The 2010 Tony Award-winning Best Musical MEMPHIS announced casting today for the U.S. national tour of the critically acclaimed production. The national tour of MEMPHIS will star Bryan Fenkart (Huey) and Felicia Boswell (Felicia) with Quentin Earl Darrington (Delray), Rhett George (Gator), Julie Johnson (Mama), Will Mann (Bobby), and William Parry (Mr. Simmons).
The company will also include Evan Autio, Bree Branker, Whitney Brown, Whitney Cooper, Scott Difford, Christopher Gurr, Daisy Hobbs, Crystal Joy, Kyle Leland, Jarvis McKinley, Happy McPartlin, Kenna Michelle Morris, Jill Morrison, Austin Owen, Kent Overshown, Alfie Parker Jr., Justin Prescott, Jody Reynard and Peter Matthew Smith. Additional casting will be announced at a later date.
The national touring production of MEMPHIS will kick off on October 14, 2011 at the Orpheum Theatre in Memphis, TN (203 South Main Street) where it will play through October 23. Other venues for the tour include Houston, TX (October 25-30, 2011); Tulsa, OK (November 1-6, 2011); Oklahoma City, OK (November 8-13, 2011); Nashville, TN (November 15-20, 2011); Chicago, IL (November 22 - December 4, 2011); Toronto, ON (December 6-25, 2011); Pittsburgh, PA (December 27, 2011 - January 1, 2012); Charlotte, NC (January 3-8, 2012); Hartford, CT (January 10-15, 2012); Philadelphia, PA (January 17-22, 2012); Durham, NC (January 24-29, 2012); Atlanta, GA (January 31 - February 5, 2012); Clearwater, FL (February 7-12, 2012); Naples, FL (February 14-19, 2012); Greenville, SC (February 21-26, 2012); Cleveland, OH (February 28 - March 11, 2012); St. Paul, MN (March 13-25, 2012); East Lansing, MI (March 27 - April 1, 2012); Baltimore, MD (April 3-8, 2012); Hershey, PA (April 10-15, 2012); Schenectady, NY (April 17-22, 2012); Des Moines, IA (April 24-29, 2012); St. Louis, MO (May 1-13, 2012); Dallas, TX (May 15-27, 2012); Columbus, OH (May 29 - June 3, 2012); Buffalo, NY (June 5-10, 2012); Washington, DC (June 12 - July 1, 2012); Kansas City, MO (July 10-15, 2012); Las Vegas, NV (July 17-22, 2012); San Diego, CA (July 24-29, 2012); Los Angeles, CA (July 31 - August 12, 2012) and more soon to be announced.
Critically acclaimed MEMPHIS 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). MEMPHIS won four Drama Desk Awards including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Performance by an Actress (Montego Glover), Outstanding Music (David Bryan) and Outstanding Orchestration (David Bryan and Daryl Waters). MEMPHIS has also won four Outer Critic Circle Awards including Outstanding Musical, Outstanding Score (David Bryan & Joe DiPietro), Outstanding Actress (Montego Glover) and Outstanding Choreography (Sergio Trujillo).
MEMPHIS takes place in the smoky halls and underground clubs of the segregated 50's, where a young white DJ named Huey Calhoun fell in love with everything he shouldn't: rock and roll and an electrifying black singer. MEMPHIS is an original story about the cultural revolution that erupted when his vision met her voice, and the music changed forever.
MEMPHIS opened on October 19, 2009 at Broadway's Shubert Theatre (225 W. 44th Street). Previews began on September 23rd. Michael Kuchwara of the Associated Press says MEMPHIS is "The very essence of what a Broadway show should be!" while Charles Isherwood of the New York Times says, "David Bryan evokes the powerhouse funk of James Brown, the hot guitar riffs of Chuck Berry, the smooth harmonies of The Temptations, the silken, bouncy pop of the great girl groups of the period." The New York Post raves "Of such thrills, Broadway is made," Newsday calls the show "A smash! An extraordinary show," the Daily News promises that MEMPHIS will "Blast you out the door humming and happy" and NY1's Roma Torre cheers, "MEMPHIS ROCKS!"
The show features a brand new Tony winning score with music by Bon Jovi's founding member and keyboardist David Bryan and lyrics by Bryan and Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change), who also pens the musical's book. Bryan and DiPietro also collaborated on the award-winning off-Broadway hit, The Toxic Avenger. MEMPHIS is based on a concept by the late George W. George (producer of the Tony nominated Bedroom Farce and the film My Dinner With Andre), with direction by Tony nominee Christopher Ashley (Xanadu) and choreography by Sergio Trujillo, who is currently represented by three shows on Broadway (Memphis, Jersey Boys and The Addams Family).
Scenic Design for MEMPHIS is by Tony Award winner David Gallo (The Drowsy Chaperone, Reasons to Be Pretty), Costume Design is by Tony nominee Paul Tazewell (In The Heights), Lighting Design is by Tony Award winner Howell Binkley (Jersey Boys) and Sound Design is by Ken Travis (The Threepenny Opera).
