On October 19, 2009, Memphis opened on Broadway. In 2010, it won four Tony Awards including Best Musical. And now, on April 25, 2018, Porchlight Music Theatre opens it’s production at The Ruth Page Center for the Arts.
Huey Calhoun is a white man living in 1950s Memphis, Tennessee. He discovers the music of the black community there and he enthusiastically wants to share it with the world. Felicia Farrell is a black singer at the club who is hesitant to trust Huey. At the white radio station, Huey also runs into resistance. But, he eventually wins them over. Many more struggles lie ahead as Huey and Felicia fight the institutional racism across Memphis and they begin to fall for each other.
The performances in this production are fantastic. First off, the singing by the entire cast is fantastic. Especially by Aeriel Williams (Felicia), who has an outstanding voice. The dancing by the entire cast is excellent with the choreography by Christopher Carter. Also, the comedic chops by James Earl Jones II as the janitor are top of the line. He has the entire audience cracking up with even the smallest actions. Lastly, the strong stage presence of Lorenzo Rush, Jr. is impressive as Felicia’s brother.
Just like their previous show, Billy Elliot, the show size is very impressive. There are 38 people in the cast and 6 musicians in the band. It’s of a Broadway worthy scale in the very intimate space of The Ruth Page Center for the Arts which only seats 218! This is Chicago theatre at its best!
Get tickets now for Memphis through June 10th!