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  Memphis at Cadillac Palace Theatre


Cadillac Palace Theatre
151 W. Randolph Chicago

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.

Thru - Dec 4, 2011

Price: $37-$95

Show Type: Musical

Running Time: 2hrs, 25mins; one intermission

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  Memphis Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Highly Recommended

"...In fact, I'd say the tour of "Memphis" lands far more satisfyingly than when I saw this show around its Broadway opening. That's partly due to the relief one always feels these days at seeing a Broadway tour done right and worthy of a high-stakes Thanksgiving berth in the Loop — Equity cast, comparable production values to Broadway, nothing tired or significantly cut-down — in an era when cheaper tours are proliferating. This one is the full monty, and better yet, these actors are either fresh or re-energized at landing in Sweet Home Chicago, or both."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Sun Times - Somewhat Recommended

"... Joe DiPietro’s book (which, unaccountably, received a Tony Award), is cartoonish at best and a travesty at worst. And a musical (even when it has a driving rhythm and blues score by way of Bon Jovi’s David Bryan) is only as good as its book."
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Hedy Weiss

Chicago Reader - Somewhat Recommended

"...Neither David Bryan's tuneless score nor Sergio Trujillo's anything-for-attention choreography do much to evoke the era, and Joe DiPietro's book routinely sacrifices credibility to make room for big production numbers and expedient character transformations. Most disappointingly, the show portrays jim crow racism as discrete episodes of inconvenience, condescension, and threat rather than the pervasive, terrorizing system it was, passing up a chance to give the stage world real depth. Still, director Christopher Ashley packs his touring production with first-rate singers and dancers who salvage a handful of affecting moments."
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Justin Hayford

Centerstage - Highly Recommended

"... Quentin Earl Darrington, seen as Coalhouse Walker, both on Broadway and in Drury Lane Oakbrook’s stellar productions of “Ragtime,” brings his glorious voice and strength to the role of Felicia’s brother Delray. Will Mann is a bottled up dynamo just waiting to bust loose as Bobby and Rhett George finds his voice and his strength through friendship in “Say a Prayer.” The ‘50’s have never sounded more joyful."

Colin Douglas

Chicago On the Aisle - Highly Recommended

"... “Memphis” took the 2010 Tony Award for best musical. When I saw it on Broadway I wondered whether its distinctive energy, flamboyance, tension and accent could ever be replicated. Trust me, the wonderful touring company in town has “Memphis” down to a pulsating T. What’s more, this production’s crazy-quilt collection of characters comes to life –troubled, aspiring, daunted or dangerous – with a precision and depth that may even outstrip the New York show I encountered those many months ago."
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Lawrence B. Johnson

ChicagoCritic - Highly Recommended

"... Memphis dramatically depicts the early struggles toward racial equality that manifests itself through music. We love Huey and we understand thetorments Felicia feels as she struggles toward fame and fortune. Thisis both a fun and a heartwarming feel-good musical with a fine original score in the spirit of the early rockers and black blues artists. Memphis is a well produced and terrifically sung (especially by Felicia Boswell) show that still contains a pertinent social message about tolerance. Memphis’ energy and heartwill leave you entertained and smiling."
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Tom Williams

Chicago Stage Standard - Highly Recommended

"... The ensemble dazzled, the musical score was overwhelming, and the highly impressive plot made “Memphis” one unforgettable evening. Rarely do I find myself feeling the need to jump up for a standing ovation, but by the end of curtain call I found myself standing and clapping uncontrollably. “Memphis” is a perfect musical for those looking for an excellent piece of new musical theater, and I will admit the bar has been set for future productions to come."

Tyler Tidmore

Let's Play at ChicagoNow - Highly Recommended

"... The story is poignant. The music is vibrant. The combination is a rock and roll fantasy. Over the years, rock and roll has splintered into various subsets. MEMPHIS stays true to its rhythm and blues roots. The tunes are soul stirring, body twisting, head swirling colossal. The book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music and lyrics by David Bryan capture the discrimination of the time period without making it the focal point. Racial tensions simmer below the surface and boil up sporadically. But this entertaining show is primarily about the birth of rock and roll. Composer Bryan sets the upbeat tempo to entice a teenage dancing revolution."
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Katy Walsh

Around The Town Chicago - Highly Recommended

"...The songs are strong with lyrics that have meaning and the choreography by Sergio Trujillo and direction by Christopher Ashley makes this a night to remember. In addition to these two leads ( who both come from the original Broadway production as standbys and truly show their remarkable talent for Chicago) there is a strong ensemble and some featured players of note. Julie Johnson is great as Huey’s mother, Quentin Earl Darrington,Rhett George and Will Mann as Delray,Gator and Bobby and William Parry as Mr. Simmons. Add to these performances a brilliant ensemble of singers and dancers and you have what has to be called a production that MUST be seen."
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Alan Bresloff

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