“Memphis,” the Broadway musical that won four Tony Awards in 2010, including for Best Musical, is coming to the Gallo Center for the Arts.
Set in the city's smoky halls and underground clubs of the segregated 1950’s, “Memphis” is the story of a young white radio disk jockey named Huey Calhoun who falls in love with rock ‘n roll and an electrifying black singer named Felicia Ferrell, who is ready for her big break.
The story was inspired by a real-life Memphis disc jockey, the late Dewey Phillips, thought by many music historians to be the person most responsible for integrating American radio from 1948 to 1958. Phillips’ radio show, “Red, Hot and Blue” was the most popular music show in Memphis and was the first to play Elvis Presley’s debut record, "That's All Right/Blue Moon of Kentucky.”
In addition to the Tony awards, the show was honored in 2010 with four Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Music, and four Outer Critic Circle Awards including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Score and Outstanding Choreography.
The show stars Joey Elrose as Huey and Jasmin Richardson as Felicia. Elrose has performed in touring productions of “Grease,” “Rent” and “Rock of Ages.” Richardson has performed in touring shows of “Dreamgirls” and “The Drowsy Chaperone.”
This touring production of “Memphis” has received critical acclaim across North America. The Houston Chronicle hailed the show’s “ingenious staging and direction, energizing, fresh, and joyful choreography and an infectious, dynamite score,” while Toronto Star said the production is filled “with singing that rocks your soul and dancing that rocks your world.”
The Tony-winning score features music by Bon Jovi’s founding member and keyboardist David Bryan.
The production is scheduled at the Gallo Center for 8 p.m. May 16, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. May 17, and 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. May 18. Tickets range in price from $19 to $99, and may be purchased online at www.galloarts.org, by calling 338-2100, or from the ticket office at 1000 I Street in downtown Modesto. Ticket buyers should be aware that the show includes minor use of profanity.