Sunday, January 20, 2013

Musical Review: "Memphis"

I am a lucky lady. Last week, one of my former teachers called me (High school English/Theater teacher. She's one of my sister's best friends, still), and asked if I'd like a pair of tickets to the musical "Memphis" at Omaha's Orpheum Theatre. I love a musical, so accepting the tickets was a no-brainer (sadly, she and her husband were unable to make it). I called up my work out buddy, Emily, who said she'd be thrilled to go.

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It is loosely based on Memphis disc jockey Dewey Phillips,[1] one of the first white DJs to play black music in the 1950s.

I gotta say, the main character, Huey Calhoun, I thought was a bit of a doofus. He was fun, and props to him for making something of himself via radio and television, but he was an extremely flawed character. He was in love with the heroine, Felicia Farrell, ever since he heard her sing in the opening scene. It took a bit more for her to open up to her feelings for him (he got her on the radio, and gave her a musical start). I still don't see what she saw in him. Over the course of four years, he became a big fish in a little pond, and wanted to marry Felicia, which was against the law back then (He was white, she was black). 

I thought the music and performances were fantastic. The actor playing Huey owned it (and I mean OWNED!), and the actress playing Felicia had a gorgeous voice. She was wonderful. I have to say, though, I'm not a huge fan of this type of play. I thought the story was a little slow, and didn't really find Huey that likable (I don't care for stupid comedies, either. *shrugs*). The music and dancing was really where the true stars were. Absolutely wonderful.

If you remember from my last trek to the Orpheum, I had pretty good seats. Here's where I was this time:

The Loge, House Left

I love how I manage to luck out at the Orpheum. I've never been disappointed with my seats. I'm also an eternal optimist who's just happy to be there. Seriously. When I saw Beauty and the Beast back in 2001, and The Phantom of the Opera at the Kansas City Music Hall in 2010, I was in the back row at the top of the house. (I honestly think I could touch the ceiling in that place), but I just enjoyed the music and I could see the whole stage, which was great for bigger numbers.

I just love shows. I feel like I grew up in the Orpheum (though, I've probably only spent about a week's worth of time there in my 27 years), and I'd be happy seeing ANYTHING there.

My next goal is to see The Lion King in March-April when it's in town. I REALLY want to see that one!

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