BEVERLEY KNIGHT TO PLAY 'FELICIA' AS HIT BROADWAY MUSICAL MEMPHIS MOVES TO LONDON
OPENING NIGHT ON 23 OCTOBER 2014
The producers of hit Broadway musical MEMPHIS are delighted to officially announce that multi award-winning recording artist Beverley Knight will star as club singer 'Felicia' when the show comes to London's West End this autumn. MEMPHIS, winner of four 2010 Tony Awards® including Best Musical has Grammy® Award-winning original score by Bon Jovi founding member David Bryan and book by Joe DiPietro.
Tickets go on-sale today, Thursday 13 March 2014, for MEMPHIS which will have preview performances at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London from 2 October 2014 and Opening Night on 23 October 2014.
Inspired by true events from the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, MEMPHIS follows the fame and forbidden love of a radio DJ who wants to change the world and a club singer who is ready for her big break.
David Bryan evokes the powerhouse funk of James Brown, the hot guitar riffs of Chuck Berry, the smooth harmonies of the Temptations and the silken, bouncy pop of the great girl groups of the period Charles Isleworth, New York Times.
Directed by Christopher Ashley and with Choreography by Sergio Trujillo, MEMPHIS has Scenic Design by David Gallo, Costume Design by Paul Tazewell, Lighting Design by Howell Binkley and Sound Design Ken Travis.
Queen of British Soul Beverley Knight (Felicia) has been one of the UK's most consistent artists of the past 15 years, scoring several Top 10 albums, including the platinum-selling Voice: The Best of Beverley Knight. She has sold over a million albums in the UK, including four gold certified albums. She was awarded an MBE by The Queen in 2007 for her services to British music and her charity work, has won three MOBO Awards, and been nominated for Best Female at the Brit Awards three times and for the Mercury Music Prize twice. Her live performances have gained her a legion of famous fans, from David Bowie to Prince, Take That to Quincy Jones. Performances include: supporting Prince at his 21 Nights O2 shows in 2007 and he was so taken by Beverley's live set that he flew her to LA in 2008 to perform with him at his post-Oscars party, where they were joined on stage by Stevie Wonder. She supported Take That on their reunion arena tour, joining them on stage for 'Relight My Fire'. Wolverhampton-born Beverley has toured the UK several times in her own right over the last decade and a half and has sold out London's Royal Albert Hall on three occasions since she debuted there in 2007. In summer 2012, she wowed a 1 billion viewing audience with the song 'I Am What I Am' at the finale of the London 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony. Most recently, Beverley made her west end debut as 'Rachel Marron' in The Bodyguard at the Adelphi Theatre.
David Bryan (Music and lyrics) is a Grammy® Award-winning keyboard player and founding member of BON JOVI. Over the past 26 years the band has sold more than 130 million records and toured the world, playing to millions of people. Their recent Lost Highway Tour was the #1 grossing tour in the world. In the USA, David is a spokesperson for VH1's Save the Music Program and won the 2010 Tony Award® for Best Composer, the 2010 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music and an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Score for MEMPHIS.
Joe DiPietro (Book) won two Tony® Awards for co-writing MEMPHIS and was also won a Drama Desk award recent Broadway show Nice Work If You Can Get It starring Matthew Broderick. His other plays and musicals include: I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (the longest-running musical revue in Off-Broadway history), The Toxic Avenger and The Thing About Men (both winners of the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Off-Broadway Musical), Over the River and Through The Woods, The Art of Murder (Edgar Award Winner for Best Mystery Play) and the Broadway musical All Shook Up.
MEMPHIS is produced in London by Junkyard Dog Productions, Marlene and Kenny Alhadeff, Barbara Freitag, Joseph Smith and John Brant.
Thursday 13 March 2014 11:00:00 GMT
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Read the rave reviews from Broadway!
'THE SENSUOUS, SOULFUL SOUND OF RHYTHM 'N' BLUES HITS THE AUDIENCE RIGHT FROM THE START OF THIS EXHILARATING NEW MUSICAL.
