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Posts Tagged ‘Montego Glover’

On Tuesday, January 18, 2011, I had the fortunate experience of attending the Tony Award Winning musical “Memphis” once again! Almost a year to the day of my last “Memphis” attending, I am proud to say the show is still fantastically SIZZLING HOT with energy, excitement, and fun. The principal cast members are still the original (Chad Kimball, Derrick Baskin, James Monroe Iglehart, Montego Glover, J. Bernard Calloway, Michael McGrath, and Cass Morgan) and still have the best chemistry together! I have been fortunate enough to interview Chad Kimball, Derrick Baskin, and James Monroe Iglehart…so I’m thrilled that they continue entertaining audiences night after night! I’m not just raving about “Memphis” because I interviewed them, but because I truly love this show and as a result of this love, I asked each of them to be part of “Adaumbelle’s Quest” and they were kind of enough to participate.

With a book by Joe DiPietro and direction by Christopher Ashley, “Memphis” tells the story of a white DJ in 1950s Memphis who tries to get an African-American singer on the radio, but along the way falls in love. The success, hardships, and issues they face together is what keeps bringing audience members back over and over again. The music (by Bon Jovi’s David Bryan) is memorable and catchy with such hit songs as “Change Don’t Come Easy,” “Colored Women,” “Everybody Wants To Be Black On A Saturday Night,” “Memphis Lives In Me,” “The Music Of My Soul,” “Say A Prayer,” “Someday,” “Stand Up,” and “Steal Your Rock ‘n Roll,” while the choreography (by Sergio Trujillo) is energetic, mesmerizing, and electrifying!

Chad still has the vocals to score big in  “Hello, My Name Is Huey,” “Crazy Little Huey,” “The Music Of My Soul,” “Stand Up,” “Memphis Lives In Me,” and “Steal Your Rock ‘n Roll.” Derrick sends a hush over the audience every night with his spellbinding vocals on “Say A Prayer,” which then turns into rousing applause from the audience! James Monroe Iglehart tears up the stage not only with his astounding dance moves, but powerful, powerful vocals on “Big Love!” Cass Morgan lets it rip on “Change Don’t Come Easy,” letting the light shine brightly on her. J. Bernard Calloway lets it go in “She’s My Sister,” “Stand Up,” and “Change Don’t Come Easy,” always getting a cheer from the audience. Montego proves many times she’s got the vocals and talent in such songs as “The Music Of My Soul,” “Colored Women,” “Someday,” “Stand Up,” and “Steal Your Rock ‘n Roll.” The ensemble has a host of talent, but the one member that gets my attention every time I’ve seen this show is Hillary Elk. Between her terrific dance moves and skilled, big, and powerful vocals fill the house, even when singing amongst the entire company, Hillary will not be a chorus girl forever!

“Memphis” has lasted because the show still feels as fresh as when it first arrived on Broadway in September 2009 and it is continuing to shine ever so brightly and audiences are feeling it! The applause and cheers that came from the crowd were loud enough to raise the roof! If you have not seen this fantastical Tony Award Winning musical yet, then I highly suggest you “Stand Up” and make your way down to the Shubert Theatre (225 West 44th Street between Broadway & 8th Avenue) in New York City and get your tickets to “Memphis,” one of the most fantastical shows on Broadway!

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I attended the 2010 Drama Desk Awards and it was very exciting, especially when fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Jan Maxwell won for Best Actress in a Play for “The Royal Family.” It was so exciting to be there in person when she won and then to be able to personally congratulate Jan after the show was that much more exciting! I also got to meet Brooke Sheilds who was kind, gracious, and absolutely stunning. Before the evening got underway I got to hang out with fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Tom D’Angora who’s show “NEWSical the Musical” was nominated for “Best Musical Revue”, but unfortunately didn’t win. We still had a wonderful time as always!

To find out who won awards check out the list of winners below…

Outstanding Play: John Logan, “Red”

Outstanding Musical: “Memphis”

Outstanding Revival of a Play: “A View from the Bridge” & “Fences”

Outstanding Revival of a Musical: “La Cage Aux Folles”

Outstanding Actor in a Play: Liev Schreiber, “A View from the Bridge”

Outstanding Actress in a Play: fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Jan Maxwell, “The Royal Family”

Outstanding Actor in a Musical: Douglas Hodge, “La Cage Aux Folles”

Outstanding Actress in a Musical: Montego Glover, “Memphis” & Catherine Zeta-Jones, “A Little Night Music”

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Play: Santino Fontana, “Brighton Beach Memoirs”

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Play: Viola Davis, “Fences”

Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical: Christopher Fitzgerald, “Finian’s Rainbow”

Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical: Katie Finneran, “Promises Promises”

