Today, thanks to the IMPACT BROADWAY (http://www.impactbroadway.com/) grant that we are fortunate to be a part of, 36 students experienced the musical Memphis, met with the cast for a question and answer session, and dined at Planet Hollywood along with students from other high schools representing their boroughs.
Memphis is musical about the birth of rock & roll in the turbulent 1950s. The show features music and lyrics by David Bryan, a founding member of the rock band Bon Jovi,. Featuring an original score that mixes gospel, rhythm & blues, and early rock ‘n’ roll stylings with a contemporary sensibility, Memphis follows the fictionalized life story of Huey Calhoon, a young, white radio disc jockey growing up in Memphis, Tennessee in the 1950’s. Fueled by the music he hears in the black bars on Beale Street, Huey’s on-air antics and unstoppable enthusiasm for “race records” creates a new white audience for African-American music. Then he falls in love with a beautiful black singer, and his personal life transcends the race line, too, with grave consequences.
Memphis received rave reviews from our students and the teacher and parent chaperons, who totally enjoyed the fabulous singing, the lyrics and music, the dancing, and the great story line as they learned a little about the history of music in our country as well as about race relations, the dangers of prejudice and racism, and, more importantly about acceptance! Read on to hear what we have to share about our experience, to see what we learned about this time in history, and to learn about how experiencing Broadway has impacted us!