Take a deep breath as the curtain rises because the exuberance doesn't stop!'
'A fantastic evening that makes you think and feel as much as sing.
WHAT MORE COULD ONE ASK OF A NIGHT AT THE THEATRE?'
The Huffington Post
'I GUARANTEE YOU A GOOD TIME, highlighted by rousing music and singing, spectacular dancing, and even some shedding of tender tears. The musical numbers are irresistible - choreographer Sergio Trujillo has come up with original and incandescent dancing that no current musical, and very few past ones, could match. Add extremely inventive scenery, exhilarating costumes and incisive lighting, all this coordinated and magisterially deployed by Christopher Ashley's direction, and you have magic.
MEMPHIS IS TRIUMPHANT!'
'MEMPHIS EXPLODES OFF THE STAGE WITH A RHYTHM AND DRIVE THAT SOAR THROUGH THE THEATRE, CREATING A FEELING OF INSTANT JOY.
David Bryan has written a very strong score, with exuberant soul and rhythm-and-blues numbers.'
'MEMPHIS IS IRRESISTIBLE, INVIGORATING AND TRULY ENTERTAINING, WITH A PULSATING NEW SCORE.'
AM New York
'A bit of 'Dreamgirls' and 'Hairspray' can be found in this show's roots, but make no mistake, MEMPHIS is its own musical.
A POTENT REMINDER OF WHAT CAN HAPPEN WHEN FINE SONG AND DANCE COMBINE WITH A COMPELLING STORY.'Associated Press
'A SMASH!This inventive show has non-stop talent, remarkable songs and vocal pyrotechnics.
AN ORIGINAL, AUTHENTIC, EXTRAORDINARY SHOW!'
New York Newsday
'GREAT SETS, GREAT COSTUMES AND GREAT SONGS!
MEMPHIS is a musical you have to see! The entire audience shot to their feet at the end.'
'A KNOCKOUT!With an infectious score, excellent direction, dazzling choreography and an engaging story,
MEMPHIS, QUITE SIMPLY, ROCKS!'
'THE REMARKABLY RICH AND RAUCOUS CHARACTER-DRIVEN SONGS- by Bon Jovi co-founder David Bryan - lovingly capture the insinuating, earthy authenticity of rhythm and blues, gospel and early rock ‘n’ roll.'
New York Newsday
'The original score is as tuneful as it is theatrical -
THE VERY ESSENCE OF WHAT A BROADWAY MUSICAL SHOULD BE.'
'Director Christopher Ashley spins the imaginative choreography and excellent ensemble into a gleaming production.
MEMPHIS BLASTS YOU OUT THE DOOR HUMMING AND HAPPY!'
New York Daily News
'MEMPHIS has an innate energy, much of it supplied by Sergio Trujillo's propulsive choreography.
THERE'S A SINUOUS, SEXY QUALITY TO THE DANCING THAT PERFECTLY MATCHES THE MUSIC.'
'The gritty sincerity of Joe DiPietro's book coupled with David Bryan's infectiously melodic compositions under Christopher Ashley's dynamic staging, frequently threaten to tear the roof off of the theatre!
MEMPHIS IS BURSTING WITH GUTSY STORY-TELLING AND EXHILARATING MOMENTS.'Broadwayworld.com
'A TERRIFIC ORIGINAL SCOREby Bon Jovi keyboardist David Bryan,
which provides an expert pastiche of '50s-era R&B, rock and gospel.'
The Hollywood Reporter
'The moody and inventive production has been put together with down-and-dirty elegance by director Christopher Ashley, choreographer Sergio Trujillo, set designer David Gallo and costume designer Paul Tazewell, who let the musical, dramatic and scenic discoveries peel off one another at
A PACE BREATHLESS AND DISCIPLINED, ORIGINAL AND AUTHENTIC.
When a singer lets loose the vocal pyrotechnics come from deep within the storytelling.'
New York Newsday