Memphis Adds Saturday Matinee; ‘Ladies Day Out’ to Offer Special Perks

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Due to popular demand, Arkansas Repertory Theatre has added an additional performance on Saturday, Sept. 27 to its four-week run of Tony Award-winning musical Memphis.

Touted as “Ladies Day Out,” the matinee will offer complimentary mimosas to ticketholders 21 years and older. Those who show school spirit by wearing their team colors to the performance will be entered into a raffle for a one-hour massage. Plus, groups of 10 or more will receive $5 off per ticket. Showtime is 2 p.m. and doors will open at 1 p.m.

Memphis opened on The Rep stage on Sept. 5 to rave reviews from audiences and critics with Little Rock Soiree saying “The chemistry of the entire cast glowed on stage, making the jokes more hilarious, the trials more tragic and the music more meaningful,” while the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette raving that it’s a “145-minute rhythm-and-blues roller coaster ride– one we didn’t want to end.”

In the Beale Street nightclubs of 1950s Memphis simmers a new sound, born of the blues, gospel and rock ‘n’ roll and birthed in the Delta. It takes a young DJ, a white man in a black world, to catapult this new sound to the airwaves of Memphis radio and into the living rooms of white Memphis. What follows is a major cultural divide that tests the boundaries of racial tension and the igniting of a musical revolution that grips the entire country.

Tickets

  • $55 for “A” seating; $40 for “B” seating
  • $5 off tickets for groups of 10 or more

For tickets to the matinee, call The Rep’s Box Office at (501) 378-0405 or visit www.therep.org.

Memphis Monday: A Look at the Man Behind the Musical, Dewey Phillips

 

Wildman DJ Dewey Phillips introduced white kids to "race" music.

The premiere of Memphis The Musical is fast approaching and to highlight some of the cool aspects of the show, we’ll be doing a short series called “Memphis Monday” every Monday through Sept. 22.

Before fans feast their eyes on the high-energy regional premiere of the show, it’s important to showcase the man behind the musical, real-life disc jockey, Dewey Phillips.

We recently had the chance to catch up with Tom Bonner, a retired broadcaster who worked with the legendary disc jockey on WHBQ for a short time in the 1950s. Read more about how Phillips took the music scene in Memphis and across the country by storm and watch our special interview with Bonner below!

Early Start

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Dewey Phillips was credited with introducing Elvis Presley to the world on Memphis’ WHBQ radio station.

Phillips got his first 15-minute radio slot in 1949, jumping into it from his job managing the record department at the W.T. Grant 5 and 10, where he spun a mix of the latest records – hillbilly and “race” music, sacred and profane, Frank Sinatra and Wynonie “Mr. Blues” Harris – over the store’s PA.

From the start, he drew an equally mixed, equally eclectic in-house audience – as many young as old, as many black as white – in a

segregated store, in segregated Memphis, located in the heart of the Deep South. His radio show, which aired on WHBQ, was titled “Red, Hot and Blue.” Within a year, he was on the air six nights a week, two hours a night.

Top Record Survey from July 18, 1958 provided by Tom Bonner

Top Record Survey from July 18, 1958 provided by Tom Bonner

 TV Time

His television show, Pop Shop, went on the air in 1957. A version of Dick Clark’s American Bandstand, the show was, for a period, the biggest thing going in Memphis.

Don’t miss your chance to see this award-winning musical Sept. 5-28! Get your tickets to show- single tickets are available now! Purchase online here and get more information about the show–including special events– here.

Video: What is Hockadoo?

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Do you know what Hockadoo means?

This week, we asked locals in downtown Little Rock what they think Hockadoo means and the answers are hilarious! Watch all of the answers in a special video below:

Find out what Hockadoo means when Memphis The Musical starts on The Rep stage Wednesday, Sept. 3 for Pay What You Can Night and officially opens on Friday, Sept. 5.

Get your tickets now by calling the Box Office at (501) 378-0405 or heading over to TheRep.org.

Memphis Monday: A Historical Look at Memphis The Musical

The premiere of Memphis The Musical is fast approaching and to highlight some of the cool aspects of the show, we’ll be doing a short series called “Memphis Monday” every Monday through Sept. 22.

Before fans feast their eyes on the high-energy regional premiere of the show, it’s important to showcase where it all started and where it’s going, not to mention its collection of awards it has gathered along the way.

Robert L. Neblett, an expert in American theatre, has prepared an educational study guide to accompany students for special student matinee performances of Memphis The Musical, which includes a historical look of the production:

History

Memphis: The Musical was originally developed at the North Shore Music Festival in Massachusetts and TheatreWorks in California in 2003-04, and subsequently staged at the La Jolla Playhouse in San Diego in 2008 and Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre in 2009.

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Chad Kimball (far right) played Memphis DJ Huey Calhoun in the original Broadway production of Memphis The Musical, starting in 2009.

The musical opened on Broadway in October 2009, where it played for over 1,100 performances before closing in 2012. In late 2011, the actor playing Huey Calhoun, Chad Kimball, left the musical’s cast due to an injury, and was replaced by Adam Pascal, best known for starring in the original Broadway casts of Rent and Tim Rice and Elton John’s Aida.

In 2011-13, the producers mounted a successful national tour of the musical.

The original Broadway production was filmed in high-definition for a limited digital cinema release in 2011, after which it was released on DVD.

Memphis: The Musical will open in London’s West End in late 2014.

Awards

Memphis was nominated for 8 and won 4 Tony Awards (celebrating the best in Broadway theatre) in 2010, including:memphis-the-musical

BEST BOOK OF A MUSICAL: Joe DiPietro

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE: Joe DiPietro and David Bryan

BEST ORCHESTRATIONS: Daryl Waters and David Bryan

BEST MUSICAL

Memphis won 4 Drama Desk Awards (celebrating the best in theatre throughout New York City, on Broadway and off), including:

OUTSTANDING MUSIC: David Bryan

OUTSTANDING ORCHESTRATIONS: David Bryan and Daryl Waters

BEST MUSICAL

It also won 4 Outer Critics’ Circle Awards, including:

BEST SCORE: David Bryan and Joe DiPietro

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY: Sergio Trujillo

BEST MUSICAL

Don’t miss your chance to see this award-winning musical take The Rep stage Sept. 5-28! Get your tickets to show- single tickets are available now! Purchase online here and get more information about the show–including special events– here.