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Monday, 06 February 2012 21:16

MEMPHIS Celebrates Black History Month with "Inspire Change" Talk-Back Series

2010 Tony Award Winning Best Musical



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(New York, NY) February 6, 2012 – The producers of the 2010 Tony Award winning Best Musical MEMPHIS announced today that the Inspire Change Talkback Series celebrating Black History Month, minorities, and their impact on the entertainment industry, will begin on Thursday, February 9th.  Immediately following 7pm performances on Thursdays in February, patrons will be invited to participate in a talkback about the role of minorities in various aspects of the performing arts including dance, music and theater.  Each talkback will feature a guest moderator along with cast members from the show.

{module ad_left_body}The first of these talkbacks will be on Thursday, February 9th and the topic will be dance. MEMPHIS welcomes The Ailey School to the show.  The talkback will be moderated by Tracy Inman, Director of The Ailey School, and will also feature several current Ailey students.  Inman began his dance career as a student at The Ailey School and soon joined Ailey II.  He has toured internationally in Cats and with Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. 

On Thursday, February 16th MEMPHIS welcomes Dave Marsh as moderator for a talkback that will discuss music and the influence minorities have had on popular music through the years.  Marsh is an American music critic, author, editor and radio talk show host who hosts three shows on Sirius/XM Radio. 

The Thursday, February 23rd talkback will feature Julie James, the host of “Broadway Names with Julie James” on Sirius/XM, discussing theater and the role minorities have played in the advancement of all facets of the industry, from casting, to writing, to both past and present Broadway shows.  James also produces and hosts “Sirius/XM Live on Broadway” each week in Times Square, featuring Seth Rudetsky and the hottest performers on Broadway.

Tickets for performances featuring talkbacks are available by visiting or calling 212.239.6200.

CLICK THIS LINK to watch MEMPHIS’ Black History Month PSA, currently running on WCBS-TV.

To learn more about Inspire Change, CLICK HERE.

MEMPHIS, the show that is currently blowing the roof off of Broadway, stars Tony nominee Adam Pascal (Huey) and Tony Nominee Montego Glover (Felicia) with Derrick Baskin (Gator), Christopher Jackson (Delray), James Monroe Iglehart (Bobby), John Jellison (Mr. Simmons), and Cass Morgan (Mama).  MEMPHIS opened on October 19, 2009 at Broadway’s Shubert Theatre (225 W. 44th Street), previews began on September 23rd.

Critically acclaimed MEMPHIS won four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score (David Bryan and Joe DiPietro), Best Book (Joe DiPietro), and Best Orchestrations (David Bryan and Daryl Waters). MEMPHIS won four Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Performance by an Actress (Montego Glover), Outstanding Music (David Bryan) and Outstanding Orchestration (David Bryan and Daryl Waters).  MEMPHIS has also won four Outer Critics Circle Awards including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Score (David Bryan & Joe DiPietro), Outstanding Actress (Montego Glover) and Outstanding Choreography (Sergio Trujillo).

MEMPHIS takes place in the smoky halls and underground clubs of the segregated 50’s, where a young white DJ named Huey Calhoun (Adam Pascal) fell in love with everything he shouldn’t:  rock and roll and an electrifying black singer (Montego Glover).  MEMPHIS is an original story about the cultural revolution that erupted when his vision met her voice, and the music changed forever.

The show features a brand new Tony winning score with music by Bon Jovi’s founding member and keyboardist David Bryan and lyrics by Bryan and Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change), who also pens the musical’s book. Bryan and DiPietro also collaborated on the award-winning off-Broadway hit, The Toxic Avenger. MEMPHIS is based on a concept by the late George W. George (producer of the Tony nominated Bedroom Farce and the film My Dinner With Andre), with direction by Tony nominee Christopher Ashley (Xanadu) and choreography by Sergio Trujillo, (Jersey Boys, Next to Normal).

The original Broadway musical MEMPHIS played a limited, sold-out engagement at La Jolla Playhouse from August 19 – September 28, 2008 and received San Diego’s Craig Noel Awards for Excellence in Theatre for both Outstanding New Musical of 2008 and for its star Chad Kimball, in the role of DJ Huey Calhoun.  The show then played another critically-acclaimed, extremely successful engagement at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre from January 27 – February 15, 2009.  This production was co-produced by La Jolla Playhouse (Christopher Ashley, Artistic Director) and 5th Avenue Theatre, Seattle, WA, (David Armstrong, Producing Artistic Director/ Marilynn Sheldon, Managing Director).  The world premiere of MEMPHIS in 2003-2004 was co-produced by North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, MA and TheatreWorks in Silicon Valley, CA. 

Blu-ray™, DVD and digital downloads of the HD film of MEMPHIS were released on January 24, 2012 by Shout! Factory, in association with Broadway Worldwide.  Featuring the original Broadway cast, MEMPHIS is the first Best Musical Tony Award winner to be filmed and distributed while continuing a successful run on Broadway.  Special Features on the DVD will include “Behind The Scenes: How Memphis Was Captured.”  The HD film is also currently available for instant streaming on Netflix.  The Original Broadway Cast Recording of the celebrated new musical MEMPHIS, distributed by Rhino Records, is available for purchase at all retail outlets including, as well as at the Shubert Theater.  The collection contains 19 songs and a bonus track/acoustic version of “The Music of My Soul” with piano and vocals by Tony Award winning composer David Bryan.

MEMPHIS launched a U. S. national tour in Memphis, TN, which opened to critical acclaim on October 16, 2011 at the historic Orpheum Theatre.  For more information on the tour, visit

Tickets to MEMPHIS range from $41.50 to $131.50 (including a $1.50 facility fee). The performance schedule is as follows:  Tuesday – Thursday at 7pm, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8pm, Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2pm, and Sundays at 3pm.  For more information and to purchase tickets, visit or call 212.239.6200.

David Richardson of WOR Radio calls MEMPHIS “The biggest hit on Broadway” while Charles Isherwood of the New York Times says, ““David Bryan evokes the powerhouse funk of James Brown, the hot guitar riffs of Chuck Berry, the smooth harmonies of the Temptations, the silken, bouncy pop of the great girl groups of the period.”  The New York Post raves “Of such thrills, Broadway is made,” Newsday calls the show “A smash!  An extraordinary show,” the Daily News promises that MEMPHIS will “Blast you out the door humming and happy” and NY1’s Roma Torre cheers, “MEMPHIS ROCKS!”

Scenic Design for MEMPHIS is by Tony Award winner David Gallo (The Drowsy Chaperone, The Mountaintop), Costume Design is by Tony nominee Paul Tazewell (In The Heights), Lighting Design is by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley (How to Succeed…, Jersey Boys) and Sound Design is by Ken Travis (The Threepenny Opera).

MEMPHIS is produced on Broadway by Junkyard Dog Productions, Barbara and Buddy Freitag and Kenny and Marleen Alhadeff with Latitude Link, Jim and Susan Blair, Demos Bizar Entertainment, Land Line Productions, Apples and Oranges Productions, Dave Copley, Dancap Productions, Inc., Alex and Katya Lukianov, Tony Ponturo, 2 Guys Productions, and Richard Winkler in association with Lauren Doll, Eric and Marsi Gardiner, Linda and Bill Potter, Broadway Across America, Jocko Productions, Patty Baker, Dan Frishwasser, Bob Bartner/Scott and Kaylin Union, Loraine Boyle/Chase Mishkin, Remmel T. Dickinson/Memphis Orpheum Group and ShadowCatcher Entertainment/Vijay and Sita Vashee.

For more information visit