The national tour of MEMPHIS will be produced by Junkyard Dog Productions, Barbara and Buddy Freitag, and Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff, with Latitude Link, Jim and Susan Blair, Demos Bizar Entertainment, Land Line Productions, Richard Winkler, Alex and Katya Lukianov, Dave Copley, Dancap Productions, Inc., 2 Guys Productions, Patty Baker, and Dan Frishwasser, in association with Eric and Marsi Gardiner, Linda and Bill Potter, Broadway Across America, Vijay and Sita Vashee, Apples and Oranges Productions, Brian and Betty Dovey, John Yonover and Ron Yonover, Loraine Boyle/Chase Mishkin, Remmel T. Dickinson/Memphis Orpheum Group, Jocko Productions/Shadowcatcher Entertainment, Scott and Kayla Union.
Bryan Fenkart (Huey). This is Bryan's first national tour, after covering the same role in his B'way debut Memphis. Theatre: SubUrbia (2nd Stage), TV/Film: "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," Red Hook, You Tell Me. Bryan is also a singer/songwriter. His debut album Imperfect Man is available on iTunes, and his follow-up album Simple & Grey is expected in early October. www.bryanfenkart.com. www.twitter.com/Steinway7.
Felicia Boswell (Felicia). Broadway: Memphis (Felicia Cover). Nat'l Tour: Dreamgirls (Deena, Lorell), AIDA (Aida Standby). Regional: RENT (Mimi) Atlanta Lyric Theatre**, Caroline Or Change (Radio) Guthrie Theatre, Aida (Aida) VMT, Beehive (Diana Ross, Ikette) Maltz Jupiter Theatre, Boys From Syracuse (Courtesan) Baltimore Centerstage, Little Shop of Horrors (Chiffon) Atlanta Lyric Theatre*, Starlight Jazz (Japan). Other Credits: White Noise, Becoming Tennessee (Trombone), Joe Turner's Come & Gone (Molly Cunningham); * Suzi Bass Nominee **ATFA Nominee; Visit the Official Fan Page of Felicia Boswell on Facebook for upcoming events!
Rhett George (Gator) wrote all 16 songs on his 2008 album entitled Something Better. Available on iTunes and cdBaby. His second album will be released this September. Rhett has been featured in numerous shows, such as Memphis and Wicked where he was an original company member. He starred as Big Daddy in the revival of Sweet Charity with Christina Applegate. Other memorable credits include Fame, Rent, Aida, The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, and The Color Purple. Favorite Film/TV credits include Sex and The City, Blues Brothers 2000, Glitter, and Prisoner of Love. Twitter: @RhettGeorge, www.Rhettgeorgeonline.com
Quentin Earl Darrington (Delray). Broadway: Ragtime (2009 Revival). Off-Broadway: I, New York City Center; The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd, York Theatre Company. National Tour: The Color Purple, The Lion King, Ragtime. Regional: Gee's Bend, Cincinnati Playhouse; I Dream, ALLIANCE THEATRE; Ragtime, The Kennedy Center, Drury Lane Theatre (Oakbrook); The Gift of the Magi, Polk Theatre; A Little Night Music, California Music Circus; Abyssinia, Goodspeed Opera House; Dreamgirls, Madame Walker Theatre Center; The World of Jaques Brel, Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center.
Will Mann (Bobby) just completed his run, and Broadway debut, as Bobby in Memphis on Broadway. 1st national tours: Billy Elliot (Mr. Braithwaite & Big Davey), Wonderful Town (Valenti). Regional: Ragtime (Coalhouse), Godspell (Jesus), Show Boat (Joe), Finding Nemo (Bruce), Oklahoma! (Judd Fry), A Chorus Line (Richie), amongst others. Bachelor of Music from Oklahoma City University under THE Florence Birdwell. www.willmannvo.com #HIGHLYFAVORED @WillSingFaFood
William Parry (Mr. Simmons) has created roles in four Stephen Sondheim musicals: Sunday in the Park with George, Passion, Assassins and Road Show. Also original Broadway companies of Jesus Christ Superstar, Leaf People, Into the Light, Agamemnon, Rockabye Hamlet, Camelot, and Gypsy (2003). Numerous Off-Broadway productions, including Dessa Rose. National tours include: Titanic (Capt. Smith) and A Few Good Men. He's appeared in 35 regional productions and on TV and film in: "The Pretender," "Law and Order," Sweet Liberty, In and Out, and Domestic Disturbance.
Julie Johnson (Mama). Broadway: Hal Prince's Candide; Off-B'way: Das Barbecu (Drama Desk Nom, Theatre World Award); Roadside; The Rink workshop; Regional: Cabaret; Ragtime; Superman; Sweeney Todd; Hello Dolly; Always Patsy Cline; The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas; Paper Moon; Rob Marshall's Chess; Beauty and the Beast, Dirty Blonde, Plexiglass Slipper, Heartbeats, Nunsense, Rocky Horror Show, Oliver, Night of the Hunter, A Closer Walk with Patsy Cline. Concert appearances: Carnegie Hall with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops, Ft. Worth Symphony's Summer Concert In The Garden Series, Theatre Virginia Concert Series. For the past 20 years, Julie Has been the voice of Baby Bop on "Barney and Friends." Film: Pure Country, The Apostle. www.juliejohnsonmusic.com.