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Memphis

From the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, comes a hot new Broadway musical  that bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love.

Inspired by actual events, MEMPHIS is about a white radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black club singer who is ready for her big break. Come along on their incredible journey to the ends of the airwaves - filled with laughter, soaring emotion and roof-raising rock 'n' roll.

Winner of four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical, MEMPHIS features a Tony-winning book by Joe DiPietro (I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE and ALL SHOOK UP) and a Tony-winning original score with music by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan. 

  • Full Length Musical
  • Drama
  • 150 minutes

  • Time Period: 1950's
  • Target Audience: Pre-Teen (Age 11 - 13), Teen (Age 14 - 18), Appropriate for all audiences, Adult
  • Set Requirements: Unit Set/Multiple Settings

  • Performance Group:
  • Large Stage, Community Theatre, High School/Secondary, Professional Theatre, College Theatre / Student

  • Accolades:
  • Winner! 4 Tony Awards including Best Musical (2010)
There's a party at Delray's, an underground African-American Rock and Roll bar in 1950's Memphis. Huey Calhoun, a white man, arrives on the scene. The regulars begin to leave, but Huey convinces them to stay, claiming he is there for the music.

Later, Huey is about to be fired from his job as a stock boy at a local department store, but he makes a deal with the owner - if he can sell 5 records by playing them over the speakers, he can have a sales job. Huey plays a Rock and Roll hit. He sells 29 records in a matter of minutes, but the store owner fires him anyway, incensed at the type of music being played. 

Huey returns to Delray's club, and begins flirting with Felicia and promises to get her on the radio. Huey then proceeds to apply for DJ jobs at various local white radio stations. One of the owners, Mr. Simmons, invites him in, saying he'll show him what a 'real' DJ looks like. Huey hijacks the mic, and plays another African-American rock song. Mr. Simmons is about to have Huey thrown out, but then dozens of teenagers start calling in demanding more of Huey and his music. Mr. Simmons agrees to give him a two-week trial, and if he's successful he'll get hired full time. After a few days Huey is told to read an advertisement for beer, but he is illiterate. Huey asks Bobby, a friend of Delray's with a janitor position, to tell him what it says. He forgets the exact words almost immediately and begins to improvise, ending with the phrase "Hockadoo!". 

Huey's station gains immediate popularity, as does his new catch phrase, even though no one understands what it means. Meanwhile, Delray has saved enough money to put Felicia's voice on the record, and she travels to Huey's house to tell him this. Huey's prejudiced mother, however, breaks the record, which leaves Felicia heartbroken, but Huey tells her to come down to the radio station anyway. 

Felicia and Huey's relationship begins to grow, and Delray is becoming more and more infuriated with Huey. He warns him of the danger of what he is doing, threatening to harm Huey if anything happens to Felicia . Two years later Huey proposes to Felicia on the way to a party at Delray's. She says no because of laws and prejudice, but admits that without those obstacles she would accept. As the two share a kiss, a gang of white men pass by, spotting this. They hold Huey down as they beat Felicia with a bat. Huey manages to carry her into the club, crying out for help. 

Time has passed, and Huey is about to open his new TV show, a rock and roll variety show featuring all African American dancers. Felicia is supposed to be his first guest, but she backs out at the last minute, fearing that people will think her and Huey to be in a relationship. Huey informs Bobby that he will fill in, and brings the house down. Felicia tells Huey that if they went to New York they wouldn't have to sneak around all the time, but Huey insists that they are happy the way they are and don't need to leave.

She has been discovered by a talent agency in New York, as has Huey's TV show. The agency wants them both to come up to New York, although Huey has to compete with a local Philadelphia DJ, Dick Clark for the national show. Huey is told he has won the TV position, if he agrees not to use African American dancers. Huey refuses, and proceeds to strip out of his suit on the air. Felicia tells Huey that she plans to go anyway, as it is her dream. In a desperate attempt to keep her, he kisses her on the air, and says he loves her.

The feed is cut, and Huey is fired on the grounds that no one would watch his show if they knew about him and Felicia. Now unemployed, Huey leaves the station and ponders his relationship with Memphis, realizing he couldn't leave for any reason. 

Four years later, Huey is a DJ on an obviously low budget and low rated station. Felicia walks in, about to start a national tour. She tells Huey that she is engaged to a man named Bill, but that she wants him to join her on stage one last time. He refuses, afraid that no one will remember him. She begins her performance, and halfway through the song Huey walks on stage, and finishes the song with her to thunderous applause. He then proclaims "The name is Huey Calhoun. Goodnight and HOCKADOO!"

  • Casting:
  • Casting Attributes: Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle), Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle), Minority casting
  • Chorus Size: Large

  • HUEY CALHOUN
    FELICIA FARRELL
    DELRAY JONES
    GATOR
    BOBBY
    MAMA (GLADYS CALHOUN)
    MR. SIMMONS
    WHITE DJ / MR. COLLINS / WHITE FATHER / GORDON GRANT / ENSEMBLE
    BLACK DJ / BE BLACK TRIO / ENSEMBLE
    WAILIN' JOE / REVEREND HOBSON / ENSEMBLE
    SOMEDAY BACKUP SINGER / ENSEMBLE
    SOMEDAY BACKUP SINGER / ENSEMBLE
    SOMEDAY BACKUP SINGER / DOUBLE DUTCH GIRL / ENSEMBLE
    ETHEL / ENSEMBLE
    BE BLACK TRIO / ENSEMBLE
    BE BLACK TRIO / ENSEMBLE
    CLARA / WHITE MOTHER / ENSEMBLE
    BUCK WILEY / MARTIN HOLTON / ENSEMBLE
    TEENAGER / ENSEMBLE
    DOUBLE DUTCH GIRL / ENSEMBLE
    PERRY COMO / FRANK DRYER / ENSEMBLE
    ADDITIONAL ENSEMBLE (6+)
  • Name Price
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    1 x Script / Vocal Book / Score Sampler

    $24.00
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    1 x Script / Vocal Book / Score Sampler
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