacking an connect with the audience. I felt the book was Hairspray for adults but without the happy ending. Don't get me wrong not every story does not have to have a happy ending, come on two of my favorite musicals are Next to Normal, and Spring Awakening (not happy endings). But I left seeing Memphis feeling nothing, no emotional change or enlightenment. I feel a musical happy or sad should leave you with an understanding yourself or new view of the world (whether big or small). When looking back at the 2010 season I do not understand how this show could win Best Musical over the mind-blowing American Idiot (talk about a show that makes you re-think what Broadway is). In the end is Memphis a good night of theatre, yes. Is it a must see of the Great White Way, no.
"Make Me Stronger"-song from Memphis