Outstanding Director of a Play: Michael Grandage, “Red”

Outstanding Director of a Musical: Michael Mayer, “American Idiot”

Outstanding Choreography: Twyla Tharp, “Come Fly Away”

Outstanding Music: David Bryan, “Memphis”

Outstanding Lyrics: John Kander & Fred Ebb, “The Scottsboro Boys”

Outstanding Book of a Musical: Alex Timbers, “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”

Outstanding Orchestrations: Daryl Waters & David Bryan, “Memphis”

Outstanding Musical Revue: “Sondheim on Sondheim”

Outstanding Music in a Play: Branford Marsalis, “Fences”

Outstanding Set Design: Phelim McDermott, Julian Crouch, & Basil Twist: “The Addams Family”

Outstanding Costume Design: Matthew Wright, “La Cage Aux Folles”

Outstanding Lighting Design: Neil Austin, “Red”

Outstanding Sound Design in a Musical: Acme Sound Partners, “Ragtime”

Outstanding Sound Design in a Play: Fitz Patton, “When the Rain Stops Falling”

Outstanding Solo Performance: Jim Brochu, “Zero Hour”

Unique Theatrical Experience: “Love, Loss, and What I Wore”

Outstanding Ensemble Performance: “Circle Mirror Transformation” & “The Tempermentals”

Special Awards:

To the cast, creative team, and producers of Horton Foote’s epic “The Orphans’ Home Cycle” “We salute the breadth of  vision which inspired exceptional direction, performances, sets, lighting, costumes, music, and sound that made it the theatrical event of this season.”

To Jerry Herman, “For enchanting and dazzling audiences with his exhuberant music and heartfelt lyrics for more than half a century.”

To Godlight Theatre Company for “consistent originality and excellence in dramatizing modern literature, and especially for the vibrant theatricality of its innovate productions.”

To Ma-Yi Theater Company for “more than two decades of excellence and for nurturing Asian-American voices in stylistically varied and engaging theater.”

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On Saturday, Jan. 16, 2010, I had the unique opportunity to go backstage after seeing the matinee performance of “Memphis.” (Click for my review and re-review). I was invited by fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Derrick Baskin, who is one of the principal actors in the show, playing the role of “Gator.” My family and I felt privileged to walk onto a real Broadway stage and see the theatre from a different perspective. Although Derrick must have been tired and he still had another show to perform, with great enthusiasm, he showed us the magic of how the set works. That greatly added to the enjoyment of the magnificent show I had just seen. The set designers should really be applauded for their remarkable work. While it seems effortless from the audience’s perspective, we got a glimpse of the hard work and detailed coordination that goes into bringing the set to life at each performance.

Derrick also introduced us to two of the other principle cast members, Montego Glover who plays “Felicia” and James Monroe Iglehart who plays “Bobby.” They were very gracious and warm when speaking to us. In addition to these cast members, I also had the opportunity to speak to two of the producers of the show, Chase Mishkin and Randy Adams…What a treat to meet two of the masterminds behind this show. As we were leaving the stagedoor, we also spoke to another principal cast member, fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participant Chad Kimball, who plays “Huey.” It was great to catch up with him and I appreciated the time he took to talk with me. It’s apparent by the enthusiasm of the cast that they are enjoying the show. So treat yourself and someone you enjoy and go see “Memphis!”

THANK YOU Derrick and the rest of the cast for a wonderful and unique experience! See you soon…

Enjoy a picture story of my time backstage:

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Hock-A-Doo! I had the pleasure of going to see the Broadway musical “Memphis” for a second time today, playing at the Shubert Theatre on 44th Street in New York City (between Broadway & 8th Avenue). I hope everyone gets to experience this amazing show. From the music to the dancing to the fantastical actors who bring this show to life eight times a week, “Memphis” really is a fresh new original musical! The show is much, much tighter than the first time I saw it during previews. There are many moments where a hush comes over the audience because they are mesmerized by the action on stage.

“Memphis” tells the story of “Huey,” a white DJ from “Memphis” whose love of music ignites a revolution. He discovers “Felicia,” an African-American singer who not only captures his heart, but his soul as well. As their stars rise together “Huey” & “Felicia” break down walls, defy rules, and risk their lives while the music of their souls play over the airwaves. It maybe the 1950s inside the Shubert Theatre, but the essence of “Memphis'” still rings true today. A timeless and timely tale, this show is on Broadway at the perfect time.

There is so much talent on that stage, it’s a must see! Included in this extraordinary cast are fellow “Adaumbelle’s Quest” participants Chad Kimball and Derrick Baskin, as well as Montego Glover, James Monroe Iglehart, J. Bernard Calloway, and Hillary Elk.

With a variety of shows on Broadway to choose from, this is one show I would highly recommend!

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