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