Ge­n­e­sius The­atre raises the roof with pro­duc­tion of ‘Mem­phis.’

The Community Connection - - FRONT PAGE - From LJ Fe­cho

“Get ready to jump and jive like a de­mon pos­sessed, the devil’s in the mu­sic, the mu­sic is blessed,” as Ge­n­e­sius The­atre raises the roof with the hot, hot, hot Rhythm and Blues mu­si­cal com­edy, “Mem­phis,” which opens Aug. 10 and runs through Aug. 19 at the 10th and Wal­nut the­ater. “Mem­phis” is win­ner of four 2010 Tony Awards in­clud­ing, Best Mu­si­cal, Best Book and Best Orig­i­nal Score.

Es­cape 2017 and travel back to the late 1950s, in Mem­phis, Ten­nessee! Set dur­ing the early days of rock and roll and the un­der­ground dance clubs, Mem­phis is an ex­hil­a­rat­ing tale of love and fame, filled with high-en­erg y mu­sic and ex­plo­sive danc­ing. In­spired by ac­tual events, Mem­phis is about a Huey Cal­houn, a white ra­dio DJ, who wants to change the world by play­ing “race mu­sic” on a pop­u­lar white ra­dio sta­tion, and Feli­cia, a black club singer, who is ready for her big break in world that is to­tally closed up to African Amer­i­can’s in a “white­washed” world. Come along on their in­cred­i­ble jour­ney to the ends of the air­waves, filled with laugh­ter, soar­ing emo­tion and roof-rais­ing rock ‘n’ roll!

The hu­mor­ous, yet poignant story, is craftily writ­ten by Joe DiPi­etro (I Love You, You’re Per­fect, Now Change and All Shook Up) and set to an orig­i­nal score by Bon Jovi’s David Bryan, that evokes the pow­er­house funk of James Brown, the hot gui­tar riffs of Chuck Berry, the smooth har­monies of the Temp­ta­tions, and the silken, bouncy pop of the era’s great girl groups.

The Ge­n­e­sius pro­duc­tion is di­rected by Ge­n­e­sius Artis­tic Di­rec­tor, L J Fe­cho, mu­sic di­rected by Kevin Cooper, chore­ographed by Jen­nifer Parker Scott, with a set de­sign by Zack Spadac­cia, light de­sign by Spencer Moss Fe­cho, cos­tume de­sign by Dara Hunes, hair/makeup de­sign by, Car­men Painter of Tina’s Salon and Say Spa, sound de­sign by Al­bert Gar­cia of Eko En­ter­tain­ment, LLC. The set is con­structed by Jef­frey Jones, Mike Maiers and Betty Ger­st­ner, with scenic art by Mar­jory Ewald, Kait­lyn Re­ber and Jes­sica Re­ber. The show is as­sis­tant di­rected by An­thony Disla and stage man­aged by our teen stage man­ager, Ben Jupina.

“Mem­phis is burst­ing with gutsy story-telling, con­vinc­ing per­for­mances and ex­hil­a­rat­ing mo­ments that more than make up for a bit of pre­dictabil­ity.” Broad­wayWorld.com

The Ge­n­e­sius pro­duc­tion fea­tures Joey Mo­ray, as the DJ Huey Cal­houn, Ye­se­nia Mora, as Feli­cia Far­rell, Michael Ro­man as Bobby, James Barks­dale as Ga­tor, DeShaun Williams as Del­ray Far­rell, Emily Rhine­hart as Gla­dys Cal­houn, and Apollo Loose as Sim­mons.

The mu­si­cal fea­tures the ex­tra­or­di­nary dance tal­ents of the “We Are Read­ing Dancers,” who rocked the Pulitzer Prize Win- ning play­wright, Lynn Not­tage’s, spec­tac­u­lar mul­ti­me­dia and live per­for­mance “This Is Read­ing” art in­stal­la­tion, last sum­mer, in down­town Read­ing’s Franklin Street Sta­tion. Three of the main dancers from “WAR” are Caliph Shabazz, Theresa Gon­za­les and Stephanie Seda. Mem­phis also fea­tures a hugely di­verse en­sem­ble of African Amer­i­cans, Lati­nos, and white singers and dancers!

If you go:

“Mem­phis The Mu­si­cal” opens Fri­day, Aug. 10. and runs Aug. 11, 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, with a pos­si­ble ex­ten­sion.

Show Times: Wed­nes­day, Thurs­day, Fri­day and Satur­day at 7:30 p.m. and Sun­days at 3 p.m..

Price Range: Stu­dent $17.50, Se­nior $22.50, Adult $28.50, Premium Seats $30 and Deluxe Seats $33. Spe­cial Dis­count Night: Thurs­day, Aug. 16, ONLY – Stu­dent Tick­ets are $15 and all other seats are $20. For Tick­ets please visit - www.gen­e­sius­d­if­fer­ence.org; 610-3739500 card fees ap­ply. Tick­ets also avail­able at the door.

The play is PG – some mi­nor adult sit­u­a­tions.

Ge­n­e­sius is a 501-C-3 Non-Profit or­ga­ni­za­tion. The Ge­n­e­sius, 2017 Sea­son, is spon­sored by Sandy Sol­mon and Doug Messinger of Sweet Street Ge­n­e­sius The­atre, 153 North 10th Street, Read­ing, PA 19601. It is hand­i­capped ac­ces­si­ble and there is free park­ing (lim­ited spa­ces avail­able) next to the the­ater. For more in­for­ma­tion, call the the­ater at 610-371-8151.

PHOTO BY JA­SON HUGG AND SPENCER MOSS FE­CHO

Front: Michael Ro­man as Bobby. Back from right to Left: DeShaun Williams as Del­ray and Caliph Shabazz (We Are Read­ing Dancer) in the re­gional premier of the Ge­n­e­sius Pro­duc­tion of “Mem­phis.”

PHOTO BY JA­SON HUGG AND SPENCER MOSS FE­CHO

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