BJCC hosts Memphis, the play

By on January 14, 2014
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“Memphis” took the stage Friday night at the BJCC Concert Hall where hundreds gathered for a night of laughs, tears, and a magnificent story.

The music excites, the dancing delights, and the chemistry between the actors brings the story of fame and forbidden romance to life right before your eyes.

Originally written by David Bryan and Joe DiPietro, the plot of the production features a young, white, country bumpkin called Huey who becomes a popular radio DJ by playing what is referred to as “race music,” or early Rock and Roll, and eventually gets his very own television show, where his whacky antics are broadcasted to all of Memphis.

The woman he loves, Felicia, transforms from club singer to national star by the end of the work, and Huey turns down his chance to go to New York and rise in fame with her to instead stay in Memphis, though he is without a job and will never be popular again.

While they are in a relationship for some time, Huey and Felicia do not end up together. It’s a twist on the common theme of “the guy getting the girl,” and instead, both of the characters stay true to what speaks to their souls: music.

I found this to be an incredible portion of the story because it stresses the value of a person embracing his or her passion rather than finding true love.

They end the play with Huey joining Felicia on the stage for the last time at the premiere of her national tour, performing as friends for the last time with everyone dressed in elegant golden costumes and singing fervently.

It was truly a glorious ending; the crowd cheered and the cast received a standing ovation for their dazzling performance.

The brilliant show won four Tony Awards in 2010, including Best Musical, and came to town for the weekend through Broadway in Birmingham, an organization founded over twenty years ago for the benefit of bringing theatre to the city.

The mission of Broadway in Birmingham is “to bring in national tours and working towards this so people can be a part of the whole Broadway experience,” according to Patron Services Associate, Isie Hanson. Other productions coming to Birmingham include Green Day’s
American Idiot, which can be seen April 19th, Mamma Mia!, performing May 9-10, and War Horse, on stage March 18-23rd.

Patience Gordy
Contributor
pgordy@uab.edu

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