James Elmer (ABC 3 and MTV host) leads as ambitious young DJ Huey Calhoun, who is passionate about African-American rock ‘n’ roll music and is determined to bring it to a mainstream audience. He starts to fall for the incredibly talented and beautiful star on the rise, Felicia, played by Elandrah Eramiha-Feo (In the Heights).
Felicia’s protective older brother Delray, owner of an underground black rock ‘n’ roll bar, is played by Iopu Auva’a (The Color Purple, Dreamgirls). Mandi Lodge (Shirley Valentine, Always… Patsy Cline) will star as “Mama” Gladys Calhoun, Huey’s tough and hard-working mother.
Isaac Lindley (RENT, Our Country’s Good) will play Gator, a very attentive (but mute) bartender at Delray’s Beale Street Club, and Nik Murillo (In The Heights, Canadian Production) playing Bobby, the radio station janitor and unlikely superstar talent. Greg Pascoe (Les Miserables, Into the Woods) will play Mr Simmons, the owner of radio station WHDZ, who begrudgingly gives Huey his big break.
The cast is rounded out with a stellar ensemble, comprising Lucas Biondo, Jason Yang-Westland, Wem Etuknwa, Lachlan Nash, Callum Warrender, Tanisha Buhanec, Agnes Honey, Tsungirai Wachenuka, Bianca Bruce, Laura Greenhalgh and Stephanie Marion Wood.
With Direction and Set Design by Dean Drieberg, the creative team includes Nathan Firmin – Musical Director, Kirra Sibel – Choreographer, Marcello Lo Ricco – Sound Design, and Jason Bovaird – Lighting Design.
Memphis is a 2009 Broadway musical by Bon Jovi’s guitarist David Bryan (music and lyrics) and Joe DiPietro (lyrics and book). It is loosely based on the story of Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips, one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s. The production won four 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
The Australian premiere season of Memphis will take place at Chapel Off Chapel: 6 – 22 October 2017. For more information, visit: www.stageart.com.au for details.
Image: Memphis The Musical