It's not just authenticity. It's also originality (Hairspray) etc. When Felicia tells Huey, "I couldn't have done it without you," I cringe. Maybe not quite as hard as I do when Huey asks, "When did I get blacker than you?" as Felicia contemplates selling out. (Her rejoinder helps, but...). It's a mess in many ways, and a mess of cliches ("drop a dime in a blind man's jar). But its historical gloss and equivocation RE hard times among blacks/whites gives it populist appeal. I saw it on Broadway the week it won the Tony. One of the most enthusiastic audiences I've ever shared O2 with. As a reviewer, I've got to give the shows its props. But it leaves itself wide open for criticism.
I think if a musical about Memphis were as authentic as you, and other critics of this musical wish, then it would have been a big flop. I saw the original production on Broadway and everyone was on their feet well before curtain call. That doesn't mean it was a brilliant piece of art, but it was thrilling to be in the audience that night.
Is that a veiled extortion threat John Hemphill?
I wasn't even there but Mary brought home the Emcee video.
Ive been getting a lot of that.
Wonderful summary, Chris. I think we all agree about Cookie. And I'll never be able to unsee you as the Cabaret MC in last Saturday's performance.
I'd love to see Ghosts too. Killing me a little that I'm probably going to miss this one. I think the company's looking to produce a diverse slate. When I talked to Marler he mentioned several shows ranging from Glengarry Glen Ross to Carousel. A few other Arthur Miller plays were mentioned as well (this was his adaptation).
I wonder if this group will produce other Ibsen works? "A Doll's House" and "Ghosts" come to mind.
Saw this play last weekend. GO SEE IT MEMPHIS!! Excellent Cast and great subject matter.
Takes an actor to know an actor and takes a critic to know a critic. Eloquent tribute to an eloquent presence in Memphis culture.
So glad someone is doing Ibsen. Hope they get good audiences.
I wish I had known about this event. My father placed me in a Children's Theater production of Pinocchio when I was 7. All I had to do was wear a pink tutu and walk out on the stage of the Ellis Auditorium and say, "I am a dancing doll, a dancing doll, a dancing doll", and twirl. Cookie's mother, Julia Ewing, ran the entire Children's Theater for years. The whole experience of being around all ages of kids, hanging out in the theater, eating dinner between performances, and being watched over for by this wonderful teenager, Cookie, was an experience I will never forget. It ignited a love of the magic of theater I have carried with me my whole life. Best wishes to you, Cookie, on your retirement! Where have the years gone?
I am not huge fan of one-person shows, but this one is excellent.
Thanks Jenny, the listing's correct. I was trying to return you to the scene of the crime.
The show is actually going to be at TheatreSouth which is in the basement of First Congregational Church. 1000 South Cooper!
There are almost NEVER understudies for ANY roles at any theatre in Memphis. Maybe occasionally, but it's extremely rare. The theatre scene in Memphis just isn't built that way.
Most of the roles could be covered quickly if need be because they are not too massive. Humphrey and King and of course LBJ would be a problem. I can't imagine having an understudy for Johnson for such a short run with him having the bulk of the lines during the 3 hour show. We have most of the middle aged men in town in the show already...I guess the decision was made to cross our fingers and pray that George stayed healthy. The ensemble roles are almost like chess pieces and are constantly moving and jumping from character to character. I imagine it would make any understudy's head spin being thrown into such chaos at the last minute...but not much flusters Ann Marie.
Surprised that Playhouse did not assign understudies for certain roles.
By Micaela Watts
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