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MEMPHIS BROADWAY REVIEWS
Opening Night: October 19, 2009
Synopsis: From the rockin' dance halls of Memphis, Tennessee comes this hot and bothered new Broadway musical with heart, soul and energy to burn. Set in the turbulent south in the 1950s, it is the story of Huey Calhoun, a white radio DJ whose love of good music transcends race lines and airwaves. Get ready to experience all the exuberance and the emotion... the beauty and the controversy... of a wondrous, defining time in our history. You're tuning in to Memphis, so turn up that dial!
NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW:
"Sex and race and rock ’n’ roll made for a potent, at times inflammatory, combination in the 1950s, when the new musical “Memphis” is set. But there’s no need to fear that a conflagration will soon consume the Shubert Theater, where the show opened on Monday night. This slick but formulaic entertainment, written by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro, barely generates enough heat to warp a vinyl record, despite the vigorous efforts of a talented, hard-charging cast. While the all-important music, by Mr. Bryan of Bon Jovi, competently simulates a wide range of period rock, gospel and rhythm and blues, the crucial ingredient — authentic soul — is missing in action."
"The sensuous, soulful sound of rhythm 'n' blues hits the audience right from the start of "Memphis," the exhilarating new musical now shaking Broadway's Shubert Theatre. Take a deep breath as the curtain rises because the exuberance doesn't stop."
"A talented cast, stirring vocals, athletic dance numbers and vigorous direction supply crowd-pleasing elements in the lively new musical, "Memphis," as evidenced by the waves of appreciation coming off the audience. But there's also a nagging predictability to this story of a white DJ who brings rockin' rhythm and blues from black Beale Street to the mainstream in 1950s Tennessee. The show is entertaining but synthetic, its telepic plotting restitching familiar threads from "Hairspray" and "Dreamgirls," while covering fictitious ground adjacent to that of recent biopic "Cadillac Records.""
"You might expect a show called Memphis, with a score by rock keyboardist David Bryan and a book by Joe DiPietro, whose last Broadway outing was the jukebox musical All Shook Up, to be an homage to Elvis Presley. It isn't — and for that, the Presley estate owes Bryan and DiPietro a debt of gratitude."
"Contrary to popular belief, rock and roll did not start with Elvis Presley. The new Broadway musical "Memphis" depicts its birth among black singers in underground nightclubs on the now fabled Beale Street - and how the art form was soon pirated by white businessmen as a form of mass entertainment."
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