“Memphis” will play New York this fall, with producers of the new tuner announcing a Broadway run for the show in the wake of recent out-of-town stints in La Jolla and Seattle.
The musical has songs by Bon Jovi member David Bryan and book by Joe DiPietro (“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”); the duo’s tuner adaptation of “The Toxic Avenger” begins perfs Off Broadway later this month. Christopher Ashley (“Xanadu”) — who directed the DiPietro-scripted musical “All Shook Up” — helms.
Plot, based on an idea by the late producer George W. George, follows the fictionalized life story of a white disc jockey in 1950s Memphis who helped popularize R&B and rock ‘n’ roll tunes by African-American performers.
Musical played La Jolla Playhouse (of which Ashley is a.d.) last year and then went on to a brief engagement at 5th Avenue that wrapped up last month. World preem of the show was seen at Silicon Valley regional TheaterWorks USA in 2004.
Casting for the Broadway incarnation has not been confirmed. Chad Kimball (“Into the Woods”) played the DJ in La Jolla and Seattle, with Montego Glover portraying the DJ’s love interest.
Sergio Trujillo (“Jersey Boys”) choreographs the production, which has a design team that includes David Gallo (sets), Paul Tazewell (costumes) and Howell Binkley (lights).
Junkyard Dog Prods. and Barbara and Buddy Freitag produce the show, in association with Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff, Demos BizarEntertainment and Dancap Prods.
Junkyard is also the producer of new musical “Vanities,” which was bound for Broadway this spring before the producing team decided to postpone and re-evaluate.
Exact theater and dates for “Memphis” remain to be determined.