Memphis - Beverley Knight to stay until July 2015
It has been announced that British soul singer Beverley Knight will extend her run in the West End premiere of Memphis The Musical until 25 July 2015. The show, based on a concept by George W. George, with book/lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music/lyrics by David Bryan, is taking bookings to 31 October 2015 at the Shaftesbury Theatre.
Beverley Knight plays Felicia Farrell alongside Killian Donnelly as Huey Calhoun. The cast also includes Rolan Bell (Delray), Tyrone Huntley (Gator), Claire Machin (Gladys), Jason Pennycooke (Bobby) and Mark Roper (Mr. Simmons).
Memphis The Musical won four 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical, Best Original Score (David Bryan and Joe DiPietro), Best Book (Joe DiPietro), and Best Orchestrations (David Bryan and Daryl Waters) and opened at the Shaftesbury Theatre on 23 October 2014, following previews from 9 October 2014, to good reviews from the popular press: "Beverley Knight is sensational in this dynamic musical" (Evening Standard); "Killian Donnelly is something of a revelation" (Guardian); "Energetic and thrilling" (LondonTheatre.co.uk).
The production is directed by Christopher Ashley, with set design by David Gallo, lighting by Howell Binkley, choreography by Sergio Trujillo, costume by Paul Tazewell, sound by Gareth Owen and musical direction by Tim Sutton. It is produced by Junkyard Dog Productions, Marlene and Kenny Alhadeff, Barbara Freitag, Joseph Smith and John Brant.
Synopsis: "Featuring an original score with gospel, rhythm & blues, and early rock 'n' roll fused with Byran’s own contemporary sensibility, Memphis follows the fictionalized life story of young, white radio disc jockey Huey Calhoon growing up in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1950’s. An unlikely hero with a great love of the music he hears in the black bars on Beale Street, Huey’s on-air antics and unstoppable enthusiasm for 'race records' creates a new white audience for African-American music. His personal life transcends the race line as well, when he falls in love with a beautiful black singer - with dramatic consequences."
The producers of the show have also announced that the CD version of the Original London Cast album will be available from 9 February at the Shaftesbury Theatre and via First Night Records. The album is already available for online download purchases.