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Memphis-bannerFrom 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…  

Memphis-bannerMemphis Rocks Florida

Tony Award winning Play comes to Miami and Orlando

Mamphis-pic1Memphis, the 2010 Tony Award Winner for Best Musical opens in the Ziff Ballet Opera House of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County on May 7-12 for a limited engagement as part of the Broadway in Miami 2012-2013 and at the Bob Carr Performing Arts Centre in Orlando from May 14-19.

Turn up that dial! 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, which played pre-Broadway at the La Jolla Playhouse, features a Tony-winning book by Joe DiPietro (I Love You,You’re Perfect, Now Change) and a Tony-winning original score with music by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan. Directing is Tony nominee Christopher Ashley (Xanadu), and choreography is by Sergio Trujillo (Jersey Boys). Get ready to experience Broadway’s most exciting new destination and what the Associated Press calls “The very essence of what a Broadway musical should be.”

Bryan Fenkart made his Broadway debut in Memphis as the Huey stand-by, and is honored to originate the same role on the 1st National Tour. His TV/Film credits include: Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Red Hook, You Tell Me. He is also a singer/songwriter, and his new album Simple & Grey has just been released and is now available everywhere. It was a  pleasure to chat with Bryan for a few minutes.

Memphis-pic2The buzz is that you play the part of Huey better then Chad (no disrespect to Chad as he was Tony Nominated) did on Broadway. Is there a lot of pressure associated with that and how does that make you feel?

No one puts more pressure on me than me.  So any pressure that I feel as far as living up to my predecessor pales in comparison to whatever pressure I’m already putting on myself to be the best performer I can be.  As an actor, I will always be subjected to the comparisons and criticisms of a viewing audience.  My only hope is that the harder I work to better myself as a creative entity, the better the response will be.  Also, my characterization of Huey Calhoun wouldn’t exist without Chad Kimball’s.  I borrowed/stole a lot of brilliant ideas from him, and I have no hesitation in saying that.  I don’t consider it a competition.  I considered it an apprenticeship. And now I have graduated.

The music in Memphis is amazing. What’s your favorite song and why?

“Memphis Lives In Me.”  I know it seems like the obvious answer, but the truth is, the longer I do the show, the more that song means to me.  Memphis has opened a lot of doors for me over the years where before I only saw walls.  It will have a special rental space in my heart and soul for the rest of my career, and I get to pay homage to it once every performance.  It’s a privilege to sing.

The cast seems like they have gelled like a true family. How close is the cast?

Very close.  Like any family, we love each other, but don’t always like each other.  But that’s part of the touring package.  The relationships are strengthened and weakened along the way, but we all look out for each other and have a deep connection to one another, and it is palpable from the audience.  

Memphis-pic3What’s the difference between the Broadway show and the touring company?

Well, the biggest difference is that we are in a different city almost every week.  We get to open and close the show with great frequency, play to different regions and demographics, and I think that experience deepens the meaning of the show to us as performers while also keeping us fresh.  It doesn’t give us a lot of room to let ourselves get lazy, which is both invigorating and incredibly exhausting in turn.  But in the end, the heart of the show beats the same. 

In Miami, MEMPHIS will play Tuesday through Saturday evenings at 8 p.m. with a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. Performances on Sunday, May 12 are at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets start at $26* and may be purchased through the Adrienne Arsht Center box office by calling (305) 949- 6722, or online at ArshtcCnter.org. Groups of ten (10) or more may purchase tickets by calling (954) 626- 7814 or (786) 468-2326.

In Orlando, Memphis will play Tuesday through Saturday at 8 p.m. with a Saturday Matinee at 2 pm and on Sunday May 19th at 1 p.m. and 6:30p.m. Tickets start at $38.50 and can be purchased through TicketMaster.com

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