If you love Rock n’ Roll, Blues, and American history, Memphis is the show for you. Currently running at Midtown Arts Center until May 30, this musical truly has it all with amazing singers, actors and dance choreography.
The musical takes place in 1950s Memphis, Tennessee and tells the story of a young black girl named Felicia singing in an underground dance club and how she makes it on the radio with the help of a white country boy, Huey Calhoun, who believes that colored-music is the ‘music of his soul.’
Huey Calhoun, played by Evan Buckley Harris, discovers Felicia’s talent one night when he wanders into a colored club owned by Felicia’s brother. He immediately promises that he can get her on the radio. Though she has her doubts and her brother tells her not to trust a white man, Huey does succeed once he becomes the DJ to the number one radio show in Memphis. After that, the world of music will never be the same again!
Felicia Farrell, played by Danielle J. Summons, continuously steals the spotlight in this show with her powerhouse vocals that left me wondering why she isn’t staring on Broadway. In all the Midtown plays I’ve gone to, no one has had pipes like hers.
Harris puts an interesting spin on the character Huey Calhoun. He has a nerdy, boy-like swagger that is somehow endearing. He walked around slightly hunched with bent knees throughout the whole play. Though this look was strange, it made his character approachable and relatable. His vocals were very strong, as were the vocals of Gator played by Michael Wordly.
This was a very fun play and one that I recommend booking tickets for as soon as possible, as dates are selling out. You’ll follow this musical at the edge of your seat as the characters struggle with fame, their forbidden love, and the racial issues of the 1950s. Memphis has won four 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Tickets start at $49 and can be bought online or by calling 970-225-2555.