You recognize the name, you’ve been to the city, but do you know the Tony Award Winning Musical? In honor of Memphis the Musical opening in just one week, on March 11, here is everything you need to know about the show and why you must see it live at the Arts Center of Cannon County!

Memphis is a musical by David Bryan (best known as the keyboard player from Bon Jovi) and Joe DiPietro (writer of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change & All Shook Up), based loosely on the life of Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips. Phillips, known as a pioneer of early rock-and-roll, was one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s.

Memphis tells the fictional story of Huey Calhoun, a young white disc jockey with a passion for R&B music, who falls for an up-and-coming black singer named Felicia Farrell. Despite the objections of their loved ones, the two embark on a dangerous affair. But as their careers rise, the relationship is challenged by personal ambition and the pressures of an outside world unable to accept their love. Memphis is set in the places where rock-and-roll was born in the 1950s- the seedy nightclubs, radio stations and recording studios of the musically-rich Tennessee city. The show is rated PG for some adult language and content.

Memphis was met with rave reviews when it opened on Broadway in 2009, and went on to win four Tony Awards in 2010, including Best Musical and Best Original Score. A film of the live show was released in 2012, starring many members of the original Broadway cast. The words “exuberant, exciting, and rambunctious” are often found in reviews for the show, highlighting the catchy songs and rousing dance numbers. Although Memphis stays true to its Tennessee roots and the heart of rock-and-roll, the show has been performed all over the world including professional stagings in Japan and England.  

The Arts Center of Cannon County’s production of Memphis stars Nashville performers Michael Adcock as Huey Calhoun and Melinda Paul as Felicia Farrell, and features many familiar faces to the ACCC stage including Michael McGee, Phil Mote, Zavior Phillips, Bill White, and Laurie Burger. Director Darryl Deason recently brought several sell-out shows to the Arts Center stage including Disney’s Tarzan and Shrek the Musical. He is assisted by the talented Robert Heirs (Music Director), Regina Wilkerson Ward (Choreographer), Tabby Ragland and Susan Walsworth (Producers) and Drew and Christy Sanford (Lighting/Sound Design and Stage Manager).  Memphis also includes a live, seven piece band.

Featuring over twenty original songs, high-energy dance numbers, fifties-era costumes, and an elaborate set that will take you back in time, Memphis the Musical is not to be missed! The show runs March 11-26, with Friday and Saturday performances at 7:30pm and Sunday matinees at 2:00pm. Tickets are $15 for Adults and $13 for Students & Seniors. Groups of ten or more can be accommodated and receive a group rate of $12 when paid in advance. Call (615) 563-ARTS or click here to purchase your tickets today!



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